Posts Tagged ‘Drag City Records’


Ty Segall has a new album titled “Harmonizer” that he has just foisted upon the world. The album, his first since 2019’s great “First Taste”, was made at Ty’s new Haronizer studios and co-produced by Cooper Crain. Members of Ty’s Freedom Band — Ben Boye, Mikal Cronin, Emmett Kelly, and Charles Moothart — all appear on the album, as does Ty’s wife, Denée Segall, who co-wrote two of the songs and sings lead on “Feel Good.” She also shot the album’s cover

The surprise new album Harmonizer which he has also released via Drag City Records. The album sees Segall’s sound continue to evolve into a new and unexpected territory. The album sees him lean further into synth production as well as bets, keyboard textures as well as of course guitars. It’s the first recording of Ty’s to be released from Ty’s newly-completed Harmonizer Studios . It’s his first album in forever (two years)! ty glides smoothly into a wild area with a synthtasm of production redesign, dialling up a wealth of new guitar and keyboard settings.

Again, Segall does what HE likes to do. This unexpected album just came out of the blue without any marketing promo. It’s a characteristic Segall record. Some Black Sabbath styled drones, some fuzzing and buzzing stompers, some hazy psycherazza and his partner Denée singing a track called ‘Feel Good’ (she also wrote the lyrics). Yep, it’s Ty by numbers, but his numbers are as usual pretty good.

A seething statement of emotional austerity, harmonizer enraptures the ear, while enabling ty to cut through dense undergrowth, making groove moves for the body, mind and soul. ty glides smoothly into unexpected territory, right where he likes to find himself! responding to the challenge his new songs gave him: a synthtastic production redesign, Ty kicks back with bottom-heavy creativity, dialling up a wealth of guitar and keyboard settings to do the deed. “Harmonizer” is a glossy, barely-precedented sound for him, and truth, it enraptures the ear — but in Ty’s hands, the sound is also a tool that allows him to cut through dense undergrowth, making for some of his cleanest songs and starkest ideas to date. Harmonizer’s production model couches tightly-controlled beats in thick keyboard textures, with direct-input guitar signal whining and buzzing purposefully from left to right. the Freedom band appear all over the record, but often one at a time, their contributions leaving a distinctive footprint on the proceedings wherever they appear.

Operating in this airtight environment with an eye towards precision, feel, and explosive mass, Ty’s crafted a formidable listening encounter — and once you get between the lines, the need to know more grows more compelling with every song. the thing about closed doors is they need opening again, no matter what happens. you open them and then you can pass through them. and there’s light on the other side. that’s what this album is about. the first recording to be released from Ty’s just-completed Harmonizer studios, Harmonizer benefits from a collaboration with Cooper Crain, who co-produced the album with Ty. the venn diagram of these guys unites them in diy/punk dyed-in-the-wooldom; Ty’s propers you know, but cooper’s own unique journey in rhythm, minimalism and diy (as heard on his productions with cave, bitchin bajas and jackie lynn) mines the depths around Ty’s peerless vocal attack and aid in the latest chapter of his never-ending search for unfathomably corrosive guitar sounds. spoiler alert: they found some more! bursting with transcendent energy, harmonizer is an extension of the classic style of emotional mugger and sleeper, revisiting the lonely days and loathsome nights of the alienated, grown-up-wrong soul, to make it all right in the end.

Ty Segall will take The Freedom Band on a USA West Coast tour, and has dates with his proto-metal-inspired trio Fuzz in 2022. 

March 2021 American singer/songwriters Matt Sweeney and Bonnie Prince Billy (who seems to sleep with his guitar lately. He’s everywhere) joined forces in 2005 for a long player release called “Superwolf” .They got together again to can another LP, titled, “Superwolves” due out 30th April 2021.

Billed not just as a follow-up but a direct sequel to its predecessor. It’s perhaps no surprise that they’ve managed to recapture that same energy – their nearly 25-year-old friendship has only sharpened their ability to play off each other’s strengths, becoming the sole constant character throughout the album’s loose and ambiguous narratives. But Superwolves is also marked by a newfound sense of vitality and purpose: these are crisp, buoyant songs that eschew the introverted, solitary qualities often associated with the singer-songwriter tag without stripping away the unique intimacy that can arise from it. There’s still a lot to unpack, but the ease with which the two artists exchange ideas is accompanied by song writing that, at its core, is stronger and more direct than before, relying on emotional impact rather than ambivalence. “Got no friends, got no home/ There must be a someone I can turn to,” Oldham sings on highlight ‘There Must Be Someone’; Sweeney steps in for a brief solo halfway through, but his playing remains less an answer than a constant, reassuring presence.
Read more: The 30 Best Albums of 2021 (So Far) – Our Culture

One of the 14 tracks is MY BLUE SUIT. A characteristic troubadour ballad. Smooth, mellow, and romantic.

