The wit of Ian Svenonius is something to which we’ve never quite been privy, a clever commentary between him and himself that’s probably brilliant despite being totally impenetrable to everyone else. (Have you read his book Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ’n’ Roll Group?) Sometimes you have no choice but to respect an artist’s […]
By now, the distinctive methods with which jazz drummer Makaya McCraven composes albums are well-known. Many of us learned about his prowess as a producer from 2015’s In the Moment, an expansive double LP on which McCraven spliced together parts from more than two dozen of his live sets to form a cohesive, free-flowing groove […]
Chicago postpunks Facs inherited members from Disappears, but for the new Lifelike they’ve found the personnel and the sound to become a self-contained band.
Like many avant-garde-leaning guitarists, Bill MacKay exudes the spirit of a wandering player walking the earth, at peace with pulling up a rickety stool and shuffling through a dusty acoustic jam with whomever he happens to encounter along the way. A frequent collaborator with local savant Ryley Walker (the pair have made a small selection […]
There’s never much debate about whether or not a new Robyn album is a party—it’s rather about what kind of party it is. With her 2010 trio of Body Talk releases, the Swedish dance-pop phenomenon unleashed a rank of futuristic club bangers, several of which, including “Dancing on My Own” and “Call Your Girlfriend,” are […]
Cherry Glazerr are a rock band. Now, you can go and split that hair a thousand different ways—comparing them to a predictable string of women-fronted groups that were popular in the 90s or acknowledging that their not-so-delicate balance of styles is two parts vintage this and one part modern that, among other critiques. But the […]
It’s been nearly five years since Sharon Van Etten released Are We There―which means it’s also been nearly five years without that voice. The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter has long possessed the secret power to sound woefully resigned to the poetic drudgery of life while simultaneously prophetic in her realization of that. Though Van Etten is a […]
After my first listen to last year’s, Forever Neverland (Columbia), the latest full-length from Danish singer-songwriter MØ I realized that I had stumbled into a bizarre experiment. When I listened to the electro-pop album on Spotify, I hardly noticed the typically disruptive between-song ads (no, I don’t have a Spotify subscription—what of it?). I read this […]
On Bully’s second full-length record, Losing (released late last year on Sub Pop), vocalist and guitarist Alicia Bognanno doesn’t fuck around. As suggested by its blunt cover art—a stark black-and-white photo of Bognanno sitting cross-legged with her hair shrouding her face—Losing is sincere but exacting, a record balanced between emotive indie-rock moments and rip cords […]
Instrumental guitar rock does not need to brood. It does not need to swoosh, swirl, ache, or throb. It’s not always Explosions in the Sky. Much like San Francisco’s the Fucking Champs—who helped popularize an instrumental style of blazing riff-rock within underground circles—Georgia four-piece Double Ferrari lean way (way) more metallic than mopey, with a […]
The Biscuits began life as decrepit Chuck E. Cheese animatronics in the collection of Logan Arcade proprietor James Zespy—and now they’re lean, mean horror-punk machines.
During their mid-2000s heyday, Providence foursome Daughters fed off their own recklessness to the point that it became an inextricable part of their identity. Excellent example: I caught them on tour in (maybe) 2007 in Covington, Kentucky, with Louisville hardcore-punk maniacs Lords during which an absolutely plowed member of one band stumbled onstage to take […]
Exploded View write many components of their songs to sound as though they’re falling away at a far distance. The trio’s sparse rhythms and fluttering electronics often melt so deep into the backgrounds of their tracks that you feel left with no other choice but to try and follow their postpunk- and industrial-influenced noise down […]
Chicago’s fall frenzy makes fairweather fandom fun.
On being young, ambitious, and falling in love with the city, block by block, on a bicycle.