April 8, 2013
Caitlin Sanders, NPR
THE FLAMING LIPS, IRON AND WINE, GHOSTFACE KILLAH,
THE SHOUTING MATCHES & SHUGGIE OTIS
FULL "FIRST LISTEN" STREAMS AVAILABLE NOW
AT NPR.ORG/MUSIC AND IN NPR MUSIC APPS
The Flaming Lips: The neo-psychadelic rock band, known for its elaborate performances and experimental sound, returns with its first studio album since 2009. "The Terror moans and scrapes ominously from its opening seconds onward… [and] still finds a way to reward deeper exploration, as cracked loveliness seeps into moments that soar tentatively," NPR Music's Stephen Thompson writes.
Iron and Wine: Singer-songwriter Sam Beam continues to write thoughtful folk music about life and death, while continually expanding his sound. NPR Music's Stephen Thompson says of Iron and Wine's latest album, "Beam now presides over arrangements springy and three-dimensional enough to accommodate a horn section - and yet he still finds a way to wrap his agreeably soft voice around thematically weighty material." Hear Ghost on Ghost.
Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge: The Wu-Tang Clan original returns with his 10th solo album, Twelve Reasons to Die, produced with Wu-Tang founder RZA and composed by Younge. NPR Music's Frannie Kelley writes of the record, "The result is unusual - a vivid and intricate melodrama both backward-looking and forward-thinking." While listening, audiences can also revisit Wu-Tang's landmark debut album in an NPR Music report marking the 20th anniversary of its release in 1993.
The Shouting Matches: Bon Iver's Justin Vernon introduces a lively new sound on Grownass Man, the first release from his blues-rock side project. NPR Music's Stephen Thompson writes, "This isn't the stuff of mystery or misery, of yearning, of finding one's voice in a secluded cabin. It's the work of a guy who loves playing music - who's drawn influence from Talk Talk and Bruce Hornsby and many points in between."
Shuggie Otis: The cult classic Inspiration Information is back again for the third time since its 1974 release, accompanied this time by a generous disc of previously unreleased material titled Wings of Love. The compilation features rare live performances and unheard tracks written as far back as 1975.
Complete track listings and album information are available at NPR Music, as are extensive archives of concerts, interviews and reviews of artists from all genres. NPR Music's "First Listen" series is one of the site's most popular features, and is currently featuring Kurt Vile's Wakin on a Pretty Daze and video of Josh Ritter performing his latest album, The Beast in Its Tracks, live in concert. The Emmy-winning free multimedia website at www.npr.org/music offers new features daily and an extensive archive, in collaboration with NPR's newsmagazines, public radio Member stations and the passionate NPR community.