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New Mix: Ólafur Arnalds, Khruangbin, Whyte Horses, Ari Roar, More

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Clockwise from upper left: Ari Roar, Beatrice Deer, Ólafur Arnalds, Khruangbin, Whyte Horses
Courtesy of the artists

Clockwise from upper left: Ari Roar, Beatrice Deer, Ólafur Arnalds, Khruangbin, Whyte Horses

It's pretty much impossible to ever fully understand why we love or dislike a song. Sometimes we're just in a bad mood when we first hear it and the whole experience sours. Or maybe the opposite happens: You're in a totally elated mood and every song you hear sounds way better than it really is. We open this week's show with a brief reflection on this phenomenon before settling on the one thing we're always looking for no matter what: Songs that transport us in some way.

On this episode that means a couple of remarkable new discoveries for co-host Robin Hilton: the summery, early-'70s psych-pop of Whyte Horses and the transfixing voice and carefree pop of Dallas native Caleb Campbell, who writes and records as Ari Roar. Host Bob Boilen shares the band Khruangbin and the trio's mostly instrumental songs that are both genre and mind-bending. Bob's also got a heart-rending story-song from Canadian Inuk singer Beatrice Deer and a gorgeous — and curious — piano piece from Iceland's Ólafur Arnalds.

All that, plus a visit from NPR Music's Lars Gotrich who reports back with one of his favorite discoveries from Damaged City, a hardcore and punk festival held in Washington, D.C. this past weekend. The band is called Abuse Of Power.

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