Top Picks: The Netflix series 'Dragons: Race to the Edge,' the music streaming application Spotify, and more

Joy Williams' album 'Venus' is a touching, deeply felt portrait of an unbreakable spirit, Genieveve's EP 'Show Your Colors' showcases Company of Thieves' incandescent singer, and more top picks.

NPR/Tiny Desk Concert

Positive pop

A virtually unknown duo called Company of Thieves made quite a splash on “Live From Daryl’s House,”  a popular Internet show featuring Daryl Hall, several years ago, only to retreat back into oblivion. The band’s incandescent singer has now reemerged as Genevieve, and she more than lives up to the early promise. Her new five-song EP is called Show Your Colors, but the best place to witness Genevieve’s star power is NPR’s Tiny Desk concert at   

Dragon tales

Just in time for summer break, the adventures of the awkward but lovable Hiccup and his faithful dragon, Toothless, from “How to Train Your Dragon” continue in a new Netflix series Dragons: Race to the Edge. It’s a Dragon Riders adventure in the interlude between the first movie and “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” All 13 episodes will be available on June 26.

Ancestral footprints


The new PBS series First Peoples traces the evolution of Homo sapiens as they began to travel the world. The first episode poses the possibility that early people reached America not on foot, as previously believed, but by water. Scientists explore and test long-held theories about early humans throughout the series. It premières June 24 at 9 p.m. Check local listings for rebroadcasts. 

Music for your mood

Let program music for your entire day. When you join the 60 million music lovers who currently use the music streaming application and click “browse,” you’ll find well-conceived and curated playlists that cater to different times of day (Breakfast in Bed, Acoustic Afternoon) and favorite activities, such as working out (Cardio, Running to Rock) or having a romantic dinner (Dining with Jazz). You’ll be introduced to a variety of contemporary and classic artists and maybe even find a new favorite.

Joy reborn

Sensibility Music/Columbia

Singer Joy Williams was half of the wildly successful Americana music duo Civil Wars (with John Paul White) who mysteriously split up mid-European tour at the apex of their rocket to fame in 2013. After a year spent raising her infant son and repairing her marriage, Williams went into the studio with some new songs about hurt, healing, and love. The result is Venus. It’s hard not to miss her gorgeous harmonies with White, but the album is a touching, deeply felt portrait of an unbreakable spirit.

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