Ari Shapiro

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When indie folk star José González arrived at the time to create his latest album, Local Valley, he reached for – what else – local sounds: "I took an evening, set up the stereo mic and recorded an hour of just bird songs," González says in an interview with NPR's Ari shaprio. Aside from his costars, the singer-songwriter recorded the record in the same mode, at his home studio outside of Gothenburg, Sweden, where he lives near the coast in a forest of birch and pine.

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Politicians and pop stars often come back to the same refrain.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ME AND BOBBY MCGEE")

JANIS JOPLIN: (Singing) Freedom is just another word for nothin' left to lose.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FREEDOM")

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