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Music

Carey Mercer's New Band Soft Plastics Score Big with Debut '5 Dreams'

Two years after Frog Eyes dissolved, Carey Mercer is back with a new band, Soft Plastics. 5 Dreams and Mercer's surreal sense of incongruity should be welcomed with open arms and open ears.

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Love in the Time of Coronavirus

OK Go's Emotional New Ballad, "All Together Now", Inspired by Singer's Bout with COVID-19

Damian Kulash, lead singer for OK Go discusses his recent bout with COVID-19, how it impacted his family, and the band's latest pop delight, "All Together Now", as part of our Love in the Time of Coronavirus series.

Music

Drum Machines? Samples? Brendan Benson Gets Contemporary with 'Dear Life'

Powerpop overlord and part-time Raconteur, Brendan Benson, grafts hip-hop beats to guitar pop on his seventh solo album, Dear Life.

Music

The 1975's 'Notes on a Conditional Form' Is Laudably Thought-Provoking and Thrilling

The 1975 follow A Brief Inquiry... with an even more intriguing, sprawling, and chameleonic song suite. Notes on a Conditional Form shows a level of unquenchable ambition, creativity, and outspoken curiosity that's rarely felt in popular music today.

Music

The Dream Syndicate Spontaneously Combust on 'The Universe Inside'

The Universe Inside isn't a typical Dream Syndicate album. The verse/chorus structure has been neatly sidestepped in favor of a free-wheeling, improvised, truly experimental approach, and it's marvelous.

Music

Primal Scream's 'Screamadelica' and the Altered State

In the context of Primal Scream's prior and subsequent career, Screamadelica is a miracle. It's a rock record about discovering Ecstasy, rave culture, and the music that went with it.

Reviews

Indie Rockers SAME Aim for the Stars on 'Plastic Western'

SAME's debut full-length, Plastic Western, flirts with everything from Pavement to post-rock.

Music

Scott McCaughey Is Scott the Hoople with Sad Boxes and Singing Chickens

Recorded last month in his basement, Scott the Hoople's (a.k.a. Scott McCaughey's) Sad Box & Other Hits is a low-key collection of quality pop quaran-tunes.

Music

From Norway and Oregon Come the No Ones with a Potent Dose of Classic Jangle Pop

Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck's the No Ones took their sweet time on their debut, The Great Lost No Ones Album, but it was well worth the wait for any indie or pop fan.

Music

Mark Lanegan Lives, Contending with Death Through Music on 'Straight Songs of Sorrow'

On Straight Songs of Sorrow, Mark Lanegan tells stories from his life and wrestles with death, his chief subject.

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.

Books

Jeff Buckley's Voice Returns

Jeff Buckley's journals, photographs, and memorabilia of the late singer are compiled by his mother, Mary Guibert, and Rolling Stone's David Browne in Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice.

Music

Built to Spill's Daniel Johnston Homage Is Too Plain for Its Own Good

Built to Spill offer up a so-so guitar-based, power-pop tribute to outsider artist Daniel Johnston that doesn't live up to the eclectic 2004 Johnston covers LP.

Music

Counterbalance No. 13: Radiohead - 'OK Computer'

Is Radiohead's OK Computer the last canonical rock album? Counterbalance debates the case.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

The Cure's "Seaside" Cure for Sheltering at Home

In these times of pandemic turmoil and outright trauma, what better match does the tempestuous human soul have than the sea? And what better lyricist than the Cure's Robert Smith, who twins the wrath (or sadness) of the sea with similar human emotions?

Music

Post-Punk's Ghost Work Get Real With "Go Stat" (premiere)

Ghost Work features former/current members of Seaweed, Minus the Bear, Snapcase, and the group offer up a delicious blend of punk rock/post-punk goodness on "Go Stat".

Music

Wailin Storms Sings of Snakes and Spells With "Rattle" (premiere)

Reminiscent of classic grunge and doom, Wailin Storms' "Rattle" is bound to set the pace of this collective's career.

