G enre is dead; all hail the new masters of global, category-defying hits from artists old and new. Rendered in minimalist, twanging piano chords and tightly-wound vocals, it swings from breathy devastation to high notes of carefully controlled keening. It also marks her return after nearly three years of absence from music, foreshadowing a new openness in work to come.
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Clubs are closed. So are bars and arenas and coffee shops and theaters. But while live music has come to a terrifying halt , artists have been anything but silent during the coronavirus crisis. Musicians are currently bringing their art directly to their fans through live streams, surprise releases, and digital concerts. And we need it now, perhaps more than we have in a long time, for comfort and escape, and to make sense of the world around us. Acts like Waxahatchee and Fiona Apple have released albums that are—in hindsight—prescient snapshots of our current time, whether they offer beacons of hope or solitary musings on individuality and the human spirit. Others, like Jamie xx, have gifted surprise releases as a welcome distraction from the world around us; tracks that are primed for quarantine dance parties and nightly releases of pent up energy.
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