Courtesy of the artist

Bon Iver's Justin Vernon took one look at Wish I Was Here, the new film by Zach Braff, and was immediately inspired to write this song.

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Colin Marshall/NPR

A selection of 25 deep, joyful, rewarding albums from every genre, out of every corner of the world, from the first six months months of 2014, picked by NPR Music.

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YouTube

Our 50 favorite songs from the first half of the year offer many different pleasures and got stuck in our heads for different reasons, but they all managed to become essential.

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Courtesy of the artist

On its second album, the U.K. art-rock duo dwells deep inside some otherworldly, mysterious, metaphysical murk, an aura that's inviting and impenetrable at the same time.

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Madeline Allard/Courtesy of the artist

Cold Beat, the new project of Grass Widow bassist Hannah Lew, represents the best of new wave — in title, metaphor and roster of influences alike. It's an exercise in controlled chaos.

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