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Music

Ex Hex were in fine form Thursday night when they blew the roof off of The Bowery Ballroom in NYC.  Performing songs from their first album Rips as well as from their new release It’s Real on Merge Records (see BUST's review in our March/April 2019 print edition). The band’s members, Mary Timony on guitar and lead vocals, Betsy Wright, guitar and vocals, and drummer, Laura Harris, played an electric, high energy show. Songs like ‘Tough Enough,’ ‘Another Dimension,’ and their new single ‘Rainbow Shiner’ rocked the very appreciative,...
  Gary Clark Jr. is a tall, quiet, mesmerizing drink of water with the handshake of a man who uses his hands for a living. Years of playing guitar have led to the singer/songwriter’s thrilling third album, This Land, a new blues-rock collection that forces listeners to confront the harsh realities of living in America. An Austin native, the 34-year-old pushes past the boundaries of what people think he should be to create a sound all his own.  Barack Obama once called Clark “the future of music,”...
Steph Durwin is a musical dynamo. A prolific songwriter, his melodies and lyrics echo sentiments of James Taylor and Joni Mitchell in their detailed storytelling and early '70s folk sound. His latest album HomeGrown (Spotify playlist below!) is an eloquently honest narrative detailing Steph’s personal experience with transitioning while offering encouragement and solace to individuals in the same position. As the NYC Regional Manager of Trans Trenderz, a non-profit record label that signs trans and non-binary musicians, Steph is passionate about combining music and activism...
  WEYES BLOODTitanic Rising(Sub Pop) Let Weyes Blood (aka Natalie Mering) take you on a moonage daydream with her third studio album. On the squealing “Andromeda,” she gives off some real Joan Baez by way of Stephen Hawking vibes. The song plays into the magical realism of this record, which questions modern dating (“Everyday”) and the psychological side-effects of movies (“Movies”). And the truths Mering uncovers are not always happy. But, just like in the stunning opener “A Lot’s Gonna Change” and the slide-guitar-infused “Something To Believe,”...

Erika Spring, of the bands Au Revoir Simone and Nice as Fuck, is back with a new EP called Scars, her first release since her solo debut in 2012.  The songs on Scars are sparse and sorrowful, colored by Spring’s journey towards motherhood.  Written alongside music partner Homer Steinweiss, Spring says about one of the songs on this EP: “We wrote the track ‘Scars’ around the time that I had an early miscarriage. The song came together so naturally at the piano, and the words just spilled out....

JENNY LEWISOn The Line(Warner Bros.) On the Line, Jenny Lewis’ fourth solo album, features help from an arsenal of pro friends including Ringo Starr and former Tom Petty keyboardist Benmont Tench. Since her first solo release in 2006, Lewis (formerly of the ’00s band Rilo Kiley) has progressed easily from indie-folk to country to alt-pop, now stepping confidently into the realm of classic rock. “Red Bull & Hennessey” is a top-down anthem that evokes the Heartbreakers backing a Stevie Nicks hit, hinting that this may be...

EX HEXIt’s Real(Merge)    It’s Real, Ex Hex’s second album, is energetic without being messy, and it’s indicative of the band’s approach to music: big and raucous, but carefully crafted. The record starts strong with “Tough Enough,” which features lead singer/guitarist Mary Timony’s signature tight riffs. As with their 2014 debut, Rips, the D.C. trio evokes ’70s rock bands like the Runaways, packing a punch with songs like the booming single “Cosmic Cave” and the summer-montage-worthy track “Diamond Drive.” A three-piece may be traditionally considered small, but make no mistake: Ex Hex...
They say that there is nothing new under the sun. But, they, surely had not heard of Taali yet. Taali, the singer-songwriter-producer is nothing short of refreshing. Having written for other pop singers in Los Angeles, Taali is here, delivering her debut album, “I Am Here” with a polished sound all her own: Contemporary Jewish Pop. Full of thoughtfulness, genuine intentions, powerful imagery, and airy harmonies, the 15-track album, is proof that Taali and her much needed positivity, are here to stay. Below, Taali opened up...
  Meg Mac finds it impossible to effectively describe the sound of her music. Instead of searching for words to illustrate her unique tone, Mac says that she wants her live concerts to speak for themselves. She tells BUST in the middle of her US tour, “Performing live is the best part of it all. Touring and traveling. The best way to gain an insight [into my work] is to come to one of my shows. My live performance offers a much deeper understanding of what...
  AMANDA PALMERThere Will Be No Intermission(Cooking Vinyl) Amanda Palmer’s crowdfunded new solo album is about life now. Her lyrics refer candidly to motherhood (“A Mother’s Confession”) and the deeper meanings we put on inanimate objects (“The Thing About Things”). Survival is key on this 20-track album, making it hard to get through in one sitting. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though, since pausing to take in “Drowning in the Sound,” a panic-driven climate-change tale, feels necessary. “The Ride,” an over-10-minute ghostly opus, compares life...