Ryan Leas

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2017 In Review

Wayne Coyne Reviews 2017: On The National, Fyre Fest, Taylor Swift, Punching Nazis, & More

It's that time of year again. The time where, no matter how dire and infuriating and confounding the world is, you can at least try…
Ryan Leas | 1:10 pm

U2 – “What’s Going On” (Marvin Gaye Cover)

U2 are in the midst of promoting their new album Songs Of Experience, and the most recent installment in that rollout is a contribution to…
Ryan Leas | 12:49 pm

Car Seat Headrest – “Beach Life-In-Death”

After releasing one of the best albums of 2016, Car Seat Headrest has never been too far off our radars this year. Back in August,…
Ryan Leas | 9:55 am

Interview

Making The Light Brighter: Bono And The Edge Talk U2’s Songs Of Experience

At a certain point in a lengthy career, it must become damn near impossible for bands to make a new album. Sure, that's what they…
Ryan Leas | December 11, 2017 - 1:53 pm

2017 In Review

Japanese Breakfast Reviews 2017: On Game Of Thrones, SZA, Blade Runner 2049, Mars One, & More

In a series of interviews, we're asking some of the artists behind 2017's best albums to reflect on the year that was. After speaking to
Ryan Leas | December 8, 2017 - 3:07 pm

2017 In Review

Vince Staples Reviews 2017: On Fyre Fest, Fidget Spinners, Rick And Morty, & More

In a series of interviews, we're asking some of the artists behind 2017's best albums to reflect on the year that was. Yesterday was Perfume
Ryan Leas | December 7, 2017 - 12:24 pm

2017 In Review

Perfume Genius Reviews 2017: On The Emoji Movie, The Chainsmokers, Kendall Jenner, Punching Nazis, & More

Ever since his debut in 2010, Mike Hadreas has taken his Perfume Genius project to a new level with each release. Even so, Hadreas had…
Ryan Leas | December 6, 2017 - 2:07 pm

Strand Of Oaks – “Passing Out”

On his way to the most recent Strand Of Oaks album Hard Love, there were a few other albums Tim Showalter could have made. And,…
Ryan Leas | December 5, 2017 - 10:38 am

Watch The National Play “Day I Die” On Ellen

Because the world seems to be spinning out of control more and more each week, I personally find myself starting my mornings with the hazy,…
Ryan Leas | December 5, 2017 - 10:13 am

Cover Story

Restlessness Blues: Robin Pecknold And The Rewriting Of Fleet Foxes

Robin Pecknold and I had our road trip all planned out. We pull out of Reykjavik around lunchtime, aiming to play tourists for the afternoon.
Ryan Leas | December 4, 2017 - 1:32 pm

Sounding Board

St. Vincent Brings Pop Art Plasticity To Brooklyn

Ever since we were first introduced to Annie Clark's brilliant new St. Vincent album MASSEDUCTION, there have been a few defining characteristics that drew a…
Ryan Leas | December 3, 2017 - 2:36 pm

Django Django – “In Your Beat” Video

We first got word of UK art-rock outfit Django Django's new album Marble Skies way back in July, but we've still yet to hear much…
Ryan Leas | November 29, 2017 - 4:06 pm

Premiere

Schultz & Forever – “Backwards”

Jonathan Schultz -- the young Danish artist that performs and records as Schultz & Forever -- has already been through a few forms. Musically speaking,…
Ryan Leas | November 23, 2017 - 8:01 am

Jim James – “The World Is Falling Down” (Abbey Lincoln Cover)

At the end of last month, My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James announced a new solo album, a collection of covers called Tribute To 2.
Ryan Leas | November 20, 2017 - 10:34 am

Watch Sun Kil Moon Play Another Jokey New Song He Wrote On Tour

Out of the many adjectives you could apply to Mark Kozelek in recent years, "prolific" is certainly one of them. Ever since he went all-in…
Ryan Leas | November 17, 2017 - 11:11 am

