Category Archives: Pop

Pop is Love

FEATURE/PROFILE/#albumoftheday GABRIELLE APLIN: ENGLISH RAIN

Gabrielle Aplin grew up in a small town called Chippenham in Wiltshire, England. Her parents bought her her first guitar when she was just 11 years old. She grew up listening to Bruce Springsteen and Joni Mitchell and she cites them as influences. She’s also a big fan of singer/songwriters like Leonard Cohen...
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#albumoftheday EDITORS: THE WEIGHT OF YOUR LOVE

“It breaks my heart to love you, it breaks my heart to love you,” croons Editors vocalist Tom Smith matter-of-factly during “Sugar,” the second track on the band’s splendid new album The Weight Of Your Love. Previously, the band have often reminded me of The Killers and Franz Ferdinand, but not so much...
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#albumoftheday SKYLAR GREY: DON’T LOOK DOWN

Skylar Grey is the alias of American singer/songwriter Holly Brook Hafermann. Her first full-length album, 2006’s Like Blood Like Honey, was released under the name Holly Brook, but during recent years she underwent a transformation and decided to start going by Skylar Grey. According to Wiki, she chose her new name because “it...
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#ALBUMOFTHEDAY NEHEDAR: THIS HEART

Nehedar is what NYC-based singer/songwriter Emilia Cataldo goes by, much the way Natasha Khan calls herself Bat For Lashes or Sarah Assbring calls herself El Perro Del Mar. Let’s face it — it’s trendy for female solo artists to give themselves a cool name these days. But Emilia didn’t just start calling herself...
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#albumoftheday EMPIRE OF THE SUN: ICE ON THE DUNE

Daft Punk will undoubtedly be this year’s most successful electronic music duo (even if much of their latest album was produced with live instruments), but Australia’s Empire Of The Sun won’t be kept down under on the charts for much longer if there’s any justice in this world of pop. Just listen to...
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REVIEW SPOTLIGHT: PAOLA & CHIARA: GIUNGLA

I started covering Paola & Chiara over a decade ago when I was writing a world music column called Import Zone for Lollipop magazine. (I couldn’t find every column I wrote about them in, but I did manage to find the one with my review of their 2002 album Festival, which you can...
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REVIEW SPOTLIGHT: AUSTRA: OLYMPIA

Austra hail from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, but chances are you probably already know that. After all, their 2011 debut, Feel It Break, was listed on numerous critics’ best of 2011 lists, following a year of positive reviews. The Toronto Star and New York even named it the best album of the year. Basically,...
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SINGLE SPOTLIGHT: EDITORS: A TON OF LOVE

The new single by Editors, “A Ton Of Love,” is up-tempo song taken from their latest album, The Weight of Your Love. Usually Editors remind me of The Killers and Franz Ferdinand, but this particular track reminds me of Springsteen, given its potent drumming, the tone of Tom Smith’s moving vocals and the...
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#albumoftheday INDOCHINE: BLACK CITY PARADE

The French band Indochine have now been at it for 32 years and are usually regarded in the way people regard musical gods like U2, The Beatles and Johnny Cash. In other words, people consider their music a form of high art and deem them music royalty. Well, their fans do anyway. And...
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#albumoftheday LENKA: SHADOWS

Shadows is the third album by Australian singer/songwriter Lenka. Her name might not sound familiar, but you’ve surely heard her music as it’s been featured on Grey’s Anatomy and in the movie Moneyball, as well as appearing in advertisements for Apple, Coke and Old Navy. Billy Crystal even sang part of “The Show”...
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#albumoftheday – BOARDS OF CANADA: TOMORROW’S HARVEST

Boards Of Canada have always put out fascinating music.  While much of it has been relatively mellow, many of their songs being downright ambient, there’s also been a sense of foreboding about many of their compositions.  Their long-awaited new album Tomorrow’s Harvest has all of these elements.  There are some fairly calm songs,...
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#albumoftheday – CSS: PLANTA

The last album by CSS, otherwise known as Cansei de Ser Sexy, was 2011’s La Liberacion. While “I Love You” and “Hits Me Like A Rock” were uber-catchy pop gems, the rest of the Brazilian band’s third album felt somehow misguided. And their second album, Donkey, was only slightly better. Their first album,...
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#albumoftheday – BEN LEE: Ayahuasca: Welcome To The Work

Ben Lee’s new album, Ayahuasca: Welcome To The Work, was inspired by an experience he had while tripping on the extremely strong hallucinogenic plant ayahuasca.  He’s described the experience as life-changing and he wanted to pay tribute to the plant as a result.  If it sounds silly, well, yes I suppose it is...
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REVIEW/FEATURE: LOU DOILLON: PLACES

Lou Doillon might be unknown to most people here in the United States, but in her native France she’s practically royalty, being the daughter of the famous French singer/actress Jane Birkin and the acclaimed film director Jacques Doillon. She’s also the half-sister of actress/singer Charlotte Gainsbourg and step-daughter of the late French singer/songwriter...
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