Music



Long Listens and Infinite Sadnesses

By Chris Thiessen

The perfect album lands between 42 and 47 minutes. It’s long enough to embrace an emotional arc and take the listener on a journey without overstaying its welcome or veering into self-indulgence. Every so often, however, an album earns a longer stay. Indeed, some of popular music’s greatest feats are far longer than 60 minutes. Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly runs 78 minutes; Pink Floyd’s The Wall is slightly longer at 80 minutes; the Beatles’ boundless White Album deserves every bit of its 93 minutes (though I used to believe it was half fluff).

Read More ›

5&1, Part 7: Inexpressible Grief Expressed

By Mark Meynell

This is the seventh in a weekly series that will seek to break down the mists and myths that put people off the vast treasure house that is classical music. Each time, I’ll take a theme and choose 5 pieces or excerpts (from over 600 years’ worth of music) and then round it all off with one larger work.

Hence 5&1 from 600!

Read More ›

A Literary Playlist

By Chris Thiessen

I see the world of art as one expansive tapestry. No particular work exists in a vacuum; its fabric overlaps its artistic neighbors. Dyes blend. Threads interweave. Over time, a gorgeous picture is revealed made of myriad strands that—while precious in their individual ways—are elevated by their intricate connections to and contrasts with each other.

Read More ›

5&1, Part 6: Welcome to the Waltz

By Mark Meynell

This is the sixth in a weekly series that will seek to break down the mists and myths that put people off the vast treasure house that is classical music. Each time, I’ll take a theme and choose 5 pieces or excerpts (from over 600 years’ worth of music) and then round it all off with one larger work.

Hence 5&1 from 600!

Read More ›

The Resistance, Episode 28: The Naked & Famous

By Matt Conner

We’re not sure how Alisa Xayalith or Thom Powers crafted something so meaningfully synthetic, but their new album, Recover, is a heartening, even healing listen.

Read More ›

Boils & Possums & Kierkegaard, Oh My!

By J Lind

To get where I’m going, I first need to invite you to my pity party. Please come, and please bring some levity.

Read More ›

5&1, Part 5: A Dark and Stormy Night

By Mark Meynell

This is the fifth in a weekly series that will seek to break down the mists and myths that put people off the vast treasure house that is classical music. Each time, I’ll take a theme and choose 5 pieces or excerpts (from over 600 years’ worth of music) and then round it all off with one larger work.

Hence 5&1 from 600!

Read More ›

The Story of Daughter Zion’s Woe: A Lament Compilation

By Kate Bluett

As the pandemic has made us painfully aware, women are often the first to give up. We give up our jobs to take care of the children, after first giving up our bodies to bring them into the world. We give up our needs to make sure that others’ are met. In many contexts, this means we lose our time or our money (or the possibility of making money), but what about the context of worship music? Women are worship leaders and musicians, songwriters and lyricists, but when we give up our places in the church to serve other needs, we give up our very voices. But the church and the world need our voices.

Read More ›

Slow Work

By Taylor Leonhardt

A common shadowy thought lurks in the depths of many songwriters’ minds, surfacing without warning. What if I never write a good song again? Like an unwelcome houseguest, this question often hijacks your most innocuous moments—brushing your teeth at the bathroom sink, frying an egg, driving to meet a friend for coffee—and then hangs around your life for an indefinite stretch of time. Later, returning to pen and paper, you find the thought still present, watching you from across the room.

Read More ›

5&1, Part 4: A Sense of Humour

By Mark Meynell

This is the fourth in a weekly series that will seek to break down the mists and myths that put people off the vast treasure house that is classical music. Each time, I’ll take a theme and choose 5 pieces or excerpts (from over 600 years’ worth of music) and then round it all off with one larger work.

Hence 5&1 from 600!

Read More ›

Review: Melanie Penn’s More Alive, Vol. 1

By Matt Conner

The world is darker now than Melanie Penn could have ever predicted.

Read More ›

Arthur Alligood on his Journey Back to Recording

By Matt Conner

Several years ago, Arthur Alligood set his dreams aside. After a decade of trying to provide for a family as a touring singer-songwriter, Alligood came off the road for good and decided to pursue a new career—one that allowed for a consistent paycheck and presence at home. It was the necessary choice, but with it came a sort of death—a personal loss that required grief and time and reorientation.

Read More ›