Alternative Music: Most Popular Articles
10 records, no singing. Well, almost. Ten of the brightest lights shining in post-rock's instrumentalist darkness.
The greatest ever indie record labels.
Dewy, dreamy, distorted guitar. Mumbled, barely-there vocals. It's ten classic shoegaze LPs, from MBV on down...
From Boogarins to Weaves, Haerts to Vår, Béisbol to Wampire, here's indie music's Class of 2013.
Tally your time-signatures! A guide to the essential, indispensable math-rock records.
The Scottish outfit have had a long (and brilliant) career of sterling pop songs. Here are the ten best.
West Germany in the 1970s was a fertile time for progressive, mind-altering music.
We debate the question that has plagued mankind for centuries: what do 'alternative' and 'indie' actually really mean? And is it just the same thing?
Ever wondered where's the best place to start for a Fall neophyte?
Slow, sad, frighteningly quiet: a rollcall of classic 1990s LPs from these masters of the spartan.
Home taping didn't kill music, it revolutionized it. Here's 10 classic home-made records committed straight to analogue tape.
From Tune-Yards to Sun Kil Moon to Angel Olsen, here's the highlights of another awesome year in indie music.
The '77 UK punk explosion has long been wildly overrated. It was everything that came after that was truly revolutionary.
Sort through the glut of new releases with this guide to the upcoming indie-music release schedule.
FKA twigs, Haerts, Mas Ysa, Temples, and Thumpers headline 10 bands primed for a 2014 breakout.
The radical records that broke the mold, moved music forward, and influenced generations of artists to come.
Looking for potential breakout bands in 2013? From Indians to Savages, here's ten sure bets.
The moment My Bloody Valentine issued their third album, 2013 was a great year for indie music.
The class releases that defined the growth of twee from tiny, self-contained English scene to global underground culture.
From studio perfectionists to singular idealists, with a host of rockbands in between, here's ten figures of infinite influence.
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
On the sixth National album, Matt Berninger ruminates on the lure of heaven.
Here's how humbug hipsters stuck at family gatherings can commandeer the stereo and not upset the seasonal apple-cart.
Fighting off Saab enthusiasts and a chorus of hater, Vampire Weekend remain eternally undaunted.
'Ultramarine' is populated by young dreamers dealing with the sadness of growing up.
The disappearance and return of the narcotic balladry of the 90's platinum band- Mazzy Star.
Julianna Barwick recorded her 4th LP in Iceland, but it sounds like it was made on a cloud.
My Bloody Valentine's remarkable third album manages to live up to 22 years of wild expectations.
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
The director-turned-musician's second LP boasts buzzing-fly bar-blues that doesn't measure up to his cinema.
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
No Age's fourth album explores unexpected soundscapes, using noise as a compositional tool.
Blitzen Trapper Announce New LP, VII
The best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
The third Vampire Weekend album makes the band's most varied, divisive, daring work.
'Loud City Song' finds the Los Angeles composer writing songs for the metropolis.
You know you're a Southerner when you throw rocks at a dumpster. Toro y Moi talks touring far from South Carolina.
Ranging from portraits of cult heroes (Roky Erickson) and global icons (Radiohead), here are the greatest music documentaries of all-time.
Tired of records that sound like random collections of files? Here's 20 LPs of singular theme and sustained narrative.
In an era of retromania, are the any bands left that aren't reforming? Gladly, there are...
Ridiculous ambition, vicious self-loathing, attacks on God, and a scream bordering on hoarse: the best works of Conor Oberst.
Essentially the early demos of Mark Kozelek, the debut Red House Painters' LP is a landmark in slow, sad, sombre songwriting.
Though it'll be forever associated with grunge, Seattle's legendary Sub Pop Records has reinvented itself in the new millennium, presiding over an eclectic lineup of increasingly-successful acts. Here're 10 picks from the label's first 20 years.
Sharon Van Etten has a brand-new album. Are We There, the Brooklyn-based songwriter's fourth album, will be out May 27 on Jagjaguwar. Are We There marks
Let us chart the rise and rise of the Brooklyn outfit who's never met a bad review.
