KEXP has a podcast series called Music That Matters.

Music That Matters

You should immediately go download them all, if you haven’t been listening to them already.

The music is all over the map – different episodes have different themes, so there’s quite a range of different styles. Browse the previous episodes page to get a sense of what gets included.

A recent favorite for me was episode 37 – “Don’t Call Me Freak – The New Folk“:

Greg Vandy, host of KEXP’s the Roadhouse, presents his first-ever podcast featuring a mix commonly referred to as Freak Folk. But Greg won’t call it that. Nor will he utter terms like New Weird Americana, Psyche, New Indie Folk, or mention the prevalence of beards, nature, and acoustic guitars. It’s just a mix of new & inventive songwriters who don’t like to be pigeonholed. It’s a new expression. As host of the Roadhouse, Greg plays traditional American music including Folk, but the songs on this podcast are not traditional nor is this a revival. The songs are all original (except for “Katie Cruel”) and represent a new aesthetic that loosely resembles folk. But you call it what you want. And play it often.


  1. Vetiver – Angel’s Share
  2. James Yorkston – Summer Song
  3. Alela Diane – Clickity Clack
  4. CocoRosie – South 2nd
  5. Tom Brosseau – Here Comes The Water Now
  6. Iron & Wine – Free Until They Cut Me Down
  7. Pufferfish – Decoder Ring
  8. William Elliott Whitmore – One Man’s Shame
  9. Karen Dalton – Katie Cruel
  10. The Places – Such As The Earth (Neveroff’s Fate)
  11. Micah P. Hinson – Diggin’ A Grave,12. Michael Vermillion – These Seven Days
  12. Wooden Wand & the Sky High Band – Crucifixion, Pt II
  13. Peter and The Wolf – Safe Travels
  14. Brightblack Morning Light – Black Feather Wishes Rise

Each episode is roughly an hour – perfect for commuting to and from work, or making the flight pass faster.