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Wondering Sound was born out of a sense of need. As we looked around the cultural landscape, we noticed that fewer and fewer places were devoting space to the kind of long-form storytelling, spirited interviews and rousing criticism that once defined music journalism, and those sites that did weren’t focusing on the artists we felt were important.
Our goal with Wondering Sound isn’t to sell music, but to share it, regardless of what label it’s on, if it’s available digitally, or if fewer than 50 people have even heard of it. We’ll cover things because we think they’re interesting and worth knowing about — whether it’s an in-depth piece on the anniversary of a groundbreaking jazz record, or a profile of a kid making brain-rattling music in his bedroom with a thrift store keyboard and a four-track. Our entire ethos is right there in our name, which was taken from a song by Family Band: we’rethinking about music, and we’re putting an emphasis on artists who are doing the same — artists who are fascinated with the possibilities of sound, who have a distinct, singular, uncompromising point-of-view and who are dedicated to testing the boundaries of what’s been done before.
Just as important as the music, though, is our high-caliber roster of writers. We’ve been privileged to work with some of the best writers in the business. Justin Davidson, who writes about classical music for us, is a Pulitzer Prize-winner. Kevin Whitehead, our jazz writer, is a regular contributor to NPR’s “Fresh Air.” John Morthland was there during the early days of Creem and Rolling Stone, an era that’s now venerated among music fans as the golden age of music journalism. To go name by name through our list of contributors is to be faced with a veritable who’s-who of music journalism. The same people who write for us contribute to the New York Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Grantland and the like. We wanted to give those writers room to write about what they wanted, and to be able to take as much time as they needed in order to tell the stories they want to tell.
We’ll augment those stories with original photography that deepens the narrative and captures the essence of the artists we’re covering, whether on stage or out in the world. The overall experience will be fully immersive — an up-close look at artists with distinct visions, written by journalists with intelligence and integrity, for an audience of curious readers.