Stress Listening: Third Eye Blind’s Screamer and Secret Machines’ Ten Silver Drops

Stress Listening: Third Eye Blind’s Screamer and Secret Machines’ Ten Silver Drops

Like a lot of you, I often turn to music for escape when I'm stressed. I'm less interested in the science of why we do this than I am in the choices we make of what to listen to. Broadly speaking, classical music should offer the most stress release but—even though there are a handful [...]

Shelter in Place, Pt. VI: Violent Joy’s Self-Titled Debut EP Is the New Envy on the Coast Record I Wanted

Shelter in Place, Pt. VI: Violent Joy’s Self-Titled Debut EP Is the New Envy on the Coast Record I Wanted

Until the COVID-19 pandemic altered the entire global landscape, I had planned to post this quick album review on March 19th but then this novel coronavirus began to take over my corner of the world and I had some strong opinions that needed venting. Needless to say, the concert discussed in this review has long [...]

Hallucinations is a Somber, Exciting Turn for PVRIS

Hallucinations is a Somber, Exciting Turn for PVRIS

One of the certainties of writing year-end retrospectives—or decade-end ones, if you happen to share my particular brand of lunacy—is that, as soon as you've published your hard-wrought work, you'll find several albums that warrant inclusion on your list but that, for one reason or another, you missed. Maybe you had meant to listen to [...]

The Queue: Busted, Once Upon a Dead Man and Microwave

The Queue: Busted, Once Upon a Dead Man and Microwave

The Queue is a recurring feature in which I discuss some of the music that I’ve been listening to recently. This week I examine a couple of very different tracks featuring Charlie Simpson and Microwave's ability to turn simple structures into winning songs. "Nostalgia" – Busted Falling in love and breaking up have long been [...]

There’s Still Something Special About Listening to an Entire Album

There’s Still Something Special About Listening to an Entire Album

We live in the age of the playlist. Spotify, today's most important tastemaker for the discerning audiophile, is known not for its catalog of beloved albums or ability to accurately recommend esoteric ones but for its algorithmic generation of satisfying, customized playlists for each user. Pop stars are citing "the playlists [they] grew up with" [...]