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Art Feynman Creates Refreshing Worldbeat Pop on 'Half Price at 3:30'

On Half Price at 3:30, Art Feynman again proves himself adept at building colorful worlds from unexpected and well-placed aural flourishes.

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Music

Phoebe Bridgers Sublimely Documents the Surreal Present on 'Punisher'

At 25, Phoebe Bridgers is, by all metrics, an artist at the beginning of her career, though Punisher sounds more like the work of a time-tested veteran perfecting a style she's been honing for years.

Music

Sweden's Freja the Dragon Creates Compelling Art Pop on 'Long Gone Girl'

Sweden's Freja the Dragon has toured with Peter Björn and John, and on Long Gone Girl, she partners Björn Yttlin to craft her exemplary debut showcasing her mesmerizing brand of art pop.

Music

A Foggy Disorientation Pervades the Intoxicating Music of Drab City

Drab City combine sultry vocals, superlative songwriting, vibraphone chords, twangy guitar, and shadowy atmospherics to conjure an intense trip-hop fever dream on Good Songs for Bad People.

Music

Perfume Genius Purges Himself and It's Contagious

You need to care so much about your art to pack this much meaning into not only the words, but the tones that adorn and deliver them. Perfume Genius cares so much it hurts on Set My Heart on Fire Immediately.

Music

NIIKA Makes a Striking, Multifaceted Full-Length Debut with 'Close But Not Too Close'

The Uzbekistan-born, Chicago-raised NIIKA combines art-pop and exotic jazz stylings to create a deeply rewarding listening experience on Close But Not Too Close.

Reviews

Sparks Still Ignite with 'A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip'

After nearly 50 years and two dozen albums, Sparks continue their reign of resonantly quirky art pop-rock delights on A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip.

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.

Music

Half Waif's 'The Caretaker' Is a Small Art Pop Treasure

Half Waif's second album, The Caretaker, takes a microscope and a scalpel to the mysteries and wonders of the quotidian, to great effect.

Music

40 Years of Finely Tuned Nonsense: An Interview with Severed Heads

At Severed Heads' third-last show in New York, after decades of playing electronic, art-pop, Tom Ellard swung a noose around his band's head and, with an imitable grin, slowly pulled tighter. After 40 years, Severed Heads is done, and Ellard muses on his long career.

Music

Fiona Apple's Thundering 'Fetch the Bolt Cutters' Is Her Most Striking Album

Fiona Apple's Fetch the Bolt Cutters is bold and demanding, and it might very well go down as the finest full-length she has ever made.

Music

Glass Animals - "Your Love (Déjà Vu)" (Singles Going Steady)

British psych-pop band, Glass Animals' "Your Love (Déjà Vu)" is tasty for a minute or two, then curiously flavourless.

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.

Music

Perfume Genius - "On the Floor" (Singles Going Steady)

"On the Floor" is the Perfume Genius we've been wanting: heartfelt songwriting delivered through sunny, sumptuous pop-craft.

Music

Austra – "Anywayz" (Singles Going Steady)

Austra's "Anywayz" is a musical exploration of the fear associated with leaving someone and the even more frightening realization that life continues. It's also stunningly gorgeous.

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

The Wants Make Post-Punk That Matters on 'Container'

Brooklyn post-punk trio, the Wants deal in 21st-century dread but do so in a most danceable way on Container.

Music

Grimes - "Idoru" (Singles Going Steady)

Creative, existential bondage for the sleep-deprived, Grimes' "Idoru" is better than any hallucination Titanic Sinclair could dream up for Poppy this week.

Music

U.S. Girls Reckons With Being a Breakout Indie Star on 'Heavy Light'

Meghan Remy's experimental pop project U.S. Girls ventures into more mainstream territory to mixed results on Heavy Light.

Music

Counterbalance No. 5: The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'

Number five on the list is practically synonymous with Great Artistic Statements. But was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band really the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper"? A splendid time is guaranteed for all as Counterbalance figures it out.

