The Decemberists have never settled for simple. Instead, they’ve released album after album of far-reaching, grand concepts: progg-y rock opera on “The Hazards of Love” (2009), pastoral Americana on “The King is Dead” (2011). All were mythical, theatrical and meticulously crafted.In “What ...
Harsh and unrelenting, an aggressive drum beat opens the first track on Viet Cong’s self-titled debut album. The song “Newspaper Spoons” sounds more like a battle cry than a welcome to the band’s music, yet its intensity does not allow the track to become cookie-cutter metal or pop-punk. Two minutes into the song, which clocks in at three minutes 21 seconds,layers of tinkling keyboard melodies come in and add an extra dimension to the piece. While the grinding gritty rock feel is established, so too is the assertion that the members of Viet Cong know exactly what they're doing. They are, in three minutes and twenty-one seconds, established as rebels in an already rebellious sub-genre of music.
When Guster formed in 1992, soon after its members met at Tufts Wilderness Orientation, the band did not even have a real rock drummer. Founded by Tufts alumni Adam Gardner (LA ’95), Ryan Miller (LA ’95) and Brain Rosenworcel (LA ’95), the group cultivated a unique style based around Rosenworcel’s motley drum kit of congas and cymbals. Although this sound has dissipated since the band fell into the mainstream spotlight with “Lost and Gone Forever” (1999), many of its popular albums continued to incorporate unconventional percussive and melodic elements. However, with the release of its previous album “Easy Wonderful” (2010) and now 2015's “Evermotion," Guster has shed its early raw shell.
It’s nearly impossible to find a band today that rejects the lure of social media as adamantly as the Brooklyn quartetParquet Courts. While the vast majority of popular artists (and even those who operate under the radar, for that matter) succumb to the supposedly indisputable claim that digital ...
Henry Steinway began releasing smash club hits under the name Clockwork, producing remixes of songs by the big dogs of the EDM scene like Avicii. He found some success under the Clockwork moniker, but his connection to the work he produced sometimes seemed tenuous. He now seeks to establish himself ...
I was in New York last weekend and was completely shocked when I passed a Pottery Barn with lit-up Christmas trees and teddy bears surrounding a big white bed with billowy covers. This seemed out of place considering it was Nov. 7. And then I passed Bryant Park, totally transformed into a skating rink surrounded by kiosks selling Christmas ornaments in the shape of your home state, a taxi cab or a cowboy boot. But it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!
Sam Weiser is a rare breed at Tufts: a computer science-savvy violinist who considers arts and academics equal opportunities. In fact, he’s one of only 12 remaining five year, dual degree students enrolled in both Tufts and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. For Weiser, a junior, choosing ...
The idea of jazz singer Norah Jones and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong collaborating on a country album is plain bizarre. The smooth crooner and the punk rocker are on opposite ends of the musical spectrum — a fusion of the two would be pure mayhem ... right?With their Nov. 25 record, “Foreverly,” ...
Lea Michele, once a Broadway prodigy and now the starlet of Glee" (2009-present), released her debut album "Louder" at the end of February. Michele is a well-known actress with a loyal fan base. But the album is of particular note in light of the July 2013 death of her "Glee" co-star and boyfriend Corey Monteith. After a brief hiatus from the public eye, Michele remerged in spectacular fashion, joining the rest of the "Glee" cast for the show's fifth season as well as releasing her first record.
Despite an ever-increasing infatuation with newer, technologically driven styles of electronic and hip-hop music, more relaxed melody-based music continues to find success among many audiences. Few bands today do a better job of sticking with a classic sound than Real Estate. The band's most recent album, Atlas," is a testament to the group's ability to successfully continue creating the exact same kind of music that characterized their rise to stardom.
Sometimes it is the most convoluted, indecipherable messages that are ultimately able to have strongest impact. This is where Perfect Pussy finds its strength; despite the group's often hard-to-understand lyrics, their music is both powerful and compelling. Their debut album, Say Yes To Love," is a forceful, fiery experience, a 23-minute tirade that seems to be on the verge of going too far without ever actually breaking down. And, it turns out, resting on this edge is satisfying.
