Thursdays at 2:00 PM with Ann Yao Zhang


Thursdays at 2:00 PM
with Ann Yao Zhang

Soundcheck Dec. 13

Thanks for tuning into the last Soundcheck of the semester and thanks for making it a great one! Check out the songs from today’s show here.

In some final music news of the year: Odesza is out with the deluxe edition of their third studio album A Moment Apart, which has been on heavy rotation here on the show. This new edition includes nine new or remixed tracks, including a gorgeous instrumental mix of “Falls.” “Loyal,” which was released earlier this year as a single, also features.

In anticipation of Lana Del Rey’s forthcoming album, today’s show included a look back at some of her bests over the course of five studio albums. The production on “The Blackest Day” is really something: check out the instrumental here. “13 Beaches,” which opened today’s show, also has an incredible satellite glitch effect. See if you can catch it here.

I hope everyone has a great winter break. See you back on the airwaves in the new year!


Soundcheck Nov. 15

Hope everyone is staying warm in this snowy weather! Catch up on the songs from today’s show here. Lots of new music this week, including the gorgeous single “Cast Away” from Ella Vos, who got her start on Soundcloud, and Sandro Cavazza & Lou Elliotte with their duet “Used To.”

St Lucia’s third studio album, Hyperionis out now.  The songs are as electric and synth-pop as ever, but also have a fresh, lyrically sophisticated optimism to them. “Walking Away,” featured on today’s show, “Last Dance,” and “Next to You,” all capture this fun yet ambitious sound.

Another recent release is Imagine Dragons’ Originstheir fourth album in six years. They’ve maintained that signature musical style – big percussion, big hooks, and big production – but there’s also a novel, introspective quality to some of the tracks. “Burn Out,” played on today’s show is one of those songs, as is “Birds,” another standout which manages to recall Coldplay’s Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head days.

Soundcheck will be off for Thanksgiving next week. I hope everyone has a good holiday, and safe travels to all.



Soundcheck Nov. 8

Thanks for tuning into this week’s Soundcheck. Check out the track list for the show here.

Glades’ debut studio album To Love You is finally here! Ever since this trio out of Sydney released “Drive” and “Falling Away” back in 2015, I’ve been waiting for a full length album. “Drive,” their most popular song to date, makes an appearance on this album, as do many more new songs. “Nervous Energy” and “Eyes Wide Shut” which both had airtime today are standouts.

In other new music news, Elle King, of “Ex’s & Oh’s” fame is out with her sophomore album Shake the Spirit. She works with heavyweight producer Greg Kurstin on this one, and she continues to write or co-write all her songs. Also check out London duo Ider’s latest single “Mirror.” The video for it which just premiered on Fader is beautifully shot and worth a watch.


Soundcheck Nov. 1

Happy November! Catch up on songs from today’s show here.

Tom Odell’s much anticipated third studio album, Jubilee Roadis finally out. The title track, as well as “Half as Good as You,” released as a promotional single earlier this year, are both standouts. Odell’s vocals, piano and songwriting prowess are as strong as ever. Long Way Down is on heavy rotation here at Soundcheck, so I’m looking forward to giving airtime to some of these new tracks over the next few weeks.

Also check out two new songs K. Flay is featured on: Ekali’s “Forgot How to Dream,” and Mike Shinoda’s “Make It Up as I Go,” from his album Post Traumatic. Always great to hear new material from her, and the electronic/EDM sound on Ekali’s track is especially fun.

Thanks as always for tuning in, and hope everyone stays warm and dry in this rainy weather.


Soundcheck Oct. 25

Thanks for tuning into Soundcheck – here is the track list from today’s show. Some standouts include William Fitzsimmons’ “In the Light,” DYAN’s
Looking for Knives,” and Diagrams’ “Under the Graphite Sky,” which closed the show.

Jess Glynne’s sophomore album Always in Between debuted at number one in the UK, with her single “All I Am” having already spent seven consecutive weeks on the Top 100 chart. She hasn’t made quite the same headway across the pond, but her name might ring a bell from her feature on Clean Bandit’s 2014 sleeper hit “Rather Be.” “Thursday,” co-written with non-other than Ed Sheeran is a fun listen.

Three Days at Greenmount” is Alex Clare’s first acoustic album, recorded over three days at a studio in Leeds. All twelve tracks are stripped back and live. “Too Close” and “Three Hearts,” which had such interesting production in their original forms are made new again in their unplugged versions.

