With 232 pages and an expanded 12″ by 12″ format, our biggest print issue yet celebrates the people, places, music, and art of our hometown, including cover features on David Lynch, Nipsey Hussle, Syd, and Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records, plus Brian Wilson, Cuco, Ty Segall, Lord Huron, Remi Wolf, The Doors, the art of RISK, Taz, Estevan Oriol, Kii Arens, and Edward Colver, and so much more.
Depeche Mode, Memento Mori
The sonic sparseness of the band’s fifteenth album—and first since the passing of co-founder Andrew Fletcher—is a welcome retreat from their more conventional forays into universality over the past decade.
Providing a welcome retreat from reality, Anthony Gonzalez’s ninth LP shines so bright it should come with a special pair of sunglasses.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra, V
On their fifth album, the New Zealand outfit take their once-exploratory sound one step further toward full-fledged AOR.
With the truth of each joke masquerading as parody, the unsettling part of Cameron’s signature humor this time around is that after the abject horror of the past couple of years, we’re able to see ourselves in it.
Nothing is obscured on this EP—it’s all on the table, demanding nothing of the listener except empathy.
There’s an effortlessly tight groove anchoring Electric Cowboy, which feels like more of a family affair than normal.
Light like a feather and warm like a blanket, the latest from the Chicago-based songwriter sees her taking care of our bodies as well as hers.
The album runs the gamut musically and lyrically, mirroring a day in the life of someone who’s grieving, when moods and feelings change in an instant.
The aptly titled abyss-gazing EP is about as pretty as a pandemic gets.
Where “Lightning Bolt” was solid but stagnant, “Gigaton” is (ironically) more electric, a living, breathing thing giving off sparks.
Though he spent his last two albums examining despicable male characters, this one spotlights and elevates women.
Dando has a keen ear and an encyclopedic knowledge of recorded music, and the selection of songs here spans decades and genres.
Much of the album sounds like echoes in an empty room, with percussion provided by hand claps and a drum machine.
There’s nary a bad vibe to found here, despite all the ragin’ and cagin’ promised by the angsty title.
R.E.M. is one the best bands that America has ever produced, and, appropriately, “At the BBC” is an embarrassment of riches.
“Pre Strike Sweep” is a fireball of an album, blistering from start to finish.
No matter who Spider Bags sort of sound like, they always sound like themselves.
“Almost” is the sound of women comparing notes in the spotlight to create something unusual, beautiful, and wholly relatable.
While the album feels appropriate for relaxed, sun-kissed porch listening, it is by no means lazy.
Liz Phair’s debut remains exactly as relatable, smart, and genuine in 2018 as it was in 1993.
Hinds created this record with an agenda—theirs, not yours.
Where her first album was an exploration, this one is a proclamation.
From stilt-walking to viral rap videos, your guess as to where the “GLOW” star will appear next is as good as ours.
Bat Fangs’s “Bat Fangs” marries hair metal and garage rock, equal parts campy and true.
The iconic grunge drummer talks about her recent memoir, “Hit So Hard,” and the turbulent years of sex, drugs, and loss that inspired it.
On “This Is Glue,” much is made of direction and being on the edge of somewhere, a part of something larger. Salad Boys are growing up and getting restless.
We’ve all lived in Hurtown, USA, and this album is reason enough to go back.
This is spare, nervy music with no strings attached. It’s almost refreshing.
The characters on “Forced Witness,” Alex Cameron’s second record, make the sociopaths from his debut look like amateurs.
“Exile in the Outer Ring” is a dispatch from a Midwestern woman trying not to fall into the traps of fear and paranoia set for her and her fellow Americans.
“Resolution” is the result of the newfound balance in Mr. Lif and Akrobatik’s lives as they devote their attention to love and to justice equally.
If you were to say that the whole package sounds like a sad time in Los Angeles, you’d be dead on.
When times get tough, it’s easy to check out. It’s harder to be present. Dent May gets it.
The Atlanta group’s latest is a next step that feels fitting for them.
Solange, Angel Olsen, Kamaiyah, and a host of brilliant female artists took over Chicago’s Union Park this weekend.
Brooklyn punks Pill released their excellent first LP, “Convenience,” last summer, and lucky for us, they haven’t slowed down since then.
The Montreal duo keep a careful balance of weirdness and sweetness across their self-titled debut.
Back in 1992, Abe Wool, the writer of “Sid and Nancy,” got a very weird film made starring John Doe of X and Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys. John Doe remembers some of it.
