Review: Phoenix – Ti Amo

  When Phoenix hit it big in 2009 with their hits “Lizstomania” and “1901” off the album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, there were a couple surprises in store for their newly-acquired legion of listeners. First, that the band had been around for quite a while – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was actually their fourth album (they released…

Review: !!! – Shake the Shudder

The ungoogleable band !!! (pronounced ‘chk-chk-chk’) has long been a prime candidate for a “best of” album. Their studio albums to date have been decent enough, but each contained one or two tracks that blew all the others clear out of the water. Just to name some examples, their self-titled album had “KooKooKa Fuk-U,” Louden…

Review: The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions

It’s easy enough to describe the New Pornographers’ music. Over the course of six studio albums released in just under a decade and a half, the band has created an incredibly distinctive style of upbeat indie rock filled with pop hooks and singalong choruses. Pinning them down is something else entirely. The New Pornographers are…

Review: Conor Oberst – Salutations

Ah Conor Oberst. Feels like it was just the other day that I was writing about him… Oh wait, that’s because he only released the album Ruminations in October of last year. If you’re thinking five months is a relatively short gap between albums, realize that Ruminations was a fairly bare bones release. It consisted…

Top 10 Influential Indie Albums

Getting into indie music can seem overwhelming at first. The umbrella term “indie” seems to encompass an endless supply of bands, and trying to find the scene’s critically acclaimed heavyweights is fairly time-consuming. Even when these bands are discovered, listening to their complete discography can seem daunting, especially when members are involved in solo and…

Review: Japandroids – Near to the Wild Heart of Life

Reading the titles of Canadian indie rock duo Japandroids’ albums gives you a fairly good sense of what they’re all about. Their 2009 debut Post-Nothing suggests a band lacking a grand vision of what they’re supposed to be, bucking subgenre designations like “post-punk” and “post-rock” in the process. More descriptive is the band’s 2012 sophomore…

Review: The xx – I See You

For a band that seemingly emerged out of nowhere, the xx have made an impressive impact. Their 2009 debut xx received unanimous critical acclaim and won the 2010 Mercury Prize, despite relatively little radio play and the absence of any singles that could be called a “hit.” More importantly, the band’s sound became highly influential…

The Top 10 Albums of 2016

Alright, we all know 2016 was a pretty terrible year, so I’m not going to beat a dead horse here. Instead, I’d like to focus on some of the great music released these past twelve months. While 2015 gave us some impressive debuts and high-quality albums by bands that have yet to let us down,…

Top 10 Indie Music Videos of 2016

Pitchfork recently released their “Best Music Videos of 2016” countdown, and I couldn’t help but feel the list will be strongly correlated with their top albums and top songs lists, and not based on the merit of the videos alone. This seems to echo the trend of MTV’s Video Music Awards, where popular artists dominate…