April 19, 2010
Emerson Brown, NPR
AS PART OF "EXCLUSIVE FIRST LISTEN" SERIES
ENTIRE ALBUMS FROM
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE AND THE HOLD STEADY
AVAILABLE FOR ADVANCE LISTENING TODAY AT NPR.ORG/MUSIC
After five years of solo albums and tours, the loose-knit collective of Canadian musicians known as Broken Social Scene reunites for a new album, Forgiveness Rock Record. The band's line-up for this release is pared down to founders Kevin Drew and Andrew Whiteman and only four other players. Still, several well-known friends of the Scene pop by to lend a helping hand, including Leslie Feist, Metric's Emily Haines and members of Stars, The Sea and Cake, and Tortoise. The results of their friendly sessions can be heard from now until May 4 at NPR Music: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125236515
With critical acclaim and sold-out shows, everything seemed to be staying positive for Minnesota band The Hold Steady until the recent departure of core member and keyboardist Franz Nicolay. True to the group's moniker and workmanlike reputation, however, it survived the setback to produce a fifth album, Heaven Is Whenever. The band recorded most of the record in the back of a bus on its last tour, and Heaven boasts a more guitar-oriented sound that dials back the keyboards that stood out on past efforts. "The lyrics," frontman Craig Finn says, "speak a lot about struggle and reward." Fans of the band can find out just rewarding this new collection of songs is at NPR Music until May 4: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126023882
Next Monday, April 26, NPR Music offers previews of three more highly anticipated albums, including a collection of unreleased material from storied singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson, the latest from indie-pop supergroup The New Pornographers and a tremendous album by modern folksinger Josh Ritter.
Complete track listings and album information will be available at NPR Music, where there are also extensive archives of concerts, interviews and reviews with artists of all genres. NPR Music's "Exclusive First Listen" series is one of the site's most popular features, and has offered pre-release streams of albums from Jeff Beck, Gorillaz, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and MGMT, among many others. In addition to the streams detailed in this release, the series also currently includes I Am What I Am by Merle Haggard and is frequently updated with new material.
The "Exclusive First Listen" series is just one feature of NPR Music, which celebrates great music in every genre and is an industry leader in music discovery. The free, multimedia website at www.npr.org/music offers 300 new features monthly and an extensive archive, in collaboration with NPR's newsmagazines, 12 public radio member stations and the passionate NPR community. NPR Music creates and distributes inventive music coverage across multiple platforms - from web, to radio, to podcast, to mobile, to social media, to live events - with first listens to new albums, live performances, concerts at the Tiny Desk, interviews, reviews and blogs.