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Sunwatchers fuse proto-punk and free jazz, while Olden Yolk craft sophisticated, harmony-laden pop

On their bruising second album, Sunwatchers II (Trouble in Mind), New York instrumental quartet Sunwatchers further refine their flinty collision of scorching free jazz and numbing proto-punk. Yet while the combo’s ethos is guided by influences such as the Stooges blowout “LA Blues” and the acidic skronk of guitarist Sonny Sharrock, there’s more to their […]

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As the Messthetics, two D.C. punk legends and a mystical guitarist break genre barriers

D.C. punk legends Fugazi took an indefinite hiatus in 2003, though they’ve continued to flood the world with new music—or unreleased recordings, anyway. In 2011 the band launched the Fugazi Live Series, a site archiving hundreds of concert recordings that showcase their exceptional improvisational skills. Punks may shudder to think of it this way, but […]

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As Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Adam McIlwee threads together emo, trap beats, and occultism

Pennsylvania singer-producer Adam McIlwee says he doesn’t like emo, but he’s anchored to the genre. For close to a decade, he fronted Tigers Jaw, one of the brightest acts in the fourth-wave emo scene, and his yearning vocals lent the band’s music a hard-to-measure bittersweet allure. McIlwee left the group in 2013, though, and pulled […]

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Frankie Cosmos delivers another aching, poignant record of two-minute indie-pop songs

And just like that, Frankie Cosmos—otherwise known as Greta Kline, and otherwise tied to an obligatory footnote, given that her parents are Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline—released her third studio full-length in four years. Though the brand-new Vessel is the biggest record to date for the 24-year-old lo-fi indie darling, featuring an even fuller band […]

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Drummer Chad Taylor, a quintessential ensemble player, creates atmosphere and color on his solo debut

Over the past couple years, drummer Chad Taylor has been on fire, contributing to some of my favorite recordings, among them albums by trumpeter Jaimie Branch, bassist Eric Revis, and pianist Mara Rosenbloom. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to jazz. In the late 90s Taylor cofounded the Chicago […]