pop Archive

River Whyless: Out from Behind the Tiny Desk

When beginning work on what would be their second full-length album, the four musicians of Asheville-based River Whyless decided to change their approach to songwriting. The result of that change is showcased on We All the Light. Bassist Daniel Shearing describes the new method as “more building fresh from the beginning, and not so much

Nada Surf Still Believes in the Rock Album

Brooklyn-based Nada Surf has been called an indie rock band and a power pop group. Drummer Ira Elliot is less concerned with how the group is labeled than he is getting in front of new audiences. And in an era when streaming playlists and downloads dominate, he and his band mates still put value in

Album Mini-review: KT Tunstall — KIN

File next to: Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple Scottish-born Tunstall is that rarest of artists: she enjoys critical praise while scoring on the commercial side of the equation. Her songs are licensed for use in TV ads, but her cred remains unvarnished. Even a hiatus form the pop music scene – taking time to study film

KT Tunstall Knows the Score

Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall burst onto the international scene in 2004 when she scored a last-minute performance slot on the influential UK television program Later … with Jools Holland. Her solo turn – voice, guitar and looping pedal – earned her recognition and spurred sales of her debut album, Eye to the Telescope. Four more

Gringo Star: Giving Pop-rock a Good Name

Coming out of the diverse Atlanta music scene, Gringo Star makes hooky pop-rock that – while informed by sounds of the 1960s – doesn’t rely on aping vintage sounds. Their repertoire is more varied stylistically than the standard-issue indie-rock outfit. “We’re not trying to recreate some specific genre,” says guitarist Nick Furgiuele. “We like to

David LaMotte: Bringing it All Back Together

Prior to 2006, David LaMotte was an extremely busy musician. “In those first 18 years, I kicked out 10 records,” he says. But in the decade that followed, he would released exactly zero albums of new material. It wasn’t as if he had gone inactive, or had even stopped writing music; he was simply involved

Album Mini-review: The Archies — Sugar, Sugar: The Complete Albums Collection

File next to: Bay City Rollers, 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Jackson 5 After his experience with The Monkees, pop impresario Don Kirshner made the calculated decision that his next project would be one in which the artists couldn’t rebel. Thus was born The Archies, a cartoon group that only existed on television. Well, that’s not

Album Mini-review: Starling Electric — Electric Company

File next to: Pete Yorn, Bob Pollard, Bob Mould In 2008, Michigan’s Starling Electric released Clouded Staircase, one of the best albums of that decade, and one that almost nobody heard. The original songs combined the best qualities of Guided by Voices‘ Anglophile rock with vocal and arrangement prowess that encouraged positive comparisons with Brian

Yo La Tengo is Still “Murdering the Classics”

Hoboken, N.J.-based indie-rock band Yo La Tengo has long been recognized as much for their selection of cover songs as for their original material. Their sonic approach can recall anything from the dark psychedelia of the Velvet Underground to sweet, chiming pop. But on their latest album, 2015’s Stuff Like That There, the group chose

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2016, Part 5

My week-long barrage of brief reviews wraps up with these last five. Look for more soon. Professor Longhair – Live in Chicago In 1976, New Orleans legend Professor Longhair played at the University of Chicago Folk Festival. This high-quality recording documents that show, and the acoustic piano is captured wonderfully. The nuances of Longhair’s work