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

Wand – “Plum”

If Sound It Out could adopt a “house band,” I’m pretty sure we’d choose WAND. We’ve been writing about these psychedelic warriors since… huh, did they really release three albums in the span of one year, between 2014-15?! Following frontman Cory Hanson’s solo album last year and then a silent spell (relative to them – […]

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Flesh World – “Into The Shroud”

Flesh World provide the answer to a question that, honest to god, I ask from time to time: Can I get 80s goth-punk supergroup Lords of the New Church but without all that toxic sexism and clichéd punk sneer? “Into the Shroud,” the title track of Flesh World’s new album, shows the California band dwelling […]

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Midnight Sister – “Blue Cigar”

The cinematic EZ listening music of Midnight Sister presents a sound that we may have heard before, but which teases and pleases the ear nonetheless. Through their deceptively simple sound, the duo of Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian channel an encyclopedic pop songbook and, in their promo videos, a distinct eye for glamour. On “Blue […]

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Nadine Shah – “Holiday Destination”

Finally, pop music that rises to the call of our extraordinary global moment. On “Holiday Destination,” Nadine Shah decries the migrant crisis on Europe’s Mediterranean shores and the blind eye turned by first-world tourists. The song is both hypnotic and jarring, its supple groove punctuated by a discordant riff and Shah’s refrain, “How you gonna […]

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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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