Articles by Mike Hilleary
A Small-Scale Introduction to Allison Ponthier
With her debut EP “Faking My Own Death” out this Friday, the songwriter discusses making the leap from Texas to NYC, recording with Lord Huron, and becoming a cowboy.
Julien Baker: Feeling OK in a Different Way
In our latest digital cover story, Baker dives into the experiences that led to her new album “Little Oblivions.”
In Conversation: The National’s Matt Berninger Takes Us Behind the Scenes of “Serpentine Prison”
The songwriter dishes on Booker T’s anecdotes, the inspiration of Willie Nelson’s “Stardust,” and finally going solo.
Phoebe Bridgers on “Punisher,” a Product of Patience and Meticulousness
The songwriter discusses what she describes as her treatise on having a personal life during the apocalypse.
Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield Turns Inward on “Saint Cloud”
The Alabama songwriter talks her new record and the challenges of being sober in the music biz.
Then Is Now: The Return of Tegan and Sara
In our first digital cover story, the duo discuss the new album, establishing distinct identities, and how music saved their relationship.
In Conversation: Jay Som Talks Family, Race, and Perfectionism
The songwriter on the quick evolution from her 2017 breakthrough to this month’s “Anak Ko.”
Frightened Rabbit’s Grant Hutchison on Losing His Brother and Keeping the Music Alive
Along with Julien Baker + Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull, Grant remembers Scott Hutchison’s brutally honest artistry.
Stella Donnelly Talks Bad Male Behavior and Not Pulling Any Punches
On her debut “Beware of the Dogs,” the Aussie singer-songwriter addresses the progress and pain of #MeToo.
In Conversation: Michael Azerrad on How Breaking Laws Makes for Better Music Journalism
The “Our Band Could Be Your Life” writer has a new book, “Rock Critic Law,” which lays out 101 of the tropes that lazy music writers can’t seem to help but fall back on over and over. But he isn’t mad—he’s just trying to make writers better.
Dave Sardy: A Playlist for Big Brother
With “≠,” the producer known as DSARDY aims to address technology’s dehumanizing effects by enlisting the help of the industry’s preeminent humans.
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: Natalie Prass Turns Up a New Road
After the election, the Richmond artist threw out the introspective album she’d been working on and started over. What she made next was music for everyone.
In Conversation: The Decemberists’ Chris Funk on “Funk Plus One” and the Hidden Gems of American Music
When he’s not busy playing in one of the most beloved indie bands around, Chris Funk is looking for the stories that get to the core of what drives musicians.
Julien Baker, “Turn Out the Lights”
Across all of “Turn Out the Lights,” Baker doesn’t pull a single punch.
Iron & Wine, “Beast Epic”
As much as “Beast Epic”‘s music feels like a look back with a head full of experience, it doesn’t stop Sam Beam from keeping his lyrical gaze on what’s ahead of him.
Tiny Respite: Meet Tiny Fellas, the Littlest Street Art Team in DC
Art at ground level.
That’s a Record ’Cause of Mario
Behind the boards with Mario Caldato Jr.
In Conversation: Rob Sheffield on The Beatles and Our Cultural Refusal to Let It Be
The longtime “Rolling Stone” critic’s new book examines the Fab Four in a new light.
Exploding the “Song Exploder”: Hrishikesh Hirway Looks Back on 100 Episodes of Pulling Music Apart
Since starting over three years ago, the song dissection podcast has turned into an institution—but it continues to surprise its creator with each episode.
Hometown Hero: Lucy Dacus Rises From River City
The up-and-coming singer-songwriter is the latest in a suddenly strong line of musicians who call Richmond, VA, home.
Sounds Delicious: Chef Heston Blumenthal on How Synesthesia Influences His Michelin-Starred Cooking
Many associate the sense-blending experience of synesthesia with music and painting, but for one chef at least, it’s entered the kitchen.
Coming Attractions: The Makings of the Modern Movie Trailer
The man who whetted your appetite for some of the best films of the past twenty-five years tells us how a preview comes together.
Speak/Sing: Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo Takes the Next Step
The Virginia native has always used his songwriting to confront his anxiety about the future. On the eve of his biggest release to date, he reflects on where that’s gotten him.
The Wild Feathers: Following in Footsteps
The Nashville quartet’s 2013 debut won them gigs opening for Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. So how do they follow it up? By getting on the road again with a new LP.
Ra Ra Riot, “Need Your Light”
Ra Ra Riot’s journeyed state of identity—adapting to several lost members of the years, incorporating synthesizers to their original baroque pop sound—has managed to culminate in their most balanced record to date.
Cross Record, “Wabi-Sabi”
While “Wabi-Sabi”‘s wounded specter aesthetic keeps it from becoming a work of frequently repeated listens, it’s probably not healthy for most people seeking an emotional purge to keep picking at scar tissue anyway.
In Conversation: CHVRCHES Have Their Eyes Wide Open
We sat down with the Glaswegian synth-pop trio backstage at Landmark Music Festival to chat about the creation of their new record, “Every Open Eye.”
Angel Deradoorian returns from the wilderness with her first solo full-length record, “The Expanding Flower Planet.”