Archive for the ‘ALBUMS’ Category

Get ready, because you’re about to feel. That’s what Tim Heidecker warns on “Fear of Death’s” opening track, “Prelude to Feeling.” And he means it. This is a Serious Album about Serious Topics – a doomed future, abandoning life in the city, and, you guessed it, the inevitability of death – and without a warning, those feelings might just sneak up on you.

Fear of Death is the follow-up to 2019’s What the Brokenhearted Do, which chronicles a fictional divorce from his wife and the accompanying depression. Just like that one with its morose theme of a contentious breakup, the new album puts Heidecker squarely in the tradition of comedians and actors like Steve Martin, Hugh Laurie, and Donald Glover, eschewing his funny side in his music and leaving the jokes for the screen.

Tim Heidecker and Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering have chosen an alarmingly on-the-nose year to release a mostly sunlit album about death. Although the duo and a host of collaborators recorded “Fear of Death” in 2019, the absurdity of the album’s release amid a global pandemic, overdue uprisings against police brutality, raging West Coast wildfires and the 2020 election cycle only amplifies these songs’ often upbeat morbidity. Heidecker and Mering certainly aren’t strangers to the absurd and its accompanying hilarity. Over Heidecker’s 20-or-so-year career, he’s developed a distinctly surreal, ironic brand of hipster humour through the cult Adult Swim shows Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Decker. Even before Mering jumped to the forefront of the chamber-rock pack with last year’s apocalypse-themed instant classic Titanic Rising, she was singing about how bizarre the world’s end will look. Both also share a passion for ’70s soft rock, as do some of their Fear of Death collaborators.

Fear of Death is a Serious Album about Serious Topics – a doomed future, abandoning life in the city, and the inevitability of death. It’s Heidecker’s biggest sounding and most fleshed out album yet featuring an all star band comprised of Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering (vocals and piano), Drew Erickson (Jonathan Wilson, Dawes), The Lemon Twigs’ Brian and Michael D’Addario, Jonathan Rado, and string arrangements by Spacebomb’s Trey Pollard (Foxygen, Bedouine, The Waterboys, Natalie Prass). “I didn’t know that Fear of Death was going to be so focused on death when I was writing it,” Heidecker says. “It took a minute for me to stand back and look at what I was talking about to realize that, yes, I am now a middle-aged man and my subconscious is screaming at me: ‘You are getting old, dude! You are not going to live forever! Put down that cheeseburger!’”

The album’s lead single, “Fear of Death,” is “about as ‘Dead’ as I get,” says Heidecker. Over an intricate guitar line, Heidecker’s voice intertwines with Mering’s elevative vocals as he swears off partying and risky decisions: “I don’t see the value in having fun // I think I’m done growing // fear of death is keeping me alive.” And while “Fear of Death” is an upbeat take on avoiding potentially fatal choices and avoiding death, “Nothing” comes to terms with it. “Nothing, that’s what it amounts to, they say // A black void waiting down the road for us one day,” Heidecker sings from a recording session that he calls “one of the more spiritual and emotional moments of my creative life.”

The band nods to J.J. Cale in the bluesy and smoky “Say Yes To Me” and The Faces in the uptempo ode to country living, “Come Away With Me.” The album’s haunting and sad closer “Oh How We Drift Away” began as a Bernie Taupin/Elton John-style writing experiment, with Heidecker supplying the words and Mering setting them to music. “I was very interested in trying to do something big in scope and otherworldly,” Heidecker says. “I hope it leaves you thinking.”

While this is serious music about serious topics, it’s not all doom and gloom. Heidecker says, “I hope my observations and meditations on death, the afterlife, the future, while at times a little dark and grim, offer a little comfort and catharsis for some people, as I don’t think I’m the only one who occasionally thinks about this stuff.”

“This record is a dream come true for me,” he continues. “I got to work with some of the best, and nicest, musicians in town who helped me take some shabby, simple tunes and turn them into something I’m really proud of.” Occasionally, an idea with the shabbiest, simplest beginnings will grow into something more special than ever intended. With Fear of Death, Heidecker and his band of friends have achieved just that.

