First Listens

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Interscope

Interscope

This may be the first time you’ve heard of Emile Haynie, but it won’t be the last.

The musician isn’t a stranger to the music industry by any stretch, though. Collaborating on popular songs for artists such as Kanye West, Eminem, Kid Cudi, Lana Del Rey and Bruno Mars, the producer has definitely been working hard behind the scenes.

The connections Haynie has made along the way play a large part in his debut album We Fall. Nate Ruess, Lana Del Rey and Lykke Li are just a few of the artists that join him on the project, which was released yesterday (Feb. 24).

I haven’t given the entire album a thorough listen yet, but I’m loving what I’ve heard so far.

Melancholy cuts like the album opener “Falling Apart” (“You’re falling apart, just another little lonely broken heart.”) is almost unlistenable due to the vulnerability.

The album is currently streaming on Spotify.

Simco Limited

Simco Limited

Ella Henderson is one of the artists that showed off her potential in a major way in 2014. The pop singer and former X Factor UK contestant is finally ready to release her debut album Chapter One in America, led by the church-y Ryan Tedder-produced “Ghost.”

Chapter One will be released next week on Jan. 13 in the United States, although the project has been out in the UK for months now.

I like Henderson. I think she’s talented and interesting enough to have a successful career with the right single choices and appearances.

And, so far, so good.

In addition to “Ghost,” “Glow” and “Yours” have also proven that the singer can add her passionate voice to just about anything and give it life.

Listen to Chapter One over on iTunes before it is released. And be sure to tell me what you think!

Island

Island

I’ve been waiting for this post since Jessie Ware debuted her excellent single “Tough Love” earlier this year. The single is the title track for Ware’s new album Tough Love, which is currently out in the UK, but won’t be released in the U.S. until next week (Oct. 21).

It’s always a good idea for artists and their teams to combat illegal downloads by releasing streams until the material is available everywhere.

Ware’s Tough Love is now streaming on NPR and if the five songs we’ve already heard from the album (“Tough Love,” “Say You Love Me,” “Kind of…Sometimes…Maybe,” “Want Your Feeling” and “Pieces”) are any indication this should be a solid release for the singer.

Listen to all eleven tracks here.

Grand Hustle

Grand Hustle

As an ATLien I feel like it’s absolutely mandatory to be an obsessed TIP fan. Seriously. I spent much of the ATLast’s opening acts’ sets hoping the Atlanta rapper would make some type of appearance. He could’ve popped up at the DJ booth with V103’s Greg Street, swag surfed and walked back off the stage and I probably would’ve cried.

But, as a fan of a musician I feel like it’s just as important to admit when you’re not feeling something that they do. I liked 2012’s Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head, but I haven’t been completely sold on a T.I. project in years.

With that being said, “About the Money” was definitely one of my favorite rap songs from this summer and it gave me hope that this new album, titled Paperwork, could be really good.

It’s streaming on iTunes now leading up to it’s Oct. 21 release date. I’m still dissecting the project so I won’t share my thoughts just yet, but you can listen to the feature-heavy release here.

RCA

RCA

Tinashe fans are having a good week. First the singer released a moody Dev Hynes-collaboration, then the extremely confusing music video for her latest single “Pretend” and now she’s placed her full-length debut album online for fans to stream ahead of it’s Oct. 7 release date.

The album features 18 tracks, including five interludes, one outro and Tinashe’s hit single “2 On.”

Will the album prove that the newcomer has what it takes to make it?

Stream the album over on iTunes Radio (here) and share your initial thoughts below!

Canvasback/Infectious

Canvasback/Infectious

Well, I don’t know how I missed this a few days ago, but the new alt-J album is streaming ahead of it’s Sept. 23 release date. My weekend just got a lot better (And moodier. And busier, since Lights and Luke James are also streaming their projects ahead of their release dates next week.)

This is All Yours marks the now-trio’s first release since bassist Gwil Sainsbury left the group earlier this year.

The departure hasn’t slowed down the band’s momentum at all, though. After returning with the excellent Miley Cyrus-sampling “Hunger of the Pine,” the men have gone on to release more solid cuts like the label-pleasing rock jam “Left Hand Free” and the sensual “Every Other Freckle.”

The group’s debut album An Awesome Wave received positive remarks from fans and critics upon it’s release in 2012. Needless to say, my expectations for this album are pretty high. The boys haven’t disappointed yet. Let’s hope they don’t start now.

Listen to This is All Yours in full over on iTunes Radio.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

Lights has been in creation mode since releasing her sophomore album Siberia in 2011. Three years, a little homemaking (I hate that word, but it’s symmetrical. She got married.), a little baby making (baby Rocket Wild Bokan was born earlier this year) and a few studio sessions later and the singer is finally ready to let fans hear her new album Little Machines.

A week ahead of the project’s Sept. 23 release date, the Canadian singer is allowing fans to listen to all 11 songs that will be featured on the new album over at The New York Times.

The album is lead by the cheery synth-pop cut “Up We Go.

Listen to the singer’s new project and share your first thoughts below!

Def Jam

Def Jam

We’ve been waiting three years for Jhene Aiko to make her Def Jam debut with her full-length album Souled Out. Her smooth vocals and honest lyrics have helped the singer to make a name for her self following the release of her 2011 mixtape Sailing Souls and her 2013 EP Sail Out definitely helped to cement her status as a rising star.

After what feels like endless delays, “The Worst” singer is finally ready to present Souled Out to her fans. The album won’t be available for sale until Sept. 9, but iTunes is streaming it in full up until it’s release.

The LP features the singles “To Love & Die” and “The Pressure,” along with the previously released album cut “Spotless Mind.”

In addition to streaming the album on iTunes, the singer also released a music video for the single “The Pressure.” The video finds her juggling motherhood, a relationship and friendships with trying to maintain her career and life as a public figure.

Stream the album here.

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Warner Bros. Recordings Inc.

Warner Bros. Recordings Inc.

NPR is streaming new albums from Kimbra and Imogen Heap leading up to their releases next week.

Kimbra’s Golden Echo and Heap’s Sparks will both be released on August 19.

Golden Echo is officially lead by the experimental single “90s Music,” although Kimbra has released numerous other cuts from the album over the last few months. Her debut album Vows was released in 2012 but, despite being a strong first offering and following her contribution to Gotye’s hit “Somebody That I Used To Know,” the album flew under the radar for the most part.

None of the songs from Golden Echo have generated a lot of attention thus far, either.

Heap’s Sparks comes after a series of delays. The album was originally scheduled for a release earlier this year. The singer kept fans updated on the album and it’s progress, explaining that the delays were out of her control as she had already completed the project.

Stream Kimbra’s Golden Echo here and Imogen Heap’s Sparks here.

Let me know what you think about both below! Continue reading

RCA

RCA

Marsha Ambrosius’ sophomore album Friends & Lovers is officially in stores today.

If Friends & Lovers’ lead single “Run” didn’t convince you to buy the album right away, you can listen to the album’s other cuts now for free. The singer is streaming the new release in full on Soundcloud.

I haven’t given the album a thorough listen yet, but the album’s second track, the sultry “So Good,” is good enough in itself to make me hit the buy button. #MarshaDidTHAT

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