Stephen Thompson

When Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard was in his 20s, his songs chronicled the awkward strivings of youth: finding yourself, falling in love, learning to navigate physical and emotional distances in relationships.

As the lead singer of Big Thief, Adrianne Lenker has shown an incredible gift for pairing tender empathy with raw power. The band's first two albums, 2016's Masterpiece and last year's Capacity, are awash in bluster, but always grounded by the intensity and intimacy of Lenker's songwriting.

Earlier this week, Guns N' Roses' video for "November Rain" hit a curious milestone: Released in 1992, it's the oldest video ever to be streamed a billion times on YouTube.

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.

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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