NPR Music is streaming entire new albums from three artists in April and May, ahead of their release dates: St. Vincent’s Actor, Outer South from Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band and Jason Lytle’s Yours Truly, The Commuter. All three records will be available for free, on-demand listening weeks before they hit stores at www.npr.org/music, as part of the site’s “Exclusive First Listen” series. The entire series is available at: www.npr.org/firstlisten
Streaming now until its release on May 5 is the second album from Annie Clark, known as St. Vincent. Having played guitar for Sufjan Steven’s traveling band and recorded with The Polyphonic Spree, Clark once more proves she can hold her own as she takes listeners on a captivating trip, combining her voice with those of Hideaki Aomori and Alex Soppthe and the sounds of seven different instruments. Hear the entire album now at: www.npr.org/firstlisten
The poetic lyrics from singer-songwriter Conor Oberst, best known as the frontman of Bright Eyes, will once again inspire listeners on his latest album with The Mystic Valley Band, Outer South. The band, a close-knit group of Oberst’s friends, came together last year for his first solo record. The entire Outer South album will be available for streaming beginning April 27 at 11:59 PM ET at NPR Music. Hear Oberst and the band in a November 2008 concert, recorded as part of NPR Music’s “Live in Concert” series: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96657362
The creative genius behind the former rock band Grandaddy, Jason Lytle picks up where the band left off with his first solo album, Yours Truly, The Commuter. NPR Music will stream the entire album starting May 4, 2009 at 11:59 PM ET. Audiences can also watch Lytle perform a track from the upcoming album, recorded for NPR Music in March at South by Southwest: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102351673
Complete track listings and album information are available at NPR Music, where there are also extensive archives of concerts, interviews and reviews of St. Vincent, Conor Oberst and Jason Lytle. NPR Music introduced its “First Listen” series last year, when the site offered its first pre-release album stream: Bob Dylan’s 2-CD set Tell Tale Signs, followed by Neil Young’s Sugar Mountain and an album from Paul McCartney’s project The Fireman. The impact was tremendous, with hundreds of thousands of webcasts of the albums and individual songs. Since then, the series has offered pre-release streams of albums from Bruce Springsteen, Animal Collective, Camera Obscura and Leonard Cohen.
The “Exclusive First Listen” series is one feature of NPR Music, a free, multimedia music discovery Web site at www.npr.org/music The site offers content from NPR and 12 NPR Member public radio stations, including live performances, studio sessions, first listens to new albums, interviews, reviews and blogs. The site’s continuously expanding sections are dedicated to rock/pop/folk, classical, jazz/blues, world and urban music. NPR Music culls from NPR’s and the stations’ extensive music archives to present thousands of features; more than 250 new features are added to the site every month.