Probably the most anticipated of the new albums streaming online this week is the latest release from The Magnetic Fields, "Love At The Bottom Of The Sea," the group's first album since 2010's "Realism." Leader Stephin Merritt has a history of making abrupt changes in the band's sound from album to album, and NPR Music says this new work is a return to its earlier synthesizer-based approach.
Video for "Andrew in Drag," from the new Magnetic Fields album.
But don't expect to settle in with any of the songs for very long: NPR's review says, "These 15 songs feel slight by design—the longest track is a brisk 2:39, and the whole enterprise clocks out at about 34 minutes—but there's a world of wit in their brevity."
Also streaming online this week is "New Multitudes," another album of Woody Guthrie lyrics set to music by modern artists, this time Jay Farrar, Jim James (of My Morning Jacket, under his oddball alter ego "Yim Yames"), Will Johnson, and Anders Parker.
Other notable streaming albums including the latest from two newly popular Canadian outfits, Memoryhouse (its first full-length) and Plants and Animals, and new releases from Andrew Bird, Anais Mitchell, and Amy Ray (half of the Indigo Girls).
You'll also get a second chance at hearing "Ghostory" by School of Seven Bells, which KCRW and NPR had featured earlier.
As always, the albums listed below are just a sampling of those streaming this week; check the websites for full lineups. Albums are generally available for streaming for a week or eight days, beginning each Monday, though sometimes they may be available a day or so longer.
Let us know in the comments section which ones below you like, or what other new or upcoming releases you're enjoying.
NPR First Listen:
"Love At The Bottom Of The Sea" by The Magnetic Fields
"Milk Famous" by White Rabbits
" Break It Yourself" by Andrew Bird
"Ekstasis" by Julia Holter
Spinner.com's Listening Party:
"Lung of Love" by Amy Ray
"The Slideshow Effect" by Memoryhouse
"Myth" by Geographer
"Ghostory" by School of Seven Bells
"Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun" by The Wooden Sky
"New Multitudes" by Jay Farrar, Yim Yames, Will Johnson, Anders Parker
"The End of That" by Plants and Animals
"King of the Waves" by Little Barrie
"Those of Us Still Alive" by Tiny Victories
AOL Music Listening Party:
"The Perfect Crime" by Magnolia Memoir
"Young Man in America" by Anais Mitchell