First Listen

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First Listen

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

  1. 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....
  2. 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....
  3. 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....
  4. 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....
  5. First Listen: Sondre Lerche, 'Please'
    On the Norwegian singer-songwriter's seventh studio album, the ache and anger of divorce gets re-purposed into a loose, feisty, energetic record that finds Lerche sounding fully recharged. More....
  6. First Listen: GOAT, 'Commune'
    The Swedish collective makes irresistible trance/dance music that doubles as hypnotic hippie hoodoo. Along the way, GOAT captures the spirit of the '60s in its guitar meanderings and acid tones. More....
  7. First Listen: Mapei, 'Hey Hey'
    The rapper turned pop singer's accessible, soaring voice is propelled by genuine charisma and heart, as she constructs her savvy, sweet pop out of sonically irresistible ingredients. More....
  8. First Listen: Jason Moran, 'All Rise: A Joyful Elegy For Fats Waller'
    Fats Waller sang, emceed, told jokes, wrote hits, and played mean piano. Decades later, a fellow jazz pianist tries to capture his life-of-the-party spirit with drastically new versions of his tunes. More....
  9. First Listen: My Brightest Diamond, 'This Is My Hand'
    Shara Worden's music sounds both micro-orchestrated and entirely, ecstatically spontaneous. Every song here is a mission statement and a directive; each is propulsive and demanding of full attention. More....
  10. First Listen: Steelism, '615 To FAME'
    The debut album by the guitar duo Steelism doesn't simply tap into all the flavors of country music; it also demonstrates how those flavors blend and complement each other. More....
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