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Alternative Music: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
The 10 Best Post-Rock Albums Ever Made
10 records, no singing. Well, almost. Ten of the brightest lights shining in post-rock's instrumentalist darkness.
The 20 Best Record Labels for Indie Music
The greatest ever indie record labels.
The 10 Best Shoegaze Albums Ever Made
Dewy, dreamy, distorted guitar. Mumbled, barely-there vocals. It's ten classic shoegaze LPs, from MBV on down...
Our 10 Favorite Math-Rock Albums
Tally your time-signatures! A guide to the essential, indispensable math-rock records.
Top 10 Songs From Twee-Pop Heroes 'Belle and...
The Scottish outfit have had a long (and brilliant) career of sterling pop songs. Here are the ten best.
Top 20 Albums of 2014 So Far
From Tune-Yards to Sun Kil Moon to Angel Olsen, here's the highlights of another awesome year in indie music.
10 Most Inspired German 'Krautrock' Albums
West Germany in the 1970s was a fertile time for progressive, mind-altering music.
Alternative Music 101 - Are 'Alternative' and...
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?
Top 10 Lo-Fi Albums
Home taping didn't kill music, it revolutionized it. Here's 10 classic home-made records committed straight to analogue tape.
Top 20 Alternative and Indie Xmas Records
Here's how humbug hipsters stuck at family gatherings can commandeer the stereo and not upset the seasonal apple-cart.
Top 10 Albums by The Fall
Ever wondered where's the best place to start for a Fall neophyte?
Upcoming Alternative Album Release Dates
Sort through the glut of new releases with this guide to the upcoming indie-music release schedule.
The 10 Best Ever Slow-Core Records
Slow, sad, frighteningly quiet: a rollcall of classic 1990s LPs from these masters of the spartan.
Top 10 Post-Punk Albums
The '77 UK punk explosion has long been wildly overrated. It was everything that came after that was truly revolutionary.
10 Bands to Watch in 2014
FKA twigs, Haerts, Mas Ysa, Temples, and Thumpers headline 10 bands primed for a 2014 breakout.
Top 30 Albums of the 1960s
The radical records that broke the mold, moved music forward, and influenced generations of artists to come.
Scott Walker - Artist Profile
Teen pin-up turned avant-garde recluse. The strange music and even stranger life of Scott Walker.
Alternative Music 101 - Your FAQ Primer
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
Top 10 Most Influential Figures in Alternative...
From studio perfectionists to singular idealists, with a host of rockbands in between, here's ten figures of infinite influence.
30 Best New Bands of 2013
From Boogarins to Weaves, Haerts to Vår, Béisbol to Wampire, here's indie music's Class of 2013.
Matador Records Profile
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
Top 10 Riot-Grrrl Records
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
Interview: Eirik Glambek Bøe of Kings of...
The non-spectacled half of the Norwegian soft-pop bards talks about staying true to their 'Quiet is the New Loud' ideal.
TV on the Radio - Artist Profile
Let us chart the rise and rise of the Brooklyn outfit who's never met a bad review.
Top 10 Twee Albums
The class releases that defined the growth of twee from tiny, self-contained English scene to global underground culture.
Top 30 4AD Albums
The best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
Mazzy Star - Artist Profile
The disappearance and return of the narcotic balladry of the 90's platinum band- Mazzy Star.
Top 10 Bright Eyes Songs
Ridiculous ambition, vicious self-loathing, attacks on God, and a scream bordering on hoarse: the best works of Conor Oberst.
Top 10 Indie Music Documentaries
Ranging from portraits of cult heroes (Roky Erickson) and global icons (Radiohead), here are the greatest music documentaries of all-time.
Top 50 Albums of 2013
The moment My Bloody Valentine issued their third album, 2013 was a great year for indie music.
10 Infamous Concerts
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
Top 20 Concept Albums
Tired of records that sound like random collections of files? Here's 20 LPs of singular theme and sustained narrative.
Genre Profile - Shoegaze
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Genre Profile - Lo-Fi
Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
Top 10 Bands Who'll Never Reform
In an era of retromania, are the any bands left that aren't reforming? Gladly, there are...
Top 20 Sub Pop Albums
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.
Top 10 Alternative Starter Albums
The defining entries in any alternative record collection. The iconoclasts whose singular sound has shaped a whole generation of underground acts.
