November 15, 2010
Emerson Brown, NPR




Beginning today, NPR Music offers advance streams of new albums from Keith Urban, William Tyler and Agalloch. All are available for free, on-demand listening for two weeks at as part of the site's "First Listen" series.

Keith Urban: Love songs for his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, dominate Urban's forthcoming album Get Closer. It's the seventh from the country-pop singer-guitarist, and it's found a fan in NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, who calls it "one of 2010's most agreeable and winning country records." Stream the eight-song album now until a week after its Nov. 16 release:

William Tyler: The Nashville guitarist, known for performing and recording with Lambchop, Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Charlie Louvin, breaks out on his own for a solo record, Behold the Spirit. The album is a thoughtful arrangement of complex musical compositions and textures, blending Tyler's masterful solo work with flourishes of piano, brass and pedal steel. Stream Behold the Spirit now until its Nov. 23 release:

Agalloch: On its new record Marrow of the Spirit, the Portland, Ore.-based metal band Agalloch departs from past LPs, delivering a sound that's somber, melancholy and searching. Frontman John Haughm says the new songs are about healing; NPR Music metal fan Lars Gotrich says to think of "Haughm and his bandmates as spiritual travelers, rooting through the desolate earth with bare hands." Get your black metal on:

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 is currently streaming albums from Bruce Springsteen, Stereolab and Black Dub.

The "First Listen" series is one feature of NPR Music, which celebrates great music in every genre and is an industry leader in music discovery. The multimedia site 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. Its newest addition: All Songs 24/7, a non-stop stream of every song ever played in 10 years of the show.