Rolling Stone

January 2022

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United States
Penske Media Corporation
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
celebrating 2021’s best pop smash

THE MOMENT TEMS heard the beat that became Wizkid’s “Essence” at a songwriting session in Lagos, Nigeria, in January 2020, she knew it was something special. “I was like, ‘Yeah, this is it,’” she told Rolling Stone’s Mankaprr Conteh. “I could already feel melodies coming in my head.” The magic they captured in that room yielded a worldwide smash that we named the best song of 2021 — and in late November, Tems popped up at Wizkid’s London arena show to perform their hit together. “There’s so many, many, many, many amazing artists from Africa that the world needs to hear,” Wizkid has said. “I’m just so happy every time everyone gets their shine.”…

3 min
big thief get even realer

WHAT’S NEW, WHAT’S NEXT, WHAT’S NUTS WHEN BIG THIEF’S Adrianne Lenker hears her band’s music in the background at a cafe, she winces. “I just feel like, ‘Man, I remember recording that song and how radical it felt, how raw it felt, like we were ripping something open,’” she says. “And now, here in this coffee shop, it’s just completely blinded into the blur of everything. There’s no drama in it.” In the past few years, Big Thief have started to get played in quite a few coffee shops. With their pair of 2019 albums, U.F.O.F. and Two Hands, the folk-rock quartet became the type of indie favorite that sells out theaters and gets nominated for Grammys. “It’s really lovely to witness a purely motivated art collective kicking ass,” says Wilco’s Jeff…

2 min
bts’ army assembles once again

BTS PLAYED their first in-person concert since the start of the pandemic at L.A.’s SoFi Stadium on Nov. 27, and members of their fan base, known as ARMY, flocked from all across the globe to spend a euphoric evening singing along to hits like “Dynamite,” “Butter,” “Silver Spoon,” and “Permission to Dance.” It was an emotional moment, after the band was forced to cancel a world tour in 2020. “Yesterday, I really shouldn’t say this, but it’s the first time that I saw you in two years, and, honestly, it was a little awkward,” Jimin told the crowd. “To be honest, I don’t think I did all I could do for you guys for the past two years, so it’s an honor, and I’m really moved that all of you…

2 min
rs recommends

MOVIE 1. ‘Scream’ For the fifth installment of the genre-bending franchise, Ghostface terrorizes a new generation of hot Woodsboro teens. Luckily, Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox are also back to meta-explain horror-movie survival. DOCUMENTARY 2. ’Carole King & James Taylor: Just Call Out My Name’ The pair reflect on their decades-spanning friendship, while weaving in footage from their 1970 Troubadour show and their 2010 reunion tour. TOUR 3. The War on Drugs The transporting indie rockers added Eighties-arena heft on their new album, I Don’t Live Here Anymore — and if their recent livestream is any indication, their return to the road should be a lighter-waving good time. BOOK 4. ‘Rise: A Pop History of Asian America From the Nineties to Now’ With essays, cartoons, and contributions from NBA trailblazer Jeremy Lin and Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M.…

1 min
new book puts the reader on death row

DANYA KUKAFKA’S newest novel, Notes on an Execution, was inspired, in part, by how tired she is of Ted Bundy: “Why, 30 years after his death, are we still releasing his unheard tapes, are we still making movies with Zac Efron?” The psychological novel — her second after her acclaimed debut, Girl in Snow — puts the reader in the shoes of serial killer Ansel, who is on death row after killing a string of young girls. As he gets closer to the death chamber, though, we spend more time with those around him, including his mother and the detective who hunts him down. Kukafka’s focus on these characters came after watching years of crime shows and growing weary of the focus on the killers. “I felt that there was…

10 min
the original valley girl

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON was helping Haim prepare for their headlining set at Coachella in 2018 when the Academy Award-winning director of Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, and Phantom Thread turned to guitarist-singer Alana Haim with a thought. “He said, ‘I’m going to put you in a movie,’” says Alana, the youngest of the three Haim sisters. “I was like, ‘OK. All right. I’ll be fine walking in the background of a movie.’” Anderson had something much more than a quick cameo in store. The movie that became Licorice Pizza (out now) was still germinating in his brain at that point, but he knew it would be about a precocious 15-year-old boy in early-Seventies Los Angeles who falls for a brash, sharp-tongued woman 10 years his senior. And even though Anderson…