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
The defining entries in any alternative record collection. The iconoclasts whose singular sound has shaped a whole generation of underground acts.
With Vampire Weekend, The National, and Neko Case on the docket, the 2014 Best Alternative LP nominees are weirdly good...
Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
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Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
When the Dinosaur Jr honcho obtusely let his bassplayer go, Barlow turned around and aired his grievances in a series of Sebadoh songs.
The background, beginnings, and developments of Justin Vernon, also known as Bon Iver.
Ten picks from the tastefully-artwork'd back catalogue of the mighty Montréal indie, from Godspeed You Black Emperor! to Clues.
In 1968, a group of San Francisco avant-gardist decided to try their subversive hands at a rock'n'roll band.
Given the climate of reissues and reformations, it's no longer ironic to call these records 'classic indie-rock.' Here are the ten best.
It's the summery, nostalgic, warped-sounding electronic music that blew up the blogosphere in 2009.
Don't know your shoegaze from your space-rock? Your twee from your C86? Read on to discover the peculiar secrets of all those baffling genre names.
All insectile rhythms, elusive moods, and soul-singing vocals, the eighth Radiohead LP isn't primed for immediacy.
The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
10 all-time great albums on the ultimate underground indie label.
Teen pin-up turned avant-garde recluse. The strange music and even stranger life of Scott Walker.
Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
On the release of 'Visions', Grimes talks indie bands as brands, cognitive neuroscience, and Montréal.
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recall the history of their slow, narcotic Baltimore duo.
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
On their final album, English moodists Talk Talk created an atmospheric opus that presaged post-rock's rise.
Little Dragon Unveil New LP and Single, Play Letterman
An in-depth look at the harmony-draped folk-pop experimentalists.
Call them anti-Christian-Rock records: 10 mighty albums rich in religious theme and biblical heft.
Cults Announce New Album, Singles, Tour Dates
These unique, unusual, underground albums sound thrilling, strange, and amazing to this day. They're the best 'Obscure' albums lurking in popular music's fringes, inspiring many with their abundant artistry and individuality.
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Back in 2002, the late Jason Molina already saw his Songs: Ohia records philosophically.
Chronicle of the surprising rise of North Carolina's long-running independent label Merge Records.
Tasked with following up 2011's Whokill, Merrill Garbus's third Tune-Yards LP is both more anthemic and more anxious.
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
The greatest albums from one of indie music's greatest-ever labels.
A look at the life and career of fearsome fretboard shredder, old-fashioned romantic, and all-around dork, Annie Clark.
Chit-chat with the chatty and charming St. Vincent. Page 2.
A look at the fleeting flourish of folk-revival revivalists who've redreamt the imaginary hippy utopia for the new century.
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
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A career chronicle of the recently-reborn godheads of the shoegaze movement.
One of recorded music's most powerful voices screams a terrifying suite of horror-songs hoping for Peace.
A barrage of funky, feminist, genre-crossing jams, the second Tune-Yards record beckons imminent crossover.
SXSW is suddenly on the horizon! The indie super-bowl takes over Austin, Texas, every march, with an orgy of bands and bloggers and bros getting righteous for
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
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The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
The non-spectacled half of the Norwegian soft-pop bards talks about staying true to their 'Quiet is the New Loud' ideal.
Baltimore-based duo Beach House's slow, droney, comedown dream-pop has legions of listeners analyzing it for meaning. But the band's Alex Scally isn't one of them.
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
Chronicle of the rise and fall of Manchester's legendary Factory Records, home to Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays and more.
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
Brooklyn's preppiest, poppiest indie outfit has made a career of bright melody and slight controversy.
Slow, quiet, sad, introspective, pretty: a look at those fearless slowcore rebels who first dared to not-rock.
Band: Tune-Yards Album: Nikki Nack Label: 4AD Release Date: May 6, 2014 On her third Tune-Yards LP, Merrill Garbus makes a masterwork out of dealing
Vincent Moon's 'Take Away Shows' revolutionized live music video. Here are the highlights of his inspired, improvised work.
The Italians Do It Better mastermind talks the 'Drive' soundtrack, Chromatics' ascent, and being patient in an impatient era.
