Review: Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder

Broken Social Scene were the band to be a decade ago. They had two critically acclaimed albums under their belt: 2002’s You Forgot It In People and 2005’s Broken Social Scene. They had a devoted enough following to sell out three nights in a row at the same venue. And perhaps most importantly, they became…

Review: The Drums – Abysmal Thoughts

  There’s a general consensus in music that you need multiple musicians to form a band, while an individual is considered solo artist or a singer-songwriter. If only it were that simple. Multiple indie acts over the years have muddied these definitions, making it difficult to tell where the line is drawn. Bright Eyes revolved…

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: 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…

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: 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…

Review: Band of Horses – Why Are You OK

As various indie rock trends have come and gone over the years, Band of Horses have remained remarkably consistent. Since the release of their debut Everything All The Time a decade ago, the band has put out three studio albums that all have the same distinct sound – a very American style of indie rock…