Genre Profile - Post-Rock
A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
Bon Iver - Artist Profile
The background, beginnings, and developments of Justin Vernon, also known as Bon Iver.
Revisiting 2013's 10 Best Indie Music Groups
Looking for potential breakout bands in 2013? From Indians to Savages, here's ten sure bets.
10 Bands to Watch at SXSW 2014
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
Jeffrey Lewis - Artist Profile
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Born: November
J Mascis Kicks Lou Barlow Out of Dinosaur Jr
When the Dinosaur Jr honcho obtusely let his bassplayer go, Barlow turned around and aired his grievances in a series of Sebadoh songs.
Neu! - Artist Profile
The German krautrock legends gave the world motorik rhythm and the infamous proto-remix Side 2 of 'Neu! 2'.
Sufjan Stevens - Artist Profile
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
Kurt Cobain wears Daniel Johnston T-Shirt to VMAs
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
Genre Profile: Math-Rock
The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
Interview: Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend
The VW frontman defends himself against charges of cultural appropriation.
Grizzly Bear - Artist Profile
An in-depth look at the harmony-draped folk-pop experimentalists.
Sharon Van Etten Back with New Album
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
Top 10 Constellation Albums
Ten picks from the tastefully-artwork'd back catalogue of the mighty Montréal indie, from Godspeed You Black Emperor! to Clues.
The National - Artist Profile
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
Nirvana - Artist Profile
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends
Alternative Music 101 - Genre Guide
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.
Top 20 Matador Albums
Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
Genre Profile - Slowcore
Slow, quiet, sad, introspective, pretty: a look at those fearless slowcore rebels who first dared to not-rock.
Top 10 K Records Albums
10 all-time great albums on the ultimate underground indie label.
Ariel Pink - Artist Profile
The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
10 Obscure Albums That Became Classics
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
10 Forgotten '90s Bands That Need to Be...
In the internet era, it's nearly impossible for a band to vanish. But these 10 awesome acts have come sadly close.
The National 'Trouble Will Find Me'
On the sixth National album, Matt Berninger ruminates on the lure of heaven.
Definitive Albums: Red House Painters 'Down...
Essentially the early demos of Mark Kozelek, the debut Red House Painters' LP is a landmark in slow, sad, sombre songwriting.
Top 10 Classic Indie-Rock Records
Given the climate of reissues and reformations, it's no longer ironic to call these records 'classic indie-rock.' Here are the ten best.
Genre Profile - Freak-Folk
A look at the fleeting flourish of folk-revival revivalists who've redreamt the imaginary hippy utopia for the new century.
Genre Profile - Riot Grrrl
Chronicle of the riot grrrl movement's furious surge in the early 1990s.
Interview: Pat Grossi of Active Child
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Interview: Noah Lennox of Panda Bear and Animal...
Panda Bear felt the pressure of following up 'Person Pitch.' Rising above it was, he says, like battling depression. Page 2.
Genre Profile - Twee
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" >C86 cassette, which celebrates England's
10 Best Indie Bands to Follow on Twitter
The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
Modest Mouse - Artist Profile
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
Definitive Albums: Scott Walker 'Scott 4' (1969)
Walker's unquestioned masterpiece is an uneasy mixture of MOR balladry, lyrical savagery, and hesitant avant-gardism.
10 Awesome SXSW 2014 Shows
Trying to make sense of the madness in Austin? Here's a handy list: 10 killer bills at SXSW 2014.
Guide to the 56th Grammys Best Alternative...
With Vampire Weekend, The National, and Neko Case on the docket, the 2014 Best Alternative LP nominees are weirdly good...
The Decemberists - Artist Profile
Profile of the fore'er whimsical folk-pop troupe from Portland.
Interview: Theresa Wayman of Warpaint
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
Interview: Amelia Randall Meath of Mountain Man
Mountain Man Meath talks graduating college, touring the world, and taking her band's fragile music into dens of rock'n'roll iniquity.
Constellation Records Profile
Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
Definitive Albums: Talk Talk 'Laughing Stock'...
On their final album, English moodists Talk Talk created an atmospheric opus that presaged post-rock's rise.
Vampire Weekend 'Modern Vampires of the City'
The third Vampire Weekend album makes the band's most varied, divisive, daring work.
