Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Free Album Previews: New St. Vincent and Ivy, the Latest "True Blood" Collection, & More

There aren't a lot of new albums for free preview this week, but there are some good ones available. One of the most anticipated is the new release from Annie Clark, the singer-songwriter and guitarist who performs under the name St. Vincent. She's back with "Strange Mercy," her first album in several years (release date: Sept. 13), and NPR Music is calling it her best yet. It's available for free streaming there and at KCRW (for a longer period).

Also available this week are new albums from a number of singer-songwriters including A.A. Bondy, Joe Firstman, and Tom Russell (with contributions from Calexico, Lucinda Williams, and others) … the album by the Horrible Crowes, the side project of Brian Fallon from the Gaslight Anthem … and the latest album by Ivy (the trio including Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne).

One album I've been enjoying is "True Blood: Music From The HBO Original Series Volume 3,"with music by Neko Case and Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and Gordon Gano, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nick Lowe, Massive Attack, and others. Some songs (or their performances/arrangements) don't do anything for me or seem like filler (does the album really need four versions of "She's Not There"?), but I really like some of the contributions, and there's a great range of artists on the album.  

Album previews from NPR Music and AOL/Spinner are usually available for one week, from Monday to Sunday; KCRW's album previews are up for a longer time and the date is given when known.

KCRW Album Preview: 
"Strange Mercy" by St. Vincent (streaming through Sept. 18)

NPR First Listen:
"Believers" by A.A. Bondy's Listening Party:
"Hanna - Original Soundtrack" by the Chemical Brothers
"True Blood - Music from the HBO Series, Volume 3" by various artists

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Mesabi" by Tom Russell
"Swear It Was a Dream" by Joe Firstman
"Elsie" by the Horrible Crowes Album Preview:
"All Hours" by Ivy

Which of these albums do you like, and which other new albums are you enjoying? Leave your comments below!

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