Under The Needle


Under the Needle Header

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.


Charly Bliss - Under The Needle, Episode 227

On the show this week it’s the sharply crafted cathartic pop-rock of Charly Bliss. Their latest album “Young Enough” is available on Barsuk Records.


Amanda Palmer - Under The Needle, Episode 226

On the show this week it’s the dark cabaret of Amanda Palmer. Her latest album “There Will Be No Intermission” is available on Cooking Vinyl.


The Wild Reeds - Under The Needle, Episode 225

This week on Under The Needle, we welcome Los Angelenos, The Wild Reeds. Singer/songwriters Kinsey Lee, Mackenzie Howe and Sharon Silva trade lead vocal duties and blend their voices together into a harmonious mix throughout this beautiful session from KEXP’s live room. The latest album from The Wild Reeds is called “Cheers,” out on Dualtone Records.


TR/ST - Under The Needle, Episode 224

On the show this week it’s the sexy gothic synthesizers of Tr/ST. Their latest albums The Destroyer pt1 and pt2 are available on Royal Mountain records.


Jenny Lewis - Under The Needle, Episode 223

On the show this week it’s the rich characters and risky cocktails of Jenny Lewis. Her latest album “On The Line” is available on Warner Brothers Records.


Ezra Furman - Under The Needle, Episode 222

On the show this week it’s the lacerated-larynx garage-rock of Ezra Furman. Her latest albums “12 Nudes” and “Transangelic Exodus” are both available on Bella Union.


Weyes Blood - Under The Needle, Episode 221

On the show this week it’s the galactic nostalgic futurism of Weyes Blood. Her latest album “Titanic Rising” is available on Sub Pop.


Kevin Morby - Under The Needle, Episode 220

On the show this week it’s the no-halo hallelujahs of Kevin Morby. His latest album “Oh My God” is available on Dead Oceans.


Stella Donnelly - Under The Needle, Episode 219

On the show this week it’s the uncompromising candor of Stella Donnelly. Her latest album “Beware of the Dogs” is available on Secretly Canadian records.


Hand Habits - Under The Needle, Episode 218

On the show this week it’s the revelatory relationship-rock of Meg Duffy’s Hand Habits. Their latest album “placeholder” is available on Saddle Creek Records.


Strand of Oaks - Under The Needle, Episode 217

On the show this week, it's the hard luck folk-rock of Tim Showalter's Strand of Oaks. His latest album “Eraserland” is available on Dead Oceans.


American Football - Under The Needle, Episode 216

On the show this week it’s the confessional emo-calculations of American Football. Their latest album "American Football" is available on Polyvinyl Records.


The Budos Band - Under The Needle, Episode 215

On the show this week it’s the old school groove of the Budos Band. Their latest album “V” is available on Daptone Records.


Sloan - Under The Needle, Episode 214

On the show this week it’s the Nova Scotian Power-Poppers - Sloan. Their latest album “12” released in 2018 is available on Yep Roc records.


Ex Hex - Under The Needle, Episode 213

On the show this week it’s the tuff talkin hard rockin power trio Ex Hex. Their album “It’s Real” is available on Merge records.


Orville Peck - Under The Needle, Episode 212

On the show this week it’s the queer Canadian Country of the concealed cowboy Orville Peck. Their album “Pony” is available on Sub Pop Records.


illuminati hotties - Under The Needle, Episode 211

On the show this week, it’s tender-punk pioneers, or the post-burrito-nap-core rockers - Illuminati Hotties. Their album “Kiss Yr Frenemies is available on Tiny Engines.


Better Oblivion Community Center - Under The Needle, Episode 210

On the show this week, heavenly stars soothingly collide, when Phoebe Bridgers integrates with Conor Oberst in Better Oblivion Community Center. Their album is available on Dead Oceans.


Adia Victoria - Under The Needle, Episode 209

On the show this week, it’s the unequivocal post-blues of Adia Victoria. Her latest album “Silences” is available on Canvasback/ATL records.


The Chills - Under The Needle, Episode 208

On the show this week it’s the legendary Flying Nun band The Chills. Their latest album “Snow Bound” is available on Fire Records.


Mexican Institute of Sound - Under The Needle, Episode 207

On the show this week it’s the post-cumbia fusion of Instituto Mexicano del Sonido. Their latest album “Disco Popular” is available on all digital platforms.


Cherry Glazerr - Under The Needle, Episode 206

On the show this week it’s the thick and thorny thrash ‘n thump of LA’s Cherry Glazerr. Their latest album “Stuffed & Ready” is available on Secretly Canadian.


Durand Jones & The Indications - Under The Needle, Episode 205

On the show this week Durand Jones & The Indications play soul music.


Jungle - Under The Needle, Episode 204

On the show this week London duo/collective Jungle play funky danceable jams for your summer soundtrack.


The War On Drugs - Under The Needle, Episode 203 (Evergreen)

On the show this week we re-visit the fantastic War on Drugs session from 2014


Maribou State - Under The Needle, Episode 202

On the show this week it’s the blissful organic electronica of Maribou State. Their latest album “Kingdoms In Colour” is available on Ninja Tune imprint Counter Records.


Steve Gunn - Under The Needle, Episode 201

On the show this week it’s the groovy indie-folk of Steve Gunn. His latest album “The Unseen In Between” is available on Matador Records.


Phosphorescent - Under The Needle, Episode 200

On the show this week its the "don't I know ya?" Americana of Phosphorescent. Their latest "C'est La Vie" is available on Dead Oceans.


Aurora - Under The Needle, Episode 199

On the show this week it’s the otherworldly folktronica of Norwegian singer Aurora. Her latest album “A Different Kind of Human (Step 2)” is available on Decca/Glasstone.