Music

Sorry's 925 Features Some Intriguing Takes on Indie Rock

Every track on Sorry's indie rock debut, 925, features something interesting, but the songs don't quite gel yet for the young London band with a lot of promise.

Music

The Strokes Phone It In (Again) on 'The New Abnormal'

The Strokes' The New Abnormal is an unabashedly uninspired promotional item for their upcoming world tour.

Music

Blesson Roy Gets "In Tune With the Moon" (premiere)

Terry Borden was a member of slowcore pioneers Idaho and a member of Pete Yorn's band. Now he readies the debut of Blesson Roy and shares "In Tune With the Moon".

Music

JARV IS... - "House Music All Night Long" (Singles Going Steady)

"House Music All Night Long" is a song our inner, self-isolated freaks can jive to. JARV IS... cleverly captures how dazed and confused some of us may feel over the current pandemic, trapped in our homes.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

All Kinds of Time: Adam Schlesinger's Pursuit of Pure, Peerless Pop

Adam Schlesinger was a poet laureate of pure pop music. There was never a melody too bright, a lyrical conceit too playfully dumb, or a vibe full of radiation that he would shy away from. His sudden passing from COVID-19 means one of the brightest stars in the power-pop universe has suddenly dimmed.

Music

Human Impact Hit Home with a Seismic First Album From a Veteran Lineup

On their self-titled debut, Human Impact provide a soundtrack for this dislocated moment where both humanity and nature are crying out for relief.

Music

The Killers - "Caution" (Singles Going Steady)

The Killers go for the big hooks and singable anthems on "Caution", but opinion is sharply divided about the song's merits amongst our Singles Going Steady panel.

Music

Ireland's Junk Drawer Share New Krautrock Meets Post-Punk Song, "Temporary Day" (premiere)

Junk Drawer's "Temporary Day" is a simple yet compelling video for a gripping song that shows why the band have earned such acclaim in their native Ireland.

Music

Billy Corgan Brainwashed Me: '90s Alternative Rock and the Introspective Abyss

Once in its thrall, these days I find the overriding message of '90s alt-rock especially naïve and even dangerous.

Music

Fotocrime's '80s-Inspired Rock Is Often Half-Baked

Fotocrime's South of Heaven is interesting mostly in that it's one of the most mediocre rock records I've heard in a long time.

Music

Anna Calvi Re-writes Her Own History on 'Hunted'

With the help of some celebrity friends, Anna Calvi tinkers with her past and creates an alternate version of her last album.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Matchbox Twenty: Aren't We All a Little "Unwell" in the Time of Coronavirus?

Say what you will about Matchbox Twenty – I know I once did. But during this COVID-19 pandemic, we're all going "crazy" and feeling "a little unwell" in this time of isolation, and I'm turning to their music.

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

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

The Dream Syndicate Explore "The Longing" (premiere + interview)

The Dream Syndicate were at the forefront of the Paisley Underground, but they continue to thrive and evolve nearly 40 years into their career. Co-founder Steve Wynn shares his thoughts (and enthusiasm) on this evolution. Meanwhile, hear the new track "The Longing".

Music

Electropop's Bizou Blend the Bleak and Beautiful on "Crashing Sky" (premiere)

Bizou features former and current members of Light FM, Smashing Pumpkins and Glaare. New single "Crashing Sky" reflects their penchant for pop and darkwave.

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

Early Day Miners' Debut 'Placer Found' Gets a New Life on Vinyl

Early Day Miners' moody, ethereal gem Placer Found turns 20 and is ripe for reappraisal. This is warm, intimate, bracing music with no expiration date.

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

The Boomtown Rats' 'Citizens of Boomtown' Is a Failed Stab at Relevance

After listening to the Boomtown Rats' Citizens of Boomtown, you can't help but wonder if another vanity project is the kind of activism we need to combat the injustices of the world.

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