From the album Fear of Death, out September 25, 2020, on Spacebomb Records

(Photo Credit: Adrian Samson)

Irish indie-pop singer Róisín Murphy first made a name for herself as one half of ’90s U.K. trip-hop duo Moloko. After the group disbanded in 2004, Murphy embarked on a solo dance-pop career that saw her release four riveting albums, then vault back into the limelight in 2018 as the vocalist on DJ Koze’s immaculate “Illumination.” She’s now revving up to release her fifth LP, “Róisín Machine”, which sees Murphy unfurling into a full blown disco diva with a collection of tracks she’s banked across the last decade. Róisín Machine is a collaboration with producer Crooked Man (aka Sheffield’s DJ Parrot), and tracks like “Murphy’s Law” and “Narcissus” are disco-pop at its absolute finest—this is seriously like Robyn meets Sylvester. Murphy needs to be considered among Irish pop’s most accomplished artists, and the track “Incapable” alone is one of the best dance floor tracks you’ll hear all year.

Róisín Murphy has contributed a few songs to the dance-club canon during the course of her 25-year career as a soloist and a member of the electronic duo Moloko (the group’s “Sing It Back” remains a reliable floor-filler). But recently, material that wouldn’t be out of place at iconic parties like the Loft and the Paradise Garage has become her primary focus. Murphy pushes further in that direction with the release of Róisín Machine, a full-length collaboration with the producer DJ Parrot that includes singles like “Incapable,” smoldering, cold-hearted disco, and “Murphy’s Law,” which evokes late-Seventies Joe Bataan and Donna Summer. “Róisín rang up one day and said she wanted to make some house music,” DJ Parrot said. “Off we went.”

Release date: September 25th

Official Audio for Incapable by Róisín Murphy. The new album ‘Róisín Machine’ is out September 25

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There are five members in the pan-Californian band Spice who’ve contributions lay equally on the surface of their debut album’s crackling, rocky complexion. Formed in 2018 and based across California, each members’ roots are in the North Bay of San Francisco. Spice’s sound pulls from the sense of melody and drive inherent to Bay Area pedigree, peppered with modernity and awash with an anthemic haze. The hook is in the connection as much as melody, with each song building its inner narrative and exploration of affliction. At its epicenter of those fault line is most notably that of vocalist, Ceremony frontman Ross Farrar. Following Farrar’s career throughout his shape-shifting hardcore-punk band as well as projects like his shoegazing offshoot the Down House, he’s never shied away from applying varying degrees of pressure onto sound, and on “Spice”, we experience this in one of its most focused instances of aggression to date.

Alongside Spice bandmates in fellow Ceremony drummer Jake Casarotti, bassist Cody Sullivan (No Sir, Sabertooth Zombie), guitarist Ian Simpson (Creative Adult,) and violinist Victoria Skudlarek, the collective’s “deliberate isolation of pain” through fascias of hardcore and indie rock channel themselves through in non-stop urgency that makes for one of the year’s most rewardingly thrill rides in anxiety-riddled head charges and whirring melodies. The listen is pop-induced, billowing in the air, and heavy like a pile of bricks at once, and when all of these elements atomize onto one slab, we hear how pain even in isolated form comes in many forms.

The audacity for Spice to entitle a song called “I Don’t Wanna Die In New York City” and to have it bark back through the dark city mania of an early Walkmen track is a sticking point that echoes throughout the rest of the listen. It’s been almost two decades since the Aughts’ NYC underground sculpted a movement in rockism, after all. That’s enough passage to warrant revisioning metropolitan nightmares through a modern lens with windows dirtied and pushed out here on tracks like “BLACK CAR” and the “The Building Was Gone”.

