First Listen

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First Listen

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

  1. First Listen: Jenny Lewis, 'The Voyager'
    The Voyager's clever (but never too-clever) sound builds an open structure within which Lewis can explore her current fascination: the weight of full adulthood, and its paradoxical precariousness. More....
  2. First Listen: Quetzal, 'Quetzanimales'
    Quetzal has spent two decades playing the soundtrack of its East L.A. neighborhoods: an evolving mash-up of Mexican son jarocho, low-rider oldies, cumbia, boleros, rock and blues. More....
  3. First Listen: Bear In Heaven, 'Time Is Over One Day Old'
    The Brooklyn band writes inventive epics that behave like highly concentrated energy shots. You have to pay attention, because key elements arrive and depart in a blink. More....
  4. First Listen: Wildest Dreams, 'Wildest Dreams'
    In his new band, venerable U.K. DJ Harvey Bassett indulges a love of psychedelic garage rock. Throughout Wildest Dreams, he displays an impeccable sense of when to rev up and when to lay off the gas. More....
  5. First Listen: Shabazz Palaces, 'Lese Majesty'
    Lese Majesty is MC and producer Ishmael Butler's most relentlessly noncommercial chapter yet. No hits, no singles; just raw, graceful tunes from the inventive former leader of Digable Planets. More....
  6. First Listen: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, 'Hypnotic Eye'
    An air of mystery has helped keep Petty relevant for nearly 40 years. At 63, the rock legend's cynicism works hand-in-glove with his hard-earned cragginess. More....
  7. First Listen: Alvvays, 'Alvvays'
    Millennial social anxiety pairs with breezy, effortlessly cool surf-rock on Alvvays, and the combination is irresistible. The Toronto band's beach-pop seems to come straight from the California shore. More....
  8. First Listen: Joyce Manor, 'Never Hungover Again'
    The SoCal punk band's Smiths obsession makes for a confident, focused, 19-minute record that still gleefully indulges in pick scrapes and fast three-chord songs. More....
  9. First Listen: White Fence, 'For The Recently Found Innocent'
    Performing as White Fence, Tim Presley steers toward the gentle pomp of late-'60s psychedelic pop, rock and folk. Along the way, he writes to the canon from which he performs and bends it to his will. More....
  10. First Listen: Slow Club, 'Complete Surrender'
    Echoes of British R&B and vintage American pop ring through an album by this English duo. "The idea behind it," Charles Watson says, "was to be a bit more reserved." More....