There's forever been a well-defined line between musicians and critics. Critics are nothing but failed or frustrated musicians themselves, musicians can't take criticism, the music isn't even meant for critics anyway, one day they love you, the next they leave you... Everyone's a critic nowadays in this new, blog-riddled, tweet-filled world. Who knew kids could be so cruel in just 140 characters or less?

Last year, controversy in the blogosphere was caused when, after Complex's negative review of Iggy Azalea's debut album The New Classic came out, singer Lorde lamented on the rather fickle nature of music journalism, writing in a Tumblr post: "bugs me how publications like complex will profile interesting artists in order to sell copies/get clicks and then shit on their records? it happens to me all the time- pitchfork and that ilk being like "can we interview you?" after totally taking the piss out of me in a review. have a stance on an artist and stick to it. don't act like you respect them then throw them under the bus." Fellow artist Grimes later reblogged the post with the message: "hahaha yes -- i agree with this."

Azalea later responded via Twitter: "I agree @lordemusic media LOVE to flop about, But when you're completely spineless Im sure its hard to stick to even ur own opinion #GoGirl."

In his own response, Complex Associate Editor Insanul Ahmed noted that Complex's own stance on Azalea didn't dictate music journalism as a whole, nor would every piece of news be beneficial. Rather, it all came down to who the audience is interested in. Ahmed, quite rightly, explained that the media cannot exist in a vacuum: "If Complex - or the media at large - operated the way Lorde wished, it would do away with journalistic integrity all together. Lorde - as well as Iggy - seem to confuse press as 'respect' and criticism as being thrown 'under the bus.'"

But what about the artists who do delve into the realm of critique?

Enter The Talkhouse. Headed by Editor-in-Chief Michael Azerrad, the site is split into two halves - music and film - and aims to have artists discuss the work of others. And there's also a twist: "the artist who's being written about is encouraged to respond to the piece. The idea is to promote dialogue between the creator who may never have interacted otherwise. Talkhouse readers can have a ringside seat to this unique exchange, or they can join in the conversation too, in our moderated comments section."

Azerrad, of course, is no stranger to the world of music journalism. He is a former contributing editor for Rolling Stone, has written for Spin, the New Yorker, Mojo, the New York Times, MTV News and was also founding editor-in-chief of eMusic. Azerrad also penned the books Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes From The American Indie Underground 1981-1991 and Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana, as well as writing liner notes for the likes of Miles Davis, Gang of Four and Paul McCartney. Naturally, Azerrad is also a musician, having been a drummer for The King of France, The Macaroons and The Leevees.

The Talkhouse started as an idea from Tim Putnam, lead singer of the band Standard, touring as part of the band for a decade and making several records for labels Yep Roc and Touch & Go. Now head of Partisan Records with business partner Ian Wheeler, they both invited Azerrad to be editor of the site.

"Tim and Ian invited me to be the editor of the site because they knew I know a whole lot of musicians and I also have a lot of editorial experience," he explains, via email. "At first, I thought to myself, 'This will be impossible -- musicians will not turn in writing on time.' And then I realized that I know a lot of musicians who are very good writers and, more importantly, very good thinkers. I knew it would work. So I took the job. I'm really glad I did."

Since its inception in 2013, The Talkhouse has attracted a mixed bag of incredible names: Laurie Anderson reviews Animal Collective, EMA's review of Britney Jean laments how fame and those around her have left Britney an empty husk, David Byrne discusses Barry Manilow's duets 'with dead people', St Vincent's review of Arcade Fire's Reflektor consists of Google searches and an endearing stream-of-consciousness, and Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig trolled us with his rather surreal review of Drake's Nothing Was The Same (which was confirmed as satire). Creating the most conversation, however, have been Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves and her essay on authenticity and sexism in music as well as Lou Reed's now-legendary review of Kanye's Yeezus, published just before his death.

And there are plenty more big names Azerrad has his sights set on that would make any music fan's eyes glaze over.

