To me, most of today’s indie music feels like fluff: pop tarts and faux-alternative “stars” with songs that have no context and rarely any lyrical challenges. It seems like there’s a dearth of strong females who write catchy, strong rock music that deeply questions popular culture, femininity, misogyny, and women’s place in the world. But Brooklyn-based psychedelic R&B band Teen will restore your faith. Their second LP, The Way ... Read More
Maïa Vidal is living out the bohemian cousin of the American dream. The 24-year-old Californian booked it for Europe after her college graduation and never looked back, honing her chops on the accordion, violin, and toy piano while living abroad in Paris and Barcelona. Any chanteuse who sounds as though she could singlehandedly take on the Amélie soundtrack is OK in my book, and in that regard, Vidal’s effortlessly offbeat style fits the bill beautifully. ... 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
In 2001 Stars released Nightsongs, a sleek soundtrack for after-hours spent under bedside lamps instead of city lights. Despite lyrics about breakups, it sounded a little like Portishead for people who haven't had sex yet. Eleven years later, the Montreal quintet is still singing about young lovers, but their gimlet eyes have narrowed. On "The Theory of Relativity," the first single from their sixth studio album The North (out now on ATO), frontman Torquil ... Read More
Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) has always been something of a heartbreaker, whether she’s trying her hand at country-tinged, whiskey-drenched blues or putting a haunting spin on old classics. For her ninth full-length Sun (out today on Matador), Marshall has gone electro—imagine Moon Pix’s “Cross Bones Style” with a bigger budget and without the minimalism. A thumping synth drives “Real Life,” a meditation on ... Read More
With a history of live shows that verge on performance art and ceremony, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the upcoming album from Hare Krishna commune-raised sisters of Prince Rama is more than just your regular release. Aware that it’s 2012 and the end is near, the Brooklyn-based duo has appropriately created a faux-cover album of ten fabricated popular bands that died during the apocalypse. Top Ten Hits of the End of the World promises to be a ... Read More
I’ve long suspected that Jamie Stewart, the brains and bleeding heart of Xiu Xiu, could be the third member of Mates of State, exiled from their land of hetero jangle-pop to a rehab center for self-harm. In a similar vein as 2010’s Dear God, I Hate Myself, the band’s new album Always (out now on Polyvinyl) finds Xiu Xiu still wandering the freeways, subsisting on fistfuls of wild kumquats and prescription painkillers. Stewart’s voice ... Read More