Twee pop may seem an obvious go-to for a Valentines Day playlist, with its reputation for painfully sweet melodies and lyrics coupled with cutesy instrumentation and aesthetics. However, as we’ve explained before, this genre isn’t just Zooey Deschanel and heart-shaped sugar cookies. With this playlist for your indie-pop Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up the best twee music both for basking in love and wallowing in heartbreak — or, you know, just telling it all to go to hell. As with all music in this genre, whatever the subject, if it’s not making you feel at least a bit warm and fuzzy, it should start looking for new work. … Read More
Los Campesinos! have come a long way in five years of playing music together. When we heard the Welsh band’s Sticking Fingers Into Sockets EP in 2007, we were instantly enamored of their twee-pop earworms with lyrics that you couldn’t help shouting along to. Since then, they’ve released three albums, each with progressively darker lyrics and a more aggressive, dissonant sound. So we were amused and unsurprised to hear that their new album, to be released tomorrow in the US, would be titled Hello Sadness, and were excited to absorb it in full (it’s now streaming over at NPR).
But Los Campesinos! are hardly the only twee band to grace us with new music in 2011. For those of you who are new to the indie-pop world, or who haven’t visited it in awhile, allow us to catch you up. Pop music has always been more about singles than albums, particularly in the age of iTunes. Inspired by Hello Sadness‘s lead single, “By Your Hand,” we’ve gathered up a selection of the best indie-pop songs of this year. As a bonus, we’ve also rated how well the album stands up in comparison. Enjoy, and tell us what we left out in the comments. … Read More
Pop music and classical music are supposed to be different worlds. Yet, in the last few years, the two have begun bleeding together again. On “Colouring of Pigeons,” from Swedish pop duo the Knife’s just-released album Tomorrow, In a Year, one can hear echoes of both Varèse’s Ionisation and Guillaume Dufay floating among metallic passages reminiscent of Björk. The album itself is the score to an opera about Charles Darwin, made in collaboration with avant-garde Berliner Mt. Sims and the British multimedia artist Planningtorock. It merges the artiness of musique concrète and minimalism with the grit of house music.
Since that’s far from the only high-brow stuff whizzing around overhead, we thought we’d give you a look at five composers whose works influence some of the indie pop you know and love. Listen to their music, and the work they’ve inspired, after the jump. … Read More
(Indie pop is literate, low-fidelity, oft-downbeat music that doesn’t sell very well and is usually distributed by undercapitalized independent record labels.)
- This parenthetical gem comes from a New York Times profile of Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch; the musician notes that it’s much harder for him to write music now that he’s happy and surrounded by beautiful women.
Thanks to The Awl for spotting… Read More