"My wish list is made up of musicians who used to be music writers," he says. "Chrissie Hynde (the Pretenders), Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys), Ira Kaplan (Yo la Tengo) and Morrissey. And there are four other musicians who are very astute observers of music: Black Francis (the Pixies), Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), John Flansburgh (They Might Be Giants) and Courtney Love (Hole). I hope they all write for us some day."

How pieces are written for The Talkhouse is free-flowing and idiosyncratic of the artist themselves. They aren't considered 'reviews' and don't abide by a traditional rating system (like scores or grades), rather refreshing as it gives the art a chance to stand on its own, leaving interpretation up to the reader.

Instead, the focus is on the knowledge musicians have gained through their craft, giving special insight into the process of creation itself. Most of all, it gives artists the opportunity to discuss music other than their own, away from the usual question-and-answer fare and without boundaries.

"One of the key things I tell our writers is that they don't have to write like a critic: instead, write about the music from a musician's point of view," says Azerrad. "And because they are musicians, they have an innate respect for what other musicians do."

Naturally, artists cannot write about people they already know or are connected to in the industry (y'know, nepotism and all that).

Running a piece every six out of seven days, The Talkhouse's production cycle is very much loose, always on the hunt for anyone willing to contribute. Azerrad's only real requisite for artists is to possess an incredible way with words that will stick in people's minds long after reading.

It's mainly just paying attention to which musicians are articulate in interviews, or have written well for magazines and newspapers, or who have written books," he explains. "Lauren Mayberry from CHVRCHES is a fine writer -- I knew this from her blog. But I also got her bandmate Iain Cook to write for us, simply because he speaks good sentences; he's become one of our favorite writers. A few of our writers have written books: Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna), Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith), Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) and several others."

Azerrad is also proud of The Talkhouse's diverse selection of writers to ensure a more holistic approach to music critique than ever before.

"It's really important to us to have many female writers, people of color and musicians from all kinds of music. I'm pretty sure the Talkhouse has more female writers than any major music publication."

It's not The Talkhouse's aim to go too easy on or to completely brutalise another artist's work, nor is it to produce anything scandal-worthy for gossip rags to eat up. What you read is exactly what you get no matter the criticism. The Talkhouse provides something organic and fresh in amongst the now-commonplace batch of hysterical clickbait headlines (18 Times One Direction Were Definitely Singing About Sex!) and summing up information in a bunch of gifs and photos. It makes the average social media user actually sit and read through something thought-provoking and candid, capturing their interest once more with the thoughts and feelings of an artist through the oft-bypassed longform read.

Azerrad agrees, recognising readers' need for depth over brevity.

"They can't write something very brief, because that will not do justice to all the work someone put into this music. So we give our writers the space to do that. And it turns out that a lot of people want to read longer pieces that dig deep into the music. So it has worked out very well."

Although The Talkhouse uses internal ads on its site and will slowly introduce more advertising in the future, staff hope to keep it free from any other corporate influence. It also plans to branch out into other forms of media criticism like TV and books later in the year. The Talkhouse already expanded into film last year with former Filmmaker Magazine managing editor Nick Dawson at the helm. "He's had some great contributors," Azerrad notes, including Joe Swanberg, Rian Johnson, Bret Easton Ellis and Kim Cattrall, among others.

As The Talkhouse branches out further, Azerrad says the Internet has been good for music writing in general. However, it also means combing through a lot of the bad, especially with everyone with a blog and an opinion getting in on the action, meaning a lot of duds in amongst the diamonds.

"The good thing is, now everybody can do it. The bad thing is, now everyone can do it," he explains. "There are far more people writing about music now -- which means they are also thinking more about it, which is great. Unfortunately, most of it doesn't have a very interesting point of view. But a musician writing about music, that's automatically interesting."

That's not to say there's no place for traditional critics in music. But Azerrad believes it's been a long time coming for musicians to be asked their perspective on the very medium in which they work.

"I would like to make it very clear that I still think there is a place for critics who are not musicians. There are some critics who are great, and their voices are very valuable. But until now, very few people have asked musicians what they think about music, and their insights are unique and worthwhile. That is what the Talkhouse is for."

You can visit The Talkhouse by heading here.