Please donate to help save PopMatters. We are moving to WordPress in December out of necessity and need your help.

Hard Times, Easy Listening: 10 Albums for Autumn 2020

Music has been a most necessary balm in 2020 and will remain one in the post-summer months. This list offers a brief repository of albums that gleam in ways particularly autumnal.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


New Compilation Collects Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' Covers

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings always brought joy and energy to their music. Hearing them cut loose on these covers lets us appreciate the verve with which they approached their art in any setting.


Between the Grooves: Nine Inch Nails - 'Broken'

Nine Inch Nails' 1992 EP is half an hour of visceral, undiluted anger delivered through muscular, caustic guitars and Trent Reznor's anguished screams. It's concise, focused, and arguably the pinnacle of Nine Inch Nails' discography.


15 Essential Original Lineup Black Sabbath Songs

Black Sabbath created the template for heavy metal and thrash. But it's instructive to acknowledge just how unique Black Sabbath were when they first emerged. Those first eight albums are essential.


Pre-Brexit Optimism in Basia's London Warsaw New York

Sophisti-pop singer Basia's 1990 album, London Warsaw New York, speaks to a friendly pop-globalism and the spirit of internationalism that would lead to the forming of the European Union in 1993.


'Step It Up and Go' Gives North Carolina Music Its Dues

David Menconi's Step It Up is an absorbing love letter to the artists, scenes, and sounds of North Carolina's contributions to American popular music.


Between the Grooves: The Beach Boys - 'The Beach Boys Today!'

The Beach Boys Today! is an often overlooked gem in the band's catalog. We dive into each track and discover how they fit into the Beach Boys' musical growth, while also examining the recording process and release history.


Drag Queen Dance-Popster Katya Discusses 'Vampire Fitness'

Growing up listening to sludge-metal and goth-rock, drag queen Katya rose from complete obscurity to become a multi-hyphenate comedy icon. With the release of an album deeply indebted to industrial metal, guided meditations, and Russian dance-pop, she finds solace in giving us the truly unexpected.


Kelsey Waldon Takes Up the Fight on 'They'll Never Keep Us Down'

Kelsey Waldon covers seven famous protest songs to declare war on injustice today.


Coil's 'Musick to Play in the Dark' Gets a 20th Anniversary Re-Issue

This phase of Coil, explained by them as more "feminine", "lunar consciousness musick" in contrast to their previous "solar" phase, featured extensive use of organs, electric viola, and other synthesizers, a greater range of vocal experimentation.


The 15 Best New Order Songs

New Order's danceable rhythms and quick, clean melodies inspired a slew of paler imitators then and a new onslaught of dance-punk bands in the past few decades.


Finding Joe Castro's 'Passion Flower'

Jazz's Joe Castro is always in the groove and the other players in the pocket. There's a uniformity of taste on these records despite their different sources, styles, and periods from which they originally emerged.


20 Music Videos of the 1980s That Have Aged Terribly

In this third and final installment of our retrospective of music videos from the 1980s, we focus on 20 promos that the passage of time has been especially unkind to.


20 Music Videos of the '80s That Have Aged Well

In this second installment of the retrospective of music videos from the 1980s, we focus on 20 promos that have, remarkably, stood the test of time.


Between the Grooves: Tom Waits - 'Bone Machine'

Between the Grooves takes a deep dive into Tom Waits' Bone Machine. It's the one fans keep hidden amongst themselves, a secret treasure only the devout are privy to and the seasoned are worthy of. Simply put, it is not for the faint of heart.


Tristan Perich's 'Drift Multiply' Charts a New Course for the Fusion of Composition and Electronics

Tristan Perich's Drift Multiply is essential listening regardless of your tastes, the combination of violins and one-bit processors has never sounded so graceful.


What Once Sounded Like the Future Still Sounds Fresh on Craig Taborn's 'Junk Magic'

Compass Confusion is the long-awaited sequel to Craig Taborn's groundbreaking 2004 recording that mixed jazz, electronica, and new music composition. What once sounded like the future still sounds fresh.


Yo La Tengo Leaf Through Their Back Pages on 'Sleepless Night'

Do six disparate pieces, culled from the dusty corners of Yo La Tengo's career make a satisfying whole?


20 Unsung Music Videos of the 1980s

From major artists like the Clash, David Bowie, and U2 to less famous brethren such as Haysi Fantayzee and Grandmaster Caz, these are the unsung videos from that decade that might have missed your attention the first time around.


The Stooges Kick Against the Pricks All the Way Down Into Their Grave

Cherry Red's new box set finds Iggy Pop and the Stooges on their final death trip, falling apart for audiences between September 1973 and February 1974.


Lloyd Miller's 'At the Ends of the World' Is a Globe-hopping Spiritual Jazz Experience

The latest album from the octogenarian musical polymath Lloyd Miller sees him collaborating with two younger musicians as they smash boundaries and await the apocalypse.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.