As the dominance of guitar rock has faded among indie-leaning audiences, there has also been a spreading into the mainstream of sounds that would have been easily described as indie-pop a decade ago. Indie-pop styles show up in TV commercials, Hollywood movie soundtracks, and within mainstream pop and country hits.
Our Best 20 Americana albums of 2019 are a multicultural, polysexual, cross-genre lineup of cool Americana music that, as with the best parts of the American promise, pays tribute to the musical wells from which they spring but also takes the artform wherever their rugged individualism and talent-rich hearts lead them.
Electronic music is a huge tent with so many diverse approaches, and it's more international than ever with producers around the globe pushing music forward. The year's best albums featured returns from established talents, as well as ground-breaking newcomers, and a host of women changing the old boy's club of electronic music.
Folk in 2019 is an image of inclusivity and unity in the face of international political upheaval. It's most captivating in its moments of sheer, heart-bearing authenticity and ensnares with new musical bearings introduced by some of its foremost innovators and newcomers to the scene.
In an age when the personal is political feels as necessary as ever, we identify most with experimenters who transcend the throwing-shit-at-a-wall, banging-on-pots-and-cans approach. These artists occupy the earthly just as much as they occupy the mechanical and the celestial.
Following Stormzy's run up the charts, 2019 proved to be a banner year for British hip-hop with a trio of masterpieces. America's myriad hip-hop scenes delivered the goods, and African rap gave us many stellar releases.
From bubbly, perky synthpop to the deepest of darkwave, electropop in 2019 reflected the general malaise by forging the brightest of pop to forget the bad times on the one hand, and embracing downtempo textures and moods on the other.
The year in R&B and soul brought brilliant returns from music legends alongside artists pushing the boundaries of R&B past any limits. It's a genre where retro and futurism nestle cozily side by side. Here are the 15 best.
Step back 10 years when we presented our 20 best re-issues of 2009, highlighted by the long overdue remastering of the Beatles oeuvre, a number of '80s and '90s classics, and one of the most storied catalogues in electronic music.
In 2009, a flood of plaid-shirted indie-roots bands built on the beardy throwbacks who gained country-rock traction in 2008. And while mainstream country music continued its evolution into '80s pop metal, plenty of roots acts turned the other direction with back-to-basics records.
Continuing our celebration of PopMatters' 20th anniversary, we revisit our 10 picks for the best debut albums of 2009. It turns out our selections were prescient as many of these artists have gone on to storied careers. Travel back to 2009 and see them again for the first time.
PopMatters turns 20 years old this October and we're beginning to celebrate our history by taking you back in time a decade ago. Obama was in the White House and the musical times were very good indeed. Revisit 2009 through its best albums.
As we approach PopMatters' 20th anniversary this October, we are re-presenting some of our most popular features of all time. This list of the best "alternative" songs of the 1990s followed a year after our similar '80s list and was one of most popular series ever.
This is no scene or collective. These artists have reached their limit in all directions, back into traditions and forward into uncertain futures. 2018 presented challenges for all of us, and our artists presented challenges right back.
From Kanye tweets to Drake and Pusha T diss tracks to literary masterpiece "This Is America", 2018 was quite the year for rap. But if we had to boil it all down to just 10 albums, we think these are the cuts that truly rose above and summed up 2018 the best.