Track from the Matt Sweeney & Bonnie “Prince” Billy album “Superwolves,” out on Digital & Streaming on April 30th, 2021 and LP/CS/CD on June 18, 2021 from Drag City/Palace Records and Domino Recordings.

Wand moved further away from the garage-psych beginnings on 2019’s great Laughing Matter, and now frontman Cory Hanson takes his songcraft in subtle, but no less awe-filled directions on his second solo album. Inspired by country music and the classics (Neil Young, Bob Dylan, David Berman), “Pale Horse Rider” is an absolutely gorgeous record that is heavy with sadness while still floating off into space. Things get only a little twangy, but pedal steel plays a huge part in the album’s sound, creating an otherworldly, angelic yearning that is felt even without paying attention to the lyrics. An atmospheric swirl surrounds Hanson’s simple but affecting folk/country melodies, and it’s big, lonely and beautiful.

Made just before the pandemic, at a desert home studio surrounded by six-foot tall sculptural psychotropic cacti, “Pale Horse Rider” is an impressionist look at the state of our nation. Hanson is using water colours, not a fine-point pen, letting its intent seep in via osmosis, but it’s not that obtuse either. On the elegiac chorus of the album’s best song, “Angeles,” Hanson sings about his hometown — “I’ve been driving through darkness / Through the smoke and fire / On the ground / Risin’ like a phoenix or a bird of paradise” — as the harmonies and pedal steel rise like that phoenix.

Pale Horse Rider is full of sublime musical moments like that: the ethereal chorus of voices on “Limited Hangout”; the ragged solo that rips up the pretty “Another Story From The Center of The Earth”; and that weepy pedal steel that tugs at your heartstrings on “Vegas Knights” as Cory mixes gambling metaphors with thoughts of loss. “Can I turn back the turnstile? And parachute us back to the paradise we left.” Hanson dedicates the album to David Berman and, while Cory’s style is nothing like Silver Jews‘, you can feel his ghost all over the record. On “Birds of Paradise,” another album highlight, he sings, “I’ll find you in the end alive in the mirror / Your eyes painted on with dots / Yet hold me in your heart,’ as his delicate guitar arpeggiations intertwine with the pedal steel into the cosmos. The words are moving but it’s that musical lift that really gets you.

Wand frontman Cory Hanson releases a new album Pale Horse Rider, via Drag City Records. Myths and truths of a country on the way down, viewed through a deep-focus lens trained on the city from the deserts on the east; a terminus of unoccupied residential parks and streets fading into craggy footpaths to nowhere, where our passage is seen as diligent, ephemeral and grotesque by turns, forgiven and made beautiful again by the sound.

“Pale Horse Rider,” to be released on LP/Cassette/CD/Streaming on March 12th, 2021, from Drag City Records.

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There will be a new Birds of Maya record out June 25th on Drag City Records.
Much about this album, including the name and artwork is in honour of the beauty and wildness of the vacant lots where we used to play shows, garden, or build playgrounds for our kids before they were all dug out to build gigantic condos. It’s harder now to find the Earth around here. It’s not gone, just hiding, waiting to be let loose again.
This record is the first one we ever recorded in an actual studio, Black Dirt Studio.

A long era of dull ringing and nothing else in our ears is over. Once again, winds of warm guitar and humid thunderheads of bass and toms rumble all around. With Valdez, Birds of Maya are back in flight. And like the first song title explicitly states, this latest is a soaring blast of riffers, rife with punk rock abandon, sludge, treble, distortion, neck-throttling rock n roll solos, pummelling drums and bass and half-shouted/half-gargled vocals, all of it half on and half off the mic. For the good times as always, these Birds!.

That’s how they’ve done it: fast and heavy, hard, live and loose, amid accumulating piles of empties, in appropriately informal environments since 2004ish, with their three LPs (on Holy Mountain, Richie and Little Big Chief) ripping us up whenever they drop. With each release, our thirst has increased, but to our horror, we haven’t found any fresh feathers from their tree in the new release bins since 2013. Somewhere in Philadelphia, Jason Killinger, Ben Leaphart and Mike Polizze played on — preferably outside (the shows are always extra-good), but wherever, really.

