FLOOD is a new, influential voice that spans the diverse cultural landscape of music, film, television, art, travel, and everything in between.
Jon Pruett
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Khruangbin, “Hasta El Cielo”

Their music, which favors beats and atmosphere over songwriting, make them an ideal fit for the dub treatment.

July 12, 2019
Bill Callahan, “Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest”

While so much of Callahan’s past songwriting has felt like poetic exercise, this time autobiography shines through.

June 13, 2019
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, “Fishing for Fishies”

The record is kind of fascinating in its obsession with the “boogie”—both as a verb and as a musical genre.

April 22, 2019
Curtis Mayfield, “Keep On Keeping On: Curtis Mayfield Studio Albums 1970-1974”

Attempts to unpack the legacy of one of Chicago’s favorite sons could veer into a novel-length investigation—but an overview of what made him an essential voice is on Technicolor display here.

February 20, 2019
Jessica Pratt, “Quiet Signs”

Pratt’s melodies hold nary a wasted chord or unwanted phrase.

February 06, 2019
Steve Gunn, “The Unseen in Between”

Steve Gunn’s latest has more palpable emotion and literary bent than ever before.

January 23, 2019
Pearls Before Swine, “Balaklava”

Pearls Before Swine’s quasi-historical mystery album is hard to grasp, its songs coming in waves of breath and snippets of sound.

December 19, 2018
J Mascis, “Elastic Days”

Decades after the mainstream’s punk pivot, Mascis is still the master.

November 16, 2018
David Nance Group, “Peaced and Slightly Pulverized”

Hair-raising, skin-crawlingly good stuff, if you’re into jammin’ on the one, passin’ the pipe, or just rocking back and forth in a violent trance. 

October 12, 2018
Cat Power, “Wanderer”

“Wanderer” is a triumph of raw emotion, old direction, and new meaning. 

October 11, 2018
Lonnie Holley, “MITH”

“MITH” feels drawn to the elephant in our nation’s ugly-ass living room.

October 03, 2018
Bass Drum of Death, “Just Business”

A 1-2-3-go punk-pop record in the Buzzcocks vein with a nice little bend in the tempo, as if you just got zapped by lightning.

July 31, 2018
77:78, “Jellies”

A two-man mixtape of psych, guitar pop, soul power, and good times.

July 11, 2018
Gruff Rhys, “Babelsberg”

Rhys has an ideal voice for these space-age ballads and cosmic troubadour rambles.

June 15, 2018
Wooden Shjips, “V.”

Wooden Shjips are still chasing grace through repetition; they simply have a broader palette to work with this time.

May 25, 2018
King Tuff, “The Other”

A fuzzy, funky, cosmic party record.

April 24, 2018
Holger Czukay, “Cinema”

What’s really on display here is Czukay’s maddening restlessness.

April 09, 2018
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.

March 07, 2018
Ought, “Room Inside the World”

The schizophrenic energy of Ought’s early albums is harder to find here, but it’s not gone.

March 02, 2018
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.

January 12, 2018
Nicholas Krgovich, “In an Open Field”

Ideal listening for starry-eyed shut-ins.

December 19, 2017
Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Rest”

Charged with grief and euphoria, “Rest” is a showcase for Charlotte Gainsbourg the musician.

November 28, 2017
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. 

October 23, 2017

photo by Jacob Ferguson

Here Comes the Sun King: Laraaji in the Light

A conversation with the benevolent monarch of warm drones and sunny tones.

October 04, 2017
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.

October 03, 2017
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.

September 18, 2017
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.

September 12, 2017
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.

August 14, 2017
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.

July 17, 2017
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.

June 14, 2017
Eaters, “Eaters”

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.

May 19, 2017
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.”

May 08, 2017
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.

March 30, 2017
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.

March 01, 2017
Hand Habits, “Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void)”

There is an airy, homemade weirdness to Meg Duffy’s solo debut.

February 16, 2017
Kehlani, “SweetSexySavage”

The Oakland singer continues her ascent up through the R&B hierarchy.

January 31, 2017

photo by Cara Robbins

Hollywood’s Singular Vision: Foxygen Hang On to the American Dream

Following a release cycle marred by breakup rumors, Sam France and Jonathan Rado have reappeared from behind the velvet curtain, and they’re more unified than ever.

January 19, 2017

photo courtesy of Light in the Attic

Erasmo Carlos, “Erasmo Carlos E Os Tremendões,” “Carlos, ERASMO,” and “Sonhos E Memórias 1941–1972”

Unlike his peers Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and Os Mutantes, Carlos’s music never made inroads into North American consciousness. These reissues from Light in the Attic should change that.

January 18, 2017
Lee Hazlewood, “Cowboy in Sweden” [reissue]

Much of “Cowboy in Sweden” comes across like an elegy.

November 23, 2016
Various Artists, “The Microcosm: Visionary Music of Continental Europe”

Light in the Attic’s new new-age compilation turns the beam out across the Atlantic.

November 15, 2016
Various Artists, “Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta” (Numero Group)

The latest release from the Numero Group chronicles the pop sounds of the African country of Upper Volta in the ’70s.

