First Listen

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First Listen

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

  1. First Listen: Interpol, 'El Pintor'
    The New York post-punk band has aged into its polished sound nicely, maintaining its influences (Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, et al) while sounding more distinct from them than ever. More....
  2. First Listen: Zammuto, 'Anchor'
    Nick Zammuto, formerly of the art-music duo The Books, takes a crafty, hands-on, spirit-forged approach to sound. The newer band that bears his name never bothers to stay in place for long. More....
  3. First Listen: Sinkane, 'Mean Love'
    Over memorable hooks and wickedly inventive grooves, Ahmed Gallab sings in an earnest, persuasive voice. Sinkane's music conjures East and West African music, James Brown, free jazz and shoegaze. More....
  4. First Listen: Blonde Redhead, 'Barragán'
    The last decade has seen a marked softening in Blonde Redhead's sound, to the point where the quietest moments on Barragán don't sound like songs so much as vapors infused with tunes. More....
  5. First Listen: The Gotobeds, 'Poor People Are Revolting'
    This rowdy, ramshackle party house of a band is built on the intersecting bedrock of post-punk and indie rock. On Poor People Are Revolting, there's something crazy going on in every room. More....
  6. First Listen: Merchandise, 'After The End'
    A DIY spirit pervades Merchandise's dark, well-crafted songs, even if they sound more at home in the gloomy climes of Manchester than in sunny Tampa, where the band is based. More....
  7. First Listen: The Bug, 'Angels & Devils'
    In its outermost extremes, this excoriating, enervating music offers the promise of a cleansing, like greasy hands scoured with gritty soap. But it's got sensitivity and a sense of craft, too. More....
  8. First Listen: Shovels & Rope, 'Swimmin' Time'
    It's easy to feel the romance in the musical relationship between Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, who've become musical embodiments of how loving couples make it work. More....
  9. First Listen: Ty Segall, 'Manipulator'
    It's a shame that the rock record of the summer had to surface at the end of the season. Segall's lush, panoramic double-album piles on glam-rock excess without ever feeling excessive. More....
  10. First Listen: J Mascis, 'Tied To A Star'
    Though not entirely unplugged, Tied to a Star showcases the soft intricacy of a veteran craftsman who knows when to hang back and decide to pulverize another day. More....
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