Friday Night Music: Spirits

I'm digging this song by the Strumbellas, a Canadian band that describes themselves as variously as "FolkPop, RockGrass, AltCountry". I heard it on the radio and had to check out the rest of the album, and I wasn't disappointed. The video even has an offbeat Halloween feel:What have you been listening to lately? … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Criminal

I've mostly focused on newer stuff rather than nostalgia for these music posts. But reading about President Obama's 2016 summer playlist put me in mind of this '90s classic from Fiona Apple (which is now just over 20 years old, yikes): … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Dance Apocalyptic

Since the 2016 presidential election seems like it has at least decent odds of bringing about the end of the world, let's celebrate in style with Janelle Monáe. From 2013's The Electric Lady: … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Every Open Eye

I last wrote about Chvrches, the Scottish synthpop band with the name I can never type, two years ago. They've since released their sophomore album, Every Open Eye, which is excellent - bigger, more expansive, more optimistic than their debut. Here's one of my favorites:Another standout is "Empty Threat", a defiant anthem that's hard not to read as the band's response to the kind of bottom-feeder harassment that lead singer Lauren Mayberry has often spoken about. … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: The War on Drugs

When I want to get in the mood for writing, I listen to music that helps energize me. But when I'm feeling the need to relax, I prefer to space out with something mellow, and The War on Drugs fits the bill. Here's one of my favorites from their 2014 breakthrough album Lost in the Dream: … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: The Shade

Following up on the theme of their last album, 2012's Synthetica, Metric delves deeper into a retro electronic-and-neon, 1980s-arcade-inspired sound and aesthetic on their new release, Pagans in Vegas. It comes off as cold and artificial on a first listen, and most of it took me a while to warm up to (especially "Cascades"). But I liked this one, the first single, immediately: … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Sidelined

Shelley Segal is on tour in the U.S., and I got to see her perform at Rockwood Music Hall in Manhattan earlier this month. Here's one of the songs she played, a feminist folk anthem from her latest EP, Strange Feeling: … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Grace Potter

I don't see why you'd embark on a solo career when you're best known for a band that already has your name in its name, but why complain when the result is this good? Here's Grace Potter, of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, showing off on her new solo album, Midnight: … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Beneath the Skin

Between Florence + the Machine, Quiet Company, and Metric this fall, 2015 is working out to be a great year for new releases from artists I like. And you can also add Of Monsters and Men, Iceland's skald-rock power band, whose second album Beneath the Skin came out this year. It's suitably epic, with a hint of lava rock and moss: … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Ship to Wreck

Florence + the Machine has just released How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, their first new album in almost four years. Florence Welch is in full form, singing about love lost and heartbreak with all the storm and fury that magnificently tempestuous voice is capable of. Alanis Morrisette only wishes she could get this much musical mileage out of a breakup: … [Read more...]