With “First Feeling” and “All My Best Shit”, Spice punctuate post-hardcore and brainy pop-punk with tightly-wound exclamations and sharp brevity. There’s a separation from where they stand against sinking into familiarity, however, thanks to the searing heat radiating from Victoria Skudlarek’s violin strings, sparking instantaneously as they careen through the former. On “Murder”, she helps orchestrate a dark secret life lived, and on “Reward Trip” she guides an electric third rail down a lost highway. Later on “26 Days”, she and her Spice ‘mates stretch light with a towering wait.

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Honed over late nights at Panda Studios in Fremont, California with producer Sam Pura (Basement, The Story So Far, Self Defense Family), Spice spent hours tweaking it until it became a little world formed by what they refer to as “the power of groupthink.” Sprinkled with field recordings—audio snapshots from the member’s every-day-lives—the record offers an intimate twist that builds on its theme of a single thread that connects everything with continuity, making it a single organism with as many depths as questions.

The totality of Spice in its 30-minute listen, with its non-stop concentrate of pain succeeds as a group exercise in attempting to control that which consumes us. That it also happens to be knockout debut from a band whose makeup continues to reinvent themselves by leaving no corner of underground rock uncovered as a conduit to carry this out only helps it go down easier. The record diverts from a singular mood, tempo, or delivery, instead focusing on orchestrating emotional drain as single impulses—fast, slow, driving, simple, and layered—that coalesce in their machinations. At its core, Spice’s Self-Titled album is wired together by brawny and brittle guitars, lock-groove rhythms, and vocals announce each moment and mood.

Released July 17th, 2020

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Sadie Dupuis song writing has been a practice in poptimistic views through the complicated indie rock gaze. The best songs from her band Speedy Ortiz and are the ones where the hooks swing heavy even when knotted up in amp cords and wrought time signatures, and with her solo project outlet Sad13, tracks like “Get a Yes” made you wonder what her take on subversive accessibility might sound like in her hands. In recent years, it’s sounded like Dupuis has grown more comfortable with that notion – Speedy’s 2018 Twerp Verse had some of the best weirdo indie-pop jams out there that year – but “Haunted Painting”, her second effort as Sad13, is a different kind of ghost.

As someone who has proven over the last decade to be a diverse combined-forced creative in her roles as a songwriter, poet, activist and visual artist, one should expect by now for Dupuis’ work to reflect a lot of thought going on within it. Her past work in both band and singular form has often warred with itself in finding a balance between great production, an atypical pop ambition, sincere wokeness, and the pursuit of seeing her reflection actualized in a sound defined as her own, and Haunted Painting is that self-portrait that puts it all on the canvas.

Backed by an all-women collective of studio pros including the likes of Illuminati Hotties’ Sarah Tudzin and Grammy winner Erin Tonkon as well as featuring guest spots from Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki, Tune-Yards’ Merrill Garbus and Pile’s Rick Maguire, Dupuis’ all-hands-on-deck project culls together engineers and musicians gifted in tweaking her electric indie-pop hexes into her own perfect spells. The cast does not deter from Dupuis as the focal point of “Haunted Painting”, and the way she wires together pop-rock with sharply-refined verbosity.

This especially comes in handy whenever she’s cutting down the patriarchy good wit as she does in the sci-fi synth pop anthemry of “Hysterical”, or drumming down bad behavior on “…Oops!” The most interesting aspects of Dupuis’ songwriting on Haunted Painted are how it goes further in colouring in her creative persona as something more than just using her voice to cause waves within socio-political currents, however. “Into the Catacombs” is an ornate orchestration that sets an ominous introduction for themes of loss, love, and loneliness backed by Roberto Carlos Lange of Helado Negro’s ghostly apparitions akin to every starting point on an …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead album. “Good Grief” and “Take Care’ showcase a duality in a new found confidence with quietness building within the heaviness of indie rocks rolling, as she turns to timeless stylistic designs well learned from Liz Phair’s latter work.

