In the three and a half years since Bat for Lashes (aka Natasha Khan) released Two Suns, her brand of vaguely goth chamber pop has taken off—just ask Florence + the Machine, Zola Jesus, or Grimes. Those ladies are wonderful, of course, but we’ve missed Bat for Lashes’ singularly weird beauty. On her third album, The Haunted Man, Khan’s talent is out in full force. Opener “Lilies” kicks things off with an operatic, string-laced bang that recalls Kate Bush, the O.G. chamber-pop icon. Read More
Like many other people, I took English in high school, and like many other high school English students, I was moody, brooding, and really into canon "romance" novels. So it should come as no surprise that Wuthering Heights holds a dear, dear place in my heart. I was fully prepared to love Andrea Arnold's new film adaptation of the Emily Brontë masterpiece, especially given that Arnold directed 2009's instant classic Fish Tank and had cast Skins' Kaya Scodelario as Catherine. Read More
Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) has always been something of a heartbreaker, whether she’s trying her hand at country-tinged, whiskey-drenched blues or putting a haunting spin on old classics. For her ninth full-length Sun (out today on Matador), Marshall has gone electro—imagine Moon Pix’s “Cross Bones Style” with a bigger budget and without the minimalism. A thumping synth drives “Real Life,” a meditation on dissatisfaction that sounds almost Auto-Tuned. The album may be called Sun, but there’s not much light here. Read More
If you are a human with access to the internet, you are probably aware that Magic Mike premiered this weekend. You are probably also aware that it involved mostly naked men, several of whom are very, very good-looking, and one of whom is a very excellent dancer. But here's the thing--did you also know that there's a thing called pornography? Because that exists, too, and if you're into naked dudes, you should probably just watch that instead.  Never in my life have I seen so many women lined up to see a movie--and this is coming from someone who has seen every Twilight film at midnight. Read More
Every once in a while a record comes along that's so good, you refuse to take a break from listening to it long enough to give anything else a chance. In this case, that record is a 4-song EP that has been "coming out soon" for approximately the past 5 months. Let me assure you--it was absolutely worth the wait.  Hyped as the savior of female MCs since last fall's debut single "212" took everybody's iPod by storm, Azealia Banks finally dropped her first official release, 1991 (out now on Polydor). Read More
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost four years since New Zealand’s Ladyhawke, otherwise known as Pip Brown, burst onto the scene with her immensely danceable debut record, but her second album Anxiety will make you forget she ever left. “Girl Like Me” starts things off with a Metric-inspired bang, with Brown’s smoky vocals cascading over layers of snappy drums and punchy bass lines. First single “Black White & Blue” begins as a relatively mellow head bopper but quickly erupts into a triumphant chorus of synthesizers and guitars. Read More
“Kickball Katy” Goodman is perhaps best known for her work with Brooklyn lo-fi queens Vivian Girls, but on Sees the Light, her sophomore solo effort as La Sera, she shows off a softer side that’s more croquet than kickball. Album opener “Love That’s Gone” is a lilting, ’90s-style ballad full of melodic guitar lines and sweet, distortion-free vocals. “I Can’t Keep You in My Mind” is a heartfelt anthem to losing interest, while “Please Be My Third Eye” is a poppy, upbeat jam perfect for beachside dance parties. Read More
Despite her recent forays into poppier territory, Norah Jones still calls to mind the image of a young chanteuse churning out wise-beyond-her-years jazz tunes in a downtown club. On her fifth album Little Broken Hearts, she’s still downtown, but she’s traded the jazz club for a hip, hole-in-the-wall pub. After working with him on 2011’s Rome, Jones reteamed with Danger Mouse as her producer, and his indie, hip-hop influence is all over this release. Read More
Leave it to RuPaul to make a reunion special interesting. I’ve been watching reality TV since the original New Orleans season of Real World, when Julie the Mormon got kicked out of Brigham Young University for co-habitating with men. Yet I’ve only tuned in to a reunion special once or twice (and one of those occasions was when I needed to see what Teresa would say after she flipped that table on Real Housewives of New Jersey). Read More
RuPaul, of all people, should know the value of a climax. So why then was last night’s "finale"of RuPaul’s Drag Race so unbelievably anti-climactic? Because they didn’t announce a winner! Ugh, this show. I think we all sort of saw this coming, because the title of the episode was "The Final Three," but still. If the prospect of finally finding out what Willam did wasn’t enough to drum up an audience for the reunion episode next week, this definitely is.  For the final challenge, the remaining contestants starred in a music video for RuPaul’s song "Glamazon. Read More