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Epic Revelations: An Interview with Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten wrestles with excitement and restraint as she unveils to PopMatters revelations concerning her newly found confidence; the advantages of working with collaborators as opposed to working solo; her rise in the indie rock world; and, not least, her upcoming record.

Anthony Lombardi
Music

Richard Swift and Damien Jurado - Other People's Songs (new album / MP3)

A deliciously eccentric covers record offered entirely for free via a freshly minted tumblr page, in their own words, "these recordings came about spontaneously, and we wanted to share them in the same manner."

Music

Moving Mountains with Her Point of View: An Interview with the Mynabirds

Hot on the heels of the most promising debut album of 2010, Laura Burhenn of the Mynabirds divulges with PopMatters on coming to terms with being a good person through her music, working with the enigmatic Richard Swift, and why Ringo Starr is so misunderstood.

Music

Here We Go Magic: Pigeons

Pigeons may not be the defining moment all the blog buzz hinted at, and Luke Temple may still have several rough patches to smooth out in his songwriting process, but with Here We Go Magic's subtly enchanting second record, it sure is fun to listen to him work out the kinks.

Music

More Than a Summer Fling: An Interview with Stuart McLamb of the Love Language

On the heels of their Merge debut, Stuart McLamb of the Love Language opens up about signing to the indie mega-label, the major differences in songwriting and recording between the band's debut album and Libraries, and his love of Amy Grant.

Music

Damien Jurado: Saint Bartlett

Saint Bartlett won't change the opinion of anyone who's already had his or her mind made up on Damien Jurado, but for those awaiting a welcome fork in the road, the record more than satisfies. It's arguably the best front-to-back record of his career.

Music

LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening

Serving up a comprehensively postmodern survey of pop culture with wit, panache and an enviable dose of hooks, LCD Soundsystem take its place on 2010's shortlist of year-defining albums.

Music

The Mynabirds: What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood

The Mynabirds offer a respite for those seeking a unique take on pop music's current trends, as this feels like a record that will endure. It announces the band as 2010's most promising newcomers.

Music

Black Tambourine: Black Tambourine

Black Tambourine's self-titled, appended reissue of their entire output is indispensable listening for anyone with even a passing interest in indie pop's past or current renaissance.

Music

The Ruby Suns: Fight Softly

Hopefully next time out, Ryan McPhun will cast his intentions out of the bedroom and into the wild with some friends.

Music

Broken Bells: Broken Bells

Broken Bells may not supersede either Mercer's or Burton's respective main gigs, but as a side project that felt implausible to hit as markedly as it has in the first place, it's a minor victory for both parties involved.

Music

The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights

If you've regrettably missed out on the White Stripes' raging, unrivaled live show, Under Great White Northern Lights does the volume-cranking, sweltering intensity they create some overdue justice.

Music

"I'm in Love with That Song": Remembering Alex Chilton

It's impossible with Chilton's music to not become personally engulfed; it's impossible to not feel an impenetrable attachment to it. The quintessential outsider, his music spoke to generations of fans who encapsulate those wrangled emotions.

Anthony Lombardi
SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Third Man Records

Music

The Morning Benders: Big Echo

Their arrival on the big stage of modern underground pop music feels lived-in and warranted, an inevitable yet overdue pay off for this zealously determined and persistent band of underachievers.

Music

Vampire Weekend: Contra

Contra's songs offer sharp, bracing takes on modern life and the album could strengthen their core audience, while netting them some new fans at the same time.

Music

Nirvana: Live at Reading

Few live shows are able to communicate a band's heart and soul the way Nirvana's is brilliantly encapsulated here.

Music

Tom Waits: Glitter and Doom Live

The idiosyncrasy with which the long-revered songwriter has built his legacy on transpires just as fascinatingly through a live venue as it does on his studio records.

Music

Making a Case for the Most Underappreciated Band in Pop Music

Big Star may have long dwindled on the threshold of musical ubiquity and dangling obscurity, but it strangely seems like the only befitting legacy for artists so caught between their innate standing as pop music outsiders and their reverential, ever-striving will for superstardom.

Music

John Mayer: Battle Studies

It would be unfair to call Battle Studies an outright misfire, but it's undoubtedly a regression on Mayer's winding, forward-moving path toward artistic maturity.

Music

Real Estate: Real Estate

Cynics be damned: however the hype machine happens to play this one out, Real Estate have overcome the critics and released one of the most refreshing, satisfying and richly rewarding albums of 2009.

Music

Rufus Wainwright: Milwaukee at Last!!!

He may be an acquired taste, but as this live album proudly displays, Rufus Wainwright is one of pop music's most rewarding and indelible voices.

Anthony Lombardi
Music

Volcano Choir: Unmap

Perhaps it'll never earn For Emma's unrivaled reputation as being music to hang your hearts and dreams upon, but Unmap is a dynamic batch of aural wilderness to get lost in.

Anthony Lombardi

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