January 13, 2013 Widowspeak is a fount of familiar sounds, from early-'90s shoegazer rock to twangily portentous Western soundtracks to the languidly soft pop of Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval. But the music possesses a dreamy pop sound of its own.
January 10, 2013 Tips on a sap-free wedding dance, and ways to balance current favorites with the music of our youth.
January 6, 2013 On his first full-length album, Danish singer and multi-instrumentalist Søren Løkke Juul masters a kind of quiet adventurousness. The result is remarkable headphone music that reaches both the heart and the loneliest reaches of the heavens.
January 6, 2013 The band's music has commercial cachet to spare, as the roots-pop rumble of Mumford & Sons mixes agreeably with the more emotionally resonant folk-rock belting of The Swell Season or The Civil Wars.
December 30, 2012 Manifestra often mutes the singer-songwriter's genre-shredding side in favor of pointed folk songs about foreign policy, the death penalty and income inequality. Still, there's a certain springiness to the arrangements, thanks to a crack band whose horns, keyboards and strings exude elasticity.
December 24, 2012 Like egg nog and advent calendars, Christmas songs pop up everywhere for a month and then disappear, only to be repackaged and resold 11 months later. Some of the biggest-selling and most frequently reissued holiday music of all time comes from three animated rodents.
December 13, 2012 How do you become a fan on forbidding genres when you're coming in cold? Tips on approachable entry points, asking questions, joining communities and otherwise making yourself available to new music and new experiences.
December 12, 2012 It was a tremendous year for upbeat music that reflected on aging and ennui in wise, wonderful ways. But 2012 also brought sweet summer anthems, infectious pop, ruminative ballads, vintage soul and a whole lot more.
December 10, 2012 Lovett gives a loose, engaging performance that feels like both an introduction and a victory lap. With a fresh-faced accompanist in fiddler and backup singer Luke Bulla, Lovett digs way back into his early archives here: All three of these songs are from his beginnings in the late '80s.
November 25, 2012 Stevens views the holidays as a labor of love — worthy of creativity and care, hard work and an ocean of ideas. In Silver & Gold's nearly three hours of music, impeccable grace never strays far from playful ridiculousness.
November 25, 2012 Not since Aimee Mann's One More Drifter in the Snow has a collection of seasonal music been so finely engineered to locate the holidays' melancholy side. But Tinsel and Lights is as warmly rendered as it is achingly bittersweet.
November 21, 2012 Answers to readers' questions on balancing old favorites with new discoveries, finding accessible entry points into forbidding catalogs, the etiquette of taste-making, and more.
November 19, 2012 For this, the 250th Tiny Desk Concert, the Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service singer performs solo and unadorned, with just an acoustic guitar to back him up. Hear Gibbard perform a new song, a little-heard track from 2011, and "St. Peter's Cathedral" from Death Cab's Codes and Keys.