Robin Smith at By Volume

I knew we'd never write. somehow that seemed alright. This counts as calling three years out. The Wrens - 13 Months in 6 Minutes

Joyce Manor – Never Hungover Again

Never Hungover Again presents a professional version of a gleefully unprofessional band.”

Tony Molina – Dissed and Dismissed

Twelve whole minutes of indispensable guitar-pop.

Lykke Li – I Never Learn

A captivating break-up record that breathes new life into love.

Marquee Strain

Robin ponders the connections between two classic records. Television’s Marquee Moon and Women’s Public Strain. He also cooks some food, but that’s less consequential.

Interview: The Men

Robin sits down with a few good Men and chats about difficult folk songs, accidental homage and the problem with having too simple a band name.

Kalle Mattson – A Love Song To The City

I like the trumpet at the end of this song. That’s a worn trope, both for a folk rock song and a folk rock review, but it’s what makes Kalle Mattson’s “A Love Song to the City” bleed out its landscape. It’s a subtle flourish that makes for a physical uprising. Mattson’s music is full […]

Frog Eyes – Carey’s Cold Spring

It is hard to imagine better singers.

Bill Callahan – Dream River

Bill Callahan alone, together.

Colour Me Wednesday – I Thought It Was Morning

A wonderfully simple, totally pissed-off manifesto on barely being an adult.

Majical Cloudz – Impersonator

I don’t want to share this.

Kinda Wave Hello

I remember the first time I looked up Dismemberment Plan lyrics. In hindsight, I have no fucking idea why, other than maybe the words impressed me that much. A lyric search is more likely to be born of impulse than it is research; I find myself typing out songs again just to see what they’re […]

Okkervil River – It Was My Season

Insight into the mind of Will Sheff.

Eleanor Friedberger – Personal Record

The best oboe performance never.

Power Pointing

Robin Smith on getting lost in the Knife’s lecture slides, what they look like in practice, and why “Full of Fire” doesn’t have gang-vocals.

Fuck Roads: Dirty Beaches Live

Robin talks Dirty Beaches’ intense live show and critiques stepping into Google Maps.

Mark Kozelek – Like Rats / Live at Phoenix Public House / Perils from the Sea

Does Mark Kozelek give a fuck? Not if you want to hear “Mistress”, basically.

Various Artists – Reason to Believe: The Songs of Tim Hardin

The special quality of Hardin’s music comes in its ability to be isolating to whoever listens to it.

The Big Picture

In 2012, the awesome (but confusingly syntaxed) ?uestlove wrote a column for Pitchfork listing concept albums that inspired his own – The Roots’ Undun. In praise of that fantastic album, and in full knowledge that “concept album” is a disputed, generally stupid term, here are my own – very indie – picks. Sufjan Stevens – […]

ONSIND – Anaesthesiology

Protest songs are about jerks.

The Men – New Moon

While writing this review I footnoted my own joke: “who are they going to be next? ELTON JOHN?”

Music is Math

These past two weeks have been my first living alongside Boards of Canada. No longer the control to an experiment that happened ten odd years ago, I watched them rise again, and until today’s announcement that they would indeed be releasing a new album, I was part of the “action” it meditated: Sitting at my […]

Yo La Tengo – Fade

I celebrated Popular Songs, and toasted to many more; I’ll hold Fade close to me for fear of letting go.

Boris and Other Myths

Boris elicit all the feelings of a 15 year-old music novice to me. I’m sitting in front of my computer most days, an enthusiast ready to be turned geek. I’m searching websites for reviews of early Starsailor albums and talking about The Bends. Later I’ll feel my bedroom shake to my first Godspeed songs, and […]

Blur: A Jumbled Retrospective

Robin Smith remembers falling in love with the Britpop pioneers.

Hop Farm Festival

Sadly, the only festival at which you can’t say, “Fuck the Tories.”

The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now

A phenomenal album whose songs jump out of their own skin, and as a result, mean something.

Sun Kil Moon – Among The Leaves

Mark Kozelek breaks up with music, but it’s cool: we can still very much be friends.

The Most Beautiful Poems

Robin Smith is full of praise for Will Sheff.

Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes

A religious antidote to The Hold Steady’s inimitable brand of sin.

Cursive – I Am Gemini

A stage play with shallow characters which pulls the rug out from underneath far too often.


Christina Vantzou - No. 2
Sam Smith - In the Lonely Hour
home like noplace is there
The Hotelier - Home, Like Noplace Is There
Zee Avi - Nightlight
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata
ED - Forest
Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
Charlie Simpson - Long Road Home

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