It’s a new year, and NPR Music is still keeping you ahead of the curve by offering free streams of hot new albums before they’re available in stores. This week, they’ve got the Decemberists’ The King Is Dead and Red Bark Tree, the first studio album in three years from punk icons the Wire. You can also hear folk singer-songwriter Abigail Washburn’s City Of Refuge and jazz saxophonist Joe Lovano’s Bird Songs, a tribute to the music of Charlie Parker.
The King Is Dead features guest spots from R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and southern songstress Gillian Welch. It will hit stores January 18 via Capitol Records.