Interviews
Music

Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.


Recent
Music

Fave Five: Rafael Anton Irisarri

As one of the most celebrated ambient composers working today, Rafael Anton Irisarri continues to evolve. We celebrate his metal-tinged new album Peripeteia with a look through the albums that made him.

Evan Sawdey
Music

Americana's Sarah Peacock Finds Beauty Beneath Surface With "Mojave" (premiere + interview)

Born from personal pain, "Mojave" is evidence of Sarah Peacock's perseverance and resilience. "When we go through some of the dry seasons in our life, when we do the most growing, is often when we're in pain. It's a reminder of how alive you really are", she says.

Music

Brits in Hot Weather Presents: Empathy Test

London's Empathy Test are preparing to release their stunning new album, Monsters, a richly textured, cinematic record that wraps melancholy in a darkly catchy synthpop blanket. Get to know the band in-depth in this new interview.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Isolation Odyssey: Behind the Scenes with a Lockdown Orchestra

Scattered throughout the world, members of Opera North's orchestra share how they are enduring the loss of live performance and companionship during the COVID-19 lockdown. They also share a mood-lifting, online isolation performance of a work that everyone knows but not always for the same reasons.

Music

Safe at Home After Nashville Return, Sara Evans Still Plays to Win With 'Copy That'

Country music's Sara Evans knows the music business remains a perilous journey after navigating some rough roads to success, but she's speaking frankly while enjoying a wild, unpredictable ride with her first solo studio album in three years.

Music

"Weird Music Is Still Good": Erik Hall on Isolation and Pulling Off an Impossible Steve Reich-ian Feat

Finding himself at a loose end, Erik Hall doesn't indulge in Netflix marathons or spends time sorting out his closet, instead he recreates Steve Reich's seminal masterpiece Music for 18 Musicians in his basement. And then he tells PopMatters about it.

Ian Rushbury
Music

Bridget Kearney and Benjamin Lazar Davis Journey to Ghana for 'Still Flying' (album stream)

Lake Street Dive and Okkervil River members Bridget Kearney and Benjamin Lazar Davis travel to Ghana to create the exhilarating new album, Still Flying. The pair talk about their musical partnership and phenomenal new music.

Music

The Beatles 'Let It Be': So Good They Ruined It for Everyone

The Lumineers' Wesley Schultz recalls the Beatles' influence on his band, perhaps most of all the Let It Be album, released 50 years ago this month and the subject of a forthcoming documentary.

Music

Brits in Hot Weather Presents: Seazoo

Wales' Seazoo have a valid claim to being one of the purest, most authentic indie-pop bands around at the moment.

Books

Class, Craft, and the Cost of Ambition: An Interview with 'Lake City' Author Thomas Kohnstamm

While Lake City masquerades as a social climber satire that is really something else, author Thomas Kohnstamm is an open book about his intentions in his work and his hopes for his city.

Music

All That Jazz and Then Some: An Interview with Defunkt's Joseph Bowie

Constructed with the intricacies of jazz, charged with the muscular pump of rock, and executed with punk's ferocity, Defunkt remains one of popular music's most intriguing acts. Frontman Joseph Bowie talks with PopMatters about the band's long, colourful, and arduous journey.

Music

Losing Faith and Finding Joy: The Ecstatic Musical Journey of Ben Seretan

Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ben Seretan recently released Youth Pastoral, possibly his most cohesive work yet. PopMatters spoke to him about his multifaceted musical gifts and his unique artistic path.

Music

Cosmic Dust and Interstellar Grooves: An Interview with Nona Hendryx

As guest Artistic Director for 'The Cosmic Synthesis of Sun Ra and Afrofuturism' at Harlem Stage, funk rock icon Nona Hendryx brings audiences to other dimensions.

Music

Novelty and Identity: An Interview With Colin Stetson

Colin Stetson discusses his process for scoring film and artistic satisfaction it gives him. "I get to invent a new array of solutions with novelty and identity. I hope the music has not existed in the particular guise and aesthetic before that."

Music

Brits in Hot Weather Presents: Søren Lorensen

On Lake Constance, composer Davide Rossi and Matt Hales (better known as the voice behind Aqualung) have pooled their respective talents to craft highly evocative, sophisticated soundscapes from swathes of cool, digital textures and towering layers of majestic strings.

Music

Liar, Flower's Eclectic, Electric 'Geiger Counter' Arrives (album stream + premiere)

Katie Jane Garside, former front person for Daisy Chainsaw, and veteran of a long line of experimental and exhilarating acts offers up Liar, Flower's Geiger Counter. "I was never really keen on the word cathartic, but I think there's a sense of release. That word would not sit too uncomfortably with me."

Books

'Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over (A Companion to the Film by Beth B)' (excerpt)

An accompaniment to Beth B's documentary of the same name, Nick Soulsby's book is the first comprehensive overview of Lunch's creative campaign of resistance, a celebration of pleasure as the ultimate act of rebellion. Enjoy this excerpt courtesy of Jawbone Press.

