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by PopMatters Staff

19 May 2016


Australia’s CW Stoneking grew up in a remote part of the Northern Territory, but he fell in love early with gospel music, blues and ragtime and those first loves have been with him ever since. Stoneking notes that when he first heard blues he “thought it was kinda funny music because it was so deconstructed and not really adhering to any rules that I’d been told music [should] fit into.” Robert Johnson and Son House are among Stoneking’s influences, which makes sense given Stoneking’s raw, unvarnished, passionate form of the blues. That rawness has always been a part of country blues at least and it melds well with Stoneking’s somwehat punk sensibility.

by PopMatters Staff

19 May 2016


Pryor Stroud: Cleaving electronic diva-pop to the drop-obsessed schizophrenia of contemporary EDM, “Wake Up” is a feverishly high-energy R&B convulsion that depicts Dawn Richard thrashing around in her sheets, pining for her lover, and seizing up from pure, world-consuming lust. The production is oversaturated with colliding sounds: synthesizers that stutter, bounce, and endlessly reverberate, ricocheting 808s, and clipped-up vocal samples that seem to have no purpose other than to take up space. “Don’t wake me up / I’ve been dreaming of you,” Richard sings, and while this plea is just a pop platitude that we’ve heard innumerable times before, it seems believably desperate here: in Richard’s dream stupor, she is with her lover, wrapped up in his arms, his chest to her back, but at any second he could slip out of sight and leave her gasping awake in the midst of a nightmare. [5/10]

by PopMatters Staff

19 May 2016


Emmanuel Elone: For a comeback song, “All For One” is extremely solid. The descending chord progression feels vibrant and full thanks to some fantastic guitar tone, and the drums are crisp and steady. Ian Brown’s vocals are relaxed yet prominent as he croons a catchy melody and chorus. The only issues is the guitar solo on the bridge; while sweet, it feels out of place on the song. Still, it’s been two decades since the band broke up, yet they’ve returned to form as if it’s been only a couple of years. For that alone, they’ve solidified their position as one of the better British jangle pop bands of the ‘90s, right alongside the likes of the Smiths. [8/10]

by Sarah Zupko

19 May 2016


Photo: Paul Janovitz

Boston singer-songwriter Mark Erelli has a new critically acclaimed album out, For a Song, about which Jonathan Frahm said, “Erelli crafts yet another easy listen, ethereal and sincere in a style between both his composition and delivery that has previously had his work compared to such seminal artists as Paul Simon and Jackson Browne. Not unlike the aforementioned, Erelli flexes his songwriter’s muscle and proves his timelessness again and again, making no exception in For a Song.”

by Eric Risch

19 May 2016


Unfolding like a time-lapse night terror, “Infestation” from Lexington, Kentucky quartet Bear Medicine is the soundtrack to anxious pre-dawn hours. Featuring flute and cello, the band’s 2014 debut LP, The Moon Has Been All My Life, is filled with layers of sound and lush instrumentation that orbit a modulated celestial sphere where beauty resides amongst the macabre.

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You Should Dance Like Gene Kelly Today

// Global Graffiti

"In the glut of new "holidates", April and May offer two holidays celebrating the millions who preserve and promote the art of dance

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