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There's something extra special about going to visit an artist in the place where it all began. On our recent trip to Dublin, Paul Noonan, lead singer of beloved Irish band Bell X1, took us on a walking city tour to show us some of the spots that have been important to the band over its 20-year career.

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.

The musical leg of SXSW 2019 has taken over Austin, Texas, once again and Alt.Latino's Felix Contreras has been standing amidst the food stands, venues and musical equipment cases to check out all the best Latin talent making noise.

"South by Southwest is becoming more important for Latin music every year," Contreras says. "More and more bands from Latin America, Spain and the U.S are coming here. I've been coming for 10 years and I used to be able to see most of the bands I needed. Now, its impossible."

Karen Lee Orzolek, or Karen O, is the stage-stomping frontwoman for the rock trio the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

But her latest work wasn't with the American indie rock band. Instead, Karen O teamed up with Brian Burton, better known as Danger Mouse — a Grammy-winning musician who has worked with artists like Adele and The Black Keys.

In a combination of forces, the superstar duo has produced a new album called Lux Prima. The album's title track features ethereal, laid back orchestration as Karen O sings, "No sun on the glass / No darkness / No eyes / Nobody but you."

This week's somewhat abbreviated edition of New Music Friday includes an ambitious collaboration between Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O and producer Danger Mouse; the British electronic duo The Cinematic Orchestra returns with its first new album in more than a decade, featuring singer Moses Sumney, rapper Roots Manuva and other guests; and Pavement's Stephen Malkmus injects his woozy rock with a strange jolt of electronica. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the best new albums out on March 15.

We had a blast visiting this Irish four-piece band Pillow Queens at the iconic Windmill Lane Recording Studios in Dublin. Pillow Queens has a delightfully DIY approach to pop punk and the band's songs are sneak-attack catchy. We found ourselves singing them long after the last amp rang out. Plus, the members sing clever lyrics in loud and proud full-on Irish accents.

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.


Time has always seemed to work in American Football's favor.

David Keenan is a young singer with an old poet's soul and wardrobe. His acoustic guitar is adorned with pieces of poems, love letters and photographs.

No ticket required! Nashville's WMOT Roots Radio is once again headed to Austin for SXSW 2019, presenting you with five straight days of live music.

It's one thing to meet someone who's talented, but it's a trip to meet someone like Northern Ireland's Naomi Hamilton, who makes music (and art) as Jealous of the Birds. Naomi has a knack for slicing up genres and making music that sounds homemade and tiny, but also explosive and bombastic. She studied English and creative writing at Queens University Belfast and uses her love of language to great effect when crafting songs for the band.

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