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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.
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 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.
Our 10 Favorite Math-Rock Albums
Tally your time-signatures! A guide to the essential, indispensable math-rock records.
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?
10 Most Inspired German 'Krautrock' Albums
West Germany in the 1970s was a fertile time for progressive, mind-altering music.
The 10 Best Ever Slow-Core Records
Slow, sad, frighteningly quiet: a rollcall of classic 1990s LPs from these masters of the spartan.
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.
Scott Walker - Artist Profile
Teen pin-up turned avant-garde recluse. The strange music and even stranger life of Scott Walker.
10 Bands to Watch in 2014
FKA twigs, Haerts, Mas Ysa, Temples, and Thumpers headline 10 bands primed for a 2014 breakout.
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.
30 Best New Bands of 2013
From Boogarins to Weaves, Haerts to Vår, Béisbol to Wampire, here's indie music's Class of 2013.
Top 30 Albums of the 1960s
The radical records that broke the mold, moved music forward, and influenced generations of artists to come.
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.
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...
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.
Top 10 Twee Albums
The class releases that defined the growth of twee from tiny, self-contained English scene to global underground culture.
Alternative Music 101 - Your FAQ Primer
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
Mazzy Star - Artist Profile
The disappearance and return of the narcotic balladry of the 90's platinum band- Mazzy Star.
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.
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 Bright Eyes Songs
Ridiculous ambition, vicious self-loathing, attacks on God, and a scream bordering on hoarse: the best works of Conor Oberst.
Top 50 Albums of 2013
The moment My Bloody Valentine issued their third album, 2013 was a great year for indie music.
Little Dragon Unveil New LP and Single, Play...
Little Dragon Unveil New LP and Single, Play Letterman
10 Infamous Concerts
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
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.
Genre Profile - Post-Rock
A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
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.
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 20 Concept Albums
Tired of records that sound like random collections of files? Here's 20 LPs of singular theme and sustained narrative.
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 Riot-Grrrl Records
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
Top 30 4AD Albums
The best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
Interview: Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia and...
Back in 2002, the late Jason Molina already saw his Songs: Ohia records philosophically.
Revisiting 2013's 10 Best Indie Music Groups
Looking for potential breakout bands in 2013? From Indians to Savages, here's ten sure bets.
Top 10 Bands Who'll Never Reform
In an era of retromania, are the any bands left that aren't reforming? Gladly, there are...
Definitive Albums: Kate Bush 'The Kick Inside'...
Kate Bush's grand, resplendent debut was a work of uncommon ambition and artistry for a teen prodigy.
Genre Profile - Shoegaze
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >What it Means:
Tune-Yards 'Whokill'
A barrage of funky, feminist, genre-crossing jams, the second Tune-Yards record beckons imminent crossover.
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.
Definitive Albums: Robert Wyatt 'Rock Bottom'...
Paralyzed after an accident, Robert Wyatt went solo with an introspective suite of yearning, personal psychedelia.
10 Obscure Albums That Became Classics
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
Definitive Albums: The Go-Betweens 'Before...
The Go-Betweens second album helped define indie-pop, and gave the world the great 'Cattle and Cane'...
Interview: Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend
The VW frontman defends himself against charges of cultural appropriation.
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
Kurt Cobain wears Daniel Johnston T-Shirt to VMAs
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
Jeffrey Lewis - Artist Profile
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Born: November
Genre Profile - Lo-Fi
Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
10 Best Indie Bands to Follow on Twitter
The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
Cults Announce New Album, Singles, Tour Dates
Cults Announce New Album, Singles, Tour Dates
Sleigh Bells' New LP, Bitter Rivals, Out in...
Sleigh Bells' New LP, Bitter Rivals, Out in October
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.
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.
Genre Profile: Math-Rock
The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
Morrissey 'World Peace Is None of Your Business'
After penning his wildly-successful 'Autobiogaphy,' Morrissey returns to music-making armed with emboldened self-obsession.
Bon Iver - Artist Profile
The background, beginnings, and developments of Justin Vernon, also known as Bon Iver.
Sufjan Stevens - Artist Profile
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
Definitive Albums: Talk Talk 'Laughing Stock'...
