Noname opens up, and invites us to do the same, on the unapologetic Room 25

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In 2016, Noname made waves when she debuted with Telefone, a vivid, soulful collection of jazz-rap establishing her voice among friends and fellow Chicago MCs like Chance The Rapper and Saba. On her sophomore LP, Room 25, she further proves that her songs aren’t just memorable, but necessary. Room 25 opens to the…

Robyn finally confirms new album, Honey, out next month

It’s been eight long years since Robyn’s career-defining Body Talk EPs, and though she’s released a handful of collaborative singles and shorter projects in the meantime, the wait for a new solo full-length from the Swedish pop artist is almost over: Honey will arrive October 26 via Interscope and Robyn’s own label,…

60 minutes proving De La Soul is one of hip-hop’s greats—but its legacy is in danger

De La Soul is one of the most culturally significant and musically influential hip-hop groups from the late ’80s and ’90s, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the current digital realm of music that actually gets listened to. That’s because, by and large, De La Soul isn’t there. Thanks to a messy thicket of legal…

Jóhann Jóhansson embraces the void on the doom-metal influenced Mandy soundtrack

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Although the film’s aesthetic owes just as much to bad-trip ’70s psychedelia, the phrase you’ll hear most often when describing the psychotronic new Nicolas Cage vehicle Mandy is “heavy metal.” (In his review for The A.V. Club, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky says it has “enough vintage MTV fog machines to kill a hair metal…

Sing-alongs and bare asses: Nostalgia ruled at this year’s Riot Fest

Riot Fest 2018 was an oddly muted affair. No big reunions or “one time only” performances of the kind that have so thrilled festivalgoers in times past, like Jawbreaker getting back together last year or L7 in 2015. Instead, there was a comforting procession of longtime stalwarts (Bouncing Souls, Andrew W.K.) and…

Weird Al emerged, post-punk exploded, and DJing matured in 1981

To commemorate 60 years of the Billboard Hot 100, Off The Charts revisits each year since it was established to spotlight songs and artists that didn’t make the cut, yet still made a significant impact. Years are chosen randomly and—to make it even harder on ourselves—rules for inclusion are that neither the songs nor…

Celebrate Amy Winehouse's birthday with this playlist of the singer at her best 

Just short of 10 years ago, the world lost one of its brightest new talents in Amy Winehouse. As a young British singer whose soulful voice sounded as if it came from another era, a musician whose fresh sound drew from an eclectic mix of genres, and a writer who could crank out an enduring hit in a couple of hours,…

Spiritualized’s grand goodbye, Joey Purp’s live-wire mixtape, and more new music reviews

Spiritualized leaves us (maybe, but probably not) with the essential And Nothing Hurt, while Chilly Gonzales’ Solo Piano trilogy ends on a contemplative note, and Chicago MC Joey Purp sounds better than ever on his third mixtape. Plus, we take a look at the latest from Mothers and Ava Luna.

Eminem’s bad new album has created a vortex of bad rap beefs

Eminem’s new album, the surprise release Kamikaze, is bad. This has been the case for every album he’s released for around 15 years, depending on how generous you want to be to 2002's The Eminem Show, a long artistic stagnancy that Eminem seems keenly aware of. Kamikaze, like so many other Eminem albums, functions as…

The 30 most-anticipated albums of September

Okay, so we don’t know for sure that Donald Glover’s fourth (and reportedly final) album as Childish Gambino will arrive this month, but the prospect looms large as we turn the corner into fall. What we do know is we’re getting big new albums from Chicago MC Noname, French synth-pop phenom Christine And The Queens,…

4AD announces deluxe vinyl/CD reissues of This Mortal Coil albums

This Mortal Coil, the gothic dream-pop collective led by 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell, released three gorgeous, hugely influential albums between 1984 and 1991: It’ll End In Tears, Filigree & Shadow, and Blood. The label announced today that all three LPs will be reissued with “remastered audio made from the original…

Wild Nothing’s best album yet, Danny Brown’s Twitch mixtape, and more music to hear this week

Wild Nothing returns to glorious form on Indigo, while Danny Brown and the Bruiser Brigade Reign Supreme on their Twitch-only stream, and jazz improvisers Szun Waves conjure a bright New Hymn To Freedom. Plus: the latest from Thou, Troye Sivan, Big Red Machine, and Muncie Girls.

Desire and gender run free on Anna Calvi’s ferocious Hunter

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No one would call Anna Calvi’s music tame. This is an artist who announced herself in 2011 with the rousing drama of “Desire” and the sweeping, Morricone-inspired vistas of “Love Won’t Be Leaving,” who took the stage in flaming red silk, expressive riffs sparking from her sunburst Telecaster. It was enough to make…

Ariana Grande and Mogwai lead a stellar week in new music

Ariana Grande illustrates once again that she is an unparalleled pop chameleon on Sweetener, while KIN splits the difference between late-period Mogwai and the band’s previous film work, and Midori Takada & Lafawndah pair up for the tightly conceived and elegantly performed Le Renard Bleu. Plus Interpol, The Lemon…