Latest Blog Posts

by PopMatters Staff

14 Jun 2017


Paul Carr: Arcade Fire seemed to have satisfied their experimental urges and returned with something more pleasingly uncomplicated and more akin to the band that made one of the finest albums of the decade in The Suburbs. However, this is less concerned about understanding the mundanities of life, more celebrating existence in general. Built on a circular, bright piano refrain, the band slowly builds the song with gentle acoustic guitar and the confident strut of bass. Only when the foundations of the song have been established, do they add in the gospel vocals, panpipes, and string slashes. It sounds like a band unshackled and in love with the simple act of playing music. [9/10]

by Sarah Zupko

13 Jun 2017


One of the Americana scene’s best bands, the Lone Bellow, is set to release their third album, Walk Into a Storm, on September 15th via Descendant Records/ Sony Music Masterworks. Americana super producer Dave Cobb handled production duties on the Brooklyn’s band’s latest. Today, the band shared the record’s first single is the bright toe-tapper “Time’s Always Leaving” and you can hear that clean and crisp Cobb sound that lets the music speak for itself with minimal fussiness.

by Sarah Zupko

13 Jun 2017


Mike Schiller: There’s more than a little punk sensibility in the feel of “Waterslides”, not to mention the aesthetic of the video, which is always a good thing when applied to synthpop. That said, there’s a moment at about the two-and-a-half-minute mark where most of the instrumental track drops out and leaves only a seasick synth backdrop, which is kind of a microcosm of the whole song. It never quite gets its bearings, plowing recklessly ahead without pausing to think about what it’s doing, a little bit of a mess that somehow finds itself structured like a pop song. If it were a little less dizzy and a little more catchy, it’d be a classic. [6/10]

by Sarah Zupko

12 Jun 2017


Photo: Jesse Dvorak

Now, this is Americana! The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers use gospel music as a foundation for their sound with blues, country, soul, folk, and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll woven in for good measure. Everything the band does is based on American roots musical forms, and the mixture is astounding. On their latest single, “No Glory”, they start from a spare and bluesy place with a solo vocalist and eventually reach a crescendo of joyous, thrilling gospel rock with a full-fledged choir and exciting guitar riffs.

by Jordan Blum

12 Jun 2017


Photo: Josh Katz

San Francisco is known as a breeding ground for colorful musical collaborations, so it’s no surprise that newcomer Mare Island hails from the Bay Area. Formed by members of the Velvet Teen and Loma Prieta, the musicians have played together (in various forms) for many years, so it was a no-brainer for guitarists Derrick Chao and Sean Leary to start the band in 2015. Fast-forward two years and they’re releasing their eponymous debut EP on June 23rd, with the lead track, “Alight”, showcasing how their previous “indie pop and post-hardcore” sound helped to create their own brand of lush, maximalist indie rock”. It’s a beautifully anthemic piece that’s sure to invigorate.

//Mixed media
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The Thoughtful Absurdity of 'Spaceplan'

// Moving Pixels

"Spaceplan is a goofy game that still manages to pack a potent emotional punch.

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