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New Order, one of the most influential U.K. bands of the 20th century, formed in the long shadow of Joy Division, which disbanded following the 1980 death of singer Ian Curtis.

Emily Reo has a gift for coaxing the humanity out of the synthetic in her music. The Orlando-born, Brooklyn-based musician and songwriter's electronic pop conjures warmth and beauty from mesmerizing swirls of fluttering keyboard melodies and overlapping choirs of looped voices masked in robotic vocoder effects. That's especially true of "Strawberry," a vibrant and immersive anthem from her just-announced new album, Only You Can See It.

On this week's program, host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael, Sidney Maden and Stephen Thompson to talk about the must-hear albums out on Jan. 25. This includes hard-driving riff rock with a healthy sense of humor from FIDLAR and Mike Krol, the Compton rapper Boogie, woozy synth-pop from The Dandy Warhols, the shape-shifting sounds of New Orleans singer DAWN and more.

Featured Albums:

  1. FIDLAR: Almost Free
    Featured Song: "Can't You See"

The music of Dianna Lopez feels like a secret you just can't keep to yourself. Her ability to blend ingredients of rock, avant-pop and R&B has made her a standout among Soundcloud's many bedroom-born hidden gems. And in 2019, she's ready to take things to the next level.

The latest release from the Rockland County, N.Y. singer, "Predictable," is a soft and fittingly pithy track about anticipating your partner's every move and deciding whether or not to change the routine.

Editor's note: This page has been updated to include more of the conversation between Bob Boilen and Ezra Koenig.

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Stephen Malkmus, known for fronting Pavement — pioneers of nineties lo-fi indie rock, has shared a video for "Viktor Borgia

Weren't we just here? Not that I'm complaining! David Crosby is one of my favorite people to talk to.

Crosby is in his late 70s and has released four albums in the past five years. What makes this current creative streak so inspiring and so puzzling to me is that none of these albums feels like a musical case of Déjà Croz. He's not making the same album over again. He's stretching sounds in ways that seem to surprise and delight even Crosby himself.

Reggie Young, a revered studio session guitarist, died Jan. 17 of heart failure in his home in Leipers Fork, Tenn. He was 82.

A lot has changed in Sharon Van Etten's life since she put out her last album, Are We There, in 2014. In the past five years, she's gotten into acting, gone back to school to get a degree in mental-health counseling, worked on film scores and became a mom.

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

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