Robin Hilton

Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Hilton co-founded Small Good Thing Productions, a non-profit production company for independent film, radio and music in Athens, Georgia.

Hilton lived and worked in Japan as an interpreter for the government, and taught English as a second language to junior high school students.

From 1989 to 1996, Hilton worked for NPR member stations KANU and WUGA as a senior producer and assistant news director and was a long-time contributing reporter to NPR's daily news programs All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

Hilton is also a multi-instrumentalist and composer. His original scores have appeared in work from National Geographic, Center Stage, and in films, including the documentary Open Secret.

Hilton also arranged and performed the theme for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. You can hear more of his music here.

Along the way, Hilton worked as an emergency room orderly, a blackjack dealer and a fruitcake factory assembly lineman.

When I was first offered the job of producing All Songs Considered not long after it started in 2000, NPR couldn't guarantee me the show would be around for more than a year. After all, it was an experiment: an Internet-only, streaming music show in an era when most people were still on dial-up connections that couldn't handle much more on a page than text and photos.

You never entirely know what you're going to get when you ask listeners to rank their favorite albums of the year. But the results of All Songs Considered's 2015 listener poll may be the most diverse we've seen in ten years of doing these lists.

If one thing defined the year in music for me in 2015, it was the seemingly endless struggle I had just trying to keep up with all the great releases. The pace and volume at which albums were dropped, often with no advance warning or fanfare, was breathtaking, and it felt harder than ever to spend a lot of time with any one record I loved. Sufjan Stevens put out what is by far my most beloved album in 2015. I feel like I listened to it on constant repeat throughout the year.

By the time Spoon released Gimme Fiction in 2005, the Austin, Texas rock group was already a decade into its career with more than a half-dozen releases. But none of the band's previous work felt as polished or as remarkably inspired. Gimme Fiction is at times brooding and cryptic. There's apocalyptic imagery, evangelical Christians, a pre-social media commentary on people who hide behind cameras, and at least one song inspired by Prince.

Bob loves it. He hates it. He's on the fence about it. Lyrics from Courtney Barnett's "Pedestrian At Best," from Bob Boilen's favorite album of 2015, could also stand in for his feelings about the music he listened to all year. But today we're here to celebrate the best of the bunch.

Pages