On their final album, English moodists Talk Talk created an atmospheric opus that presaged post-rock's rise.
Interview: Annie Clark of St. Vincent
Chit-chat with the chatty and charming St. Vincent. Page 2.
Interview: Pat Grossi of Active Child
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Pat Grossi is
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...
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 '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.
10 Bands to Watch at SXSW 2014
In Austin for SXSW 2014? Here's ten bands, from Connections to Seoul to Solids, you best keep your eye on.
The Pixies - Artist Profile
The Pixies blistering use of broad dynamics and innovative re-write of pop-song forms redefined guitar music.
Top 10 K Records Albums
10 all-time great albums on the ultimate underground indie label.
Top 10 Breakout Bands of 2013
From Autre Ne Veut to Waxahatchee, via Chvrches and Savages, here's 10 indie acts who treated 2013 as a coming-out party...
Interview: Theresa Wayman of Warpaint
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
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.
Top 20 Matador Albums
Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
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.
Elliott Smith - Artist Profile
Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
Nirvana - Artist Profile
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends
Spoon 'They Want My Soul'
Spoon's quietly-contrarian 8th album finds Britt Daniel and co sounding both brilliant and burdened.
Ariel Pink - Artist Profile
The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
Definitive Albums: Can 'Tago Mago' (1971)
On their legendary double-LP, Can continued to push psychedelic, progressive rock into strange, new, uncharted terrain.
The National - Artist Profile
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
Beach House - Artist Profile
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recall the history of their slow, narcotic Baltimore duo.
Genre Profile - Riot Grrrl
Chronicle of the riot grrrl movement's furious surge in the early 1990s.
Neu! - Artist Profile
The German krautrock legends gave the world motorik rhythm and the infamous proto-remix Side 2 of 'Neu! 2'.
Death Cab for Cutie - Artist Profile
Potted, spotted history of the impossibly successful Seattle indie-rock icons, as told by its members.
St. Vincent - Artist Profile
A look at the life and career of fearsome fretboard shredder, old-fashioned romantic, and all-around dork, Annie Clark.
Interview: Stuart Murdoch of God Help the Girl
The B&S frontman talks of his 'story set to music,' his other band's history, and how there weren't any decent records released in the '90s. Page 2.
The Decemberists - Artist Profile
Profile of the fore'er whimsical folk-pop troupe from Portland.
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.
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.
Interview: Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius
The Perfume Genius frontman talks controversy, 'Twin Peaks', rehab, and 'Put Your Back N 2 It'.
MGMT - Artist Profile
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
Alternative Music History: Suicide's 23 Minutes...
A riot breaks out, a bootleg is recorded, a mythical show is born.
My Bloody Valentine - Artist Profile
A career chronicle of the recently-reborn godheads of the shoegaze movement.
Sub Pop Records Profile
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
Definitive Albums: The Velvet Underground...
The Velvets' noisy, nasty riposte to their commercial 'failure' became an alternative landmark.
Definitive Albums: Spiritualized 'Ladies and...
J. Spaceman's towering landmark builds heartbroken symphonies mixing shoegaze with gospel, rock-n-roll swagger with bowed confessional.
Iron and Wine - Artist Profile
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
Definitive Albums: Scott Walker 'Scott 4' (1969)
Walker's unquestioned masterpiece is an uneasy mixture of MOR balladry, lyrical savagery, and hesitant avant-gardism.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Artist Profile
The history of the rock'n'roll trio, as told by Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase.
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.
Modest Mouse - Artist Profile
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
Genre Profile - Krautrock
To English ears, the psychedelic, progressive, cosmic sound of early-'70s West Germany heralded a brave new sound: krautrock.
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.
Top 10 Broadcast Songs
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
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.
Devendra Banhart - Artist Profile
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Born in: May 30,
Spiritualized - Artist Profile
Chronicle of Jason Pierce's grandiose gospel-space-rock-soul outfit Spiritualized, from post-Spacemen 3 beginnings to his near-death experiences.
10 Iconic Album Covers
The most distinctive, most striking, most lauded album covers in indie music history.
Belle and Sebastian 'Write About Love'
B&S's most MOR record only truly comes to life when Stuart Murdoch shares the mic with, um... Norah Jones?
