First Listen archive
Read First Listen: Cecilia Bartoli, 'Mission'
September 23, 2012 – The celebrated mezzo unearths music from a mysterious composer who doubled as a diplomat.
Read First Listen: Beth Orton, 'Sugaring Season'
September 23, 2012 – Ornate but not wispy, these songs aren't merely pretty; they also convey power that builds subtly.
Read First Listen: Miguel, 'Kaleidoscope Dream'
September 23, 2012 – The singer gleefully smashes together R&B, pop and rock to make love songs about the early days.
Read First Listen: Efterklang, 'Piramida'
September 16, 2012 – The Danish band explores a lost world, literally, and captures its sounds in the pursuit of beauty.
Listen First Listen: Ricardo Villalobos, 'Dependent And Happy'
September 16, 2012 – Constructed to be absorbed in one sitting, the album picks up depth as it unfurls toward oblivion.
Read First Listen: Melody's Echo Chamber, 'Melody's Echo Chamber'
September 16, 2012 – The debut album by Paris-based Melody Prochet nods to many traditions without ever adhering to one.
Read First Listen: Sera Cahoone, 'Deer Creek Canyon'
September 16, 2012 – Hers is a voice of honeyed reassurance; of comfort and grace in the face of life's wearying churn.
Read First Listen: Grizzly Bear, 'Shields'
September 9, 2012 – The band's fourth album rewards listeners with strange surprises and a few hooky, expansive ringers.
Read First Listen: Dinosaur Jr., 'I Bet On Sky'
September 9, 2012 – Dinosaur Jr.'s 10th studio album knows where its strengths lie: namely, in guitars and volume.
Read First Listen: Aimee Mann, 'Charmer'
September 9, 2012 – Charmer is the work of a sharp, confident veteran who's never strayed far from the top of her game.
Read First Listen: David Byrne & St. Vincent, 'Love This Giant'
September 2, 2012 – The pair's collaboration features a funky horn section and an overarching sense of brainy boldness.
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.