Better With Age

Swans, featured on our cover this week, aren't the only musicians hovering around 60 while still making relevant, vital music - and doing it through relatively independent means.


Lucinda Williams

Williams takes her time making records, and 2014’s Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone, out on her own Highway 20 Records, is up there with the 62-year-old’s very best, including 1998’s Car Wheels On A Gravel Road. Maybe love’s got something to do with the inspired double album. Williams got married for the first time in 2009.

Kim Gordon

Kim Gordon

Former Sonic Youther Gordon is 62 years young, ripping it up onstage as hard as ever, as you know if you follow her Matador-signed experimental noise guitar duo, Body/Head, or her scintillating Instagram. And then there’s her raw and angry post-divorce memoir, Girl In A Band, which hit streets this week.

Nick Cave

Nick Cave

The enigmatic Aussie pours 57 years of life experiences into shows that are more impassioned and thunderous than ever, and into albums like 2013’s Push The Sky Away, his 15th, that are full of stomping operatics, cinematic crescendoes, dramatic strings and the gothy artist’s trademark baritone boom. His film career also shows no sign of slowing down – last year’s 20,000 Days On Earth fully ruled.

Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones

Neither decades of obscurity nor pancreatic cancer can slow down 58-year-old soul/funk singer Jones. Her latest album of unbridled soul, Give The People What They Want, out on Daptone, just earned Jones her first Grammy nod, and last year saw her tour extensively to sold-out crowds. Unstoppable.

Yo La Tengo

Yo La Tengo

Who would’ve thought that Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley are pushing 60? That could be because they’ve had a somewhat retiring sensibility since the 90s, despite churning out loud feedback blasts and buoyant, wistful indie rock. Their most recent albums find them and bassist James McNew in perfect harmony, marrying soft and loud, tender and harsh in the most gorgeous ways. They celebrated their 30th anniversary with last year’s Extra Painful, a reissue of their 1993 college rock hit Painful.     

Don’t miss our cover story on Swans.

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