Oklahoma music

Our shortlist of the best albums out on May 3 includes Vampire Weekend's first new album in six years, life-affirming "pep talks" from Judah & The Lion, the interdimensional sounds of Big Thief's latest album U.F.O.F., the profound lyricism of Nashville singer-songwriter Caroline Spence, former Civil Wars singer Joy Williams and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Lars Gotrich and Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the week's best new albums.

Featured Albums:

KOSU and The Spy are collaborating with The City of Guthrie, Hoboken Coffee Roasters, and The Visual Brain to bring you the Tiny Town Concert Series.

Norman Music Festival starts on Thursday and it's time to start planning your schedule for each day of the fest! Every day of this free festival has so many great artists I'm sure you want to see them all like we do. Unfortunately it's not possible to see every single act, but here are our opinions on the ten acts that are absolute must-sees at Norman Music Festival this year.

Kevin Morby's new album is unlike anything he's done before. Gone is the guitar (for the most part) from his earlier recordings. In its place are more droning instruments — sounds more suited for church than the concert hall, including a recurring, small choir. The subject for the album is God and our culture's relationship with God, from deep introspection to the trivial, everyday use of that ever-present expression "oh my God."

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On April 26, singer-songwriter Kevin Morby releases an ambitious double-length concept album called Oh My God.

Larson Rogers

Charlotte Bumgarner is an 18-year-old singer-songwriter in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is passionate about young women being taken seriously and making the music scene a safer place for everyone. She has been writing "kinda quiet, kinda sad songs" for the better part of three years, you can check them out on her Bandcamp.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify and Apple playlists at the bottom of the page.

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The limits of childhood contemplation are seemingly boundless; before our eyes are opened to much of the world's bitter cynicism, thought is only restricted by the realm of our own ima

Michael Haight

Skating Polly may have moved onto national fame and acclaim, but they will never forget their Oklahoma roots. The band said they are "literally so stoked for Norman Music Festival" and that the festival "will always remain one of (their) favorite places to play." The band chats with our music intern, Kyra Bruce, about their origins in Oklahoma, dealing with "Girl Band Geeks", and playing music with their family.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

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