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by PopMatters Staff

27 Aug 2015


Matt James: There’s a cosy familiarity to Squeeze’s first single in too many years. It’s like bumping into an old school chum and deciding to go for “One cheeky pint” ‘cos you’re “Still crazy after all these years”. “Happy Days” feels authentically ‘Squeezey’ albeit one that’s a bit slower up the stairs these days ‘cos of the knees and gets to bed early ‘cos it’s got a busy day tomorrow. Sweet and summery enough, though one listen will ensure two subsequent events occur thereafter. One, you will immediately fire up Spotify, stick on “Cool for Cats”, “Up the Junction” and “Tempted” and sing along to the lines you remember whilst reminiscing your youthful scampery over a satisfying mug of herbal tea. Two, you will for the rest of said day be visited by visions of Arthur Fonzarelli and Ralph “Malph” whilst the vastly superior Happy Days theme tune bobs around your brainbox on an infinite loop. Just be prepared m’kay? [5/10]

by Annie Galvin

27 Aug 2015


Annie Galvin: Jordy Asher, the erstwhile Blonds frontman currently known as Boots, emerged from a relatively shadowy corner of the music industry into a massive spotlight in 2013, thanks to his substantial writing and producing work on Beyoncé‘s self-titled album. The imprimatur he left on the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, a slowed-down remix of Queen Bey’s “Crazy in Love”, further clarified Boots’s sonic hallmarks: minor-key melodies, R&B vocals contributed by the likes of Kelela and Sia, sludgy mixes punctuated by periodic face-slapping synths. “Acquaria”, the lead single for Boots’s upcoming début LP, gets a little spacey, building around a clapping trap beat, swirling vocals by Dirty Projectors singer Deradoorian, and some X-Files-esque high-pitched whirrs. The notable injunction “shake like a gamma ray” encapsulates the song’s intertwined thematic strands: a doomed booty call and some seriously apocalyptic concerns about planetary decay, sinking cities, and “lay[ing] pipe on Mars”. Time signatures tangle on the chorus and then fall back into place—a move that epitomizes Boots’s trademark balance between chaos and order that never borders on boring. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

26 Aug 2015


Photo: Rachel King

Eric Risch: Incorporating the American insouciance of Pavement with his native British stoicism, Bill Ryder-Jones, former lead guitarist from the Coral, abides on “Two to Birkenhead”. With a detached delivery and jaunty guitar tone, Ryder-Jones tempers the angst of garage rock without abdicating its potency. [7/10]

by Adrien Begrand

26 Aug 2015


Brooklyn indie rock trio Dreamers put out their very good, and aptly named new EP E.P. early this year. Since then, though, they were afforded the opportunity to record in iconic Fairfax Recording Studio, formerly Sound City, where innumerable legendary albums were recorded. One of the tracks the band chose to play was Blind Melon’s 1992 classic “No Rain”; only this time, they alter the song’s mood significantly, with fascinating results.

by Adrien Begrand

26 Aug 2015

Photo by
Jake VanDonge

Two years after releasing their very promising debut EP, Olney, Texas blues/rock/soul band Love & the Zealous are at work on a new follow-up. In the meantime, though, they made a stop at the solar-powered mobile recording studio Jam in the Van and proceeded to lay down a somber yet bruising cover of otis redding’s classic “Dock of the Bay”.

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Call for Papers: Do You Believe in Life After Auto-Tune?

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"Which is better, Cher’s voice before or after Auto-Tune?

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