SPIN Essentials

Review: Young Thug’s Beautiful Thugger Girls Is His Strongest, Most Unified Project In Years

Perhaps the last Atlanta street-rap mixtape that brought to mind the sounds of a college quad on a summer Friday afternoon was Rich Homie Quan’s If You…
Winston Cook-Wilson / June 21, 2017

Review: Lorde Is a Visionary in the Dark on Melodrama

"Every decision that we made for this album, every sound we choose, every word we chose, it was so deliberated—for every word we chose, I…
Anna Gaca / June 16, 2017

Review: Fleet Foxes’ Crack-Up Is a Successfully Daring Step Forward

No matter how many dashes and parentheses Robin Pecknold inserts into his song titles, or how many Japanese mountains and medieval British monsters loom behind…
Andy Cush / June 16, 2017

Review: Phoenix Evoke Italian Summers and Late Night Romance on the Exceptional Ti Amo

Without making a big thing of it, the French rock band Phoenix has resisted modern fame’s mania for disclosure, instead cultivating an affable inscrutability and…
Brian Howe / June 9, 2017

Review: Jlin’s Black Origami Is Her Boldest, Brightest Work Yet

Jlin is more than footwork. During a recent set last week at Chicago’s Smart Bar, the Gary, Indiana-based producer drew a crowd from…
Britt Julious / May 19, 2017

Review: Mac DeMarco Soberly Embraces Adulthood on the Heartfelt This Old Dog

By this time next month, one thousand publications will have run one thousand more articles reiterating what a chill, happy, generally gnarly dude Mac DeMarco…
Jeremy Gordon / May 4, 2017

Review: Feist’s Pleasure Finds Fun Through the Unexpected

Discounting the outliers, Leslie Feist’s music is consistent and realized. She's an art-folkie in the Mitchell/Dylan tradition or, among contemporaries, akin to Jesca Hoop or…
Katherine St. Asaph / April 28, 2017

Review: On DAMN., Kendrick Lamar Is Not Your Prophet

The salvation of the New Testament is preceded by the judicious wrath of the Old—the stories of genocidal floods, generational curses, violent plagues, and God’s…
Brian Josephs / April 17, 2017

Review: Arca’s Self-Titled Album Is His Most Engaging, Emotionally Draining, and Confrontational Record Yet

While Alejandro Ghersi already had amassed production credits ranging from FKA twigs and Kelela to Kanye by the time he turned 25, it was his…
Andy Beta / April 6, 2017

Review: Julia Holter’s Live Album In the Same Room Brings Out the Richest Qualities in Her Work

If you think about the lengthy tour cycles independent artists embark on these days--for either the love of doing so, or at least the love…
Winston Cook-Wilson / April 5, 2017

Review: On Why Love Now, Pissed Jeans Explore the Lighter Side of Everyday Agony

The world of heavy guitar music isn’t known for its sense of humor. You have your bearded metalheads, singing about wizards and spending Friday evenings…
Andy Cush / February 24, 2017

Review: Julie Byrne’s Not Even Happiness Is a Truly Beautiful Travel Album

Sometimes, simply pairing the right voice with the right reverb can create a song’s power. There have been endless notable examples since the effect came…
Winston Cook-Wilson / February 7, 2017

Review: Priests’ Nothing Feels Natural Is Vital Post-Punk for Trump’s America

Anyone who’s said "at least a Trump presidency will make punk rock great again" hasn’t been paying attention to Priests, the D.C. band who’ve been…
Nina Mashurova / January 27, 2017

Review: Japandroids Bring Beautiful Noise on Near to the Wild Heart of Life

There are Japandroids fans who talk about their memories of the band like veterans reminiscing about fighting in the Great War, and that nostalgia is not…
Jeremy Gordon / January 27, 2017

Review: Joyce Manor’s Vital Pop-Punk Enters Adulthood on Cody

Frontman Barry Johnson is not tired of talking about the most distinct line on Joyce Manor’s addictive new album, Cody, a record packed…
Ian Cohen / October 6, 2016
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