Interview: Alex Scally of Beach House
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.
Top 10 Broadcast Songs
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
Beach House - Artist Profile
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recall the history of their slow, narcotic Baltimore duo.
Julianna Barwick 'Nepenthe'
Julianna Barwick recorded her 4th LP in Iceland, but it sounds like it was made on a cloud.
Genre Profile: Chillwave
It's the summery, nostalgic, warped-sounding electronic music that blew up the blogosphere in 2009.
Vampire Weekend - Artist Profile
Brooklyn's preppiest, poppiest indie outfit has made a career of bright melody and slight controversy.
Sub Pop Records Profile
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
Interview: Chaz Bundick of Toro y Moi
You know you're a Southerner when you throw rocks at a dumpster. Toro y Moi talks touring far from South Carolina.
10 Last-Minute Picks for SXSW 2014
Ex Hex, Glass Animals, Nothing, Protomartyr, Your Friend: 10 bands building late buzz for SXSW 2014.
MGMT - Artist Profile
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
St. Vincent - Artist Profile
A look at the life and career of fearsome fretboard shredder, old-fashioned romantic, and all-around dork, Annie Clark.
Young Galaxy 'Ultramarine'
'Ultramarine' is populated by young dreamers dealing with the sadness of growing up.
Album of the Week: Tune-Yards, Nikki Nack
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
David Lynch 'The Big Dream'
The director-turned-musician's second LP boasts buzzing-fly bar-blues that doesn't measure up to his cinema.
My Bloody Valentine 'MBV'
My Bloody Valentine's remarkable third album manages to live up to 22 years of wild expectations.
My Bloody Valentine - Artist Profile
A career chronicle of the recently-reborn godheads of the shoegaze movement.
Definitive Albums: Neutral Milk Hotel 'In the...
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.
Julia Holter 'Loud City Song'
'Loud City Song' finds the Los Angeles composer writing songs for the metropolis.
Owen Pallett 'In Conflict'
'In Conflict' finds the Arcade Fire fiddler ditching concept-record fantasies for sentiment, songs, and sequencing stitched with conflict.
Interview: Ariel Rosenberg of Ariel Pink's...
Ariel Pink's volumes of lo-fi home-recording were, he thinks, a form of therapy. Page 2.
Top 10 'Obscure' Starter Albums
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.
Kings of Convenience 'Declaration of Dependence'
After five years apart, Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe are back on record together, writing a love-letter to each other.
Interview: Annie Clark of St. Vincent
Chit-chat with the chatty and charming St. Vincent. Page 2.
Interview: Johnny Jewel of Chromatics and Glass...
The Italians Do It Better mastermind talks the 'Drive' soundtrack, Chromatics' ascent, and being patient in an impatient era.
Alternative Music History: Suicide's 23 Minutes...
A riot breaks out, a bootleg is recorded, a mythical show is born.
Definitive Albums: Nico 'The Marble Index' (1969)
Nico's legendary second LP unmoored itself from pop-song form and drifted into a terrifying avant-garde underworld of haunted hymnals.
No Age 'An Object'
No Age's fourth album explores unexpected soundscapes, using noise as a compositional tool.
Top 20 Vincent Moon Videos
Vincent Moon's 'Take Away Shows' revolutionized live music video. Here are the highlights of his inspired, improvised work.
Definitive Albums: Can 'Tago Mago' (1971)
On their legendary double-LP, Can continued to push psychedelic, progressive rock into strange, new, uncharted terrain.
Interview: Claire Boucher of Grimes
On the release of 'Visions', Grimes talks indie bands as brands, cognitive neuroscience, and Montréal.
Definitive Albums: Belle and Sebastian 'If...
The Scottish pop outfit's second LP is one of the greatest records ever committed to disc.
10 International Bands to Watch at CMJ 2013
From Finnish synth-poppers to Australian oddballs, here's 10 choice foreign acts en route to CMJ 2013.
Definitive Albums: Scott Walker 'Tilt' (1995)
After a dozen years in the wilderness, the great recluse arose with the terrifying 'Tilt'...
Definitive Albums: Catherine Ribeiro and Alpes...
One of recorded music's most powerful voices screams a terrifying suite of horror-songs hoping for Peace.
