Posts Tagged ‘DIIV’

Spotlight: DIIV

“Deceiver”, their third LP, is a tidal wave of slow-core ruminations and shoegaze distortion that finds singer/ guitarist Zachary Cole Smith surveying the planet’s demise and his own recovery after a well-publicized battle with drug addiction. But those cathartic songs helped the frontman chart a clear path forward.

“I’ve gained a lot of clarity in the distance I’ve had from active addiction—the shitty times I’ve had in my life and the shitty times we’ve had as a band,” he says, brushing off the suggestion that these songs, played onstage, might serve as reminders of a more painful period. “Mostly it’s trying to communicate lessons from that time, rather than living in it or revisiting it for the sake of itself.”

It’s impossible to tiptoe around the substance abuse narrative that’s dominated the press cycles throughout the band’s career. Smith, a Brooklyn indie-rock journeyman, formed the first iteration of DIIV—then called Dive—in 2011, and his shimmering, guitar-driven dream-pop captured an instant audience with their debut LP, 2012’s Oshin. But a dark cloud soon hovered over the band: The following year, Smith and his then-girlfriend, singer Sky Ferreira, were arrested after heroin and ecstasy were reportedly found in his van; original drummer Colby Hewitt quit in 2015; and bassist Devin Ruben Perez, who left the lineup in 2017, was discovered to have made offensive comments on the website 4chan.

The band’s long-awaited second record gestated during that stretch, emerging in 2016 as Is the Is Are—a more hi-fi and somewhat optimistic song cycle that drew on Smith’s recovery. But in real life, the dark cycle continued: After canceling a stretch of tour dates due to what band reps called an “urgent health issue,” Smith checked himself into a long-term inpatient program in 2017—leading to stints in rehab and a sober living house.

With all that drama in the band’s collective past, it’s only natural that Deceiver hits harder than their previous work—full of sculpted fuzz, mammoth dynamic shifts and woozy tremolo bar dives that recall the majesty of My Bloody Valentine. The thematic heaviness seemed to breed sonic heaviness: “I think it definitely did,” Smith confirms. “To match a lot of the lyrical themes, I think the music had to meet it halfway, so they work together. I’m sure there’s a relation there.”

Much credit goes to coproducer/engineer Sonny Diperri, who helped the quartet—Smith, guitarist Andrew Bailey, bassist Colin Caulfield, drummer Ben Newman—zero in on maximizing the “sound of a four-piece rock band.”

We’ve been called a ‘shoegaze band’ ever since the beginning, and I don’t ever feel like it fit us,” Smith says. “The more we worked on the songs, the more we got feelings and textures from certain shoegaze bands that we loved. And we wanted to bring those [ideas] in for emphasis on parts. In the middle of working on the record, Sonny got the call to go out to Ireland and work with My Bloody Valentine. So he had a pretty intimate knowledge of how the album they were working on was made and how their previous records were made. He taught us a couple things that MBV does for some of their textures. It’s a small part of the record— we didn’t lean on it too hard. We just tried to use it where it made sense.”

Smith also chalks up that dark descent to a 2018 tour with post-metal act Deafheaven, during which they experimented with new material before entering the studio. “Deafheaven were big influences on the way we approached stuff,” he says. “We were trying out slower tempos live. A lot of our references were slowcore bands that we all love, including ‘90s stuff like Bedhead and Red House Painters and Duster. Though some of those slower tempos are difficult to adjust to, they gave us more freedom to write the songs we wanted to write.”

The word “freedom” is key. Deceiver is the first DIIV album credited to the full band, rather than Smith alone—and they relied on that collaborative spirit during the writing sessions. Everyone swapped influences and reference points, focusing and pruning back the arrangements, even chiming in with occasional edits or suggestions to Smith’s words in a Google document.

The lyrics, which arrived during the final writing stage, focus on deception and “personal responsibility”— raging against climate change deniers (the apocalyptic postpunk surge of “Blankenship”) and reflecting on “youthful sins” (the feedback-laced crawl of “Lorelei”). For Smith, it could have been a bit weird to give up that creative control. But, in a clear sign that he’s newly focus after a time in rehab, the DIIV frontman quickly embraced the opportunity to reapproach the project. “We’d already developed a very productive dynamic for how to speak to each other,” he says. “It was awkward the first time, like, ‘Welp, here’s the lyrics I’m thinking. Read my fucking diary.’ But everybody’s input was helpful.”

For DIIV, the collaborative process was about more than music—it’s the fresh start for a band that likely would have fallen apart without one. “I feel like it was just one facet of a bunch of shit we did as far as maturing into a real, functioning band that was long overdue,” says Bailey.

We got into a good rhythm,” Smith adds. “I’d love to see it go even further.”

There’s comfort, even hope, in DIIV’s darkness.

DIIV – ” Skin Game “

Posted: December 17, 2019 in MUSIC
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DIIV have described their third album Deceiver as a “soundtrack to personal resurrection under the heavy weight of metallic catharsis.” And when listening to the album, there’s no doubt the pieces match the completed image. The band combines a standing appreciation for shoegaze and slowcore into a fully realized statement that twists and turns throughout every compelling movement.  

