Sometime around the release of his 1984 album Climate of Hunter, Scott Walker discorporated and his consciousness scattered. Periodically, he’s able to gather his atoms back together and create a harrowing dispatch from the ether before vanishing for another decade or so. His once-golden voice reduced to a haunted wail, Walker painstakingly recreates the sounds of traveling through half-existence surrounded by phantoms of the 20th century’s cruelty. ... Read More
Ellie Goulding’s debut Lights reached the U.S. in 2011, but it didn’t take off for over a year. Now, Goulding is new pop royalty, and Halcyon presents a stark contrast to her introduction. Where Lights possessed an almost naïve view of the world, Halcyon shows her to have matured. Songs like “My Blood” and “Dead in the Water” take hopelessness to new heights. There are some nods to EDM—as on the Calvin ... Read More
Lightning strikes a fourth time with Matt and Kim’s newest album. If the Brooklyn duo seems familiar, perhaps it’s because you saw their bare-naked asses in the now-classic “Lessons Learned” video. Behind the keyboard, Matt Johnson’s deviant, almost Dookie-esque vocals combined with Kim Schifino’s gung-ho drumming make for an upbeat, heart attack-paced record with just a hint of disco. As the first of several party anthems on ... Read More
Ever fancy yourself doing the hula on the sands of Hawaii? Singer-songwriter Victoria Bergsman’s musical outfit Taken by Trees can transport you there, metaphorically speaking, with her third album Other Worlds. During a visit to the idyllic paradise, Bergsman found herself amidst a creative swell, so much so that she fashioned the LP as an impressionist poem that sings the tropical locale’s praises. On “Only You,” Bergsman lulls, ... Read More
With our days numbered and the end of the world imminent, Brooklyn-based Prince Rama’s sixth release couldn’t have come at a better time. For Top Ten Hits of the End of the World, the ex-Hare Krishna siblings have compiled a cover album of 10 fabricated popular bands that died during the apocalypse. While the sisters summon up the spirits of each chart-topping group, every song is still replete with their signature synths, psych-pop, tribal drumming, ... Read More
Wanda Jackson may be approaching her 75th birthday, but the Queen of Rockabilly shows no signs of slowing down. On her 31st album, Jackson goes back to her roots with the signature mix of rockabilly and country that made her famous in the late 1950s. Unfinished Business features five new tracks and five covers of tracks by artists from Etta James to Woody Guthrie to the Rolling Stones. Produced by established folk musician Justin Townes Earle (son of Steve Earle), ... Read More
If you like mysteriously dark yet candy-sweet indie pop, Chaos Chaos’s S is the EP for you. Chaos Chaos is comprised of multitalented Brooklynite sisters Chloe and Asy Saavedra, formerly child stars of the indie pop band Smoosh. They play an array of instruments, including synthesizers, acoustic piano, many different types of drums, and saxophone, and they also use experimental vocals. Like BUST favorite Amanda Palmer, they funded their album ... Read More
L.A. singer-songwriter AG (of the Rescues), industry giant Maia Sharp, and Missouri musician Garrison Starr are touring together, and, believe me, you want to see this show.
AG, Sharp, and Starr are all expert writers and performers who merge a variety of influences, including folk, pop, rock, and Americana, to create their own individual styles. I had the good luck to see them perform together at New York’s Rockwood Music Hall last Tuesday.
Unlike ... Read More
Jumping seamlessly from style to style and interweaving elements from garage rock, ’60s girl groups, and cabaret, the music of Austin-based duo Agent Ribbons is hard to classify. On Let Them Talk, the band takes a lighter turn than on its past two full-lengths and embraces the whimsical side of its twisted-fairytale style. Opener “Family Haircut” begins with ethereal “oohs” sung over ominous drums, but soon enough, the pace picks up ... Read More
When Rupa Marya isn’t healing the sick as a doctor at her day job, she leads the world-music quintet Rupa and the April Fishes. Their newest album, BUILD, is produced by Todd Sickafoose — best known for collaborating with folk songstress Ani DiFranco — and promises the gritty, bass-heavy folk realness that is Sickafoose's trademark.
Based in sunny San Francisco, the band's members come from all over the world to fuse R&B with many ... Read More