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Music

Yves Tumor Soars With 'Heaven to a Tortured Mind'

On Heaven to a Tortured Mind, Yves Tumor relishes his shift to microphone caressing rock star. Here he steps out of his sonic chrysalis, dons some shiny black wings and soars.


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Books

Phuc Tran's Existential Trip of a Memoir, 'Sigh, Gone'

Phuc Tran's smart, tough memoir, Sigh, Gone, might launch a broken down kid to read 150 great books—for free, at the local library.

Music

Jennah Barry Offers Up a Warm, Sublime Collection of Memorable Tunes on 'Holiday'

Canadian indie folkster Jennah Barry returns with her long-awaited sophomore album, Holiday, which takes on a looser, more relaxed approach.

Music

Circles Around the Sun Shoot for the Stars on New Album

Jamrockers Circles Around the Sun's self-titled third album finds the band transcending darkness after losing their founder in 2019 to chart a groovy new course.

Music

Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul" Is His First New Song Since the Nobel Laureate

Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul" is a 17-minute story song about JFK's assassination and a suitable audio dispatch from and for the end times.

Music

Rustin Man's 'Clockdust' Is Woozy Psych-Folk of Arresting and Fathomless Beauty

Arriving less than a year after Drift Code, Rustin Man consolidates a rich vein of form with the sepia-toned Clockdust, an autumnal record rendered generous and exquisite by each song's emotional weight.

Music

Basia Bulat Asks 'Are You in Love?'

Are You In Love? continues Basia Bulat's work with Jim James with equally excellent results but a slightly different theme about love in general.

Music

Experimental Rock's Trees Speak Summon Kosmische Sensations on 'Ohms'

On their inspiring second album, Ohms, Arizona avant-garde collective Trees Speak invoke the best of expansive electronica through motorik repetitions across a sprawling masterwork.

Music

Dua Lipa Makes Kitschy Cool on 'Future Nostalgia'

Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia is near immaculate meta-pop that refuses to forego tight songwriting for nostalgic bells and whistles, helmed by a singer is exponentially more aware of what she's capable of.

Books

When You Discover Your Father Had an Affair with Frida Kahlo...

The story of one of Frida Kahlo's short affairs, captured in Marc Petitjean's excellent book, The Heart, offers an inspired glimpse into the surreal Parisian art scene of 1939.

Music

Sea Wolf's 'Through a Dark Wood' Is an Honest Portrayal of Emotional Struggle

Sea Wolf's Through the Dark Wood holds space for psychological transformation. Alex Brown Church's masterful illustrations of vulnerability and adversity affirm grief as a step towards growth.

Music

The Weeknd's 'After Hours' Sets Cinematic Vignettes of Hollywood and Las Vegas Nights

The Weeknd's After Hours naturally weaves together cinematic vignettes of debauched Hollywood and Las Vegas nights, following a new filmic tie to Uncut Gems and a prior decade of character building.

Music

Pearl Jam Liberate Themselves From the Past on 'Gigaton'

Gigaton sounds like Pearl Jam convincingly doing their very best to not sound like Pearl Jam. Liberated from their past and their expectations, the band have freed themselves to take some long overdue risks.

Music

Greece's Evritiki Zygia Hypnotize with Thracian Psychedelic Folk on 'Ormenion'

Evritiki Zygia's Ormenion has a ferocity that speaks to the tenacity of old traditions as well as to a progressive spirit. It's nothing short of hypnotic.

Music

Lilly Hiatt Offers 'Walking Proof' of Her Many Talents

Every track on Lilly Hiatt's Walking Proof shines with imaginative playing, spirited vocals, and sensitive, literate lyrics. It's truly a kick ass record.

Music

Waxahatchee Takes a Turn for the Country on ​'Saint Cloud'

Katie Crutchfield's latest as Waxahatchee is a high point in an already impressive career. Saint Cloud finds an artist operating at the top of her game to produce a thrilling and inspirational work.

Music

Childish Gambino's '3.15.20' Captures the Tumultuous Contemporary Moment

As society contends with sickness, anger, and fear, Donald Glover remedies the malignancy while fueling the anguish. 3.15.20 signals an important shift for Childish Gambino and secures the album's spot as one of the best of the year.

Music

Four Tet's 'Sixteen Oceans' Explores a Rich Sound Palette

Four Tet's 10th album, Sixteen Oceans, begins on the dancefloor, travels to the woods, and ends becalmed, invoking, and bestowing peace and tranquility.

Music

Adam Lambert Gets Nostalgic on 'Velvet'

On his first album in five years, Adam Lambert finds his groove by moving in the right direction. Velvet feels effortless and natural, from the funk and disco beats to the synth and soft rock influences.

