Robin Hilton

Robin Hilton is the producer and co-host for the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.

In addition to his work on All Songs, Hilton curates NPR Music's First Listen series, a weekly showcase of select albums you can read about and hear in their entirety before they're officially released.

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Hilton co-founded Small Good Thing Productions, a non-profit production company for independent film, radio and music in Athens, GA.

Hilton lived and worked in Japan as an interpreter for the government, and taught English as a second language to junior high school students.

From 1989 to 1996, Hilton worked for NPR member stations KANU and WUGA as a senior producer and assistant news director and was a long-time contributing reporter to NPR's daily news programs All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

Hilton is also a multi-instrumentalist and composer. His original scores have appeared in work from National Geographic, Center Stage and in films, including the documentary Open Secret. Hilton also arranged and performed the theme for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. You can hear more of his music here.

Along the way, Hilton worked as an emergency room orderly, a blackjack dealer and a fruitcake factory assembly lineman.


All Songs Considered
1:29 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, With Purple's Hanna Brewer

Purple's Hanna Brewer laying down the party-rock beats.
Roger Ho Courtesy of the artist

This week's Drum Fill Friday comes from Guest Quizmaster Hanna Brewer, drummer for the Texas party-rock group Purple. The group is known for its rowdy live shows and healthy sense of humor, and is currently on tour for its debut album, (409).

Brewer, who also sings for Purple, shared a range of her own influences for this week's puzzler, from hip-hop to reggae, rock and pop. I'd give it three drum sticks out of five for difficulty. As always, good luck, careful listeners!

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All Songs Considered
11:38 am
Fri May 15, 2015

All Songs +1: How Music Can Really Save Your Life

While they're not splitting open a person's chest and massaging their heart back to life, musicians and the songs they make may actually be saving lives.

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All Songs Considered
5:08 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

All Songs At 15: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah In A 2006 Concert

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in an early 2006 publicity photo.
Stephane De Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

When Clap Your Hands Say Yeah released its self-titled debut record in 2005, it became one of the first albums to break big because of the Internet. The band recorded and released it on its own, without any label support, and shared it on the group's website, where fans picked it up and quickly spread the word.

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All Songs Considered
2:41 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

All Songs Considered: From Perfect Pop Anthems To Saxophone Punk

Clockwise from upper left: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, The Mynabirds, Nate Ruess, Death And Vanilla
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 3:16 pm

On our show this week, bigger is better. We start with a pop anthem and feature a set of artists all leaning into or newly discovering their boldest, most attention-grabbing music yet. Some, as in the case of a frontman gone solo and a bilingual saxophone-heavy punk band, deliver precisely the momentous sounds we'd expect. Others used the pull of memory, a desperate four-month stretch of insomnia, or a single shared microphone and two minutes of trippy ambience to level up their sonic ambitions.

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All Songs Considered
5:12 am
Sat May 9, 2015

What Song Makes You Cry Every Time?

Originally published on Sat May 9, 2015 12:35 pm

This week Bob Boilen and I and a handful of other people from NPR Music got to see Sufjan Stevens in concert. It was a life-changing performance — one we'll all remember for many years.

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All Songs Considered
3:03 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

All Songs +1: Songs That Remind You Of Mom

The song that reminds host Bob Boilen the most of his mom is Shirley Temple singing "The Good Ship Lollipop."
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Sat May 9, 2015 12:22 am

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All Songs Considered
11:10 am
Thu May 7, 2015

What Song Reminds You Of Your Mom?

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 2:45 pm

Mother's Day is back again (it's this coming Sunday) to remind you to do something nice for your mom. But maybe you don't need a commercial holiday to think about your mother and all she's done (or hasn't done) for you. Maybe all it takes is a song. If so, we want to know what it is. What song reminds you of your mother every time you hear it? Tell us in the form below. We'll talk more about it and make a playlist of some of the picks in this week's Plus One podcast.

All Songs Considered
10:47 am
Thu May 7, 2015

Songs We Love: Sharon Van Etten, 'Just Like Blood'

Sharon Van Etten
Laura Crosta

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 2:19 pm

Sharon Van Etten could sing the instruction manual for a dishwasher and make it sound like lyrical poetry. Over the course of four full-lengths, her voice has only evolved and grown both bolder and more nuanced. Van Etten plays every word like an instrument, bending one note into the next with a woozy purr that's sometimes sensual, sometimes heartbreaking but always arresting.

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All Songs Considered
12:41 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Songs We Love: Pale Honey, 'Over Your Head'

Pale Honey's self-titled debut album is out now.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 2:20 pm

Tuva Lodmark and Nella Daltrey, the pair of 22-year-old Swedes who together make up the minimalist-rock duo Pale Honey, have been making music together since elementary school. Their latest music is quite spare – they turn it up every now and then with some great distortion, but usually it's simple, propulsive synth lines paired with strummed guitar and an understated beat. They remind me of The xx with a slightly elevated pulse.

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