Wet Leg lives up to the hype on its debut, self-titled LP

Despite swirling rumors, Wet Leg is no industry plant. Teasdale and Chambers don’t have famous parents, either; the duo got attention this fast mostly through word of mouth (being signed to Domino surely helped, too). The band released six singles ahead of the album’s arrival: “Chaise Longue,” “Angelica,” “Wet Dream,” “Too Late Now,” “Oh No,” and “Ur Mum.” All have been fantastic in their own way, but the songs that were kept for the record feature some of Wet Leg’s best work yet. This is the rare long-awaited debut album that lives up to the hype.

Hurray For The Riff Raff's Life On Earth can't outshine its predecessor

Now, five long years later, Hurray For The Riff Raff is back with Life On Earth. Overall, it’s gorgeous and captivating, with infectious, pop-driven tracks. But while The Navigator felt like an open door into Segarra’s soul, with powerful, awe-inspiring songs—both lyrically and melodically—this latest release doesn’t quite conjure the same emotions. Still, Life On Earth shows off Segarra’s wondrous songcraft, demonstrating how much they’ve evolved as a musician since founding Hurray For The Riff Raff in 2007.

Once Twice Melody is some of Beach House's most impressive work

Beach House’s music has always had a cinematic quality, and that element is expanded on Once Twice Melody. The Baltimore-based duo of Legrand and Alex Scally divided the album into four chapters, each chronicling a relationship’s dissolution. Beach House’s 2017 album, 7, featured some of the band’s darkest and most experimental tracks, and Once Twice Melody gets even more eclectic, delivering some of the most captivating work of band’s nearly two decade-long career.

Courtney Barnett's Things Take Time, Take Time takes time to love

Courtney Barnett’s third album, Things Take Time, Take Time, is aptly named—it takes more than one listen to hear the wonders in it. Barnett is one of those rare indie artists who had a massive, critically acclaimed debut LP with Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. But you won’t find more of those anthemic songs best listened to while shouting out the lyrics with a room full of strangers on this record. Instead, continuing along the stylistic shift begun on 2018’s Tell Me How You Really Feel, Things Take Time gets more mellow and introspective.

Olivia Rodrigo's SOUR is so much more than a breakup album

When Olivia Rodrigo’s “Driver’s License” was released in January, it instantly became a massive hit. Rodrigo was the first non-American Idol female artist to have her initial single debut atop the Billboard charts since Lauryn Hill, over 20 years ago. Many who latched on to the track didn’t know they were listening to a TV actor who’d been steadily working for the better part of a decade, much less that she was the star of Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The song’s immens

Élite season 4 goes back to basics—but with a twist

So far, every season of Netflix’s Spanish noir teen drama Élite has begun the same way: with an investigation. A body is found in a pool during a party—but we won’t tell you who it is, because what’s the fun in that? Season three was all about tying up loose ends and closing the chapter on Marina’s death. But this fourth season is about how even when things seem the same on the surface—another mystery, class struggles, and messy romances—we’re entering a new chapter for the remaining Las Encinas students.

Angel Olsen brings emotional intensity to '80s pop hits on Aisles

Angel Olsen has shied away from sharing original music for a while now. After releasing All Mirrors in 2019, she put out Whole New Mess the following year, featuring intimate, re-imagined versions of the previous LP’s compositions. And right when fans were expecting Olsen to announce another proper album, ushering in a new era that reflects her life after the breakup that inspired All Mirrors, the musician has instead unveiled an unexpected project: Aisles.