Music

Myrkur's 'Folkesange' Makes a Case for the Power of Traditional Songcraft

Neo-folk/black metal artist Myrkur bolsters her impressive discography with yet another distinctive and enthralling album that draws on other music while remaining uniquely her own.

Books

Queer Love and Art in the Time of Nazis: 'Never Anyone But You'

Never Anyone But You is an inspiring tale of surrealists Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, who defied homophobia, Nazis, and gender norms while pushing the boundaries of art and love.

Music

Mute Duo Dazzle with the Ambient, Country-Tinged 'Lapse in Passage'

Mute Duo's second full-length album, Lapse in Passage, is dark, multilayered, and uncommonly beautiful. It's like David Lynch baked in the Texas heat. It's the soundtrack to a Cormac McCarthy-inspired fever dream.

Music

Quarterly's 'Pomegranate' is a Small Treasure of Charm and Warmth

Brooklyn-based duo Quarterly combine elements of folk and classical on the intimate, calm, and unique Pomegranate.

Music

Sam Sparro's 'Boombox Eternal' Is the Melodic Throwback We Need Right Now

Sam Sparro's Boombox Eternal is Jam & Lewis, Nile Rodgers, and Quincy Jones all nodding in unison. It is Day-Glo colors and endless mists of hairspray.

Evan Sawdey
Music

Brian and Roger Eno's 'Mixing Colours' Is a Celebration of Contemplative Slowness

Brian and Roger Eno's Deutsche Grammophon debut, Mixing Colours, represents a refreshing antithesis of today's harsh and accelerated times.

Film

A Fix of Fantasy: Reviving the Wondrous Films of Karel Zeman

The imaginative filmmaker Karel Zeman influenced many artists including Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, fellow Czech Jan Švankmajer, the Brothers Quay, and animator Lawrence Jordan's recycling of classic 19th Century imagery.

Music

False Heads' 'It's All There But You're Dreaming' Is One of 2020's Best British Rock Albums

False Heads' It's All There But You're Dreaming is the sound of a modern rock band expertly knitting chaos, beauty, and noise together.

Music

'Piano Duets' Asserts Ella Fitzgerald's Interpretive Greatness

Though called "The First Lady of Song", Ella Fitzgerald is more lauded for her spectacular vocal sound than for her interpretations of lyrics, but a new reissue should help correct that understanding of her art.

Music

JOYFULTALK Fires Off the Sound of Brightness and Ambition on 'A Separation of Being'

Canadian musician, composer, and instrument maker, JOYFULTALK produces his third LP, A Separation of Being, which overflows with cohesion and light.

Music

Afrofuturists ONIPA Offer Uplifting, High-Energy Music via 'We No Be Machine'

London-based Afrofuturist band, ONIPA frame discussions of humanity within a pan-African sonic context on their brilliant debut, We No Be Machine.

Music

Los Campesinos! 'Romance Is Boring' Holds Up a Decade Later

The three albums Los Campesinos! released after their debut showed who the band really were: angrier, artier, and more thoughtful than we initially thought. Romance Is Boring holds up in its notable decade-on reissue release.

Music

Agnes Obel's Chamber Pop Hits a New Peak on 'Myopia'

Agnes Obel's Myopia is delicate and personal, employing treated vocals and piano to plow depths of sorrow and interrogate dark storms of the soul.

Music

Magnetic Ghost's 'Pixels' Is Andy Larson's Most Majestic and Profound Music

Magnetic Ghost's Pixels is absolutely masterful stuff from a sound-sculptor sitting at the intersection of post-rock, post-classical, and strains of ambient music.

Music

Sam Doores Creates Dreamy New Orleans Music By Way of Berlin

The new solo album by the Deslondes' Sam Doores is a beguiling brew of old rock 'n' roll and New Orleans R&B, with a hint of Berlin experimentalism.

Books

'Miss Iceland' Is a Brilliant Novel of Sexism, Homophobia, and the Writing Life

Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir's Miss Iceland Is at once a poetic, light-hearted narrative and a sharply edged social critique that is caustic and righteous in its portrayal of the enduring nature of sexism, misogyny and homophobia.

Music

Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop, Swans Alums Are Human Impact and They're Mad As Hell

Imagine an orgy scored by rusty industrial equipment blasting New York City noise-rock, something like Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop, or Swans in their wicked primes. That's the noise-rock supergroup, Human Impact.

Music

Pantha Du Prince Creates an Electronic 'Conference of Trees'

Pantha Du Prince's Conference of Trees is a bold project that benefits from the creator's focused vision as he invites the listener to piece together imagined conversations between trees.

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