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by PopMatters Staff

13 Jul 2017


Paul Carr: Mogwai provide a perfectly measured lesson in song pacing. The song slowly dawns as a meditative crawl of chiming guitar notes echo and glide before gradually being joined by restrained drumming and a rumbling bass line. It’s an evocative opening as the music gradually lets the breaks off and gathers pace. As the song threatens to become something transcendental, the graceful whisper becomes a howl as the turbulence of instrumentation cracks to ensure it climaxes with maximum effect. [8/10]

by Sarah Zupko

13 Jul 2017


Photo: Anna Webber via Rounder Records

Nashville’s Jillette Johnson possesses a deft songwriting touch that lends her music a deep sophistication. Her songs are confident enough to allow room for the aural equivalent of white space, which permits her music to breathe and build in intensity. Meanwhile, Johnson’s voice is a sheer honey-toned delight with gorgeous phrasing and attention to detail. Americana super-producer Dave Cobb sure liked what he heard as he has produced her sophomore album, All I Ever See in You Is Me, releasing July 28th via Rounder Records.

Johnson started playing piano at age five, was composing her first songs at eight, and began playing the East Village’s famed SideWalk Cafe at 12, so you know she’s a bonafide prodigy. Her latest song “Flip a Coin” highlights all of her musical gifts as it’s brilliantly written tune about fear. At only 27 years old, we are looking forward to many greats years of music from this talent.

by PopMatters Staff

12 Jul 2017


Photo: Tim Saccenti

Tristan Kneschke: Last year’s Post Pop Depression was a revelation, with tracks like “Break Into Your Heart” and “Gardenia” reminding us that Iggy could actually sing. Though Iggy has lent his gruff voice to productions since White Zombie’s “Black Sunshine”, Post Pop still seemed like a gamble to see how far he could stretch himself vocally. He clearly likes the direction, digging into the feeling again on “The Pure and the Damned”, an unlikely but exciting joint effort with Oneohtrix Point Never. The track is essentially a duet between Ig and a spare, somber piano recalling later Johnny Cash until tasteful string and synth elements bleed through the edges. The result is majestic and awe-inspiring. Why can’t more collaborations turn out like this? [9/10]

by Jonathan Frahm

12 Jul 2017


Already a respected artist on the indie circuit for her work in lesbian folk duo the Lovebirds, San Diego singer-songwriter Lindsay White has gone on to maintain her passionate and deft knack for producing compelling music in her ongoing solo career. Her sophomore release, Lights Out, takes the often celebratory nature of music hitting our airwaves and flips it flat on its head. Born out of her very own series of unfortunate events, the record delves into themes regarding her real life loss of loved ones, helping a bandmate through manic episodes, divorcing a husband, and marrying a wife to the religious distress of those around her.

by PopMatters Staff

10 Jul 2017


Larry David’s essential comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm returns to HBO on October 1st. The show has been sorely missed. Cast favorites Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman and JB Smoove return along with others.

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