Archive for the ‘WE LOVE’ Category


Masseduction, St. Vincent’s fifth solo album, is a neck-snapping magnum opus. Though dark, it avoids the kind of overdone, maudlin doom and gloom that mopes instead of shocks; it’s the most conceptually perfect and perfectly constructed album in a whole catalog incredible albums. Every second and noise is accounted for, but it’s not so stuffy that there isn’t air to breathe. Rather, the fester of drugs, fame, loss, sex, indulgence and suicide found on Masseduction are strained through Annie Clark’s signature clever grin. While other artists attempted high-concept album roll-outs in the last year, none did so as successfully or cohesively as St.Vincent’s Masseduction — in part because her themes are vital in our current cultural conversation. For her first album in three years, Annie Clark dissects sexuality, power dynamics, and fractured identity in an industry embroiled in assault and harassment. And though she addresses the loss of control head on, she asserts her own power and control without ever presuming either can be had. Masseduction is defiance writ large by exploring reality’s smallest and most pervasive pains.

Read through the write-ups on St. Vincent’s brilliantly Kubrick-esque new record and count up how many times the male producer of this record is mentioned. It is a weird level of ignoring the endless work St. Vincent has done cultivating her sound. From her early days in Polyphonic Spree to the perfect pop of Strange Mercy to that psychotic record with David Byrne to the new album Masseduction her most succinct statement, like it or not — St. Vincent has willed her vision into life. “Los Ageless” is her best song too. Well, that’s probably “Year of the Tiger”. But “Los Ageless” is her most succinct song, it’s her most well-executed song. It soft and delicate in its delivery while still being thrifty in its layers.

“New York” may be Annie Clark’s finest ballad, and the competition for that title is stiff. Her 2014 self-titled LP alone offered two credible contenders: “Prince Johnny” and “Severed Crossed Fingers”, the latter song being that masterpiece’s crowning achievement. But in an album packed with errant pop extravaganzas, “New York” stands in stark contrast as Masseduction’s grand and naked centerpiece.

Apart from a soaring gospel chorus, what makes “New York” so remarkable is its thematic plasticity. Is Clark lamenting the end of the early-aughts NYC music scene, recently documented (to great acclaim) by Lizzy Goodman? Is she mourning the death of David Bowie? Is she addressing her breakup with Cara Delevingne? The answer is, of course, all of the above and beyond.

“New York” is a classic composite song that, in the right light, fits this or that narrative. Which is to say, it’s universal, an elegy for many occasions, a multi-faceted opus. Choose your own adventure. But it only soars so high because Clark’s shattering melody can easily bear such a heavy burden, with weightlessness and might.

Los Ageless


We named Los Angeles Police Department as a band to watch based on the strength of their debut album released in 2014 , and they followed that up with a string of singles over the last year, including Insecurity,” “Water And Wine,” andHard.” Today, Ryan Pollie has announced that LAPD has signed to Anti- Records for a full-length coming later this year, and has since shared a new single called “The Plane 2.” It’s the most lush and ambitious thing that Pollie’s put out under the name yet, a gleaming declaration of devotion that crackles past the four minute mark before cutting out abruptly for a warm piano outro.


SoCal songwriter Ryan Pollie expertly weaves bedroom pop under the moniker Los Angeles Police Department. and is now gearing up to unveil his follow-up LP later this year.

Pollie’s first for label ANTI- (Japandroids, Neko Case), the record is being teased today with a new single called “The Plane 2”. A press release writes that it’s a love song “deeply adventurous in arrangement,” an apt description considering the loops and layers of twinkling xylophone, dusty percussion, and elastic synths.


“The Plane 2″ is out now. A full-length is due out later this year

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The Wave Pictures return with a brand new, vinyl only album called A Season in Hull, due out on 12th February on their own label Wymeswold Records. The album was recorded on acoustic guitars in one room, with a bunch of their friends, live in to one microphone on singer Dave Tattersall’s birthday, January 28th, 2015. The songs were written as quickly as possible and the recording captures that specific moment in all its spontaneous, thrilling and immediate glory. As Tattersall elaborates: “That’s what this is – a one-microphone happy birthday recording.”


