Posts by: Guia Cortassa
Call It Love is Briana Marela’s third album, and her first after signing with Jagjaguwar. In the album’s ten tracks, the Seattleite explores the many facets of love, from its early sweet moments to the ending of a relationship, with a detour inspired by the book The Farthest Shore by Ursula K Le Guin....more
At only twenty-four, Vic Mensa is already an established member of the Chicago music scene and a social justice activist—from protesting his hometown police department after the shooting of shooting of Laquan McDonald to flying to Standing Rock and joining with the protestors to fight against allowing construction the Dakota Access Pipeline, he’s made his political feelings known....more
Cornelius is the alter ego of the legendary Japanese composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Keigo Oyamada.
Twenty years after releasing their iconic album Fantasma in 1997, and putting an end to an eleven-year-long silence, the Tokyo-based musician and his band are now back with Mellow Waves, out now via Rostrum Records....more
Waxahatchee just released Out in the Storm, via Merge Records, last week. Back in April, singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield spoke to Abby Haglage over at Lenny Letter about what’s behind the band’s fourth album:
I don’t want to call it a break-up record, but it was a romantic and professional relationship that fell apart.
The three Angeleno sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana have kept their distinctive, classic rock sound—inherited from the cover band they fronted in the early days together with their parents—smoothed out by the perfect production of longtime collaborator Ariel Rechtshaid, with help from Rostam Batmanglij....more
Born in Michigan but currently based in Berlin, Germany, Laurel Halo is one of the most compelling electronic producers around. Halo’s third album, Dust, is out now from Hyperdub, and is breaking all preconceptions about women in electronic music.
Mixing experimental beats, synth pop, and abstract sounds, with techno hints that peek out in her live sets, the classical and free-jazz trained musician creates a new, 3D sonic experience in her compositions....more
After rising to fame a decade ago with her band Gossip, and following a five-year silence, Beth Ditto is back on the scene with her first solo album, Fake Sugar, out now via Virgin.
Ditto’s charming pop performances find a new awakening in the twelve tracks of the album, on which she sings again about love, relationships (with her wife of four years, in particular), friendship, and human rights....more
“With every decision I made, I picked the least-tasteful option,” Australian singer-songwriter Kirin J. Callinan told the FADER in discussing how his newest album, Bravado (Terrible Records) came to be.
A wacky yet riveting journey into the clichés of contemporary pop but with a distinguished sonic quality and production, the album features guest appearances from DeMarco, Weyes Blood, James Chance, Alex Cameron, Connan Mockasin, Owen Pallet, Sean Nicholas Savage, and the Finn Family....more
Before becoming one of the most praised electronic music producers of the last few years, Omar Souleyman was a successful wedding singer in his homeland Syria, with something like five hundred live albums released through 2011, the year the civil war broke in his country, forcing him to flee to Turkey, where he’s been based ever since....more
Bryson Tiller made himself known in 2015, when, hailing from the streets of Louisville, KY, the then-twenty-two-year-old singer, rapper, and songwriter posted his debut single “Don’t” on his Soundcloud page, introducing a new style that blends “the urgency of trap music with the smoother sound of alternative R&B.” Subsequently, Tiller released his first album, T R A P S O U L, via RCA....more
Coming from Montreal’s notable music scene, the She-Devils, Audrey Ann Boucher and Kyle Jukka, approach their music-making more as visual artists than songwriters. Boucher draws and paints cartoon-influenced images, including the group’s album art, and Jukka is a “sound sculptor,” molding sonic pieces from samples and loops....more
Powerplant is the sophomore album of Los Angeles duo Girlpool, now out via Anti-Records. Starting out with an intimate, bedroom pop made up of vocals over guitar and bass, Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker then recruited Miles Wintner to record drums on their new material, creating a fuller sound which could easily fit under the “folk punk” umbrella, but taking up way more space than that....more
Hailing from the Bay Area and now based in Los Angeles, Harriet Brown is the self-proclaimed champion of “romantic funk,” a realm where Prince is king and Sade is queen. His debut Contact, just released by Innovative Leisure, is “a concept album about communication and the contact we purposely, accidentally and inherently struggle to make between friends, lovers and strangers, be them human or otherwise.”
