Posts Tagged ‘Durham’

For nearly three decades under the Mountain Goats moniker, John Darnielle has been honing his craft as a songwriter and story-teller, shifting from those early direct-to-boombox recordings to elaborate concept albums about Professional Wrestling and Dungeons & Dragons, and generally finding a way to do whatever he wants. His latest project manifests in the new album, Getting Into Knives, “the perfect album for the millions of us who have spent many idle hours contemplating whether we ought to be honest with ourselves and just get massively into knives”. The album was laid to tape in the legendary Sam Phillips Recordings studio, an attempt to capture the spirit of the touring show that has blossomed with their current four-piece band.

The album will arrive on Merge at the end of next month, and this week they’ve shared the latest single from it, Get Famous.

While anyone who has even cast a flitting eye in the direction of The Mountain Goats’ music will probably realise, the thought of actually getting famous has never been top of their to-do-list. Instead here the idea is presented like acid in John’s mouth, spitting out his words at fame hungry stars, “light up the sky like a comet, make yourself want to vomit, shine like a cursed star, show everybody exactly who you are”. He even throws in a reference to Wesley Willis, the cult singer-songwriter, diagnosed with schizophrenia who was in some ways the antithesis of fame itself, to the point he was noted for greeting his fans with a headbutt. Like most of the best moments of The Mountain Goats, the playful lyricism is combined with some genuinely fabulous music, here they seem to channel the spirit of The Swampers or the Spacebomb House Band, combining virtuoso musical talent with a sense of undeniable fun, from the howling organ to the bright brass flourishes, surely destined for choreographed performances once you’re allowed enough people on a stage at one time. A band who know exactly what they’re doing and are at the top of their game, The Mountain Goats might never have sounded better, let’s just hope for their sake they don’t get famous because of it.

The day I wrote this song I knew the wait to share it would be excruciating AND IT HAS BEEN but today! is! the! day! across all platforms right now! Get Famous!. John Darnielle has written almost 600 songs now, and some of them are very sad, dealing with hard drugs and tragic ends, hurting yourself and others, sicknesses of both body and brain, off-brand alcohols. They are told in beautiful, unnerving, specific detail because he is a very good writer, and also some of them are just true stories about his own life.

“That kinetic rush of the record’s creation can be felt in first single ‘As Many Candles as Possible,’ which features Al Green’s organist Charles Hodges.” – Brooklyn Vegan

“The track opens with a bristling twist of guitars and rumbling drums before settling into a steady groove. A distorted crunch underpins the primarily acoustic proceedings, helping the song build to a pitch-perfect freakout, featuring Al Green’s organist Charles Hodges.” – Rolling Stone

“The album news arrives with the release of dark, squally lead single “As Many Candles As Possible,” which features Al Green organist Charles Hodges and builds to a churning catharsis.” – Indy Week

“Recorded across a single week in Memphis, the album trades between piano-driven intimacy and stormy bombast, the latter of which is on display in its lead single, ‘As Many Candles As Possible.’ Featuring Al Green’s organist Charles Hodges, the dark and swampy track reflects the Deep South milieu in which it was recorded.” – A.V. Club

Limited Edition salmon vinyl, tapes, and pins are almost sold out,

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releases October 23, 2020

RECORDED AT
Sam Phillips Recording, Memphis, Tennessee March 1–6th, 2020

John Darnielle: vocals, guitars, piano
Peter Hughes: electric and upright bass
Matt Douglas: keyboards, woodwinds, guitars, accordion, backing vocals
Jon Wurster: drums and percussion

JOINED FOR THE OCCASION BY
Bram Gielen: piano, guitars, keyboards
Chris Boerner: guitars
Charles Hodges: Hammond B-3
Sam Shoup: Mellotron
Tom Clary: horns
Reba Russell: backing vocals
Susan Marshall: backing vocals

“Bile and Bone” is the new album from songwriter al Riggs and guitar annihilator Lauren Francis.

Two years in the making, and in between countless side-projects, singles, side-albums, and a premiere at Hopscotch Music Festival 2019, Al and Lauren recorded this nine-song album in two different New York apartments, an apartment in Durham, a house on the other side of Durham, and additional recording in yet another house on yet another side of Durham.

