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Matthew Murphy's Post-Wombats Project Sounds a Lot Like the Wombats (And It's a Good Thing)

While UK anxiety-pop auteurs the Wombats are currently hibernating, frontman Matthew "Murph" Murphy goes it alone with a new band, a mess of deprecating new earworms, and revived energy.

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Music

'Melanie C' is Ready to Be Herself

On her self-titled eighth solo album, Melanie C is finally ready to shatter the illusion and to form her true self among the pieces.

Music

David Poe Releases Smart, Sophisticated "Gun for a Mouth" (premiere)

David Poe's "Gun for a Mouth" works in a fine tradition of smart, hook-driven American songwriting that lands between Matthew Sweet and Kevin Gilbert.

Music

Gloom Balloon Deliver an Uplifting Video for "All My Feelings For You" (premiere)

Gloom Balloon's Patrick Tape Fleming considers what making a music video during a pandemic might involve because, well, he made one. Could Fellini come up with this plot twist?

Music

Brian Cullman Gets Bluesy with "Someday Miss You" (premiere)

Brian Cullman's "Someday Miss You" taps into American roots music, carries it across the Atlantic and back for a sound that is both of the past and present.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 1: Rett Madison, Folk Devils + More

The first PopMatters Picks Playlist column features searing Americana from Rett Madison, synthpop from Everything and Everybody, the stunning electropop of Jodie Nicholson, the return of post-punk's Folk Devils, and the glammy pop of Baby FuzZ.

Music

Hear the New, Classic Pop of the Parson Red Heads' "Turn Around" (premiere)

The Parson Red Heads' "Turn Around" is a pop tune, but pop as heard through ears more attuned to AM radio's glory days rather than streaming playlists and studio trickery.

Music

Blitzen Trapper on the Afterlife, Schizophrenia, Civil Unrest and Our Place in the Cosmos

Influenced by the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Blitzen Trapper's new album Holy Smokes, Future Jokes plumbs the comedic horror of the human condition.

Music

'Transgender Street Legend Vol. 2' Finds Left at London "At My Peak and Still Rising"

"[Pandemic lockdown] has been a detriment to many people's mental health," notes Nat Puff (aka Left at London) around her incendiary, politically-charged new album, "but goddamn it if I haven't been making some bops here and there!"

Music

Mobley Laments the Evil of "James Crow" in the US

Austin's Mobley makes upbeat-sounding, soulful pop-rock songs with a political conscience, as on his latest single, "James Crow".

Music

London Indie-Poppers the Motive Impress on "You" (premiere)

Southwest London's the Motive concoct catchy, indie-pop earworms with breezy melodies, jangly guitars, and hooky riffs, as on their latest single "You".

Music

Barenaked Ladies Took Chances Like Never Before on 'Maroon' (Track by Track)

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Barenaked Ladies' Maroon, we offer a song by song reflection on why the Canadian group's fifth LP is so triumphant.

Music

20 Years Ago Barenaked Ladies Found Maturity with 'Maroon'

Released back in September 2000, Maroon saw Barenaked Ladies confronting adulthood and leaving novelty behind.

Music

Brian Cullman Delivers Heartfelt Collaboration With 'Winter Clothes' (album stream + interview)

Journalist Brian Cullman teams with members of Ollabelle for an LP that serves as a testament to his friendship with the late Jimi Zhivago.

Music

BAERS Debut the Cabaret Pop of "Augen Zu"

BAERS are a new pop-rock band out of Germany that marry cabaret-esque vocals to funky bass, hook-filled hummable choruses, and a dash of Weimar flair on "Augen Zu".

Music

Yachtclub101 Mix Synthpop and Cats on "Leave Me Alone" (premiere)

Yachtclub101's "Leave Me Alone" sparkles with glorious pop melodies, bubbly synths, infectious dance beats, sing-along choruses, and cats.

Music

Badfinger's Joey Molland Tells the Story of the "Rainy Day Man" (premiere)

Badfinger's Joey Molland shares "Rainy Day Man" ahead of a new album. At 73, Molland remains optimistic about the future. "I'm a positive guy and I don't care how dire a situation looks," he says.

Music

Ty Trehern Explores Letting Go With "Better Off" (premiere)

"Better Off" highlights alternative pop's Ty Trehern's marriage of dark and light. "There is a difference between wants and needs," he says.

