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Pianist Gabriel Ólafs Champions Brevity Over Showmanship on 'Piano Works'

Gabriel Ólafs' Piano Works is a testament to the power of melody and mood. The music is both concise yet brimming with beauty.


Jason Mraz Emphasizes Reggae and Positivity on 'Look for the Good'

There's nothing inherently off about his Jason Mraz's new album, but a glance at his past records makes Look for the Good feel a bit lackluster.


On Her U.S. Debut 'Maria', Fado Singer Carminho Finds Beauty in Melancholy

Maria finds Carminho at her most intimate and personal, a collection of original tunes that honor the past while still defining her own voice as a trailblazing vocalist.


Hot Club of Cowtown Return with Charm and Wit on the Western Swing Infused 'Wild Kingdom'

Hot Club of Cowtown's Wild Kingdom may not redefine the Western swing genre, but damn it all if it isn't a good time.


The Past and Present of Brazilian Jazz Meld on 'Samba Jazz & Tom Jobim'

Percussionist Duduka Da Fonseca and pianist Helio Alves have a long history of collaborating on record and stage. Samba Jazz & Tom Jobim finds the two at the top of their game, both honoring and pushing Brazilian jazz in bold directions.


Beth Bombara's 'Evergreen' Shines with Vintage Americana Vibes and Sincere Songwriting

Evergreen comes together so well because Beth Bombara's songwriting chops are so mature, her band is so seasoned, and she has something honest to say.


Chick Corea Explores More Latin Possibilities With His New Group

The Spanish Heart Band–Antidote is a thrilling fusion of grooves and soul, further cementing Chick Corea as one of the most innovative voices in jazz history.


Jazz-Rock's Red Kite Deliver Grooves and Drones in Equal Measure on Debut

Their fuzzed-out sonic signature might not be for everyone, but for adventurous listeners, Red Kite specialize in a fusion of music blending the complexity of Ornette Coleman with the heaviness of Black Sabbath.

PopMatters Picks

House and Land Breath New Life Into Folk and Ballad Songs While Honoring the Past

Folk duo House and Land's Across the Field is a collection of songs that consider historical context as much as modern relevance.


Jazz and Spanish Sounds Find Common Ground on New Bojaira's 'Zorongo Blu'

Comprised of seasoned jazz and flamenco musicians, the debut from New Bojaira demonstrates how well genres can merge under experienced hands.


The Pirate Ship Quintet Reconcile the Gloom and Hope of Post-Rock

On Emitter, UK instrumental ensemble the Pirate Ship Quintet dive deeper into the textures and sensibilities that define their beautifully melancholy sound.


"It's Not About Genre, It's About Emotion": Composer William Brittelle on Faith, Music, and Identity

Composer and New Amsterdam Records co-founder William Brittelle discusses his latest work, Spiritual America, with PopMatters and talks about faith, genre, and his genre-fluid electro-acoustic music.


With 'Temporal' Julia Kent Fuses the Tactile and the Abstract

With an understanding of detail and texture, cellist Julia Kent's Temporal displays her intimate understanding of acoustic and electronic elements.


Four Seconds Ago Deliver a Promising Debut with 'The Vacancy'

Transitioning from heavy metal to chill ambient sounds effortless in the hands Four Seconds Ago on The Vacancy, and shows how well they can transverse genres with equal measures of style and substance.


Aizuri Quartet's 'Blueprinting' Is One the Best Contemporary Classical Debuts of the Year

The string quartet format is tried and true within classical music. However, there's something truly special about the Aizuri Quartet, something vivacious and energetic that makes their performances truly irresistible.


Marissa Nadler Delivers Heartbreak and Sorrow in the Most Beautiful Ways on 'For My Crimes'

Rich in textures and raw emotions, Marissa Nadler's For My Crimes is a lush and rewarding record from an assured, mature songwriter.


Modern Jazz and Folkloric Rhythms Beautifully Meld on Miguel Zenón's 'Yo Soy la Tradición'

In collaboration with the wonderfully adept Spektral Quartet, Miguel Zenón's latest, Yo Soy la Tradición, is an astounding record demonstrating how versatile and fluid modern jazz can be in our day.


The Band of Heathens Honor Ray Charles With Soul, Love, and Song

Covering one of Ray Charles' most beloved albums track by track, the Band of Heathens' A Message From the People Revisited honors the humanity and soul of Charles with an Americana flair.


Luciana Souza Delivers a Breathtaking Album of Nuance, Homage, and Poetry with 'The Book of Longing'

At times abstract and elusive while others vivacious and brimming with energy, Luciana Souza's The Book of Longing is a brilliant and sensual release from one of today's foremost jazz-crossover singers.


Jason Isbell's Early Solo Days Are Revisited on the Re-Issue of 'Sirens of the Ditch'

One of the most talented voices in Americana today, Jason Isbell's debut solo album Sirens of the Ditch receives a proper reissue.


Thomas Dolby Re-examined on His New Greatest Hits Compilation

It's easy to think of the neon and synthesizers of the 1980s as fodder for nostalgia. However, Hyperactive demonstrates how much heart, wit, and humor went into Thomas Dolby's records.

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