Where Haunted Painted ultimately ends up is in one of Sadie Dupuis’ best songs written to date. “Market Hotel” sends the album off in one last burst of big, frustrated exultation with its share of side-eyed disses after already exhaling her traumas, anxieties, and washed adult dirtbag ruminations from her soul before it. It’s a saccharine ripper that in less than two minutes compresses everything that Haunted Painting is in picturing every side of Dupuis’ songwriting craft within the same frame. “I’m working three fucking jobs, I’m too embarrassed to die,” she sings. The punchlines are deprecating and surely, Dupuis is tired of having to make them, but it doesn’t stop her from hitting them right on target every time.

Sadie Dupuis – guitar, bass, synths, organ, marimba, prepared piano, drum programming, vocals, production, arrangement

Haunted Painting, out September 25, 2020

 

WAX CHATTELS – ” Clot “

Posted: September 25, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , ,

Clot

it is universally agreed that New Zealand’s Wax Chattels are a must- see live act; their hypnotically sinister debut captured this perfectly.

Released in 2018 and supported by relentless touring, the eponymous album reached #7 on the New Zealand album charts, and release week saw the title feature as #1 in Rough Trade’s top 20 new releases. Tastemakers like NPR and the A.V. club came on as early champions. the album’s success at home and abroad led to the well-deserved nomina- tion of best alternative artist at the 2018 New Zealand music awards, as well as the band’s inclusion in the coveted shortlist of finalists for the taite music prize and Auckland live best independent debut award. after a knock-out entrée, the anticipation that surrounds their sophomore album, “Clot” , is immense. much like their debut,

The writing process for “Clot” took the best part of a year. while some songs were written on the road, the bulk of the album was workshopped throughout 2019 across bedrooms and storage containers. demos were fine-tuned before recording engineer James Goldsmith (aldous harding, mermaidens) stepped in. the band maintained the use of only the barest of ingredients — bass guitar, keyboard, and a two-piece drum kit — but spent more time ex- perimenting with and finding new sounds. they wanted to maintain the same live element, but, this time, heavier — for which they enlisted the help of mixing engineer, and fellow noise-maker, Ben Greenberg (uniform, destruction unit, the men). the keyboards are thicker, the bass more intense. a marked step-up, this new record keeps the visceral energy of the debut, only this time they dig deeper into ca- thartic noise. at Clot’s center is confrontation. “mindfulness” asks do you accept the status quo over forcing tangible change? the vitriolic choruses of “cede” are in cheng’s native language — taiwanese hokkien — and are an indignant confrontation about cross-strait relations and self- determination. the experience of being a first generation immigrant is expressed in the melodic single “no ties”. the song touches on cul- tural differences and the parental sacrifice of careers and support sys- tems to provide a “better” future for their children. the explosive arc of “efficiency” describes knowing when to bide your time, and when to push, in which the band treads a line between the explicit and in- tuitive.

This is carried through “An Eye”, in which the band stresses the physical harm and psychological breakdown emanating from the escalating racial and political uproar throughout the world. though the band seethes and boils throughout, Clot concludes with a message of hope. perhaps it’s this capacity for self-awareness that makes wax chattels one of New Zealand’s  most treasured independent exports. “this band of former jazz students is making confrontational post-punk, marrying the grind- ing keyboards of suicide with the drum-and- bass intensity of early death from above 1979. the results are stark, hypnotically sinister songs.”

Official video for Efficiency by Wax Chattels, from their album “Clot”

Anna von Hausswolff is a musician and composer exploring the myriad of possibilities and the potential for new expressions on the pipe organ.

On her continued and successful campaign to make the pipe organ cool again, Anna von Hausswolff will release “All Thoughts Fly” in September which features just the artist and the organ. “I wanted to play with dissonance and polyrhythms to create a harmonic landscape that is constantly changing and expanding into something else,” Anna says of the title track. “Everything you hear in this track, every little overtone and all ambience is entirely made through the organ. We used EQ but that’s it. The overall idea was to create an illusion of flying thoughts, intertwining and entangling into each other. Different words and worlds happening at the same time, affecting each other and changing each other’s directions and courses.”

