Dec 30, 2014 Web Exclusive

It's easy to forget now—especially after a decade as one of indie rock's most critically and commercially successful acts—but Spoon was once synonymous with bad luck. Signed by Matador, their 1996 debut Telephono established them as a band with endless potential but not a lot of listeners, selling only a few thousand copies. More

Dec 29, 2014 Web Exclusive

Though we're still in the process of assessing the cultural and creative significance of the seminal indie rock records from the early '90s, three albums from that era stand out as more or less indisputable touchstones: Pavement's Slanted & Enchanted, Guided by Voices' Bee Thousand and Sebadoh's Bakesale. Of the three, Bakesale was the least obvious choice for canonization at the time of its release, if only because it was so out-of-step. When indie rock's prevailing pose was to look like you didn't care, Sebadoh wrote songs with a heart-on-sleeve sincerity. When loud guitars and obfuscation were in, Sebadoh played straightforward guitar-pop songs that focused on hooks and lyrical directness. Twenty years later, Pavement and Guided by Voices might be more revered, but Sebadoh is more copied. Bakesale is the moment their legacy was secured. More

Dec 23, 2014 Web Exclusive

Looking back on the half decade prior to the release of Tegan and Sara's 2004 breakthrough album, So Jealous, Sara Quin likens those years to being underwater. She and her sister, Tegan, had enjoyed a substantial wave of press when they signed to Neil Young's Vapor Records in 1999, but after three albums and five years of building a small, devoted fanbase through touring, things weren't progressing the way that they wanted. In order to rise back to the figurative surface, and for their music endeavor to become a financially viable career choice, something needed to change. More

Dec 23, 2014 Issue #51 - September/October 2014 - alt-J

Read some of the reviews of alt-J's full-length debut, 2012's An Awesome Wave, and you'll get a sense of how difficult it is for even seasoned music critics to describe the band's sound. Folk music mixed with hip-hop beats? Electronic indie dub? Experimental choral music? All of the terms were attached to the band, and none of them make any more sense now than they did then. With This Is All Yours, their sophomore release, the task becomes even more difficult.

Dec 22, 2014 Issue #51 - September/October 2014 - alt-J

It's November 4, 2012, and alt-J is on top of the world. Less than a day earlier, their full-length debut An Awesome Wave had won The Mercury Prize—the much-coveted annual award given to  the year's best album by an artist born in the U.K. or Ireland.  More

Dec 19, 2014 Issue #51 - September/October 2014 - alt-J

Peter Gabriel is running late. For a man known for his pioneering use of technology, it must be humbling that the reason he's keeping Arcade Fire multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry waiting is because he can't figure out how to dial into a conference call.  More

Dec 18, 2014 Web Exclusive

For Under the Radar's 12th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2014. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2014 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions.

Dec 18, 2014 Issue #51 - September/October 2014 - alt-J

Cadien Lake James is a lucky guy, and he knows it. Just 20 years old, he is the frontman of Twin Peaks, the Chicago quartet whose 2013 breakthrough, Sunken, established them as the vanguard of the city's guitar-rock resurgence. More

Dec 17, 2014 Web Exclusive

For Under the Radar's 12th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2014. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2014 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions. More