Album Reviews

The New Pornographers: Whiteout Conditions

Coming-of-age movies from the 1980s are joyous, singular quests of the ego. This explains their largely teen viewership—it helps to have archetypes to parse while determining your own identity. It can be comforting to hit the prom by proxy in a Pepto-pink tulle puff, or step into the shoes of a glib slacker as he […]

Clark: Death Peak

Clark is a torchbearer for his label, Warp, a former vanguard that outlasted its own revolution to become an immutable status quo. He and labelmate Bibio interviewed each other for The Quietus in 2009 for the label’s twentieth anniversary, and Clark offhandedly related a creation myth for his music: “There was so much rave stuff you’d listen […]

Davy Kehoe: Short Passing Game

Your first thought, launching into the opening song on Davy Kehoe’s debut mini-album, Short Passing Game, may be that you’re listening to it at 45 instead of 33. It’s ridiculously fast, almost too fast: The drum machine tumbles in a syncopated, breakneck blur, shuddering like a washing machine at the furious peak of its spin […]

Cory Branan: Adios

About two and a half minutes into “Blacksburg,” off his fifth solo record, Cory Branan pauses his countrified classic rock tune for a solo from what sounds like bagpipes, a saxophone, and/or fuzzed-out Flying V power chords. Constantly shape-shifting, it sounds like a parody of white guys making fist-pumping music about feelings: a big moment undercut […]

Soulwax: FROM DEEWEE

If every ’90s alternative act updated their sound as gracefully as the Belgian electro-rock outfit Soulwax, the alternative era might never have ended. Hold the band’s latest full-length up to, say, God Lives Underwater’s likeminded 1998 sophomore effort Life in the So-Called Space Age, and you might think the two titles came out no more […]

Father John Misty: Pure Comedy

Father John Misty presents a sprawling double-feature: the skewering of an infantile generation, and the self-skewering of its author. From the mind of an apocalyptically inclined neurotic, who reads Žižek and Freud and believes humanity is condemned to moral chaos, comes Pure Comedy, a grueling, often inspired odyssey that screams to be taken as art. […]

White Reaper: The World’s Best American Band

Rock music hasn’t been the sound of popular youth culture in a very long time and there is no shortage of real, systematic causes: the irreversible narrowing of radio and print media, the economic and logistical nightmare of putting five dudes and their gear on tour and the undeniable fact that rock bands are extremely […]