MADELINE GRESSEL

Latest from MADELINE GRESSEL

Clockenflap: our pick of the first day of this year’s festival
Music reviews: Hudson Mohawke, Everything Everything, The Orb
CD reviews: Charli XCX; Nicki Minaj; D’Angelo and The Vanguard

Charli XCX has become a ubiquitous presence on other people’s hit songs – from Icona Pop’s I Love It (which she co-wrote) to Iggy Azalea’s ubiquitous Fancy.

21 Dec 2014 - 12:10AM

Charli XCX has become a ubiquitous presence on other people’s hit songs – from Icona Pop’s I Love It (which she co-wrote) to Iggy Azalea’s ubiquitous Fancy.

CD reviews: Charli XCX; Nicki Minaj; D’Angelo and The Vanguard
Album of the Week: Confidence, by Trash Kit

What makes a band authentic? In the age of the crafted image, we've become professional ironists, practised at recognising artifice and ridiculing sentiment. Perhaps authenticity, then, lies in the ability to befuddle this urge - in short, to make us feel something.

13 Dec 2014 - 10:37PM

What makes a band authentic? In the age of the crafted image, we've become professional ironists, practised at recognising artifice and ridiculing sentiment. Perhaps authenticity, then, lies in the ability to befuddle this urge - in short, to make us feel something.

Album of the Week: Confidence, by Trash Kit
CD reviews

In lieu of a Christmas album, M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel, in their bonny collaboration as She & Him, have released a collection of old standards titled Classics. Some songs, such as Stars Fell on Alabama and Time After Time, will be familiar to most listeners, and others, including Maxine Brown’s fantastic Oh No, Not My Baby and This Girl’s in Love With You, may be new.

13 Dec 2014 - 10:37PM

In lieu of a Christmas album, M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel, in their bonny collaboration as She & Him, have released a collection of old standards titled Classics. Some songs, such as Stars Fell on Alabama and Time After Time, will be familiar to most listeners, and others, including Maxine Brown’s fantastic Oh No, Not My Baby and This Girl’s in Love With You, may be new.

CD reviews
Music: Iggy Azalea; Pitbull; Tony Allen

It’s unorthodox to release another album a mere six months after your major-label debut, but that’s what Iggy Azalea has done.

6 Dec 2014 - 11:28PM

It’s unorthodox to release another album a mere six months after your major-label debut, but that’s what Iggy Azalea has done.

Music: Iggy Azalea; Pitbull; Tony Allen
Album of the Week: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, various artists

Another year, another Hunger Games. But the real winner of this year's games is Lorde, who blows her competition out of the water with this expertly assembled soundtrack, featuring a diverse group of young musicians who represent the cutting edge of pop.

 

17 Apr 2015 - 4:53PM

Another year, another Hunger Games. But the real winner of this year's games is Lorde, who blows her competition out of the water with this expertly assembled soundtrack, featuring a diverse group of young musicians who represent the cutting edge of pop.

 

Album of the Week: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, various artists
Album of the week: Seeds, by TV On The Radio

TV on the Radio's fifth studio album has only a trickle of the haunting, stunning beauty that made their third work, Dear Science, among the best of the decade.

29 Nov 2014 - 8:27PM

TV on the Radio's fifth studio album has only a trickle of the haunting, stunning beauty that made their third work, Dear Science, among the best of the decade.

Album of the week: Seeds, by TV On The Radio
CD reviews: One Direction; Andy Stott; Various Artists

A confession: before the release of Four, I could not have named a single One Direction song. It’s one cultural phenomenon that simply passed me by (Simon Cowell created them? Harry Styles is one?). So I’m not in a great position to comment on One Direction’s emotional and musical maturation over the course of their career.

29 Nov 2014 - 8:27PM

A confession: before the release of Four, I could not have named a single One Direction song. It’s one cultural phenomenon that simply passed me by (Simon Cowell created them? Harry Styles is one?). So I’m not in a great position to comment on One Direction’s emotional and musical maturation over the course of their career.

