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.
Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as MSN, 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.
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.
Former Robyn producer Kleerup dropped a lovely solo debut in 2008 then largely disappeared before deciding to come back over a decade later. What happened to him in the intervening years? "Actually, I died twice but got sent back," he tells us.
In 2019, a spotlight on queer musicians and fast-paced broadcast made the Grammys have some real cultural relevance. Its 2020 edition, clouded by tragedy, scandal, and bloat, only served to remind us why award shows are so problematic.
Madeon shot to fame as a teenager as a new dance music hero, then withdrew from the world as he battled with his emotions. Now, with his thoughtful sophomore album, Madeon is back with an evolved sound and a new outlook, ready to connect with people like never before.
Once of the Mowgli's, Colin Dieden's new Little Hurt project is unflinching in its rawness. "I used to think that meeting sadness head-on with happy songs was how I was going to move through it, but one day that stopped feeling honest to me."
With a headlining show as part of Ghostly International's 20th anniversary, Tobacco reflects on his own start, why he went with Ghostly, and why his old band Black Moth Super Rainbow is closing up shop.
Caravan Palace are one of the most famed groups to come out of the electro-swing movement, but their reach is so much grander with streaming totals in the hundreds of millions. Caravan Palace are back with a new album and a fierce bout of independence.
In 2010, the quirky electropop outfit the bird and the bee scored a hit with an album of Hall & Oates covers. Now, almost a decade later, the duo reinvent the hair metal machismo of Van Halen into one of the most joyous albums you'll hear all year.
To casual onlookers, they made for the best kind of disposable party pop. To their devoted fans, they were taboo-breaking new wave kingpins. Now, with four decades of history under their belt, the B-52's look back and take their bow. Cindy Wilson speaks to PopMatters about their legacy.
We all miss the now-defunct UK outfit Wild Beasts, but with his solo album, singer Hayden Thorpe is aiming to make something more personal, and raw. Guiding his way? His "Five Albums That Show Me How It's Done".
Songwriter Andy Platts has played for everyone from Corinne Bailey Rae to Beyoncé and has written hits for K-Pop stars. However, his home base is UK soul outfit Mamas Gun, now going a decade strong. Celebrate their new album with Andy's picks of "Five Albums Where the Voice Is King".
As a pop-obsessive who was on the verge of being pigeonholed as a radio-ready pretty boy, Spencer Sutherland instead turned inward, dedicated himself to songwriting, and ended up creating a full-throated choir by looping his voice dozens of times over.
Wombats' frontman Matthew Murphy has new project called Love Fame Tragedy with members of the Pixies, Alt-J, and Pearl Jam. He gives us the "The Five Artists/Bands that have influenced I Don't Want to Play the Victim, But I'm Really Good at It EP".
A medical scare forced ionnalee to make what she thought might be her last album, and asked her fans to crowdfund her tour. They funded it in five days, and once home, was inspired to write a whole new album ripe with optimism -- and right when we need it the most.
After the biggest hit of their career, the indie-quirk all-stars JR JR return from a multi-year break with a new label and two new albums. As they count down their "Five Albums That Shaped My Musical Taste", we learn of how Josh used to call Sunny Day Real Estate band members at home.
Dark ambient artist Tor Lundvall is releasing his new album of early, surprising, and downright joyous pop-oriented material today and so he gives us a scintillating tour through the albums that shaped him.
For Ribbons, Bibio continues to move away from his defining folktronica sounds and to something increasingly pastoral, revealing to PopMatters what song made him feel palpable heartbreak, why he rarely performs live, and why his new album samples actual cow moos.