Latest Blog Posts

by PopMatters Staff

10 Feb 2016


Photo: Sarah Cass

Ari Rosenschein: Wire meets the Fluid on the most postmodern release Sub Pop has offered thus far. There is a Cobainesque guitar solo, and Dino Jr. touches everywhere. Grunge. ‘90s. Nirvana. Sonic Youth. There, I included them all. But actually, a fresh, fierce sound is developing in So Pitted’s rehearsal room. [6/10]

by PopMatters Staff

10 Feb 2016


Ari Rosenschein: As if signing the brilliant Grimes wasn’t enough of a gift to music for one decade, 4AD continues to churn out releases by brilliant female Canadians. This time, the goods come from a Chicago-born Torontonian, who goes by U.S. Girls. The woozy chords at the heart of “Navy & Cream” sound like Wham’s “Everything She Wants” at half speed. The singer’s vocal squeak borders Cyndi Lauper territory—a locale well worth exploring.  By the time the Princely guitar fireworks kick in you will believe. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

10 Feb 2016


Sam Taylor: Let’s be clear, Beyoncé‘s greatest asset has always been her voice. On “Formation”, she might not be belting out another insta-classic like “Crazy in Love”, but she continues down an increasingly dark and enthralling path, stripping back her sound and redefining what makes ‘Beyoncé’ so distinctively… well, Beyoncé. Utilising the unique potential of the surprise release—and the Super Bowl—to whip the Internet into a frenzy, she’s using her stature in the industry (and the black community) to expose an army of fans to something truly new. On both “Formation” and in its accompanying video, Beyoncé retains the confident swagger of her eponymous 2014 album, harnessing this progression to produce a track that not only serves as a potent statement that #blacklivesmatter in 2016, but that good music does too… and it still has the potential to really get people talking. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

9 Feb 2016


Jedd: Beaudoin: Helloooo. Where did this come from? Love it. It’s got that (forgive me) Kate Bush/Peter Gabriel thing happening for it while also having its own character. Coming back to this one again and again. [9/10]

by PopMatters Staff

8 Feb 2016


Photo: Zoran Orlic

Stephen Wyatt: Twenty years later, Low still travels at the speed of silence, utilizing time and space as instruments equally worthy of their otherworldly harmonies. Mimi Parker delivers moments of peace in whispers on “Into You” and explodes over the classically-formed minimalism Alan Sparkhawk constructed during in the era of grunge. Even today Low sounds more like an antidote to overproduced pop and EDM. The sparse electronics carefully instruct today’s musicians about how the less-is-more philosophy still reigns as pop music’s perfect prescription. [9/10]

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Beyoncé and When Music Writing Becomes Activism

// Sound Affects

"The overall response to Beyoncé's "Formation" has been startlingly positive, but mostly for reasons attached to political agendas. It's time to investigate this trend.

READ the article