Ladies We Love

Ladies We Love: Bea Troxel

Full disclosure: I’ve known folk songstress Bea Troxel since she was a high school junior, when we met at a Laura Marling show in Nashville under awkward and somewhat uncomfortable circumstances. As these things tend to go, we became friends shortly after, which likely makes my assessment of her music somewhat biased. However, as a veteran of countless live shows—seriously, I lost count after 200—I’d like to think I’ve got a pretty decent ear at this point for what’s good. And Bea Troxel, in my opinion, continues to be one of the best. I chatted with Bea while she was on tour promoting her debut full length album, The Way That It Feels, about the record, musical influences, and life on the road.

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Music

St. Vincent’s Trippy Take on “New York”

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Surrealism meets 2017 high fashion in the new music video for “New York,” the latest single from St. Vincent (a.k.a. Annie Clark). The song, a melancholy piano ballad released back in June, marked a sharp turn for the guitar goddess, whose eponymous 2014 album featured distorted, angular guitar riffs that put her on the map—not to mention the electrifying guitar solos from her live performances during this period. Similarly, the video for “New York” showcases a whole new side of Clark. Trading in her shock of powder purple curls from the St. Vincent-era for a sleek black bob, Clark stands in stark contrast to bright, color-blocked backdrops of a reimagined, cartoonish New York City.

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Music

Childish Gambino Experiments with VR and the Live Show Experience in PHAROS

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Before I entered the Microsoft Lounge in Venice, CA last night, the guy at the front instructed, “Put your phones on airplane mode and hand them to me.” A little confused, I did what I was told and forked over my phone to be locked away into a hefty pouch. “Come back after the presentation, and we’ll open it up for you,” he said with a smile and turned to the next set of willing attendees behind me. “What is this? Fort Knox?” I joked as I walked inside the building, realizing that I wouldn’t be able to document the event on social media. Little did I know, this was all part of the experience.

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Music

Broods Brings Heartlines to Life at the Microsoft Lounge

If you haven’t heard of Broods yet, you should probably start listening now. With the recent release of their sophomore album Conscious last month, the New Zealand duo–composed of Georgia and Caleb Nott–teamed up with Microsoft to create a new way to experience music.

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Ladies We Love

Ladies We Love: Emily Lee

When I was an undergraduate, I had a crazy idea to try and interview one of my favorite musicians, Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater. We had both attended the same small liberal arts college, tucked away in the deep forests of the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, and as a senior and editor-in-chief of our college newspaper (which he once ran himself), my thought was, “Why the hell not?” Little did I know that a few years and a handful of Shearwater shows later, that conversation would not only lead to a new friendship, but even more opportunities to get to know some absolutely amazing folks.

Emily Lee currently plays the keyboard and provides backup vocals for Shearwater. After witnessing her hypnotic on-stage presence (and being inspired by her killer vintage style) at the Roxy in Los Angeles, I had a feeling she’d be a perfect interview for this column. Lee was kind enough to take some time from her Shearwater duties—which currently involve a cover of David Bowie’s Lodger (in its entirety) for A.V. Club’s Undercover series—to talk music, mentors, and being one of two badass minority ladies in the band.

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Longform

Whose Bass Is It Anyway? (Or, The Problem with Pop’s Empowerment Anthems)

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This article was originally written as a producer piece for Things Not Seen.

This summer, a wave of up-beat, supposedly empowering pop songs came out. A similar outpouring of self-esteem boosting anthems happened in 2011, with Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way,” Katy Perry’s “Fireworks,” and Pink’s “Perfect.” The music industry has apparently discovered that inspiring confidence is profitable, but like anything that is created to be sold, the message of these songs is often corrupted.

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