Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 
Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Apr 20, 2012
by PopMatters Staff
Anathema counts new album Weather Systems as their most musically ambitious effort to date. "The Storm Before the Calm" typifies that shoot-for-the-stars approach, as it plays rather like a mini rock symphony, chock full of leitmotivs and dramatic movement.

You loved our last Anathema premiere so much—it was the most popular MP3 premiere on PopMatters ever—that we’re pleased to bring you another new Anathema tune, “The Storm Before the Calm”. Anathema has a long musical history dating back all the way to 1990 when the band emerged from Liverpool as a figurehead in the death/doom metal genre. Evolving over time, Anathema is now more of a modern progressive rock ensemble, producing far more challenging music than at its origin.


Weather Systems is the new record, releasing next Tuesday (24 April), and Anathema counts it as their most musically ambitious effort to date. Daniel Cavanagh explains, “it feels like we are at a creative peak right now, and this album reflects that. Everything from the production to the writing to the performances are a step up from our last album. This is not background music for parties. The music is written to deeply move the listener, to uplift or take the listener to the coldest depths of the soul.” “The Storm Before the Calm” typifies that shoot-for-the-stars approach, as it plays rather like a mini rock symphony, chock full of leitmotivs and dramatic movement.


Read our review of Weather Systems.



Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Apr 19, 2012
by PopMatters Staff
Enigmatic New York singer-songwriter Rachael Sage returns this May with her 10th career album releasing via her own successful indie label, MPress Records.

Enigmatic New York singer-songwriter Rachael Sage returns this May with her 10th career album releasing via her own successful indie label, MPress Records. Haunted By You (May 22) is a captivating song cycle about passion, desire and romance, both the glorious highs and the depressing lows. Sage took a different approach with this new set of tunes, penning them all on guitar, not her primary instrument, both to prove she could do it and to shake things up. The material was written during a period of her life when she went through a number of relationships in short order, both breaking hearts and being on the receiving end as well. As Sage explains, “I fell recklessly in and out of love multiple times while writing this record. I broke a couple hearts… and I also had my heart broken pretty badly.” Today we bring you the online premiere of album track one “Invisible Light”, a song that expresses romantic longing and the endless search to find a real soulmate.



Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012
by PopMatters Staff
For our first ever full album premiere, PopMatters is proud to present the third album from the critically acclaimed Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, whose Radio Salone releases on April 24th.

  Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars - Radio Salone by Cumbancha


For a group that emerged from the horrors of the Sierra Leonean civil war, band leader Reuben Koroma and the Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars create music that is surprisingly life-affirming and optimistic. Perhaps that’s what has really made them so appealing to audiences worldwide as well as with cynical music critics. The music is simply irresistible and infectious and embraces all that is best in the human spirit. For their third record, the group decamped to Brooklyn to record out of the Dunham Studios with Victor Axelrod (founding member of stellar bands Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, and the Easy Star All-Stars) as producer.


Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars went for a naturalistic sound using analog recording with mid-‘70s mics and 16-track tape. That lent the process a feel of spontaneity and warmness ideal for these complex tunes, as well as evoking the golden era of Afrobeat. Radio Salone releases April 24th via Cumbancha. You can pre-order now via Amazon.


Frontman Reuben Koroma chats with PopMatters about the album’s creation, the documentary that brought the group world-wide exposure and working with Victor Axelrod…


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Apr 12, 2012
by PopMatters Staff
Today on PopMatters we have the pleasure of premiering "What Kind of World". Brendan Benson says, "I think we captured an '80s, new wave sort of sound that I've always been obsessed with ala the Cars or Missing Persons."

Brendan Benson has been releasing solo records since 1996’s One Mississippi and What Kind of World, releasing 21 April via Benson’s own Readymade label, will make it his fifth. After 2005’s Alternative to Love, Benson took a break from going it alone by co-founding rock supergroup the Raconteurs with Jack White. Both Detroit artists have since made Nashville home and Benson has become a family man, hitching up and having his first child.


Of course, in Nashville has he has found a true musical family as well, as so many more have before him. On What Kind of World, these new friends joined in to lend a hand, including Jon Auer (The Posies, Big Star), Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, R.E.M.), Brad Pemberton (Ryan Adam’s Cardinals), Mark Watrous (Loudermilk, Gosling), and Sam Farrar (Phantom Planet). The changes in his life have also led him to explore new themes in his songwriting in a more straightforward style. “I think on this record I’m saying a lot of things I never thought I would say,” says Benson. “Maybe I’m just getting older, but I don’t want to hide now in my songs, I just want to be truthful. And I’m realizing that the truth is really interesting—I’m more attracted to honesty these days than to convolution.”


Today on PopMatters we have the pleasure of premiering the title track from the new album, “What Kind of World”. Benson describes the tune as “one my favorites on the record. I think we captured an ‘80s, new wave sort of sound that I’ve always been obsessed with ala the Cars or Missing Persons.”


You can pre-order the album now via Benson’s website.



Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Mar 22, 2012
by PopMatters Staff
Brooklyn's Freshkills are back with a propulsive, post-punk set with Raise Up the Sheets.

Brooklyn’s Freshkills are back with a propulsive, post-punk set with Raise Up the Sheets, released on 13 March via Bat Rabies/The End Records. To really bring their kinetic energy to life on the new recording, the band brought in No Wave vet Jim Sclavunos (Sonic Youth, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, the Cramps, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds). Sclavunos says, “Freshkills inhabit a dark but thrilling underworld in which relentless machine-like rhythmic intensity hammers ear-anvils at the bidding of wryly louche after-hours philosophy. They’re the visceral embodiment of power and poetry.” That is on full display in the new tune “Bigger Man,” which you can sample in original form after the jump in stream and video form, but today we bring you a remix of the song by Doctor Israel, who injects a hip-hop mixed with Big Beat vibe into the music.



Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.