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by PopMatters Staff

31 Aug 2016


Photo: Rob Daly

Andrew Paschal: “Cali Sun” flirts heavily with being a full-on EDM banger but shows just enough restraint to avoid falling over the edge into face-melting tastelessness. Dawn Richard provides a summery vocal delivery, and when she sings “let’s stay young forever”, she at first appears to succumb to the insipid youth-worshipping that plagues much of our culture; however, when she follows it up with the line, “that way our mistakes will never count”, it combines with repeated mentions elsewhere of “regrets” to subtly critique the carefree, irresponsible illusion proffered by the light of the California sun. [7/10]

by PopMatters Staff

29 Aug 2016


Dan Kok: If there was a sole heir to the spacey, futuristic musical stylings of Parliament Funkadelic or Sun Ra’s Arkestra, it just might be Mndsgn. With this heavily funk inspired track and a psychedelic space-cult video to accompany it, the LA producer has made his influences fairly clear. There’s a sense that, to his credit, Mndsgn doesn’t take himself or the music too seriously. But with that mentality, the song ends up being mostly fun without being all that memorable. [7/10]

by PopMatters Staff

29 Aug 2016


Photo: Marthe Vannebo

Chris Ingalls: A producer’s producer who’s manned the boards for everyone from U2 to Bob Dylan to Brandon Flowers, Lanois seems to enjoy bouncing back and forth between experimentation and straightforward pop/rock. On “Deconstruction”, he’s definitely embracing the former, employing some fuzzy, guitar-centric ambient soundscapes reminiscent of Robert Fripp (and perhaps taking a cue from Le Noise, the 2010 album he produced for Neil Young). Lanois provides a unique, somewhat soothing mood with this particular sonic departure, and I can only hope the rest of the album is this interesting. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

29 Aug 2016


Photo: Travis Shinn

Adriane Pontecorvo: Banging from the very first beat. This song layers cool on cool, laid-back vocals and driving, droning guitar, all leading to a simple chorus that’s easy to shout along with. The Pixies spend the entire two minutes at maximum power, a well-oiled machine. They’re at their tightest here, not a piece out of place from its speedy beginning until it glides to a final stop. A satisfying burst of energy. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

26 Aug 2016


Tanner Smith: “10dEATthbreast” is Justin Vernon’s long-awaited response to his Yeezus collaborations: by overlaying filtered chants on top of the buzzed out low-end and clattering percussion, he creates something altogether more forceful and propulsive than any song on Bon Iver’s first two records. And yet, in the song’s second minute, he leads this mini-epic into a beautiful, spacious crescendo that contains all the searching intimacy you’ve come to expect from his work. A truly futuristic assemblage, the song feels wholly singular in the current indie climate. Along with the other advance single, “22 (OVER S∞∞N)”, “10dEAThbREast” depicts a mercurial artist who is continually pushing himself and his music into unknown territories. [9/10]

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