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...
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.
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?
West Germany in the 1970s was a fertile time for progressive, mind-altering music.
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.
From Tune-Yards to Sun Kil Moon to Angel Olsen, here's the highlights of another awesome year in indie music.
Here's how humbug hipsters stuck at family gatherings can commandeer the stereo and not upset the seasonal apple-cart.
Home taping didn't kill music, it revolutionized it. Here's 10 classic home-made records committed straight to analogue tape.
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 '77 UK punk explosion has long been wildly overrated. It was everything that came after that was truly revolutionary.
From Boogarins to Weaves, Haerts to Vår, Béisbol to Wampire, here's indie music's Class of 2013.
Teen pin-up turned avant-garde recluse. The strange music and even stranger life of Scott Walker.
The radical records that broke the mold, moved music forward, and influenced generations of artists to come.
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
The non-spectacled half of the Norwegian soft-pop bards talks about staying true to their 'Quiet is the New Loud' ideal.
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
From studio perfectionists to singular idealists, with a host of rockbands in between, here's ten figures of infinite influence.
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
The disappearance and return of the narcotic balladry of the 90's platinum band- Mazzy Star.
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.
The German krautrock legends gave the world motorik rhythm and the infamous proto-remix Side 2 of 'Neu! 2'.
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
Tired of records that sound like random collections of files? Here's 20 LPs of singular theme and sustained narrative.
The best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
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.
Looking for potential breakout bands in 2013? From Indians to Savages, here's ten sure bets.
Ranging from portraits of cult heroes (Roky Erickson) and global icons (Radiohead), here are the greatest music documentaries of all-time.
Ridiculous ambition, vicious self-loathing, attacks on God, and a scream bordering on hoarse: the best works of Conor Oberst.
Let us chart the rise and rise of the Brooklyn outfit who's never met a bad review.
Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
The defining entries in any alternative record collection. The iconoclasts whose singular sound has shaped a whole generation of underground acts.
In an era of retromania, are the any bands left that aren't reforming? Gladly, there are...
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On the sixth National album, Matt Berninger ruminates on the lure of heaven.
'Ultramarine' is populated by young dreamers dealing with the sadness of growing up.
When the Dinosaur Jr honcho obtusely let his bassplayer go, Barlow turned around and aired his grievances in a series of Sebadoh songs.
Fighting off Saab enthusiasts and a chorus of hater, Vampire Weekend remain eternally undaunted.
Julianna Barwick recorded her 4th LP in Iceland, but it sounds like it was made on a cloud.
Blitzen Trapper Announce New LP, VII
The director-turned-musician's second LP boasts buzzing-fly bar-blues that doesn't measure up to his cinema.
The third Vampire Weekend album makes the band's most varied, divisive, daring work.
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
The background, beginnings, and developments of Justin Vernon, also known as Bon Iver.
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.
No Age's fourth album explores unexpected soundscapes, using noise as a compositional tool.
A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
My Bloody Valentine's remarkable third album manages to live up to 22 years of wild expectations.
'Loud City Song' finds the Los Angeles composer writing songs for the metropolis.
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
With Vampire Weekend, The National, and Neko Case on the docket, the 2014 Best Alternative LP nominees are weirdly good...
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
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
The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
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Brooklyn's preppiest, poppiest indie outfit has made a career of bright melody and slight controversy.
10 all-time great albums on the ultimate underground indie label.
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends
Chronicle of the rise and fall of Manchester's legendary Factory Records, home to Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays and more.
Essentially the early demos of Mark Kozelek, the debut Red House Painters' LP is a landmark in slow, sad, sombre songwriting.
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
Ten picks from the tastefully-artwork'd back catalogue of the mighty Montréal indie, from Godspeed You Black Emperor! to Clues.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Born: November
A look at the fleeting flourish of folk-revival revivalists who've redreamt the imaginary hippy utopia for the new century.
Back in 2002, the late Jason Molina already saw his Songs: Ohia records philosophically.
A career chronicle of the recently-reborn godheads of the shoegaze movement.
After five years apart, Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe are back on record together, writing a love-letter to each other.
The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recall the history of their slow, narcotic Baltimore duo.
Trying to make sense of the madness in Austin? Here's a handy list: 10 killer bills at SXSW 2014.
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.
An in-depth look at the harmony-draped folk-pop experimentalists.
The greatest albums from one of indie music's greatest-ever labels.
It's the summery, nostalgic, warped-sounding electronic music that blew up the blogosphere in 2009.
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
Given the climate of reissues and reformations, it's no longer ironic to call these records 'classic indie-rock.' Here are the ten best.
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
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.
Walker's unquestioned masterpiece is an uneasy mixture of MOR balladry, lyrical savagery, and hesitant avant-gardism.
You know you're a Southerner when you throw rocks at a dumpster. Toro y Moi talks touring far from South Carolina.
In the internet era, it's nearly impossible for a band to vanish. But these 10 awesome acts have come sadly close.
Tired of tepid 'women in rock' lists? Here's ten fiery heroines that blazed radical new musical trails.
