This week, NPR Music offers fans free live streams of albums in their entirety as part of its “First Listen” series. Featuring Cat Power's first record of new material in more than six years, the series also previews new albums from Animal Collective, Deerhoof and Stars before their September fourth releases. All selected albums in the “First Listen” series are available for free on-demand listening online at www.npr.org/music and in the NPR Music mobile apps.
Animal Collective: The celebrated psych-rock band’s latest album, Centipede Hz, is its first in five years to feature all four original members. NPR Music's Stephen Thompson calls the album "jagged and assertive," adding, "It snarls and heaves, supported by electric musculature."
Cat Power: Following a six-year hiatus, soulful singer-songwriter Chan Marshall returns with Sun. NPR Music’s Robin Hilton says the collection is Marshall’s “most joyful, sonically adventurous album to date.”
Deerhoof: The San Francisco noise-pop group's 12th album, Breakup Song, is a bold record filled with energy, experimentation and charm. Thompson writes, "Deerhoof mixes adorability and eccentricity, with a bit of menace to hold the cuteness in check."
Stars: The Canadian band’s sixth studio album, The North, finds the group reinvigorating its pop-rock sound after a decade together. Thompson writes, "Any Stars fan should find something to like here, as the group swings from springy pop-rock to gorgeous balladry to grandiose mission statements."
Complete track listings and album information are available at NPR Music, where there are also extensive archives of concerts, interviews and reviews of artists from all genres. NPR Music's "First Listen" series is one of the site’s most popular features, and is currently featuring The Seer from Swans and Dan Deacon’s latest, America. The Emmy Award-winning free, multimedia website at www.npr.org/music offers new features daily and an extensive archive, in collaboration with NPR's newsmagazines, public radio Member stations and the passionate NPR community.