Things have to get worse before they can get better” seems to be DIIV’s M.O. for the band’s third album (and first since 2016’s Is The Is Are), “Deceiver”. And the pre-release track “Skin Game” is an excellent first taste before the album’s October. 4th release via Captured Tracks Records, mixing weighty guitar riffs and a hook of slick vocals for a cathartic peek at personal pain.

There are many sonic homages to key influences throughout the record, whether it be the lulling stripped-back slowcore gaze of “Lorelei,” a strutting Sonic Youth inspired guitar in “Skin Game” and “Blankenship,” or the unleashing of distortion and sound throughout the record. There’s no doubt as to why the band recruited My Bloody Valentine and M83 engineer Sonny DiPerri to capture these epic movements of flight throughout Deceiver, which arguably showcases DIIV in their loudest, most inspired, and contemplative form. The band gives itself ample time to explore the full scope of every idea, all while balancing uncanny internal and external dread. “Stand down/ There’s oil in my name/ My tongue flickers like a wilting flame/ Lay it all out/ The path of wreckage that I cut/ All in want of what?”

Lyrically, Zachary Cole Smith weaves this resurrection and catharsis through incredibly poetic moments, capturing an aching sadness that runs concurrently with themes of loss and recovery.  Those familiar with his personal story already know he has weathered his fair share of storms. Deceiver is a portrait of a protagonist looking back at the path through this trauma, now with the privilege of time and space to pick apart what it all meant, what it was for, and what it means now that the world’s on fire.

“Skin Game” is the first single from DIIV’s new album Deceiver, out October 4th, 2019.

DIIV have just released a new album, “Deceiver”, on October 4th via Captured Tracks. This week they shared another song from the album, “Blankenship,” via a video. The tight track is akin to a shoegaze version of Sonic Youth’s “Titanium Exposé,” especially in the guitar sounds. Stout directed the video, which intercuts between the band performing the song indoors and a woman (Savannah Macias) seemingly lost in the desert.

Previously DIIV shared Deceiver’s first single, “Skin Game” . Then they shared another song from it, “Taker,” a somewhat languid shoegaze cut that grows with intensity as the track ends.

Deceiveris the band’s third album and the follow-up to 2016’s Is The Is Are. The band’s current lineup features Zachary Cole Smith (lead vocals, guitar), Andrew Bailey (guitar), Colin Caulfield (bass), and Ben Newman (drums). The album was recorded in Los Angeles in March 2019 with producer Sonny Diperri (My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Protomartyr), which is the first time the band has used an outside producer.

Moving a satisfying line between shimmering jangle pop and robust shoegaze, DIIV are to release their third full-length album “Deceiver”. The band crafts the soundtrack to personal resurrection under the heavy weight of metallic catharsis upheld by robust guitars and vocal tension that almost snaps, but never quite… the same could be said of the journey these four musicians underwent to get to their third full-length. out of lies, fractured friendships, and broken promises, clarity would be found. fans of Ride, Real estate and Ultimate Painting will love it!

Rebirth takes place when everything falls apart. DIIV—Zachary Cole Smith [lead vocals, guitar], Andrew Bailey [guitar], Colin Caulfield [vocals, bass], and Ben Newman [drums]—craft the soundtrack to personal resurrection under the heavy weight of metallic catharsis upheld by robust guitars and vocal tension that almost snaps, but never quite…

The same could be said of the journey these four musicians underwent to get to their third full-length album, Deceiver. Out of lies, fractured friendships, and broken promises, clarity would be found.

“I’ve known everyone in the band for ten years plus separately and together as DIIV for at least the past five years,” says Cole. “On Deceiver, I’m talking about working for the relationships in my life, repairing them, and accepting responsibility for the places I’ve failed them. I had to re-approach the band. It wasn’t restarting from a clean slate, but it was a new beginning. It took time—as it did with everybody else in my life—but we all grew together and learned how to communicate and collaborate.”

A whirlwind brought DIIV there.

Amidst turmoil, the group delivered the critical and fan favorite Is the Is Are in 2016 following 2012’s Oshin. Praise came from The Guardian, Spin, and more. NME ranked it in the Top 10 among the “Albums of the Year.”  Pitchfork’s audience voted Is the Is Are one of the “Top 50 Albums of 2016” as the outlet dubbed it, “gorgeous.

In the aftermath of Cole’s personal struggles, he “finally accepted what it means to go through treatment and committed,” emerging with a renewed focus and perspective. Getting back together with the band in Los Angeles would result in a series of firsts. This would be the first time DIIV conceived a record as a band with Colin bringing in demos, writing alongside Cole, and the entire band arranging every tune.

Cole and I approached writing vocal melodies the same way the band approached the instrumentals,” says Colin. “We threw ideas at the wall for months on end, slowly making sense of everything. It was a constant conversation about the parts we liked best versus which of them served the album best.”

Another first, DIIV lived with the songs on the road. During a 2018 tour with Deafheaven, they performed eight untitled brand-new compositions as the bulk of the set. The tunes also progressed as the players did.

“We went from playing these songs in the rehearsal space to performing them live at shows, figuring them out in real-time in front of hundreds of people, and approaching them from a broader range of reference points,” he goes on. “We’d never done that before. We got to internalize how everything worked on stage. We did all of the trimming before we went to the studio. It was an exercise in simplifying what makes a song. We really learned how to listen, write, and work as a band.”