Produced by Francis and mixed/mastered by Alli Rogers (recently an engineer on Bon Iver’s “i,i”), Bile and Bone is a culmination of familiar themes and tropes in Riggs’ songwriting (horror movie monsters, queer politics, puns) taffy-pulled into a widescreen format by Francis’ production and arrangement. Swaths of strings and electric piano are cut through by chunky acoustic guitar that sometimes teeters on the intrusive. Flirtations with soft rock (“Werewolf”) motorik pop (“Boyfriend Jacket”) and Eno-esque ambient balladry (“Apex Twin”) sit snugly against the ghosts of Fahey (“Dying Bedmaker Variations”) and the dust-clogged remnants of a pawnshop (“Love Is An Old Bullet”).

The title track is a shuffling climax of held-back fury, summarizing the overall air of the album with volatile lyricism (“I should not be in a place/where I am on my knees each night/praying for my leaders/to be shot down on sight”) with classic pop harmonies provided by Rook Grubbs (Vaughn Aed).

The end result is a patchwork of beauty with claw marks. Possibly cat, possibly wolf-person, definitely lovely.

“At the very end of the opening track, a sound is heard, a warped deviation, and you might, for a moment, think that it was Satan. Not the Satan our parents’ parents rejected in recordings, but rather a new, much improved Satan 2.0, leading by example of sensitivity and risky business, no longer mutually exclusive. Do not fear it. Give in and go forth and enjoy.”
-Adam Schatz (Landlady, expert on Satans)

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“It is their best and most compelling record yet, Riggs singing songs about self-realization during a moment that badly wants to beat you into preordered shapes, delivered with both tenderness and intensity over matching acoustic picking. A work of clarity and reckoning, it is the album that Riggs has been building toward for this busy past half-decade.”

Released September 18th, 2020

BIle and Bone is an album by Al Riggs and Lauren Francis

All words by al Riggs
All music by Al Riggs and Lauren Francis

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, people playing musical instruments and night

 

Recorded across the year 2010 at Mana Recording Studios, St. Petersburg, Florida; Fidelitorium, Kernersville, North Carolina; Q Division, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Mission Sound, Brooklyn, New York

with: Bob Barrone – steel guitar / Yuval Semo – organ; piano on outer Scorpion Squadron / Yoed Nir – cello / Gillian Rivers – violin / all string arrangements by Yuval Semo / vocals on High Hawk Season arranged by Daniel Perry and performed by the North Mountain Singers: Daniel Roihl, Daniel Perry, and Darrick Yee

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Damn The Vampires, Prowl Great Cain, For Charles Bronson, and Never Quite Free produced and mixed by John Congleton; High Hawk Season produced and mixed by Brandon Eggleston; Birth of Serpents, The Autopsy Garland, Beautiful Gas Mask, and Sourdoire Valley Song produced by Erik Rutan and mixed by Brandon Eggleston; Estate Sale Sign, Age of Kings, Outer Scorpion Squadron, and Liza Forever Minnelli produced and mixed by Scott Solter

all song lyrics and music by John Darnielle

The Mountain Goats:
John Darnielle, Peter Hughes, Jon Wurster

“Bile and Bone” is the new album from songwriter al Riggs and guitar annihilator Lauren Francis.

Two years in the making, and in between countless side-projects, singles, side-albums, and a premiere at Hopscotch Music Festival 2019, Al and Lauren recorded this nine-song album in two different New York apartments, an apartment in Durham, a house on the other side of Durham, and additional recording in yet another house on yet another side of Durham.

The track represents a somewhat different approach to writing for al, as they explain, “the song was a collection of lines and ideas I had for other songs…I started putting them together and it felt like creating a thrift store or pawn shop out of these ideas, so the song became about a pawnshop”. After an initial scepticism at its originality, Lauren Francis came to love the track, “at first I was like, damn this sounds like This Year by The Mountain Goats, but that’s a good thing. I wanted to make it our own…this has since become my favourite track because it’s so simple“.