Kinski - Under The Needle, Episode 198

On the show this week it’s the controlled chaos of Kinski. Their latest “Accustomed to Your Face” is available on Kill Rock Stars.


The Tallest Man on Earth - Under The Needle, Episode 197

On the show this week it’s the Swedish hearth-folk of The Tallest Man On Earth. His latest album “I Love You. It’s a Fever Dream” is available on Dead Oceans.


Haelos - Under The Needle, Episode 196

On the show this week it’s the phantasmal pulse of British trip-hoppers - Haelos. Their latest album “Any Random Kindness” is available on Infectious Music.


Mitski - Under The Needle, Episode 195

On the show this week, it's the sing-into-your-hairbrush personal pop of Mitski.


Charles Bradley - Under The Needle, Episode 194

On the show this week, it's the pitch perfect soul of the legendary Charles Bradley


All Them Witches - Under The Needle, Episode 193

This week on UTN it's the gritty blues-psych of All Them Witches, recorded live at Avast! studios Seattle.


Dilly Dally - Under The Needle, Episode 192

This week on UTN Canadian rockers Dilly Dally bring their blend of doom, grunge, and pop to the KEXP studios.


Jenn Champion - Under The Needle, Episode 191

This week on UTN it's northwest musical nexus and veteran songwriter Jenn Champion.


Young Fathers - Under The Needle, Episode 190

This week on UTN it's the experimental hip-hop, indie, r&b of Scotland's Young Fathers. Their latest album "Cocoa Sugar" is available on Ninja Tune


boygenius - Under The Needle, Episode 189

This week on Under The Needle its the thrilling three-part harmonies of supergroup boygenius.


Vök - Under The Needle, Episode 188

This week on Under The Needle we feature the trippy electronic music of Iceland's Vök.


Christine and the Queens - Under The Needle, Episode 187

This week on Under The Needle it's the non-binary French theatre-pop of Christine and the Queens.


Black Belt Eagle Scout - Under The Needle, Episode 186

This week we feature NW songwriter Katherine Paul's project Black Belt Eagle Scout. Her album "Mother of My Children" is available on Saddle Creek records.


Wilco - Under The Needle, Episode 185 (027)

Join us this week for the Chicago legends Wilco This evergreen episode features an exclusive recording from the Columbia City Theater.


MC50 - Under The Needle, Episode 184

Join us this week for the Detroit rock of MC50. Original guitarist Wayne Kramer put together a tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic album "Kick Out The Jams" featuring an all-star cast of musicians.


Dream Wife - Under The Needle, Episode 183

Join us this week for the infectious pop of London-based band Dream Wife. Originally formed at Brighton University in 2014, the trio bring DIY, punk and feminist ethos to their lyrics along with heavy riffs and groovy beats. In their first trip to KEXP, it’s easy to see why they were one of the most talked about “new” bands in 2018.


Courtney Barnett - Under The Needle, Episode 182

On the show this week, it’s the ragged riffage and laconic insights of Courtney Barnett. Her latest album “Tell Me How You Really Feel” is available on Milk! Records.

Café Tacvba - Under The Needle, Episode 181

On the show this week, it's the genre defying pop music of Mexico's legendary Café Tacvba. Their album "Jei Beibi" is available on Melotron Records

Idles - Under The Needle, Episode 180

On the show this week, Bristol UK's Idles play their woke brand of charismatic, brutal rock.

Jeremy Enigk - Under The Needle, Episode 179

On the show this week, it's the mellifluous voice of Jeremy Enigk. The re-issue of "Return of the Frog Queen" is available on Sub Pop Records.

Thunderpussy - Under The Needle, Episode 178

On the show this week, it’s the rock & roll heart & soul of Seattle’s own Thunderpussy. Their self-titled album is available on Stardog / Republic records.

Phoebe Bridgers - Under The Needle, Episode 177

On the show this week, it’s the whispered intimacies and uncomfortable truths of Phoebe Bridgers. Her album A Stranger in the Alps is available on Dead Oceans.

Ben Gibbard - Under The Needle, Episode 176

This week on Under The Needle we feature Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard in a very special solo performance.

Now, Now - Under The Needle, Episode 175

This week on Under The Needle, it's the summery indie-pop of Minneapolis band Now, Now

Amen Dunes - Under The Needle, Episode 174

This week on Under The Needle, it's the expansive psych-folk of Amen Dunes. His latest record "Freedom" is available on Sacred Bones records

Let's Eat Grandma - Under The Needle, Episode 173

This week on Under The Needle, it's the indie-rock future-pop of Let's Eat Grandma. Their album "I'm All Ears" is available on Trangressive Records.

Johnny Marr - Under The Needle, Episode 172

This week on Under The Needle, the elemental guitar and future visions of Johnny Marr. His album "Call The Comet" is available on New Voodoo.

Kikagaku Moyo - Under The Needle, Episode 171

This week on Under The Needle, the spaced out geometric psych-rock of Tokyo's Kikagaku Moyo. Their album "Masana Temples" is self-released on Gurugurubrain records.

Brandi Carlile - Under The Needle, Episode 170

This week on Under The Needle, the slow burning gospel of Brandi Carlile. Brandi has been nominated for Grammy awards in 5 categories. Her album "By The Way, I Forgive You" is out on Low Country Sound

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Under The Needle, Episode 169

This week on Under The Needle, the dual-drum druid jazz of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The Melbourne, Australia based psych-rockers released five albums in 2017. They return to the KEXP studio in support of the releases: “Polygondwanaland” and “Gumboot Soup.”

Sunflower Bean - Under The Needle, Episode 168

Sunflower Bean plays dreamy glam-rock with the attitude and swagger required. They come to our studio in support of their latest album "Twentytwo in Blue."

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.

Click anywhere to return to the site