The duo’s sophomore album is called “What Now” for reasons both glaringly obvious and less so.
Charly Bliss’s Eva Hendricks makes Letters to Cleo’s Kay Hanley sound like Eddie Vedder.
Priests’s debut full-length feels like a natural extension of the DC band’s early EPs while simultaneously pushing the band’s sound forward.
On their covers LP, Morrissey & White stand shoulder to shoulder with classics from Sinatra & Hazlewood and Sonny & Cher.
Historically, metal’s biggest act has suffered the most when they try something new. “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct” finds them slogging their way back to basics.
With darkness encircling the nation, what better time to get lost in our southernmost major city?
If it feels like you’ve heard the lyrics on “Slugger” somewhere before, it’s probably because you’re a woman and you’ve thought them all.
The LA duo and comedian Liza Treyger talk crocheting caps for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and taking babies on tour.
For the married duo behind the Charleston, South Carolina, Americana act, there is no line between music and life.
These dudes could blow smoke right in your face, and you’d just have to sit there, groovin’ on it.
The mysterious Aussie singer-songwriter channels Suicide, Nick Cave, and David Lynch on Secretly Canadian’s re-release of his 2014 debut.
Oakland unity metal with a splash of sunshine.
The only Brooklyn post-punk quartet with a yakety sax and a devotion to Japanese disco are ready to offer you a dose of “Convenience.”
With a strong debut EP to their name, the LA trio MUNA are ready to get serious.
This ain’t no recap, it’s a reenactment.
It’s got no place else to be, and it’s happy to be here.
In his new book “Juggalo,” Steve Miller grapples with what it means to be a fan of the most hated band in the world.
“No Burden” is what would happen if your quietest, most thoughtful friend from college ran her journal through an electric guitar and a distortion pedal.
Given who’s involved here, there was no doubting that “case/lang/veirs” would be powerful. The only question is how they’d choose to use their power.
There are hints of Judy Garland and Billie Holiday and Erykah Badu, but Xenia Rubinos has created something all her own with her second album.
“Light Upon the Lake” is, understandably, an album about breakups and the many forms they take.
Like Robyn’s “Body Talk,” the solo debut from the erstwhile Dum Dum Girl is packed full of dreamy synth-pop that’s far from shallow.
The Chicago quintet may want you, but they don’t need you.
The LA-based illustrator turned heads last summer when he reimagined the outcome of a shocking incident of police brutality. With his debut book of illustrations, “B.R.U.H.,” he’s taking things even further.
The Aussie jangle-punk quintet harness the daylight on their just-released mini-LP “Talk Tight.”
“Life is just a game, we’re all just the same.”
“Ology,” twenty-four-year-old Gallant’s debut LP, makes the wait for Frank Ocean’s new album much easier to take.
This release represents new growth in the forest.
Getting up to get down with the Raleigh fount of funk.
Unlike the Smith Westerns’ (relatively) upbeat catalog, “New Misery” is a quietly apocalyptic album.
This is chamber pop, filled out by saxophone, organ, fragile guitar, and backup singers.
On “Plaza,” Quilt doesn’t tread water or waste time.
“It Calls on Me” is laid back and dreamy, even flat-out cheerful in places.
Two decades in, the jazz-informed Chicagoans keep innovating.
At the end of “Without a Head,” Soda’s six-song debut, you may still be waiting for its big moment.
Unfortunately, the second half of “right on!” is so atmospheric that it slips into the background, and the album ends with a whimper.
Clichés are clichés for a reason, so where’s the space between a fake love song and a real one? On 69 Love Songs, it’s often clear, but the places where it isn’t make this an essential set of throwaway love songs.
“Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl” details the history of Sleater-Kinney. Even more than that, it’s a moving personal story.
All of these soothing vibes and laid-back tracks make the LP feel as breezy as relaxing on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
By the time closing song “First Eight” rolls around, “metal” starts to sound a lot like “mellow.”
East London’s sharpest post-punks just want you to dance with their sophomore album “Why Choose.”
Its only blatant agenda involves making you dance, and Shopping’s excellent sophomore album “Why Choose” is full of potential singles.
Rebelling against the jocks and their Nirvana records with the heavier-than-heaven Olympia power trio.
“Subjective Concepts,” the first album from hardcore trio Strange Wilds, makes it abundantly clear that the band was formed in Washington.
Play “White Reaper Does It Again” while driving. Play it at a party. Play it to start a party.