First Listen

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First Listen

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

  1. First Listen: Brooklyn Rider, 'The Brooklyn Rider Almanac'
    The adventuresome string quartet asked a huge range of musicians to create new pieces modeled on artistic idols. Hear pieces inspired by figures ranging from John Steinbeck to James Brown. More....
  2. First Listen: Electric Wizard, 'Time To Die'
    Electric Wizard has spent two decades playing ridiculously heavy, misanthropic doom metal. On Time To Die, the band gets more room to explore than ever. More....
  3. First Listen: Lucinda Williams, 'Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone'
    In terms of pure expression, no singer in popular music can touch Williams when she's calling from the lonely outskirts of Despairville. More....
  4. First Listen: Electric Youth, 'Innerworld'
    Innerworld is awash in '80s earmarks, but it also conveys a sense of wistfulness; a sense of childlike splendor in danger of succumbing to the ravages of adulthood. More....
  5. First Listen: John Luther Adams, 'Become Ocean'
    The winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for music is both an unforgettable seascape and an urgent call to action. Hear the Alaskan composer and environmentalist's sweeping symphonic work. More....
  6. First Listen: Kat Edmonson, 'The Big Picture'
    A savvy student of '60s film soundtracks, jazz-pop stylists and Brill Building songcraft, Edmonson nods to her influences at every turn. But her take on those musical languages is fresh and fluent. More....
  7. First Listen: Leonard Cohen, 'Popular Problems'
    Cohen's 13th album creates a space for slow-moving reflection that expands with each listen. The tarpit-voiced raconteur's songs unfold like dirty canticles, with room for both jokes and profundities. More....
  8. First Listen: Perfume Genius, 'Too Bright'
    After two solid albums, Too Bright is something shockingly new for Perfume Genius: a set of muscular, magnificently controlled songs that explore darkness inside and out. More....
  9. First Listen: Tweedy, 'Sukierae'
    The Wilco singer and his 18-year-old son Spencer record a 20-song family-band album together. There's not much contrivance, not much high-concept, just a dad and his son bashing out tunes. More....
  10. First Listen: King Tuff, 'Black Moon Spell'
    On his third album, the D.I.Y. glam-rocker re-brands himself as some sort of demonic teenager. But Black Moon Spell is, at heart, the sound of one guy making sure everyone around him has a good time. More....
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