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...]

Friday Night Music: Sonic Highways

I just saw Mad Max: Fury Road, and I'm still a little breathless - best movie of the year so far, Charlize Theron was fantastic, and I see why it made internet misogynists so upset. Plus it had a postapocalyptic gang of gun-toting biker grannies; you can't beat that.Foo Fighters are a good fit for my mood tonight. Here's one from their excellent latest album, Sonic Highways: … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Transgressor

I previously used this space to feature Quiet Company, an ex-Christian rock band from Texas. They've just released a new album, Transgressor, that's a bit more polished and less emotionally raw, but I think every bit as good as their last: … [Read more...]

Weekend Bonus Music: Hard Believer

I was going to put up a Friday Night Music post, but I've been traveling this weekend and didn't have the time. So, here's a weekend bonus with two great songs.My post on First Aid Kit two weeks ago was popular, but as Jeremy Shaffer pointed out in the comments, they don't just make lovely music - they're unapologetically secular, too. Listen to the lyrics of this beautiful song, "Hard Believer", from their debut studio album The Big Black and the Blue:And for a 2-for-1, I was elated … [Read more...]


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