Imogen Heap is a mystical force that has loomed over pop music for nearly two decades, delivering elaborate pop and fiery rock imbued with whimsy and enigmatic curiosity. The British innovator’s glittering presence has been apparent on the Top 40 even when her name isn’t the main credit. More »
Back in 2007, in lieu of his standard Christmastime music drop, Sufjan Stevens held the Xmas Song Xchange Contest in which he invited people to submit their own original holiday tunes. He selected musician Alec Duffy’s “Every Day Is Christmas” as the winner and wrote a brand-new song, “Lonely Man Of Winter,” as … More »
The New York judge overseeing the defamation lawsuit brought by Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald against Kesha Sebert has denied a motion from Katy Perry to keep the full transcript of the deposition she gave from being made public.
“Significantly, the testimony is relevant to several important factual and legal issues (such as causation…
Indie-rock singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Richard Swift passed away this summer at the far-too-young age of 41. Swift had battled with alcoholism for years, and his family revealed that he had been diagnosed with hepatitis and liver and kidney distress shortly before his death. Secretly Canadian posthumously released his final album, … More »
Flying Lotus is executive producing and composing the score for Netflix’s upcoming anime series Yasuke, Deadline reports. The show, one of five new anime titles announced by Netflix today, was created and directed by LeSean Thomas (The Boondocks, Black Dynamite, The Legend Of Korra) in conjunction with the Japanese animated studio MAPPA. More »
There’s a memorable Spin feature on Wilco surrounding the release of 2004’s masterfully sprawling A Ghost Is Born, later reprinted in Chuck Klosterman’s anthology Chuck Klosterman IV. In the story, Klosterman has to go back and re-interview Jeff Tweedy because the Wilco frontman suffered a series of panic attacks and checked … More »
It’s been three years since Earl Sweatshirt‘s last album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, and in that time Earl has dealt with anxiety and depression mostly resulting from the death of his father. With his new single “Nowhere2go,” Earl has found a way to express that drowning dread and anxiousness through a…
On their seventh studio album, the UK rave veterans help themselves liberally to sounds and ideas from their back catalog while punching up the production to ultra-modern standards.
By his own admission, Kev Brown is a producer first, rapper second. As he once told me, writing rhymes feels like homework, making beats comes naturally. So it’s unclear what clicked for Brown on his new album, Fill in the Blank, his third record in 2018—this is his best vocal performance since 2005’s landmark I Do What I Do. Brown doesn’t discuss anything groundbreaking: He talks about shoveling the snow, using an inkpen from Vietnam, and old Mary J. Blige songs. Much like rappers Mick Jenkins, Open Mike Eagle, and yU, Brown finds comfort in the mundane. He isn’t lying about what he has for the sake of phantom street cred or likes and retweets on social media. Brown is a regular dude; his music resonates because he’s in the trenches, dealing with the BS like the rest of us. As with any of his releases, none of these songs hang around too long; he usually spits one verse—in his usual laid-back flow—and cuts quickly to the next track. Brown does this masterfully on Fill in the Blank, leading to a seamless 30-minute suite of incisive lyrics and superb instrumentals.
Of all the greatness here—the mid-’90s Flipmode stomp of “Walkin’ The Gauntlet,” or the ‘80s-inspired head nod of “Strictly Hardcore Bboy”—“Cold Reign Pt II” is the album’s best track. Using a wistful vocal sample and a J-Zone-provided drum loop, Brown takes another step toward his creative independence, a theme he started on this summer’s Homework. “Charity must be my middle name, take advantage wit no shame, breaking the chains,” he raps, aiming his ire at certain collaborators. Near the end of the album, on “Inspiration For The Outside,” Brown gets nostalgic: “Toys R Us closing down, ain’t nothin’ sacred, it’s like Doc Brown holding the picture, and the picture faded.” Equally introspective and pensive, Fill in the Blank is classic Brown, a low-key gem making a huge impact without overstaying its welcome.
-Marcus J. Moore
Panda Bear released the vinyl-only A Day With The Homies EP at the top of this year, but he hasn’t shared a proper full-length statement since Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper way back in January of 2015. That’s about to change. More »