CD reviews: One Direction; Andy Stott; Various Artists
CD reviews: Pink Floyd; Foo Fighters; Damien Rice

Half a century into their career, Pink Floyd are more interested in mythmaking than music-making. Their 15th and (self-professed) “final album”, The Endless River shot to No1on the UK charts, beating out the Foo Fighters and Taylor Swift.

22 Nov 2014 - 11:15PM

Half a century into their career, Pink Floyd are more interested in mythmaking than music-making. Their 15th and (self-professed) “final album”, The Endless River shot to No1on the UK charts, beating out the Foo Fighters and Taylor Swift.

CD reviews: Pink Floyd; Foo Fighters; Damien Rice
Album of the Week: Gay Dog Food by Mykki Blanco

Is Mykki Blanco the future? Like his Brooklyn counterpart Shamir, Blanco heralds a new era of gender play, along with a new generation of audiences comfortable with queer identity. The Village Voice just put him on its cover, above the caption "Gender Ninja".

 

22 Nov 2014 - 11:15PM

Is Mykki Blanco the future? Like his Brooklyn counterpart Shamir, Blanco heralds a new era of gender play, along with a new generation of audiences comfortable with queer identity. The Village Voice just put him on its cover, above the caption "Gender Ninja".

 

Album of the Week: Gay Dog Food by Mykki Blanco
CD reviews: Azealia Banks; Deerhoof; Arca

Deerhoof don't care what you think. The opening song ( Paradise Girls) of their wonky new album, La Isla Bonita, is a jangle of squiggly noises and melodies. "Girls!/Who play the bass guitar/Girls!/Who are smart," sings a cute little nonsensical voice (Satomi Matsuzaki, sounding ridiculously like BMO from the meta-cartoon Adventuretime).

15 Nov 2014 - 8:16PM

Deerhoof don't care what you think. The opening song ( Paradise Girls) of their wonky new album, La Isla Bonita, is a jangle of squiggly noises and melodies. "Girls!/Who play the bass guitar/Girls!/Who are smart," sings a cute little nonsensical voice (Satomi Matsuzaki, sounding ridiculously like BMO from the meta-cartoon Adventuretime).

CD reviews: Azealia Banks; Deerhoof; Arca
Album of the week: Sings Christmas Carols, by MarkKozelek

Mark Kozelek's album Benji (in his guise as Sun Kil Moon) is one of the best of this year, if not the best. Benji combined gently original melodies with an astonishing ability to tell stories that felt both specific and socially pressing. Riding the wave of that big success, Kozelek has released an album of Christmas songs for the season.

15 Nov 2014 - 8:16PM

Mark Kozelek's album Benji (in his guise as Sun Kil Moon) is one of the best of this year, if not the best. Benji combined gently original melodies with an astonishing ability to tell stories that felt both specific and socially pressing. Riding the wave of that big success, Kozelek has released an album of Christmas songs for the season.

Album of the week: Sings Christmas Carols, by MarkKozelek
The Flaming Lips have an unlikely new collaborator in the form of Miley Cyrus
Sounds and fury: guide to Clockenflap 2014

Clockenflap gets bigger and better every year. Here’s our choice of the must-sees acts of the harbourfront festival.

15 Sep 2016 - 2:51PM

Clockenflap gets bigger and better every year. Here’s our choice of the must-sees acts of the harbourfront festival.

Sounds and fury: guide to Clockenflap 2014
Album of the week: 1989, by Taylor Swift

Much has been made of Taylor Swift's decision to move from country music to pure pop. The transition may seem natural but she is divesting herself of a security blanket: in country, she's one of a kind; in pop she's one among many. Now she stands unshrouded and surrounded by potential rivals.

16 Apr 2016 - 12:57PM

Much has been made of Taylor Swift's decision to move from country music to pure pop. The transition may seem natural but she is divesting herself of a security blanket: in country, she's one of a kind; in pop she's one among many. Now she stands unshrouded and surrounded by potential rivals.

Album of the week: 1989, by Taylor Swift
CDs: Flaming Lips; Various Artists; Leighton Meester

It’s not surprising the Flaming Lips would choose to tackle Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, given their own psychedelic aural history. This isn’t the first time they’ve covered albums in their entirety either: first Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, then King Crimson, then the Stone Roses. But Sgt Pepper’s is the most inventive of the bunch, and the most collaborative.

