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by Will Rivitz

25 Jul 2016


Sean McVerry makes sultry blue-eyed soul, a more emphatic and instrumental take on Sam Smith’s chart-topping material. Hourglass Switchboard 2 is about halfway between Smith and The 1975’s energetic pop-rock, part downtempo electronic pop and part crisp guitars. It’s a surprisingly underexplored combination, given the popularity and quality of the two styles, but given McVerry’s adept take it’s nearly inevitable more musicians will follow in the future. If you’re looking for suave, serene pop-rock to carry you through the rest of your Monday, Hourglass Switchboard 2 is your best bet.

by PopMatters Staff

25 Jul 2016


Steve Horowitz: “Twin Cities, bitch!” Rhymesayers do it again. Atmosphere captures the humor and pathos of just trying to succeed when the deck is always stacked against you. The rap is grounded in the reality that failure really is funny, and as a fellow Minnesotan once said, “There’s no success like failure.” You don’t have to be as famous as Kanye to realize this. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

25 Jul 2016


Chris Ingalls: The title track from DJ Shadow’s first album in five years is the sound of an old pro showing the kids how it’s done. He does an admirable job of sounding current in a genre that is constantly evolving. The bed of synths that lies under the entire track provides a soothing atmosphere and blends nicely with the loud, jittery beats that swoop in. Spacey keyboard noodling gives the track a lovely, warm sci-fi vibe. Not the best thing DJ Shadow’s ever done, but a comforting reminder that he’s still with us. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

25 Jul 2016


Pryor Stroud: Fearless, corrosive, and smoking with Jeff Beck’s singularly expressive flamethrower-riffs, “Live In The Dark” is taken from the guitar icon’s LP Loud Hailer, his first in six years. The track conscripts vocalist Rosie Bones for its lyric, but, throughout, she seems to be grappling head-to-head with the wild electricity of Beck’s guitar. The tension this creates is a spectacle to behold: here, there is not one singer but two, a singer of flesh and blood and a singer of crackling feedback-figures. It may not be sonically inventive or lyrically deft, but its unadulterated, pyrokinetic take on rock is refreshing in a time when genre-bending has become something of a prerequisite for new artists. [7/10]

by Will Rivitz

25 Jul 2016


Minor Soul‘s “One Chance” is sheet-smooth bedroom pop, acoustic guitars and plinking synths soaring under the vocals. It’s of a fairly polarizing genre, but the genre is pristine when done right, and “One Chance” is a good example of what happens when every facet gleams. Its hopeful, upward-facing ethos is a pleasant reminder that music doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, a sugar-intensive shot of positivity in a style best known for that kind of purity.

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It's Not Easy Being Yellow

// Moving Pixels

"In which we consider the challenges of and the reasons for making the “wrong” color choice in Pokemon Go.

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