September 27, 2010
Emerson Brown, NPR




Beginning today, NPR Music offers advance streams of new albums from Sufjan Stevens, Mary Halvorson Quintet, Vittorio Grigolo, and The Corin Tucker Band. All of the albums are available for free, on-demand listening at as part of the site’s "First Listen" series.

Sufjan Stevens: After pursuing a variety of unpredictable multimedia and orchestral projects, the acclaimed indie-folk musician returns with his first full-length studio album since 2005. A departure from his traditional sound, Stevens integrates synthesizers, drum machines, and other new elements in his much-anticipated album, The Age of Adz:

Mary Halvorson Quintet: Navigating the fine line that separates jazz, experimental rock, and chamber music, Halvorson has paved the way for female jazz guitarists with her hard, assertive sound. Drawing influence from jazz great Anthony Braxton, she introduces a quintet on her new album, Saturn Sings:

Vittorio Grigolo: The Italian classical and opera tenor, who at one time was a member of the Sistine Chapel choir, explores the genre's more accessible side on his second studio album, In the Hands of Love:

The Corin Tucker Band: The Sleater-Kinney singer returns to the spotlight with her solo debut. Her first release since the announcement of an indefinite Sleater-Kinney hiatus in 2006, Tucker introduces a new, more mature sound while remaining relevant to her longtime fans. Kill Rock Stars will release the album, titled 1000 Years:

Complete track listings and album information will be available at NPR Music, where there are also extensive archives of concerts, interviews and reviews with artists of all genres. NPR Music's "First Listen" series is one of the site's most popular features, and has offered pre-release streams of albums from Of Montreal, Arvo Pärt, and The Arcade Fire, among many others. In addition to the streams detailed in this release, the series also currently includes Le Noise by Neil Young and is frequently updated with new material.

The "First Listen" series is just one feature of NPR Music, which celebrates great music in every genre and is an industry leader in music discovery. The free, multimedia website at offers more than 300 new features monthly and an extensive archive in collaboration with NPR's newsmagazines, 12 public radio member stations and the passionate NPR community. NPR Music creates and distributes inventive music coverage across multiple platforms -- from web, to radio, to podcast, to mobile, to social media, to live events -- with first listens to new albums, live performances, concerts at the Tiny Desk, interviews, reviews and blogs. Many of the site’s features are also available to mobile audiences with the NPR Music App for the iPhone and iPod Touch.