Katherine St. Asaph

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Christine and the Queens’ Unexpected, Deliberate Chris Stands Apart From ’80s Imitators

Chaleur Humaine, the debut album by Héloïse Letissier’s Christine and the Queens, was an improbable breakout. Mainstream straddles the experimental on the regular in France’s…
Katherine St. Asaph / October 1, 2018

Mitski’s Gleaming Be the Cowboy Is as Complicated as Longing Itself

Like most things mythic and unknowable, cowboys are a perennial fascination of singer-songwriters. In the ‘90s, Paula Cole ironically lamented the absence of the gallant…
Katherine St. Asaph / August 28, 2018

serpentwithfeet’s Mystic soil Is a Triumph

Serpentwithfeet’s EP blisters was a revelation, in the Biblical sense: soul at its most operatic. "Four Ethers," the lead single from soil, is characteristic,…
Katherine St. Asaph / June 19, 2018

Neko Case’s Hell-On Is a Modern Folk Masterpiece

2016’s excellent case/lang/veirs made a case for Neko Case as an integral part of the singer-songwriter canon: not shunted off into alt-country but in touch…
Katherine St. Asaph / June 4, 2018

Kacey Musgraves’s Pristine Golden Hour Might Be a Classic

The title track of Pageant Material, Kacey Musgraves’ last album, is among her subtler wordplays. "I ain’t pageant material," she sings: bad with high heels,…
Katherine St. Asaph / March 30, 2018

U.S. Girls’ In a Poem Unlimited Is Subversive Pop Handled With Care

Meg Remy, the Toronto-based expat behind U.S. Girls, has had a prolific decade, one that’s taken her from lo-fi noise records—early influences included Suicide and psychedelic group…
Katherine St. Asaph / February 28, 2018

Review: Kelly Clarkson’s Meaning of Life Is a Puzzling Return to the Start of Her Career

Few successes in pop music have been as hard-earned as Kelly Clarkson’s; the story of her career is as much about fighting industry crud at…
Katherine St. Asaph / November 8, 2017

Review: Jessie Ware Masters Her Vulnerability on the Captivating Glasshouse

No one does tasteful better than Jessie Ware, for better or worse. A few years ago, Ware's signature song was "Running," a startling…
Katherine St. Asaph / October 23, 2017

Review: Fifth Harmony’s First Album Without Camila Cabello Feels Like a Placeholder

Just after filming 2016’s New Year’s Eve special, Fifth Harmony announced Camila Cabello had left the group, under acrimonious but predictable circumstances: Cabello…
Katherine St. Asaph / August 31, 2017

Review: Haim Stick to Their Soft Rock Strengths on the Dense, Romantic Something to Tell You

Given Haim's reputation for immaculately tasteful artistry, any missteps long curated away, it is sometimes hard to forget they once appeared on a Calvin Harris…
Katherine St. Asaph / July 13, 2017

Review: Harry Styles Sounds Like the Classic Rock Bruno Mars on His Ridiculous, Ambitious Debut Album

Like many groups to come out of X Factor, One Direction were assembled from would-be solo artists; despite their harmonies, scripted lad camaraderie, and terrifying sales…
Katherine St. Asaph / May 15, 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

Lykke Li Waffles Between Pop and Anti-Pop on Soggy ‘I Never Learn’

Here are two things that contradict each other: wanting to be seen as a singer-songwriter rather than a pop artist; and getting hitmaker Greg Kurstin…
Katherine St. Asaph / May 6, 2014

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