If you’ve ever fought to pursue your dreams despite pressure from family or society, Yola’s inspiring story will resonate with you. Raised by a single mother in Bristol, UK, the guitarist and singer-songwriter fell in love with music at a young age, but her mother discouraged her from pursuing it as a career because it […]
Chicago group Courtesy have always staggered and glitched across the line between experimental and pop electronics. Their first album, 2011’s Idmatic (Tape Deco), recorded by members Drew Ryan and Kirk Rawlings in Memphis and Chicago, is filled with ambient drone and feedback noise but also illustrates their pop sensibilities; on “Sisters,” for instance, percussive clang […]
Chicago in Tune is a difficult festival to describe, since it includes basically all live music happening in the city from August 19 till September 19. How that looks to you depends heavily on which shows are on your radar. The Reader has provided you with a number of assists: a show calendar spanning the […]
On its first compilation, Buds Volume 1, Chicago label Rosebud Allday showcases the talent of its roster and its friends from the local scene. Founded in 2018 by Bill Ocean and producer Jayson “Jsun” Rose, Rosebud Allday specializes in the overlap of pop, hip-hop, and R&B; its sunny sounds recall Chicago neosoul groups such as […]
Pamplona, Spain, is probably best known for the festival of San Fermín, when thrill seekers run with bulls through the streets—which usually ends much worse for the animals than the humans. The four women in Melenas may not pull as big a crowd as that globally famous event, but on their new second album, Dias […]
Chicagoan Frank Zango possesses something like magic: under the name Zango the Third, he’s able to create oddly soothing, stylistically scrambled outsider-soul songs fast enough to fill several full-lengths a year. In early April, he self-released his second album of 2020, Aunt Ida’s Asteroid Mixtape, where he continues to stretch to the outer edges of […]
British singer Dua Lipa released her second album, Future Nostalgia, on March 27—a week earlier than she originally planned, but right on schedule to give the world a much-needed dose of bubblegum poptimism. The title track opens with a promise: “You want a timeless track, I want to change the game.” From there, the album’s […]
With their ruffled shirts, baggy Tripp pants, and signature painted-on mustache, Dorian Electra always look like they’re ready for a goth meetup at the Renaissance Faire. The nonbinary pop star is all about being too much, and though they’re still a relative newcomer, that energy has already earned them a fervent indie-pop following. Electra’s debut […]
On “Upset My Girlfriend,” from Metronomy’s 2019 album, Metronomy Forever (Because), Joseph Mount moans, “I used to play drums in a rock ’n’ roll band / But they kicked me out / ’Cause I used to feel it / And so I would speed up.” The song’s sparse, strummy indie pop and ambient keyboard flourishes […]
About six months before rapper-producer Kevin Abstract launched wildly popular hip-hop boy band Brockhampton in early 2015, he dropped his debut mixtape, MTV1987. Abstract had tapped a few guests to contribute vocals, including an aspiring pop artist from Chicago’s west suburbs named Jack Larsen—that’s him singing the sublime hook for “27.” Larsen has since joined […]
Robyn, Sky Ferreira, Haim, and Charli XCX aim a little to the left of the Top 40—and give the Pitchfork crowd something to dance about.
Last weekend this ambitious festival brought together several generations and even more genres of Latinx music.
Kim Petras opens for South African singer-songwriter Troye Sivan at the Chicago Theatre this weekend.
Folk singer Megon McDonough made her 1972 debut LP while still in high school and in 1990 joined Christine Lavin’s Four Bitchin’ Babes.
Jordanna has left behind the riot-grrrl trio Glamour Hotline to make her bodacious new solo EP Sweet Tooth.