Little Dragon Unveil New LP and Single, Play Letterman
Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
Call them anti-Christian-Rock records: 10 mighty albums rich in religious theme and biblical heft.
From Arp to Coke Weed, Glasser, Sisu, and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, here's ten standouts from CMJ 2013.
Panda Bear felt the pressure of following up 'Person Pitch.' Rising above it was, he says, like battling depression. Page 2.
Slow, quiet, sad, introspective, pretty: a look at those fearless slowcore rebels who first dared to not-rock.
From Finnish synth-poppers to Australian oddballs, here's 10 choice foreign acts en route to CMJ 2013.
B-Cox talks blog haters, the Bob Pollard Curse, record stores, and about himself in the third person. Page 2.
Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
One of recorded music's most powerful voices screams a terrifying suite of horror-songs hoping for Peace.
Slint's legacy grew in a fashion that matched the music: slow, steady, barely perceptible, ultimately legendary.
A look at the life and career of fearsome fretboard shredder, old-fashioned romantic, and all-around dork, Annie Clark.
Ex Hex, Glass Animals, Nothing, Protomartyr, Your Friend: 10 bands building late buzz for SXSW 2014.
The most distinctive, most striking, most lauded album covers in indie music history.
After a dozen years in the wilderness, the great recluse arose with the terrifying 'Tilt'...
The intently political Canadian co-op authored the blueprint for cinematic, apocalyptic post-rock.
On their final album, English moodists Talk Talk created an atmospheric opus that presaged post-rock's rise.
'In Conflict' finds the Arcade Fire fiddler ditching concept-record fantasies for sentiment, songs, and sequencing stitched with conflict.
Vincent Moon's 'Take Away Shows' revolutionized live music video. Here are the highlights of his inspired, improvised work.
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To English ears, the psychedelic, progressive, cosmic sound of early-'70s West Germany heralded a brave new sound: krautrock.
Mountain Man Meath talks graduating college, touring the world, and taking her band's fragile music into dens of rock'n'roll iniquity.
Ariel Pink's volumes of lo-fi home-recording were, he thinks, a form of therapy. Page 2.
On their legendary double-LP, Can continued to push psychedelic, progressive rock into strange, new, uncharted terrain.
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends. Page 2.
Profile of the fore'er whimsical folk-pop troupe from Portland.
Thank God for mental illness. Jessie Stein talks an LP dealing with schizophrenia and hallucination.
Nico's legendary second LP unmoored itself from pop-song form and drifted into a terrifying avant-garde underworld of haunted hymnals.
Chit-chat with the chatty and charming St. Vincent. Page 2.
The crossover success of Sleater-Kinney's anthemic third album marked the end of riot-grrrl as self-contained, insular movement.
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
Chronicle of the riot grrrl movement's furious surge in the early 1990s.
Laetitia Sadier discusses the state of Stereolab, and the state of the modern world, on the eve of her beloved band's ninth album.
The Scottish pop outfit's second LP is one of the greatest records ever committed to disc.
For many, Neu!'s debut 1972 LP served as the unofficial birthplace of the krautrock movement.
The sweet-voiced singer talks the togetherness of Braids and the untogetherness of Blue Hawaii.
Sharon Van Etten's songs are stark confessionals recounting life in a destructive relationship.
Tasked with following up 2011's Whokill, Merrill Garbus's third Tune-Yards LP is both more anthemic and more anxious.
The National's perpetually-pounding drummer talks about dealing with the weight of expectations on 'High Violet'.
A riot breaks out, a bootleg is recorded, a mythical show is born.
Kate Bush's grand, resplendent debut was a work of uncommon ambition and artistry for a teen prodigy.
Profile, history, biography of the warbling New Yorker troubadour.
Dave Longstreth's project has gone from bedroom four-tracking to six-piece blow-out in a march from obscurity to popularity.
Daniel Rossen talks his Elvis-obsessed childhood, mimicking Nick Drake, Department Of Eagle's dark songs, and the joyousness of 'Veckatimest'.
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
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.
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.
The life and times of a carrot-top'd, concept-album-obsessed Canadian fiddler who once called himself Final Fantasy.
A tale of four Canadian gentlemen and their merry rock'n'roll band.
From Autre Ne Veut to Waxahatchee, via Chvrches and Savages, here's 10 indie acts who treated 2013 as a coming-out party...
The Pixies blistering use of broad dynamics and innovative re-write of pop-song forms redefined guitar music.
The greatest album ever made? The worst? Both?
Chronicle of the surprising rise of North Carolina's long-running independent label Merge Records.
The Perfume Genius frontman talks controversy, 'Twin Peaks', rehab, and 'Put Your Back N 2 It'.
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Parenthetical Girls' album 'Entanglements' is an ambitious, impressive orchestral epic. Here, frontman Zac Pennington spills the beans on its making.
Best known for diffusing punk's heaving machismo, the Raincoats' remarkable, ramshackle debut summons a peculiar musical magic.