Drawing inspiration from the late 1980s American funk and early 1990s British R&B, Brown composed, arranged, co-produced, and performed all the album’s tracks without any sense of nostalgia, updating familiar sounds to fit with the current cultural climate, “sexual and sensitive, ambiguous and androgynous.”...more
With rumors and speculation about another new record dropping on the second Coachella weekend flying, Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album DAMN. (out via TDE/ Interscope) has already established itself as an instant classic.
Lamar, who prefers to identify as musician and a writer rather than a rapper, called his album “Very urgent.” DAMN....more
In 2012, after leaving their homeland Venezuela for New York City and then London, Alejandro Ghersi began playing music under the stage name of Arca. A former child star, Ghersi has collaborated with Bjork and Kanye West. Now, the twenty-six-year-old producer and composer is releasing their third, eponymous album—the first via XL Recordings, and the first to feature Ghersi’s compelling vocals, breaking their long streak of producing extremely experimental, instrumental works....more
Tei Shi is Valerie Teicher—born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, raised between Bogota, Colombia, and Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in New York after graduating from Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Her new album, Crawl Space, out now from Downtown Records, is her coming-of-age diary transposed into music....more
Jay Som is the musical project of San Francisco singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Melina Duterte. The moniker was found via an online baby name generator and means “Victory Moon.” Everybody Works is her sophomore release, out via Polyvinyl Record.
Writing, recording, playing on, and producing almost every bit of her new album, Duterte keeps her signature DIY approach—wedding lo-fi rock to hi-fi home orchestration, and weaving evocative autobiographical poetry into energetic punk, electrified folk, and dreamy alt-funk....more
“I remember recording the tracks, it was about 11 at night, and I felt almost transcendental, as if I was out of my body, singing these words to myself. That’s what these songs are: a confession to my future and past self.” So Nadia Reid introduces her sophomore album Preservation, out now on new British label Basin Rock....more
“It’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you don’t play.” This quote from Miles Davis is what inspired Peter Silberman during the make of his first solo album, Impermanence, out now via Transgressive.
Forced by a temporary hearing impairment to leave Brooklyn, Silberman learned to deal with silence and its ungraspable dimensions in a quiet place in upstate New York, slowly reintroducing even the softest sounds into his life bit by bit as time went by, making music whispering words with an acoustic guitar, and singing about his illness and recovery....more
Torch songs, i.e. “sentimental love songs, typically one in which the singer laments an unrequited love,” were once the flagship of every respected crooner: with sultry lonesomeness, a smooth voice would dance above the elegant orchestra accompaniment, singing of lovers lost or unreciprocated romance....more
Take a musician born in London, raised for a time in Sudan, and relocated to Ohio at five years old. Have his parents make him listen to Bob Marley, and let him eventually discover great Afrobeat like William Onyeabor, and Pharoah Sanders’s legendary saxophone....more
After collaborating with the likes of Beyoncè, SBTRKT, Jessie Ware, Drake, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, and Solange, 28-year-old British singer, songwriter and producer Sampha has finally released his first solo album, Process, via Young Turks.
A significant and evocative title, anticipating the changes happening as listeners work through the LP’s forty minutes: the personal growth Sampha undergoes in taking his meditations on life and loss out of his bedroom and into the studio, crafting a moving and heartfelt urban soul album....more
Clementine Creevy is a nineteen-year-old girl from Los Angeles with a vision: having a career in music in a society that “would deem that a prodigious girl can’t be in a progressive rock band while also being in complete control of its creative vision, business plan, and social messaging.”
This is how Cherry Glazerr was born....more
“When asked (about our newest album Oczy Mlody) what does your new stuff sound like..?? My current response has been that it sounds like Syd Barrett meets A$AP Rocky and they get trapped in a fairy tale from the future.” It’s Wayne Coyne himself, penning those words in the official press release for his Flaming Lips’s newest album, Oczy Mlody, out last Friday from Warner Bros....more
What sets Bazan apart from artists like Sufjan Stevens and Death Cab for Cutie is his willingness to get a little darker and more intimate while evoking the pathetic ironies that come from the most poetic Elvis Costello lines and the most hard hitting from the late Vic Chesnutt lyrics.