Comments from Ryan Leas

Some honorable mentions: LCD Soundsystem - "How Do You Sleep?" Liima - "Two-Hearted" Japanese Breakfast - "Diving Woman," "Machinist," "Boyish" Mammut - "Kinder Versions" The Horrors - "Something To Remember Me By" The War On Drugs - "In Chains" Strand Of Oaks - "Radio Kids," "On The Hill," "Passing Out" Dream Syndicate - "Filter Me Through You" Perfume Genius - "Wreath" St. Vincent - "Masseduction," "Sugarboy" Bleachers - "I Miss Those Days" Paddy Hanna - "Bad Boys" Fleet Foxes - "Third Of May," "I Should See Memphis," "On Another Ocean" Fever Ray - "To The Moon And Back" Nation Of Language - "Indignities" Destroyer - "Tinseltown Swimming In Blood" Pretty much the entirety of Kelly Lee Owens' LP Father John Misty - "Pure Comedy"
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December 11, 2017 on Stereogum’s 80 Favorite Songs Of 2017
An enterprising fan made the Spencer-punching video Mike had dreamed of. It's great: https://twitter.com/ndy_w_/status/938924578088407041
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December 8, 2017 on Perfume Genius Reviews 2017: On The Emoji Movie, The Chainsmokers, Kendall Jenner, Punching Nazis, & More
Oof, not what I meant to write there. Thanks for the heads up
+5 |
October 16, 2017 on Go Your Own Way: 25 Notable Divorce Albums
I almost put "Yesterday To Tomorrow" on here but thought I'd already gone a bit overboard with Audioslave material. Aside from Cornell on that track...man, Morello's guitar solo is cool on that one.
+5 |
May 19, 2017 on 15 Essential Chris Cornell Songs That Aren’t Soundgarden
I love the Waterboys' '80s records and I've been looking for some reason to write about them for a while. They really don't get their due, imo. And you're right, I think there's interesting stuff to consider re: these two Irish bands and what directions they went in.
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March 9, 2017 on U2’s The Joshua Tree Is 30: We Ranked Its Tracks Worst To Best
I've shit on the record in a few pieces but my issue's more with the overall premise, and all the covers + live stuff...and then it still being counted as a sorta-album. But most of the studio material is amazing—"Heartland," "Hawkmoon 269," and then "All I Want Is You" is one of their best songs imo. Also there's that outtake "A Room At The Heartbreak Hotel," which is one of my favorites out of the songs where U2 go full cartoon Americana.
+5 |
March 3, 2017 on Pop Turns 20
Yeah I actually agree that it's another underrated/wrongfully maligned one. I think it's also a frustrating one because it's so easy to imagine what could've been if they had pushed further in some of the directions suggested on it. Oddly there are only 2-3 songs I'd point to as being part of the problem, but I remember it as an album with very strong opening and closing thirds and a gaping hole in the middle.
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March 3, 2017 on Pop Turns 20
I have to limit myself to one Wilkes-Barre-referencing piece a year.
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February 2, 2017 on Wasted Days
Yeah, originally I mentioned that in the piece—I used to drive up Giant's Despair every day for my summer job during college. Also, incredibly, Tim and his friend (who did the album art) had a plan to make a Lord Of The Rings style map of Wilkes-Barre as Middle-Earth but didn't do it. The Sterling Hotel was going to be Mordor.
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February 2, 2017 on Wasted Days
You can't go wrong with most of the songs on that album, including "Nylon Strung." "If Rah" and "Ova Nova" almost edged out "I Exhale" for me, but "I Exhale" blew my mind when it first came out and still does.
+3 |
December 6, 2016 on Stereogum’s 100 Favorite Songs Of 2016
Damn, felt like someone was missing. Thanks for calling that out, we added Vega in. I actually saw LCD Soundsystem play "Bye Bye Bayou" in tribute to Vega at Panorama back in July; it was pretty amazing.
+6 |
December 2, 2016 on You Want It Darker: 2016’s Musician Deaths & Where We Go From Here
Yeah, this has always been my feeling, and was more so the point I was trying to make in that last paragraph than to suggest the old icons were more inherently talented than the newer ones. I think you're right that it's just impossible to be omnipresent on the same level that some of those '60s artists were.
+9 |
December 2, 2016 on You Want It Darker: 2016’s Musician Deaths & Where We Go From Here
Agreed re: Push The Sky Away, but I'm a little biased because that's around the time I really got obsessed with his work. Would say that's essential alongside Tender Prey and Let Love In...those three were my way in, and I think they hold up as classics within his career.
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September 12, 2016 on Premature Evaluation: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree
1. "The Mercy Seat" 2. "More News From Nowhere" 3. "Jubilee Street" 4. "O Children" 5. "Do You Love Me?" If the studio version of "Weeping Song" sounded like how they play it now, that'd be on the list.
+14 |
September 12, 2016 on Premature Evaluation: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree
Wow, when you restrict this to bands it is really difficult to come up with any ideas to add to your list. Closest I got was that any of Pulp's '90s classics would technically count, except I think that's sorta cheating, like with Tusk.
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September 9, 2016 on New Adventures In Hi-Fi Turns 20
Chris and I were actually discussing that list earlier. There are several baffling decisions, the ranking of "Daydreaming" definitely amongst them.
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May 11, 2016 on With “Daydreaming,” Radiohead And Paul Thomas Anderson Have Converged At Last
I meant the comparison more in the sense that the song has bits of the mood/pacing of some of those other songs but now that I think about it the new song I was referring to does sound a bit like if "Hot As Day" was on Shriek.
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March 21, 2016 on Q&A: Wye Oak On Moving Apart And Moving Forward
As a defender of Local Business, maybe this is why I still really like those songs. I can hear what you're saying about those sounding related to that album.
+9 |
December 10, 2015 on Patrick Stickles Reviews 2015: The Titus Andronicus Frontman On Grimes, Tidal, Trump, Drones, & More
Whaaaat..."Lonely Boy" and "I Lost My Mind" ([email protected]) are squarely in the "Perfect" column for me. Totally agree with yr "Perfect" column otherwise, though. Actually, I'd make "Come On, Siobhan" and "A Pair Of Brown Eyes" trade spots.
+12 |
December 10, 2015 on Patrick Stickles Reviews 2015: The Titus Andronicus Frontman On Grimes, Tidal, Trump, Drones, & More
Those guys have since become friends of mine, so I'm a little biased—but it was one of my favorite LPs this year one way or the other. The climax in "Swam Out" is such a gorgeous conclusion to a record. I really hope they start getting some more (deserved) attention in the States.
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December 10, 2015 on Stereogum’s 80 Favorite Songs Of 2015