If Ariel Pink was the godfather of chillwave, his CalArts pal John Maus must be its eccentric uncle. Only instead of, say, scratch-building model trains, this scholarly small-town Minnesotan updates gothic ’80s synth-pop for an alternate universe where Ultravox outsold Michael Jackson. With booming vocals, exaggeratedly artificial shimmer, and medieval melodic touches, Maus’s first widely distributed album packs enough deranged karaoke fodder to render its world hyper-real. His cold-blooded delivery (“Quantum Leap,” “Cop Killer”) makes it hard to tell whether this should be terrifying or hilarious. On gorgeously uplifting finale “Believer,” it’s simply inspiring.
By Marc Hogan on 07.17.12 in Reviews
The idea of a John Maus obscurities compilation is deliciously absurd on multiple levels: As a former Ariel Pink and Panda Bear sideman whose biggest release to date was named after an arcane philosophical precept, the M...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.26.11 in Lists
It was a year full of surprising breakouts and breathtaking discoveries, with reliable favorites from familiar faces and strong entries from new voices. These are our Top 100 Records of 2011.
By Winston Cook-Wilson on 06.03.14 in Features
Winston Cook-Wilson on the Walkmen frontman's solo debut
By Ilya Zinger on 11.01.13 in Reviews
Early in 2013, a few days prior to SXSW, Omar Souleyman found himself in a life-threatening situation while trying to get to the airport, a situation that, perhaps, most Western musicians never have to face. His harrowin...