Have you ever listened to niche music for so long that you've forgotten what a good song sounds like? It's happened to me. The song that dragged me blinking back into light was quirky balladeer Regina Spektor's Machine, from her 2009 album Far. Sometimes her music is rather too self-consciously precious, but this song is something else entirely. It's a cybernetic dystopia and Spektor is a Stepford-perfect cog in it, selling human frailty to order. Her piano is terrific on this, and I love the way her stark and precise playing rolls into thunderous climaxes.
So there, modern popular music = not entirely dreadful. Good to know. Now back into my hole.