She and Him - Artist Profile
Burying the stigma of the 'actor turned singer' forever, Zooey Deschanel's collaboration with M. Ward has produced some wondrous music.
Grizzly Bear - Artist Profile
An in-depth look at the harmony-draped folk-pop experimentalists.
Wolf Parade - Artist Profile
A tale of four Canadian gentlemen and their merry rock'n'roll band.
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.
Genre Profile - Slowcore
Slow, quiet, sad, introspective, pretty: a look at those fearless slowcore rebels who first dared to not-rock.
Top 20 Drag City Albums
The greatest albums from one of indie music's greatest-ever labels.
Definitive Albums: Belle and Sebastian 'If...
The Scottish pop outfit's second LP is one of the greatest records ever committed to disc.
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.
Definitive Albums: Joy Division 'Unknown...
Joy Division's glowering, towering debut is one of the most enduring, influential, and mythical LPs ever made.
Artist Profile: Sharon Van Etten
Sharon Van Etten's songs are stark confessionals recounting life in a destructive relationship.
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.
Interview: Ayse Hassan of Savages
The English post-punks weigh up the art of listening, the power of silence, and the din of hype.
Interview: Claire Boucher of Grimes
On the release of 'Visions', Grimes talks indie bands as brands, cognitive neuroscience, and Montréal.
Owen Pallett 'In Conflict'
'In Conflict' finds the Arcade Fire fiddler ditching concept-record fantasies for sentiment, songs, and sequencing stitched with conflict.
Matador Records Profile
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
Tune-Yards New Album, Nikki Nack, Out in May
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
Interview: Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards
On the brink of a breakout, Merrill Garbus is shocked she hasn't had to compromise one iota along the way.
Constellation Records Profile
Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
Blood Orange 'Cupid Deluxe'
The 2nd Blood Orange LP ropes people from Friends, Chairlift, Dirty Projectors, and Kindness into a loving pastiche of early'-90s pop.
Top 10 Merge Albums
From Superchunk to Destroyer, Guv'ner to the Arcade Fire, we count down 10 choice discs served up in the history of North Carolina's Merge Records.
Interpol - Artist Profile
Chronicle of these well-dressed New Yorker dudes and their moody post-punk gloom.
Joanna Newsom - Artist Profile
A story in which a warbling, harp-playing California girl becomes a towering colossus of the recorded medium.
Interview: Hugo Manuel of Chad Valley
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" >Sunny Casinos and 2007's Lions and two
Interview: Johnny Whitney of Jaguar Love
After the bad break-up of Blood Brothers, screeching vocalist Johnny Whitney is back with a brand new bag: Jaguar Love. He spills the beans on how one became the other.
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
10 Classic Rough Trade Albums
From Young Marble Giants to The Smiths to Galaxie 500, here's ten awesome Rough Trade LPs, from the golden age of indie.
El Perro del Mar - Artist Profile
Sarah Assbring finds rapture in girl-group grooves and truth in hushed musical sadness
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.
Definitive Albums: The Raincoats 'The...
Best known for diffusing punk's heaving machismo, the Raincoats' remarkable, ramshackle debut summons a peculiar musical magic.
Interview: Tom Krell of How to Dress Well
The hipster-R&B trailblazer talks loss, grief, melancholia, and sincerity as a philosophical belief.
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.
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.
Genre Profile - Twee
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" >C86 cassette, which celebrates England's
10 International Acts to Watch at SXSW 2014
Bands from all over the world are heading to Austin for SXSW. From Boogarins to Vaadat Charigim, here's 10 you better not miss.
Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks to Release Debut Album
Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks to Release Debut Album
Definitive Albums: The United States of America...
In 1968, a group of San Francisco avant-gardist decided to try their subversive hands at a rock'n'roll band.
10 Awesome Shows at SXSW 2014
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
Factory Records' 10 Greatest Catalogue Items
Manchester's legendary Factory Records assembled an artful discography of far more than albums.
WU LYF 'Go Tell Fire to the Mountain'
WU LYF's debut LP strips away the mystery, revealing them as artful practitioners of ambitious, cinematic indie-rock.
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.

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