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
Posts by: Guia Cortassa
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.
In it, the French musician, who worked with Yann Tiersen and Radiohead, among others, reworks the score and soundtrack for F....more
Amidst writing, producing, and starring in the FX series Atlanta and being cast to portray a young Lando Calrissian in an upcoming Star Wars installment, Donald Glover took some time to return to his Childish Gambino persona and has released one of the most interesting album of 2016....more
When it comes to musical legacies, Detroit’s is singular: talking about “Detroit sound” can refer to a jump into Motown’s soul vibes or a dive into the roots of techno’s hammering basses, two apparently distant and antipodal hearts that have more in common than we might think....more
If you were asked to name a Los Angeles solo musician who published his notable, kaleidoscopic debut album—made of orchestral arrangements, train noises, great melodies, and experimental cut-ups—in his mid twenties, after years and years of writing, chances are high you’d properly answer “Van Dyke Parks.” But now, there’s another artist who fit this description: Alex Izenberg....more
At the Guardian, Zadie Smith writes about why dance is important for her and for her writing:
The connection between writing and dancing has been much on my mind recently: it’s a channel I want to keep open. It feels a little neglected—compared to, say, the relationship between music and prose—maybe because there is something counter-intuitive about it.
For Atlas Obscura, Abby Norman retraces Barbara Newhall Follett’s mysterious history:
She is called a child prodigy, a literary luminary, a spirit of nature. So why have so few people heard of her or read her work?
For one, Barbara Newhall Follett disappeared without a trace when she was 25 years old.
On our way home, Lauren told me she talked to another woman at the Halloween party who went on and on about wishing to be a man for a day. The other woman just wanted to know what it felt like to penetrate.
So familiar have the aesthetic conventions of horror become that it is increasingly difficult to distinguish “real” Halloween movies from parodies. Something similar has occurred in our political life.
At the New York Review of Books, Christopher Benfey shares a brief history of collisions between humor and horror in Western literature (and American politics)....more
While I was in residential treatment, my Scrabble games with my mom slowed down. We both lingered over our turns, taking longer than usual to make the next move. Normally I rush to play my turn, keeping the tab open on my screen and the notification email in my inbox to rile up my OCD and force me into action.
By forcing blue-state liberal types to reckon with a demographic they had long dismissed as a punch line—low-income, uneducated whites in economically depleted regions—he [Donald Trump] awakened them to the fact that the groovy progressive social values they had assumed were a national fait accompli were actually only half the story.
The political becoming local and, in effect, personal, is what I think we saw playing out all across Columbia last week. If Ocosingo War Diary teaches us anything, it’s that what might seem like an obvious choice—ending a war of 52 years—from the global perspective actually might be quite a bit more complicated when the social fabric of a place is taken into consideration, especially the intergenerational baggage that’s asked to be unpacked when particular regions—some more resentful of the FARC than others—are asked to simply move on from the violence they and their families have experienced for generations.