The vibe got heavier under influences ranging from Unwound and Elliot Smith to True Widow and Neurosis. They also enlisted producer Sonny Diperri [My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Protomartyr]. his presence dramatically expanded the sonic palette, making it richer and fuller than ever before. It marks a major step forward for DIIV.

“He brought a lot of common sense and discipline to our process,” adds Cole. “We’d been touring these songs and playing them for a while, so he was able to encourage us to make decisions and own them.”

The first single “Skin Game” charges forward with frenetic drums, layered vocals and clean, driven guitars that ricochet off each other.

“I’d say it’s an imaginary dialogue between two characters, which could either be myself or people I know,” he says. “I spent six months in several different rehab facilities at the beginning of 2017. I was living with other addicts. Being a recovering addict myself, there are a lot of questions like, ‘Who are we? What is this disease?’  Our last record was about recovery in general, but I truthfully didn’t buy in. I decided to live in my disease instead. ‘Skin Game’ looks at where the pain comes from. I’m looking at the personal, physical, emotional, and broader political experiences feeding into the cycle of addiction for millions of us.”

A trudging groove and wailing guitar punctuate a lulling apology on the magnetically melancholic “Taker.” According to Cole, it’s “about taking responsibility for your lies, their consequences, and the entire experience.” Meanwhile, the ominous bass line and crawling beat of “Blankenship” devolve into schizophrenic string bends as the vitriolic lyrics. Offering a dynamic denouement, the seven-minute “Acheron” flows through a hulking beat guided under gusts of lyrical fretwork and a distorted heavy apotheosis.

Even after the final strains of distortion ring out on Deceiver, these four musicians will continue to evolve. “We’re still going,” Cole leaves off. “Hopefully we’ll be doing this for a long time.”

Ultimately, DIIV’s rebirth is a hard-earned and well-deserved new beginning.

Official video for “Blankenship,” the third single from DIIV’s new album Deceiver, out October 4th,

Special Edition LP is pressed on tricolor vinyl in an edition of 2000 copies. It includes an inverse Obi Strip as well as a 12″ x 24″ double-sided poster. It will ship on or slightly before the album’s October 4th release date.

Rebirth takes place when everything falls apart. On DIIV’s forthcoming third full-length album, “Deceiver” – out October 4th – they craft the soundtrack to personal resurrection under the heavy weight of metallic catharsis, upheld by robust guitars and vocal tension that almost snaps, but never quite… Today, the band — Zachary Cole Smith [lead vocals, guitar], Andrew Bailey [guitar], Colin Caulfield [vocals, bass], and Ben Newman [drums] — releases lead single “Skin Game,” which gallops forth on a clean guitar riff before unfolding into a hypnotic hook offset by an off-kilter rhythm and hummable solo.

“It’s an imaginary dialogue between two characters, which could either be myself or people I know,” says Cole of “Skin Game. “I spent six months in several different rehab facilities at the beginning of 2017. I was living with other addicts. Being a recovering addict myself, there are a lot of questions like, ‘Who are we? What is this disease?’ Our last record was about recovery in general, but I truthfully didn’t buy in. I decided to live in my disease instead. ‘Skin Game’ looks at where the pain comes from. I’m looking at the personal, physical, emotional, and broader political experiences feeding into the cycle of addiction for millions of us.”
Deceiver was recorded in March, 2019 in Los Angeles. For the first time, the band enlisted an outside producer in the form of Sonny Diperri (Nine Inch Nails, Protomartyr) whose presence dramatically expanded the sonic palette, making it richer and fuller than ever before. The new album is preceded by 2012’s Oshin and 2016’s critical and fan favorite Is the Is Are. Ranked it in the Top 10 among the “Albums of the Year” and Pitchfork’s audience voted Is the Is Are one of the “Top 50 Albums of 2016” as the outlet dubbed it, “gorgeous.”

DIIV – Zachary Cole Smith (lead vocals/guitar), Andrew Bailey (guitar), Colin Caulfield (vocals/bass), and Ben Newman (drums) – craft the soundtrack to personal resurrection under the heavy weight of

Rebirth takes place when everything falls apart. DIIVZachary Cole Smith [lead vocals, guitar], Andrew Bailey [guitar], Colin Caulfield [vocals, bass], and Ben Newman [drums]—craft the soundtrack to personal resurrection under the heavy weight of metallic catharsis upheld by robust guitars and vocal tension that almost snaps, but never quite…

The same could be said of the journey these four musicians underwent to get to their third full-length album, “Deceiver”. Out of lies, fractured friendships, and broken promises, clarity would be found.

“I’ve known everyone in the band for ten years plus separately and together as DIIV for at least the past five years,” says Cole. “On Deceiver, I’m talking about working for the relationships in my life, repairing them, and accepting responsibility for the places I’ve failed them. I had to re-approach the band. It wasn’t restarting from a clean slate, but it was a new beginning. It took time—as it did with everybody else in my life—but we all grew together and learned how to communicate and collaborate.”

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A whirlwind brought DIIV there.

