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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...
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.
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?
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.
10 Most Inspired German 'Krautrock' Albums
West Germany in the 1970s was a fertile time for progressive, mind-altering music.
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.
Top 10 Albums by The Fall
Ever wondered where's the best place to start for a Fall neophyte?
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 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 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.
Upcoming Alternative Album Release Dates
Sort through the glut of new releases with this guide to the upcoming indie-music release schedule.
Top 30 Albums of the 1960s
The radical records that broke the mold, moved music forward, and influenced generations of artists to come.
The 10 Best Ever Slow-Core Records
Slow, sad, frighteningly quiet: a rollcall of classic 1990s LPs from these masters of the spartan.
Alternative Music 101 - Your FAQ Primer
Your guide to the confusing basics of Alternative Music. Just remember: there are no dumb questions.
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.
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 Concept Albums
Tired of records that sound like random collections of files? Here's 20 LPs of singular theme and sustained narrative.
Top 10 Twee Albums
The class releases that defined the growth of twee from tiny, self-contained English scene to global underground culture.
Matador Records Profile
A traipse through the history of New York's venerable mega-indie, Matador Records.
Mazzy Star - Artist Profile
The disappearance and return of the narcotic balladry of the 90's platinum band- Mazzy Star.
10 Infamous Concerts
Ten bizarre, embarrassing, and much-remembered underground live-shows that have endeared their own, modern-day mythology.
Top 50 Albums of 2013
The moment My Bloody Valentine issued their third album, 2013 was a great year for indie music.
Scott Walker - Artist Profile
Teen pin-up turned avant-garde recluse. The strange music and even stranger life of Scott Walker.
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.
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 30 4AD Albums
The best 30 albums from the first 30 years of the all-conquering indie powerhouse.
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.
Top 10 Riot-Grrrl Records
Riot-grrrl's righteous indignation of sloganeering politics produced a run of raucous, rocking records.
Constellation Records Profile
Chronicle of Canadian post-rock powerhouse Constellation Records.
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 - Lo-Fi
Crack out your Shrimper cassettes! It's a history lesson in the lo-fi movement.
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.
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 'Trouble Will Find Me'
On the sixth National album, Matt Berninger ruminates on the lure of heaven.
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
Young Galaxy 'Ultramarine'
'Ultramarine' is populated by young dreamers dealing with the sadness of growing up.
Vampire Weekend 'Modern Vampires of the City'
The third Vampire Weekend album makes the band's most varied, divisive, daring work.
Top 10 Bands Who'll Never Reform
In an era of retromania, are the any bands left that aren't reforming? Gladly, there are...
Genre Profile - Shoegaze
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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.
Julianna Barwick 'Nepenthe'
Julianna Barwick recorded her 4th LP in Iceland, but it sounds like it was made on a cloud.
My Bloody Valentine 'MBV'
My Bloody Valentine's remarkable third album manages to live up to 22 years of wild expectations.
No Age 'An Object'
No Age's fourth album explores unexpected soundscapes, using noise as a compositional tool.
Interview: Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend
Fighting off Saab enthusiasts and a chorus of hater, Vampire Weekend remain eternally undaunted.
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.
Genre Profile - Post-Rock
A look at the ragged instrumentalists and jazz-schooled dorks that've made up post-rock's wordless movement.
Blitzen Trapper Announce New LP, VII
Blitzen Trapper Announce New LP, VII
TV on the Radio - Artist Profile
Let us chart the rise and rise of the Brooklyn outfit who's never met a bad review.
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.
Jeffrey Lewis - Artist Profile
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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
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.
Modest Mouse - Artist Profile
Isaac Brock's adventures with The Pixies, God, jail, Johnny Marr, and chart-topping success.
10 Best Indie Bands to Follow on Twitter
The most entertaining indie-rock Tweeters.
Interview: Chaz Bundick of Toro y Moi
Chaz Bundick talks about talking about people behind their backs right to their faces.
Interview: Pat Grossi of Active Child
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Genre Profile: Math-Rock
The staunchly-punk, time-signature-juggling, nerdy instrumentalist mayhem of math-rock.
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...
Nirvana - Artist Profile
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends
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.
Top 10 Broadcast Songs
English electronic act Broadcast presided over a brilliant career of beautiful, strange, eerie songs.
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.
Kurt Cobain wears Daniel Johnston T-Shirt to VMAs
Back in 1992, what t-shirt you wore really mattered.
Bon Iver - Artist Profile
The background, beginnings, and developments of Justin Vernon, also known as Bon Iver.
Definitive Albums: Catherine Ribeiro and Alpes...
One of recorded music's most powerful voices screams a terrifying suite of horror-songs hoping for Peace.
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.
The National - Artist Profile
The National's slow, steady progression, from unknowns to the band who soundtracked Hope and Change.
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.
10 Obscure Albums That Became Classics
Ignored, reviled, or 'lost' on their original release, these obscure LPs eventually proved hugely influential.
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.
Neu! - Artist Profile
The German krautrock legends gave the world motorik rhythm and the infamous proto-remix Side 2 of 'Neu! 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.
Top 20 Drag City Albums
The greatest albums from one of indie music's greatest-ever labels.
Little Dragon Unveil New LP and Single, Play...
