At this past weekend's Glastonbury Festival, Colombian pop sensation Shakira revealed that she too was a fan of the much revered indie wunderkinds the xx. She then launched into a cover of "Islands", a highlight from the band's self-titled 2009 debut. Although less intimate than the original, Shakira has managed to amplify the tremendous pop sensibilities embedded beneath Romy Madley Croft's and Oliver Sim's hushed coos. And, as great as the xx are, it's probably safe to say that Shakira can cut a rug better.
As The Final Year quietly argues, if the United States' electorate fails to elevate itself to a higher level of political vernacular than coarse tweets and reality TV-style colloquies, then 2016 may be the best year the US will have had for a long time to come.
New single from dark duo VOWWS conjures classic James Bond scores while avoiding all the stuff we've all heard before.
There's a ghostly suggestion of Philip Roth's writing voice in Portnoy's Complaint in this novel; a relatively calm voice, this time in the third person, documenting the madness.
The Hackensaw Boys reboot Blaze Foley's Reagan-era "Oval Room" in light of the current political climate with scorching results.
Eric Benoit fuses elements of dance, folk, and alternative styles in the experimental "Dragonflies", wherein the artist delves into some uncomfortable realities.
An avant-garde classic or a sneering joke? Third Reich 'n Roll may be over 40 years old, but it still sounds like it's been beamed down from the future.
Pulp functions less as a pulpy mystery or gangster tale than as a spoof of same, albeit a spoof that retains a noirish sense of fate and power.