Sacro Bosco (“Sacred Grove”) is the starting point for Anna von Hausswolff’s new album All Thoughts Fly, incoming on Southern Lord on 25th September. Here in solo instrumental mode, the entire record consists of just one instrument, the pipe organ, and represents absolute liberation of the imagination. All Thoughts Fly radiates a melancholic beauty, and is distinguished by fluid transitions of contrasting elements; calmness and drama, harmony and dissonance, much like the place that inspires the music.

Sacro Bosco is a garden, based in the centre of Italy, containing grotesque mythological sculptures and buildings overgrown with vegetation, situated in a wooded valley beneath the castle of Orsini. Created during the 16th Century, Sacro Bosco was commissioned by Pier Francesco Orsini, some say to try and cope with his grief following the death of his wife Guilia Farnese, others speculate the purpose was to create art.

About the album Anna explains “there’s a sadness and wilderness that inspired me to write this album, also a timelessness. I believe that this park has survived not only due to its beauty but also because of the iconography, it has been liberated from predictable ideas and ideals. The people who built this park truly set their minds and imagination free. All thoughts fly is a homage to this creation, and an effort to articulate the atmosphere and the feelings that this place evokes inside of me. It’s a very personal interpretation of a place that I lack the words to describe. I’d like to believe Orsini built this monumental park out of grief for his dead wife, and in my Sacro Bosco I used this story as a core for my own inspiration: love as a foundation for creation.”

The accompanying video for the first single “Sacro Bosco” is, just like the music, an interpretation of the park with an imaginary twist. Directed by Gustaf and Ludvig Holtenäs.

www.youtube.com/watch

Anna summarises, “Sacro Bosco in Bomarzo is a creation carved out from one man’s head. A frozen thought lasting throughout time and touching people across generations. All thoughts fly, Ogni Pensiero Vola, is about this: the importance of sharing for surviving, creating space and evolving. Once you’ve shared your words they are not only yours anymore.”

All Thoughts Fly ultimately embodies the exploration of any and all possibilities, and the audience is invited to listen, liberate the mind and let it wander.

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Notes on the recording process:

The organ on All Thoughts Fly is situated in Gothenburg and is a Swedish replica of the Arp Schnitger organ in Germany. It is the largest organ tuned in Quarter-comma meantone temperament in the world. With it’s four manuals, one pedal and 54 stops, it was built as part of a ten-year research project reconstructing 17th Century North German organ building craft. The tuning temperament is an important detail to note here, as it deeply affects the sound and tuning, and thus radically changed the process of creating this album. Anna speaks of a pleasant surprise during recording, the organ’s ability to create beautiful “pitching” notes through its stops and air supply system. She remarks “We took advantage of this so most of the pitching sounds and notes that you hear on the album comes from the mechanics of this organ, effects made entirely acoustically.” The organ was recorded with two room mics for atmosphere and two pairs of close mics placed inside the organ to capture nuances and detail for further organ sound processing by Filip Leyman in his studio.

Releases September 25th, 2020

All songs written & played by Anna von Hausswolff

 

“‘Ghosts’ is about the beauty and joy of being in a band, and the pain of losing one another to illness and time. ‘Ghosts’ tries to speak to the spirit of the music itself, something none of us owns but can only discover and share together. In the E Street Band, it resides in our collective soul, powered by the heart.” – Bruce

New album “LetterToYou” featuring the E Street Band coming October 23rd.

An explosive electropop collaboration between two of our new favourite bands – the Saint Agnes remix of CLT DRP‘s ‘I Always Like Your Mother Better’. The release heralds the announcement of an exciting remix edition of CLT DRP’s album Without the Eyes, due to release 13th November.

Here’s what the bands had to say about each other , CLT DRP supported us at a show on tour and blew us away. Kitty and I couldn’t wait to get our hands on the music and remix it.

Saint Agnes: We knew early on that we wanted do a remix version of this album. With our sound edging in to that electronic territory it seemed like the natural thing to do. At the start of this project, if you showed us the list of bands that all came together in the end to do remixes for this album; we would have been pinching ourselves. We’re blown away with all the artists input and really excited for everyone to hear our debut album reworked.