Modest Mouse enters fun new territory on The Golden Casket

Modest Mouse is an indie giant—the band knows that when you finally get to see them again, it’ll be in a massive venue, or maybe even a music festival. And thankfully, its first album in six years, The Golden Casket, is concerned primarily with fun, lending itself exactly to that kind of concert-going experience. What else could you expect from a record that opens with a song called “Fuck Your Acid Trip”? (And yes, the song does actually sound like an acid trip.) Golden Casket tries to shake

Taylor Swift's song with Big Red Machine is one of her all-time best

If you’d have told us years ago that Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon’s band Big Red Machine would make an album featuring Taylor Swift, we would’ve thought you were delirious. But times have changed drastically, and two “indie” albums later (co-written with both The National’s Dessner and Bon Iver’s Vernon, the former of whom also co-produced), Swift has proven that, while she might not have the indie sensibilities of an Angel Olsen or Sharon Van Etten, some of her best songwriting comes when sh

Ben Gibbard returns to Postal Service-style music with "Only Love"

We’re still trying to forget that time last year when Ben Gibbard, Jimmy Tamborello, and Jenny Lewis hoodwinked us into thinking we’d get a Postal Service reunion, only to try and to get us to vote. And while it doesn’t look like there’ll be a follow-up to Give Up anytime soon, Gibbard is giving us the closest thing to a Postal Service revival with his new collaborative track with Tycho, “Only Love.” It might sound like an unexpected pairing, but the musicians worked together years ago, when Gib

Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It doesn't actually go for it

Rita Moreno—the Puerto Rican movie star, dancer, and singer—has been working in showbiz for more than half a century. Over that time, she’s shared plenty of fascinating stories about her life, from relationships with legendary stars like Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando, to winning the attention of MGM co-founder Louis B. Mayer—and a contract with the studio— by looking like a “Spanish Elizabeth Taylor” during a fateful meeting that kickstarted her film career.

Rostam soundtracks summer love with the jazzy Changephobia

Rostam Batmanglij first introduced the world to his post-Vampire Weekend solo work with 2017's Half-Light, a record that combined his former band’s signature baroque pop sound with intricate new arrangements. It mined new sonic territory for Batmanglij, allowing him to explore influences from his Middle Eastern roots. Since then, Batmanglij’s continued to make a name for himself as a sought-out indie and pop producer, working with Clairo and HAIM.

Indigo De Souza's "Real Pain" is here to take your pain away

Indigo De Souza has quickly become one of the most exciting indie acts of the year. Every single she’s released so far off her forthcoming record, Any Shape You Take (due August 27) , is capable of eliciting the same reaction: “Holy fucking shit.” Not only does she have a distinct, inviting voice, but she has a seamless way of crafting songs that capture a full range of emotions: They can switch from horny to sorrowful in an instant, and linger long after the first listen. “Kill Me” and “Hold

From Carly Rae Jepsen to MUNA: The best of Governors Ball 2021

The renaissance of live music continues! After a yearlong absence, Governors Ball returned to New York City in a brand-new location, with a genre-diverse lineup that had something for everyone. Since we’re still in COVID times, the fest took place in its new home at Queens’ CitiField, feeling far smaller than previous fests, but safer. (Heading to its previous location at Randall’s Island required traveling by a packed ferry—which, yeah, still crowded at the fest this year, but all outdoors.)

A terrific new single welcomes you to Mitski's goth cowboy era

Mitski may have been on a semi-hiatus, but her presence was still strongly felt in the past year. “Nobody,” her disco-tinged single off the 2018 record Be The Cowboy, became an unexpected anthem for 2020: What better way to encapsulate the immense solitude of quarantine than a song that references being so isolated and feeling so lonely, you have to open the windows just to hear the sounds of people? Save your pity; Mitski just wanted human touch so she can feel alright. We’re now at the (hop

Andrew W.K. takes us to a different kind of rager in God Is Partying

Andrew W.K. is a self-described one-man party machine. With his 2001 debut I Get Wet, he made it clear that he’s here to have fun—and you should be joining the party, too. But even while keeping up the “ party guy” bit for the past two decades, he’s taking us to a very different kind of rager with God Is Partying. W.K.’s music has characteristically been anthemic power-pop with metal influences, but this time, he’s ready to traverse deep into metal territory and embrace the doom and gloom.

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