8 Nov 2014 - 11:11PM

It’s not surprising the Flaming Lips would choose to tackle Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, given their own psychedelic aural history. This isn’t the first time they’ve covered albums in their entirety either: first Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, then King Crimson, then the Stone Roses. But Sgt Pepper’s is the most inventive of the bunch, and the most collaborative.

CDs: Flaming Lips; Various Artists; Leighton Meester
Album of the week: Tough Love by Jessie Ware

It's been a knockout year for women in pop music. What men are writing and singing with this kind of emotion, panache and sexiness? The James Blakes and Abel Tesfayes and Frank Oceans of yesteryear have been eclipsed. Now comes Jessie Ware, who kicks up the sound another notch with her gorgeous sophomore album, Tough Love.

 

17 Apr 2015 - 4:53PM

It's been a knockout year for women in pop music. What men are writing and singing with this kind of emotion, panache and sexiness? The James Blakes and Abel Tesfayes and Frank Oceans of yesteryear have been eclipsed. Now comes Jessie Ware, who kicks up the sound another notch with her gorgeous sophomore album, Tough Love.

 

Album of the week: Tough Love by Jessie Ware
Music: Scott Walker & Sunn O))); T.I.; Panda Bear

Scott Walker has journeyed to strange places. In the 1960s, he was a pop icon (albeit an unconventional one) noted for his deliciously baritone balladeering. In the 1980s, he successfully transitioned to an avant-garde noisemaker.

1 Nov 2014 - 11:11PM

Scott Walker has journeyed to strange places. In the 1960s, he was a pop icon (albeit an unconventional one) noted for his deliciously baritone balladeering. In the 1980s, he successfully transitioned to an avant-garde noisemaker.

Music: Scott Walker & Sunn O))); T.I.; Panda Bear
Music: Ex Hex; Vince Staples; Indina Menzel

Ex Hex’s first full album, Rips, has the qualities we associate with a “summer album”: it’s full of fun and life. But don’t we also need those things as the weather turns, too?

25 Oct 2014 - 11:32PM

Ex Hex’s first full album, Rips, has the qualities we associate with a “summer album”: it’s full of fun and life. But don’t we also need those things as the weather turns, too?

Music: Ex Hex; Vince Staples; Indina Menzel
Album of the Week: Ting Shuo by FM3

In 2005, the Beijing-based duo FM3, comprising Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian, released their first Buddha Machine, a literal black box with a built-in speaker, a headphone jack, and nine ethereal (and yes, meditative) ambient electronic loops.

25 Oct 2014 - 11:32PM

In 2005, the Beijing-based duo FM3, comprising Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian, released their first Buddha Machine, a literal black box with a built-in speaker, a headphone jack, and nine ethereal (and yes, meditative) ambient electronic loops.

Album of the Week: Ting Shuo by FM3
CD reviews: You're Dead! by Flying Lotus; Hozier by Hozier; Wonder Where We Land by SBTRKT

Every new musical form begins with a period of great fertility and innovation. Inevitably, it settles, petrifying into a distinctive but limited set of rules to be played with ad infinitum. Jazz is no exception, but perhaps more than other genres it has become the property and the playground of a small, interested elite, abdicating any claim it once had to the popular consciousness.

18 Oct 2014 - 11:54PM

Every new musical form begins with a period of great fertility and innovation. Inevitably, it settles, petrifying into a distinctive but limited set of rules to be played with ad infinitum. Jazz is no exception, but perhaps more than other genres it has become the property and the playground of a small, interested elite, abdicating any claim it once had to the popular consciousness.

CD reviews: You're Dead! by Flying Lotus; Hozier by Hozier; Wonder Where We Land by SBTRKT
Album of the week: Our Love, by Caribou

Caribou, one of the stage names of Canadian Dan Snaith, is best known for his 2010 eerie earworm Odessa, which combined wonky cowbells with smoky synth lines that felt like dry ice. It was a standout song in a smashingly good year for indie electronic music (Delorean, Emeralds, Four Tet, Hot Chip … the list goes on). The album it came on, Swim, felt otherworldly.

