Pitchfork, in celebration of its 25th anniversary, has published a list of 'The 200 Most Important Artists of Pitchfork’s First 25 Years,' including Wilco, The Magnetic Fields, Conor Oberst, Fleet Foxes, and Björk.
Pitchfork, in celebration of its 25th anniversary, has published a list of 'The 200 Most Important Artists of Pitchfork’s First 25 Years.' The list includes five artists familiar to readers of the Nonesuch Journal over the years as well: Wilco, The Magnetic Fields, Conor Oberst, Fleet Foxes, and Björk.
"Year in and year out the stolid Midwesterners do the work," Pitchfork says of Wilco and the importance of the "dignified longevity" it's achieved, "showing us that pomp and flash and shiny new things all have their place, but it’s survival that matters most of all." In a separate post, in a re-scoring of 19 album review scores, Wilco's 2007 Nonesuch album, Sky Blue Sky, is raised from 5.2 to 8.5, with Sam Sodomsky calling it "an essential album" (and proving prophetic the album track "Please Be Patient With Me").
"The Magnetic Fields redefined, if not single-handedly invented, dead-pan indie pop," says Pitchfork, throughout the band's 30 year career, not least in 1999's 69 Love Songs and its 2017 Nonesuch album, 50 Song Memoir. The site cites Sam Sodomsky's review of the latter release, which notes Stephin Merritt's "growing mastery as a songwriter. It suggests that our deepest wisdom can be located in our most personal thoughts."
"As he evolved from Omaha, Nebraska’s teenage emo wunderkind into one of America’s most respected songwriters, gracefully fulfilling the 'New Dylan' role that early critics placed on him," says Pitchfork, "Conor Oberst remained in constant motion ... His long career has set a benchmark for how to evolve while maintaining your integrity as an indie artist in the 21st century."
Noting Fleet Foxes' evolution over the years to creating albums that were "more adventurous, confrontational, and graceful," Pitchfork cites a profile by Amanda Petrusich around the release of the band's 2017 Nonesuch album, Crack-Up: "[Robin] Pecknold is gentle and intelligent, a hungry listener; talking with him, you get the sense that an antenna is always up and open, collecting new and better information about the world."
Björk, whose 2011 studio album Biophilia and 2009 live album Voltaic: Songs from the Volta Tour were released on Nonesuch in the US, "has united electronic innovation, audio-visual experiments, radical new performance modes, scientific investigation, and naked emotional expression in one dazzling catalog," says Pitchfork, "becoming one of the most uncompromising pop stars of our era in the process."
You can read more on all of the above and see the complete list of the 'The 200 Most Important Artists of Pitchfork’s First 25 Years' at pitchfork.com.