April showers bring May flowers. The music industry poured masterpieces in April and the depth of the albums are in full bloom this month.
From the admired to disdained, established to rising, these musicians released the next chapter of their discography last month and shed some sunshine into their moods and motives.
The interviews are memorable and striking because of their willingness to stand naked and bare and have their vulnerability shown in a variety of ways. They zero in on their introspection, self-identity, trials and tribulations, and the realities of the world and our existence.
You will want to soak in all the insights from these hand-picked interviews with Father John Misty, Future Islands, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, and Sylvan Esso below.
Curated from NME
Who most closely mirrors Kanye’s reputation of “pretentious douchebag” in the hipster-folk world? That would be Father John Misty, or Josh Tillman, out with his new album, Pure Comedy. However, his interview with NME‘s Barry Nicolson makes you question whether he might be just as misunderstood as Kanye, both of whom want so badly to be understood. He shares a gross distaste for the internet and the entertainment industry and their roles in fueling “Trump’s clichéd evil.” He also makes a few bold statements about Nickelback, which are left to be understood.
Read the full scoop on the philosophical, misunderstood genius here.
“Future Islands: The Unlikely Rise of Baltimore’s Heartache Kings”
Curated from Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone’s Sarah Grant travels to Baltimore to catch an exclusive interview.
Sam Herring of Future Islands captivated fans with this poignant performance of “Seasons (Waiting On You)” on David Letterman in 2014. It went viral and even garnered support from A-list celebrities. He now takes on the feat of transferring that raw intensity into the emotional, crooning lyrics that make up their new album, The Far Field.
He longs for a 24/7 love, the beauty, disappointment, but mostly, endurance of it, and how it fails to surprise him. Hip-hop also unlocked his lyrical gift and attuned him to the trembling words of that of a poet. He also opens up about his drug addiction, how it almost ended him, and how fortunate he is to have a second crack at life, despite its times of sadness and hardship.
While he feels jaded and cynical about love, it’s also the central theme that orbits his life and music. Perhaps, his bandmates, who have been lucky enough to find love during their time together as a band, source the hopeless romantic in him and keep him waiting on the seasons to change.
Read the “day-in-the-life” account here.
“Kendrick Lamar Unlocks New Album DAMN. Secrets in Revealing New Interview: Watch”
Curated from Pitchfork
Interviews with Kendrick Lamar are hard to come by, but he easily indulges Beats 1 host, Zane Lowe.
He speaks reverently about his muses – Jay-Z, Eminem, and 2Pac – and Zane Lowe draws Kendrick’s parallels to each. He’s transparent about his creative process – “I sit and think all day. Eighty percent is me prepping and acknowledging what I want in the moment, what’s true to me, and what will impact the person listening…the idea of making that connection again without being a false story.”
He possesses an “indescribable love for hip-hop,” a love so deep, that it serves as personal confirmation and continual aspirations of his greatness as a rapper. His music isn’t a game or spectacle to him in the rap arena. “This is culture. This is not something you play with. People live their lives to this music. They listen to rap every day because it’s the only thing that can relate to their stories and tribulations.”
He also discusses his distinct goals of the new album, DAMN. and the album that preceded it, To Pimp A Butterfly. TPAB spoke to the “state of times…the pride and dignity of where [African-Americans] come from and where they want to go.” DAMN. is a “state of mind” with the notion that he can’t change the world until he looks inward and changes himself. These two goals interconnect through “human emotions and [him] looking in the mirror and coming to grips with them…[it’s an] idea of the world and self and combining [it] into two records.”
For more profound insights from the ‘humble’ rapper, watch the full interview here.
“‘I’m Not Going To Be Broken’: Mary J. Blige On ‘Strength Of A Woman'”
Curated from NPR Music
Not only does Mary J. Blige pour her heart and soul into her new album, Strength Of A Woman, but she also stays true to this musical catharsis with NPR host, Rachel Martin. When asked what it was like to create music through the manifestation of her divorce, she speaks to her belief that her purpose here on Earth is to live and go through these things so others can heal from her sorrow.
Listen to the full interview and read the edited interview transcript here.
“Sylvan Esso On The Pressure To Make Magic — Again”
Curated from NPR Music
Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn of Sylvan Esso sit down with NPR host, Ari Shapiro. They open up about their “curse of success” and the self-evident eventuality of one day selling out, as an “evil, terrible, clinical depression monster within you comes out and says, ‘you don’t deserve this.'” Their lyrics of “Die Young” from their new album, What Now, are “kind of about growing up in a way and abandoning the dream of sort of flaming out in a blaze of glory in your 20s.”