Releases October 4th, 2019

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New release time once again, and there is a healthy whack of excellent reissues this week, with Kate Bush taking the top spot with Aerial, The Directors Cut and 50 Words For Snow all landing. As well as all of the individual albums, part 2 of the ‘Remastered’ box set seeing it’s release as well as the vinyl counterparts, Remastered In Vinyl Parts III and IV.

This week also the latest in a long line of much anticipated Fall live shows from the mid 90’s with Derby in ’94 and London in ’95 both show the range and excitement of the live show’s they were so well known for.

There is brand new album from Liverpool band ‘The Fernweh’ to be released on James Skelly’s (of The Coral fame) label, Skeleton Key Records. Psychedelic hooks, folky ruminations and shimmering acoustic meanderings. It’s a beautiful thing indeed. Plus A new full-length from Johnny Flynn. 

Neil young songs for judy

Neil Young – Songs For Judy

Songs For Judy is the debut release on Shakey Pictures Records, Young’s own imprint distributed by Reprise Records. Songs For Judy is thoroughly engaging collection of live acoustic performances culled from Neil’s November 1976 solo tour and features twenty-two songs recorded at various cities along the tour. This song cycle of live recordings is particularly powerful and unique. Young had spent much of the year traveling around the world on tour with Crazy Horse. When touring on his own, he recharged and focused on songs that would not surface in recorded form for several years. Of the albums many treasures, No One Seems To Know would not see the light of day until now and it remains unreleased in any other iteration. The raw versions of the tracks found on Songs For Judy reflect an artist completely unvarnished and unafraid to allow the songs to breath and to find their own shape when performed in a solo setting. Songs written in that era would come into focus and then seemingly disappear only to re-enter Young’s orbit somewhere down the road. White Line and Give Me Strength are such examples of finding the light in 1990 and 2017 respectively. It’s also fascinating to hear Young revisit early gems such as Springfield’s Mr. Soul (’67), Here We Are In The Years (’68), andThe Losing End (’69) from some of his earliest solo recordings which remain as timeless as ever.

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Johnny Flynn And The Sussex Wit – Live At The Roundhouse

‘Live At The Roundhouse’ is an electric performance of ten years’ worth of songs; recorded without overdubs, it pays homage to the past whilst pointing propitiously to the group’s future. The album also features a bonus studio cut; the much requested and never released 3-verse rendition of Johnny’s ‘Detectorists’ theme.

Live At The Roundhouse’ is 24 tracks long and pulled from a decade’s worth of music. Fans will hear renditions of songs from Johnny’s “Masterclass” (4/5 The Independent) debut album ‘A Larum’, sophomore ‘Been Listening’, an album “radical in its honesty” (8/10 Drowned in Sound), ‘Country Mile’, “an extremely clever and nuanced record” (Mojo) and his most recent effort, ‘Sillion’, which explored the idea of man’s endeavour to connect with the earth while separated from it; “Another exploratory and remarkably high-caliber LP” (AllMusic 4.5/5). The album also features a bonus studio cut; the much requested and never released 3-verse rendition of Johnny’s ‘Detectorists’ theme. Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit are without a doubt one of the most consistently exhilarating live bands around, inspiring an undying devotion among fans and peers who will cherish ‘Live At The Roundhouse’ for its gritty and impassioned renditions of now-classic songs.

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The Fernweh – The Fernweh

Recorded in seclusion on the North Yorkshire coast and transporting listeners on musical journey. Three friends, Jamie Backhouse (guitars), Ned Crowther (vocals and guitar) and Oz Murphy (keys/saxophone) gathered to make the album they always knew they could make, based on a pure and profound love for a golden era for British and US folk rock. Wringing every last drop of their combined experience into a cup that overflows with melody, song craft and deeply evocative imagery of a quintessentially British era of ‘mainstream psychedelia’, they are joined by Maja Agnevik (vocals/flute)and Phil Murphy (drummer).

Melodies and stories inspired by distinctly British, coal-fired version of 60s/70s psychedelia. Layered vocal harmonies, gentle, steam-train percussion and strokes of piano, acoustic guitars and subtle string arrangements are a feature of this sublime and compelling debut. A return journey into Britain’s explosively creative, post-war period. Arriving back in 2018, the band uses such deeply evocative influences to deliver an irrepressible psych-pop-folk non-genre record.

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David Bowie –  Glastonbury 2000

DAVID BOWIE ‘GLASTONBURY 2000’ documents Bowie’s legendary Sunday night headline performance on 25th June at the most famous festival on earth. The legendary full performance released for the first time including many of David’s greatest hits and never before seen footage.

All formats feature David’s diary, originally written for Time Out, which documents him preparing for the show in his own inimitable manner. In addition to newly mastered audio and upgraded video DAVID BOWIE ‘GLASTONBURY 2000’ features new artwork from Jonathan Barnbrook (who worked with Bowie on the sleeves for Heathen, The Next Day & ★) and notes from the renowned author and Bowie fan Caitlin Moran who reviewed the show for The Times.

