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Jeff Tweedy Explains Why People Singing Together Might Just Save Humanity

Jeff Tweedy, Waxahatchee, Björk, and more will share new music and insights into their creative lives and relationships with sound on the new podcast series, Listening. 

Hosted by Elia Einhorn, each episode of Listening will find guest artists discussing the way they listen to music and hear the world, while also walking through the creation of an original composition made specifically for the show. The first four episodes are out today, Aug. 10, with additional installments dropping weekly.

Episode one of Listening features Tweedy and his sons, Spencer and Sammy, discussing the way they create music as a family, and about their Covid-19 quarantine jam sessions. In one clip from the episode, which you can hear below, Tweedy ruminates on the power of peoples’ voices coming together.

“I’ve always been moved by the sound of people singing together,” he says. “It could be anything — people singing chants at soccer matches, people singing along at a concert, obviously, shape-note singing, choirs. When a great large group of people sing and raise their voices together, I always think that that would be humanity’s saving grace if we ever came into contact with another civilization. That sound would be something that would buy us some time to explain ourselves.”

In the second episode, Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield talks about getting sober, living in the middle of the U.S., and hearing new things in her old material. Tuareg guitar master Mdou Moctar appears in episode three to talk about his life and musical career in Niger, while episode four features Neko Case discussing the myriad sounds that surround her at her farm in Vermont and the trust she has in her own ears. 

Future episodes of Listening will feature Laraaji, Jlin, Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger, and Vagabon. The final episode will feature Björk and center around a recent performance with Iceland’s Hamrahlíð Choir, but with a twist thanks to a collaboration with field recordist Chris Watson. 

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