Posts Tagged ‘Big Scary Monsters Records’

May be an image of 3 people, people standing, outdoors and tree

Remember Sports was a self-categorized “basement rock band” when they formed as a group of Kenyon College students in 2012. The band’s electrifying pop punk bonafides and the inimitable vocals of frontperson and primary songwriter Carmen Perry found them quick acclaim and a home at Father/Daughter Records. 2018’s Slow Buzz, their first as Philadelphians, saw a new line-up of the band collaboratively writing, building depth and elaboration to their compositions and production. Heavy touring alongside high-energy art punk heroes like Jeff Rosenstock and Joyce Manor brought their tightly synced playing to a stronger level, while headlining dates supported by favourite artists like Lomelda, Trace Mountains and Pllush inspired them to embrace meandering flourishes in their songs. When they came off the road, they were ready to write, entering a meticulous pre-production and demoing process, rehearsing in sectionals to help every moment blossom. Like a Stone, the result of that work, contains some of the smartest performances and arrangements in contemporary indie rock. While they’ve maintained the warmth and immediacy that made the quartet so beloved when they first connected to one another years ago, it’s hard to imagine songs this huge relegated solely to the basement.

Remember Sports’ is the third album for Father/Daughter which builds on the promise of their last, with an elevated sense of space and sound. Taking a multi-instrumental approach, the band members—bassist Catherine Dwyer, guitarist Jack Washburn, drummer Connor Perry and guitarist and singer Carmen—traded instruments throughout, resulting in biting bass-and-drum grooves, entrancing percussion layers, saturated synths and drum machines, and found sound minutiae from Connor’s circuit-bent electronics the band calls “evil items.” Carmen’s singing, meanwhile, even more expertly turns on its heel from pop-perfect vocal runs to squirmy sneers. “I like mixing the pretty and polished with our vibe, which is more detuned and discordant,” says Carmen of their distinctive approach.

Remember Sports’ most influential rock forebears make compelling reference points, from the interlocking guitar sophistication of Built to Spill, the eclectic pop snark of Rilo Kiley, the blown-out might of Sleater-Kinney’s The Woods, and the catchy intimacy of Yo La Tengo, who the band went to see together on a tour field trip. Former tour mates also provided inspiration, especially Nadine, whose Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader engineered and mixed the album while frontperson Nadia Hulett provided backing vocals. Catherine describes the experience of working with proper analogue out-fittings as “thrilling” and used the studio environment to channel another of the band’s co-writing heroes: Fleetwood Mac. “I love Tusk and tried to copy the lovely straight into the console tone they get on some guitars on that record,” she says. “I love when a guitar sounds like it has absolutely no air around it at all.”

Despite its sometimes heavy themes, Like a Stone’s twelve tracks riff better than your very best memories of MTV, and never quibble about shifting genres when it suits the song. Gates-storming opener “Pinky Ring,” road-tested by the band on its headlining 2019 dates, takes a teasing schoolyard melody and pairs it with bright tambourine. “Eggs” and “Odds Are” show off Nashville licks and croon-along vocals respectively, drawing from Carmen’s childhood love for Tejano music and country, including her uncle’s band Los Jackalopes; the latter has one of the album’s best examples of her darkly funny lyrics when she asks, “Why’d you lick those tongs – the ones you just got raw meat on?” With gated drums reminiscent of an aughties pop highlights comp, “Out Loud” sees the contributors trading lead vocals over portamento synth scoops, resonant strums and even bongo overdubs from Connor. “Carmen got to go full Ariana Grande,” Jack says of the diva-leagues vocal chops on display, “and the whispering she does on that last chorus is one of the most special moments on the record for me.” “Flossie Dickie,” composed by Catherine, nods to the band’s punk roots with untethered fretboard acrobatics. And “Coffee Machine,” with music written by Jack, manages to meld easy organs, muted surf guitar, and aloof group harmonies in an eerily cozy 39 seconds.

Releases April 23rd, 2021

Remember Sports is Catherine Dwyer, Carmen Perry, Connor Perry, and Jack Washburn

Music and lyrics by Carmen Perry
“Like a Stone” lyrics by Carmen Perry and Jack Washburn
“Coffee Machine” and “Like a Stone” music by Jack Washburn
“Easy” music by Carmen Perry and Jack Washburn
“Eggs” music by Carmen Perry and Catherine Dwyer
“Flossie Dickie” music by Catherine Dwyer

‘Like a Stone’ out April 23rd, 2021.