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Jeff Tweedy  –  Warm

Jeff Tweedy releases Warm, a solo album of all new material via dBpm Records. Warm was produced and recorded entirely by Jeff at his now legendary Loft Studio in Chicago’s  (with help from some of his usual collaborators – Spencer Tweedy, Glenn Kotche and Tom Schick). Warmfollows the acoustic retrospective release, Together at Last (2017), and Wilco’s 2016 album, Schmilco.

It is a tender manifesto of self-doubt, a shout fading into a murmur. It’s a journey beyond self-consciousness and towards mature vulnerability, to an evolved idea of what is musically pure.

A brief inquiry into online relationships

The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

Winners of 2017’s Best British Group at the BRIT Awards, The 1975 release their 3rd album ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.’ 
The album is a follow up to ‘I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it,’ which charted at Number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic going Platinum in the UK in the process.

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Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers – Bought To Rot

14 tracks spanning Laura Jane Grace’s fractured relationship with her adopted hometown of Chicago, true friendship, complicated romance, and reconciling everything in the end, Bought to Rot stands as the most musically diverse collection of songs Grace has written to date.

Inspired in large part by Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever, the first album Grace ever owned, Bought to Rot finds her at the same age Petty was when he created his solo debut masterpiece. In light of his recent passing, Grace was motivated to pay homage to one of her lifelong heroes.

Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers are Laura Jane Grace, Atom Willard, and Marc Jacob Hudson. Grace is a musician, author, and activist best known as the founder, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Against Me!. Willard, also of Against Me!, is a drummer who has played in iconic punk bands such as Rocket from the Crypt, Social Distortion, and The Offspring. Devouring Mothers bassist Hudson is a recordist and mixer at Rancho Recordo, a recording studio and creative space in the woods of Michigan, and the sound engineer for Against Me

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Batts  –  62 Moons

Batts is the moniker for Melbourne based singer-songwriter Tanya Batt, and this is her mesmerising and melancholic debut EP 62 Moons. Named after the 62 Moons of Saturn, the obsession with space is an underlying theme throughout the record, from the Nasa recording of Saturn’s rings which opens the recording, to the EP title. Batts explains “I had the thought of combining the music we create as humans, with the natural music of things out in space that have existed for billions and billions of years. I want to instil knowledge of space within music to people, but not via lyrics – via sounds.”

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The Fall – The Rough Trade Singles

The Rough Trade Singles collects The Fall’s four singles recorded for this influential label in 1980 and 1983 – How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man’ / City Hobgoblins, Totally Wired / Putta Block, The Man Whose Head Expanded / Ludd Gang and Kicker Conspiracy – none of which appeared on any of the band’s studio LPs. With 7-inches being the era’s vehicle for buzzing communiqués, The Fall would use the format for short-form, standalone works rather than as mere promotional devices for forthcoming albums.

“Totally Wired” is often cited (and rightfully so) as The Fall’s most infectious tune – an amphetamine-fueled anthem with stuttering nods to forebears, yet too incisive to have been made by anyone else. “How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man'” is another mad hoedown, one reimagined for the post-punk age. While the playful rhythm machine on “The Man Whose Head Expanded” almost suggests danceability, Mark E. Smith’s idiosyncratic shriek on “Kicker Conspiracy” pierces through the twin drumming of Paul Hanley and Karl Burns and the group’s unpredictable / unmistakable racket. Together these songs remain some of the absolute best material The Fall would ever release.

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Bill Callahan – Live at Third Man Nashville

Bill Callahan, aka Smog, is simultaneously a staple of strange American country, lo-fi, folk and independent music. His lyricism comes across as challenging and deeply autobiographical, equal parts “poetry leaning on true-to-life darkness” and “three chords and the truth.” So, it is fitting that Callahan’s live set would command the same sense of friendliness-with-difficulty that the recorded songs do. With brief, candid, and charming interludes between older and newer material, an outsider can hear that this performance was obviously a full-bodied (and multi-era) engagement, no space left for distraction. The full album is an experience; make it one you look after.

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DIIV  –  Covers

Originally shared on DIIV’s YouTube channel and then later given away on a limited edition cassette run of 50 copies at an acoustic DIIV show in a synagogue in New York City, Captured Tracks now presents a vinyl version of Zachary Cole Smith’s lauded Sparklehorse and (Sandy) Alex G covers. Pressed on Clear Vinyl and limited to 500 copies to celebrate Captured Tracks’ 10th Anniversary.

DIIV  –  IS THE IS ARE

“There are plenty of bands that have served as their own worst enemies. DIIV had all the makings of a band banging on the door to stardom—hooks for days, a distinctive aesthetic in a crowded field, an edgy frontman who has acquired his own mythos. So the wait between their debut and sophomore efforts was an unwelcome wrinkle. After curating one of the finer entries into the Captured Tracks discography, the Brooklyn genre-melders hit a few snags, most notably Zachary Cole Smith’s arrest in late 2013 and drummer Colby Hewitt’s departure due to drug addiction. It all made a one-and-done affair seem like a real possibility. Is The Is Are’s opening line captures this sentiment perfectly: ‘You’re out of sight/And out of mind.’ DIIV were essentially off the grid for three years, more than enough time to be supplanted by a new rival. But rather than a distraction, the tabloid drama surrounding the band became the fodder for their new album. Is The Is Are takes everything that DIIV did well on Oshin, deepens it, broadens it, fiddles with more permutations, and does it all to excess.

