First Listen archive
Read First Listen: Statik Selektah, 'Extended Play'
June 9, 2013 – Mutual respect pervades Extended Play, an inviting, prideful album that's never snobby.
Read First Listen: Primal Scream, 'More Light'
June 9, 2013 – The Scottish band's 10th album plays out like a larger-than-life celebration of survival.
Read First Listen: Lemuria, 'The Distance Is So Big'
June 9, 2013 – The punky pop band has made an art of interrupting itself, with songs that unfold like mini-suites.
Read First Listen: Austra, 'Olympia'
June 9, 2013 – Austra's new album keeps one foot in the conservatory even as both are occupied on the dance floor.
Read First Listen: Fat Tony, 'Smart Ass Black Boy'
June 3, 2013 – The Houston rapper sounds at ease on the mic, delivering droll bars with a level stare.
Read First Listen: Airhead, 'For Years'
June 2, 2013 – James Blake collaborator Rob McAndrews has a clear understanding of how to balance sadness and joy.
Read First Listen: Gold Panda, 'Half Of Where You Live'
June 2, 2013 – On his second album, British electronic music producer Derwin Panda gets out and explores the world.
Read First Listen: Jagwar Ma, 'Howlin'
June 2, 2013 – Howlin largely nails that sweet spot between singing along to a song and losing yourself in it.
Read First Listen: Conrad Tao, 'Voyages'
June 2, 2013 – On Voyages, the pianist journeys down varied and alluring pathways that lead to transcendent beauty.
Read First Listen: Surfer Blood, 'Pythons'
June 2, 2013 – The beachy pop-rock band returns with 10 new songs whose hooks pop into your thoughts days later.
Read First Listen: Eleanor Friedberger, 'Personal Record'
May 26, 2013 – As a solo artist, the Fiery Furnaces singer is the epitome of subtle, timeless, un-showy cool.
Read First Listen: Thundercat, 'Apocalypse'
May 26, 2013 – Thundercat's Stephen Bruner digs into astral soul music that's often both funky and heartbreaking.
Read First Listen: Camera Obscura, 'Desire Lines'
May 26, 2013 – The band further refines its grab-bag of arm-swinging brunette soul, swaying country and lite disco.
Read First Listen: Jon Hopkins, 'Immunity'
May 26, 2013 – For Hopkins, beauty and beats are free to commingle in ways that move — in every sense of the word.