Music

With her cathartic folk-rock project This Is the Kit, Kate Stables intuitively navigates 2020’s ups (recording and touring with the National) and downs (creative processes slowed by COVID-19). “It’s hard to remember that the cycle of good will return,” she writes, “but it will be back.” For Off Off On, Stables and her band harness those fleeting silver linings in a luminous sound bath of nylon-stringed guitars, piano, horns, and lyrical soul searching. “Was Magician” references powerful figures like Ursula K. Le Guin and Greta...
“We would like to observe a radical shift in the current paradigm of complacency in regards to oppressive power dynamics, genocide, racism, white supremacy, and colonization,” states Melbourne-based Indigenous two-piece Divide and Dissolve. Members Takiaya Reed and Sylvie Nehill embody this vision through heavy doom and dronescapes, often offsetting eerie neoclassical riffs with crushing drums, radiating saxophone, and guitar played as loud and as low as it will go. All eight tracks seethe with a potency capable of pulverizing the outmoded lineage of the very...
What Stevie Nicks is to rock fans, Siouxsie Sioux is to lovers of goth-rock.The lead singer-songwriter-sorceress Siouxsie Sioux has disclosed in interviews that she is not one for nostalgia, but I just can’t help feeling nostalgic for everything lately, especially the 30th anniversary of the song “Kiss Them For Me” by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Here is the hilariously dated music video that begins with the shot of someone popping open champagne in slo-mo.  Hearing it now, the song feels as vibrant as it did in 1991. Compared to...
Katy J Pearson leans softly into country heartbreak with Return. On this debut solo album, the former Ardyn member dusts off her acoustic guitar, folky feels, and newfound truth for the long haul. With fewer strings attached and a less-is-more approach, the singer/songwriter creates what she calls her most “honest” and “proper” songs yet. Like someone line dancing alone, Pearson makes bold musical moves with elegant simplicity and spunk. It’s moseying along, melancholy pop with perspective. By the time Pearson sings “I’ve changed for the...
Relive a New York City night out with Puck's first single, "Good Friends." Equal parts nostalgia-inducing and danceable, this track will remind you of the good old days —a small dark club, the thrill of a crush, glitter down your bra, and a tipsy subway ride home. Read on to learn more about Puck and how "Good Friends" came to be.  It's so cool that you've worked with artists like SZA. How does it feel to go out on your own with a solo project? How...
Though the members were born in the mid-late 1990s, Barcelona’s MOURN makesanthems of anguish, truth, and empowerment with a sound heavily influenced by the Y2K era. On the band’s new album, Self Worth, satisfaction comes with the refrain, “No matter where you are/Stay there.” The trio channels Sleater-Kinney, PJ Harvey, and Sebadoh, refurbishing and modernizing with cathartic Gen-Z brashness on songs like “This Feeling Is Disgusting,” “Gather, Really,” and “Men,” where they harmonize, “Many times I’ve said that I would like to be heard/But it’s...
Junglepussy, aka Shayna McHayle, manifests her true persona at full throttle on her fourth album—a soulful combination of trap, interstellar synth, blissful crooning, and brutally honest rhymes. Open-ing with the sensually sinister “Bad News,” the listener is welcomed to the cheeky yet haunted world of Junglepussy. The album’s brilliance lies in the dissonance between the backing tracks and the lyrics: on “Telepathy,” she intones, “I’m my own snack/Why you brought me to the store?” alongside a hypnotic synth; “Stamina” pairs orchestral strings with lines like...
The songs on Kevin Morby’s latest album, Sundowner, are informed by the isolated surroundings in which they were recorded—a backyard Kansas City shed, or a rural West Texas studio surrounded by pecan trees—in what Morby describes as his “attempt to put the Middle American twilight...into sound.” The album sounds like hanging out with your buds under a blanket of stars, cozying up by the campfire. (“Campfire,” in fact, is a particularly stand-out song, featuring Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee.) Sundowner is richly textured but sparse and...
For their fifth album, avant-pop band Micachu and the Shapes have changed their name to Good Sad Happy Bad and shuffled the lineup with keyboardist Raisa Khan stepping into the lead vocalist/songwriter role, composer Mica Levi handling guitar and electronics, Mark Pell on percussion, and multi-instrumentalist CJ Calderwood joining the group as a new addition. There is familiarity in the charming experimentation the group has mastered over the years, with Calderwood’s sax accentuating the dissonance and wooziness that play off the album’s deceptively sweet melodies....
It’s safe to say that Shamir made the most out of quarantine. In March, he released his Cataclysm project, but his second 2020 offering provides a whole other glimpse into his world. The eponymously titled project is equal parts personal and poignant. The vulnerable “On My Own” delves into the complexity of emotions, while “Running” travels further into the human psyche, with a deep dive into struggles with gender identity. If there’s one important aspect to glean from Shamir, it’s that his superpower is making...