Recorded in 2014 at Black Dirt Studios in New York. Yeah: Birds of Maya packed up their shit, drove out of North Philly to a recording studio hundreds of miles away and made an album. Kinda nuts. And then didn’t release it until…well, yeah — now! Time is a test that Birds of Maya recordings need to pass before they see the light of day. At the time this was recorded, Birds of Maya were standing on the other side of ten years kicking around town, suddenly far away from the primordial ooze they’d flopped forth from. The streets where all this had happened on were changing, with new money rolling in, but they were the same old Birds, content with their libations and ear-splitting variations on old favourite Stooges chords. The cover art of Valdez is a couple images from those days, glimpses at the old grass roots before they were ripped up by developers to build condos. But nothing ever really goes away, Valdez stands tall amongst the changing landscape.

“BFIOU” is from “Valdez” released on LP & Streaming on June 25th, 2021 by Drag City Records.

What’s set The Peacers apart from other bands from that scene they’re travelling alongside (and exchanging members with) is a more baroque, acoustic approach to their garage vision; maybe a little more Pearls Before Swine in that initial mix than say, Bubble Puppy, maybe more ’66 than ’69.

It’s about time we had a third album from them; There was the 2015’s self-titled debut, full of lazy, glammy nuggets, and Introducing The Crimsmen, which followed two years on and well, whaddya know, the second Peacers line-up, the one that recorded that second album after exactly two-thirds of the album one version made for the out door – they’ve held firm to the tiller for this little beauty, “Blexxed Rec”, so props, Bo Moore, Shayde Sartin and Mike Shoun. Mike Donovan may have headed for the east coast and dropped a couple of solo sets, but they’ve kept a welcome in the Cali hillsides. Jolly good show. No time to shilly-shally. 

we are hyped that The Peacers return on Drag City with “Blexxed Rec”. Lush details and laid back psych-pop vibes. We really like this band. Irrepressible full-spectrum psych-pop. Suddenly, with three singer-songwriters, they’re the subterranean Beatles, a loaded Revolver. Strumming every guitar and every bass drum, rebuilding pop in it’s own fiendish image,Blexxed Rec is a blessed event for all you rock and roll people. Go knock on every door! Wake the world! The Peacers are at hand.

 “Ghost of a Motherfucker” takes us on deeper, every riff counting, Mike beaming in from AM radio in a rusty Chevy a la Christine; timeless. And it riffs up atonally and lazy ass deliciously while that motherfucker sleeps all day.

“Ghost of a Motherfucker” is a track from The Peacers album “Blexxed Rec,” . This long awaited album from The Peacers, Blexxed Rec, is out today! Full spectrum psych-pop for all. Strumming every guitar and every bass drum, rebuilding pop in it’s own fiendish image, Blexxed Rec is a blessed event. Wake the world!

The actual album came preluded by a single, “Irish Suit Oblique”, and that also came with a video; so why the hell not, you can take a squinny at that down by the sales kickers desk. It has an eerie little eddy, it does, with that oblique comment on the masked world we currently inhabit in that mesh fruit bag face covering, maybe; strange, cut-up sentences steal up the screen, all to visually inform a tune with bags of atmosphere and a deliciously baroque-psych vibe.

“Irish Suit” is a track from The Peacers album “Blexxed Rec,” out on LP, Cassette, & Streaming on March 26th, 2021, from Drag City Records.

New Bums

Ben Chasny (Six Organs Of Admittance) and Donovan Quinn (Skygreen Leopards) return this week with their long-awaited second New Bums LP, channelling acoustic guitar rock ‘n’ roll in the vein of The Replacements or Johnny Thunders, albeit with a wee bit more of a psychedelic folk approach like their other projects. Released on the ever-reliable Drag City label, this ticks all the right boxes for us.

Seven years and a handful of lifetimes ago, New Bums came out of nowhere with their debut album, “Voices In a Rented Room” – a record the New York Times described as “feeling like it’s falling apart.” New Bums took this as a compliment and, thus emboldened, they toured relentlessly in support of the release: criss-crossing the USA in the spring of 2014, with a European run that summer. Then, silence descended, as the Bums withdrew to the place from which they’d mysteriously emerged.

Now, the New Bums are back. 2021 finds them with a new album in hand. Following a West Coast US tour in late 2019 it’s clear that the duo of Donovan Quinn (Skygreen Leopards) and Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance, Rangda, etc) are fully reanimated, as evidenced by the songs and sounds of “Last Time I Saw Grace”.

Retaining the drunk-dog-locomotion of their debut, New Bums sprinkle a bit of fresh fancy into their signature twin guitars- and-vocals sound, with cleaner recording techniques, further developments in harmonies and a new appreciation for a song with more than two parts, making ‘Last Time I Saw Grace’ nothing less than the perfect progression from the purposefully murky mixes of their debut.

