First Listen

WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

Jingle Jams

Jingle Jams. An eclectic assortment of holiday tunes, from the new and quirky to the classic.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.
Listen Live

First Listen

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

First Listen: The Avett Brothers, 'Magpie And The Dandelion'

Loading the player ...
Seth and Scott Avett aren't content to merely play gorgeous roots music; to just lay some lovely harmonies over banjos and strings. Performing as The Avett Brothers — with bassist Bob Crawford, cellist Joe Kwon and others — they craft alternately stompy and swoony music that's rooted in a desire for self-improvement. Take their body of work as a whole, and it forms the outlines of a makeshift guide to life, and to being fundamentally decent in the pursuit of something even better.
That overarching philosophy — an animating principle beyond a mere love of music-making — has long driven the Avetts as they write catchy, searching, quotable songs that resonate beyond the moments they occupy. On the largely pensive new Magpie and the Dandelion, the brothers spend a good deal of time examining the push and pull between their day-to-day pressures and impulses (a need to tour in "Good to You," the pursuit of responsibility-free rootlessness in "Open Ended Life") and a need for connection, contentedness and openness to wonder.
As with The Carpenter (also produced by Rick Rubin, and released a mere 13 months ago), Magpie and the Dandelion largely eschews the raw, jittery energy that so often infuses The Avett Brothers' early work. Instead, it's a solemn, ballad-driven album — less mortality-minded than its predecessor, but still seeking poignancy and meaning in lives lived messily. For fans who've followed Crawford's young daughter's battle with a brain tumor, the proud verse he sings in "Good to You" hits especially hard, while "Apart From Me" follows that song with another patch of thoughtfully elegant, exquisitely polished gloom.
The Avett Brothers' music is, as always, too warm to be simply maudlin: Even at its most low-key, Magpie and the Dandelion (out Oct. 15) conveys kindly rendered intimacy in every note. Taken as a whole, it feels like a calmly loving missive from friends who offer wise counsel, but know well enough to interrogate their own motives along the way.
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Audio: by

Click each song title for individual tracks, the last track is the album in its entirety.

Loading the player ...
GoogleNewsBuy Propecia Online