Joshua Bote

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

It sort of stood to reason that after winning multiple Grammys this decade — including one for Album of the Year — Beck would retire to the cushy corners of modern alt-rock. As a testament to that, he even collaborated with Cage the Elephant earlier this year. But Beck, ever the disruptor of standards, took a pivot into left-field. He's announced a new album, Hyperspace, as well as a new single, "Saw Lightning" today. It's due out, according to a press release, "at an as yet undetermined point in the space time continuum."

Full disclosure: We here at NPR Music have decreed Natalie Prass something of a patron saint for roséwave — our groove-laden, pink drink-soaked soundtrack for the summer. So, when the Richmond, Va. artist arrived at the Tiny Desk, it was a cause for celebration, especially amid the January blues that seemed to permeate the NPR Music office.

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Before Jessie Ware lent her voice to big-budget romantic film soundtracks of the

Ariana Grande has gone through a lot in the past year and half. From dropping her charting-topping fourth album, sweetener, to dealing with public breakups and deaths, the 25-year-old star has remained open with her fans while processing these highs and lows. And throughout the processing, she never stopped making music.

Updated Feb. 8 at 3:39 p.m. ET

Ariana Grande hasn't always been a superstar, at least not in the world-stopping, internet-breaking way that defines the icons of the current pop generation. But somewhere between her debut in 2013 — which found her stepping out of the Nickelodeon shows where she made her name and into young adult pop and R&B — and the impending release of her fifth album, thank u, next, she has pulled off a rare evolution.

Everything may no longer be (quite as) awesome as when the first Lego Movie was released, but at the very least, we have a collaboration from perennial soundtrack contributor Beck, reigning pop deity Robyn and the lovable goofs behind The Lonely Island in support for The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.

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Sometimes, letting go of a fraught emotional connection is the only way to preserve yourself.

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Mitski's recent music videos have an auteurist bent: the Björk-like solitude of "Geyser"; the house-of-horrors surrealism of "Nobody." The video for her latest single from Be the C

It seems to be a big week for The Beatles: Director Peter Jackson is working on a documentary chronicling the recording process of the band's final album with cooperation from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.

Lately, John Darnielle's output — both as the creative leader of The Mountain Goats and as an individual entity — has read like a laundry list of his interests: full-length concept pieces about wrestling and goth culture, a collaborative podcast about h

In an interview with Billboard, Ariana Grande said she wanted to "put out music in the way that a rapper does" — meaning, releasing songs without any of the constraints that pop stars like her are beholden to.

Exactly a year after the death of Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan, the band's surviving members have unveiled "All Over Now" — the first material released from the Irish band's eighth and final album In the End, set for release in April.

From soft-rock smash to karaoke staple to Internet bait, the shelf life of Toto's 1982 smash "Africa" has reached remarkable, unexpected lengths.

Perhaps it has finally reached its logical conclusion with one multimedia artist's new sound installation, which plays the 1982 smash on loop until the end of time deep in the, er, coastal Namib desert.

Doo doo doo doo doo doo! A delightful song (or grating, never-ending slog, if you're a parent of a young child) about a family of sharks scouring the seas for their next meal has made its way to the Billboard Hot 100.

The uber-viral "Baby Shark" charted at No. 32 for the week ending Jan. 12. It boasted 20.8 million streams last week, according to Nielsen Music, alongside its already gargantuan 2 billion-plus YouTube views.

Maybe you need a little bit of juice to get your New Year's resolutions going. If that's the case, Lizzo has just the thing. The Minneapolis rapper/flutist/meme legend continues her winning streak of sing-songy, funk-heavy rap with her latest single "Juice" and yet another meme-worthy music video to match.

Doubt comes out from under the woodwork at the most inconvenient times. When you're Lindsey Jordan — the 19-year-old guitarist and songwriter whose second album as Snail Mail, Lush, comes out June 8 — that worry manifests as four burly hockey players.

"Stolen Moments," the latest single from nascent Brooklyn poly-instrumentalist and singer Cautious Clay (neé Josh Karpeh), is a stunning, hushed lament that plays out like a lovers' quarrel about commitment (or lack thereof) that's still reeling long after the last words have been thrown.

An enterprising YouTube user, MrBroks00, took the time to make a primer on Kanye West's sonically disparate discography by using a selection of timeless scenes from The Office as conceptual analogues.

Something's askew in "Oh Baby," the suspiciously peppy second single off Hot Chip member Alexis Taylor's upcoming, Tim Goldsworthy-produced album Beautiful Thing.

With a production assist from his Hot Chip partner-in-crime Joe Goddard, and band members on the track, it scans as a rollicking alternate-universe reincarnation of the electronic music class clowns as a power-pop group.

Harrison Lipton is a Brooklyn singer and producer with a limited digital paper trail. There was the 2014 collaborative Bandcamp loosie with Dayspired that ambled through the mood music Rhye once perfected on Woman. Then there was Lipton's appearance on songs from electronic music producers Mister Lies and Giraffage.

Amid a ceaseless stream of horrors recounted via push notification, inner turmoil takes a backseat to personal survival. And sometimes, survival requires not caring about anything, at least for a little while. But there's a cost.