Beaucoup Fish by Underworld

When I was in college for my undergraduate degree, I had an incredibly tough first year. I would go to the park near my dorm, lie on the grass and stare up at the trees and listen Beaucoup Fish by Underworld on repeat, on my discman (remember those??)

Robert Plant: Carry Fire

Robert Plant continually manages to change up the sound of his music without compromising quality. While he may not have the vocal range he once did, it does not detract from this album.

Randy Newman: Dark Matter

Randy Newman is, according to Don Henley of the Eagles, "one of the only living songwriters who can get ridicule and empathy into the same song. Sometimes, he works in the realm of irony; other times, he’s a heart-on-his-sleeve romantic." On his new album Dark Matter, Newman proves his friend right.

Offa Rex: The Queen of Hearts

English singer and songwriter Olivia Chaney defies categorization. Her classical background and traditional 17th century English folk music influences somehow combine into a modern pop sensibility. Portland Oregon's The Decemberists also defy musical genres, ranging from upbeat pop to lush ballads and progressive rock.

Jeff Tweedy: Together at Last

After occasionally touring with stripped down, acoustic versions of songs by Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, Golden Smog and Loose Fur, Jeff Tweedy continues to explore his own back catalog with his new album, Together at Last.

Fleet Foxes: Crack-Up

With frequent comparisons to Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, the press seemed pretty enamored with Fleet Foxes when the band broke out with their debut album in 2008. By the end of that year, the band's folk sentimentality and multilayered harmonies earned them places in dozens of "best of the year" lists, often taking the number one spot.

Justin Townes Earle: Kids in the Street

Kids in the Street, Earle has left behind the security of his native Nashville, recording in Omaha with producer Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes, and creating a new sound, adding a pop sensibility to his folk and folk background. With Kids in the Street, Justin Townes Earle has come into his own.

Paul Weller: A Kind Revolution

Forty years after debuting as the stereotypical "Angry Young Man" on vocals and guitar on In the City, the first album from The Jam, Paul Weller is back with his 13th solo full-length record.

J Dilla: Motor City

James Dewitt Yancey, better known by the stage name J Dilla, died in 2006 of lupus and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare blood disease that causes clots throughout the circulatory system. But during his short 32 years, J Dilla managed to become one of the most sought after producers in the music industry.

Mastodon: Emperor of Sand

At a time when pop singles are ruling the charts, heady metal rockers Mastodon have put all their energy behind a full-length concept album, best listened to in one sitting.

The Jesus and Mary Chain: Damage and Joy

After almost 20 years since their last studio album, Munki, Scottish brothers Jim and William Reid have put aside their long-standing fraternal differences and reunited for a brand new Jesus and Mary Chain record.

Milky Chance: Blossom

The first song on the new album from German pop duo Milky Chance sets the stage for everything that follows. A simple, electronic melody and drum beat build until a clean, beachy guitar and singer-songwriter vocals kick in. And that's the formula. The band combines straightforward dance beats with soul-inspired acoustic guitar strumming and lyrics that sound like they could have been written by a folk singer.

The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir

It's easy to imagine the life of a rock star: Write a song, it becomes a big hit, everyone hears it on the radio, and you make enough money to live the rest of your life in the lap of luxury. That story might be true for a handful of musicians, but there's a much, much bigger group of musicians out there who just spend years writing, recording, and performing, making a lot of fans but never producing a "hit" and never breaking into the mainstream.

Ed Sheeran: Divide

The new music today on New Music Friday might not seem so new. That's because the first singles from the record have been all over the radio for the last couple of months.

Elbow: Little Fictions

In the BBC TV mini-series The Singing Detective, the character Philip Marlow calls the word "elbow" the loveliest word in the English language.

The Hamilton Mix Tape

Today, on New Music Friday, its time for something pretty exciting. The Hamilton Mixtape is a 23-track album featuring A-list pop, hip-hop, and R&B artists as they cover and remix songs from the hugely successful, award-winning Broadway musical.

Jim James: Eternally Even

It's New Music Friday and this week I think you should give Eternally Even a try. It's the third full length solo album from My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James.

Kendrick Lamar, Untitled Unmastered

After being nominated for (and winning) more Grammies than any other artist last year for his album To Pimp a Butterfly, rapper Kendrick Lamar surprised the music world this week by releasing, with no promotion, a follow up collection of demo recordings and song sketches.

Vista Chino: Peace

Peace is the debut album from L.A.’s Vista Chino but the members involved are far from novices. The band is comprised of musicians who have spent at least 20 years in the underground rock scene and the album actually sounds like a hybrid of 90’s Fuzz Rock and 70’s Classic Rock. The overall production has a low fidelity feel to it which gives the recording some character though the drums suffer to a small extent from this choice.