If there is one thing that Katy Perry is known for, it's certainly not delicacy. Her latest release, Prism," is a colossal disappointment that can only be seen as a blemish in Perry's career and otherwise stellar discography. Skyrocketing to stardom with her 2008 single "I Kissed a Girl," Perry branded herself as the peppy bad-girl with whimsical fashion sensibilities and an affection for the '80s. Coming off of a failed career in the Christian music world, Perry jettisoned innocence for raunchy hooks and verses dripping with double entendre and innuendo - a tactic that worked spectacularly for the singer. Her debut "One of the Boys" (2008) was a strong, smart pop album that generated hit after hit, including "Waking Up in Vegas" and - arguably the best pop song of 2008 - "Hot & Cold." At their core, these songs were simple and easy to love.
Calle 13 has once again proven themselves to be one of the most important and gifted group of musicians to have emerged from Puerto Rico (if not all of Latin America) in the past 25 years. Although many Americans might not be familiar with the group, Calle 13 is proving more and more deserving of attention with their groundbreaking and genre-defying work. Their fifth album, Multi_Viral," comes after their record-breaking "Entren Los Que Quieran" (2010), for which they racked up numerous awards. They have the record for both the most Latin Grammys won in one night and the most Latin Grammys of all time for a group, with 19 to their name. With such an impressive record, it would seem almost impossible for Calle 13 to match the highs of "Entren Los Que Quieran" with "Multi_Viral," but the Hispanic group manages to do so easily.
From the beginning of Mogwai's Rave Tapes," it's clear that the band has launched itself in a new direction. Channeling the same bombastic free-spiritedness of a ball in a pinball machine, the energetic and, at times, chaotic "Rave Tapes" is worth a listen. Somehow, the Scottish post-rock band is able to combine songs about rejecting the ideals of the media through spoken word with tracks that feel like the opening score of "Rocky" (1976). Indeed, for the adventurous listener, "Rave Tapes" is a journey worth taking.
“At least to begin with, I would recommend closing our eyes.” With these opening lines, Brian DeGraw’s debut solo album, “SUM/ONE,” begins. Listeners should take DeGraw’s introductory suggestion to heart. Full of incredibly varied instrumentals and experimental, electronic sounds, the album ...
For an artist whose heyday was in the late 1980s, Neneh Cherry has made quite a comeback with her newest album, Blank Project." One would think that being out of the alternative/electronic/punk music scene for such a long time would put a damper on the brash effectiveness of Cherry's earlier work, but in her latest project she returns with an assertiveness that not only rivals the initial shock value of her 1989 debut, "Raw Like Sushi," but also places her on the forefront of female-driven punk music.
Just when you thought that Chris Daughtry had disappeared from the music scene completely, he's decided to reinsert himself in not-so-spectacular fashion. Attempting to justify the fame that accompanies a stint on reality TV is a predicament unique to the modern age. Indeed, for many of the contestants from the various talent shows that have become so integral to the American television experience, this is an insurmountable challenge. So, it's no surprise that American Idol" (2002-present) fifth season finalist Chris Daughtry has struggled to reach mainstream audiences ever since the initial excitement surrounding his music began to wane. Known for his hard rock persona - of course, only on "American Idol" is Chris Daughtry considered hard rock - Daughtry's band, ingeniously called Daughtry, released their similarly self-titled debut in 2006. Since then, the band has been relegated to universal scorn, second only to Nickelback and Dane Cook.
Full of droning melodies, lackadaisical bass lines and shiny synth, Dum Dum Girls' third full-length studio release Too True" is both fiercely nostalgic and outrageously lovable. It's hard to turn this album off, and for good reason: The tracks will undoubtedly remind listeners of the music their parents loved, but at the same time, they incorporate elements of more current music into the mix. Basically, for modern-day hipsters - with their Canon AE-1 film camera, record player (because the sound is just ... better) and headband reminiscent of Woodstock - this album is perfection. However, you don't have to be a hipster to appreciate the musical craftsmanship that went into the creation of "Too True."
Annie Clark, the singer better known as St. Vincent, might have just become the Beyonc? of the art pop genre with her latest eponymous album "St. Vincent." Though Clark may never receive even a fraction of the international recognition achieved by the now-legendary Knowles, the comparison is undeniable. Much like the former Destiny's Child star, St. Vincent is making music that is fresh and original, fierce and independent. She manages to combine the more lighthearted elements of pop with a barrage of musical influences, which fuse together on one of the most intriguing albums released thus far in 2014. Indeed, with her more recent success, Clark is approaching a level of celebrity status that, within certain circles, could be considered similar to that of Beyonc?'s.