Oceanator aka Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Elise Okusami, is releasing her debut album, “Things I Never Said”, on August 28th via her own Plastic Miracles label. She has shared a new song from it, “Heartbeat,” which is about the anxiety that comes from having a crush on someone.

Okusami had this to say about “Heartbeat” in a press release: “This song is loosely about having a crush, and both the grounding feeling and the anxiety that feeling brings. We recorded it all together like a live performance, and then I went back and added the lead guitars and the vocals. Guitar and vocals by me, bass Eva Lawitts (they), drums Aaron Silberstein (he).

Things I Never Said includes “A Crack in the World,”. Then we loved the album’s next single, the more synth-poppy “I Would Find You,”.
Things I Never Said was originally due to come out on Tiny Engines, but then that label pretty much imploded after it was revealed that it was having difficulty making royalty payments to its artists, so Okusami is putting out the album on her own label instead. Although the British label Big Scary Monsters has just announced that they have signed Oceanator and will be releasing the album in the UK.

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Releases August 28th, 2020

All songs written by Elise Okusami

Very excited to welcome the wonderful ME REX to Big Scary Monsters Record’s.

Initially the brainchild of Myles McCabe, the band has recently expanded to a four piece with the additions of Phoebe Cross (Happy Accidents/Cheerbleederz), Rich Mandell (Happy Accidents) and Kathryn Woods (Fresh/Cheerbleederz). Now they present their new EP, “Triceratops”, which is released on 28th August.

Check out the first single, “Stellar Abattoir”, below

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Big Scary Monsters is an independent currently label based in Oxford. It has so far been responsible for releases from the likes of Minus The Bear, Andrew W.K., Pulled Apart By Horses, Gnarwolves, Kevin Devine, Into It. Over It, Cursive, Meet Me In St Louis, Bear vs Shark, Toe, This Town Needs Guns, Tall Ships, Matt Pryor, Walter Schreifels, Joyce Manor, Algernon Cadwallader and many, many more. 

Releases August 28th, 2020

London quartet Honey Lung shared their second EP “Post Modern Motorcade Music” via Big Scary Monsters (American Football, Beach Slang)—the follow-up to their 2019 demos and singles collection Memory, which was among one of the best EPs of last year. “Big” is a case study in the power of subtle, blooming melodies, “Juggle” is the band’s most lo-fi cut to date and perhaps their most lyrically pensive and “Be My Friend” is the kind of bittersweet lo-fi rock to be cherished—it’s equal parts soul-stirring and charming.

Having spent three months writing in Berlin, Honey Lung have grown up a lot as a band, they now express a more introspective side that has placed their songs outside of conventional genre boundaries. Now somewhere in a visceral, dark cosmos of story telling and honest feelings. With nods to artists such as Sparklehorse, Elliott Smith and Wilco. 

Ever building in sonic confidence and reputation, London four-piece Honey Lung take us through their latest EP Post Modern Motorcade Music . Taking in sweeping Americana landscapes inspired by their trip to SXSW, stopping off at the heartbreak hotel and driving the long and lonely road of longing, this EP lyrically takes the listener on a journey, as well as musically. The band have undergone some changes, and this EP emerges as a triumphant trophy of those evolutions, lsonically mature in comparison to previous releases.

‘Getting Off’

‘Getting Off’ has got a sweeping, almost American-heartland vibe to it, where intimate feelings get carried along by hazy, expansive sounds. That style of music probably took on a new resonance for us when we were in Texas for SXSW last year, and we could see for ourselves how these huge dreamy American landscapes can inspire that kind of expression. This song feels like it grew a lot out of those travels and the things we were going through at that time. ‘Getting Off’ can mean different things to different people, or in different circumstances, and this song tries to capture that changeability.

‘Be My Friend’

This was an important song to us because it was the first one we put out after a period of sorting ourselves out, going through some changes, and then eventually signing with Big Scary Monsters. We wanted to announce ourselves with something punchy but kind of fun too – as soon as you put the song on, you’re right there in the middle of it. Lyrically it tells a bit of an ironic and awkward story but there’s some angst there too, which probably reflected that the idea for the song came about when we were a bit younger, but also our recent eagerness to just back on it again.

‘Name’

You can probably tell just from listening to it that this song deals with some raw memories. There’s a hypnotic and repetitive base but it’s got a huge range of dynamics which makes it kind of adaptable – live we can make it hit hard or draw people up close and play it more intimately. It also sounds super nice acoustically, which is usually a conscious decision for us – we’re hugely inspired by bands like Wilco and Alex G who, despite all the weird sounds they experiment with, could pick out any of their songs and just play it on their own. We think all songs should have that kind of solid musical core to them that transfers across all the different ways you can play it.

