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Music

These days, it seems like you see the phrase “The Future Is Female” everywhere you look. While that may be the case, it’s also true that the present is largely female — at least as far as music is concerned. And if you think that present is limited to Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, think again. There are probably more talented women out there—young and old, black and white, straight and gay and everything in between—making music than ever before. Here are five of them.  Celisse...
  JON SPENCERSpencer Sings the Hits (In the Red Records) Jon Spencer knows that all you need in order to write a stompin’ rocker is an old guitar, a beat-up amp, and a bit of attitude. On his solo debut, Spencer (of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Pussy Galore, Boss Hog) serves up 12 tracks, all glowing with gritty, golden fuzz just begging to be played at your next late-night after-party, when things start to get a little sweaty, loud, and broken. On the song “I Got the...
  PIP BLOMPaycheck(Persona Non Grata) To hear some people tell it, rock is dead. Yet somehow, promising young musicians keep cropping up. One such person is Pip Blom of Amsterdam, who began her career by writing a bunch of songs in her room. Those first few releases, in 2016, were all breezy pop-rock constructions that landed somewhere between Courtney Barnett and Kate Nash—buoyant, but not very revolutionary. Paycheck is something else entirely. Backed by a full band and armed with a newfound wistfulness, Blom cranks up the...
BOYGENIUSSelf-Titled(Matador)      Boygenius is the new project of indie mavens Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus, catalyzed by an upcoming tour and a mutual affinity for one another, both personally and musically. The six-song seven-inch is collaborative, but balanced by each artist’s own devastating songwriting abilities. Dacus’ album opener, “Bite the Hand,” sets the tone with pared-down instrumentation that builds into beautiful harmonies—each voice distinct yet complementary to the whole. Bridgers’ “Me & My Dog” is a wistful snapshot looking back at an unraveled relationship;...
Parisian indie music group Bagarre's new song "Diamant" (meaning "Diamond") celebrates female masturbation. The video features a teenage girl eager to discover the female orgasm. With the encouragement from the female lead in Bagarre, the girl escapes dinner with her overbearing traditional parents and hides in the bathroom, where she unzips her pants. It’s a social commentary about sexual freedom, but it also playfully addresses the issue of representation. In an interview with The Huffington Post France, lead singer Emma Le Masne says (translated), “I realized that...
  Utrecht celebrates sound and musical boundary-crossing at the 12th annual Le Guess Who? festival, November 8-12, 2018. Taking over the city center of the beating heart of the Netherlands, Le Guess Who? festival returns with performances from rock trailblazers Mudhoney, film-score artist (and yes, brother to Brian) Roger Eno, alt-rock icons the Breeders, and North England rising stars Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs. With performances across pop venues, theatres, churches, galleries, and industrial warehouses, there will also be satellite events popping up at nearby...
Riot grrrl legend Allison Wolfe, of the band Bratmobile, interviews indie icon Liz Phair about mansplainers, media manipulation, and the magic of making music. In June of 1993, bedroom-tape prodigy turned indie-music darling Liz Phair unleashed her answer album to cock-rock culture, Exile in Guyville, upon an unsuspecting college radio scene. A song-for-song response to the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St., Phair’s candid, sex-positive tales dressed in indie pop enabled her to hijack the traditional, male rock ‘n’ roll narrative. And her observations of how...
WARM DRAG Self-Titled (In the Red Records) Warm Drag’s self-titled debut feels like a hot summer night out: dark, jagged, a bit off-the-cuff, and memorable. Made up of Paul Quattrone (Oh Sees and !!!) and Vashti Windish (Golden Triangle), the band’s sound consists of amp feedback, fuzz-soaked guitar, and ’70s percussion, all swathed in Windish’s filtered, crackling vocals. This record is not for the soft or tender. Tracks like “Cave Crawl,” “Someplace I Shouldn’t Be,” and “Cruisin’ The Night” feel hedonistic and bursting with desire. This album also...
Heather Baron-Gracie has the perfect Halloween costume. Without giving too much away, the Pale Waves vocalist’s day-to-day aesthetic will be enhanced just enough to transform into a certain offbeat Tim Burton character. It’s safe to say that the Halloween night stop of their headlining tour will be a blast. But appearances aren’t everything, and Pale Waves are actually here to reinforce that. Behind their gothic exterior, the band creates dreamy pop while standing by their no-fucks-given philosophy. Speaking to Heather from across the pond on the final...

  MISERABLELoverboy/Dog Days(Sargent House) Vocalist/instrumentalist Kristina Esfandiari, of King Woman, makes dark, shoegaze music as Miserable. The follow-up to Miserable’s 2016 full-length, Uncontrollable, this release combines two EPs—a new set of songs titled Loverboy, and a re-mastered reissue of the 2015 cassette Dog Days. “Loverboy,” is heavy and has a profoundly emotional quality in line with what you might expect; the bruised power-pop of “Gasoline” showcases Esfandiari’s powerful, guttural voice. The second half, Dog Days, is lighter and trades distortion for a dreamier pop approach, but pain...