October 24, 2016
Savoy Motel, “Savoy Motel”

The Nashville quartet choogle with the best of ’em.

October 20, 2016
The Lemon Twigs, “Do Hollywood”

The Long Island brothers practically have glitter in their blood.

October 12, 2016
Ultimate Painting, “Dusk”

The UK duo’s third album in as many years finds them pushing the boundaries of their sound.

September 22, 2016
Mykki Blanco, “Mykki”

Navel-gazing R&B is in high demand in 2016, but Blanco navigates this world like she’s the first person on Mars.

September 15, 2016

Ben Sinclair in “High Society” / photo by Craig Blankenhorn

Film + TVReviews
High Maintenance: A Buzz Worth Maintaining

HBO’s new comedy series wandered into pay cable from the dank world of Vimeo.

September 11, 2016
Exploded View, “Exploded View”

Partly singing and partly talking, Anika presents an external dialogue of thoughts and dreams.

September 09, 2016
MSTRKRFT, “Operator”

Everything is aflame on “Operator,” a vigorously aggressive dancefloor party fueled by a jarring punk ethos.

July 27, 2016

The Avalanches / “Wildflower” cover

The Avalanches, “Wildflower”

How do you follow up a sixteen-year-old plunderphonic pop masterpiece? With a neon-tinted mixtape.

July 11, 2016

photo courtesy Now-Again Records

“Two Rungs Above Being A Pimp”: The Rock and Soul of Post-War Nigeria

Uchenna Ikonne on the little-known Nigerian rock scene of the 1970s.

June 21, 2016
Steve Gunn, “Eyes on the Lines”

Top Gunn!

May 31, 2016

Konono No 1 Meets Batida cover

Konono N°1: “Konono N°1 Meets Batida”

The Conogolese rhythm aces’ hypnotic swirl of customized kalimbas and booming, trance-inducing percussion gets smoothed over—but only slightly.

April 20, 2016
Kevin Morby, “Singing Saw”

On his third album, Morby continues to carve out a rarefied space.

April 13, 2016
Bitchin Bajas and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, “Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties”

What’s surprising here is not just how well these two acts sound together, but the heretofore-unknown third element that arises when they combine.

March 28, 2016

2016. Prince Rama Extreme Now cover hi-res

Prince Rama, “Xtreme Now”

It’s an endless rush of sugar and data.

March 11, 2016

2016. Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band, The Rarity of Experience cover (1200x)

Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band, “The Rarity of Experience”

The band, a riotous mixture of Crazy Horse and The Dream Syndicate, excelled at drawing droning, melodic riffs and elongating them into eight-minute-plus excursions on their debut, and “The Rarity of Experience” dives right back in.

March 10, 2016

2016. Matmos Ultimate Care II coer hi-res

Matmos, “Ultimate Care II”

The guiding question here: how do you make a nearly forty-minute piece of music comprising only the sounds of a Whirlpool Ultimate Care II washing machine?

February 24, 2016

2016. Lush Chorus cover hi-res

Lush, “Chorus”

Nothing visionary here, but it’s a pleasant enough musical journey with a serious bummer of an ending—hopefully one vindicated by this reunited victory lap.

January 27, 2016

2016. Hinds Leave Me Alone cover hi-res

Hinds, “Leave Me Alone”

Imagine a world where pop songs are written on an acoustic guitar, amped up with a beater of an electric guitar, and then fashioned together with duct tape.

January 06, 2016

2015. W-X, “W-X”

W-X, “W-X”

“W-X” provides plenty of fodder for hungry minds looking to go deeper into rarefied zones.

November 16, 2015

2015. Joanna Newsom Divers cover high res

Joanna Newsom, “Divers”

“Divers” is a remarkable release based on its linguistics alone

October 26, 2015

Larry Gus. I need new eyes.

Larry Gus, “I Need New Eyes”

But man, awesome drums!

October 19, 2015

2015. Autre Ne Veut, “Age of Transparency”

Autre Ne Veut, “Age of Transparency”

Arthur Ashin’s (a.k.a. Autre Ne Veut) unabashed love of deep soul comes through in the way he stretches and elongates the simplest of phrases into breathy crooning.

October 01, 2015

Helen — The Original Faces (cover)

Helen, “The Original Faces”

It’s an addictive sound, as if the early ’90s records released on labels like Creation and Slumberland have been stripped of all excess, then run through some kind of reverb grinder.

September 01, 2015

2015. Yo La Tengo Stuff Like That There cover art high res

Yo La Tengo, “Stuff Like That There”

With “Stuff Like That There,” YLT are playing it short and sweet, leaning on a brushes-and-stand-up-bass rhythm section that carries each tune from one sweet melodic resolution to the next.

August 26, 2015

2015. FSA, “Instrumentals 2015”

Flying Saucer Attack, “Instrumentals 2015”

It may be the most welcomed and least compromised, least diminished return of a ’90s act since…well, ever.

