• Grant Hart

    Husker Dos and Don'ts: Grant Hart's Secrets to Success

    Even as Hüsker Dü started to crumble around him in the late '80s, one could never accuse Grant Hart of lacking ambition. Alongside fellow Hüskers Bob Mould and Greg Norton, drummer-singer Hart crafted aesthetically ambitious albums (Zen Arcade, New Day Rising) that emphasized grandiose storytelling as much as musical economy. Though their early material hinted at breakneck speed and phlegmy vocal takes, Grant Hart's hookier, more melodic contributions ensured that Hüsker Dü would never be regarded as just a hardcore band. In the ensuing years, both on his own and with Nova Mob (his only other post-Hüsker Dü band), he's trod a similar path.So when word emerged that Hart's latest solo record, The Argument, out July 22 on Domino, would be an adaptation of an unreleased treatment of his late friend William S. Burroughs's update of Paradise Lost, nothing seemed amiss.

  • Zammuto Finds Balance on Second Solo Album

    Zammuto Finds Balance on Second Solo Album

    Before he began work on his next full-length, Nick Zammuto did a bit of housekeeping."I rearranged my studio so that I'm standing while I write," he says. "Since I'm on my feet, the act of balancing seems to translate to hearing balance within the mix.”But it's not just better posture that's making the recording process for his as-yet-untitled second solo outing decidedly different from the first. Last year's debut was a lurching assemblage of polymath pop, miles from the playful, carefully arranged sample experiments that he undertook as one half of the Books. Zammuto blames the disjointedness of that record on a "nervous energy" that resulted from the fallout of the Books' dissolution.

  • Zomby / Photo by Shawn Brackbill

    Zomby Unmasked: The Enigmatic Producer Opens Up About His New Album

    Masked British electronic producer Zomby appears to live a curious dichotomy — at once intensely candid in interviews and on Twitter and also remarkably private (see: that mask). But he's used to blending disparate ideas. Dedication, Zomby's 2011 effort and his first for the storied U.K. indie 4AD, largely ditched the rave and jungle homage of his nostalgic 2008 debut, Where Were U in '92? in favor of a melancholic mysticism. For the new With Love, out on June 18, the producer has found a middle ground between his two previous records.

  • Sebadoh / Photo by Jens Nordstrom

    Lou Barlow Explains Sebadoh's Heart-wrenching 'Secret' EP, Streaming Now

    Though Lou Barlow's prolificacy will likely always be eclipsed by the Robert Pollards and Ty Segalls of the world, to say nothing of his legendary run in the late 80s to mid-90s, Barlow has found a way in the past few years to balance the globetrotting commitments of his bass-playing gig with Dinosaur Jr. with ongoing work in pioneering lo-fi project Sebadoh.After two years touring in front of the latter's most recent incarnation — which now includes former Fiery Furnaces drummer Bob D'Amico — Barlow and his longtime Sebadoh collaborator Jason Loewenstein decided it was time to lay down some new material. As Barlow describes it, the motivations for a making a new record were a matter of duty more than anything else: Like the Dinosaur Jr.

  • Laura Marling

    Laura Marling on Losing Her Awkwardness and Loving 1969

    Early on in her still-young career, which included a stint with London folkies Noah and the Whale, demure English singer-songwriter Laura Marling copped to a stage fright that turned adoring audiences into forbidding challenges. Even with the approval afforded by Mercury Prize nominations and widespread critical acclaim for her first two solo efforts (2008's Alas, I Cannot Swim and 2010's I Speak Because I Can, both of which featured members of Mumford & Sons), Marling maintained a youthful awkwardness — mumbling through banter at shows and evincing a general discomfort with the attention that came alongside her successes.Marling's newest LP, Once I Was an Eagle (Ribbon), produced by Ethan Johns and out May 28, shatters that fragile image.

  • Bobby Gillespie

    Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie Talks Lush New Album 'More Light'

    In the 26 years that Primal Scream have been actively releasing full-length records, they've traversed tremendous ground. From the bleary house-indebted psychedelia that populated early efforts (namely their landmark 1991 album Screamadelica) to the more straightforward rock records they've made in recent years, Bobby Gillespie and guitarist Andrew Innes — as well as a rotating cast of others — have subscribed to the philosophy of Spacemen 3: That is to say, they've taken a lot of drugs to make music to take drugs to.

  • Var

    Var Inspired by Stripping Wanderer, Dark Fairytale on First Album

    It's tempting to view Vår as nothing more than a castoff side project. It almost seems as if Elias Bender Rønnenfelt and Loke Rahbek (of Iceage and Sexdrome, respectively) meant for it to be that way. Two brief cassettes and two 7"s of blown-out synth pop for Rahbek's Posh Isolation label and Brooklyn's Sacred Bones make up the entirety of the Copenhagen project's recorded material to date, and all of it has been recorded straight to a four-track by Rønnenfelt and Rahbek in their Copenhagen practice spaces during lazy school days and, more recently, during breaks between their more well-known endeavors. But Vår's focus is on insular, personal sounds.

  • Four Tet's Kieran Hebden in Camden Square, London, March 13, 2003 / Photo by Jim Dyson / Getty Images

    Making the 'Rounds': Four Tet Looks Back at His Masterpiece

    Ten years ago Kieran Hebden was an introspective Londoner with a head full of seemingly disparate sonic threads: Free-jazz ecstasy, fragile folk, the sparse solemnity of ambient electronic music. On his third album, 2003's groundbreaking Rounds, Hebden, recording under the name Four Tet, cut up, stretched out, and weaved those sounds together into an awe-inspiring folktronica tapestry. The game-changing collection, which is being reissued (packaged with a live set from the era) by Domino on May 14, instantly found a place in the modern electronic-music canon, and won high-profile fans ranging from J Dilla to Thom Yorke.In advance of Rounds' next spin, Hebden, 35, spoke with us from his residence in upstate New York about the creation and reverberations of his still-influential masterpiece.It's been 10 years.

  • 'Crawling Up The Stairs' Cover Art

    Stream Pure X's Seismic 'Crawling Up the Stairs'

    Pure X had begun recording Crawling Up the Stairs, their sophomore full-length, before their beloved 2011 debut, Pleasure, had even made it to shelves. But just because the Austin outfit gave themselves a lot of time doesn't mean the LP came without its share of turmoil. As principal songwriters Nate Grace and Jesse Jenkins tell it, Crawling Up the Stairs traces the arc of a personal descent into hell and the slow climb back out of it — a storyline no doubt inspired by a couple of breakups and a skateboarding tumble that gave Grace a gruesome knee injury that left him on crutches for a large portion of last year. Grace and Jenkins, who recorded Crawling Up the Stairs with longtime drummer Austin Youngblood, talked to SPIN from a gas station in northern Texas about the loose, largely improvisational roots of the new album.

  • Wolf Eyes

    Wolf Eyes Embrace Terror, Humor, Simplicity on New LP

    In the nearly 17 years that comically prolific Ann Arbor, Michigan-based noise institution Wolf Eyes has been a concern for Nate Young, he's traversed some strange ground: two albums of languorous ooze for Sub Pop, a string of tour dates opening for Sonic Youth, a sludgy slot on Lollapalooza, and part of a SPIN trend piece back in the days when we were putting Franz Ferdinand on the cover. Though we're nearly 10 years removed from the project's critical heyday, Young has continued to plug away at the heart of the constantly evolving trio. Young's last several years have seen Wolf Eyes take a back seat in deference his similarly bleary Nate Young Regression project, but in February, the return of the trio was announced, with Jim Baljo taking over the reins in the guitarist slot from Mike Connelly.

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