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Half Waif's 'The Caretaker' Is a Small Art Pop Treasure

Half Waif's second album, The Caretaker, takes a microscope and a scalpel to the mysteries and wonders of the quotidian, to great effect.

Music

Hiss Golden Messenger's 'Forward, Children' Offers "Beauty in the Broken American Moment"

Hiss Golden Messenger offer up a welcome serving of musical communion, and in the service of others, during a time when we all need consolation and reassurance. Forward, Children is a PopMatters Pick and aids a worthy cause: education.

Music

Four Tet's 'Sixteen Oceans' Explores a Rich Sound Palette

Four Tet's 10th album, Sixteen Oceans, begins on the dancefloor, travels to the woods, and ends becalmed, invoking, and bestowing peace and tranquility.

Music

Electronic Artist Burial Creates Flawless Music of Bewilderment and Compassion

Burial's Tunes 2011-2019 is music that describes our alienation while it also provides us no little comfort in the face of that gloomy reality. This is flawless music of bewilderment and compassion in equal measure.

Music

Mark Mulcahy's 'The Gus' Is an Elusive and Mysterious Delight

Taking inspiration from the short fiction of George Saunders and featuring guest appearances from Rain Phoenix and J. Mascis, Mark Mulcahy condenses ten brilliant and baffling short stories into barely a half hour of music.

Music

Monomotion's 'Fujisan' Effortlessly Synthesizes Beats and Ambience

Monomotion have crafted a gorgeous suite of songs that you can dance to and relax with in a beautifully satisfying conclusion to a trilogy that began in 2015.

Music

Thom Yorke's 'ANIMA' Offers an Uplifting Kind of Dystopia

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke's third solo album ANIMA offers relatively peppy music to accompany his unsurprisingly bleak lyrical worldview, but it all works rather wonderfully.

Music

Liz Harris' Nivhek Project Is an Exercise in the Ineffable Nature of Grief

Grouper's Liz Harris offers a meditation on the sublime in a way that is itself sublimely beautiful on After its own death / Walking in a spiral towards the house.

PopMatters Picks

Jane Weaver's 'Loops in the Secret Society' Offers a Glimpse into the Mystic and Her Creative Process

Jane Weaver's Loops in the Secret Society revisits songs from her previous body of work in an "expansionist experiment" interwoven with ambient connective tissue.

Music

Fruit Bats' 'Gold Past Life' Is an Exhilarating Trip Down Multiple Memory Lanes

Deftly avoiding the pitfalls of nostalgia, Fruit Bats' Gold Past Life takes stock of life from the vantage point of middle age and charts a path forward with hope and no little circumspection, without once feeling sorry for itself.

Music

Stereolab's Recent Re-Isssues Are Re-Imagined, and Re-Contextualized to Stunning Effect

Reissues of two early albums are a startling reminder of Stereolab's power and influence. Their music not only re-invents itself, but it refreshes and renews its listeners as well.

Music

Vanishing Twin Travel the Spaceways on 'The Age of Immunology'

Vanishing Twin's second album, The Age of Immunology, challenges borders physical, cultural, and beyond in a remarkable musical odyssey.

Music

'Birth of a Nation' Unearths a Trove of Music from the Liverpool Scene

Over three discs and four hours, Cherry Red Records does a deep dive into the output of Liverpool's Inevitable Records, home to Pete Wylie and Pete Burns, among many others.

Music

Fujiya & Miyagi's 'Flashback' Takes a Compelling Look at Our Present Moment

Fujiya & Miyagi's eighth album, Flashback, packages a certain critique of nostalgia in the band's trademark motorik sound.

Music

Flying Lotus Does Not Always Soar on 'Flamagra'

Flying Lotus' fifth album Flamagra contains plenty of strong material but ultimately lacks a unifying coherence.

Music

Protomartyr's 'No Passion All Technique' Contains Plenty of Both

The reissue of Protomartyr's first album No Passion All Technique offers early signs of the band they would become on subsequent albums.

Music

Cate Le Bon's 'Reward' Is a Rich Prize

Cate Le Bon's fifth album Reward offers treasures beyond the everyday realm.

Music

The National's 'I Am Easy to Find' Is a Tangle of Beautiful, Messy Humanity

The National's eighth album is not as easy to locate or to live with, as its title suggests, but it contains passages of sublime beauty and grace.

Music

Olden Yolk's 'Living Theatre' Is Both Vital and Dramatic

Olden Yolk's second album, Living Theatre, is phenomenally impressive and powerful, while it explores small moments with great concision and ambition.

Music

A Certain Ratio's Legacy Is Immense, and Impressive

A Certain Ratio's acr:box is a comprehensive and often stunning collection that charts the Manchester band's fascinating career.

Music

A.A. Bondy's 'Enderness' Is a Soundtrack for Our Current Moment

A.A. Bondy makes a dead-eyed and deadpan assessment of the ways in which we are amusing ourselves to death with his new album, Enderness.

Music

Big Thief's 'U.F.O.F.' Embraces the Unknown and the Unknowable

Big Thief's third album U.F.O.F. is a sublime odyssey where the journey blithely overshadows the destination. U.F.O.F. is an almost perfect album.

Music

Reigning Sound's 'Abdication... For Your Love' Gets a Welcome Reissue

Reigning Sound's 2011 album, Abdication... For Your Love, reissued on Merge, is a tour de force of grassroots rock and soul.

Music

SOAK's 'Grim Town' Is Surprisingly Cheerful

SOAK's second album, Grim Town, belies its pessimistic title with some jaunty and bracing anthems of escape and liberation.

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