5 Albums to Stream for Free This Week: Beirut, ‘Watch the Throne’


Every Monday morning, we rope together five of the most noteworthy, interesting, and (hopefully) enjoyable albums streaming for free on the web over the course of the week. This week is shaping up particularly well — there’s the hype-laden Jay-Z and Kanye album, as well as an early (legal) listen to the new Beirut album, along with a Blood Orange’s late-night drag queen neo-funk, The Flaming Lips and Lightning Bolt wigging out together, and YOB making a Bhagvad Gita-inspired doom metal record. It’s all after the jump!

Beirut — The Rip Tide

We included the new Beirut album on our recent round-up of essential new releases in August, so we’re pleased to report that it’s now streaming in its entirety at NPR. Of course, it also leaked a while back, but if you’re not inclined to pile in and torrent leaks of questionable legitimacy, then rejoice — you can now hear the album legally right here.

Jay-Z and Kanye West — Watch the Throne

Also now on full streaming rotation is Watch the Throne, the new and much-hyped album by Jay-Z and Kanye West. It doesn’t get a physical release until Friday, but it’s on iTunes already, and has thus already made its way onto Grooveshark and various other streaming sites. It’s not quite the same as hearing it in a planetarium, but still, if you’re interested in finding out what all the hype’s about, then click right here.

Blood Orange — Coastal Grooves

Apart from the two big releases above, there’s various other less high-profile but equally interesting albums hitting the web this morning. Top of the list in our book is Blood Orange, the new project by Dev Hynes (once of Test Icicles and also known as Lightspeed Champion). Hynes describes his new record Coastal Grooves as a “disco Chris Isaak oriental thing”, and also that he was trying to create “songs that could be sung by a drag queen.” It’s the feature album all week at The Hype Machine, and you can listen to it here.

The Flaming Lips and Lightning Bolt — 12″ EP

There’s also the new Flaming Lips/Lightning Bolt collaboration, which is streaming this morning via Pitchfork. The four-song EP features some pretty special song titles — our favorite is opening track “I’m Working at NASA on Acid” — and to our ears, the unlikely mix of the Lips’ gentle psychedelia and Lightning Bolt’s characteristically demented bass-and-drums freakouts works surprisingly well. The songs are being released on a limited edition 12″ which is gonna be awfully hard to find, but never fear — you can also hear them here.

YOB — Atma

And finally, if you’re inclined toward heavier sounds, then we haven’t forgotten you — look no further than the new YOB album, which is streaming all week via NPR. The NPR blurb describes Atma as “an incredibly spiritual doom metal record,” and as unlikely as that description sounds, it’s dead on — the album explores the idea of repetition-as-mantra, albeit at ear-bleeding volume and accompanied by distorted riffs that sound like tectonic plates moving. Epic. Listen here.