Music

Thirty Years After ‘Little Earthquakes,’ I’m Finally Ready for Tori Amos

With reproductive rights under threat in the US, I returned to an artist unafraid of telling her truth.

Can We Dance as the World Falls Apart?

When Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February, I found myself asking: What pleasures are permissible during wartime?

Apr 19, 2022
The Rise of the Reboot: Why We Can’t Escape Nostalgia

I’ve wondered if I, too, have become a member of a generation reluctant to move past adolescence.

Mar 29, 2022
The Mess of Millennial Womanhood and the Myth of ‘Having It All’

I turned to my friend and asked, “What if I don’t want it all?”

Mar 16, 2022
When Pop Music Lets Women of Color Express Their Rage

Artists like Olivia Rodrigo validated my suppressed anger—and gave me space to be petty—by helping to create a world that validates feminine fury.

Mar 14, 2022
Remembering the Bad Boys of My Youth Through Machine Gun Kelly

Like any good fantasy, my desire for all MGK represents is a guilty pleasure, not sustainable or practical.

What Tina Turner Taught Me

In a theater, I am freed by the voices that shake the rafters, the dancing, the lights, and the colors. Musicals are my form of catharsis.

Jul 06, 2021
Choosing Survival Over Love in ‘Hadestown’

Eurydice’s decision to choose comfort could be read as a betrayal. But it is a survival response, an instinct to protect the self.

May 17, 2021
Finding Strength in Softness Through Hayley Williams

Hayley’s rage-filled vocals used to provide an emotional outlet that gave voice to loss, anger, and confusion I couldn’t put words to yet.

Mar 04, 2021
The Evolution of Miley Cyrus Taught Me to Embrace Imperfection

“Plastic Hearts” was the album I needed to hear, articulating what no one else would tell me: My plastic was no longer serving me.

Feb 18, 2021
Listening to Kelis Taught Me to Embrace Anger

Her anger had made its way to her music; my anger couldn’t find a home outside my own head.

Dec 03, 2020
Carly Rae Jepsen’s Music Helped Me Stop Apologizing for Being “Too Much”

There is something freeing about being in a ballroom full of people singing about how we all deserve to feel a love that reverberates through the walls of our body.

Aug 03, 2020
Ellaji and Lakshmiji

If Lakshmiji’s voice was silk, then Ellaji’s was satin.

Mar 23, 2020
After Losing My Father, One Direction Helped Me Find Joy During Grief

That first time I heard it, the music was so catchy and the words were so ridiculous that I threw my head back and laughed. I opened the curtains that had been closed for a month.

Finding My Language of Healing in Indian Classical Music

To cope with pain, and prepare for parenthood, I had to learn how to breathe. To breathe, I needed more than air.

Dec 17, 2019
In Defense of the Low Bar: An Ode to Everclear

Kurt Cobain would not approve, but privately I wondered if there wasn’t space for a beloved burnished thing in my new and improved pop pantheon.

Aug 29, 2019
What Vin Diesel Taught Me About Singing and Sincerity

Vin closes his eyes and bares his soul, meaning each word of the song, and isn’t that the point? Vin never claimed to be a good singer.

Aug 20, 2019
How Fanny Mendelssohn’s “Hiob Cantata” Inspired Me to Become a Screenwriter

This film is an opportunity to help rescue Fanny Mendelssohn from near-obscurity; and to do the same for me.

Aug 06, 2019
For Black Women, Love Is a Dangerous Thing—“Bitter” Showed Me How to Do It Anyway

I imagine she wrote it for women like me. Women who wear their hearts on their sleeves but hold their hands over their mouths.

Aug 01, 2019
Listening to Fall Out Boy on the Brink of Collapse

The release of "Infinity on High" marked the final moments of the mid-2000s, a time when collapse nested on the tongues of everyone in my universe but never made it out of their mouths.

Jun 12, 2019