Music

Lucinda Williams Right at Home With Writing Partner for 'Good Souls Better Angels'

Able to write and sing the blues, gospel, folk, rock and alt-country with the same amount of true grit and passion, Lucinda Williams comes out swinging while discussing her explosive new album during these troubled times.

Music

Wesley Stace Fights Quarantine Boredom with a Spur-of-the-Moment Covers Project

A random comment thread on Wesley Stace's Facebook page inspired a collaborative effort to bring together cover versions of his vast catalog with artists like Josh Ritter, Graham Parker, Gary Louris, Chris von Sneidern, and the Minus 5.

Music

Cellphones and Cattle: The Cerebral, Midwestern Folk of Peter Oren

PopMatters speaks with Midwestern folkie Peter Oren about his new album, The Greener Pasture, which is both a polemic on technology and further proof of his unique, sophisticated songwriting skills.

Music

40 Years of Finely Tuned Nonsense: An Interview with Severed Heads

At Severed Heads' third-last show in New York, after decades of playing electronic, art-pop, Tom Ellard swung a noose around his band's head and, with an imitable grin, slowly pulled tighter. After 40 years, Severed Heads is done, and Ellard muses on his long career.

Music

Drag Queen Trixie Mattel Tells All

How the joke-telling, cosmetic-slinging country music star Trixie Mattel sees the world.

Music

Julian Taylor Shares His Childhood Tale Through "The Ridge" (premiere + interview)

Folk artist Julian Taylor's video for his powerfully nostalgic song, "The Ridge", sets a soundtrack to scrapbooked childhood memories showcasing growing up as an Indigenous person of color.

Music

RJD2 Discusses His Turntablism Roots

By this point in his career, RJD2's ability to churn out head-boppable hip-hop rooted in true-school ethos seems perpetually ingrained. He discusses his new record, The Fun Ones, and more.

Music

Plenty Tough: A Conversation With Jon Langford of the Waco Brothers

The Waco Brothers' Jon Langford talks about politics, the social climate, and being a musician in the wake of COVID-19. "It's the political equivalent of prog rock!"

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Willie Nile Celebrates Fans, Family, Friendship With "Under This Roof" (premiere + interview)

Willie Nile moves forward with a message of unity and love in the wake of COVID-19 and remembers friends, John Prine and Hal Willner.

Music

Teddy Thompson Emerges "Brand New" (premiere + interview)

Returning with his first album under his own name since 2011, Teddy Thompson remains the king of heartbreak. "I just don't know how to write about anything else. I don't see that there is anything else really impactful to write about."

Music

"I'm an Audience Member, Playing This Music for Us": An Interview With Keller Williams

Veteran musician Keller Williams discusses his special relationship with the Keels, their third album together, Speed, and what he learned from following the Grateful Dead.

Music

Jordan Rakei Breathes New Life Into Soul Music

Jordan Rakei is a restless artistic spirit who brings R&B, jazz, hip-hop, and pop craft into his sumptuous, warm music. Rakei discusses his latest album and new music he's working on that will sound completely different from everything he's done so far.

Music

Dual Identities and the Iranian Diaspora: Sepehr Debuts 'Shaytoon'

Electronic producer Sepehr discusses his debut album releasing Friday, sparing no detail on life in the Iranian diaspora, the experiences of being raised by ABBA-loving Persian rug traders, and the illegal music stores that still litter modern Iran.

Games

On Point and Click Adventure Games with Creator Joel Staaf Hästö

Point and click adventure games, says Kathy Rain and Whispers of a Machine creator Joel Staaf Hästö, hit a "sweet spot" between puzzles that exercise logical thinking and stories that stimulate emotions.

Music

Go-Go's Bassist Kathy Valentine Is on the "Write" Track After a Rock-Hard Life

The '80s were a wild and crazy time also filled with troubles, heartbreak and disappointment for Go-Go's bass player-guitarist Kathy Valentine, who covers many of those moments in her intriguing dual project that she discusses in this freewheeling interview.

Music

New Brain Trajectory: An Interview With Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree

Two guitarists, Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree make an album largely absent of guitar playing and enter into a bold new phase of their careers. "We want to take this wherever we can and be free of genre restraints," says Lee Ranaldo.

Music

There's Never Enough Time for Folk Music's James Elkington

The sometimes Wilco and Richard Thompson sideman, in-demand producer, and songwriter, James Elkington, muses on why it's taking longer than he expects to achieve more in a week than most of us get done in a lifetime.

Music

Whitney Rose Gets Stonesy With "In a Rut" (premiere + interview)

Texas singer-songwriter Whitney Rose turned a panic attack into the hook-laden "In a Rut" from her upcoming album, We Still Go to Rodeos.

Music

How Em Rossi "Got This Feeling" to Write About a Perfect Love Story (premiere + interview)

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Em Rossi shifts a promising pop career into high gear with her major label debut single, "Got This Feeling", along with the music video inspired by a romantic couple close to her heart.

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