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Sleigh Bells and Retro Activity: Welcome to SPIN’s First ‘New’ Issue

[Photo: Nick Haymes]

You’ve seen the Sleigh Bells cover with its stunning close-up of Alexis Krauss and gatefold shot of Derek Miller, and any minute now, you’ll be able to see exactly what that cover is covering.

The March/April NOW Issue marks the debut of SPIN’s new plus-sized bi-monthly format, and highlights visionaries of all kinds (Frank Ocean, M83, the Men, Perfume Genius, Frankie Rose, Black Hippy, Occupy livestreamer/agitator Tim Pool, artist Rashaad Newsome, and the entire comic-book industry, just to name a few) who are incorporating elements of the past as they forge wholly original and unique paths towards the future.

Retromania author Simon Reynolds, who literally wrote the book on how pop is affected by nostalgia, unpacks the topic and talks to the embattled Lana Del Rey about being the embodiment of that phenomenon today. And our new back-page columnist (and former guest editor) Patton Oswalt shows how reliance on the past can be a springboard, not a crutch, only much funnier than how we just said it.

And certainly the issue’s cover stars, Sleigh Bells, photographed by Nick Haymes, make no secret of their ‘80s-metal-fetishizing, even as their new album Reign of Terror covers deeply personal, arena-unfriendly terrain. Senior editor David Marchese, who was in the studio during the making of the album, tells the story of how two partners became friends, how a project became a band, and how an unfathomable tragedy became an irresistible party album.

Associate editor David Bevan racks up some mileage points flying to Seoul to investigate how K-pop has turned the American boy-band model of the early ‘90s into a highly regimented — and highly successful — multi-national industry, cranking out sugar-coated hits by the dozen.

Is there more? There is much more, too much to mention. Won’t you buy one? If you put out a magazine, we’d buy it. We love you. If you don’t get your SPIN in the mail, the NOW issue hits newsstands February 28. We’ll have a ton of exclusive content right here at, so stay tuned. In the meantime:

Flip through exclusive photos from Sleigh Bells’ tour, listen to first single “Born to Lose,” read our in the studio interview, and dive into each track in our first listen report.