On their legendary double-LP, Can continued to push psychedelic, progressive rock into strange, new, uncharted terrain.
Neutral Milk Hotel main-man Jeff Mangum still hasn't been able to bring himself to attempt a successor to this slice of longplaying perfection.
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
Profile of the fore'er whimsical folk-pop troupe from Portland.
In the internet era, it's nearly impossible for a band to vanish. But these 10 awesome acts have come sadly close.
Panda Bear felt the pressure of following up 'Person Pitch.' Rising above it was, he says, like battling depression. Page 2.
The most distinctive, most striking, most lauded album covers in indie music history.
The Pixies blistering use of broad dynamics and innovative re-write of pop-song forms redefined guitar music.
Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
Chronicle of these well-dressed New Yorker dudes and their moody post-punk gloom.
Mountain Man Meath talks graduating college, touring the world, and taking her band's fragile music into dens of rock'n'roll iniquity.
The mastermind behind the 'Take Away Shows' talks obliterating the clichés of the concert movie.
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Kate Bush's grand, resplendent debut was a work of uncommon ambition and artistry for a teen prodigy.
Tired of tepid 'women in rock' lists? Here's ten fiery heroines that blazed radical new musical trails.
The intently political Canadian co-op authored the blueprint for cinematic, apocalyptic post-rock.
Long before he went off the rails, Phil Spector marshaled his wall-of-sound behind the all-time classic Christmas LP.
Manchester's legendary Factory Records assembled an artful discography of far more than albums.
Tune-Yards has a brand new album! Nikki Nack, the third LP for Merrill Garbus, will be released May 6 via 4AD. The first single, the blistering Water
Nico's legendary second LP unmoored itself from pop-song form and drifted into a terrifying avant-garde underworld of haunted hymnals.
After penning his wildly-successful 'Autobiogaphy,' Morrissey returns to music-making armed with emboldened self-obsession.
Taking drugs to make music to see God to.
Yeasayer are a Brooklyn-based band that accomplishes no small task: defying genre.
To English ears, the psychedelic, progressive, cosmic sound of early-'70s West Germany heralded a brave new sound: krautrock.
Walker's unquestioned masterpiece is an uneasy mixture of MOR balladry, lyrical savagery, and hesitant avant-gardism.
Spoon's quietly-contrarian 8th album finds Britt Daniel and co sounding both brilliant and burdened.
'In Conflict' finds the Arcade Fire fiddler ditching concept-record fantasies for sentiment, songs, and sequencing stitched with conflict.
Ex Hex, Glass Animals, Nothing, Protomartyr, Your Friend: 10 bands building late buzz for SXSW 2014.
Silver Jews' David Berman discusses his recent embrace of the road, pop's utter lack of message, and whether he's still on a mission from God.
Paralyzed after an accident, Robert Wyatt went solo with an introspective suite of yearning, personal psychedelia.
Trying to make sense of the madness in Austin? Here's a handy list: 10 killer bills at SXSW 2014.
B&S's most MOR record only truly comes to life when Stuart Murdoch shares the mic with, um... Norah Jones?
Dave Longstreth's project has gone from bedroom four-tracking to six-piece blow-out in a march from obscurity to popularity.
The sweet-voiced singer talks the togetherness of Braids and the untogetherness of Blue Hawaii.
With the release of her third LP, 'East is East', Ginsberg discusses the finer points of pop-song penmanship.
The Perfume Genius frontman talks controversy, 'Twin Peaks', rehab, and 'Put Your Back N 2 It'.
A riot breaks out, a bootleg is recorded, a mythical show is born.
From Finnish synth-poppers to Australian oddballs, here's 10 choice foreign acts en route to CMJ 2013.
Potted history of Austin indie-rock outfit Spoon, from their troubled early days to their chart-bothering recent rock classics.
When it comes to SXSW, getting to Austin is one thing, coming up with a schedule is a whole other story. WIth thousands of bands in town and shows crammed
Potted history of the sprawling, many-membered, ever-evolving Canadian concern, as told by founders Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning.
The English post-punks weigh up the art of listening, the power of silence, and the din of hype.
A tale of four Canadian gentlemen and their merry rock'n'roll band.