Artwork by Marina Tadic

I remember Dan Deacon once telling me email is the most primitive and inefficient form of human communication in the world. He might not have been wrong. More often than not, email correspondence is a slog. Sooooo… how do we actually make it fun and substantial?

Having written a whole book in Rotterdam Goddamn, I realized communicating through written words often triggers different ideas and thoughts than verbal exchange. …

Low’s thirteenth album HEY WHAT is both crushing and crushingly beautiful at the same time. Throughout, it seems like the ground is constantly crumbling and shifting underneath your feet, as emotions pour out in chaotic, dumbstruck fashion before you’re ready to even process them. It’s music that makes you feel something intrusively new, almost made with solely that imperative in mind.

The quest for sonic transcendence in pop music has often been plagued by tales of artistic self-indulgence, especially considering some of the narratives surrounding bands like My Bloody Valentine or Talk Talk. The remarkable thing about this era of…

The key to landing a good punch is always the follow-through. You don’t actually aim for the face, but the space behind the face. Far too many up-and-coming rock and/or roll bands in recent memory don’t quite grasp this notion. Beneath all that telegraphed cool and grandstanding, the punches often feel pulled.

Fortunately, Toronto four-piece Bad Waitress aren’t part of this feeble majority. If the band’s debut LP No Taste has one thing going for it, it’s that it harnesses a violent, penetrating energy that tells us they’re not here to mess around. Opening track “Rabbit Hole”, with its piercing…

Water From Your Eyes on “Structure”

Songs as Sensations

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Photo by Pim Top

A few months ago during the height of the corona lockdown, Milena and Thomas of GOLD asked me to do a Q&A about their breakthrough album No Image. This article was published exclusively in their self-published zine, No Zine, which you can order a copy of here. With their permission, I was allowed to finally publish this cool conversation on my own blog space. Enjoy!

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Jasper: GOLD has been around since 2012. That’s a long time ago.

Thomas: It is. It’s funny, I think it is the band I’ve been in the longest. But it still feels very…

World building doesn’t have to entail an incomprehensible, esoteric lexicon of lore and fictional guidelines. Just ask Chrystia ‘Tia’ Cabral, the Bay Area artist who records under the moniker SPELLLING. Yes, that’s with three Ls, and for some reason this one’s always compelled to annunciate that extra L for strictly dramatic purposes. It’s also true that Cabral’s recently released long player The Turning Wheel doesn’t shy away from the weightiest of universal themes and questions, as she so professes herself.

“I’m just reaching a stage in my life where you think reality appears solid, in a certain way. But underneath…

Compared to many of her peers, Annika Henderson’s artistic trajectory has been understatedly singular. Instead of clockworking between album cycle after album cycle — each emblazoned with a neatly contrived backstory — she allows herself to be taken to wherever her curiosity and pet interests lead her. This often puts her in transient, volatile situations, perpetually at odds of what she’s supposed to do vs. what she needs to do. At the root of it all stood her original goal to become a documentary journalist, an occupation that requires the practitioner to summon a voice to the urgency of now.

Clairo’s inclination towards subtlety and nuance appears severely at odds within today’s frantic attention economy. Claire Cottrill, a young gifted songwriter who achieved startling fame through a viral YouTube hit in 2017, spiralled into a musical trajectory where her understated, no-frills vernacular could make its principal mark. 2019’s excellent debut album Immunity was the perfect pipeline between Gen Z-mainstream pop fans and older indie rock connoisseurs who still play Pinback’s Summer Of Abaddon to death. It’s a crisp and supple collection of songs that thankfully depart from early, rather clumsy experimentations in pop maximalism, homing in on Cottrill’s warm, lived-in…

Jasper Willems

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