High Notes: The Week’s Best New Music

High Notes is a weekly look at the best new music worth your time. Continue reading “High Notes: The Week’s Best New Music”

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serpentwithfeet, Snail Mail, and arriving on your own time

“I’m so tired of moving on / Spending every weekend so far gone,” sings Lindsey Jordan on her band Snail Mail’s great new track “Heat Wave,” from their debut LP Lush released this past Friday. At only 19, Jordan seems too young to be tired of anything, yet as exhausting as the past few years have been, growing up can’t be as easy now as it was back in the day. The song, like the majority of Lush, is tight in structure but loose in execution, sharp pop hooks paired with jangly, rootsy guitars that wouldn’t sound out of place coming from It Still Moves-era My Morning Jacket. Jordan sings with a clarity far beyond her 19 years, as if she’s been ready for this moment and has been waiting for us to listen. Continue reading “serpentwithfeet, Snail Mail, and arriving on your own time”

Featuring Drake, Pusha T, Kacey Musgraves, Kali Ulchis and more

As the calendar turns to June, the temperature rising and we brace for a long summer, now’s as good a time as any to reflect on the best music of the year, from January 1 to now. Today, I bring you the 25 best tracks of the year, tomorrow the 10 best albums. It’s going to be a hot summer, but these 25 tracks will help make it bearable. Continue reading “Featuring Drake, Pusha T, Kacey Musgraves, Kali Ulchis and more”

A Man Is an Island: On the new albums from Kanye West and Father John Misty

Over the past decade, no artist has come close to Kanye West when it comes to securing headlines. Over a decade ago, West first made waves for non-music reasons when he called out George W. Bush for his slow response to Hurricane Katrina, and since then, he’s drawn attention to himself for award show outbursts, his marriage to Kim Kardashian, and, most recently, his alignment with Donald Trump and the alt-right. This last month has been the most trying for those who have otherwise looked past West’s previous antics, with the legendary rapper-producer praising alt-right figures, donning MAGA gear and, most insidiously, declaring slavery in America a choice. This latest blip on West’s career arc culminated with the release of Ye, his eighth studio album, his slightest effort yet, and not just for its sub-thirty minute runtime.  Continue reading “A Man Is an Island: On the new albums from Kanye West and Father John Misty”

The Different Styles That Led to the Best Arctic Monkeys and Beach House Albums to Date

Within the last month, two of the year’s best albums were released, Arctic Monkeys’ Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino and Beach House’s 7, delivered by bands whose very names are at odds with each other, their music equally so. Up until Tranquility Base, Arctic Monkeys made a name for themselves off their potent pop hooks on singles such as “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,” “Fluorescent Adolescent,” “Do I Wanna Know” and “R U Mine?” whereas Beach House became the beloved act they are today based off music that couldn’t be any further from containing economic pop riffs. Continue reading “The Different Styles That Led to the Best Arctic Monkeys and Beach House Albums to Date”