What is “Wondering Sound”?

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 03.03.14 in Spotlights

Welcome to Wondering Sound, a new publication from the editorial team behind eMusic and, hopefully, the place you’ll go to find thought-provoking, well-written, insightful pieces about the artists you love and the artists you’ll love next. It’s a place where smart, opinionated writers can craft rich, detailed pieces for curious readers.

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 features, 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. We created Wondering Sound as an answer to that need, and to give a greater showcase to the kind of world-class editorial we’ve spent a decade creating at eMusic.

With Wondering Sound, we’ll be able to write about any artist or album we want, regardless of what label it’s on, whether or not it’s available digitally, or if fewer than 50 people have even heard of it. Our goal with Wondering Sound isn’t to sell music, it’s to tell you about 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 eMusic Selects alumni Family Band: we’re thinking 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 over the last several years 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 capture the essence of the artists we’re covering, whether on stage or out in the world.

This is our goal for Wondering Sound. We hope you’ll wonder with us.