Latest Blog Posts

by PopMatters Staff

30 Sep 2016

Brooklyn’s David Nagler has gathered together an amazing group of musicians—Jeff Tweedy, Robbie Fulks, Sally Timms, Kelly Hogan, Jon Langford—to record a tribute to legendary poet Carl Sandburg’s Chicago Poems. The set is a beautiful tribute to one of America’s foremost poets whose words seem to naturally suggest musical accompaniment. The song cycle of 16 poems includes this take on “Chicago”, which the Atlantic recently premiered in audio and which we now share with you in video form.

by PopMatters Staff

29 Sep 2016

Photo: Darren Lau

If “Drunks” is any indication, Americana/pop duo Johnnyswim has a thrilling new album, Georgica Pond, releasing on October 14th. The song begins with a gentle acoustic hum that builds slowly and organically into a rousing anthem. The harmonies are gorgeous and the background vocals grow into a stunning choral-like backdrop. It’s affecting and moving.

by PopMatters Staff

28 Sep 2016

Adriane Pontecorvo: Five years after the White Stripes’ heartbreaking end, “City Lights” is a melancholy echo of what was. Jack White’s distinctive voice cracks over sparse, lovely guitar twangs, sounding like a late autumn chill. It’s a gem, but an unpolished one, beautiful for all its rough edges and the time it’s spent buried. Michel Gondry takes an intimate, minimalist approach to his surprise video, fitting for such a bare-bones song. A bittersweet hymn for fans of the White Stripes who need a real chance to mourn, and a simple, soothing acoustic piece no matter who you are. [9/10]

by PopMatters Staff

27 Sep 2016

Andrew Paschal: Lots of pop artists sing about overcoming adversity and “not giving up”, and often it rings hollow, coming across mostly as a fear of negative emotions and insistence on positivity at all costs. When Sia sings about these things, though, I believe her. Her lyrics are no different than your typical Katy Perry or Demi Lovato anthem, but you can hear the pain and brokenness in her voice; the fact that she weaves such shattered emotions into a perfect pop tapestry, as she does on “The Greatest”, speaks to a real and authentic triumph. This has been Sia’s calling card ever since her pop revitalization a few years back, but there’s something particularly labyrinthine, twisted, and gnarled about this one that makes it stand out even by Sia standards. Unlike the extraverted bangers on This Is Acting, “The Greatest” is rawer and more psychological; it takes you inside a mind coursing with adrenaline, the survival instinct kicking in just as the water begins to rise. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

23 Sep 2016

JUNO and Polaris Prize-nominated singer-songwriter Donovan Woods released a deluxe edition of his fourth album, Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled, back on August 22nd that includes four bonus live performance tracks. Woods’ profile is rising quickly and making his hometown of Toronto proud as he’s become an in-demand songwriter in Nashville with his plainspoken but universal lyrics. “What They Mean” premieres today on PopMatters.

//Mixed media

The Horrors, the Horrors, or Get Your Halloween On

// Short Ends and Leader

"This bevy of B or Z horrors upclassed to Blu-ray will help you get scared the old-fashioned way.

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