CLT DRP: Both bands are sparkling hot stars of Brighton’s Small Pond Recordings – a Brighton indie label serving up some very tasty fish right now (see also LibraLibra and Bitch Falcon)

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Releases November 13th, 2020

Fleet Foxes have annouced the release of their surprise new album titled ‘Shore’.  The album news was shared today (September 22nd) to mark the beginning of the autumnal equinox. It was first teased with posters displayed around Paris at the weekend. ‘Shore’ follows the band’s 2017 album ‘Crack-Up’, and was recorded in New York, Paris, Hudson, Los Angeles and Long Island City between September 2018 and September 2020. The band’s fourth record features contributions from Uwade Akhere, Hamilton Leithauser, Grizzly Bear’s Chris Bear and Daniel Rossen, Kevin Morby, and others

“I see “shore” as a place of safety on the edge of something uncertain, staring at Whitman’s waves reciting ‘death’,” frontman Robin Pecknold said of the new album in a statement. “Tempted by the adventure of the unknown at the same time you are relishing the comfort of the stable ground beneath you. This was the mindset I found, the fuel I found, for making this album.”

The album comes complete with an accompanying film, also entitled Shore. It was shot in Washington, Oregon and Idaho on 16mm film by Kersti Jan Werdal. “I listened to the album while driving, and observationally shot landscapes that I felt resonated with the music, yet also stood on their own,” Werdal explained.

“The film is intended to co-exist and engage with the album, rather than be in a direct and symbiotic relationship with it. The urban and narrative scenes interact with the more surreal landscapes, rather than sit in opposition of one another. My hope is that the film, much like the album does, reflects optimism and strength.”

Speaking of the new album, Pecknold added: “Since the unexpected success of the first Fleet Foxes album over a decade ago, I have spent more time than I’m happy to admit in a state of constant worry and anxiety. Worried about what I should make, how it will be received, worried about the moves of other artists, my place amongst them, worried about my singing voice and mental health on long tours. I’ve never let myself enjoy this process as much as I could, or as much as I should. “By February 2020, I was again consumed with worry and anxiety over this
album and how I would finish it. But since March, with a pandemic spiralling out of control, living in a failed state, watching and participating in a rash of protests and marches against systemic injustice, most of my anxiety around the album disappeared. It just came to seem so small in comparison to what we were all experiencing together.

“In its place came a gratitude, a joy at having the time and resources to devote to making sound, and a different perspective on how important or not this music was in the grand
scheme of things. Music is both the most inessential and the most essential thing. We don’t need music to live, but I couldn’t imagine life without it. It became a great gift to no longer carry any worry or anxiety around the album, in light of everything that is going on.”

Fleet Foxes’ last album, 2017’s ‘Crack-Up’, was given the four-star album review, writing: “Some may be unconvinced by the ambitious leap Fleet Foxes have made on album three, but there’s really no doubting the first-rate intelligence behind this uncompromising and ever-changing piece of work.” Pecknold:  I wanted to make an album that celebrated life in the face of death, honouring our lost musical heroes explicitly in the lyrics and carrying them with me musically, committing to living fully and vibrantly in a way they no longer can, in a way they maybe couldn’t even when they were with us, despite the joy they brought to so many. I wanted to make an album that felt like a relief, like your toes finally touching sand after being caught in a rip current. I wanted the album to exist in a liminal space outside of time, inhabiting both the future and the past, accessing something spiritual or personal that is untouchable by whatever the state of the world may be at a given moment, whatever our season. I see “shore” as a place of safety on the edge of something uncertain, staring at Whitman’s waves reciting “death,” tempted by the adventure of the unknown at the same time you are relishing the comfort of the stable ground beneath you. This was the mindset I found, the fuel I found, for making this album.

Elsewhere in the statement, Pecknold wrote that, next year, the band will release nine more songs, “co-written from the ground up with [Fleet Foxes members] Morgan Henderson, Skyler Skjelset, Casey Wescott, and Christian Wargo.”

