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Stories that take a comprehensive look at some of the biggest topics in music today.

The Year in Latin Music

From the rise of Tokischa and Bizarrap to the leveling-up of Helado Negro and Xenia Rubinos, these were the artists and stories from the Latin music universe that demanded our attention in 2021.

The Year in Music on TikTok 2021

From vocaloids to demonic rap to whatever the hell Charlie Puth is doing

Ambient Jazz’s Quiet, Forceful Return

In 2021, works by Pharoah Sanders and Floating Points, Nala Sinephro, Nicolás Jaar, and others furthered a contemplative sound that’s impossible to ignore.

On the Road, Again

In an uncertain post-vaccine landscape, musicians and other touring professionals are feeling the elation—and anxiety—of getting back to work.

Untangling MF DOOM’s Lifelong Struggle With the U.S. Immigration System

Previously unreported immigration documents show the rapper’s attempts to gain legal residency in the U.S. before his death in October 2020

What Is Asian American Music, Really?

Seeking more than representation, a critic tries to make sense of a fragmented, disparate musical tradition

11 Indie Musicians on How They’re Navigating the NFT Wave

Skeptics like ANOHNI and Zola Jesus as well as believers like Mick Jenkins and Pussy Riot sound off on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the digital collectible game.

A Year in the Life of NYC Dance Club Nowadays

Over the last 12 months, the people behind this welcoming destination were forced to ask themselves: What is the role of a nightclub during such tumultuous times?

36 of America’s Best Independent Music Venues on Surviving and What’s Next

One year after their stages went dark, live music workers from across the country talk about what makes their spaces so important and how you can help them.

The Endless Life Cycle of Japanese City Pop

Boosted by the YouTube recommendations algorithm, and now TikTok memes, an American-influenced strain of vintage Japanese music has become a perennial cult hit online. The trend says more about Western perceptions of the East than the other way around.

How SOPHIE’s Music Inspired a Generation of Underground Artists

Five musicians and SOPHIE fans, from Mykki Blanco to Lyra Pramuk to Backxwash, reflect on what made the artist’s work so arresting, and what it illuminated in its gleam.

Sample Snitching: How Online Fan Chatter Can Create Legal Trouble for Rap Producers

By publicly identifying and discussing unlicensed samples, hip-hop fans on websites like WhoSampled and YouTube may be unwittingly putting their favorite producers at risk.

The 2020 Club Bangers That Could Have Been

Electronic artists ranging from Jayda G to Róisín Murphy to Lorenzo Senni sound off on a year without dancefloor catharsis for their songs, and themselves. These are their imagined raves.

The Year Live Music Stopped

Most musicians’ primary source of income is gone, venues everywhere are struggling, and the government hasn’t come through on an aid package. It’s hard not to lose hope, but in talking with professionals across the industry and looking to regions around the world, we gain perspective on how to rebuild live music from the ground up.

The Best Music of 2020: Pitchfork Readers’ Poll Results

Featuring your picks for the best albums and songs of the year

The Year Megan Thee Stallion Became a Symbol

In a time marked by a series of collective and personal tragedies, Megan turned “protect Black women” into a rallying cry and stood for something bigger than herself

Meet Shameika Stepney, Inspiration to Fiona Apple on Fetch the Bolt Cutters

The unlikely story of how two childhood schoolmates changed each other’s lives.

Rock the Vote: How the Music Industry Built a Youth Voting Movement

Over the last 30 years, the nonprofit has registered 12 million voters (and counting) via its platform and played a significant role in the election of two presidents. They couldn’t have done it without the pop, rock, and rap stars who were willing to use their fame for a cause.

Rethinking Appropriation and Wokeness in Pop Music

Over the last decade, the language and aesthetics of social justice have become the social currency of the music industry (and pop culture at large), ultimately yielding the myth that representation solves everything. This is one story of how we got there, and where we carefully go from here.

How to Buy the Best Home Recording Studio Equipment

With an endless amount of gear out there, setting up your first home studio can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be.

What It’s Like to Be Black in Indie Music

Black artists and professionals discuss the roadblocks they’ve faced and offer ideas on how independent music scenes can change for the better.

Enya Is Everywhere

How the unlikely star became a phenomenon hidden in pop-cultural plain sight, influencing a generation of groundbreaking artists.