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Five Essential Songs

Hurray For The Riff Raff: Five Essential Lou Reed Songs

Hurray for the Riff Raff's Alynda Segarra writes from the sharp perspective of a native New Yorker, traversing a similarly socially outspoken, urban path as Lou Reed, this week's FUV Essentials artist. Segarra has found inspiration in Reed's fearless lyricism, as she eloquently writes in her "Five Essential Lou Reed Songs."

St. Paul and the Broken Bones: Five Essential Ray Charles Songs

The octet St. Paul and the Broken Bones has a crafty way of writing retro-soul songs, like the fervent "All I Ever Wonder," but the band is no nostalgia act. They take a fresh look at a vintage sound first laid down by musicians like this week's FUV Essentials artist, Ray Charles. Lead singer Paul Janeway found the time to give us his picks of "Five Essential Ray Charles Songs" for FUV Essentials.

Jesse Malin: Five Essential Replacements Songs

As a New York punk ambassador, Jesse Malin kickstarted his career with Heart Attack and the legendary D Generation, and the road he's taken as a solo artist and songwriter has followed many different directions including transforming songs by Bruce Springsteen, the Clash and the Replacements into fiercely personal testaments. Malin has a close friendship with the Replacements too, so it's not unusual that Malin would have a unique view the band's songs, which he writes about for FUV Essentials.

Esperanza Spalding: Five Essential Aretha Franklin Songs

Esperanza Spalding's shapeshifting and erudite command of the many fusions between jazz, soul, rock, pop and gospel is a reminder of the versatility of one of her favorite musicians, Aretha Franklin. And as Esperanza Spalding enthuses in her observant and ebullient "Five Essential Aretha Franklin Songs" for FUV Essentials, "[Aretha's] whole musical spirit speaks to me."

Jesca Hoop's Five Essential Patti Smith Songs

As a longtime solo artist and as one half of a duo with Iron and Wine's Sam Beam, Jesca Hoop has always been a fearless, insightful lyricist, so it's not surprising that Hoop found an early kinship with our FUV Essentials artist Patti Smith. Like Smith, Hoop confronts hard truths with empathy and strength—and in her perceptive picks for "Five Essential Patti Smith Songs," it's clear that the Smith was an early guide for a young Hoop, finding her way and her words in California.

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