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: John Carpenter, 'Lost Themes'
    The film director is known for composing and performing his own soundtracks. On Lost Themes, he reaches beyond the movies to craft a collection of understandably cinematic-sounding music. More....
  2. First Listen: Mount Eerie, 'Sauna'
    An arresting, frozen-moment splay of images and emotions, Phil Elverum's latest album as Mount Eerie feels less like a meditation and more like a slow-motion mauling. More....
  3. First Listen: Asaf Avidan, 'Gold Shadow'
    The Israeli singer has a compelling, unusual, wholly original voice. On Gold Shadow, his first official release in North America, he writes with passion and poetry. More....
  4. First Listen: Diana Krall, 'Wallflower'
    The singer takes a loving look back at the '70s and '80s pop that helped shape her. Along the way, without grandstanding, Krall strips away the baggage of the original performers' iconic personas. More....
  5. First Listen: Title Fight, 'Hyperview'
    On its third album, the band doesn't quite shed its punk roots — at least not entirely — but it does sound like something out of a dream spent underwater. More....
  6. First Listen: Amason, 'Sky City'
    Never locked to one mood, these vibrant, polished songs convey the spirit of a variety show in concert. But on Sky City, they replicate the intimacy and care of a great mixtape. More....
  7. First Listen: The Lone Bellow, 'Then Came The Morning'
    The Brooklyn band's music has always had a larger-than-life flamboyance about it. But on Then Came The Morning, it's elevated by nuance that ventures frequently and welcomely into grace. More....
  8. First Listen: Jessica Pratt, 'On Your Own Love Again'
    With little more than a weary sigh, the singer flips the banal into the magical; she makes listeners wonder about the circumstances she describes. More....
  9. First Listen: Belle And Sebastian, 'Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance'
    The Glaswegian folk-pop band's ninth album feels light on its feet, but without sacrificing the thoughtful, careful precision for which Stuart Murdoch and his collaborators are known. More....
  10. First Listen: Sleater-Kinney, 'No Cities To Love'
    The rock trio's first album since 2005 sounds as fresh and vital as a debut, but also as nuanced and skillful as the work of three players with a decade-long, inimitable rapport betwixt them. More....
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