Jerad Walker

Harrison Smith is at the forefront of a new generation of young rock musicians who've never known anything other than limitless possibilities. Smith's project, Turtlenecked, has been steadily fulfilling that potential since 2015. Although he often performs as a drummer, Smith plays every instrument in the band and largely produces and writes his own material, which has grown leaps and bounds in just a few years.

In person, folk musician Haley Heynderickx is shy and soft-spoken. She gets what she calls "sweaty impostor syndrome" when asked to talk about her music. But in performance, the Portland-based artist has the confidence to lay herself bare. Two years ago, she released a promising four-song collection called Fish Eyes that was so unguarded, it was almost uncomfortable to listen to.

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.

Matt Dorrien audibly shifts in his chair, his feet pushing onto the pedals of a piano, as the opening chords of "Baby I'm So Lost" ring out. It's a simplistic, purposefully plodding introduction that's unusual in its total disregard of modern pop convention. But like most interesting things, patience is rewarded here. A beautifully broken love song slowly unfurls, complete with sad sack vocals and dueling clarinets that could close any dive-y lounge down.

Meet Daniel Norgren. The Swedish folk-rock artist has released six albums, mostly recorded on a four-track cassette, with blues-inflected guitar lines and a shop-worn voice that would put him at ease next to classic American songwriters like Bonnie Raitt.

Editor's note: For the best experience, view this 360˚ video in the YouTube app on your smartphone, using a VR viewer such as Google Cardboard.

In embracing the excesses of rock 'n' roll, Bay Area band Thee Oh Sees has gained a reputation as one of the best live acts in the country. The group's show features two drummers, chainsaw-like guitars and vocals so visceral they almost border on the absurd. Oh, and strobe lights. A lot of strobe lights.

This week we present the latest episode from the 2016-2017 Pickathon Woods Series. These videos are hand-picked by opbmusic to showcase some of the most exciting performances captured at the Woods Stage during Pickathon, a three-day festival held each summer just outside Portland, Ore.

A year ago today, terrorists attacked six locations in Paris, killing 130 people. Most of them were shot during a rock concert at a venue called the Bataclan. The attacks led to heightened security throughout Europe, and they've also led to some changes in how rock bands tour.

This week we present the first episode from the 2016-2017 Pickathon Woods Series. These videos are hand-picked by opbmusic to showcase some of the most exciting performances captured at the Woods Stage during Pickathon, a three-day festival held each summer just outside Portland, Ore.

On their new album Innocent Road, Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms stake a claim as two of the finest traditional musicians in America. Their sound is a throwback to the heyday of rural American dance-hall music. And make no mistake: If they had been born in 1930, the two Portland musicians would be pop stars. But the duo performs classic country music in a modern world that often expects such sounds to be accompanied by kitsch and nostalgia. Nevertheless, they tackle the genre with refreshing verve and sing without an ironic wink.

In this concert, filmed at OPB in Portland, Ore., the long-running rock band Drive-By Truckers performs its timely and politically charged new record, American Band, in its entirety.

According to Ryley Walker, "the roundabout is the beginning and end of the universe. The cyclical motion of good and bad."

Though he's probably best known for his work with Brooklyn bands Woods and The Babies, Kevin Morby is carving out a vibrant career of his own. In 2014, the multi-instrumentalist shook things up and moved from his longtime home in New York to a quiet neighborhood in Los Angeles, where he began work on new material.