Also discussed: Why Nicki Minaj is rap's Sleater-Kinney.
2015 is halfway over and a lot of great music has come out so far. For the latest episode of the Alt In Our Stars, host Chris Payne had a couple of awesome music journalists -- Jill Mapes and Maria Sherman -- on the show to rep their favorite tunes of the year. But when three enthusiastic writers get together for this sort of talk, the discussion usually goes to unexpected places.
And guess what? It did! The trio collectively spends a lot of time covering left-of-center, alternative music, so they discussed what it takes for artists like Sleater-Kinney, Father John Misty, and Sufjan Stevens to enter the mainstream discourse these days. Their answer involves uncensored lyrics, compelling personalities, and a dash of cross-genre experimentation, but you really have to just listen for yourself. It's complicated!