Sunny California pop, say hello to catchy Midwestern rock! This trio from Minneapolis has ample chops and a knack for creating shimmering pop songs that nods to Brit-pop and is still very sophisticated. “Last Stand Started” is a great leadoff that sounds like a cross between Spoon and Canadian newcomers Mother Mother. Happy, cheerful, and infectious, the band’s harmonies are also fine, even if they sing that they’re not in tune during “Lackluster”, which is anything but. Also worthy of repeated plays is “Dosage”, which is radio-friendly but not too cheeky or sweet. Meanwhile, the trio of Mischa Suemnig, Kellie Nitz, and Justin Bell make some quirky rock a la They Might Be Giants during the tight “It’s a Shame” and the spacey, heady “Like a Ghost”. Fans of Peter, Bjorn And John should pay attention as well, and the mid-tempo but pretty “Do You” is hard not to warm up to. While it’s hard to pick favorites, “Movin’ On” is a great track that shows the band’s roots-y Midwestern, er, roots.
J-pop meets vintage girl group in Emergency Tiara's smart, sassy cover of the Eartha Kitt Christmas standard, "Santa Baby".
Electronic artist Steve Hauschildt has made one of his most challenging records with Nonlin, but that makes it one of the most rewarding.
Award-winning lawyer Ben Crump's Open Season irrefutably documents how America's treatment of Black Americans and other minorities is indistinguishable from genocide.
As Pan American, Mark Nelson sings for the first time since his magnum opus Quiet City, but his emotions are most powerfully expressed through his instrumental guitar compositions.
Americana rocker Tyler Boone wraps up a successful year with a video for "Jealousy" while growing his second career in the bourbon business.
From bubbly, perky synthpop to the deepest of darkwave, electropop in 2019 reflected the general malaise by forging the brightest of pop to forget the bad times on the one hand, and embracing downtempo textures and moods on the other.
Harry Harootunian's essays on modern Japanese history, collected in Uneven Moments from Columbia University Press, reflect a lifetime of intellectual contributions and span a wide range of topics in Japanese history. The tension between the historical and the everyday is a recurrent and vital theme in his work.
The year in R&B and soul brought brilliant returns from music legends alongside artists pushing the boundaries of R&B past any limits. It's a genre where retro and futurism nestle cozily side by side. Here are the 15 best.
Day built his everything on top of Prince's everything, and it's no secret. In his memoir, On Time, he channels the superstar to enjoyable effect.
For all the Charlie Browns in the world, Library of America has published The Peanuts Papers: Writers and Cartoonists on Charlie Brown, Snoopy & the Gang, and the Meaning of Life.
Joe Meek's vision of life on a different planet is placed in a fresh context by Cherry Red Records' three disc box-set treatment.
Southern Houston rappers put a twist on old blues musicians' mix of cough syrup and booze and stirred it up into a more dangerous concoction. Here are 10 rappers who took the brew from their double-cups and dropped the purple drank / sizzurp / Texas tea / "lean" into their lyrics to mixed effect.
Like most of the world right now, the members of Comet Gain seem to have a knot in their stomach that they're trying to break loose. As such, they've created their most punk effort yet with Fireraisers Forever!
Rachael & Vilray is an absolute reflection of the jazz era while also firmly integrating the sound and energy into the contemporary moment.
Where gg's I'm Not Here found its force in ambiguity and the maybe-fantastical, Constantly is comparatively straightforward in its portrayal of the protagonist's sometimes literal battle with her own psyche.
In Citizen K, director Alex Gibney refrains from judging his imperfect protagonist, exiled Russian oligarch business man and political philanthropist, Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky.
Kathy Iandoli's personable history, God Save the Queens, shows how women in rap face up to the battles.
Fruition give the Bay Area a boost with a triumphant All Hallows Eve performance in the wake of PG&E's forced blackouts.
"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.