First Listen archive
Read First Listen: Chris Schlarb, 'Psychic Temple II'
July 7, 2013 – The genre-crossing record, which features Sufjan Stevens and others, continuously seeks new worlds.
Read First Listen: Andrew Cedermark, 'Home Life'
July 7, 2013 – Home Life isn't uplifting, but it amply demonstrates Cedermark's capacity to both bum out and stun.
Read First Listen: Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 'That's It!'
June 30, 2013 – The jazz masters' first album of entirely original material pushes music lovers to dance.
Read First Listen: Speedy Ortiz, 'Major Arcana'
June 30, 2013 – Like a gummy double-helix, Speedy Ortiz twists sweet-and-sour words around '90s-inspired indie-rock.
Read First Listen: Maps, 'Vicissitude'
June 30, 2013 – Smart and soaring, Vicissitude is an album versatile enough for dance floors and road trips alike.
Read First Listen: Chucho Valdés And The Afro-Cuban Messengers, 'Border-Free'
June 30, 2013 – Every release by the great pianist digs deeper into the common roots of jazz and Cuban music.
Read First Listen: Anna Von Hausswolff, 'Ceremony'
June 30, 2013 – Von Hausswolff's voice soars alongside a pipe organ while still holding tight to delicate emotions.
Read First Listen: Beautiful Swimmers, 'Son'
June 24, 2013 – The duo touches on house, disco, New Age zen and John Carpenter unease during its 11-song journey.
Read First Listen: Cheyenne Mize, 'Among The Grey'
June 24, 2013 – Mize's wearily melancholic sound makes room for sounds that can be playful, potent, lush and sweet.
Listen First Listen: Daughn Gibson, 'Me Moan'
Read First Listen: Smith Westerns, 'Soft Will'
June 16, 2013 – Soft Will unleashes a sparkly charm offensive that practically rolls down your car windows for you.
Read First Listen: Mavis Staples, 'One True Vine'
June 16, 2013 – Produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, Staples' new album radiates reverence while summoning a slow burn.
Read First Listen: Bosnian Rainbows, 'Bosnian Rainbows'
June 16, 2013 – The Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Le Butcherettes' Teri Gender Bender pair up brilliantly.
Read First Listen: Statik Selektah, 'Extended Play'
June 9, 2013 – Mutual respect pervades Extended Play, an inviting, prideful album that's never snobby.