Music

The Shoot Dangs
The Shoot Dangs

The Tallest Man on Earth takes folk music as a convention that can be dependable and urgent at once. There is very little to distinguish him from any number of folk devotees with yearning voices and acoustic guitars, but he — a less than especially tall songwriter from Sweden named Kristian Matsson — has a way of upending expectations and rendering familiarity moot.

Review: Mac McCaughan, 'Non-Believers'

Apr 26, 2015

Indie rock was conceived to be nondescript, but few indie legends come as dressed down as Mac McCaughan. For 25 years, the Superchunk frontman and Merge Records co-founder has quietly made some of the loudest pop in history, meanwhile keeping his profile inversely proportional to his influence on the indie world at large.

Review: Metz, 'II'

Apr 26, 2015

Raw, belligerent, dissonant and powerful: That's just the tip of the noise-rock iceberg when it comes to Metz's self-titled debut from 2012. Released by Sub Pop, Metz helped inject a fresh dose of fierce punk spirit into the record label that brought the world Nirvana, but has lately focused more on tuneful indie rock. But with that kind of expectation in place, what room does that leave for growth?

"Confessional" is a term often tossed around in discussions of singer-songwriters, but it's also one of the most misunderstood. In a recent interview, Mackenzie Scott, who makes music under the name Torres, called it "a four-letter word," common and pejorative, and overapplied to women in particular.

Beauty Pill's The Unsustainable Lifestyle was a promising debut album, an immediately accessible patchwork of the band's hometown, Washington, D.C. In 2004, the record left fans wondering what would happen next, but they would have to wait 11 years. That's because bandleader Chad Clark's heart tried to kill him.

On Sunday's All Things Considered, you'll hear Beauty Pill's amazing story of how close Chad Clark came to dying before a single note of Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are could be recorded.

The French musician Cécile Schott's music sounds a little bit like someone dropped a baroque string instrument into a swimming pool.

Recording under the name Colleen since 2001, she's made music that is purely instrumental and focused on one string instrument in particular: the viola de gamba. But on Captain of None, she's added lyrics for the first time.

After relocating to Portland, Oregon, from their native Stillwater, Oklahoma, Other Lives used the new surroundings for a different perspective on their new album. The result is their third studio release, Rituals, which marries an orchestral rock sound with a classic singer-songwriter sensibility. New songs like "Easy Way" were standouts in their latest visit to KCRW.

SET LIST

  • "Easy Way"

My Brightest Diamond, 'This Is My Hand'

Apr 24, 2015

Queens-via-Uruguay songwriter Juan Wauters rose to internet acclaim as a member of the obstreperous rock band The Beets, one of New York City's most beloved DIY acts of the 21st century. In the time since The Beets' initial breakup in 2012, Wauters has pursued a more introspective, subdued sound, writing songs that explore who he is and how "he" came to be.

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