pop Archive

Kat Edmonson’s Vintage Pop for Now Listeners

Though a relative youngster at age 35, Kat Edmonson makes music that’s rooted in another era. Her vintage pop approach draws form the style of vocal jazz and the Great American Songbook, but the Houston-born Edmonson’s original music is imbued with a strong modern-day sensibility. Many artists bristle at the prospect of being categorized. Aware

Active Bird Community: Birds of a Feather Still Flocking Together

The four members of Active Bird Community are only 24 years old, but the Bedstuy-based indie rock group is already releasing its fourth collection of new music. The title of that record, Amends, might suggest that the four musicians are already getting on each other’s nerves, but that’s not the case. Guitarist-vocalist Tom D’Agustino admits

Hundred-word Reviews for February 2019

I’ve been doing these hundred-word reviews for many years now; they’re a handy way to communicate my enthusiasm for new and newly-reissued albums without taking the time for a deep-dive critical assessment. Here’s my second installment for 2019, featuring five new titles along with five reissue, compilation and/or archival releases. Divine Weeks – We’re All

Steven Wilson: Expect the Unexpected (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… For the title track of To the Bone, Wilson wrote the music, leaving the lyric composition to Andy Partridge, formerly of XTC. “If I’m going to go into a collaborative process, then I want it to be just that,” Wilson says. “Compromise is the wrong word, but you give and take,

Steven Wilson: Expect the Unexpected (Part One)

In some ways, the 2017 album To the Bone introduced a more user-friendly Steven Wilson. Certainly, Wilson’s fifth solo full-length features a good deal of the musically ambitious progressive rock styles that led to his being named Prog Rock King by the 2015 Progressive Music Awards in London. But the record also finds Wilson displaying

Album Review: Heather Gruber – Dance into the Desert

A collection of songs designed to convey a narrative of the artist’s sojourn from East Tennessee to Los Angeles, Dance into the Desert is shimmering pop. Gruber has a lovely voice, and her knack with a winning melody shines through on all of these songs. At one moment she might me trilling along while plucking

Album Review: American High – U.N. Article 14

For a quick bit of context, “Article 14” refers to a section of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating that people should be free from persecution. (It’s perhaps worth noting – and more than a bit troubling – that a 2004 court case in the United states concluded that the 1948 isn’t

Lake Street Dive: We Want Them Back

Lake Street Dive has come a long way since the 2012 debut of its YouTube video, a cover of the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back.” With 9 albums and/or EPs to its credit, the Boston-founded, Brooklyn-based group has steadily built upon its successes. Lake Street Dive’s origins were built upon country and jazz, but

Asheville’s Top 10 for 2018

2018 has brought forth a bumper crop of superb albums in every genre from artists local (or with strong connections) to Asheville and the surrounding region. Any of these 10 could arguably claim the top spot, and I can immediately think of at least 10 more that would easily warrant inclusion on the list. The

Album Review: Bobbie Morrone — Lonely St.

In many ways, the current resurgence in pop-soul is not surprising. A significant segment of today’s listeners is always in search of something new. But at the same time they want music that evokes subtle, almost unconscious connection to the music of the past.  So music that sounds at least a little bit like Stevie