Music

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...
As we finally change the channel on the past twelve months of nonstop drama, one thing's for certain: we've all got our eyes set on sunny skies ahead. Well, no matter what frigid weather (or post-2020 existential hangover) you're currently trudging through, there is, indeed, a bright spot on the horizon. Spring break has arrived early, and you can thank The Sorels for this miracle of bubble gum-rock-n-roll-pedal-to-the-metal-fun. Naturally, the animated music video—lovingly created by animator Nick Friesen—is one part Saturday morning cartoons, three parts charming. New to the...
Jesswar says it best herself: “Got venom in my lyrics/Bodies drop when I spit it.” In her latest music video release for “Venom”, the Fijian rapper cycles through intense, neon-lit scenes with the self-assurance and expansive energy of 90s New York City emcees.  Surrounded by a cohort of powerful women dressed in black, Jessswar oozes confidence as she is escorted to her throne where she studies an underground M.M.A. fight between two women with the nonchalance of a Roman emperor. There is a fervor unfolding as...
If there’s a silver lining to 2020, it’s that the year is rife with subject matter for protest art. Whether it’s a confederate monument coated in anti-racism manifestos or a mural honoring those lost to COVID-19, creators around the globe have put their stamp on the world’s worst year, memorializing it through art. Musician Ani DiFranco is no different. Her forthcoming album Revolutionary Love, to be released on Righteous Babe Records, distills political and emotional fallout from 2020. Her latest single, “Contagious”, is a protest song about the...
Becky Stark, Steve Gregoropoulos, and Ron Regé, Jr.—aka Lavender Diamond—return after eight years with an album that weaves acoustic rock, electronic, and orchestral pop seamlessly into their own unique sound. This is amply displayed on haunting tracks like “Look Through the Window,” “Ocean and Ground,” and “Please Plant the Seeds.” Things pick up on “In the Garden,” “Flashback,” and “New Religion” with a crunchy guitar groove. Stark’s ethereal voice is reminiscent of proto freak-folk goddesses Sandy Denny, Joni Mitchell, and Judee Sill. Now’s most definitely...
Unfortunately, the lawsuit that musician FKA twigs (legally known as Tahliah Debrett Barnett) filed against actor Shia LaBeouf last week is not the first accusation of abuse made about him. In her Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, Barnett alleges that LaBeouf committed sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress, and also accused him of knowingly giving her an STD. One of the events that Barnett recounts is an incident that took place in 2019 where LaBeouf purportedly sped down a highway without a seatbelt...
Singer-songwriter Jessica Vaughn has spent the majority of her life entertaining. Whether she’s writing songs for commercials and cartoons or performing as LACES, the multi-hyphenate artist knows what it means to persist. At 18, she signed her first major record deal under the stage moniker Charlotte Sometimes. Afterwards, Vaughn’s career took off, complete with chart-topping records and a stint on Warped Tour. However, behind the scenes of her rising stardom, Vaughn experienced what one publication called “the holy trinity of horror stories of women in...

What do you think of when you see the color red?  Sophie Fustec is a pianist and musician who grew up between Venezuela and the French neighborhood of Belleville. She created the moniker La Chica to fulfill her cravings for artistic freedom and expression, while reflecting upon the current political climate and serving as a voice for women in the music industry. Building onto powerful synth melodies, Fustec heavily incorporates her Franco-Venezuelan roots and Latin American heritage into her lyrics.  La Chica lives and breathes in technicolor....
Even the most casual observer of Miley Cyrus’ music career is aware of how eclectic her artistic evolution has been over the past few years. Her most recent studio album, Plastic Hearts, is no exception. To claim that Cyrus has been musically inconsistent from record to record would be an understatement; she’s dabbled in several subgenres, from country to what some might claim to be hip-hop. During her “Bangerz” era of 2013, Cyrus also received backlash for her cultural appropriation of twerking. So, yes, it’s...

Her third full-length, and second with Father/Daughter, I saw first light, finds Anna McClellan weightless. Recorded in her native Omaha with a slew of local collaborators, she employs dynamic instrumentals and barefaced lyrics to delve into themes like the infecundity of longing, the self and the collective, transit, and jumping off a cliff and never landing, as conceived in the day- dreamy single “Raisin.” I saw first light is a work of exploration, replete with whimsical organ and woodwinds, ambling bass, and mellifluous strings, all with...