The A.V. Club’s 20 best albums of 2017

There was too much to listen to in 2017—not just albums, of which there were once again thousands, a barrage of releases from major-label veterans and SoundCloud up-and-comers alike, all vying for your attention. There was just too much of everything: a persistent, buzzing storm of push notifications and free-floating…

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Watch Pile channel Radiohead with this cover of an OK Computer classic

Radiohead’s third studio album OK Computer turned 20 earlier this year. A critical and commercial success, the album is filled with unpredictable, magnificent tracks, and helped define the band’s direction for over a decade. Filling those shoes on the 20th anniversary of the album is indie rock band Pile, who pull off…

The best albums of 2017 so far

Even at just over six months old, 2017 has already given us more than enough good music to fill playlists from here until December—enough that it would be fine, really, if everyone just took a knee until next year. It’s also been an unusually busy year for comebacks: High-profile returns from the ’00s indie-rock class…

What are you listening to this week?

John Darnielle is nothing if not deliberate with his words, so you could be sure that when The Mountain Goats announced an album titled Goths, goths were what you’d be getting. The song titles certainly deliver on that front, with references to Sisters Of Mercy, wearing black, and—more esoterically—Portuguese goth…

Freddie Gibbs, Mastodon, Pile, and more in this week’s music reviews

No two Pile albums are alike, and that’s what makes hitting play on a new one so exciting. Those first few notes open a door to a new world, one that could only be created by frontman Rick Maguire. With Pile, Maguire is fearless, willing to take country and bluegrass riffs and twist them around noisy post-hardcore and…

Gnarwhal announces its third album Crucial, streams “Marathon Ripper”

Two-piece rock bands are often viewed as a curiosity, due in large part to their inherent limitations. The exclusion of a guitar or bass means that, by and large, there’s something being omitted. But increasingly, that’s proving to be an outdated construct, as bands like Nashville’s Gnarwhal are continually pushing…

Here’s what’s coming to record stores and streaming services in March

Every Friday, dozens of new records are released into the wild. Some make big splashes, and others sink almost immediately. For most music consumers, it’s almost too much information, and save for those precious few who spend their hours glued to review sites and release calendars, it’s hard to know what’s coming out…

“Thirteen” going on “30 Something”: Growing up according to pop music

Next to sex and death, there’s no more compelling subject for songwriters than the thing that happens in between those two endpoints on the cycle of life. Aging—and all the excitement, confusion, and existential dread that accompanies it—has long captivated the songwriter, whose work within a ruthlessly youth-focused…

From St. Vincent’s latest to Drake’s playlist: Our most anticipated albums of 2017

While it’d be nice if music releases fit nicely into a year-by-year narrative, the end of 2016 proved that wasn’t the case. Even after we published our feature highlighting some of the best music of 2016, there was still more to be released for the year. In those last couple weeks before 2017 was rung in, we saw new…

What do you listen to when you’re working?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…