Music

Mountain Stage
5:03 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Bell X1 On Mountain Stage

Bell X1 performs at West Virginia University in 2011.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:47 pm

Aside from U2, Bell X1 is the Irish band with the most airplay in their native country. They got together as schoolboys in County Kildare, calling themselves Juniper. Back then, the lead singer was Damien Rice. He left soon after, with Paul Noonan taking over as lead. They changed their name to that of the aircraft that first broke the sound barrier (flown by West Virginia native Chuck Yeager).

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First Listen
7:03 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

First Listen: Yasmine Hamdan, 'Ya Nass'

Yasmine Hamdan's album Ya Nass comes out March 25.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:12 am

If you think you know what Middle Eastern music sounds like, think again — because Beirut-born electro-pop singer Yasmine Hamdan is positioning herself in an incredibly interesting place. She's singing at the intersection of sexy electronica and iconic Arab tradition, fed in equal parts by PJ Harvey and the legendary Syrian-Egyptian vocalist Asmahan.

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First Listen
7:03 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

First Listen: Thou, 'Heathen'

Thou's new album, Heathen, comes out March 25.
Mary Manchester Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:39 am

Thou has never been about convention. The Baton Rouge metal band has little in common with its NOLA sludge peers, bucking Southern tropes for a world-heavy consciousness that comes from doom, punk, grunge, black metal, blues and drone.

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First Listen
7:03 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

First Listen: Future Islands, 'Singles'

Future Islands' new album, Singles, comes our March 25.
Timothy Saccenti Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:41 am

A couple weeks ago a writer friend texted me a screengrab of an Instagram of a stocky guy in a tight black T-shirt tucked into pleated black slacks. The pants were held at his actual waist by a black leather belt with a gold buckle. After the photo the friend texted simply "NORMCORE?" The man in black was Samuel Herring, lead singer of Future Islands, and he was already meme-ing his way into the hearts of thousands on Tumblr because of a certain dance move.

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First Listen
7:03 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

First Listen: Liars, 'Mess'

Liars' new album, Mess, comes out March 25.
Jiro Schneider Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:39 am

For a band originally slotted under the postpunk "angular guitar" descriptor, Liars threw plenty of curveballs in their 2001 debut, 2001's They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top. There was the ESG sample midway through, then came closer "This Dust Makes That Mud," which turned into a 20-minute loop of noise. With each subsequent Liars album, there was a stylistic swerve, from the tribal drum ethno-wave of 2004's They Were Wrong So We Drowned to the Jesus and Mary Chain garage rock of Liars (2007).

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