Continuing to embrace an acoustic rock ’n’ roll sound, inspired by artists such as Jacobites, Robyn Hitchcock, Johnny Thunders, Replacements and such, New Bums push the words and the stories to the front of the line, crafting tales with satiric glee on Last Time I Saw Grace. However, this world of empty perfume bottles, bodies tied to masts and moving onward to devastation (after the bottle on the table pulls out a gun) feels much more Gombrowiczian dreamscape than drunken night on the town. Yes, everything is wasted but this is an existential wasteland rather than a substance-laden one. This combination of arch Californian post-aristocratic melodrama with torn and frayed acoustic guitars opens up a new genre entirely, one those at Drag City Records are tempted to call Rent Control Romantic.


Back in slagtion, New Bums, that duo nobody thought to ask for – Six Organs of Admittance’s Ben Chasny and Skygreen Leopards’ Donovan Quinn – are deeper in their nocturnal jungle where all the folly and failure in the world is like an elegant fever dream you want to have every night, and do. Dry humour and pathos pop in a collapsed acoustic vein!

“Tuned to Graffiti” is a track from “Last Time I Saw Grace,” available on March 19th, 2021 on LP from Drag City Records.

Bill Callahan & Bonnie Prince Billy - credit: Photos by Hanly Banks Callahan / Mabel Cooper

Bill Callahan and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy have continued their collaborative covers series, and this new one is a very special one. It’s of “The Wild Kindness” by the late singer songwriter David Berman‘s band Silver Jews, and guests on this one include none other than David’s wife and Silver Jews bandmate Cassie Berman on bass, along with David Pajo on guitar, Tony Crow on keyboards, and Brian Kotzur on drums, with additional vocals by Haley Fohr (Circuit des Yeux), Meg Baird, and Matt Sweeney. The Bills and Cassie sound great together, and they really do justice to the song while making it their own. Flags flying at full mast (forever!), Silver Jews are paraded through the party on the back of Cassie Berman’s reverent version of one of the late David Berman’s finest songs. Everybody sings — everybody! — and that includes you. And it’s you crying, not us! OK maybe us too…

Featuring: Bill Callahan, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Cassie Berman, Boneman the dog, David Grubbs, Bill MacKay, George Xylouris, Shelagh Hannan, Apollonia Xylouris, Fred Somsen, Sue Ng-Espada, Matt Kinsey, Tony Crow, Azita Youssefi, Caitlin Rose Mahoney, Cory Hanson, Brett Sova, David Pajo.

“The Wild Kindness” (feat. Cassie Berman) · Bill Callahan · Bonnie “Prince” Billy  Drag City Records Released on: 2021-02-19

Cory Hanson , Pale Horse Rider, Drag City, Vinyl LP, CD , Cassette

Cory’s first solo, ‘The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo’, was an intense affair, a grand experiment that produced inspiring, unconventional music – but this time around, he wanted to breathe a bit easier, to feel that breath in the music as well. So he and his band drove out to the desert to record in a low stress environment: Brian Harris’ Cactopia, a house surrounded by 6ft tall sculptural psychotropic cacti. They built a studio inside and then they made music and lived off pots of coffee and chili and cases of Miller High Life as they played guitars, bass, keyboards and drums in what seemed increasingly like a living biomech, their tech made out of fungal networks and cacti needles.

Waiting placidly for end of days, a rictus grin flashing winningly as he summons strength for the already-in-progress epic clash, Cory Hanson delivers a new music video for Pale Horse Rider.
The third single/title track from the forthcoming album ascends to climactic heights (both within itself and in the context of the larger record coming into view) via majestic country gospel-inflections and ambient steel guitar, swelling to a repeated chorus radiating with cries of catharsis from our Cory. Like the two before it, this new song is insanely amazing! The “Pale Horse Rider” video pairs sumptuous sunny California imagery to lyrics anointing the arrival of mass destruction while Cory acts as demonic guide to the future wasteland, skipping about the scene impishly. The stakes are high – and driven calmly through the heart of the matter. Out with the old, in with the new age.

Watch the title track today, but heed the note below –Pale Horse Rider is still approaching, but has slid back in time slightly, to allow for end-of-eon-type delays and adjustments. All the better to allow you to obsess on these advance singles! : The digital release date has moved to April 16th. Physical orders will be delayed, with a new ship date of May 21st.

It was loose and flowed onto tape well. Recorded by Robbie Cody and Zac Hernandez (who assisted on Wand’s ‘Laughing Matter’), the sounds were great from the get-go. First takes were mostly best takes. Fuelled with DNA lifted from country-rock cut with native psych and prog strands, Cory guided his craft toward the cosmic side of the highway, a benevolent alien in ambient fields hazy with heat and synths, early morning fog and space echo spreading the harmonies wide.

