Thursdays at 2:00 PM with Ann Yao Zhang


Thursdays at 2:00 PM
with Ann Yao Zhang

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.


Soundcheck Mar. 23

Thanks for tuning into Soundcheck! Here’s the track list from today’s show, with some standouts from Lewis Del Mar, Fleurie and Foxes.

Don’t Give In” is the first single from Snow Patrol’s upcoming (seventh!) studio album. It’s slated for release in late May. Frontman Gary Lightbody has said that this album took five years to write and record, and is about overcoming struggle. This is the band’s first single in almost seven years since 2011’s Fallen Empires, and it’s performing well on the charts so far, especially across the pond.

The Neighbourhood is out with their self-titled third studio album. Opening track “Flowers” had airtime on today’s show. “Scary Love” and “Revenge” are other highlights as the band blends a more electro-pop sound with their alt-rock origins.


Soundcheck Mar. 9 – Have a great spring break!

Happy spring break! Although it may not feel like spring here in Rochester yet, check out this week’s track list for some peppy, fun music for a reminder of sunnier times.

Bea Miller’s much anticipated sophomore album Aurora is finally out. You might recognize some of the tracks from a sequence of EPs she released over 2017, including some favorites here at Soundcheck like “Repercussions” and “To the Grave.” New standouts include “Bored,” featured today and “Outside” which had airtime last week.

Singer-songwriter Nadia Ali has started a new project under the name HYLLS and is out with a new single, “All Over the Place.” Definitely a departure from her electronic music beginnings, and an exciting start to a more indie pop sound.

Safe travels to those of you off to (hopefully warmer!) locales, and to everyone, I hope you have a lovely week off.


Soundcheck Feb. 23

Thanks for tuning into Soundcheck on this drizzly, gray day. Here’s today’s track list with some cheery, upbeat songs to brighten the end of your week.

Alison Wonderland is out with a new single, “Church,” ahead of the release of her sophmore album Awake. You might recognize her name from her EP Calm Down or her remix of Dua Lipa’s “New Rules.” Great to see a female electronic/EDM artist finding success critically and on the charts.

Also, Tove Stryke – her latest single is “Changed My Mind” – will be opening for Lorde on her world tour! This will definitely be a boost to the profile for this Swedish pop singer-songwriter. Her upcoming album “Sway” is slated for release in May.


Back to Soundcheck

Back to The Sting

Soundcheck Feb. 16

Hope everyone had a lovely Valentine’s Day/Ash Wednesday this week – here’s the track list from today’s show to finish it off.

Charlotte Lawrence is out with a new single, “Just the Same.” After “Sleep Talking” and “You’re the One That I Want” last year, she’s surely an artist to keep an eye on. Hopefully an EP or studio album is in the works.

K. Flay’s “Run For Your Life” will be on the soundtrack of the new Tomb Raider film. Hard to believe that she signed with Interscope only two years ago and Every Where Is Some Where came out just last year. Great to see another another female artist who started out and broke the mold in the indie/alt scene on the up and up.


Back to Soundcheck

Back to The Sting

Soundcheck Feb. 9

Thanks for tuning into Soundcheck on this snowy day – here’s this week’s track list with some Valentine’s-themed songs to warm you up!

Love Sick’s latest single “Hope” opened today’s show, and Fleurie’s single “Hurricane” closed it.

Another standout is Rhys’ “Maybe I Will Learn,” released at the tail end of January.

Also, a new version of Noah Kahan’s “Hurt Somebody,” this time with with Julia Micheals (of “Issues”-fame) is out now. It’s the title track on his debut EP. You might remember the solo version of this song on Soundcheck last year, and its pretty compelling as a duet too, in addition to performing well on the charts so far.


Back to Soundcheck

Back to The Sting

Listen Now
Current Show: The Sting