‘Big’

Like all the songs on the EP, ‘Big’ has gone through a lot of evolutions and been played a few different ways over the months to see how it felt in front of an audience. Really we wanted this to be a lyrically-led song, each musical part forming part of a whole and nothing more, to let the vocals and lyrics shine through. The song comes from a place of heartbreak and longing, but also explores the growth and renewal that comes out of those experiences. When we grow up to be ‘big’ we learn a lot but we come up against new challenges and responsibilities.

‘Juggle’

The idea for this song was knocking around for ages as an angry grunge jam, but when we came back to it, we felt we’d grown out of that phase a bit and went off-kilter with the sounds, exploring synths and some different textures and Alex G style hints of weirdness. Obviously it’s a lot of fun to play live because you can play around with the noise and the mess to your advantage. We’re trying to show a mature and lyrical development on this EP, but you can still find the controlled chaos in places, especially on this track. Either way, the message of the song has stayed the same: the slippery slope into a darker frame of mind that can happen when you get too bored and restless.

Band Members:
Jamie
Omri
David
Harry

Orchards have announced their debut album. ‘Lovecore’ is due to arrive on March 13th via Big Scary Monsters, with the band’s debut headline UK and European tour set to follow in April. They said:

“It’s our statement, a flag in the ground letting people know we’re here and this is exactly what we’re all about. It’s the product of years of touring, meeting new people, hard times, good times, loss, friendships and growth. We’re starting a party and everyones invited.”

Alongside the announcement of the record, the quartet have shared a new single. “Sincerely Overwhelmed” features their unique, upbeat blend of math-rock and pop, complete with endearingly candid lyrics.

Band Members
Sam Rushton – (Guitar)
Dan Fane – (Bass/BVs)
Will Lee-Lewis – (Drums)
Lucy Evers – (Vocals)

Tue April 07th 2020 – NOTTINGHAM Bodega Social

We have previously covered Cultdreams back when they went under the name Kamikaze Girls who released one of favourite albums of 2017. This week the band have announced their long awaited return, with their new album, Things That Hurt, will be coming in August. The band also shared the first new material from it, “We Never Rest”, which features Katie Dvorak and David F. Bello of The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die.

Discussing the upcoming record, vocalist and guitarist, Lucinda Livingstone has suggested it’s a record that is more political than it’s predecessor, a look at modern Britain, and how it can be hard to find a place in it. We Never Rest, in particular, looks at the difficulty of balancing life in a bubble, and the reality of the world outside it. As Lucinda explains, “I very much live in a bubble—people couldn’t care less about how I live, who I live with, how much money I do or don’t earn, what I look like, or how I choose to spend my time, but then it’s so easy to get used to the bubble, and once you’re out it’s not like that anymore.” If the record is taking on less personal themes, musically it’s as affecting as ever, drummer Conor still hits the drums harder than anyone we’ve ever heard, Lucinda’s guitar work and passionate vocal howl remain very much in place. A bold next step, from a band who remain one of the most exciting bands the UK has to offer.

Things That Hurt is out August 16th via Big Scary Monsters.

The fabulously flamboyant duo PWR BTTM takes a melancholy turn on its latest single. The sweetly sentimental sounding “New Hampshire” ponders the end of everything, from a love affair to the birds in the sky and the burning sun. But it shrugs it all off as an inevitable evolution of any life. “Don’t be sad,” sings guitarist Ben Hopkins. “I’ve done my share of living.”

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“It’s a song about greener grass,” Hopkins says. “I wrote it during a period of time where I hated where I lived and who I was there, and I just felt so helpless that I figured whenever I did inevitably wither away, the parties that be could ship me somewhere better. Reflecting on it, the hopelessness I felt was actually in me, and the place I was in or where I wanted to be couldn’t help things if I wasn’t willing to help myself first.”

PWR BTTM originally wrote “New Hampshire” for last year’s full-length debut, Ugly Cherries, but eventually scrapped the cut until now. Last month the duo released another one-off single called “Projection.” PWR BTTM is scheduled to return to the studio in September to record a sophomore full-length, which they hope to put out in 2017.

“New Hampshire” by PWR BTTM
Father/Daughter Records (US) and Big Scary Monsters (UK/EU)