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Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

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Music

​Nnamdï' Creates a Lively Home for Himself in His Mind on 'BRAT'

Nnamdï's BRAT is a labyrinth detailing the insular journey of a young, eclectic DIY artist who takes on the weighty responsibility of reaching a point where he can do what he loves for a living.

Music

Gregory Uhlmann's 'Neighborhood Watch' Is a Mesmerizing Art Rock Album

Acclaimed guitarist and composer Gregory Uhlmann charms and confounds with his gorgeous, layered sophomore solo album, Neighborhood Watch.

Music

Talking Heads' Chris Frantz Doesn't Miss a Beat With 'Remain in Love' Story

There's a whole lotta love (and maybe a little hate) in the captivating new memoir by Chris Frantz, who is an open book while talking about life with Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, and wife Tina Weymouth in this candid interview.

Music

Jockstrap's 'Wicked City' Is an Unfolding of Boundaries

On Wicked City, UK art-pop duo Jockstrap run through a gamut of styles and sounds, sometimes gracefully, sometimes forcefully, but always seductively.

Music

12 Essential Kate Bush Songs

While Kate Bush is a national treasure in the UK, American listeners don't know her as well. The following 12 songs capture her irrepressible spirit.

Music

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.

Music

Brits in Hot Weather Presents: Phoebe Katis

From emotive funk and pastoral folk to bright electropop and soulful pop, Phoebe Katis skillfully balances contemplative, fragile melodies with catchy, uptempo hooks.

Music

Ohmme's Art Rock Is Mesmerizing on 'Fantasize Your Ghost'

Sublime harmonies and constant innovation make Ohmme's Fantasize Your Ghost an impressive work of modern indie rock art.

Music

Braids' 'Shadow Offering' Is a Shining Success But Has Dark Moments

Shadow Offering has glimmers of Braids' former album but with a new direction and an attempt to adopt a new maturity and sensibility.

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.


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