Under The Needle


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Live Music recorded locally and distributed around the world. Brought to you by KEXP.

Under the Needle is a weekly series featuring the best of KEXP’s live in-studio performances. With financial support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, KEXP is making this weekly series available at no cost to college and community stations from across the country. Each show is also archived and available on this site. KEXP hosts over 400 in-studio sessions each year, including a range of genres and a mix of well-established and up-and-coming artists. Kevin Cole and his staff choose among these sessions to bring an eclectic mix of incredible live performances to Under the Needle. Stations interested in picking up Under the Needle can contact: ethan@kexp.org.


Hot Snakes - Under The Needle, Episode 167

Hot Snakes just plain rock, loud, fast, harmonically complex and fresh

The True Loves - Under The Needle, Episode 166

Seattle's own The True Loves play r&b, funk and soul with a fresh take on the old-school.

The Horrors - Under The Needle, Episode 165

English band The Horrors play danceable post-punk with an edge

Soccer Mommy - Under The Needle, Episode 164

Soccer Mommy's Sophie Allison with full band, delivers an excellent set of honest guitar driven indie-pop.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Under The Needle, Episode 163

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, is the Portland-based project of New Zealander Ruban Nielson. Their fourth album “Sex & Food” on Jagjaguwar is an infectious mix of disco, pop, lo-fi soul and psych-rock.

Snail Mail - Under The Needle, Episode 162

Snail Mail is the full band project of wunderkind Lindsey Jordan. Her first full-length "Lush" is available on Matador records.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Under The Needle, Episode 161

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are among an ever-growing list of fantastic indie-rock bands coming out of Australia. Their latest album for Sub Pop Records “Hope Downs” features jangly, driving tunes that blend in sardonic lyricism ala countrymate Courtney Barnett.

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio - Under The Needle, Episode 160

This week on Under The Needle, its the Seattle Soul of the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio

Little Dragon - Under The Needle, Episode 159

This week on Under The Needle, its the R&B tinged electro-pop of Sweden's Little Dragon

Editors - Under The Needle, Episode 158

This week on Under The Needle, its the four on the floor electro-rock of Editors

Lowly - Under The Needle, Episode 157

This week on Under The Needle, its the rich and reverberant Danish dream-pop of Lowly

Chelsea Wolfe - Under The Needle, Episode 156

This week on Under The Needle, its the dark and heavy doom-folk of Chelsea Wolfe

Fontaines D.C. - Under The Needle, Episode 155

This week on Under The Needle, its the hard rockin post-punk of Dublin's Fontaines D.C.

Khruangbin - Under The Needle, Episode 154

This week on Under The Needle, its the psychedelic world funk of Houston's Khruangbin.

Julien Baker - Under The Needle, Episode 153

This week on Under The Needle, its the relevant and gorgeous voice of songwriter Julien Baker.

Dessa - Under The Needle, Episode 152

This week on Under The Needle, its Minneapolis rapper Dessa.

Car Seat Headrest - Under The Needle, Episode 151

This week on Under The Needle, its the sharply crafted rock heft of Seattle based Car Seat Headrest.

Neko Case - Under The Needle, Episode 150

This week on Under The Needle, we welcome back Northwest chanteuse Neko Case. She comes in support of the album "Hell-On" with a hot touring band including local faves Rachel Flotard and Johnny Sangster.

Antibalas - Under The Needle, Episode 149

This week on Under The Needle, we welcome back Brooklyn-based afrobeat giants Antibalas. Hear this 12-piece band perform songs from their latest Daptone Records release “Where the Gods Are in Peace.” Antibalas combine Fela Kuti’s highlife-jazz with the funk of James Brown and Eddie Palmieri. The band is celebrating their 20th birthday this year.

Shame - Under The Needle, Episode 148

Brixton's Shame play intense committed post-punk rock.

Superorganism - Under The Needle, Episode 147

The 8-piece London based internet collective perform infectious sing-along pop live on KEXP.

Big Thief - Under The Needle, Episode 146

Brooklyn folk rockers play their evocative and emotional music live on KEXP.

Wolf Parade - Under The Needle, Episode 145

Canadian rockers Wolf Parade bring their densely textured post-New-Wave to the KEXP Gathering Space.

US Girls - Under The Needle, Episode 144

Meg Remy aka US Girls plays thoughtful power pop from the album “In A Poem Unlimited” available on 4AD

Japanese Breakfast - Under The Needle, Episode 143

Michelle Zauner's project Japanese Breakfast plays close to the bone personal indie-rock and robo-pop.