2LP – Rough Trade Exclusive – 500 Copies on White marble Coloured Vinyl. LP One with red swirls and LP two with Pink Swirls. This is a different Colour to the US Version. Plus Two 12’x12″ – 12 page Lyric / Art Books.

ULRIKA SPACEK – THE ALBUM PARANOIA

Ulrika Spacek is a British experimental rock band formed in Berlin by Rhys Edwards and Rhys Williams, relocated to Homerton, London. Work on debut album ‘The Album Paranoia’ began in the summer of 2014 in the band’s shared house KEN, and was finished there last month. In conjunction to the making of ‘The Album Paranoia’, the band has curated a number of nights under the name ‘Oysterland’ combining their first live performances with a series of exhibitions. The band’s music has drawn various interpretations, a cross pollination of hypnotic fuzz, Verlain-Malkmus guitar idiosyncrasies and intertwining feelings of both angst and melancholia. For fans of Mercury Rev, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Radiohead, Deerhunter and Atlas Sound.
CD – Digipack.
LP – Limited White Vinyl with Download.

PALEHOUND –  MOLLY

Debut UK release on Heavenly Recordings from Boston’s Palehound – the vehicle for Ellen Kempner who on ‘Molly’ shows her inimitable songwriting skills while playing it a bit fast and loose with hooks. ‘Molly’ features the same kind of seasick, pointed instrumentals of a
 song, and the caustic lyricism to match. Limited 7″ only.

THE PARROTS  –  I DID SOMETHING WRONG

The Parrots are an unstoppable garage-surf party-machine. They have been causing a stir in the scene in recent months with their bewildering shows and their already sold out ‘Weed For The Parrots’ EP (out last June on Luv Luv Luv Records and on Burger Records in the US), and after the sweaty success of their London multi-venue residency at The Shacklewell Arms, The Waiting Room and The Lock Tavern at the start of the summer (all packed in the same week, with a memorable stage invasion at The Shacklewell), The venue issue the Spanish trio on a very limited, exclusive 7″ single that also marks the launch of Shacklewell Records, a newborn imprint linked to the Dalston venue and its pop-up record shop, Black Wax. This 7″ features two early demos that are among the most celebrated tracks in their live shows – ‘I Did Something Wrong’ (with more than 90,000 plays on YouTube yet still unavailable physically) and drunken show-closing chant ‘Somebody To Love’.

Dr. Dog – The Psychedelic Swamp CD/LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
“Philly’s Dr. Dog made their first record, The Psychedelic Swamp, in 2000 but never officially released it. Sure, there’ve been bootlegs, and any long-time Dr. Dog diehard can list the LP’s songs — but the collection never got a chance to really shine. Now 15 years later, the album has gotten a complete makeover. The strange thing is not that the band is returning to the first thing they ever created together, but that returning was their intention all the while. ‘The concept behind it is that we were always going to redo it and make it super-accessible pop, which was built into the concept of The Psychedelic Swamp. Part of the original record that is so unlistenable is that,” he pauses to laugh, ‘it was trapped in a psychedelic swamp.’” – Charleston City Paper

GAME THEORY –  LOLITA NATION

When Game Theory emerged with their fourth full-length release in 1987, there was not only a new line-up of the band, but it took two LPs to capture all of the magic. Once again produced by Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Pavement, Let’s Active), ‘Lolita Nation’ was the culmination of all that had come before, and pushed the boundaries farther than they had ever gone. ‘Lolita Nation’ became their most critically acclaimed work – grabbing a Bay Area Music Award (BAMMY) nomination for Outstanding Independent Label Album in 1988. Revered for decades, and – sadly – out of print for many. As Omnivore Recordings continues to reintroduce this seminal band to the masses, ‘Lolita Nation’ now requires a second CD to collect alternate mixes, live recordings, and radio sessions. The original’s 27 tracks are joined by 21 bonus performances! In addition to the highly sought after 8 minute version of ‘Chardonnay’ and alternate mixes of other album tracks, the bonus material features covers of David Bowie, The Modern Lovers, Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, The Smiths, The Stooges, Joy Division, The Hollies, and Public Image Ltd. classics. Truly as eclectic and all-encompassing as ‘Lolita Nation’ itself, and just as revolutionary. All formats feature new liner notes from Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, interviews with the band and original album contributors and previously unseen photos. As the world reawakens to the incredible Game Theory, it is truly a new time and a new day. It’s time to return to ‘Lolita Nation’ – if even for your first visit!
This expanded reissue of Game Theory’s ambitious fourth album adds a disc of alternate mixes, live recordings, and radio sessions – 48 tracks total. “Game Theory leader Scott Miller has never made much of a secret of his fondness for Big Star, but while Real Nighttime favored the sound of #1 Record and The Big Shot Chronicles suggested the harder-edged tone of Radio City, Lolita Nation sounded like Game Theory’s variation on the themes of Big Star’s masterfully damaged swan song, Third/Sister Lovers. Certainly Game Theory’s most ambitious album, Lolita Nation was a two-LP set that combined some of Miller’s most user-friendly power pop with dark, moody ruminations on betrayal, failed love, and mortality, bursts of avant-garde noise, and fragments of unclassifiable studio doodling, all thrown into a sonic Cuisinart through Miller’s aggressive use of aural montage.”
2CD – Double CD Set with 21 bonus tracks.
2LP – Double LP on Green colored vinyl for first press with download card for entire CD program.

