Articles by Jonathan Pruett
Belle and Sebastian, “How to Solve Our Human Problems”
Belle and Sebastian are best now not at conjuring melancholy afternoons looking out the window, but at celebratory disco epics that get people dancing on the tables.
Ought, “Room Inside the World”
The schizophrenic energy of Ought’s early albums is harder to find here, but it’s not gone.
Big Star, “Live at Lafayette’s Music Room”
“Live at Lafayette’s Music Room” offers a window into one of the most acclaimed (and equal parts ignored) bands of the 1970s.
Nicholas Krgovich, “In an Open Field”
Ideal listening for starry-eyed shut-ins.
Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Rest”
Charged with grief and euphoria, “Rest” is a showcase for Charlotte Gainsbourg the musician.
The Meters, “A Message from the Meters”
Anyone with even a passing interest in beats, party vibes, “in the pocket” grooves, or ecstatic dancing needs to breathe this music in like the fresh air it is.
Here Comes the Sun King: Laraaji in the Light
A conversation with the benevolent monarch of warm drones and sunny tones.
Laraaji, “Bring on the Sun” and “Sun Gong”
The master of New Age’s two new records are prime examples of the kind of celestial trance music he has been making since the 1970s.
The Clientele, “Music for the Age of Miracles”
The bards of British folk-rock return with their first album in seven years—and an expanded sonic palette.
Ted Leo, “The Hanged Man”
After seven years away, let’s hope this album of heart-wrenching soul music keeps Ted Leo up on the stage where he belongs.
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band, “Dreaming in the Non-Dream”
The world Forsyth and his bustling Solar Motel Band are illuminating is one that is fraught with unease and a search for some kind of exhilaration.
Psychic TV, “Pagan Day” and “Allegory & Self” [reissues]
What’s remarkable about these records in hindsight is how indebted they are to the psychedelic folk sounds of what had come around about fifteen years prior.
The Peacers, “Introducing the Crimsmen”
The ability to construct songs based on only the best parts—the hook, the acoustic rhythm guitar, the first notes of a sandblasted solo—is what keeps The Peacers operating on a higher level.
Three years on from their (also) self-titled debut, and there’s a sense that the group have evolved to incorporate a more widescreen vision.
Thurston Moore, “Rock N Roll Consciousness”
The former Sonic Youth leader’s new LP is a five-song blast of instantly recognizable discordant guitar tones and the kind of crunchy, heady forays into punk-jam-band land that he’s been perfecting since “Expressway to Yr. Skull.”
Spiral Stairs, “Doris & the Daggers”
With family life firmly in the picture, head screwed on correctly, and rangy Pavement life behind him, Scott Kannberg has delivered his strongest album-length statement.
Entrance, “Book of Changes”
Guy Blakeslee has never really been a wallflower when it comes to singing, but “Book of Changes” showcases his voice in a way that feels like it’s a new thing.
Hand Habits, “Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void)”
There is an airy, homemade weirdness to Meg Duffy’s solo debut.