I hope you have a spooky Halloween, and Soundcheck will be back next Thursday on the first of the new month!


Soundcheck Oct. 18 – Welcome Back!

A belated welcome back to a new semester of school and Soundcheck! We’ve been back on the air for a few weeks, but here’s to our first posting and track list of the semester. Catch up on the songs played on today’s show here.

Some select music news from the summer hiatus: Olafur Arnalds’ fourth studio solo album re:member was released in August. Some favorites of mine include “unfold,” “they sink,” and “saman,” which had airtime on this week’s show. He also did an incredible set for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, which you can watch here.

After much anticipation, Florence and the Machine’s High as Hope came out at the end of June. We played the singles “Hunger” and “Sky Full of Song” on the show earlier this year. Of the new tracks revealed on the album, “100 Years” and “Big God” are standouts. Give the full album a listen if you haven’t already. At a judicious ten tracks coming in at just over 40 minutes, it’s a minimalist, curated LP which tells a beautiful story from start to finish. Of course, Florence’s vocals are top notch as always.

Other new releases: The Joy Formidable with AAARTH, William Fitzsimmons with Mission Bell, and Seinabo Sey with I’m a Dream.

As always, thanks for tuning into Soundcheck. Looking forward to another great year. Happy listening!


Soundcheck May 4 – Have a great summer!

Thanks for tuning into Soundcheck’s last show of the semester, and for making it a great one! Catch up on the songs from this week’s show here.

Bishop Briggs’ much anticipated album Church of Scars is finally here, and it proves to be a stellar debut. “White Flag” was featured on today’s show. Singles “River” and “Wild Horses” have had airtime on Soundcheck previously, and “The Fire” and “Hallowed Ground” are other outstanding tracks.

In other new music news, Florence + the Machine announced that their fourth studio album will be titled High as Hope and will be released on June 29. The second single from this album, “Hunger,” dropped yesterday, after “A Sky Full of Song” came out last week. Very excited about the new sound and new album.

Good luck with the last of finals and have a lovely summer. Soundcheck will return in the fall!


Soundcheck Apr. 27 – Happy Dandelion Day!

Happy Dandelion Day to everyone at the U of R! Hope you are enjoying the great weather. Catch up on this week’s equally festive track list here, with new music from Seinabo Sey and Florence + the Machine.

Check out Mike Dean’s remix of Dermot Kennedy’s “Moments Passed.” You might know him for mixing records for hip hop artists including Kanye West and Jay Z, so it’s exciting to hear his sound on a distinctly different type of song.

Swedish artist Seinabo Sey’s latest single “Breathe” is out now. Her debut album Pretend came out less than three years ago, and it’s made serious waves. “Hard Time” and “Pistols at Dawn” are definitely worth listening to again now.

As always, thank for tuning in to Soundcheck!


Soundcheck Apr. 13

There’s lots of new music featured on this week’s track list! Some standouts include “Couldn’t Tell” from Dermot Kennedy’s latest EP, Lowes’ single “Here We Are,” and “What It’s Like Now” from Mikky Ekko’s Advance Copy.

Spelles is out with her sophomore EP Skeleton Coast I, with singles “Dead in the Water” and “Teach Me How to Pray.” New track “Down to the River” had airtime on today’s show. I love all of the water-related imagery which reminded me of early Florence + the Machine. On the flip side, the other two songs on the EP are “Light Me on Fire” and “Wildfire,” so there’s a balance! Looking forward to a studio album from Spelles.

Australian artist Woodes’ EP Golden Hour includes “Hunger” from today’s show. Her first appearance on Soundcheck was with her self-titled debut EP last year.

As always, thanks for tuning in and stay dry this weekend!


Soundcheck Apr. 6

Thanks for tuning into Soundcheck! Here’s the full listing of songs from today’s show.

A Still Heart is the latest comp album from New Zealand band The Naked and Famous. Acoustic versions of “Higher” and “Young Blood” are definitely worth a listen.

Alison Wonderland’s sophomore album Awake is finally here after much anticipation! “Good Girls Bad Boys” was featured on today’s show. Other standouts include opener “Good Enough” and titular track “Awake.” Billboard gave the album a glowing review which can be read here.


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