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Too Early 2024 Grammy Predictions

The end of the year calls for reflection — hence our 2023 Popdust Music Awards, celebrating all of the terrific music we reveled in last year. And now, the beginning of the year is a time of anticipation. For that, they are 2024 Artists to Watch, which also means that Awards Season is right around the corner.

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The Top 20 Saddest Christmas Songs

Gather round the Christmas tree and get ready to cry!

Phoebe Bridgers - Christmas Song (Official Audio)

Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, but sometimes you're not feeling the cheer.

Or maybe you just love sad music and want to get in the holiday spirit. Whatever your reason for listening to melancholy music, there are plenty of devastating Christmas songs to help you cozy up with a cup of spiked cider and the blues. From indie gems to old classics, are our favorites.

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New Releases

Pictoria Vark Releases Cathartic Single "Good For"

All proceeds from song sales on Bandcamp will go to relief efforts run by the Baltimore IWOC.

Indie rocker Pictoria Vark has released a new single called "Good For."

It's a song that feels like a cry into the darkness, making it a perfect fit for lonely, quiet, quarantined nights. Layering gentle, searing guitar over a rousing bassline, it's both a breath of fresh air and a smoky cloud of existential questions. Though folkier than some of Vark's past work, it's also a study in contrasts. The music alternates between growling bursts of emotion and more languid, relaxed choruses all while switching time signatures seamlessly.

According to Vark, the song is a testimony to both trauma and healing. "'Good For' is about a difficult moment I experienced when I was 16," she said. "As awful as the event was itself, the worst part was being dropped by friends who I had hoped would be there for me. But it feels relieving to have made peace with the pain in writing this song, turning it into something almost unrecognizable."

The song was written in early 2019, and like most of what Vark writes, it was first sketched on bass and then pieced together in the studio. "Unlike my last EP which used more lofi recording techniques, we recorded in a studio on Staten Island with a friend of ours, Rain Johannes, who did a really fantastic job engineering," said Vark. "We tracked everything in one day; I've been playing music with Jason Ross and Gavin Caine on drums and keys for nearly a decade, which has made our musical chemistry really strong."

Vark is a trained bass guitarist and has been touring and recording since she was 17. The solo project that is Pictoria Vark was conceptualized around 2018. "I've been lucky enough to embark on some solo DIY tours in various parts of the country," said Vark. "I've opened for bands including Half Gringa, Camp Cope, and Thin Lipz and can't wait to get back to playing live soon."

She also plays bass for the band Squirrel Flower, and has opened for Big Thief, Julien Baker, and Sasami, among other indie giants. The band was just about to embark on a tour before the COVID-19 crisis hit. Now, Vark is back at home like most of the rest of us. "I'm lucky to have a place to stay and food to eat. I think the uncertainty of everything has made it difficult to make it through each day, but I'm doing my best to find hope in collectivity," she said. In an effort to lend a hand, all proceeds from Bandcamp sales will be donated to the Baltimore IWOC's relief efforts.

Fortunately, we also have music to get us through these times. From helping us to make peace with things that happened when we were teens to buoying us as we struggle through a pandemic, music is always there. "Good For"—along with Vark's excellent EP, Self-Titled—show that she's poised for indie rock greatness. But it's also the kind of music that feels potent when listened to in solitude, in the middle of the night, looking for the sound of someone aching just like you ache, and finding catharsis in that bittersweet connection.

Follow Pictoria on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, and Bandcamp.

New Releases

Hayley Williams Enlists boygenius for New Song “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris”

Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker join the Paramore vocalist.

Hayley Williams - Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris [Official Audio]

Hayley Williams' full-length debut, Petals for Armor, isn't out until May, but the Paramore vocalist has already shared quite a bit of the highly-anticipated project.

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New Releases

"Garden Song" Is One of Phoebe Bridgers' Most Stunning Songs Yet

It's the singer-songwriter's first new solo music since her 2017 debut album.

Olof Grind

It's been two and a half years since Phoebe Bridgers' debut album, Stranger in the Alps, but the singer-songwriter has kept herself unimaginably busy.

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Phoebe Bridgers Debuts New Song “Halloween” and More, Discusses New Album

Another new song, "Kyoto," is all about astrology, chemtrails, and sadness, and we'd expect nothing less.

Phoebe Bridgers

Photo by RMV/Shutterstock

Phoebe Bridgers, the astrology-loving wunderkind who solidified her place in indie folk royalty with 2017's Stranger In the Alps, is officially at work on her second album.

"The production is totally different to my first record. People still kind of think of me as like a folk artist, but on the first record, I truly was deferring to other people to produce me," she said. "I basically had these country folk songs. [On the new record] I do a little bit of screaming on what we've recorded so far."

Bridgers has had a busy few years. After a stint opening for Julien Baker, she joined the supergroup Boygenius (with Baker and fellow indie rocker Lucy Dacus), and the trio released an EP. Then she formed a duo with Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst called Better Oblivion Community Center, and the two released their debut last year.

She's been pretty quiet about her solo work, but this week she debuted a total of four new songs at various performances. These songs are called "Halloween," "Kyoto," "Garden Song," and "Graceland Too," as far as we know. Bridgers is an incredibly talented lyricist, and these songs show her interweaving modern themes like conspiracy theories and astrology with characteristically devastating refrains.

While we don't have a date for the next album, judging by these songs, it'll be worth the wait.

boygenius - "Salt In The Wound" (Live at WFUV)