Fleet Foxes are to release their fourth studio album “Shore” . The bright and hopeful album, released via Anti-Records, for a February 5th street date. In addition to the album, a 16 mm road movie of the same name by Kersti Jan Werdal that showcases the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest.

On Friday, September 18th, 2020, Sub Pop will release L7’s “Smell the Magic:” 30th Anniversary Edition, the fiery, American grunge pioneers’ second album. L7 were formed by Donita Sparks and Suzi Gardner in 1985 Of their meeting and on hearing Gardner play a tape of her songs in progress, Sparks described it as “one of the happiest days of my life” with a clear synchronicity in the music they were each interested in creating. At the time, Gardner was also active as a poet. The punk rock duo brought Jennifer Finch on board as bass guitarist and Anne Anderson on drums.

This 30th-anniversary edition of the ‘90s underground rock classic includes all 9 songs from the album, remastered and available together on vinyl for the first time ever! A multitude of rock music scenes populated the expanse of Los Angeles in 1989: hardcore punk, industrial goth, roots rock, and Sunset Strip hair metal, to name a few. L7 fit into none of them, creating their own unique blend of punk and hard, hooky rock loaded with humour and cultural commentary. Originally released in 1990, Smell the Magic is a landmark of ’90s feminist rock.

But making a mark on the LA underground rock scene was more challenging than it seemed.
Originating out of art punk circles in 1985, L7 played countless poetry readings, drag shows, art happenings and punk rock dive bars. They were nothing short of perseverant.

Having already released one album, eponymously titled, L7, the band was touring up the West Coast when they began to meet like minded artists affiliated with Sub Pop Records. The band managed to score a phone number for the imprint, and convinced label founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman to come see them live.

That show would take place a couple of weeks later in 1989 at an arts center in Seattle. The stage was finagled out of folding tables, and friends recruited to work a smoke machine (members of the group Cat Butt) decided to drop acid before attending to their duties. This led to a thick fog filling the entire venue and the band’s performance could hardly even be seen. L7 were convinced they blew it. Instead, they got signed: Sub Pop may not have been able to see them, yet, but they could hear them and asked if L7 would do a recording for their monthly Singles Club.

Later in the year, the band went into the label’s go-to studio in Seattle, Reciprocal Recording and in one day recorded “Shove,” “Packin’ a Rod,” and “Fast and Frightening.”

Released in January, the single’s A-side “Shove” would kick off the 1990’s with a bang and L7 would have an underground hit on their hands.

The band was then given the go ahead to record a full EP. The buzz from their Sub Pop’s Singles Club release was almost immediately palpable.

A few months after “Shove,” L7 continued with recording the EP—later expanded into a full-length album with three cover songs (“Packin’ a Rod,” “Just Like Me,” and “American Society”). They recorded again with Reciprocal’s producer, Jack Endino, and later Michael James and Ramones-producer Daniel Rey in Los Angeles.

This 30th-anniversary edition of the ‘90s underground rock classic Smell the Magic includes all 9 songs from the album, remastered and available together on vinyl for the first time ever! Originally released in 1990, Smell the Magic is a landmark of ’90s feminist rock.

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This 30th-anniversary edition of the ‘90s underground rock classic Smell The Magic (which originally came out as a six-track 12″/nine-track CD) includes all nine songs from the album, remastered and available together on vinyl for the first time. A multitude of rock music scenes populated the expanse of Los Angeles in 1989: hardcore punk, industrial goth, roots rock, and Sunset Strip hair metal, to name a few. L7 fit into none of them, creating their own unique blend of punk and hard, hooky rock loaded with humor and cultural commentary. Originally released in 1990, Smell The Magic is a landmark of ’90s feminist rock.

“Smell the Magic: 30th Anniversary Edition” is now available from Sub PopLP preorders through megamart.subpop.com and select retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on clear with high melt orange, blue, and grey vinyl.

Releases September 18th, 2020 Sub Pop Records