Parquet Courts - Under The Needle, Episode 142

Whip smart punk rock from Brooklyn via Denton outfit Parquet Courts.

Lucy Dacus - Under The Needle, Episode 141

Richmond VA's own Lucy Dacus sings songs of heartache and hope.

Dan Auerbach & The Easy Eye Soul Revue Featuring Robert Finley - Under The Needle, Episode 140

The Black Keys' front man travels with a hot band of Nashville gunslingers, and one of the last great soul singers .

Slowdive - Under The Needle, Episode 139

Shoegaze legends Slowdive return 22 years later to play their perfect dream-pop.

Broken Social Scene - Under The Needle, Episode 138

This week on Under The Needle, Broken Social Scene play exuberant, unifying pop songs.

St Vincent - Under The Needle, Episode 137

This week on Under The Needle, St Vincent plays intimate acoustic versions of 4 songs from her latest album Masseduction out on Loma Vista.

Ibeyi - Under The Needle, Episode 136

The sister duo Ibeyi bring their beautifully crafted blend of electro-pop, soul, hip hop and traditional Cuban percussion to KEXP.

Iron & Wine - Under The Needle, Episode 135

Sam Beam aka Iron & Wine performs 4 gorgeous folk songs from the album Beast Epic.

Gus Gus - Under The Needle, Episode 134

Iceland’s Gus Gus perform infectious electronic tracks live from KEX Hostel in Reykjavik, from their 10th studio album Lies Are More Flexible

Aldous Harding - Under The Needle, Episode 133

New Zealand’s Aldous Harding plays a 4 song set of mesmerizing avant-folk. Her latest album Party is available on 4AD.

ODESZA - Under The Needle, Episode 132

The Seattle-via-Bellingham duo performs a potent set of emotive electronic grooves with shimmering synths, mostly downtempo beats, guest vocalists, treated vocal samples and dreamy melodies.

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile - Under The Needle, Episode 131

The indie-dream team of Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile play songs from the collaboration Lotta Sea Lice out on Matador records in this exclusive live in-studio performance.

Mikko Joensuu - Under The Needle, Episode 130

Finnish singer-songwriter Mikko Joensuu plays an in intense set of songs from his Amen Trilogy live from KEX Hostel in Reykjavík for Iceland Airwaves 2017.

Bonobo - Under The Needle, Episode 129

British DJ and producer Simon Green brings his warm, dreamy melding of acoustic and electronic instruments, samples and ambient found sounds to KEXP with his 5-piece band in tow. The latest Bonobo album is called “Migration” and it’s out on Ninja Tune.

Wolf Alice - Under The Needle, Episode 128

The “beautifully unconventional” London quartet Wolf Alice play four guitar-driven songs united by the intensity of Ellie Roswell’s vocals. Their latest album "Visions of a Life" is out on Dirty Hit Records.

The Barr Brothers - Under The Needle, Episode 127

Check out this inspired session with The Barr Brothers live from Breakglass Studios for Pop Montreal. The Montreal-based group debuts five songs from their new album “Queens of the Breakers” in front of a hometown audience. “Queens of the Breakers” is out on Secret City Records.

Rostam - Under The Needle, Episode 126

This week Under The Needle features ex-Vampire Weekend producer, singer and songwriter Rostam, playing songs live with a string quartet, from the album "Half-Light" out on Nonesuch Records.

Juana Molina - Under The Needle, Episode 125

This week Under The Needle features Argentinian producer, singer-songwriter Juana Molina, who counts among her fans (and has toured with) Feist and David Byrne. She performs 4 songs from her latest album Halo, out on Crammed Discs.

Spoon - Under The Needle, Episode 124

This week on Under The Needle, we welcome back one of the most beloved bands in the indie world: Spoon. They come in support of their 9th full length album, "Hot Thoughts." This is the second album (along with 2014’s They Want My Soul) produced with Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT). "Hot Thoughts" is out on Matador Records.

Moses Sumney - Under The Needle, Episode 123

Moses Sumney delivers a stunning performance in his KEXP debut in support of his first full-length album “Aromanticism.” Sumney’s distinct tenor is captivating. His soulful tunes manage to be both lush and sparse at the same time. It’s easy to see why “Aromanticism” (Jagjaguwar) was one of the most critically-acclaimed records of 2017.

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