NPR Music's Favorite New Artists Of 2011

Nicholas Phan
NPR Music

By Anastasia Tsioulcas

Eleven Free Downloads From Our Best-Loved Discoveries

They might be new to us, but many of our favorite discoveries of 2011 have one foot solidly planted in musical history. But the blues, grunge, 20th-century classical, string-laden jazz, industrial metal and shoegaze traditions in which these musicians play don't keep them from pushing their sounds forward. At some point in 2011, each of our picks gave us something new to fall in love with. At the end of the year, we're happy to offer a little gift from each of them to you.

Download a track from each artist below and explore all of our picks for the best music of 2011.

Nicholas Phan

This stellar debut solo album by American tenor Nicholas Phan is a total pleasure on all fronts. Phan showcases lesser-known music by Benjamin Britten, including his stellar Winter Words and Seven Sonnets Of Michelangelo song cycles, along with six very charming folk song arrangements. Phan delivers the texts directly with affectless diction, powerful clarity and gorgeous tone, and pianist Myra Huang provides sensitive and lyrical accompaniment.

Download "The Salley Gardens"