Musically, like the best collaborations, this feels like the coming together of two musical worlds. Al’s background as an acoustic songwriter merges with Lauren’s contributions of guitar, piano, and, as she explains, after the pair debated the introduction of full- drums, “I added the bass drum loop just to give it some momentum”. The resultant track seems to exist in almost two different paces, al’s easy vocals and the meandering piano line seem to watch the world go round, while the prominent pulse of bass-drum throughout adds a certain urgency to proceedings.

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Swaths of strings and electric piano are cut through by chunky acoustic guitar that sometimes teeters on the intrusive. Flirtations with soft rock (“Werewolf”) motorik pop (“Boyfriend Jacket”) and Eno-esque ambient balladry (“Apex Twin”) sit snugly against the ghosts of Fahey (“Dying Bedmaker Variations”) and the dust-clogged remnants of a pawnshop (“Love Is An Old Bullet”).

The title track is a shuffling climax of held-back fury, summarizing the overall air of the album with volatile lyricism (“I should not be in a place/where I am on my knees each night/praying for my leaders/to be shot down on sight”) with classic pop harmonies provided by Rook Grubbs (Vaughn Aed).

Love is An Old Bullet will to some be a beautiful introduction, and to those who know already, a further reminder that the combination of Al and Lauren might just have made one of the year’s most compelling records.

“Bile and Bone” is out September 18th via Horse Complex Records

John Darnielle has written almost 600 songs now, and some of them are very sad, dealing with hard drugs and tragic ends, hurting yourself and others, sicknesses of both body and brain, off-brand alcohols. They are told in beautiful, unnerving, specific detail because he is a very good writer, and also some of them are just true stories about his own life. Roughly four months to the day that Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle dropped Songs For Pierre Chuvin, his first “boombox” LP since 2002, the songwriter’s back with a new Goats’ LP. Called “Getting Into Knives”, it’s described in a press release as “the perfect album for the millions of us who have spent many idle hours contemplating whether we ought to be honest with ourselves and just get massively into knives.” We are those millions, readers. Recorded across a single week in Memphis, the album trades between piano-driven intimacy and stormy bombast, the latter of which is on display in its lead single, “As Many Candles As Possible.” Featuring Al Green’s organist Charles Hodges, the dark and swampy track reflects the Deep South milieu in which it was recorded. 

The Mountain Goats have announced their new studio album Getting Into Knives. The LP arrives October 23rd via Merge Records and is led by the new single “As Many Candles as Possible.” Take a listen to that below. Getting Into Knives is the follow-up to April’s Songs for Pierre Chuvin, which John Darnielle recorded alone on his boombox.

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On New Year’s Day 2019, now a distant world away, Maggie Smith, author of “Good Bones,” tweeted a plotline for an imaginary buddy movie about a divorced woman driving around the US with her wedding dress, taking it all around the country. I thought to myself: what if she’s taking it to places she didn’t go when she was married, what if she’s showing her dress the life she didn’t live? I hunkered down and a couple hours later I’d written “Picture of My Dress.”

In March of 2020, also now a distant world away, we recorded the tune with Matt Ross-Spang at Sam Phillips Studio in Memphis. Playing on the track are the Mountain Goats John, Peter, Jon, and Matt — plus Bram Gielen and Chris Boerner for that extra sweetness. We were assisted in the studio by one hell of a nice guy named Matt Denham, who died unexpectedly this week and we are all torn up about it because he was a real one so I am sending this out to you, bud. Everybody else give an extra head-nod while you listen to the studio attaché with the gentle way, a song like this can only be the result of everybody in the room being on the same wavelength and his contribution was a special energy that this world will miss but the next one is presently richer for. Enjoy!,

Releases October 23rd, 2020

“That kinetic rush of the record’s creation can be felt in first single ‘As Many Candles as Possible,’ which features Al Green’s organist Charles Hodges.” – Brooklyn Vegan

