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by PopMatters Staff

4 May 2016


Chris Ingalls: A collaboration between these three terrific singers (Neko, k.d., Laura) is sure to please a respectable swath of music fans. Everyone wins. The song is extremely well-crafted, sounding like some classic from the minds of Jimmy Webb or Bacharach/David. All three are in fine voice, and Lang in particular sounds as good as ever. [9/10]

by PopMatters Staff

4 May 2016


Emmanuel Elone: “Black Leather” is a pretty good song. Kat Von D’s vocals are beautiful, and compliments the great rhythm flowing below her. Her singing feels even more powerful on the chorus, where her vocals are either stacked, or she has backup singers that improve Von D’s performance. Lyrically, “Black Leather” isn’t a slouch either, with lines that are simple, poetic, and put together well. “Black Leather” may not blow you away, but it is a good listen nonetheless. [6/10]

by Evan Sawdey

4 May 2016


Photo: Josh Wool

At the end of last year, the Princeton-founded, Evan Younger-fronted Miracles of Modern Science pulled off yet another miracle that was all their own making: their second full-length proper, Mean Dreams, landed on PopMatters’ own list for The Best Pop Albums of 2015.

by PopMatters Staff

3 May 2016


Pryor Stroud: Laura Mvula sings in concentrated whirlwinds of sorrows and dreamscapes and untempered howls of poetic revelation, a fact that is never more present than in the rushing-through-the-bloodstream chorus of “Phenomenal Woman.” It’s a chorus that seems to knock the air out of your lungs, only for you to realize that it is Mvula who is belting toward breathlessness, not you. But her artistry seeps through the track as a whole. The production is a rich nu-soul mosaic of hopscotch R&B and Janelle Monáe-esque afrofuturist funk, and the verse showcases Mvula’s vocal versatility. In short, “Phenomenal Woman” should increase anticipation for The Dreaming Room tenfold. [9/10]

by PopMatters Staff

3 May 2016


Photo: Gavin Peters

Kansas trio Moreland & Arbuckle plays a smokin’ bluesy brand of roots rock that’s so hot it could burn the house down. Harmonica lines intertwine between gloriously visceral guitar lead parts and everything is underpinned by a heavy rocking beat. This stellar band has a new album on tap releasing on May 6th, Promised Land Or Bust, their first for influential Chicago blues label Alligator Records. “Mean and Evil”, the record’s first single, will have you chasing down this release, which Dustin Arbuckle says is their best yet. Moreland & Arbuckle bring it on every album, but Promised Land Or Bust does indeed up the ante for one of America’s finest blues groups.

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