July 20, 2015

2015. Fist City, “Everything Is a Mess” album art

Fist City, “Everything Is a Mess”

The album thrives on bent and busted riffs unfolding around a ferocious rhythm section that sounds like it could dig its way through several layers of earth and magma.

June 25, 2015

Christopher Owens. Chrissybaby Forever.

Christopher Owens, “Chrissybaby Forever”

Christopher Owens’s “Chrissybaby Forever” follows 2014’s rather boldly titled “A New Testament,” but feels closer to Girls’s debut than anything he’s done since.

June 10, 2015

2015. Jim O’Rourke Simple Songs cover art

Jim O’Rourke, “Simple Songs”

The album is pristinely produced, with songs that echo the big rock and California-centered records of the ’70s and O’Rourke literally belting out choruses.

May 29, 2015

Unknown Mortal Orchestra Multi-Love album cover. UMO.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, “Multi-Love”

While Unknown Mortal Orchestra has flirted with big moves beyond the bedroom psych realm before, this LP really transports listeners into lush zones filled with hypnotic future-funk.

May 28, 2015

2015. Jacco Gardner, “Hypnophobia”

Jacco Gardner, “Hypnophobia”

“Hypnophobia” takes Gardner’s sound into the future—granted it’s definitely still a retro-themed future—and shows off his seemingly endless, ghost-like melodies, and warm, groove-centered production.

May 13, 2015
Juan Wauters, “Who Me?”

Juan Wauters came to the United States from Uruguay in 2002 and we should all be thanking his parents for making that trip because otherwise we might not have this fine platter of shambling folk-pop songs.

May 11, 2015

2015. The Very Best, “Makes A King” art

The Very Best, “Makes A King”

“Makes A King”—the latest collaboration between Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and UK producer Johan Hugo as The Very Best—dives deeper into the pop genre than the duo’s two previous LPs.

April 09, 2015

2015. Lightning Bolt, “Fantasy Empire”

Lightning Bolt, “Fantasy Empire”

Lightning Bolt has been a concern of many since the dawn of the new (and rather screwed) millennium.

March 25, 2015

2015. Dick Diver, “Melbourne, Florida” art

Dick Diver, “Melbourne, Florida”

For a few years now, Australian foursome Dick Diver (named after a F. Scott Fitzgerald character) has been making a fair amount of well-organized indie-rock noise with a couple of records that showcased the band’s unique brand of slipshod, jangling effervescence.

March 12, 2015

2015. King Khan and BBQ Show, “Bad News Boys” art

The King Khan & BBQ Show, “Bad News Boys”

The King Khan & BBQ Show have been making records like every night is a Saturday night since the ’90s when they were in the raucous band Spaceshits together.

February 27, 2015

2015. Sonny & The Sunsets, “Talent Night at the Ashram” art

Sonny & The Sunsets, “Talent Night at the Ashram”

Sonny Smith’s latest is full of mystical West Coast folk tales with a rambling, pre-punk feel (read: slashing guitar occasionally and overall no-fucks-given vibe).

February 18, 2015

2015. Six Organs of Admittance, “Hexadic”

Six Organs of Admittance, “Hexadic”

Skipping the time-tested structure that normally leads guitar guys to eventually start playing acoustic blues as they advance, Ben Chasny has flipped his own script.

February 17, 2015

Dirty Beaches, “Stateless” cover, 2014.

Dirty Beaches, “Stateless”

This is a fittingly elegiac album of stately notes and blissful figures that feels like a sad hero waking up pre-dawn to a deserted world.

November 04, 2014

Deerhoof, “La Isla Bonita” cover, 2014.

Deerhoof, “La Isla Bonita”

“La Isla Bonita” is another testimonial of their avant-punk-pop charm and innovation, still untouched two decades in the game.

November 04, 2014

2014. Thurston Moore, “The Best Day”

Thurston Moore, “The Best Day”

You don’t need to hear this record for more than four seconds before you realize who is wielding that guitar like a piece of errant shrapnel.

October 21, 2014

2014. Foxygen, “…And Star Power” album art.

Foxygen, “…And Star Power”

What makes Foxygen’s third album so fascinating is how close they are to falling apart sonically, as if the more delicate songs were one beat away from collapsing into a pile of drumsticks and glitter.

October 14, 2014
Coachwhips, “Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine” [reissue]

Get Yer Body is originally from 2003, and it’s a sandblasted spin on garage rock with nearly every song clocking in under two minutes.

August 19, 2014

2014. Adult Jazz, “Gist Is” album art.

Adult Jazz, “Gist Is”

The debut songs from this new Leeds-based quartet hover between chin-stroking artfulness and joyful minimalism.

August 05, 2014

2014. Spider Bags, “Frozen Letter” album art.

Spider Bags, “Frozen Letter”

Their world is one of blazing ’60s frat-rock with twisted, fuzz-laced psychedelic outros.

August 05, 2014
The Clean, “Anthology”

This reckless, wayward pop song, with its bright organ flourish (from Martin Phillipps of The Chills), and its dashed-off immediacy still sounds shockingly out-of-time.

July 15, 2014