Music

The COVID-19 lockdown has turned a lot of us into sullen brats (quaranteens, if you will). We're proverbially “grounded” and relegated our rooms, totally oscillating from extreme despair to rage to boredom. We're experiencing the kind of maniacal munchies that could only previously be explained by a Biblical tide of hormones. Expendable income? Ha! Yes, everything sucks and life is so not fair, but before you ugly cry into your tattered poetry notebook, get this. Michigan punks The Lippies just dropped their surprise EP, Pop 'n' Lockdown, through label...
Oof. Heartbreak on top of a pandemic. If you are one of the millions of humans going through a breakup right now, my heart is with you. While reading this, you’re likely isolating in separate rooms from your live-in ex. OR you haven’t seen them in weeks and weeks, and have finally broken up through cryptic, barbiturate-enhanced text fights. Either way, your situation is brutal.There are a few things to consider. First, be kind to each other. Any challenges you have (or had) are likely...
SOCCER MOMMY Color Theory (Lorna Vista Recordings)      Sophie Allison (Soccer Mommy)’s sophomore record is all about time, and how it’s quickly running out. It’s also about catharsis, like on the seven-minute “yellow is the color of her eyes,” where she laments being away from her sick mother. Elsewhere on color theory, Allison chastises herself for her inner demons (“lucy”) and beautifully decimates white knights on “royal screw up,” an acoustic track that builds to become a symphony. But it’s “circle the drain,” in which Allison sweetly...
TOO FREELove in High Demand(Sister Polygon)     Too Free makes dance music for every space. The solo road trip, the dark warehouse club, the crackling excitement of sexual chemistry, or the wild confidence of finding yourself. Ultimately, Love in High Demand is about connection—and its heavy bass, shuffling beats, and tactile vocals perfectly reflect those kinetics. From the polyrhythmic R&B of “Elastic” and rich club sub of “ATM” to the warm, soulful ambience of “Breathing Underwater,” each track is a new embrace, beckoning you from its...
Nicole Atkins just released the music video for her new track, "Domino," off her upcoming album Italian Ice. This new track has a funky R&B feel and rolls along with a cool, indie rock vibe. Atkins' throaty vibrato floats over it all effortlessly as she sings, "Tme is up. This message will self destruct. Hey, hey, hey, hey, look out below. Watch 'em fall like dominos." The video was directed by Taylor McFadden. "Domino is an homage to the iconic opening scene to Saturday Night Fever, mixed with...
ORION SUNHold Space For Me (Mom + Pop) Hold Space for Me may be Orion Sun’s debut album, but don’t expect it to sound like the work of an amateur. A 23-year-old singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist from Philadelphia, Sun joins the ranks of alternative rap and R&B artists like Solange, the Weeknd, and Tierra Whack. Album standout “Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Leave Me)” showcases her emotional range, while tracks like “El Camino” and “Smooth” reveal her vocal versatility. The album’s 11 tracks effortlessly switch...
BEST COASTAlways Tomorrow(Concord Records) It’s been five years since Best Coast last released an LP, yet the Cali duo (Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno) made the wait well worth it. Always Tomorrow is a stellar collection of 11 songs that shows a considerable progression for the band—both in sound and in Cosentino’s now-substance-free lyrical perspective—reminding us that good things often take time. The sunny lead single, “For The First Time,” whetted our appetites for what was to come, with power-poppy tracks “Everything Has Changed” and “Graceless Kids” providing slick...
Everyone needs a little bit of escapism right now — at least, that’s what Israeli singer Netta Barzilai says. Barzilai, known mononymously as Netta, got her big break in 2017 when she auditioned for Season 5 of HaKokhav HaBa, Israel’s national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, moving on at each stage of the competition until she won first place and the right to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2018, which she also won. Since then, Netta has released 4 original songs and performed a handful...
GLADIESafe Sins(Lame-O Records)     How do you find a way out of grief? Gladie’s Augusta Koch (formerly of the excellent punk band Cayetana) explores the intricacies of loss through indie-pop synths, heart-soaring guitars, and powerfully delivered lyrics that ache with wisdom. The Philadelphia band targets my heart in the same spot as P.S. Eliot and the Mountain Goats, acknowledging that healing is messy, full of wild emotions and contradictions, and often feels worse after it feels better. Cynicism and hope go hand-in-hand on Safe Sins: “The...
There are a lot of rules in the era of COVID-19. Don't gather with your friends. Don't go outside (unless you're looking for TP or sustenance). Don't touch your face. Don't you dare eat that unwashed apple! Although we can all agree that these temporary guidelines are for the greater good, this strange new world can feel pretty oppressive at times. You might even go so far as to compare it to the humorless town from the ’80s flick Footloose, where dancing, teen hijinks, and general fun had been all...