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Music : NPR

First Listen: BJ The Chicago Kid, 'In My Mind'  |   

The Windy City soul man has established himself as a supreme collaborator; his Motown debut features guest spots from Kendrick Lamar and Chance The Rapper.

First Listen: Africaine 808, 'Basar'  |   

The Berlin duo's club music transcends dance-floor stereotypes through extreme juxtapositions, while drawing its power from a TR 808 drum machine and a world of sound.

First Listen: Birds Of Chicago, 'Real Midnight'  |   

J.T. Nero and Allison Russell like to describe the music they make as "secular gospel." Their new album together is full of nostalgia, farewells and looming finales.

First Listen: Carrie Rodriguez, 'Lola'  |   

The veteran singer and fiddler combines seemingly disparate influences into a single, gloriously cohesive Spanglish statement.

First Listen: Wolfmother, 'Victorious'  |   

Just as an arena is built to hold anyone and everyone, Wolfmother's arena-rock is designed to contain everything that inspires it.