Tag » music review
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
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
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
  If you enjoyed the cacophonous hooks of Micachu and the Shapes’ 2009 debut Jewellery, you’ll be happy to hear much of the same on the band’s second studio album Never. The LP may seem languid upon first listen, but it packs a punch. Although she’s classically trained, frontwoman Mica Levi finds merriment in the use of nontraditional instruments and household objects on Never—therein lies its uniqueness. The first track ... Read More
  Despite its title, Eleni Mandell’s eighth solo album, I Can See the Future, is the opposite of forward-looking, in a good way. A lovely trip into the past, it’s deliberately old-fashioned, lo-tech, and rooted in mid-century country and pop sounds. “Magic Summertime” has vintage R&B-style chord changes that could have soundtracked a slow dance at the prom in Grease, while Mandell’s sultry phrasing on songs like ... Read More
  Belgian songstress Selah Sue may look like a model with her golden nest of hair, but she has powerful pipes and true talent. Her self-titled debut offers her distinctive take on smooth soul laced with tropical reggae beats; the album is filled with reckless rapture and fiery attitude. “I’m feeling real passionate,” Sue howls in “This World,” an explosive ballad that might inspire you to caress a glass of Jamaican rum. ... Read More
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost four years since New Zealand’s Ladyhawke, otherwise known as Pip Brown, burst onto the scene with her immensely danceable debut record, but her second album Anxiety will make you forget she ever left. “Girl Like Me” starts things off with a Metric-inspired bang, with Brown’s smoky vocals cascading over layers of snappy drums and punchy bass lines. First single “Black White & ... Read More
“Kickball Katy” Goodman is perhaps best known for her work with Brooklyn lo-fi queens Vivian Girls, but on Sees the Light, her sophomore solo effort as La Sera, she shows off a softer side that’s more croquet than kickball. Album opener “Love That’s Gone” is a lilting, ’90s-style ballad full of melodic guitar lines and sweet, distortion-free vocals. “I Can’t Keep You in My Mind” is a heartfelt anthem to ... Read More
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