Interviews
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.


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Music

Brits in Hot Weather Presents: False Heads

One of the UK's best new rock bands, False Heads, released It's All There But You're Dreaming recently, but coronavirus has stalled their tour plans. The band take us through their new album in depth. Enjoy before they unleash their rocking assault on stages worldwide.

Music

The Claudettes Celebrate Love and Solitude With "24/5" (premiere + interview)

Eclectic Chicago quartet, the Claudettes, return with High Times in the Dark, which spotlights their musical ferocity and flexibility. Hear the new single "24/5".

Music

JuJu Charms: An Interview with Rapper JuJu Rogers

Though the rapper's skill set proves him a worthy contender against any of the reigning MCs currently taking the airwaves by storm, JuJu Rogers remains a king in search of a throne.

Music

The Lickerish Quartet Take Us on Classic Pop Journey with "Lighthouse Spaceship" (premiere + interview)

Former Jellyfish members combine forces as the Lickerish Quartet for a collection of imaginative songs influenced by one of rock's most creatively fertile eras. Roger Joseph Manning Jr. discusses the group's origins and debut track, "Lighthouse Spaceship."

Music

Sam Doores Brings New Sounds to Americana on His Solo Debut (album stream + interview)

Deslondes member Sam Doores goes solo during down time from the band. His new album upsets expectations about the nature of Americana music in 2020 and yet maintains strong ties to Doores' roots.

Music

Music Is All About Limitations: An Interview with Son Little

Son Little finds commonalities across jazz, hip-hop, soul, R&B, and rock. His latest album grew out of a setback, but he created a stronger, simpler, more ruminative set of songs. Here he talks about creativity and obstacles and how they work together.

Music

Willie Nile Hopes for "A Little Bit of Love" (premiere + interview)

Veteran troubadour Willie Nile's latest album, New York at Night, is inspired by his adopted hometown and world events. "The song moves me," he says. "I love what it says. It's true. We could use a little bit of love in this country and this world for sure."

Music

I Just Want to Make That Sad Boy Smile: An Interview with Kleerup

Former Robyn producer Kleerup dropped a lovely solo debut in 2008 then largely disappeared before deciding to come back over a decade later. What happened to him in the intervening years? "Actually, I died twice but got sent back," he tells us.

Music

Perfect Harmony: An Interview with Legendary Vocal Group the Waters

From Phil Spector's Wall of Sound to 20 Feet from Stardom, Julia, Maxine, Luther, and Oren Waters reflect on their six-decade career, including historic sessions with Herbie Hancock, Neil Diamond, Michael Jackson, and countless other music legends.

Music

Love You Later Seriously "Making Plans" As an Artist to Embrace (premiere + interview)

Reinventing herself as Love You Later, Lexi Aviles is a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter who came up with the idea after seeing the Japanese House perform. On her new single and music video, she gets to the heart of the matter.

Books

On 'Blueschild Baby', George Cain's Searing Novel of Addiction: An Interview

George Cain's 1970 semi-autobiographical novel Blueschild Baby, recently republished by Ecco, is a difficult and unapologetic work about the life of a functioning drug addict. In this interview Imran Khan discusses Cain's work and life with his ex-wife, Jo Lynne, and son, Malik.

Music

On Top of the World: An Interview With Martha High

Vocalist Martha High spent three decades with James Brown, and she tells PopMatters about her resurrected solo career as well as her path through the music industry.

Music

"A Certain Kind of Dream Quality": An Interview with Donovan Quinn

Donovan Quinn's (Skygreen Leopards) first solo album in seven years explores memory, love, and loss in no uncertain psych-folk terms.

Music

Tami Neilson Examines Parenthood and  Feminism via "Queenie, Queenie" (premiere + interview)

Rockabilly queen Tami Neilson gets back to basics on her new LP, as she moves between country, gospel, and R&B. She also looks back on meeting one of the artists who shaped her life, Mavis Staples. "She radiates joy," says the singer.

Music

Corb Lund Asks For "90 Seconds of Your Time"

Corb Lund delivers a batch of new country-inspired songs that highlight his strength as a songwriter, and remembers a hunting trip that quickly went off course via "90 Seconds of Your Time".

Books

Culture Is Not Innocent: An Interview with Fatima Bhutto

Fatima Bhutto discusses her new book on pop culture from the Global South, which goes above and beyond, among other things, the "sluggish, bloated, less urgent" films dominating Hollywood.

Music

Chris Maxwell Delivers Powerful Portraits With 'New Store No.2' (album stream + interview)

Singer-songwriter Chris Maxwell creates stately portraits of life while subverting musical expectations. New Store No.2 is the experimentalist's Americana.

