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FUV Essentials

There are many variables that determine what makes an artist or band “essential” — longevity, impact, influence, history, discography — and WFUV takes a deeper look with FUV Essentials. On-air and online, we celebrate musicians who have shaped our cultural soundtrack. Let’s love these artists while they’re here, and honor those who have departed too soon.

Courtney Barnett: Five Essential Bob Dylan Songs

Courtney Barnett, who just played the Season 41 finale of "Saturday Night Live" (and rocked out a blistering "Pedestrian At Best" and "Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party"), kindly found time to pull together a list of her Five Essential Bob Dylan Songs for FUV. Her selections stretch from 1964 to 1970 and shed light on her own songwriting process too:

Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchison: Five Essential National Songs

Frightened Rabbit's frontman Scott Hutchison and his bandmates are longtime admirers of the The National. When time came for the Scottish band to record its tempestuous and tender fifth album, Painting of a Panic Attack, they reached out to The National's Aaron Dessner to produce. Hutchison has always found solace in The National's rich catalogue of songs, and while he firmly believes that it's pretty impossible to pick a few favorites, he managed to pull together his Five Essential National Songs for FUV.

Aloe Blacc: Five Essential Stevie Wonder Albums

Grammy-nominated singer, rapper and songwriter Aloe Blacc, who was born Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III, has long admired another man who changed his name for his music: Stevie Wonder. When FUV asked Blacc if could write about his Five Essential Stevie Wonder Albums, he immediately agreed. But, as Blacc explained, picking just a handful of wonderful Wonder releases was pretty difficult.

Stevie Wonder

From child prodigy to elder statesman of American pop, soul, R&B, jazz and funk, Stevie Wonder's masterful musical journey has already stretched a remarkable 55 years and continues to evolve while marking major mileposts