Author: Nicole DeMarco

  • On “Love Is Dead,” Chvrches Lean Into Their Moment in the Pop Spotlight

    Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry likens famed producer Greg Kurstin’s basement studio in Los Angeles to a bunker. A quiet, underground shelter, the space proved an ideal sanctuary for recording Love Is Dead, the band’s third album, which dropped last week. Mayberry and bandmates Martin Doherty and Iain Cook had instant chemistry with Kurstin, known for his work […]

  • Pale Waves’ Bubblegum Goth Is Ready to Pop

    On Friday, April 13, a leather-clad Heather Baron-Gracie stands in front of a packed house at Bowery Ballroom, dark bangs framing her big, green, extravagantly kohl-rimmed eyes. Baron-Gracie is the lead singer of the Manchester, England–based emo-pop group Pale Waves, and onstage she’s flanked by guitarist Hugo Silvani and bassist Charlie Wood, who look eerily […]

  • A Texas Toast to Our Favorite Artists From SXSW

    Each March, hundreds of thousands of visitors descend on Austin, Texas, to keep things weird, to gorge themselves on brisket and queso, and for South by Southwest, which kickstarts the 2018 festival season. Now in its 32nd year, SXSW is where young acts aim to please big industry players, and underground favorites hope to grow […]

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream: How Mike Milosh Is Reinventing Rhye

    The cover of Rhye’s new album, Blood, was shot in northern Iceland last June, just after midnight, with the midsummer sun still hanging over the horizon. Geneviève Medow-Jenkins jumped into a freezing glacial lake for a swim and the water was so cold that she emerged covered in goosebumps. The photo shows her drying in the midnight sun, […]

  • Born to Be Wild: Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss Fights for Our Land

    On February 4, Alexis Krauss was scaling a limestone crag at Reimers Ranch just outside of Austin, Texas. The night before, she’d played an ear-splitting sold-out show at the Mohawk. This is all a fairly typical routine for the tattoo-clad, raven-haired singer: Krauss is an avid rock climber, a registered hiking guide, and — along with […]

  • Finding Shelter in Porches’ House of Chords

    Porches frontman Aaron Maine is tucked into the corner booth at the Metrograph Commissary in New York City, one of his favorite spots on the Lower East Side, sipping on chamomile-lavender tea. He gently lifts his baseball cap, embroidered with the familiar logo of the Hard Rock Café, to reveal his hair is no longer […]

  • LCD Soundsystem Close Out a Banner Year With an Epic Stand in Brooklyn

    At the start of each performance during LCD Soundsystem’s epic ten-night stand at Bushwick’s Brooklyn Steel, a giant disco ball descends from the rafters, signifying that a party is beginning, one fans won’t likely forget. But by December 17, 2017, the fifth show of the series, singer James Murphy was already having trouble remembering which […]

  • Punk Icon Richard Hell Looks Back at “Blank Generation” Forty Years Later

    In the photograph, Richard Hell stretches open his jacket to show the words “YOU MAKE ME ____” written across his upper chest in thick black marker. The punk-rock pioneer liked the way the image simultaneously blamed the world (“you”) and engaged his audience to fill in the blank, much like his song “Blank Generation.” “YOU […]

  • Plastic Picnic Brings Eighties Neon Dreams to Life

    Nostalgia for the easy romanticism of Eighties teen movies runs deep. Perhaps that romanticism is best embodied by Molly Ringwald as dorky Sam Baker in Sixteen Candles, as she exits the church to find dreamy Jake Ryan leaning against his red Porsche, waiting just for her; “If You Were Here” by the Thompson Twins fades in and […]

  • On New Album, Japanese Breakfast Is Floating In Space

    Michelle Zauner, the 28-year-old lead singer of Japanese Breakfast, remembers watching a live video of Karen O deep-throating a microphone during a performance at the Fillmore and thinking, “If she can do it, I can do it.” Become a successful Asian frontwoman, that is. At the time, there didn’t seem to be many women in […]