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…

Review: STRFKR – Being No One, Going Nowhere

  STRFKR (formerly known as Starfucker before vowels fell out of fashion) never wanted to be pinned down or confined to any single box. In an interview, frontman Josh Hodges declared that the band’s mission was to create “dance music that you can actually listen to, that’s good pop songs, but also you can dance…

Review: Empire of the Sun – Two Vines

Empire of the Sun are known for three things: creating album art and publicity photos so over the top they’re awesome, wearing flamboyant costumes at all times, and making some pretty good electronic music. For now, let’s focus on that last point. Empire of the Sun combines Luke Steele of alternative rock band the Sleepy…

Review: Conor Oberst – Ruminations

Conor Oberst is a man of many faces. He’s best known as the founder and frontman of the band Bright Eyes, whose angsty, acoustic guitar-driven “emo” songs reached peak popularity in the early to mid-2000s. This of course oversimplifies the band’s music, which mellowed and matured significantly over the years, but the association remains. There’s…

Review: Two Door Cinema Club – Gameshow

  Bands all deal with fame in different ways. Some embrace it, and actively cultivate their following, while others shun the limelight. For Irish rock group Two Door Cinema Club, it turned out to be too much of a good thing. Their 2010 debut album Tourist History propelled the band to fame with a dance-rock…

Review: Bon Iver – 22, A Million

It’s been nearly a decade since Bon Iver first released music that made their name a cultural touchstone, or at least an indie music touchstone. If that seems like a strong word choice, realize that many see frontman Justin Vernon as the perfect indie music archetype or stereotype (depending on who you ask). In a…

Review: Kishi Bashi – Sonderlust

Kaoru Ishibashi, the man behind Kishi Bashi, has been one of the most upbeat guys making music since he hit the scene with his 2012 debut 151a. As a former touring member for of Montreal, he combined their whimsical energy with the violin looping techniques of Owen Pallett to create intricate yet cheerful melodies. He…

Top 10 High-Vocabulary Indie Songs

Indie music is frequently mocked for its pretentiousness. After all, what other vaguely-defined genre seemingly awards points based on obscurity and is full of songs that sound like they were written with a thesaurus in one hand and an encyclopedia in the other?   The following songs don’t really shatter this stereotype. At least they’ll…