Articles by Sean Fennell

Songs: Ohia, “Songs: Ohia” [25th Anniversary Edition]

This is Jason Molina at his most uncut and unadorned, less an album than a found-audio recording.

In Conversation: Courtney Barnett on the Quiet Contentment of “Things Take Time, Take Time”

The Australian songwriter discusses covering new ground while remaining entirely singular on her third solo album.

Hovvdy, “True Love”

Their latest LP finds the duo peeling back the layers of their previous work until they arrive at the essential center.

Ada Lea, “one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden”

Lea gives each song its own sonic identity, taking what could become monotony and creating anything but.

In Conversation: illuminati hotties’ Sarah Tudzin Climbs to Her Peak on “Let Me Do One More”

The LA-based songwriter discusses brevity, tenderpunk, and her new label home.

Grizzly Bear, “Yellow House” (15th Anniversary Reissue)

The 2006 LP gives us a snapshot of a band working through the kinks, establishing a framework for an impressive future catalogue.

In Conversation: José González on the Intentional Directness of “Local Valley”

The Swedish-Argentinean songwriter’s fourth album removes the veneer, contemplates the contradictions in our nature, and embraces all our messiest vestiges and claws.

In Conversation: Jelani Aryeh on His Cohesive, Guitar-Driven Vision for “I’ve Got Some Living to Do”

Aryeh discusses the overnight success of “Stella Brown,” how the track shaped his vision for the new album, and the ways in which he creates his own scene.

Lightning Bug, “A Color of the Sky”

The dream pop group’s third album finds beauty in quiet and noise, the natural and the otherworldly, change and acceptance.

A Luscious Mix of Words and Tricks: The Shins’ “Oh, Inverted World” at 20

Revisiting one of the most unlikely hit records of the early 2000s.

On the Young Adult Sorrow and Undeniable Bops of Fountains of Wayne’s “Welcome Interstate Managers”

With 2003’s “Stacy’s Mom”–toting LP getting a Real Gone Music reissue, we revisit the power-pop group’s uncool and understated third release.

In Conversation: Current Joys’ Nick Rattigan Explores Memory, Place, and Time on “Voyager”

Rattigan discusses his most collaborative solo album yet, as well as the catharsis of defeating his own personal Pennywise the Clown.

Dinosaur Jr., “Sweep It Into Space”

Their 12th record tries to reach a singular vision, but it’s hard not to hear the many voices attempting to roar as one.

Esther Rose, “How Many Times”

“How Many Times” is pristine—you half expect the record to come with 3 fingers of bourbon and a cool summer breeze.

In Conversation: Tune-Yards Continue to Expand Their Perspective on “sketchy.”

Merrill Garbus on the uncomfortable conversations and creative choices that characterize the band’s fifth album.

Cloud Nothings, “The Shadow I Remember”

The band’s 7th LP is a wily repurposing of former selves while, at the same, whittling away what no longer fits.

Arlo Parks, “Collapsed in Sunbeams”

The London songwriter is able to achieve a collision of cool and gut-wrenching that is all her own. 

Lande Hekt, “Going to Hell”

The Muncie Girls songwriter finds much more fertile ground in the internal on her solo debut.

Shamir, “Shamir”

This self-titled LP is a record of hits, misses, and left-field bangers—but it’s Shamir’s and Shamir’s only. 

Bully, “SUGAREGG”

Alicia Bognanno’s third LP benefits from a newfound willingness to let go.

Fontaines D.C., “A Hero’s Death”

The band pick at every scab they’ve developed during their arduous last twelve months.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, “Reunions”

Isbell’s seventh album works best when it exists in the vagaries, where the lines of fact and fiction mix.

Car Seat Headrest, “Making a Door Less Open”

“MaDLO” is full of holes, but wholly unique. 

Hamilton Leithauser, “The Loves of Your Life”

“Loves” sees a veteran artist sauntering along his creative borders with glee.

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