American Band is not a bashful album. As a collection of songs, it’s not quite as effective as say Southern Rock Opera or even The Dirty South. But as a political statement, it’s easily the most emphatic work by the band Drive By Truckers. “What It Means” takes a subdued approach to the subject of African-Americans killed at the hands of police (or, in the case of Martin, a vigilante cop-wannabe). “Darkened Flags on the Cusp of Dawn” is the brawny flipside, full of the growling, intertwined guitars that have become something of a Truckers signature over the years. Singer Patterson Hood mostly handles the downhearted tunes, singing from the perspective of a military veteran wounded as a civilian by an act of domestic terrorism on the moody “Guns of Umpqua,” sighing in the gloom over a gentle piano phrase on “When the Sun Don’t Shine” and parsing his own struggles with depression on “Baggage,” written after Robin Williams committed suicide. Although the songs on American Band are arguably not the band’s catchiest, it’s a body of work that is starting to feel increasingly essential as the American political landscape gets more and more surreal



Image result for matt pond and laura stevenson

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Matt Pond PA is going on tour in support of their recent album The State of Goldreleased on Doghouse Records. The album features guest vocals from Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds and drumming from Matt Iwanusa of Caveman on it’s lead song “More No More.”

The album is available in limited edition gold translucent double LP edition of The State of Gold.  The guy’s a craftsman, and his body of work proves he’s got reliable songwriting aptitude. In what employ he decides to use it, well, that’s what will sum up everything in the end.

Laura Stevenson, is an artist finally hitting real stride. Though pleasant, her musical footprint has to this point been somewhat indistinct. But she’s got a new album, Cocksure, that’ was released October on Don Giovanni Records . Like a modern-day Tanya Donelly, Stevenson leaves the whimsical folk and pop detours behind and really digs into a direct indie-rock sound that’s muscular and classic on this ‘90s-channeling record. A mixture of sweetness, crooked charm and sharpening marksmanship, this simultaneously beaming and driving album is easily her most definitive work yet.


These Days as covered by Matt Pond (feat. Laura Stevenson & Chris Hanson) From the Wes Anderson film Royal Tenenbaums, Originally performed by Nico Written by Jackson Browne .

Before Jenny Lewis was the singer for Rilo Kiley, she was a child actor. The video for “She’s Not Me,” features a TMZ spin-off tracing an incarcerated Lewis’ backstory through appearances in The Golden Girls, The Wizard, Hellville, and Troop Beverly Hills. Plus, famous friends Fred Armisen, Vanessa Bayer, Leo Fitzpatrick, Zosia Mamet, and Feist show up to join her. “She’s Not Me” by Jenny Lewis, from the album The Voyager


Independent Record Label based in Brooklyn New York City formed in 2007, included on its Roster are ZOLA JESUS, DAVID LYNCH, MOON DUO, THE MEN, PSYCHIC ILLS, and CRYSTAL STILTS one of the best american record label in the last 5 years,

It’s a prolific time for Brooklyn’s Sacred Bones label; with some of the finest records of the year released under their belts, plus last year they curated a stage at Liverpool Psych Fest (co-curated a stage with Chile’s BYM label), general manager Taylor Brode explains,

“I can’t imagine that I would ever be interested in doing something else as a career,” Taylor Brode tells us. It’s a familiar expression in the music industry, as common from the mouths of pouting indie rock hopefuls as from doe-eyed X Factor auditionees. Though intended to convey a mixture of romanticism, determination and focus, it almost always betrays the pie-in-the-sky hopelessness upon which dreams of fame and fortune are built – a lack of experience clouded, sometimes wilfully, by blind hope that the reality of ambition is neither intangible as clouds nor delicate as bubbles.