G.L.O.S.S.  –  DEMO 2015

Without a doubt, one of the most hyped punk groups of recent years, G.L.O.S.S. are different in that they deserve the column inches 10 times over.
With an acronym translating as Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit, the four piece from Olympia took the punk and hardcore world’s by storm in early 2015 with their demo of blistering, stomping, meaty and breathtaking hardcore. Sounding not unlike Japanese hardcore pioneers Bastard mixed with prime Tragedy and even some wilder Italian influences, G.L.O.S.S. approach the punk status quo from the role of self-declared outsiders. Helmed by the immensely powerful vocals of Sadie Switchblade, the politically and hyper-aware lyrical content of the group set them apart from the staid pre-occupation of a predominantly macho and male hardcore scene. It’s a testament the group’s power and compositional prowess that, on the opening spoken-raged-word intro to their first wax statement, you can’t help feeling enraged, pumped up and ready to destroy two thousand years of patriarchal culture before the first minute is out no matter your angle or political persuasion. We’ve been waiting for this for so long it already feels like the 7″ of the year.

PORCHES  –  POOL

‘Porches’ debut full-length for Domino and a major step forward for frontman Aaron Maine – as an evolving singer / songwriter, and as a nascent producer. Written and recorded almost entirely in the Manhattan apartment he shares with his partner and frequent collaborator, Greta Kline a.k.a Frankie Cosmos, ‘Pool’ is an elegantly drawn set of gorgeous synth-driven pop songs, and an expansive re-articulation of the melancholy we’ve come to expect from him; from the pristine harmonies of ‘Hour’ to the undulating R&B of ‘Underwater’ to the Auto-tuned majesty of the title track. “I feel like I naturally gravitate towards the more melancholic experiences in life,” he says, “but this time around I tried to dissect those moments and somehow extract what was so beautiful about them.” The result – recorded twice, and eventually mixed by Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Tobias Jesso Jr.) in his Los Angeles studio – is a sophisticated and fully immersive listening experience, with Maine’s voice at its center. “I want people to feel dark, beautiful and strong when they hear this new record,” he adds, “I want them to fall in love.”​Pool marks a major step forward for Porches frontman Aaron Maine—as an evolving singer/songwriter, and as a nascent producer
LP – Heavyweight Black vinyl with spot gloss detail on jacket, includes 12″x12″ insert and MP3 download card.
LP+ – Heavyweight Clear vinyl with spot gloss detail on jacket, limited to 750, includes 12″x12″ insert and MP3 download card.

SUNFLOWER BEAN  – HUMAN CEREMONY

As a band, Sunflower Bean have grown exceptionally fast. On the heels of strong live shows around their Brooklyn hometown and festivals like CMJ, the three-piece dropped an EP earlier this year. Since then, they’ve nailed down tours with the likes of Wolf Alice, DIIV, Best Coast, and others, leading to a staggering 100 performances in the span of just one year. That’s a lot for a fresh outfit. Recorded in just seven days, Human Ceremony sees them refining their psych rock ways into something with a bit more of a fuzzy pop edge, with a press release referencing influences like The Cure, The Velvet Underground, and The Feelies.”

Rough Trade exclusive with a Bonus 4 Track CD featuring covers of Neil Young, T-Rex, Jonathan Richman and Spiritualized. New York City’s Sunflower Bean release their full-length debut album, ‘Human Ceremony‘ via Fat Possum Records and it’s a joyous pop nugget from start to finish. The 11 tracks are urgent, flowing and demand repeated listens. It emerges at the intersection of dreamy modern psychedelia and urgent fuzzed-out bliss. On ‘I Was Home’ and ‘Wall Watcher’ the riffs rage, whilst on ‘Creation Myth’ they sound like a sugar sweet 80’s Indie Pop band with delicate female vocals. Seriously, this is everything and more, we could have expected from the debut Sunflower Bean album. For fans of Early 90’s Creation Records, Tame Impala and Veronica Falls.
LP+ – Rough Trade Exclusive. 500 Copies Only on Coke Clear Coloured vinyl with Download.
LP – Indie Shops Red Coloured Vinyl with Download.
LP+MP3 – Black Vinyl with Download.

TELEGRAM  –  OPERATOR

Limited Copies on all formats come with a bonus CD featuring four extra new tracks. London four piece Telegram release their eagerly awaited debut album on Gram Gram. ‘Operator’, Recorded in London with Rory Atwell, features twelve tracks including the forthcoming single ‘Taffy Come Home’, and a new version the band’s long deleted seven-inch debut release ‘Follow’ from October 2013. A stunning set of songs, the album will more than confirm Telegram’s early promise as one of the most exciting bands around right now. Formed just over two years ago, the Telegram line up of Matt Saunders (vocals / guitar), Oli Paget-Moon (bass) and Jordan Cook (drums) have recently recruited new guitarist Pip Stakem to the fold. Effortlessly combining a love of Roxy Music, Syd Barrett, krautrock and late proto-punk to great effect, they’ve built up an ever growing fanbase of critics and public alike with extensive touring and a clutch of fantastic and much sought after seven inch singles, ‘Follow’, Regatta’, ‘Inside Outside; and most recently ‘Aeons’.
CD – Digipack.
LP – Black Vinyl.
LP+ – Limited edition coloured vinyl.

