First Listen archive
Read First Listen: Sufjan Stevens, 'Silver & Gold'
November 25, 2012 – In nearly three hours of music, impeccable grace never strays far from playful ridiculousness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Read First Listen: Holly Herndon, 'Movement'
November 4, 2012 – Herndon renders 1s and 0s in ways that feel as personal and internal as heartbeats on her debut.
Read First Listen: Andy Stott, 'Luxury Problems'
October 28, 2012 – The British electronic producer mixes high, heavenly voices with deep, throbbing bass vibrations.
Read First Listen: Bomba Estéreo, 'Elegancia Tropical'
October 28, 2012 – The celebrated Colombian band returns with a surprisingly nuanced and textured collection of songs.
Read First Listen: Cody ChesnuTT, 'Landing On A Hundred'
October 21, 2012 – ChesnuTT's new album is a dynamite collection of timeless, celebratory, searching soul music.
Read First Listen: Charles Mingus, 'The Jazz Workshop Concerts, 1964-65'
October 21, 2012 – A box set of live recordings, some previously unreleased, shows a jazz great turning life into art.
Read First Listen: Café Tacvba, 'El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco'
October 18, 2012 – Two decades into Café Tacvba's career, the band still sounds as humble and refreshing as ever.
Read First Listen: Bat For Lashes, 'The Haunted Man'
October 14, 2012 – For all its dark overtones, Natasha Khan's music lets rays of hope and joy leak out of every shadow.
Read First Listen: Pig Destroyer, 'Book Burner'
October 14, 2012 – Book Burner is meticulously tailor-made for destruction, with a thirst for blood and riffs.