And yet when Brode utters those words, they sound perfectly straightforward; completely reasonable. Then again, her role as general manager of Brooklyn’s Sacred Bones Records is one where dreams and ideals have to be wedded to pragmatism – where romance has to be tempered by practicality without losing its sheen. “This is what I love to do,” she continues. “I love working with bands and finding out about new music, and just helping bands realise their goals.” That balance, it would appear, is in good health, which is presumably just one of the factors behind the renowned and increasingly respected indie label’s meteoric rise over the past eight years… but back up a minute. Let’s start earlier.

Sacred Bones was founded in 2007 by Caleb Braaten, an employee of Williamsburg’s Academy Records, who simply wanted to release an EP by his friends and reissue some curate’s eggs from the 80s heyday of British post-punk. Even as a youngster, he had always been surrounded by records. “His friends’ parents owned a store – they still do – called Twist and Shout, in Denver,” explains Brode cheerfully, with the knowledgeable air of someone well-versed in their own history. “He got into music from working there when he was younger, and he’s been a lifelong record collector. His taste is really wide, he likes a lot of post-punk and darker music, but also a lot of jazz and soul music and rap music… pretty broad.”

This open approach served Braaten well when he moved to New York over a decade ago, and began to immerse himself in Brooklyn’s notoriously hip music scene. “The first record that he ever put out was a seven-inch by this band called The Hunt, who were just good friends of his. He started a label to do that and also to do some reissues. It was mostly a New York-based label, and the bands were from here – people he’d met in the shop. Blank Dogs was the first 12-inch he ever put out, and that was [Captured Tracks boss] Mike Sniper’s band. They worked at Academy together, so that’s kind of how that came up.”

Food for thought is offered to anyone who imagines that starting a label – even in such a cultural metropolis – might be a glamorous pursuit. “He started the label in the basement of Academy, and he did two, three years there. I moved here in 2010 [having worked previously for Chicago’s legendary Touch and Go stable, the effortlessly professional Brode is no stranger to the industry] so we both worked in their basement for about two years. We moved into our office in 2012; we didn’t have internet and there were rats in the basement, no windows… it was truly a basement for a long time. But we have a proper office now with phones and stuff…!”

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Since those humble beginnings, the label has relocated (along with Academy) to Green Point, slightly further to the north of Brooklyn than their Billyburg origins. It’s also become one of the most widely respected indie labels in North America – a tastemaker label in the mould of Sub Pop, Homestead or even Touch and Go, covering a wide base of genres from the glistening electronic pitter-patter of Blanck Mass to Jenny Hval’s deconstructivist, gender-freeing pop to Destruction Unit’s sandstorm-buffeted hardcore to… well, you get the picture. Did the label always have designs on such eclecticism, we wonder? Brode pauses to consider. “I think it was more just what was going on in Brooklyn; I don’t think [Braaten] started the label with the intention of it just being one genre. We’ve done folk records and a lot of psych records, and experimental, and noise… we try to keep it open.”

And yet it feels like there has been a consistent strand of darkness in the label’s output. “We don’t like to box ourselves in as being goth or dark or anything. People sort of attach that to us. I think a lot of it is because of Zola Jesus; we did all of her early records, and a lot of her coverage at the time was comparing her to Siouxsie, so I think we kind of got lumped in with that genre. It’s not really what we consider ourselves.

“You know The Men? Leave Home, the first record we did with them, sounds really different than the stuff they put out after; they got a lot more into country and folk and blues. They were sort of like a hardcore band at the beginning, but they really evolved over the four records we’ve done with them. We’ve had opportunities to work on stuff like that before but we’ve passed; we veer more towards the avant-garde, or edgy, weirder stuff.”

