Music

On February 7, a judge made a ruling in the defamation lawsuit against Kesha. She ruled that Kesha tarnished Dr. Luke’s reputation when she texted Lady Gaga that he raped Katy Perry. Perry said on the record that this assault never happened. Kesha now has to pay Dr. Luke, her rapist, $375,000 for late royalties. This horrifying instance of injustice shows just how prevalent revictimization is in the justice system. While there have been some wins for sexual assaul tsurvivors, more often than not, their reputations...
The Russian police just shut down production on Pussy Riot’s new music video, citing “extremism” and “gay propaganda,” among other things. The group, known for their feminist anthems, was shooting a video for their latest single, “БЕСИТ / RAGE,” in a studio when the power was abruptly cut out and the group was forbade from bringing in a generator to finish filming. Now, the punk rock band is short $15K that they spent on production and will never be able to get back, all due...
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS In the Morse Code of Brake Lights (Concord Records)    In the Morse Code of Brake Lights is road music for an uncertain future. This eighth album from the iconic power-pop collective the New Pornographers dives headlong into a horizon we can’t quite see: all the shaky energy of America in 2019 bundled into a set of songs that feels warm and lush, bold and escapist. It’s also, to be clear, just a damn fine record. Tracks like “Colossus of Rhodes” channel the starry, harmonic atmosphere...
ANI CORDERO El Machete (Panapén Records)   Ani Cordero is mad as hell and this album is her way of coping. The Puerto Rican activist and artist’s latest was inspired by a dream in which she battled her enemies with a wooden machete. In 10 tracks, Cordero fights off corruption, misogyny, and oppression with hope. The electro bop “Préstame Tus Penas” asks for compassion for her people, while “Pan Pan (Sin Mantequilla)”’s chants of “Bread, bread/Without butter,” is about fighting for more than government scraps. What may be lost...
King Princess Cheap Queen (Zelig) King Princess (aka Mikaela Straus) has a public stamp of approval from Harry Styles and a contract with Mark Ronson’s record label, but as her most popular single “1950”—a melancholic ballad of queer longing, inspired by a Patricia Highsmith novel—might indicate, she aims to be a different kind of pop star. The songs on her debut full-length album, Cheap Queen, wouldn’t sound out of place alongside anything on the Hot 100, but each does require more attention than the average earworm. Most of the...
YOUNG M.AHerstory in the Making (M.A Music/3D)     It’s hard to believe Young M.A—a charismatic and gifted rap fixture whose singles blew up online, and on the charts, mid-decade—is just getting around to releasing her first full-length album. At 21 tracks, Herstory in the Making brings romance, bluster, and an unabashed embrace of sexual identity, as well as the sacrifices, perks, and perils of success. A talented lyricist, M.A drops cheeky, meaningful wordplay and clever turns of phrase. “Da Come Up” is a catchy, mellow jam about determination, while ”Smoove Kriminal” rocks at...
HANA VUNicole Kidman/Anne Hathaway(Luminelle Recordings) Hana Vu’s sophomore double EP Nicole Kidman/Anne Hathaway isn’t as subdued as 2018’s How Many Times Have You Driven By, but it’s just as self-reflective. This time around, the message is more look at me, see me. Vu is full of surprises and keenly aware. Dance-y and spiteful one minute (“At the Party”) then “forever in a drag” the next (“Order”), it’s a smoky, swaying puzzle. And speaking of double takes, there’s a grunge cover of Mulan’s “Reflection” you never...
Halsey’s third studio album, Manic, is quintessentially an album about being in your twenties, about the muddle of being at what feels like the height of one’s youth and desirability while simultaneously being as uncertain and sensitive as you’ll likely ever be. In your twenties, you’re legally an adult, yes, but you still seemingly lack the power, privileges, and security of full adulthood in many ways. Taken as an artistic statement, Manicperfectly conveys the inherent tensions and pitfalls of seeking out and forming connections when you’re a...
“I feel so happy / I feel so good,” sings Banny Grove vocalist Louise Chicoine. “I’ve got to tell it to the whole wide world.” Even if you’re freezing, the California band’s new video – a treat with pastel costumes, roller-skating and line-dancing, and confetti – will warm you from the inside out. “‘So Happy So Good’ is a song I wrote while riding my bike to work,” Chicoine tells BUST. “It’s a memory of a time when I was joyfully plugging away at life and...
TEGAN AND SARAHey, I’m Just Like You(Sire) For nine straight albums, Tegan and Sara have remained consistent. Perhaps it’s their in-utero connection as twins, or maybe they’re just that good. Whatever it is, Hey, I’m Just Like You is yet another win. The project follows 2016’s Love You To Death, and from the moody opener “Hold My Breath Until I Die,” it’s clear that the duo still knows how to combine real musicianship with mainstream sensibility. The title track is further proof of that, along with...