First Listen

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The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

XPN2 - XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Alley

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
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First Listen

Enjoy previews of select, upcoming albums, in their entirety on FIRST LISTEN.

  1. First Listen: Jessie Baylin, 'Dark Place'
    The singer-songwriter reconvenes with her longtime co-writer and producer, Richard Swift, to craft 11 seductively seclusive pop songs about motherhood, exile, insecurity and devotion. More....
  2. First Listen: Royal Thunder, 'Crooked Doors'
    Writing a breakup album is one thing. Writing a breakup album with your ex is another. A stunning hard-rock record, Crooked Doors grapples with what it means to live with your own history. More....
  3. First Listen: Say Lou Lou, 'Lucid Dreaming'
    Though the twin sisters in Say Lou Lou don't plumb the depths of human understanding with these 11 songs, they clearly and keenly feel the weight of all that glitters. More....
  4. First Listen: Drenge, 'Undertow'
    On its second album, the British rock duo moves smoothly from tantrum to anthem, crafting songs with singalong hooks and buckets of sweaty, cathartic rage. More....
  5. First Listen: Toro Y Moi, 'What For?'
    In recent years, Chaz Bundick's sound has traveled down some unexpected side roads. But What For? takes a U-turn back to feel-tingly guitar-pop, with winsome results. More....
  6. First Listen: The Mountain Goats, 'Beat The Champ'
    On an unlikely concept album, John Darnielle takes a nostalgic but realistic look at the workaday underworld of the pro wrestlers he idolized as a kid. More....
  7. First Listen: Waxahatchee, 'Ivy Tripp'
    On her band's new album, Katie Crutchfield sounds nervier and more confident than ever before, while remaining true to her role as an analytical but artful chronicler of youthful uncertainty. More....
  8. First Listen: Ryley Walker, 'Primrose Green'
    Walker has developed into a thoughtful singer-songwriter who follows a tangled thread, evoking the '70s, when unplugged music could pick the body electric. More....
  9. Review: The Soft Moon, 'Deeper'
    Amid the clipped one-word titles and ominous synthesizers, there's a desperation to connect — and a soundtrack for dancing. More....
  10. Review: Missy Mazzoli, 'Vespers For A New Dark Age'
    With secular texts, soaring vocals and electronics, Mazzoli twists the traditional vesper prayer service to reflect our high-tech times. More....
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