I DON’T CARES (WESTERBERG AND HATFIELD) –  WILD STAB

Paul Westerberg and Juliana Hatfield are the I Don’t Cares and they don’t care.The I Don’t Cares is Westerberg’s first new music since The Replacements disbanded earlier this year – for the second time.Back in a May 2014 feature for Paste magazine, Juliana Hatfield admitted to only ever writing three fan letters to other musicians: One to the band X, one to Elliott Smith, and the first, when she was a teenager, to Paul Westerberg.
Now Hatfield and the Replacements’ singer/guitarist have apparently formed a new group, called the I Don’t Cares, and they released their first song, a jangly guitar-rock nugget called “1 / 2 2 P, at the end of 2015.The song is to be included on the I Don’t Cares’ debut album, titled Wild Stab, out on Dry Wood Music. At the very least, the album is a victory for the lost art of fan-letter writing!

THE PRETTIOTS  – FUN’S COOL

NYC’s The Prettiots (Kay Kasparhauser and Lulu Prat) release their debut album, ‘Fun’s Cool’ via Rough Trade. Packed with catchy melodies, memorable hooks and heart on the sleeve lyrics, ‘Fun’s Cool’ acts as a thoughtful, funny, and catchy-as-hell state of the union address from young women living in a big city and watching life unfurl in fits and starts before them. They’ve got a playful aesthetic and a sweet pop sound, but their observations are scalpel-sharp, and the emotional gut-punch their music packs is real. For Kay (vocals and uke) and Lulu (bass), simple instrumentation and no-frills vocals aren’t useful because they’re easy or cute.

FIELD MUSIC –  COMMONTIME

‘Commontime’ is the first album of new songs from North East siblings Peter and David Brewis since ‘Plumb’ in 2012 and their fifth album ‘proper’ since their debut in 2005. After four years threading a way through one extra-curricular project after another, the space that Field Music vacated still appears to be empty and Field Music-shaped. No one else really does what Field Music do; the interweaving vocals, the rhythmic gear changes, the slightly off-chords, but with the sensibility that keeps them within touching distance of pop music. All this is present again but things are different this time. Where ‘Plumb’ was an album of vignettes and segues, ‘Commontime’ edges towards what people might call “proper songs”. Field Music have never shown off their unashamed love of choruses quite like they do on this record.  Lyrically, Peter and David continue to mine that inexhaustible seam wondering how on earth we ended up here, in this situation, as these people. Over fourteen songs, conversations are replayed and friendships are left to drift. And all the while, that thing you were trying to remember has changed while your head was turned.
2LP – Black Double Vinyl with Download.
LP+ – Neon Orange 180 Gram Double Vinyl with Download.

Love Supreme & <b>Rough</b> <b>Trade</b> - News - Love Supreme - Love Supreme

DIIV’s Zachary Cole-Smith certainly stands out from your typical indie rock frontman. Just take his comments on the making of this, his band’s second album, which are framed in rather disturbing life and death terms: “I know I have to stay alive at least until the album’s done,”This is one shot at immortality, if I ever have one. I know it’s by far the most important thing I’ll ever do.”

Is The Is Are is certainly ambitious. A double album that takes their debut Oshin’s obsession with sonic textures and runs with it across 17 tracks. There are moments of exquisite beauty – swan-diving guitar lines and vocals that seem to be absorbed by the waves of sound – and moments where they just want to rock out, like on the melodic Dopamine.

Diiv’s Zachary Cole Smith


 

Dreamy New Yorkers DIIV return with 17 track double LP ‘Is The Is Are’ on Captured Tracks.’Is the Is Are’ is an album years and many personal struggles in the making for its architect, Zachary Cole Smith. Recorded and mixed in various locations in Brooklyn, the album showcases everything you know and love about DIIV and many things you did not, all with an added nuance and depth. It’s a 17-song album statement intended to resonate with its audience in much the same way that ‘Bad Moon Rising’ or ‘Tago Mago’ has for Smith himself. An extension and deepening of the musical ideas first expressed on 2012’s critically-lauded ‘Oshin’,

DIIV - Is the Is Are

 

‘Is The Is Are’ yields a multiplicity of textures, lyrical themes and moods. It is a more diverse world than ‘Oshin’, with different parameters and ideals. Dark and honest to a fault, the new songs are dynamic, loud, quiet, sad; they are songs that hiss and snarl; songs that, as Smith wrote recently, represent “the real me.”  Smith’s vocals, too, are much closer to the foreground, layered legibly on top of tidal waves of shimmering guitar and melodic bass weaving in and out, leaving a distinct and indelible imprint.
2LP – Rough Trade Exclusive – 500 Copies on Coloured Vinyl. This is a different Colour to the US Version.

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Pre-order Is the Is Are, out February 5th, 2016,