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All Songs Considered

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Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton spin new music from emerging bands and musical icons.

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All Songs +1: Sturgill Simpson Talks About His 'Guide To Earth'

April 15th, 2016

Episode 669 of 731 episodes

Sturgill Simpson's 2014 album, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, took a lot of people by surprise. While the song forms were firmly rooted in Nashville traditions, the stories he told and observations he made were more like something from a metaphysical self-help guide, with existential meditations on death and dying, religion and the never-ending search for a higher purpose.For his follow-up, A Sailor's Guide To Earth, Simpson finds even more ways to surprise. In fact, the Kentucky-born singer completely dismantles the well-established conventions of country music and reassembles them with psychedelic synths and guitars, Motown horns and cinematic strings, often all in a single track.A Sailor's Guide To Earth is also a concept album. Simpson wrote and recorded it for his son, who was born in 2014, just a month after Metamodern Sounds was released. As Simpson tells us in this interview, he wanted A Sailor's Guide To Earth to be "a pure and beautiful thing," detailing the ups and downs of his own life so his son could one day know him better.

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