Growing up listening to sludge-metal and goth-rock, drag queen Katya rose from complete obscurity to become a multi-hyphenate comedy icon. With the release of an album deeply indebted to industrial metal, guided meditations, and Russian dance-pop, she finds solace in giving us the truly unexpected.
Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as Entertainment Weekly, SLUG Magazine, YardBarker, The Daily Dot, and many more. He has been a guest on HuffPost Live, RevotTV's "Revolt Live!", and WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album ( available for free), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), among others. He is the co-founder and host of The Chartographers, a podcast for pop music nerds, and previously hosted PopTalk for PopMatters. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.
Third Man Records offers a generous overview of Michigan's burgeoning space-rock scene from the 1990s. It covers a wide swath of genres while offering a bunch of largely-unheard rarities.
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.
It's one of the strangest pop microcosms in history: singles released exclusively from Greatest Hits compilations. We rounded 'em up and ranked 'em to find out what is truly the greatest Greatest Hit of all.
A moody new record reflecting our times, an instrumental fundraiser for charity, and cycling escapes to Rockaway Beach. Brothertiger is back with his first new studio full-length in years, and he can't wait for us to share in his emotional journey.
The ever-prolific Will Wiesenfeld of Baths and Geotic fame has built a career over his abstract electropop oddities, and he returns with another rarities comp that plays more like a confessional new full-length.
Drag superstar Trixie Mattel spills the beans on her new book and so much more. "It's a wonderful book. I'm ready to have my roller coaster at Universal Studios based on this book."
Featuring a litany of otherwise-forgotten budget bin purchases, Martin Green's two-disc overview of coulda-been Britpop contenders knows little of genre confines, making for a fun historical detour if nothing else.
Alice Ivy walks a fine line between chillwave cool and Big Beat freakouts, and her 2018 debut record was an electropop wonder. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, she tries to keep the good vibes going with a new record decked out in endless collaborations.
"I think even if I lived in the heart of Tokyo, I'd still make music that reminds people of the countryside because it's where my dreams often take me," says Bibio (aka Stephen Wilkinson) of his music and his new rustic EP.
Not many knew what to make of HBO Max's initial reality competition Legendary when it first premiered, but the high tensions that ended Season 1, Episode 5 escalated the vogue-tastic and defiantly queer celebration of ballroom culture into the must-watch event of the year.
For outspoken actor and singer Keiynan Lonsdale, his unabashedly queer debut album centers on sexuality and politics, making for a striking release in the age of quarantine. "There's rhythm to it: there's rhythm in blackness, and it's saying 'Stop being crazy, stop being dangerous, quiet the fuck down, and move your feet.'"
Lady Gaga's Chromatica is the most lively and consistent record she's made since Born This Way, embracing everything great about her dance-pop early days and giving it a fresh twist.
While RuPaul's Drag Race remains a celebration of campy queer culture, Season 12 premiered as serious allegations against a contestant were quickly confirmed, forcing the producers to recut the episodes to diminish the influence of a now-known predator. Did the gambit work?
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.
Adam Schlesinger was a poet laureate of pure pop music. There was never a melody too bright, a lyrical conceit too playfully dumb, or a vibe full of radiation that he would shy away from. His sudden passing from COVID-19 means one of the brightest stars in the power-pop universe has suddenly dimmed.
Engaged, confident, and better than ever, Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia is a dancefloor fire-starter but just a shade away from being a true pop masterpiece.
Sam Sparro's Boombox Eternal is Jam & Lewis, Nile Rodgers, and Quincy Jones all nodding in unison. It is Day-Glo colors and endless mists of hairspray.
Former Lemon Jelly frontman Fred Deakin uses Kickstarter to fund a pop-rock passion project, but for all its good faith efforts, it ends up an unfocused mess.
The three albums Los Campesinos! released after their debut showed who the band really were: angrier, artier, and more thoughtful than we initially thought. Romance Is Boring holds up in its notable decade-on reissue release.