Streams

Will Hermes

Will Hermes appears in the following:

Karen O's Intimate, Unpolished Solo Debut

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman follows her Oscar-nominated contribution to the Her soundtrack with Crush Songs, a collection of stripped-down recordings that take their tone from the album's name.

Comment

First Listen: Sean Rowe, 'Madman'

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Madman shows Rowe mixing his folk and junk-shop rock styles together with new elements: soul, blues, gospel, R&B. The upshot, surprisingly, is his most coherent record yet.

Comment

Sylvan Esso: Finding Humanity Between The Synths

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The duo's self-titled debut brims with slow tempos and spacious electronic arrangements, making plenty of room for the gorgeous vocals of folk veteran Amelia Meath.

Comment

Bill Clinton Says His Wife's Brain Is Just Fine, Thank You

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The former president said Republican strategist Karl Rove's recent remarks about Hillary Clinton's health are "just the beginning" of the attacks that are headed her way.

Comment

Album Review: 'Natalie Merchant'

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Though she's been a popular singer since the '80s, Natalie Merchant has often worn the air of one who finds pop stardom distasteful. On her new self-titled LP, she dredges that tension to the fore.

Comment

First Listen: Hospitality, 'Trouble'

Sunday, January 19, 2014

If the New York band's first album evoked a cardigan, its follow-up is more of a leather jacket. But along with a greater toughness in Amber Papini's singing, there's also a wider tonal palette at work.

Comment

Arcade Fire Takes A Dancey Turn Down A Well-Trod Path

Friday, October 25, 2013

With a new record, the band Arcade Fire is trying to top their 2011 release, which won a Grammy for Album of the Year. Critic Will Hermes says that on Reflektor, they turn to dance music to try to reinvigorate their sound.

Comment

The Weeknd Revels In Raw Emotion On 'Kiss Land'

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Producer and singer-songwriter Abel Tesfaye became an Internet phenomenon in 2010, when he began self-releasing free mixtapes of woozy, haunted R&B songs. His proper major-label debut, Kiss Land, marks his official step into the limelight.

Comment

A Music Festival Grows In The Rainforest

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Staged spectacularly between a beach and a rainforest mountain peak in Malaysian Borneo, the festival grows its local music scene and tourism industry, while also raising consciousness — along with, in this case, some uncomfortable questions — about its environmental stewardship.

Comment

Three Takes on Brad Paisley's 'Accidental Racist'

Friday, April 12, 2013

Here at Soundcheck, we don’t jump on every trending Twitter bandwagon. Our fire truck doesn’t stop at every blogosphere inferno. But if you’ve been killing time on the Internet this week, you’ve probably heard about this …

Brad Paisley released "Accidental Racist" this week on his new album Wheelhouse -- and it's a song so provocative, for so many different reasons, that we just have to talk about it. With not just one person, but three. Joining us are: 

Comment

Brad Paisley Ventures Out Of Country's 'Wheelhouse'

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

With tracks like "Southern Comfort Zone" and "Accidental Racist," the superstar's new album performs a balancing act of cultural examinations. But there are still enough twangy guitar solos and all-purpose love songs to engage country-music tradition.

Comment

Kacey Musgraves: A Millennial Musician Reframes Country

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

On her major-label debut, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter explores themes steeped in tradition, yet views them through the lens of youth culture.

Comment

Rhye's 'Woman' Takes Easy Listening To Provocative Ends

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Rhye is the duo of songwriter-producers Michael Milosh and Robin Hannibal. Their new album, Woman, combines lush string arrangements with electronics and a remarkably androgynous voice.

Comment

When NYC Was Music City

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Will Hermes, a senior critic for Rolling Stone, contributor to "All Things Considered" and author of Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever, tells the story of New York and its music scene in the 1970s, from folk and hip-hop to salsa, jazz and classical.

Listen to our NYC 1973-1977 Mix! Staff picks and listener suggestions. Want to add a track? Suggest it to us on twitter @brianlehrer with the tag #lovegoes

Comments [21]

Smackdown: New York vs. Detroit

Monday, October 03, 2011

Two cities duke it out on the baseball diamond – and in our studio. In this Soundcheck Smackdown, we pit the music of New York against the music of Detroit. On Motown's team is music journalist, author and Detroit resident Gary Graff; playing for the home team is Rolling Stone senior critic and author Will Hermes.

Comments [46]

Fourth of July Redesign Challenge

Friday, July 02, 2010

Across the land listeners answered our call to rethink these American symbols. Pop music critic Will Hermes suggests replacements for the national anthem. Kate Bingaman-Burt enlists her design students to take part in our Uncle Sam Redesign Challenge. And design writer Alissa Walker picks a winner.

Comments [9]

The Global Sounds of Africa

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Western music has demonstrated its global reach in countless ways, and in recent years this has been particularly pronounced in the sounds of Africa. Groups like Amadou & Mariam, from Mali, and Buraka Som Sistema, from Angola, blend electro-pop and urban dance forms. Music journalist Will Hermes joins us to ...

Comments [1]