For all this wilful diversity, however, Sacred Bones have always been drawn towards the concept of visual uniformity: the vast majority of their sleeves bear a simple design concept created specifically to draw regular listeners to new projects. The significance of this straightforward notion is not lost on Brode. “It’s really important!” she exclaims. “Basically all of our full-length LPs carry a template, so they have the record label logo on the front, and then the album title, and all the tracks listed on the front of the record. Caleb designed that format with our graphic designer David Correll – he really wanted to have our records be instantly recognisable, so you could look at something and know it was a Sacred Bones record. It was inspired by the Factory Records stuff, and Impulse Jazz. We really tried to make it coherent, so our listeners could trust our taste and take a chance on a band they don’t know because they recognise it from being on the label.”

This format is a little more flexible for bands who’ve stayed with the label for more than two records, but it begs the question of whether anyone has been reluctant to go along with the theme. Brode laughs. “There’s been a couple of bands that don’t love it, but you know, it’s sort of part of our deal. So I think bands know when they sign with us. We’re pretty upfront about it and if bands don’t want to do it, we don’t do their records. But that’s really only happened one or two times at the most.”


In terms of the US labels we mentioned earlier, are Sacred Bones conscious of being part of that lineage? “I think we are now. We’re in our eighth year and things are pretty different from when we started. We’re getting to work with a lot of artists and filmmakers who really influenced us, David Lynch being the forerunner there [Sacred Bones reissued the soundtrack to Lynch’s uber-surreal debut, Eraserhead]. We really count that as a blessing and not something we try to take that for granted.”

Are indie labels of that ilk important, then, in terms of defining eras or places? “Yeah, absolutely! It’s a document of what’s happening at the time – I mean, that’s literally what the word ‘record’ means. But I don’t think Caleb ever intended for it to just be that, you know? We have bands now from all over the globe, which is amazing.”

Indeed, it seems the process of bringing acts into the Sacred Bones fold is a shared task: “When we’re looking for new bands, we’ll ask our bands who they like, and we pay a lot of attention to who they’re touring with. We really try to have a community and a lot of our artists work together on releases or just become friends and hang out and do shows together. That’s really special to us.”

That community has since extended to BYM Records, an independent label based in Santiago, Chile, who share elements of their roster with Sacred Bones – specifically trance-tinged krautrockers Föllakzoid and the motorik dreampop of The Holydrug Couple. “It’s their friends’ label,” Brode tells us enthusiastically. “I think two of them are in this band called La Hell Gang, who are amazing – they were touring with Föllakzoid and Holydrug Couple in the United States a couple of years ago, so we hung out with them. They’re really sweet guys and we’re mutual fans of each other.”

This shared love has even extended to one of the highlights of late September, as the two labels jointly curate a stage at the hotly anticipated Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia. Placing the likes of Blanck Mass and Destruction Unit alongside South American wonders such as The Ganjas’ stoned fuzz brilliance and the epic Chicos de Nazca, it’s sure to be one of Psych Fest’s greatest spectacles.

sacred bones

This may be one of the biggest “no duh” labels on our list . Though they’ve made a name for themselves as a home for initially smaller artists with big visions, often with stunning visual art components, to grow into true forces, Sacred Bones aren’t content to rest on their cred, to settle into a comfortable groove. Their output this year took a lot of risks and showed a lot of ambition, and also showed the true care they put as a label into every detail in order to let their artists grow.

Please Seek Out: Jenny Hval: Apocalypse, girl; Institute, Catharsis; Destruction Unit, Negative Feedback Resistor; Rose McDowall, Cut With the Cake Knife; The Holydrug Couple, Moonlust

SYLVAN ESSO – ” Play It Right “

Posted: December 9, 2015 in WE LOVE


When we caught Sylvan Esso at this year’s Green Man, the Alabama, frontwoman Amelia Meath made reference to Beyonce a few times during their set—first by singing a snippet of “Flawless” and then by making a comment after the high winds started blowing her hair around. “I feel like Beyonce,” she said, laughing. “If only.” The thing is, there are similarities to Meath and the pop diva; both know how to work a crowd and deliver a high-energy, danceable set. Meath’s confidence as a performer shined on favorites like “Coffee” and “Hey Mami” this year, and though she may not have woken up in the giant platform sneakers she was sporting, Sylvan Esso’s set was, in fact, flawless.