Little Dragon Unveil New LP and Single, Play Letterman
Interview: Theresa Wayman of Warpaint
Theresa Wayman feels out the emotions running deep in Warpaint's debut LP.
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.
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.
Sufjan Stevens - Artist Profile
Sufjan Stevens is an artist defined by his ambition.
10 Iconic Album Covers
The most distinctive, most striking, most lauded album covers in indie music history.
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: Claire Boucher of Grimes
On the release of 'Visions', Grimes talks indie bands as brands, cognitive neuroscience, and Montréal.
10 Trailblazing Female Musicians
Tired of tepid 'women in rock' lists? Here's ten fiery heroines that blazed radical new musical trails.
Grizzly Bear - Artist Profile
An in-depth look at the harmony-draped folk-pop experimentalists.
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.
Interview: Jessie Stein of The Luyas
Thank God for mental illness. Jessie Stein talks an LP dealing with schizophrenia and hallucination.
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.
Vampire Weekend - Artist Profile
Brooklyn's preppiest, poppiest indie outfit has made a career of bright melody and slight controversy.
10 Biblical Indie Albums
Call them anti-Christian-Rock records: 10 mighty albums rich in religious theme and biblical heft.
Genre Profile: Chillwave
It's the summery, nostalgic, warped-sounding electronic music that blew up the blogosphere in 2009.
Interview: Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia and...
Back in 2002, the late Jason Molina already saw his Songs: Ohia records philosophically.
The Pixies - Artist Profile
The Pixies blistering use of broad dynamics and innovative re-write of pop-song forms redefined guitar music.
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.
Interview: Annie Clark of St. Vincent
Chit-chat with the chatty and charming St. Vincent. Page 2.
Sub Pop Records Profile
In-depth historical profile of the influential, (semi-)independent Seattle label.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Artist Profile
The intently political Canadian co-op authored the blueprint for cinematic, apocalyptic post-rock.
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 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.
Iron and Wine - Artist Profile
Shy southerner Sam Beam's quiet songs have made a loud noise on the alternative scene.
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.
Definitive Albums: Talk Talk 'Laughing Stock'...
On their final album, English moodists Talk Talk created an atmospheric opus that presaged post-rock's rise.
Jim James Tours New Solo Album
Jim James Tours New Solo Album
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.
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
Definitive Albums: Vashti Bunyan 'Just Another...
Lost in oblivion for nearly three decades, Bunyan's magical debut has been granted an almost holy status by smitten listeners.
Top 20 Vincent Moon Videos
Vincent Moon's 'Take Away Shows' revolutionized live music video. Here are the highlights of his inspired, improvised work.
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.
Definitive Albums: Slint 'Spiderland' (1991)
Slint's legacy grew in a fashion that matched the music: slow, steady, barely perceptible, ultimately legendary.
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.
Wolf Parade - Artist Profile
A tale of four Canadian gentlemen and their merry rock'n'roll band.
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.
MGMT - Artist Profile
An in-depth look at the brief history of the hype-starting New Yorker duo.
Definitive Albums: Nirvana 'Bleach' (1989)
The best $606.17 recording budget Sub Pop ever presided over.
Artist Profile: Nirvana
Profile of the life and death of the alternative legends. Page 2.
Definitive Albums: The Shaggs 'Philosophy of...
The greatest album ever made? The worst? Both?
Artist Profile: Sharon Van Etten
Sharon Van Etten's songs are stark confessionals recounting life in a destructive relationship.
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.
Death Cab for Cutie - Artist Profile
Potted, spotted history of the impossibly successful Seattle indie-rock icons, as told by its members.
Elliott Smith - Artist Profile
Chronicle of the rise and demise of the ultimate depressive songsmith.
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.
Bat for Lashes - Artist Profile
History of glamorous English songstress Natasha Khan.
My Bloody Valentine - Artist Profile
A career chronicle of the recently-reborn godheads of the shoegaze movement.
Interview: JP Pitts of Surfer Blood
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Top 20 Matador Albums
Few record-labels have had an ongoing, unbroken run of pop-cultural credibility like Matador Records.
Genre Profile - Twee
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" >C86 cassette, which celebrates England's
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...
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.
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.
Ariel Pink - Artist Profile
The life-and-crimes of A. Pink: home-taping enthusiast turned unexpectedly-influential indie music sage.
Top 10 Thrill Jockey Albums
From Tortoise to the National Trust, ten of the best from the artful back-catalogue of Chicago's ever-influential Thrill Jockey imprint.
'Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man'
A film divided into three: one part study of Cohen, one part all-star variety concert, one part stuck-listening-to-Bono.
Definitive Albums: Robert Wyatt 'Rock Bottom'...
Paralyzed after an accident, Robert Wyatt went solo with an introspective suite of yearning, personal psychedelia.
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.
Vampire Weekend 'Vampire Weekend'
Vampire Weekend's hype-starting debut disc is one of the biggest alternative albums in aeons. But is it worthy of all the acclaim?
Definitive Albums: The Fall 'Hex Enduction...
For all intents and purposes, The Fall begins and ends with 'Hex Enduction Hour.'
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
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.
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.
Arthur Russell - Artist Profile
Chronicle of the life and times of the fallen angel of disco-as-art, New York cellist and home-recording scientist Arthur Russell.
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

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