La Femme

An Art-Pop Amalgam for the Masses: Elucidating the Enigma That is La Femme Trying to get a better understanding of La Femme is difficult, and not based on the effect of co-founder and guitarist Sacha Got’s somewhat limited grasp on English and his heavy, intermittently indecipherable French accent. No matter their native language, they’d still… Continue reading La Femme

Marnie Stern

The Golden Mean: Marnie Stern’s New Pop “For some reason, the routes that we’ve taken on this tour, we’ve seen different stuff than we usually see,” Marnie Stern remarks as she passed through Oregon. “Maybe because we used to drive at night, but I can’t figure out why this is so much more scenic. GPS… Continue reading Marnie Stern

Jacco Gardner

Head in the Clouds: Jacco Gardner’s Dream World “There will always be a reason to escape reality,” says Jacco Gardner. That sentiment is the core of the 24-year-old Dutch artist’s attraction to the swirling, paisley-patterned psych-pop of the ‘60s. His fascination with the sound is deep-rooted – and, unsurprisingly, it translates quite literally to his… Continue reading Jacco Gardner

The Fresh & Onlys

Embracing the Awkward: The Fresh & Onlys’ Forever Romance San Francisco’s Fresh & Onlys haven’t changed much in the past five years. It’s true that their latest LP, Long Slow Dance, offers a new, cleaner aesthetic in comparison to the distortion-heavy sound of their first three albums. Frontman Tim Cohen and bassist Shayde Sartin insist… Continue reading The Fresh & Onlys

Crocodiles

The Politics of Pop: Crocodiles Bite Back San Diego’s Crocodiles are inadvertently reminding us that what is accessible to the masses isn’t necessarily drivel. They’re a fuzz-lovin’ group whose influences are often grittier than the glitter of their eternally melodic brand of noise pop – a mix that makes them likeable, even radio friendly. But… Continue reading Crocodiles

Lyonnais

Bring on the Excess: Conversations in Space with Lyonnais Lyonnais doesn’t rhyme with mayonnaise. The word is, however, synonymous with a few things. For one, it’s a historic province in France. (What, you’ve never heard of it?) But for our purposes: It’s an Atlanta-bred outfit that crafts complex, pedal-dependent, brooding songs that are more contemplative… Continue reading Lyonnais

DIIV

DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith Tells All – Because He Has To Sometimes your choices leave you with no options. For Zachary Cole Smith, founder of the New York City-based hypnagogic pop outfit DIIV, that initial choice was heroin. Pretty much everyone, even people who don’t know his music, knows what happened after. For anyone who’s… Continue reading DIIV

The Dickies

The Dickies: Not On Top Of It, Really You’d think a legendary punk frontman intentionally knocking a female concertgoer in the noggin would see a flurry of media coverage. An incident like that typically gets plenty, and fiery criticism from the public typically follows. But when it happened in Brisbane last April, so few outlets… Continue reading The Dickies

Bully

Fighting Your Own Battles: Bully’s Alica Bognanno is a Reluctant Victor, but a Champion Nonetheless You could almost hear the collective duh when news of that Australian study about the effects of extreme music circulated late last month. A pair of University of Queensland researchers found that music with aggressive tendencies – punk, hardcore, metal and… Continue reading Bully

Nots

It’s Really Confusing! Nots Never Stop Changing For a band that’s only three years in, Memphis-based Nots has seen enough lineup changes to make your head spin. When you hear the frantic filter they’ve put on the bulk of their crude punk tunes, though, the nutty number of shifts seems kind of appropriate. Still, music… Continue reading Nots

Spider Bags

Control What You Can, Ignore the Bullshit: Spider Bags’ Founder Holds Fast “I just want to concentrate on doing things right in my immediate world,” says Spider Bags frontman Dan McGee. “I think sometimes that’s the best thing.” To fairly contextualize that statement: We were talking politics a bit. But that just-doing-my-best mentality is one… Continue reading Spider Bags

Temples

No Trips for Temples: Taking Psychedelia Seriously Pays Off For a psych-rock band, Temples sure seem strait-laced. The Kettering, England-based group presents an unfailingly put-together image, from their ’60s mystic style to their artfully trippy videos. The idea of Temples as a whole is sharply focused – and, for that, they exude a certain seriousness.… Continue reading Temples

King Tuff – Black Moon Spell

When I gave this album its first truly loud listen, I’d just put on my leather jacket that, because of a sore arm, I decided I’d have to live in forever. Got in the car, rolled the windows down and, with Black Moon Spell blaring, I kinda felt like a badass. Maybe I was also… Continue reading King Tuff – Black Moon Spell

White Lung

Riot Grrrl’s Next Wave? White Lung Might Be Its New Vessel One of the loudest bands in contemporary punk, White Lung is also one of its most outspokenly feminist. And it’s probably the only one boasting that powerful combination that’s getting as much admiration from the underground rock ‘n’ roll as it is high-profile media.… Continue reading White Lung

Shantih Shantih

Peace, Love and Circumstance: Shantih Shantih’s Fated Rise is No Fluke It’d be somewhat fallacious to call Shantih Shantih accidentally great, but not entirely. Yes, the ghostly-gorgeous psych-folk on the Atlanta quartet’s debut 7-inch is as hauntingly unforgettable as an episode of sleep paralysis but, you know, in a less frightening way. Still, there’s no… Continue reading Shantih Shantih

The Muffs

Just as Blonder as Ever: The Muffs Return Unchanged It’s hard to comprehend why the Pixies ousted Kim Shattuck from their touring lineup last November. The Muffs singer and guitarist, who’d replaced Kim Deal as bassist, certainly had the chops, and there were no reports of botched performances. Still, she only lasted a few months.… Continue reading The Muffs

Jenny Lewis

Storytelling vs. Sentimentalism: Jenny Lewis Isn’t Writing About Herself In true singer-songwriter fashion, Jenny Lewis is a storyteller. In fact, she’s an expertly convincing one. Despite having been a fan for more than a decade, I hadn’t realized that most of those tales aren’t based on Lewis’ own experiences. The bulk of what she’s penned… Continue reading Jenny Lewis

Curtis Harding

The New Church of Soul: Curtis Harding Shapes His Own Gospel Curtis Harding’s solo debut sounds more time-honed than first-timer, and the reception it’s getting reflects that. It’s not just because he’s in a relatively well-known band and has also been involved in several mainstream projects, though we’ll get to those later. In recounting the… Continue reading Curtis Harding

Angel Olsen

What’s So Wrong with the Light? Angel Olsen’s Demeanor Deceives Her Sound Considering the heartrending lyrics that drive her intensely emotional turn of folk, Angel Olsen, as a person, seems almost apathetic – about the inspirations behind her work, about the work itself, about life in general. She isn’t actually a cold or indifferent person,… Continue reading Angel Olsen

Dinos Boys

Unhinged, But On Point: Dinos Boys Pull an Album Out of Their Antics “A lot of people think it’s from the Thin Lizzy song, ‘The Boys Are Back in Town,’ but it’s not,” insists Dinos Boys founder Danny Song. That link is the most obvious and plausible option when pondering the origin of the Atlanta… Continue reading Dinos Boys

Gardens & Villa

Reality Check: Gardens & Villa Search for Personal Sustainability Weariness is hardly inspirational, especially for a band. After performing about 350 shows in a two-year span, Gardens & Villa were a dog-tired bunch. Only one album in, their exhaustion could have been their downfall – a reason to quit, or the right condition for bad direction… Continue reading Gardens & Villa