Definitive Albums: Slint 'Spiderland' (1991)
Slint's legacy grew in a fashion that matched the music: slow, steady, barely perceptible, ultimately legendary.
Tune-Yards New Album, Nikki Nack , Out in May
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" >Water Fountain ," is already out in the
Interview: Raphaelle Standell-Preston of Braids...
The sweet-voiced singer talks the togetherness of Braids and the untogetherness of Blue Hawaii.
Interview: Bradford Cox of Deerhunter
B-Cox talks blog haters, the Bob Pollard Curse, record stores, and about himself in the third person. Page 2.
Definitive Albums: Afghan Whigs 'Gentlemen'...
Afghan Whigs fourth LP was a classic concept-album unloved in its day.
Morrissey 'World Peace Is None of Your Business'
After penning his wildly-successful 'Autobiogaphy,' Morrissey returns to music-making armed with emboldened self-obsession.
Tune Yards 'Nikki Nack'
Tasked with following up 2011's Whokill, Merrill Garbus's third Tune-Yards LP is both more anthemic and more anxious.
The Pixies - Artist Profile
The Pixies blistering use of broad dynamics and innovative re-write of pop-song forms redefined guitar music.
Top 20 Drag City Albums
The greatest albums from one of indie music's greatest-ever labels.
Animal Collective - Artist Profile
Biographical history of Animal Collective, the shape-shifting American outfit who's earned a reputation as one of the new millennium's most important musical acts.
Elliott Smith - Artist Profile
Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
Interview: Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia and...
Back in 2002, the late Jason Molina already saw his Songs: Ohia records philosophically.
Interview: David Berman of Silver Jews
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.
Interview: Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab
Laetitia Sadier discusses the state of Stereolab, and the state of the modern world, on the eve of her beloved band's ninth album.
Factory Records Profile
Chronicle of the rise and fall of Manchester's legendary Factory Records, home to Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays and more.
10 Bands to Watch at CMJ 2013
From Arp to Coke Weed, Glasser, Sisu, and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, here's ten standouts from CMJ 2013.
10 Iconic Album Covers
The most distinctive, most striking, most lauded album covers in indie music history.
Interview: Jessie Stein of The Luyas
Thank God for mental illness. Jessie Stein talks an LP dealing with schizophrenia and hallucination.
10 Biblical Indie Albums
Call them anti-Christian-Rock records: 10 mighty albums rich in religious theme and biblical heft.
Definitive Albums: Sleater-Kinney 'Dig Me Out'...
The crossover success of Sleater-Kinney's anthemic third album marked the end of riot-grrrl as self-contained, insular movement.
Iron and Wine - Artist Profile
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
Pavement: Artist Profile
Biography of the kings of lo-fi slackerdom, as told by Stephen Malkmus and Spiral Stairs
Alternative Music History: The Sex Pistols Play...
40 people were there, 4000 claim they were. A look at one of the most legendary, influential gigs in modern music history.
Belle and Sebastian - Artist Profile
The life and times of the Scottish twee institution.
Artist Profile: Sharon Van Etten
Sharon Van Etten's songs are stark confessionals recounting life in a destructive relationship.
Merge Records Profile
Chronicle of the surprising rise of North Carolina's long-running independent label Merge Records.
Interview: JP Pitts of Surfer Blood
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Definitive Albums: Nirvana 'Bleach' (1989)
The best $606.17 recording budget Sub Pop ever presided over.
Interview: Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear
Daniel Rossen talks his Elvis-obsessed childhood, mimicking Nick Drake, Department Of Eagle's dark songs, and the joyousness of 'Veckatimest'.
Devendra Banhart - Artist Profile
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Born in: May 30,
Definitive Albums: Suicide 'Suicide' (1977)
Reviled in its day, beloved three decades on. Suicide's debut LP might be the most unexpectedly influential in rock history.
Spoon 'They Want My Soul'
Spoon's quietly-contrarian 8th album finds Britt Daniel and co sounding both brilliant and burdened.
Genre Profile - Krautrock
To English ears, the psychedelic, progressive, cosmic sound of early-'70s West Germany heralded a brave new sound: krautrock.
Kill Rock Stars Profile
Profile of the long-running, fiercely-independent Pacific Northwest imprint, from riot-grrrl beginnings to its rebirth in Portland.

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