Artists featured on the best music of October episode (from top left, clockwise): Maral, Open Mike Eagle, Natalia Lafourcade, Víkingur Ólafsson, Plains.

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Artists featured on the best music of October episode (from top left, clockwise): Maral, Open Mike Eagle, Natalia Lafourcade, Víkingur Ólafsson, Plains.

Courtesy of the artists

Open Mike Eagle is a rapper originally from Chicago, but has been based out of Los Angeles for a minute. His introspection and intricate wordplay are the draw, but his humor keeps the headiness even. His new album, Component System with the Auto Reverse, plays with nostalgia in a way that confronts the past to inform the present. We open the show with “Burner Account” and dig into his tribute to the supervillain “For DOOM.”

NPR Music’s Sheldon Pearce, Marissa Lorusso, Tom Huizenga and Felix Contreras join host Lars Gotrich as they share the best music they heard in the month of October. We also discuss Natalia Lafourcade’s elegant songwriting, Katie Crutchfield and Jess Williamson’s country collaboration as Plains, Víkingur Ólafsson’s intimacy at the piano and Maral’s ancestral groove.

All that, plus a lightning round of picks the panel couldn’t stop listening to. Let’s also mention some other major drops: Midnights by Taylor Swift, Pigments by Dawn Richard and Spencer Zahn, Blue Rev by Alvvays, And I Have Been by Benjamin Clementine, Kin Ya See the Sun by Terre and Maggie Roche, Dirt Femme by Tove Lo, ¡Ay! by Lucrecia Dalt, The Blue Hour by Shara Nova and A Far Cry, and Nacarile by iLe.

Featured Tracks and Artists:

1. Open Mike Eagle: “Burner Account” and “For DOOM” from Component System with the Auto Reverse

YouTube

YouTube

2. Natalia Lafourcade: “María la Curandera” from De Todas las Flores

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3. Plains: “Hurricane” and “Abilene” from I Walked With You A Ways

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YouTube

4. Víkingur Ólafsson: Robert Schumann’s Study in Canonic Form, Op. 56, No. 1 and Béla Bartók’s 3 Hungarian Folks Songs from Csík, III. ‘White Lily’ via From Afar

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YouTube

5. Maral: “Mari’s Groove” from Ground Groove

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Our panel’s additional recommendations for October: