Latest Blog Posts

by Jane Jansen Seymour

6 Oct 2011

When Jason Hammel spoke with PopMatters last year, he promised that a new “Mates” album would be ready soon. With the release of Mountaintops September 13, it’s a promise fulfilled and the married duo are now on tour in support of the new release (dates here). Together with Kori Gardner, Mates of State have also produced an enchanting video for the opening track, “Palomino”. Long gone are the days of sparse production with Gardner playing keyboards and Hammel on drums. “Palomino” begins with a lush cascade of sound, a solid introduction before those familiar synched vocals even begin. The band explained to NPR that the song is a “reflection on childhood and life’s inevitable progression”. Referencing an old zen saying to “Aim for Cold Mountain”, the idea suggests that “there is always going to be another peak in the distance”.

Director Jimi Patterson deftly uses rotoscope animation to tell the story, filming the live-action material first before digitally hand-painting all 3,240 frames. The couple encounters a series of mountaintops, reflecting the theme of this album. Along the way they even come upon little girls that look like the couple’s two tow-headed daughters, as featured on Gardner’s blog “Band on the (diaper) run.” This video follows their musical journey in a vast landscape of visual expression.

by PopMatters Staff

5 Oct 2011

We’ve been all about New Zealand this week with yesterday’s Sola Rosa premiere and today’s entry from Kiwi popster Simon Spire. Though he may be a New Zealander by birth and the DNA is there in his uber-pop sensibility, like so many other creative types, Spire now calls Brooklyn home. Back home, his tunes have been hits on New Zealand radio, while in the US, he was selected as one of the Top 20 artists of the year by U.S. TV Network Channel One in 2009.

Spire’s latest album, Liberate Your Love, released on September 12th and today we bring you the premiere of his latest video for the tune “Liberate Your Love”, which is catchy enough to sound like a hit. Spire says of the song, “‘Liberate Your Love’ is a call to free ourselves from our conditioning and step into the truth of who we are. The song seeks revolution in what our lives stand for -– an individual revolution that reverberates through the collective.” If you’d like a free download of the track, just head over to

by Philip Majorins

5 Oct 2011

Great understated orchestral folk-pop is hard to find, but Brooklyn’s Matt Bauer nails it. His new collection of tunes conjure the misty dawn of an Appalachian landscape. PopMatters is pleased to debut this video for “White Lakes” from his new record The Jessamine County Book of the Living. It was shot and edited by Matt Bauer over the course of a three month tour through 30 states. Jolie Holland provides the additional vocals, and Bauer is backed by a fine cast of other musicians to create a unique blend of hushed orchestral folk sounds. “White Lakes” creates an impression of diminished glory hoping for paradise re-gained, “White lakes in the mountains / My home, my home / They look the same as I left them / But they’re ruins in my heart.” As an added bonus, check out three tunes from Bauer, available as free MP3s after the jump.

by Sachyn Mital

4 Oct 2011

Our friends over at The Hype Machine have manufactured a stream of TKOL RMX 1234567, that we are happy to share with you. This disc is a compilation of all the remixed tracks previously issued on 12” vinyl over the past year and is available next week.

The 19 remixes come from various producers including Modeselektor, Lone, Caribou, Four Tet and Jamie XX. In the past week or so, the band has been featured guests on SNL, The Colbert Report and Jimmy Fallon plus put on two immediately sold out shows at the Roseland Ballroom (with Four Tet as an opener) in NYC. Because of this recent flurry of activity, we’ll also share a clip of the new song, “The Daily Mail”, for your viewing pleasure.

by PopMatters Staff

4 Oct 2011

Radiohead didn’t play as rumored at the Occupy Wall Street protest this weekend, but they did just appear on Jimmy Fallon. Small consolation to the crowds this weekend.

//Mixed media

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

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