Lars Gotrich

Its name alone suggests an explosive whizzbang of cotton candy pop — Pinkshinyultrablast makes shoegaze that yanks tufts of sound every which way in some kind of cinematically sped-up slow-mo. It's irrepressibly cool music — last year's Grandfeathered was a personal favorite, a sonic treasure hunt on every listen.

LCD Soundsystem's new disco-boogie song is about songs inspired, he tells Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show, by the hit singles James Murphy kept hearing in taxis set upon the same theme, that "we only have tonight."

Over 12,000 creepy-crawlies do their creepy-crawliest all over Hundred Waters' Nicole Miglis in this video for "Fingers," so consider this your warning... or invitation. We don't judge.

When a band says it's over, we've gotten to the point where there's a good chance that's not necessarily a lie, but... it's basically a lie. Every band reunites, even the ones you never knew existed.

We're (hopefully) far enough removed from "emo revival" trend pieces to let this music grow as it should. That's not a knock against the bands that mine disparate '90s sounds, or others that seek to evolve it, just that the continuum isn't a straight line, but a spiral. Over three albums and a scattering of EPs, Prawn is a sterling example of emo's possibility, even as it continues to outgrow the genre's parameters.

Wailin Storms — the name alone conjures a howlin' hurricane, ominous and awe-inspiring. The Durham, N.C.-based band does a lot to live up to that name, swirling in the gothic post-punk croon of early Samhain and 16 Horsepower's fiery proselytizing. After a couple EPs and a debut album, the first single from Wailin Storms' Sick City indicates an unholy reckoning.

Yumi Zouma has never had much of a home. After the 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, its members moved to Paris and New York, except for singer Christie Simpson, who remained in Christchurch. To continue working the group emailed tracks back and forth, crafting dream-pop that feels like the air swooping in and out your lungs. For all its light atmosphere, Yumi Zouma's pop music is romantically, wistfully dense.

Listening to BIG BRAVE is like standing between a Richard Serra installation: massive and imposing, but curved to let the light shine on the edges. The Montreal trio's third album, Ardor, draws out their experimental and heavy music over three long tracks, including the heaving opener "Sound."

At this point, you're either with Converge or against it. Nearly 25 years after its debut album, the band's cyclonic buzzsaw is unmistakable — this is hardcore-fueled extreme music that simultaneously elevates and destroys; pity to those who don't experience an epiphany in the pit.

Richard D. James loves to clear the vaults. A couple years ago, he sent Aphex Twin fans on a scavenger hunt through a series of anonymous SoundCloud accounts, where he had uploaded 200 old tracks and demos leading up to the release of Syro. Then he deleted them.

Pardoner can't stop saving us from 'blah' punk. That's what Uncontrollable Salvation means, right? Or maybe Pardoner's some kind of Judge Dredd, a combination of judge, jury and savior whenever a perp is making lame punk crossed with '90s alt-rock.

True to its name, Wolves In The Throne Room has always painted between the lines of barbaric and regal. For over a decade it has been this between-space that has driven WITTR's power; burning black-metal riffs communing with mystical folk and ambient music.

It's Bastille Day in France, so what better way to celebrate 1789's violent overthrow of the monarchy than with some French house music — désolé, musique de maison -- arranged for a marching band?

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

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