Posted: June 19, 2015 in WE LOVE


September Girls are a five piece noise pop band from Dublin, Ireland. The band formed in September 2011 and performed their first gig in Dublin in November 2011.[1] Having released singles under various labels between 2012 & 2013, the band signed to Fortuna Pop! in 2013 and released their debut album in January 2014.[2] In Autumn 2014, ahead of their appearance at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York, the band announced signing to Kanine Records, and an EP release through Kanine & Fortuna Pop! Pulling from romantic yet hazy, noise and echo chamber heavy influenced bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain or The Cure, September Girls are an Irish all-girl quintet who is making waves across the pond. The band’s latest offering stateside is the Veneer EP, a four track burner that tips it’s hat to shoegaze, post-punk, and more. It rips,





More classic psychedelic lettering by our good friend here in “Posterville”, and acclaimed father of the style and legendary BIG FIVE artist, Wes Wilson. WE have poster #61 in the old Fillmore poster series. This poster dates back 46 years ago. On this date in 1967, Buffalo Springfield, The Steve Miller Band and Freedom Highway played for a revved up audience at the Fillmore Auditorium here in the city by the bay. There are several variation of this poster due to the fact that the colors of inks were changed during the press run. I wish I could put up a few of the different colored posters as they are all really beautiful. This one is my favorite though.
The image here is of a fantasy face of a figure with a long head dress which forms the lettering. In one way,it is very unfortunate that Wes was about to have a dispute with Bill Graham which led to him no longer producing posters for the Fillmore concerts because most of the designs he created at this time were some of the most brilliant works of graphic artistry created in the 20th century. I truly believe that …..wouldn’t you agree? Alas, he went onto create a vast amount of posters long after that, and continues to this day producing some incredible pieces. Look up his website to see just what he’s been up too.

In spite of artistic differences, Family Dog’s “Top Dog” Chet Helms and Master Big FIve rock artist, Wes Wilson collaborated on the beginnings of what led to a revolutionary explosion of creativity in Psychedelic Poster Art. Both Helms and Wilson are credited with the artwork on this poster. The image on this piece certainly screams at the viewer… “Strange things are going to happen at this concert advertised on this Poster”! This is probably exactly was Chet wanted, and is one of the main elements of psychedelic art, …an appeal to weirdness.

It was 49 years ago (holy crap) on this day back in 1966, that Love, The Sons of Adam and The Charlatans played at the Fillmore Auditorium for the last Family Dog event to take place there. After that it was mostly ALL Avalon Ballroom with a couple of exceptions. Lights that night provided by Tony Martin’s Light Sights. This “Poster From The Past” is Family Dog poster #4 in the original series. It was printed three times.

Wes Wilson (Robert Wesley Wilson). Grateful Dea, Junior Wells, Chicago Blues Band, and The Doors. 1966. Offset Lithograph, 22 3/4 x 14" (57.8 x 35.5 cm). Gift of Joseph H. Heil; Wes Wilson (Robert Wesley Wilson). Jefferson Airplane / Grateful Dead. 1966. Lithograph, 20 x 14 1/4" (50.8 x 36.2 cm). Gift of the designer

Consider the design work of  Wes Wilson, the unofficial father of the 1960s concert poster: the Jefferson Airplane / Grateful Dead concert at the Fillmore, or The Grateful Dead, Junior Wells, Chicago Blues Band, and The Doors concert. Wilson, who dropped out of school for forestry, found himself in the right place at the right time—San Francisco, just before the “Summer of Love” working for a printer. His only formal design training was a few night school art classes and trips to the library for inspiration from the likes of Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt, and Alfred Roller—excellent choices by anyone’s standard. Making the scene brought him in contact with concert promoters Chet Helms and the Family Dog and Bill Graham, and one thing led to another.