Music

Annie Lennox - Nostalgia | Rumpus Music

My Life with Annie Lennox: Nostalgia

By

I don’t use the term “lifelong hero” frivolously. There are a lot of people I respect and wish to emulate; Annie Lennox, however, is the only “lifelong hero” I’ll ever have. I need her. ...more

Wanted/Needed/Loved #17: Weyes Blood’s Mysterious Kris

By

To this day no one really knows where my kris came from or whether or not it’s a significant part of my family history, if it’s a random object or an heirloom with an untold story. ...more

Album of the Week: Jay Som’s Everybody Works

By

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
Leonard Cohen - You Want it Darker | Rumpus Music

Sound Takes: You Want it Darker

By

There are hard lessons about aging and dying and living on You Want It Darker that we’re not going to ever be done with until we either cure death or forget Leonard Cohen. ...more

Album of the Week: Nadia Reid’s Preservation

By

“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

Swinging Modern Sounds #78: Conceived as a Playlist

By

Shadowbahn [...] is among the most unusual, and most extreme, in a literary career that has often been marked by its unpredictability. ...more

Sound & Vision #29: Leah Hayes

By

Allyson McCabe talks with Leah Hayes, acclaimed illustrator, graphic novelist, songwriter, and musician. ...more

Album of the Week: Peter Silberman’s Impermanence

By

“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
Mister Loveless - Grow Up | Rumpus Music

Albums of Our Lives: Mister Loveless’s Grow Up

By

These golden years, precious and ephemeral, are falling in pieces at your feet everywhere you turn, and part of you thinks, let them. You almost wish, despite yourself, for this all to just go faster. ...more

Album of the Week: Molly Burch’s Please Be Mine

By

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

Wanted/Needed/Loved #16: Allison Crutchfield’s Sewing Machine

By

When I’m away touring, my clothes are my connection to home, my way of feeling myself. ...more

Album of the Week: Sinkane’s Life & Livin’ It

By

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

Song of the Day: “Gin House Blues”

By

Nina Simone’s troubles were highlighted in the recent gripping documentary by Liz Garbus, What Happened, Miss Simone? Though Simone had her fair share of challenges, it was her incredibly resonant voice and musical genius that contributed to the gradual accumulation of legends surrounding her.

...more
Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight | Rumpus Music

Albums of Our Lives: Frightened Rabbit’s The Midnight Organ Fight

By

Something about the twangy banjo and the melancholy vocals just made me feel less alone. And I hated being alone. ...more

Album of the Week: Sampha’s Process

By

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

Elliott Smith Podcast Premieres Today

By

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Elliott Smith’s seminal album Either/Or, and the upcoming release of Either/Or: Expanded Edition, The Guestlist and Kill Rock Stars have partnered to create Say Yes: An Elliott Smith Podcast. The six-episode miniseries will feature stories, memories, and conversations about Smith and Either/Or with folks including Gus Van Sant, who talks about using Elliott’s music in “Good Will Hunting,” Ben Gibbard, who laments never meeting Smith, and Sadie Dupuis, who reveals how his music provided the backdrop for a very intimate moment. 

...more

Song of the Day: “Me and My Gin”

By

Though the British blues-rockers The Animals recorded a gritty version of a song called “Gin House Blues” in 1966, the tune was originally released by Bessie Smith in 1928 under the name “Me and My Gin.” Smith, the storied blues singer of the Prohibition and Great Depression, did record another song a few years earlier that may have confused other artists over the years who attempted to cover Smith’s version.

...more
Wilco - Schmilco | Rumpus Music

Sound Takes: Schmilco

By

For a band wreathed with as many indictments as laurels, as many charges of settling into post-avant-garde “dad-rock” as praise for their artistry, it’s no surprise that Wilco’s always been preoccupied with getting reborn. ...more

Album of the Week: Allison Crutchfield’s Tourist in This Town

By

Allison Crutchfield has been making music her whole life: with her twin sister Katie first, then in bands like P.S. Eliot, Bad Banana, and Swearin’, founded with her former partner.

Now, Crutchfield has just released her first solo album, Tourist in This Town, via Merge Records.

...more

Sound & Vision #28: Ken Freedman

By

Allyson McCabe talks with Ken Freedman, the general manager of WFMU (the longest-running freeform radio station in the US), about the relevance of radio, technological innovation, and a just-launched morning show. ...more

Album of the Week: Cherry Glazerr’s Apocalipstick

By

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

Our First 100 Days

By

Our First 100 Days, started in conjunction with Secretly Group and 30 Songs, 30 Days, will release 100 previously unreleased songs via Bandcamp throughout Trump’s first 100 days in office. Sold in a subscription format for a minimum contribution of $30, fans will receive one song per day across the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. 

...more

Song of the Day: “Gin House Blues”

By

Today, the so-called British Invasion of the ’60s is remembered primarily for its flagship band, The Beatles. Another English group called The Animals—widely known for their international hit version of the folk song “House of the Rising Sun”—are unfortunately obscured by the long shadow of the former, but their screaming fans knew and loved The Animals’s gritty rock.

...more

On Self-Reliance: Frank Ocean as Emersonian Hero

By

As Emerson recognizes, someone who couldn’t care less about how they come across is all the more charismatic and convincing. ...more

This Week in Posivibes: Tim Cohen

By

Depending on how you track Tim Cohen’s prolific songwriting, Luck Man is either his first solo record or his fourth. This is a testament to the number of monikers that Cohen has used over the years to release the range of psych-inflected pop that has made him one of the pillars of San Francisco’s musical community.

...more

Album of the Week: The Flaming Lips’s Oczy Mlody

By

“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