First Listen

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The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

XPN2 - XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Alley

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
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First Listen

Enjoy previews of select, upcoming albums, in their entirety on FIRST LISTEN.

  1. First Listen: Dam-Funk, 'Invite The Light'
    The man born Damon Riddick makes an epic 20-song album that draws on the entire history of funk. Six years in the making, Invite The Light has a sound that's almost impossible to pin down. More....
  2. First Listen: Joan Shelley, 'Over And Even'
    Songs on the Kentucky folk singer's second album sound ancient and true, even on first hearing. More....
  3. First Listen: The Arcs, 'Yours, Dreamily'
    In his new band, The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach plays immersive, funky R&B and soul that's embellished with velvety harmonies, hissy tape recordings and lip-curling attitude. More....
  4. First Listen: Cécile McLorin Salvant, 'For One To Love'
    Salvant explores the quaint art of jazz singing, but with her own aesthetic idiosyncrasies intact. Her toolbox contains anywhere from a rich, husky voice to one that tiptoes theatrically, girlishly. More....
  5. First Listen: Lou Barlow, 'Brace The Wave'
    Brace The Wave keeps the Sebadoh singer's sound stripped to its barren bones, an approach suited to the pleas and confessions therein. More....
  6. First Listen: Diane Coffee, 'Everybody's A Good Dog'
    Foxygen's Shaun Fleming aspires to a '70s ideal that rolls up sugarcoated bubblegum glam, soul balladry, Francophone pop and echoes of the Brill Building. More....
  7. Review: Royal Headache, 'High'
    The Australian band's soulful, Motown-worthy punk poetry sounds simple and direct on its second album, whose innate momentum makes even the calmest moments feel tense. More....
  8. First Listen: Anna Thorvaldsdottír, 'In The Light Of Air'
    With flashes of lyricism, a young composer excels at weaving sound textures together to create distinct atmospheres. Hear the album, performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble. More....
  9. Review: Destroyer, 'Poison Season'
    On his 10th album as Destroyer, Dan Bejar keeps mining discarded sounds and reclaiming them, recalling everyone from Harry Nilsson to Clarence Clemons. More....
  10. Review: Ruby Amanfu, 'Standing Still'
    Amanfu has performed alongside Jack White, among many others. The singer takes another step into the foreground on her first solo album, which showcases her incredible interpretive gifts. More....