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by PopMatters Staff

5 May 2016


Chris Ingalls: Xiu Xiu bring their characteristic experimental noise to a Twin Peaks soundtrack tribute. As expected, a weird band paying tribute to a weird director works pretty well. Everything is pretty laid-back and ambient until the noise factor grows and about two-thirds into this epic, it actually becomes melodic, in a shoegazey kind of way. It’s definitely something you need to be in the mood for, but they do a nice job. [7/10]

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]

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