Music

SHOCKEY Makes the Perfect Pandemic Stoner Song with '"HIGH" (premiere)

Los Angeles' SHOCKEY goes in for a bit of glam rock mixed with lo-fi, slacker pop on an ode to the joys of being "high".

Music

'Opening Night' Is an Audacious, Breathless Debut from the Blam Blams

Nashville glam-rockers, the Blam Blams' Opening Night is a glittery concept album overflowing with skill and melody.

Music

Funk Rock and Synthesizers in Munich: Queen's 'The Game' at 40

For their eighth studio album, The Game, Queen ushered in the 1980s with a streamlined sound and an instrument they formerly took great pains to avoid.

Music

Bruce Springsteen's 'Born to Run' Brought Elegiac Depth and Youthful Romanticism to Heartland Rock

Forty-five years after Born to Run's release, the breakthrough third LP from American music legend Bruce Springsteen has lost none of its passion and promise.

Music

Creeptones Wrap Their "Soul Fire" in Deliciously Pure Pop

New Jersey's Creeptones play the type of catchy pop-rock that lodges earworms in your skull forever. "Soul Fire" is just the latest example.

Music

Video Age Show How Much They Love the 1980s on 'Pleasure Line'

Pleasure Line shows that Video Age clearly have the musical chops to pull off a precise pastiche, but it also shows a band that went too far down that rabbit hole.

Music

The Killers' 'Imploding the Mirage' Promises Dynamite Rock Yet Delivers Tepid Synthpop

Imploding the Mirage marginally reinvents the Killers' sound, but the lyrics problematically redesign archaic ideology, resulting in a regressive album.

Music

The Lemon Twigs Amp Up the Glam Rock Obsession on 'Songs for the General Public'

The Lemon Twigs' influences and tastes run deep, and Songs for the General Public shows that they can wrap all these ideas into a beautiful, oddly consistent package.

Music

Folk Rock's the Brevet Give a Glimmer of Hope With "Blue Coast" (premiere)

Dreamy bits of sunshine find their way through the clouds of dreams dashed and lives on the brink of despair on "Blue Coast" from soulful rockers the Brevet.

Music

Songwriter Shelly Peiken Revisits "Bitch" for '2.0' Album (premiere)

A monster hit for Meredith Brooks in the late 1990s, "Bitch" gets a new lease on life from its co-creator, Shelly Peiken. "It's a bit moodier than the original but it touts the same universal message," she says.

Music

Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts Honor Their Favorite Songs With "Oh No" (premiere)

Ryan Hamilton's "Oh No" features guest vocals from Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo, and appears on Nowhere to Go But Everywhere out 18 September.

Books

The Redemption of Elton John's 'Blue Moves'

Once reviled as bloated and pretentious, Elton John's 1976 album Blue Moves, is one of his masterpieces, argues author Matthew Restall in the latest installment of the 33 1/3 series.

Music

The 10 Best Fleetwood Mac Solo Albums

Fleetwood Mac are the rare group that feature both a fine discography and a successful series of solo LPs from their many members. Here are ten examples of the latter.

Music

Alanis Morissette's 'Such Pretty Forks in the Road' Is a Quest for Validation

Alanis Morissette's Such Pretty Forks in the Road is an exposition of dolorous truths, revelatory in its unmasking of imperfection.

Music

The Beatles' 'Help!' Redefined How Personal Popular Music Could Be 55 Years Ago

Help! is the record on which the Beatles really started to investigate just how much they could get away with. The album was released 55 years ago this week, and it's the kick-off to our new "All Things Reconsidered" series.

Music

The Orange Peels Trace the Evolution of a Song with "Something Strange Happens" (premiere)

The upcoming reissue of the Orange Peels' 1997 debut album offers 40 tracks and plenty of insights into the group's creative process. Bandleader Allen Clapp recalls how one stunning song blossomed.

Music

Tedo Stone Concocts Glammy Pop Earworms on 'Same Old Kid'

Tedo Stone's Same Old Kid finds him crafting catchy indie pop that's nostalgic without losing a sense of the present.

Music

The 12 Best Brian Wilson Songs

From massive hits to obscure, experimental pop compositions, Brian Wilson's music is always thoughtful, idiosyncratic, and as thrilling today as it was in the 1960s.

Music

We the Commas Dish Out Summertime Magic with "Custom Made" (premiere)

Emerging "surf alternative R&B" trio We the Commas' feel-good, soulful single feels "Custom Made" for summer.


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