Latest Blog Posts

by Evan Sawdey

5 Nov 2013


Photo: Jonathan Turner Williams/Glasser

Some may call the work of Cameron Mesirow (better known as Glasser) something like “dance music”—yet such a label simply doesn’t fit work as daring as Glasser’s. Not in the least.

Part of the reason for this is that Glasser’s music, which itself is indebted to synthpop just as much as it is to experimental electronica, defies easy categorization. On Mesirow’s 2011 debut, Ring, she wound up creating what sounded like a modern-day, lo-fi tribute to the Cocteau Twins, and slowly but surely, her sound garnered acclaim across the blogosphere. With Interiors, Glasser’s new album, things go a little bit weirder, flirting with the likes of IDM and non-traditional song structures, still managing to find time to fit in straight-from-the-‘80s sax breaks in the middle of songs like the thumping “New Year”. It’s for reasons like this that Interiors isn’t mean to be an album that’s “enjoyed” as much as it is to be “experienced”—and what an experience it is.

To help celebrate the release, Mesirow sat down with PopMatters’ 20 Questions, and winds up revealing that the movie Aladdin made her cry, why Thriller is the greatest album of all time, and why ball gowns may very well be an acceptable form of day-to-day attire ...

by Evan Sawdey

14 Oct 2013


Photo: Sabine Scheckel

Indie-bred space-rock is a subgenre that doesn’t tend to lend itself to “supergroups” all that often, but if there’s any band that comes close, by gods it’s Black Hearted Brother.

The group is a trio of guys who have been friends for quite some time: Neil Halstead can be spotted as an influential member of Slowdive and Mojave 3. Mark Van Hoen is one of the founders of Locust as well as Seefeel, and Nick Holton is best known as the mastermind behind, of course, Holton’s Opulent Oog. This trio of guys, prior to the formation of Black Hearted Brother, played in each other’s bands, produced each other’s albums, and even put out said albums on each other’s labels. It’s a long, convoluted history of camaraderie and great tunes, so the fact that they all got together at long last to record an album doesn’t seem as much as an event as it was an inevitability.

by Jonathan Sanders

16 Jul 2013


Atlanta’s electro-pop duo Sonen has made waves down south for years, becoming both a critical and popular pick for those searching for an electronic revolution. Not that it should surprise that the region’s scene would be pioneering the launch of forward-leaning pop music; just look at what the Athens scene did for bands like REM in the eighties. Still, you’d be easily forgiven for not having heard of Sonen’s debut full-length Inside The Sun, though not as easily forgiven for not giving it a once-over now that you’ve been put on the right track.

Sonen, the brainchild of Keith Evans and Holly Mullinax, has been twice named Atlanta’s “Best Electronic Band” by Creative Loafing. The duo tries to capture the excitement of their live shows on the LP, drawing together a deep appreciation for layered electronic textures while smoothing out the hardest edges via all the synth-fueled melodies you can possibly handle. As a result, Inside The Sun plays effectively as an album of ready-for-the-dance-floor anthems, even as the strong hooks seem likely to propel the band to hit-maker status in the burgeoning EDM scene.

Keith and Holly sat down with PopMatters to take on the “20 Questions” challenge, opening themselves up to a full-scale dissection while exposing their affinity for the Keytar, live performances of electronic music, and plans for a follow-up to their debut even as they recover from the act of its creation.

by Jonathan Sanders

9 Jul 2013


For those of us who bemoan the fact that we weren’t born Canadian, Imaginary Cities adds more fuel to the fire with their blend of pop music, which does more to blur the lines of what makes meaningful music than any of their contemporaries.

Fall of Romance, the duo’s sophomore album, sounds as refreshingly dense and well-developed as most bands’ fifth or sixth record, owed in no small part to Rusty Matyas’ already storied experiences with major label success via his work with the Weakerthans and his band the Waking Eyes. Yet it was Marti Sarbit’s voice which captured Matyas’ attention in the first place, and it’s that same voice which anchors the music on both their studio efforts. The two worked up material for 2011’s Temporary Resident playing music just for the sheer hell of it, and had they not been initially pressured by the Weakerthans’ manager to focus on putting out a full record, we may never have heard them.

by Evan Sawdey

26 Jun 2013


When talking about Bibio, let’s just all do ourselves a favor and drop the word “folktronica” from any conversation, shall we?

In truth, Bibio (real name Stephen Wilkinson) has been pushing the outer limits of what can be done with conventional guitar recording. At times, he’ll furnish his recordings with electronic elements, clipped vocals, and sample manipulations. At other times (especially in his earlier years), he recorded gorgeous, standalone acoustic songs that featured frentic, considered picking style. The emotional undercurrent of his work has resonated with listeners and even advertisers, culimainting in a Google Glass ad where the protagonist learns how to play Bibio’s “Lovers’ Carvings” on the ukelele.

Thus, with the many different phases that his discogarphy has gone through, fans both old and new can find a lot to appreciate on his latest disc, Silver Wilkinson, which meshes all of his previous work together into a cohesive, fascinating whole. From the electronic workout of “You” to the blissful, ‘70s-tinted pop work of “À tout à l’heure”, Silver may very well be his most accomplished album yet. Sitting down with PopMatters, Wilkinson tells us about the greatest Cocteau Twins album of all time, recreating Withnail & I in his daily life, and how everyone, everywhere, should be listening to Alan Watts ...

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Fave Five: Alpine

// Sound Affects

"Australian sextet Alpine's newest album is a fantastic expansion of their joyous pop sound, but two members give us five records apiece that helped define their unique musical identities.

READ the article