“The track opens with a bristling twist of guitars and rumbling drums before settling into a steady groove. A distorted crunch underpins the primarily acoustic proceedings, helping the song build to a pitch-perfect freakout, featuring Al Green’s organist Charles Hodges.” – Rolling Stone
“The album news arrives with the release of dark, squally lead single “As Many Candles As Possible,” which features Al Green organist Charles Hodges and builds to a churning catharsis.” – Indy Week
“Recorded across a single week in Memphis, the album trades between piano-driven intimacy and stormy bombast, the latter of which is on display in its lead single, ‘As Many Candles As Possible.’ Featuring Al Green’s organist Charles Hodges, the dark and swampy track reflects the Deep South milieu in which it was recorded.” – A.V. Club

Indie pop darlings Sylvan Esso have revealed they will drop their third album “Free Love” on September. 25th. Sylvan Esso is Amelia Randall Meath and Nick Sanborn. What started out in LA with Jon Hill and was finished back in North Carolina at Sylvan Esso’s home studio, Free Love asks major questions about self-image, self-righteousness, friendship, romance, and environmental calamity with enough warmth, playfulness, and magnetism to make you consider an alternate reality. These are Sylvan Esso’s most nuanced and undeniable songs—bold enough to say how they feel, big enough to make you join in that feeling.

“It’s a record about being increasingly terrified of the world around you and looking inward to remember all the times when loving other people seemed so easy, so that you can find your way back to that place,” the duo explained of the new LP in a press statement. This week, electronic duo Sylvan Esso announced their third studio album Free Love, out September. 25th via Loma Vista Recordings. Lead single “Ferris Wheel” is lush and bouncy—with synths keeping the song at a fun pace.

To give fans a taste of what to come, Sylvan Esso shared the lead single “Ferris Wheel” with the heat-wave appropriate opening lines, “August in the heat/ Sweaty in the street.”

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Releases September 25th, 2020

Sylvan-Esso-What-If-Video

Sylvan Esso have shared the video for a mysterious new track, “What If”: a brief, minimal and enticing track, just a minute and a half long. Over spacious synth-bleeps, Amelia Meath sings, “Oh life, dying out/ And the oceans turn to clouds.” The music slowly swells up behind her, but it never quite crests. In the “What If” video, we see Meath singing as her head bobs in the ocean. The camera rises up over her until she’s just a small spot amidst nothingness.

It’s been more than three years since Sylvan Esso dropped their sophomore LP What Now, and it’s been more than two years since “PARAD(w/m)E,” their last proper stand-alone single. Back in April, however, the electro-pop duo from Durham, NC, premiered their concert film “With” on YouTube, while they surprised fans with an accompanying live album of the same name, via Loma Vista Recordings.

Both the album and film capture the final two nights of the band’s 2019 WITH tour at the Durham Performing Arts Center, in which Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn were joined by a 10-piece band. The film also offers a behind-the-scenes look at the musicians as they prepare for the tour. The 16-track live album spans material from Sylvan Esso’s two studio albums – their self-titled 2014 debut and their acclaimed 2017 LP, What Now. In support of “With”, the duo performed an intimate three-song set from their home for NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert series.

Amelia Meath (formerly of Mountain Man) and Nick Sanborn (Megafaun, Made Of Oak) formed Sylvan Esso in 2013. They made their debut with the single “Hey Mami” and released their eponymous debut album on Partisan Records on May, 2014, which reached No. 39 on the Billboard 200. They released their second album What Now on April, 2017,

“Bile and Bone” is the new album from songwriter Al Riggs and guitar annihilator Lauren Francis.

Two years in the making, and in between countless side-projects, singles, side-albums, and a premiere at Hopscotch Music Festival 2019, Al and Lauren recorded this nine-song album in two different New York apartments, an apartment in Durham, a house on the other side of Durham, and additional recording in yet another house on yet another side of Durham.

Durham-based songwriter Al Riggs and guitarist Lauren Francis have teamed up for a new album called “Bile And Bone”, mixed by i,i engineer Alli Rogers and set for release this fall. It’s billed as a culmination of familiar Riggs themes such as horror movie monsters, queer politics, and puns. The lead single, though, is more of a reflection on personal rhythms and the casual familiarity of romance. It’s called “Boyfriend Jacket, Boyfriend Sweater,” and it finds Riggs drawling conversationally over a drum machine and a melancholy roots-rock mirage. “Marginalized young men out on the job,” they sing. “Never late for work, always late for work.”

