Tag » music reviews
  Electronic musician and producer (and former BUST cover girl) Grimes (a/k/a Claire Boucher) made a landmark record with 2012’s Visions, a DIY, feminist work of art that took inspiration from such varied sources as Nine Inch Nails and Mariah Carey. Her new album, the much-anticipated follow-up Art Angels, is more focused in its scope: pure pop for 2015.   Tracks like “Kill V. Maim” and “Venus Fly,” the latter of which features Janelle Monáe, are like dubstep fight songs for a fierce, alternative girl gang. Read More
  HURRY UP Hurry Up(Army of Bad Luck) On their self-titled first album, Portland’s Hurry Up bring energy and musicianship to their refreshing take on Northwestern punk. The band includes Kathy Foster and Westin Glass from the Thermals and Maggie Vail of Bangs, all of whom have spent a decade-plus in the Pacific Northwest punk scene.  The production here is decidedly lo-fi, and that suits Hurry Up just fine—the tracks retain the energy of their live shows. Read More
  T-Swift is always making headlines. Among other things, she's recently seen the light and is a self-proclaimed feminist, Diplo has been calling her out on Twitter for not having an ass (with none other than Lorde quickly coming to her defense), and have you guys seen her ridiculously gorgeous cover for Wonderland Magazine?? But we can’t forget why she’s here in the first place—she’s an amazingly talented artist. Her highly anticipated album, 1989, has topped the charts and blown out speakers everywhere. Well, at least in my apartment. Read More
To me, most of today’s indie music feels like fluff: pop tarts and faux-alternative “stars” with songs that have no context and rarely any lyrical challenges. It seems like there’s a dearth of strong females who write catchy, strong rock music that deeply questions popular culture, femininity, misogyny, and women’s place in the world. But Brooklyn-based psychedelic R&B band Teen will restore your faith. Read More
  Maïa Vidal is living out the bohemian cousin of the American dream. The 24-year-old Californian booked it for Europe after her college graduation and never looked back, honing her chops on the accordion, violin, and toy piano while living abroad in Paris and Barcelona. Any chanteuse who sounds as though she could singlehandedly take on the Amélie soundtrack is OK in my book, and in that regard, Vidal’s effortlessly offbeat style fits the bill beautifully. Flush with finger-snaps, handclaps, warm strings, and the pings of toy instruments, God Is My Bike is an ambitious, busy effort. Read More
If you like mysteriously dark yet candy-sweet indie pop, Chaos Chaos’s S is the EP for you. Chaos Chaos is comprised of multitalented Brooklynite sisters Chloe and Asy Saavedra, formerly child stars of the indie pop band Smoosh. They play an array of instruments, including synthesizers, acoustic piano, many different types of drums, and saxophone, and they also use experimental vocals. Like BUST favorite Amanda Palmer, they funded their album through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Chaos Chaos recently released the official music video for their track “My Hands. Read More
L.A. singer-songwriter AG (of the Rescues), industry giant Maia Sharp, and Missouri musician Garrison Starr are touring together, and, believe me, you want to see this show. AG,  Sharp, and Starr are all expert writers and performers who merge a variety of influences, including folk, pop, rock, and Americana, to create their own individual styles. I had the good luck to see them perform together at New York’s Rockwood Music Hall last Tuesday. Unlike most "group shows," the women take turns being in the spotlight while the others play backing band and sing harmonies. Read More
Jumping seamlessly from style to style and interweaving elements from garage rock, ’60s girl groups, and cabaret, the music of Austin-based duo Agent Ribbons is hard to classify. On Let Them Talk, the band takes a lighter turn than on its past two full-lengths and embraces the whimsical side of its twisted-fairytale style. Opener “Family Haircut” begins with ethereal “oohs” sung over ominous drums, but soon enough, the pace picks up while frontwoman Natalie Gordon sings, “A restless heart is like a satellite. Read More
When Rupa Marya isn’t healing the sick as a doctor at her day job, she leads the world-music quintet Rupa and the April Fishes. Their newest album, BUILD, is produced by Todd Sickafoose — best known for collaborating with folk songstress Ani DiFranco — and promises the gritty, bass-heavy folk realness that is Sickafoose's trademark. Based in sunny San Francisco, the band's members come from all over the world to fuse R&B with many multicultural influences, including Latin, African, Yelamu Indian, and Islander music. Read More
In 2001 Stars released Nightsongs, a sleek soundtrack for after-hours spent under bedside lamps instead of city lights. Despite lyrics about breakups, it sounded a little like Portishead for people who haven't had sex yet. Eleven years later, the Montreal quintet is still singing about young lovers, but their gimlet eyes have narrowed. On "The Theory of Relativity," the first single from their sixth studio album The North (out now on ATO), frontman Torquil Campbell beseeches someone to "stop to think a little." Blooming with synths, the track re-attires indie pop for the dance club. Read More