 

18 Oct 2014 - 11:53PM

Caribou, one of the stage names of Canadian Dan Snaith, is best known for his 2010 eerie earworm Odessa, which combined wonky cowbells with smoky synth lines that felt like dry ice. It was a standout song in a smashingly good year for indie electronic music (Delorean, Emeralds, Four Tet, Hot Chip … the list goes on). The album it came on, Swim, felt otherworldly.

 

Album of the week: Our Love, by Caribou
Music: Prince; Luke James; Weezer

Prince has been effectively absent from the music scene in the 21st century, relevant more as a relic of a past era than as a living, breathing artist. His new album is unexpected; released with little of the fanfare befitting a cultural icon (or an artist formerly known as one).

11 Oct 2014 - 10:52PM

Prince has been effectively absent from the music scene in the 21st century, relevant more as a relic of a past era than as a living, breathing artist. His new album is unexpected; released with little of the fanfare befitting a cultural icon (or an artist formerly known as one).

Music: Prince; Luke James; Weezer
Album of the Week: Queen of the Clouds, by Tove Lo

In case you aren't sure what Tove Lo's delectable debut is about, she provides tidy little subject headings: The Sex, The Love, The Pain. Each heading introduces a new chapter, which charts that timeless transition from lust to love to loss. As in life, The Pain is the longest chapter.

11 Oct 2014 - 10:52PM

In case you aren't sure what Tove Lo's delectable debut is about, she provides tidy little subject headings: The Sex, The Love, The Pain. Each heading introduces a new chapter, which charts that timeless transition from lust to love to loss. As in life, The Pain is the longest chapter.

Album of the Week: Queen of the Clouds, by Tove Lo
Music: Perfume Genius; Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett; Mr Twin Sister

Seattle-based solo artist Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, unfurls his new album, Too Bright, with all the stately grace of a funeral procession.

4 Oct 2014 - 11:16PM

Seattle-based solo artist Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, unfurls his new album, Too Bright, with all the stately grace of a funeral procession.

Music: Perfume Genius; Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett; Mr Twin Sister
Album of the Week: This is All Yours, by Alt-J

Since the release of debut album An Awesome Wave in 2012. British alt-rockers Alt-J have been critically divisive and popularly loved. This disconnect is no wonder; detractors deride the band as incoherent and derivative - an ersatz Radiohead - but the focus on Alt-J's context and legacy misses their charm.

4 Oct 2014 - 11:16PM

Since the release of debut album An Awesome Wave in 2012. British alt-rockers Alt-J have been critically divisive and popularly loved. This disconnect is no wonder; detractors deride the band as incoherent and derivative - an ersatz Radiohead - but the focus on Alt-J's context and legacy misses their charm.

Album of the Week: This is All Yours, by Alt-J
DJ Afrojack is at the top of his game

Afrojack is one of the biggest names in EDM but it hasn't gone to his head.

1 Oct 2014 - 10:30PM

Afrojack is one of the biggest names in EDM but it hasn't gone to his head.

DJ Afrojack is at the top of his game
Former Westlife member Shane Filan loves singing, but sees room for improvement

Former Westlife singer Shane Filan is searching for a 'killer ballad' to cap his solo career

25 Sep 2014 - 12:37AM

Former Westlife singer Shane Filan is searching for a 'killer ballad' to cap his solo career

Former Westlife member Shane Filan loves singing, but sees room for improvement
CD reviews: The New Pornographers, Ty Segall, Brad Paisley

On their new album, Brill Bruisers, The New Pornographers waste no time in getting jubilant. The album opens with a bang and clash that throws us right into the action and immediately establishes an atmosphere, Shakespeare-style.

6 Sep 2014 - 10:11PM

On their new album, Brill Bruisers, The New Pornographers waste no time in getting jubilant. The album opens with a bang and clash that throws us right into the action and immediately establishes an atmosphere, Shakespeare-style.

CD reviews: The New Pornographers, Ty Segall, Brad Paisley