Music

Marks X the Spot: Rapper Giovanni Marks Challenges the Hip-Hop Paradigm

Giovanni Marks, the William S. Burroughs of hip-hop, offers up his thoughts on the trials and tribulations of an indie hip-hop artist.

Music

Thrown into Relief: An Interview with Rapper Jahshua Smith

Exploring topics like poverty, Black consciousness, burgeoning love, and mortality, Jahshua Smith's latest album, They Don't Love You Like That, encapsulates some of the most difficult moments in his life.

Books

Figuring It Out with "Reverse Dracula", Wayne Koestenbaum

Figuring out some arguments by exegesis: a witty conversation with author, artist, and academic, Wayne Koestenbaum.

Music

How the Staple Singers Became the Soul of Protest Music

The Staple Singers' Stax recording, Come Go with Me, captures their transformation from the church-wrecking gospel highway to the soul-filling pop charts.

Music

Folk-pop's the Sweeplings Find Solid Ground "In Between" Connected Projects (premiere + interview)

The Sweeplings might make the most gorgeous music by a folk-pop duo since the unfortunate demise of the Civil Wars following their official split in 2014. The pair discuss their music and new video for "In Between".

Music

Music As Control: Phase Fatale on 'Scanning Backwards'

Berlin-based techno producer, Phase Fatale discusses how music can operate as a means of control and how technology has entered the most intimate of human affairs.

Music

Music, Drama, and Philosophy with Liturgy's Hunter Hunt-Hendrix

Liturgy founder Hunter Hunt-Hendrix discusses religion, philosophy, history, and music from Johannes Brahms to Waka Flocka Flame.

Music

Matt Wilson and His Orchestra Consider Memory, Mortality With "When I Was a Writer" (premiere + interview)

Former Trip Shakespeare member, Matt Wilson returns with album focused on life's final act. "Because I live so much in my mind and because so much of my joy is in thinking and writing, the idea of the window shutting on that part of my life started to terrify me."

Music

Crowhurst + Gavin Bryars Demonstrate the Powers of Collaboration With "Dead Swans of Dreams" (premiere + interview)

Veteran composer Gavin Bryars and "noise guy" Crowhurst present a new LP recorded in a 17th century hotel and brimming with musical imagination. Says Bryars, "To watch what Jay does was, sometimes, beyond my comprehension and I thought, at times, that Jay may be more intelligent than me. But it didn't last long!"

Music

Every Win on The Wrens' 'Meadowlands' Is Hard Won

After suffering through the pressures and losses of years past and laboring on their album in practical anonymity, the Wrens have hit the ground running.

Music

Leaving Room: Ryley Walker and Charles Rumback on Collaboration and Listening

Little Common Twist, the latest improvisatory album from Ryley Walker and jazz drummer Charles Rumback, sounds like listening. The two musicians are locked in intuitive communion that confines neither guitar nor drums to their pigeonholes. We ask them how they do it and why.

Music

R&B Dynamo Parisalexa on 'Songland', Billboard and Ambition

Rising R&B songwriter Parisalexa talks about pitching a song on NBC's Songland, how she writes music, and what it takes to get to the top.

Books

The Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts Matters, Dammit! An Interview with Biographer Mike Edison

Mike Edison's biography on the Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts, Sympathy for the Drummer is a full-throated assault on the notion that, in music, more is better, and that perfection is a friggin' virtue.

Film

Debut Sci-Fi / Fantasy Film, 'The Vast of Night' Revels in Mystery

Andrew Patterson's debut film, The Vast of Night, compels its audience to listen to a radio conversation and watch a mysterious play. Interview with director Andrew Patterson and actors Jake Horowitz and Sierra McCormick.

Music

The Reason for the Season: A Christmas Chat with Dionne Warwick

Following the release of her latest album She's Back, the legendary Dionne Warwick delivers another musical gift with Dionne Warwick & the Voices of Christmas.

Music

On the Raydio: An Interview with Ray Parker, Jr.

With a documentary and new album slated for 2020, GRAMMY-winning legend Ray Parker, Jr. reflects on his career from Motown to "Ghostbusters" and beyond.

Music

Tyler Boone Dodges Cliches With "Jealousy" (premiere + interview)

Americana rocker Tyler Boone wraps up a successful year with a video for "Jealousy" while growing his second career in the bourbon business.

Music

The Pedaljets Celebrate Contentment With "Sleepy Girl" (premiere + interview)

"Let memories happen later. Live now," says the Pedaljets's Mike Allmayer as he discusses the themes running through the group's upcoming LP, Twist the Lens. Hear "Sleepy Girl" now.

Music

Brits in Hot Weather Presents: The Elephant Trees

Manchester's Elephant Trees possess fearless enthusiasm. Their upending of genre and life-affirming lyrics are all present as they move from brooding synthpop to dynamic, growling alternative rock on their latest EP.

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