Riggs explains:

“Boyfriend Jacket” is about that moment in a relationship where things start to run like a well oiled machine, and you’re wearing each other’s clothing, and meeting up after work. And how great all of that feels. This was the first song Alli Rogers mixed for us and she knocked it so far out of the park it went into another park. It was all the proof we needed to have her do the whole album.

The title track is a shuffling climax of held-back fury, summarizing the overall air of the album with volatile lyricism (“I should not be in a place/where I am on my knees each night/praying for my leaders/to be shot down on sight”) with classic pop harmonies

Boyfriend Jacket, Boyfriend Sweater · Al Riggs · Lauren Francis Boyfriend Jacket, Boyfriend Sweater ℗ Horse Complex Records Released on: 2020-07-14

The album “Bile And Bone” is out 18th September on Horse Complex Records.

The Mount Moriah frontwoman’s solo debut. streaked with warm, yet wistful, Americana hues, it glowed throughout 2018. we’ve fallen even harder for her follow-up, ‘eno axis’.

Sonically, it’s an album shaped enormously by the atmosphere it was recorded in – the crew’s synergy & positivity, the proximity & presence of a band in a room playing with intention. structurally, it’s a group of songs inspired by the colours & tones of open tunings, by the sacrality of space & instinct. Stylistically, it’s folk-rock leaning into its curious experimental side & moved by the spiritual rawness of classic soul & the simplicity of earnest pop.

Narratively, H.C. McEntire’s Eno Axis is about finding direction in the natural world, and following love. Sonically, it’s an album shaped enormously by the atmosphere it was recorded in – the crew’s synergy and positivity, the proximity and presence of a band in a room playing with intention. Structurally, it’s a group of songs inspired by the colours and tones of open tunings, by the sacrality of space and instinct. Eno Axis feels like a confident and mature step forward from her debut album Lionheart – in tone, arrangement, production, and spirit.

Stylistically, it’s folk-rock leaning into its curious experimental side and moved by the spiritual rawness of classic soul and the simplicity of earnest pop.

‘eno axis’ feels like a confident & mature step forward from her debut album ‘Lionheart’ – in tone, arrangement, production & spirit. for fans of courtney marie andrews, margo price. joan shelley, first aid kit, the be good tanyas.

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Releases August 21st, 2020

Produced by H.C. McEntire, Luke Norton, and Missy Thangs
Lyrics by H.C. McEntire except where noted

Performed by:
H.C. McEntire (vocals, guitar)
Luke Norton (guitars, keys, backing vocals)
Casey Toll (bass)
Daniel Faust (drums, percussion)
Nathan Bowles (banjo)
Allyn Love (pedal steel)
Mario Arnez (backing vocals)
Justin Morris (backing vocals)

Endless gratitude to Merge Records, Missy, Sarah, all our families and friends and animals.

Image may contain: 1 person

My new song, “Hey Moon,” is out everywhere now. I often find myself talking to the moon. Maybe it’s just my Cancerian nature or maybe it’s something everyone does. But it feels grounding to have that constant presence throughout life. In my years of traveling around and finding myself in strange or unknown places, it’s been a sort of anchor to look up at the familiar light. I wrote this song about looking inward through conversing with the moon, or the emotional self. Something that seems easy to forget to do in times like these.

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releases June 26th, 2020

All songs wrote by Ryan Gustafson Recorded at the Fidelitorium and Bettys

Performed by:
Ryan Gustafson – vocal, guitars, harmonica, synths, Alex Bingham – Bass, Standup Bass, Ryan Oslance – Drums, Percussion, Brevan Hampden – Conga, Percussion, , Drew Anagnost – Cello, James Wallace – Piano, Organ, Molly Sarlé – Vocal, Amelia Meath – Vocal, –Alexandra Sauser-Monnig – Vocal,-Josh Moore – Vocal,

From The Dead Tongues forthcoming album Transmigration Blues, out 6/26 via Psychic Hotline