‘Pale Horse Rider’’ got a lot to get out of its mind, looking around and seeing that, on the surface, things don’t always look like much. A lifelong Californian, Cory’s naturally found himself standing to the left of most of the country. The west may be only what you make it; these days, the roadside view looks exceptionally sunbleached and left behind. ‘Pale Horse Rider’ eyes the city, the country and the fragile environment that holds them both in its hands – a record as much about Los Angeles as it can be with its back to the town and the sun in its eyes; as much about nostalgia as new music can be with the apocalypse over the next rise.

Cory’s adroit ability to flip through the gains and losses of any given moment with a simple line or two is given delicate bloom on the latest single “Bird of Paradise.” An ominous fever dream of opaque moral lessons (a la Bobbie Gentry’s “Refractions”), “Bird of Paradise” is a flowing ballad sparked from within by bubbling guitar arpeggios, glittering electric keyboards and arcs of steel guitar like falling stars shooting through the night sky. Moods of estrangement and desire play out delicately in the shadowy grid of a deserted urban landscape.

On ‘Pale Horse Rider’, Cory Hanson moves ceaselessly forward. The old myths weave and waft, the shadows of tombstones flickering in the mirages and the light that lies dead ahead.

Title track from “Pale Horse Rider,” to be released on LP/Cassette/CD/Streaming on March 12th, 2021, from Drag City Records.

See the source image

Wand frontman Cory Hanson is gearing up to release his second solo album, “Pale Horse Rider”, on March 12th via Drag City Records. An Los .Angeles native, he’s penned this pretty ode to the city he lives in, the city of angels. No bridges mentioned. The gorgeously animated video was made with help from his brother, Casey. Talented family!. A lifelong Californian, Cory Hanson has naturally found himself standing to the left of most of the country. The west may be only what you make it; these days, the roadside view looks exceptionally sun bleached and left behind.

His forthcoming long player, Pale Horse Rider, eyes the city, the country and the fragile environment that holds them both in its hands — a record as much about Los Angeles as it can be with it’s back to the town and the sun in its eyes; as much about nostalgia as new music can be with the apocalypse over the next rise. Fuelled by DNA lifted from country-rock cut with native psych and prog strands, Cory guides his craft toward the cosmic side of the highway. Pale Horse Rider’s second single, “Angeles”, is an understated heartbeat thump of drums and folky acoustic guitar-driven tension, those steel strings echoing above Cory’s plaintive croon and impressionistic lyrics. The view of LA is exquisite from the high, lonesome peaks of the Angeles National, vibing with a foreboding mood of majesty and despair

Myths and truths of a country on the way down, viewed through a deep-focus lens trained on the city from the deserts on the east; a terminus of unoccupied residential parks and streets fading into craggy footpaths to nowhere, where our passage is seen as diligent, ephemeral and grotesque by turns, forgiven and made beautiful again by the sound.

“Angeles” is from “Pale Horse Rider,” to be released on LP/Cassette/CD/Streaming on March 12th, 2021, from Drag City.

Cory Hanson has led the Los Angeles psych-rock band Wand for the past seven years, and they just released their Laughing Matter album last year. But Hanson also makes music without his band. Hanson released his solo debut The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo in 2016, and he got together with his friend Ty Segall to drop a couple of benefit tracks earlier this year. 

Hanson’s has a new solo album due out next year is called Pale Horse Rider, and it promises a way-out take on country-rock. First single “Paper Fog” is a warm, strummy chug that slowly piles on more and more spacey effects. Hanson’s voice is a relatively plainspoken tenor, but his guitar aims for the astral plane.

Setlist: Wonder [Wand, Laughing Matter] – 0:21 Blue Cloud [Wand, Plum] – 5:25 The Trap (just the intro) [Wand, Plum] – 8:50 Ordinary People [Cory Hanson, The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo] – 9:58 Cosmic Dancer (cover) [T. Rex, Electric Warrior] – 13:00 Morning Rainbow [Wand, 1000 Days] – 18:47 Rio Grande [Wand, Laughing Matter] – 22:10 Candy Says (cover) [The Velvet Underground, S/T] – 26:02 Growing Up Boys [Wand, Ganglion Reef] – 30:13

Go buy all his albums on bandcamp!!! Laughing Matter (LP, out 4/19/19) Perfume (EP, 2018) Plum (LP, 2017) 1000 Days (LP, 2015) Golem (LP, 2015) Ganglion Reef (LP, 2014)