October 12, 2014
by Rahul Nath

Shabazz Palaces impresses

Hip-hop/Afropunk duo Shabazz Palaces returned to the music scene this summer with their second album released under Sub Pop records, Lese Majesty. Artists Ishmael Butler (also known as Palaceer Lazaro) and Tendai Maraire, who reside in Seattle, have worked together as Palaces from 2009 and have yet to disappoint…Read More by Marc Burnett

September 28, 2014
by Rahul Nath

Banks releases promising debut album ‘Goddess’

Jillian Banks, known as Banks, a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles has already made a name for herself in the music industry. With the release of eight EPs over the course of the last year including her top hit “Waiting Game,” the 26-year-old singer has been compared to big artists such as The Weeknd and Ellie Goulding…Read More by Maddie Swarr

September 7, 2014
by Charles Gaillard

Lily & Madeleine

One of my most-played artists this summer was a folk-pop sister act called Lily & Madeleine; I first heard of them on NPR, where they debuted the first single, “The Wolf is Free,” from their upcoming sophomore album Fumes.  I was instantly spellbound: the two sisters, who hail from Indianapolis, have a rare gift for harmony, and seem able to weave their voices together in ways that warm up even the sparsest, most minimal instrumentation.  They tend, in fact, to prefer stripped-down accompaniment, preferring (rightly) to let their voices take center stage.

Moreover, their ability to craft gorgeous pop gems is remarkably consistent.  After hearing “The Wolf is Free,” I checked out their self-titled debut, which I found to be one of those rare albums with no skip-worthy tracks.  Their aesthetic leans more toward the melancholy than the upbeat, but carefully placed songs like the delightful “I’ve Got Freedom” save it from being overly morose.

Their precocity extends even to the lyrics, which take familiar adolescent tropes to abstract, and sometimes even surreal, places.  One can find, in fact, several stunning turns of phrase, my favorite of which comes from the achingly beautiful “Back to the River”: “If only my feet could fall as fast as a heart does, I would be long gone.”

Their second album, Fumes, comes out on October 28; check out “The Wolf is Free” below.