News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV
NV89 Discover Music

an member station

All Songs Considered

Nils Frahm Goes Against Summer's Grain On Surprise 'Encores 1'


The composer Nils Frahm, who released a short suite of quiet songs called <em>Encore 1</em> on June 1, 2018.
Alexander Schneider, Courtesy of the artist

The composer Nils Frahm, who released a short suite of quiet songs called Encore 1 on June 1, 2018.

The sun's season became official this past weekend — so what do you want to hear? Rooftop bops? Windows-down coasters? Sweated-through squall? Jazz-adjacent eccentricity?

The extra-natural, electromagnetic jitter of summer, its late light and soupy heat, seems to have the effect of predisposing our ears to things that shiver alongside it, tilting us toward sounds that nurture its nervous energy. But coded in there is the power of perpendicularity; it's a time when quiet doesn't seem quite right, which gives subtlety a strength through its strangeness.

Call it counterprogramming for inner peace.

On Encores 1, a surprise little suite released today, Nils Frahm has arrived with his arms full of beautiful orphans from All Melody, the full-length record he released in January. Where All Melody was elegantly dense, Encores 1 is soft and spare, four solo piano compositions and one for harmonium, all of which mostly dance through Frahm's particular balance of pastoral optimism, countered always with a shaded melancholy — like closing your eyes and looking right at the daylight.

Support comes from

Nils Frahm's Encores 1 is out now, via Erased Tapes.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Come back soon and know you won’t get ambushed by a paywall. Ever. That’s because members keep public radio accessible to all. Together, we answer to no one but you. Is that your kind of crowd? Great — then join us with a contribution of as little as $5 a month.

More Stories