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First Listen archive

Jose James' No Beginning No End will be released on Jan. 22.

Read First Listen: Jose James, 'No Beginning No End'

January 13, 2013 – James finds his own voice by paying deep attention to technique without compromising passion.

Widowspeak's new album, Almanac, comes out Jan. 22.

Read First Listen: Widowspeak, 'Almanac'

January 13, 2013 – Widowspeak is a fount of familiar sounds, but its music possesses a dreamy pop sound of its own.

Aaron Neville's My True Story comes out on Jan. 22.

Read First Listen: Aaron Neville, 'My True Story'

January 13, 2013 – Neville lends his floaty tenor to a handful of unavoidable and unimpeachable doo-wop standards.

The Lone Bellow's self-titled debut comes out Jan. 22.

Read First Listen: The Lone Bellow, 'The Lone Bellow'

January 6, 2013 – On its debut, the band mixes a catchy roots-pop rumble with emotionally resonant folk-rock belting.

Pantha Du Prince (center), flanked by members of The Bell Laboratory.

Read First Listen: Pantha Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory, 'Elements Of Light'

January 6, 2013 – A German producer teams up with Norwegian percussionists to make a sweeping composition.

Søren Løkke Juul, who records and performs as Indians, releases Something Else on Jan. 29.

Read First Listen: Indians, 'Somewhere Else'

January 6, 2013 – Hear warm headphone music that reaches both the heart and the loneliest reaches of the heavens.

Erin McKeown's Manifestra comes out Jan. 15, 2013.

Read First Listen: Erin McKeown, 'Manifestra'

December 30, 2012 – As politically pointed as it gets, Manifestra doesn't lose sight of the singer's springy side.

Ranchera singer Lila Downs appears on the Hecho En Mexico soundtrack.

Read First Listen: Original Soundtrack, 'Hecho En Mexico'

December 30, 2012 – The documentary film features a mix of traditional sounds and modern Mexican alternative artists.

Detail from the Berberian Sound Studio poster. Broadcast was working on the soundtrack music for the film when singer Trish Keenan died in early 2011.

Read First Listen: Broadcast, 'Berberian Sound Studio'

December 30, 2012 – Broadcast's Trish Keenan died two years ago, but she left behind this gorgeous tapestry of sound.

Sufjan Stevens released Silver & Gold Nov. 13.

Read First Listen: Sufjan Stevens, 'Silver & Gold'

November 25, 2012 – In nearly three hours of music, impeccable grace never strays far from playful ridiculousness.

Tracey Thorn's album Tinsel and Lights was released Oct. 30.

Read First Listen: Tracey Thorn, 'Tinsel And Lights'

November 25, 2012 – The Everything but the Girl singer's holiday album is as warmly rendered as it is bittersweet.

KEM's first holiday album, What Christmas Means, was released Oct. 16.

Read First Listen: KEM, 'What Christmas Means'

November 25, 2012 – The R&B singer's album — half standards, half originals, all love songs — goes down smooth.

Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin's new album, Instrumental Tourist, comes out Nov. 20.

Read First Listen: Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin, 'Instrumental Tourist'

November 11, 2012 – Few performers manipulate sound quite as aggressively or effectively as these electronic musicians.

The Evens' new album, The Odds, comes out Nov. 20.

Read First Listen: The Evens, 'The Odds'

November 11, 2012 – On their third album, Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina confront what it means to be a grown-up punk.

Jozef Van Wissem and Jim Jarmusch's new album, The Mystery of Heaven, comes out Nov. 13.

Read First Listen: Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch, 'The Mystery Of Heaven'

November 4, 2012 – Van Wissem plays the lute; Jarmusch is a filmmaker. Together, they make a rich, cinematic sound.

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