Reviews

Sharon Van Etten epic Ten

The celebration of Sharon Van Etten's epic loses much of what makes the original great, but there are moments of revelation in these covers.

Matthew Smith reviews...

Royal Blood Typhoons

On their tenacious third LP, the Brighton, UK duo lay down a danceable groove and stick by it—fusing pulverizing, pedal-driven fuzz over four-on-the-floor beats. 

Juan Edgardo Rodríguez reviews...

SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE ENTERTAINMENT, DEATH

Getting lost in the Philadelphia trio's intersecting ideas is essential to the experience of their fourth album—and once you dive deeper into the hallucinatory lyrical content, you begin to get a better sense of their singular vision.

Juan Edgardo Rodríguez reviews...

Chad VanGaalen World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener

On his 8th album, the Calgary-based singer-songwriter plays to, and about, the cosmic through synthscapes and extraterrestrial effects. The result is a palpable push and pull that feels particularly of the moment, when a year-long pandemic’s end is in sight yet there’s still plenty to lose sleep over.

Carlo Thomas reviews...

Features

Quick Takes (February 2021)

We're back with our first Quick Takes of 2020! Juan Edgardo Rodríguez, alongside writers Mark Moody, Peter Quinton, and Simon Sweeney, once again revisit a handful of albums that caught their attention during the past month. This month's selections include Cassandra Jenkins, Maxïmo Park, Black Country, New Road, and more. 

Cassandra Jenkins leads this month's picks...

The Best Albums of 2020

So this is it! It's time to reveal our top albums of the year. A longstanding tradition since 2002, our full list consists of 50 albums selected by the entire No Ripcord staff.

Click here to find out which artist made it to number 1...

Latest Believe the Hype Pick

Dry Cleaning New Long Leg

New Long Leg was constructed in pieces on a wiped-down, passed-around tape deck—the new pandemic normal. It could easily have suffered for it, but the production is masterful. On Unsmart Lady, the tracks are layered so purposefully that when the guitar trickles away every few measures leaving a moment of bare bass, it’s like a curtain of water parting. It yields the floor for Shaw’s punchiest lyric (“If you like a girl, be nice/it’s not rocket science,”) before dissolving into a fiercely rugged but painfully short guitar riff that takes us breathlessly up and over the climax and into the denouement. This push and pull between instruments and vocals, cleverly punctuated with just the right amount of silence, is what gives New Long Leg its seductive tension.

Quick Takes

Amina Shareef Ali In the Dark (Awake of Course)

Amina Shareef Ali's newest release, In the Dark (Awake of Course), is an unexpected folk record. With the charming (if...

Maxïmo Park Nature Always Wins

Much like the British art-pop bands that started in the early 2000s, Maxïmo Park finds themselves in a strange in-between. Neither...