Music

Grimes' 'Miss Anthropocene' Watches the World Go Out With a Whimper

Ironically, you may wind up wishing that Grimes' vision of a scorched Earth was a bit more fun.

Music

Beck + Pharrell = Mushy Synth Songs? Huh.

Hyperspace ends up being a frustrating record. Beck and Pharrell Williams produce two excellent songs, "Uneventful Days" and "Saw Lightning", but their other five tracks each leave something to be desired.

Music

Pet Shop Boys Deliver Another Glorious, Smart, and Relevant Pop Album with 'Hotspot'

Four decades in the music business is no small feat, and yet the Pet Shop Boys enter the new decade sounding just as current and catchy as the pop landscape they helped construct.

Music

Little Scream Combines Easygoing Pop with Serious Lamentations About Politics and Culture on 'Speed Queen'

Montreal's Little Scream offers up reflections on class and poverty disguised as sweet low-key pop songs on her real grower of an album, Speed Queen.

Music

Prince's '1999' Shines a Light on What Might Be the Best Year Ever for a Pop Artist

Prince's 1999 is not so much one of the greatest albums of all time as a curation from an amorphous mass of music that might be one of the greatest achievements in pop.

Music

Poppy Expands Her Musicality and Challenges Genre Conventions on 'I Disagree'

Poppy lays bare a necessary reminder to reject conformity and encircle empowerment. Whereas I Disagree explores what is confining and liberating - the latter is the album's unequivocal focal point.

Music

With "Santa Baby", Emergency Tiara Updates a Classic Just in Time for the Holidays (premiere)

J-pop meets vintage girl group in Emergency Tiara's smart, sassy cover of the Eartha Kitt Christmas standard, "Santa Baby".

Music

Katmaz Celebrates the Sadness with "Alone (With Me)" (premiere)

Brooklyn-based art pop artist, Katmaz dances his cares away with a new single (and video) that chronicles a doomed long-distance relationship.

Music

No-Man Finally Land Their Disco White Whale: An Interview with Tim Bowness

Nearly 30 years have gone into the making of Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson's seventh album as No-Man, Love You to Bits. Bowness speaks with PopMatters about returning to the duo's electronic early days, and how Love You to Bits may be the Terminator: Dark Fate of No-Man albums.

Music

Pop Meets Soul Meets Experimentation in Sequoyah Murray's Debut

Atlanta's Sequoyah Murray has delivered one of the best albums of 2019 with his extraordinary debut Before You Begin.

Music

OMD at 40: Making Sense of a Synthpop Legacy

OMD's first three albums were crucial in the development of ambitious, intellectual, art-pop. They also led to the emergence of a whole generation of electronic pop groups that have continually influenced artists up to this day.

Music

FKA twigs Elegantly Explores Her Delicate Core on 'Magdalene'

Magdalene makes an unpredictable turn wherein FKA twigs traverses an introverted dimension of her vision through a minimalist perspective and a sense of controlled extravagance.

Events

Florence Welch Discussion and Acoustic Set at New Yorker Festival

Florence Welch participated in a deep discussion and gave a short performance as part of the 2019 New Yorker Festival.

Music

Art Pop's Elk City Explores Truth and Beauty With "Pity of a Rose" (premiere + interview)

Art pop group Elk City share their latest video "Pity of a Rose" and discuss their latest EP, Souls in Space. "My goal in directing the video was to illustrate a human being incapable of emotion, who is navigating the prison of her mind," says co-founder Renée LoBue.

Music

Deep Tan Amplify the Groove on New Single "Shimmer" (premiere)

London's deep tan further their distinctive electropop/alt-pop sound on new single, "Shimmer". Fans of Foals, the XX, Maribou State, and Beach House listen up.

Music

Jenny Hval's 'The Practice of Love' Is Brainy, Conceptual, and Hugely Entertaining

Jenny Hval's The Practice of Love is a playful, conceptual pop record that makes sorting through its heady themes as fun as listening to it.

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