Leonard Nevarez

A sociology professor living in upstate New York, Leonard Nevarez is patiently waiting until his kids are old enough for a family roadtrip to Maryland Deathfest. He blogs at musicalurbanism.org and is writing a book about Martha & the Muffins and the late 70s/early 80s downtown Toronto music scene.

Posts by Leonard

Ghostpoet – Dark Days + Canapés

Here to put a calligraphed exclamation point on our surreal political present, Britain’s Ghostpoet releases a new album this week. Dark Days + Canapés finds Obaro Ejimiwe — more of a spoken word artist than traditional singer — dropping pensive meditations in his distinctively droopy drawl over anxious, rubbery rhythms. Though his lyrics often aim […]

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Kelley Stoltz – “Same Pattern”

Maybe Glen Campbell’s passing still has me shaken, but I’m grateful these days for albums that refuse to lean on passing trends or zeitgeist neuroses. This week, Kelley Stoltz delivers such goods with his new album, Que Aura. The first single “Same Pattern” demonstrates his skill at wrapping a synthesizer around a simple melody, but […]

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Laucan – “Symptom”

The indie-folk of Laucan feints melancholy pastoralism that hides a post-modern agenda. With somber guitar, stately cello and falsetto vocals, Laurence Galpin, who records as Laucan (pronounced Lor-can, like Shar-day) interlaces the organic and acoustic with mechanical matter and digital methods to highlight their influence on each other and the flow of everyday life. If […]

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The Dears – “Taking It To The Grave”

For the balance of high drama and emotional verisimilitude, few bands compare to the Dears. On “Taking It To The Grave” as in many of their songs, I imagine a scene unfolding at a daytime street cafe: two lovers sit across from each other, conferring in low volumes and darting ambiguous glances at each other. […]

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What the whole world wants: Game Theory

Indie-pop progenitors Game Theory were born either too late or too early. When they came to college radio’s notice in 1985, the northern California band sounded a little passé, like a new wave unit of the power-pop variety, brandishing undistorted guitars, blurts of synth melody, and male-female harmonies. American indie groups of the time generally […]

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Male Gaze – “Tell Me How It Is”

Maybe it’s just smoke from all the fireworks they’ve been setting off in the Sound It Out offices lately, but I’m really digging the thick haze of “Tell Me How It Is,” the new single from San Francisco rockers Male Gaze. Of course, SIO has been repping Male Gaze since their stunning 2015 debut introduced […]

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Ohmme – “Fingerprints”

What happens when whiz kids turn their sights onto straight-ahead indie rock? “Fingerprints,” the new single by Ohmme, provides one answer. A deft juggling act of unfussy melody, nimble vocals, and fluid shifts of tempo and feel, the tune features a cool trick: a tumbling vocal figure, alternated rapidly between Ohmmists Sima Cunningham and Macie […]

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CAN – The Singles

I suppose it’s an arguable point, but CAN were probably the greatest of the German kosmiche (a.k.a. “krautrock”) bands. From 1968 through the entire 70s and then a worthwhile reunion in 1989, the quartet pursued an expansive scope of avant-garde improvisation, global groove, acid rock, and European classical music. Each member brought a distinctive style […]

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Agent blå – “Derogatory Embrace”

Man, you couldn’t pay me a million bucks to be a teenager again! (Have you seen “13 Reasons Why”?) But for articulating with unironic commitment the feel of a world falling apart, go straight to the source: Agent blå and their latest single “Derogatory Embrace,” all clanging guitars and passing-trains drums. The members of this […]

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