Latest Blog Posts

by Sarah Zupko

31 Mar 2017


Coming from a musical family in Edmonton, Canadian soulstress Tanika Charles was encouraged by her talented brother to begin singing and recording. Charles grew up singing, but never considered it as a possible career. However, the encouragement helped unleash her latent musical abilities. After a move to Toronto, Charles began working within the musical community there, and she has risen to be one of the leading lights in the Toronto soul scene and Canada at large.

by Cole Waterman

31 Mar 2017


A nocturnal vibe is palpable throughout Merci Raines’ debut EP. Covering a dark substance with a shimmering veneer, the beguiling five-song record has a full-moon-at-midnight quality. It helps that its dark pop is naturally informed by the mystique of Raines’s hometown of New Orleans.

by PopMatters Staff

30 Mar 2017


Adriane Pontecorvo: Wave after wave of chrome-plated rhythm crashes against nostalgia-pinging samples on “X22RME”, a dance track fiercely modern even as it hearkens back a decade or two to turn-of-the-millennium visions of the future. Actress manages to make robotic blips sound strangely lush and organic as if all the cool alien life forms are throwing a very exclusive space yacht party. In the background, ever-present ambiance moves the song forward like a wind tunnel, heightening all the elements pushed into the forefront and giving the composition a hedonistic majesty. A dark and driving comeback with a masterful touch. [9/10]

by PopMatters Staff

29 Mar 2017


Jordan Blum: I’d be happy about this almost by default just because it marks the return of Gorillaz. There’s a nostalgic sense of joy that comes with seeing these mascots back in action. Luckily, the video and music is actually really solid. In fact, the opening gives the band more personality than I’ve ever seen before, and the colorful and crude haunted house vibe is a perfect continuation of their beloved vibe. As for the track itself, I didn’t expect the reggae forefront, but it fits well with the eerie backing track. After all, Gorillaz has always been about merging styles and never really sticking to any set sound, so this works. Of course, when Albarn adds his unmistakable essence, it’s classic Gorillaz. If the whole new record combines newness with trademarks this well, it’ll be great. [9/10]

by PopMatters Staff

29 Mar 2017


PHOTO: JOSEPH LLANES

Chris Ingalls: Rodney Crowell has been one of country music’s most revered, mature voices. While so much contemporary country consists of clowning around pickup trucks, Crowell has spent decades establishing himself as a superior songwriter, albeit one who gets more props from critics and his fellow songwriters. Backed primarily by sparse acoustic guitar, “Nashville 1972” is a lovely country/folk number that recalls Crowell’s salad days, full of lyrical detail and delicate fingerpicking. It’s a wonderful tribute to a bygone era that Crowell still remembers vividly. If the rest of Crowell’s upcoming album is this good, we could have a contender for album of the year. It’s that good. [9/10]

//Mixed media