First Listen archive
Read First Listen: Astro, 'Astro'
September 2, 2012 – The Chilean band's electro-pop debut is infectiously cheery, lighthearted and danceable.
Read First Listen: The xx, 'Coexist'
September 2, 2012 – The xx's songs billow out softly and quietly, with only pretty guitar lines to lessen the tension.
Read First Listen: The Avett Brothers, 'The Carpenter'
August 29, 2012 – The Carpenter dispenses hook-filled anthems amid introspective looks at mortality and devotion.
Read First Listen: Cat Power, 'Sun'
August 26, 2012 – With the long-awaited Sun, Chan Marshall crafts her most joyful, sonically adventurous album yet.
Read First Listen: Deerhoof, 'Breakup Song'
August 26, 2012 – Deerhoof mixes adorability and eccentricity, with a bit of menace to hold the cuteness in check.
Read First Listen: Stars, 'The North'
August 26, 2012 – The North rewards exploration with moments that alternately swoon, seethe, swing and paralyze.
Read First Listen: Animal Collective, 'Centipede Hz'
August 26, 2012 – Centipede Hz is jagged and assertive; it snarls and heaves, supported by electric musculature.
Read First Listen: Dan Deacon, 'America'
August 19, 2012 – The new album America is melodic and noisy, minimalist and excessive, harsh and beautiful.
Read First Listen: Swans, 'The Seer'
August 19, 2012 – The noise-rock band's 12th album is a cacophonous vault into the sublime.
Read First Listen: Sean Rowe, 'The Salesman And The Shark'
August 19, 2012 – Rowe's bass-baritone rattles the soul. His latest LP is a masterwork of song, production and voice.
Read First Listen: Gaby Moreno, 'Postales'
August 19, 2012 – The Guatemalan singer refuses to cater to any stereotype, and on her new album, it pays off.
Read First Listen: Divine Fits, 'A Thing Called Divine Fits'
August 12, 2012 – Members of Spoon, Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs and New Bomb Turks make slick, smart pop-rock together.
Read First Listen: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, 'Mature Themes'
August 12, 2012 – The album capitalizes on its budget, but explores the flights of fancy that made Ariel Pink's name.
Read First Listen: Yeasayer, 'Fragrant World'
August 12, 2012 – On Fragrant World, the band makes playful party music for worried minds and uncertain futures.