September 12, 2013 For avid literature fans, the shortlists for various prizes act as miniature to-buy lists. What about music?
September 8, 2013 Three singers' voices swap out and intertwine throughout the Brooklyn band's ambitious, evocative debut. The album sets their contributions against orchestral arrangements that sweep and swell with a pitch-perfect mix of forcefulness and delicacy.
September 8, 2013 The band's first album since 1999 once again mixes unlikely sensibilities: miserablism made vital by gritty forcefulness, scabrousness harnessed in the pursuit of beauty. Even as singer Lou Barlow offers up clear-eyed postmortems of a wrecked marriage, Defend Yourself exudes the live-wire energy of musicians brought back from the brink.
September 8, 2013 The candy-coated craftsmanship and joy on display throughout Spreading Rumours makes the record ludicrously easy to love — a welcome dose of summertime from the L.A. pop-rock band, just in time for fall.
September 5, 2013 Tips on how to balance coworkers' need for concentration, communication and entertainment.
September 1, 2013 A rich and approachable encapsulation of the singer-songwriter's unpredictable sound, Nobody knows. opens with two full minutes of Beal's unaccompanied voice before fanning out into a deft mix of spare blues confessionals and classic soul.
August 30, 2013 Not everyone has made the transition to MP3s. Are CD- and vinyl-loving holdouts being left behind?
August 27, 2013 Sarah Jarosz was still in high school when she signed her record deal, and she released her debut album (2009's Song Up In Her Head) shortly thereafter, but the versatile bluegrass star seemed to emerge fully formed. Hear Jarosz perform new songs as part of the 2013 Newport Folk Festival.
August 25, 2013 For Okkervil River's Will Sheff, it's been impossible to let go of Meriden, N.H., circa 1986. He pays tribute to that place and time in a nostalgia-fueled album that floats warmly in the soft spots separating childhood from adolescence.
August 22, 2013 How do we balance a need to interact with the outside world with a desire for music and alone time?
August 18, 2013 If Justin Vernon never releases another record under the name Bon Iver — and he's publicly suggested that that might be the case — more albums like Repave would render the issue largely irrelevant. His second album with Volcano Choir is just that good.