Posts Tagged ‘Fat Possum Records’

Spiritualized

Spiritualized have announced the reissue of their first four albums on vinyl via Fat Possum as part of the Spacemen Reissue Program curated by Spiritualized frontman Jason Pierce. The first installment, 1992’s “Lazer Guided Melodies”, is due out April 23rd. #The Albums in the series will be pressed on 180g 2xLPs mastered from “a half speed lacquer cut from original sources by Alchemy Mastering,” according to a press release. Of the reissues, Pierce said: I was living in Rugby in a flat above a plumber’s merchant at the time. I accidentally kept that flat for eight years when I moved to London and when I returned it was exactly how I left it. There was the Nick Kent book open at the page I left it like it was waiting for my return.

The last Spacemen 3 record was under-realized to me. When I listen back to that stuff it sounds like somebody finding their way. There was a lot of ideas but no way to put them into a space that would make them all work. So, there was a huge freedom forging over the last Spacemen 3 record and when Spiritualized started it was like, “OK it’s all yours. Go”…The first four Spiritualized records are the sound of J Spaceman finding his way through the cosmos; bumping into debris, soaring over stars, crash landing onto bleak, lonely landscapes then taking off again, sometimes spinning around uncontrollably until he finds somewhere sublime that he can rest his head for a while, until the restless soul takes flight again.

Spiritualized Lazer Guided Melodies

Elevating the gritty, narcotic garage blues of his first band Spacemen 3 into more of a crystalline experimental space rock, pop sound, the “Lazer Guided Melodies” core line up was Jason (vocals, guitar), Mark Refoy (guitars), Kate Radley (keyboards), Will Carruthers (bass) and Jonny Mattock (drums). Recorded from 1990 to 1991, the 12 songs are divided up into four movements. 

We recorded the tracks in the studio near my flat which was a place where they predominantly recorded advertising jingles and it’s where we made all the Spacemen 3 records, but then the recordings were taken to Battery Studios in London, to explore a more professional way of making music…. Once I approached that way of doing things I opened up a whole world and I was astounded that somebody could take those tracks and turn it into the record it became….”We got it down onto a Fostex E16; like a half inch of tape and we squeezed 16 tracks onto it. It was almost like recording on a cassette tape but then we introduced those multi tracks to a new kind of mix scenario, new to me anyway.

Once I approached that way of doing things I opened up a whole world and I was astounded that somebody could take those tracks and turn it into the record it became. Barry Clempson mixed it and his references were completely outside my world. He was playing stuff like Massive Attack, the Horace Andy track with that beautiful tremolo voice, and Rain Tree Crow, very precise and clear productions.  But he brought this clarity and definition to it that I could not have done in Rugby. I didn’t know how to make records that sounded like that. It turned out absolutely beautiful.”

The other three albums in the series—1995’s Pure Phase, 1997’s Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, and 2001’s Let It Come Down—are set to follow, but have not been announced. Spiritualized’s last LP was 2018’s And Nothing Hurt.

X Punk Band

Last year the Los Angeles punk legends that are X returned with their first album in 27 years – and the first with the original line-up in 35 years!

“Alphabetland” was released via Fat Possum Records and is, we must admit, a brilliant ‘come-back’ album. Today, they followed it up with two unreleased songs “True Love, Pt. 3″ and “Strange Life”, both of which where recorded during Alphabetland‘s studio sessions.

True Love is a reimagining of the funk-inspired track from 1983’s Under The Big Black Sun, and Strange Life is simply a brilliant punk ‘blinder’ that features guitar from Doors legend Robbie Krieger. A different version of Strange Life made it onto Alphabetland, but this newly released rendition happened after Robbie Krieger dropped by the studio and X rather cheekily asked him to play on the song.

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Krieger adds a brief outro to the song but it didn’t make it onto the album version. X’s singer Exene Cervenka said him popping in to see the band was “fitting and wondrous!” Fitting because The Doors keyboard player the late, great Ray Manzarek produced their first four albums, Los Angeles, Wild Gift, Under the Big Black Sun and More Fun in the New World. All classic album’s. 

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The exquisitely voiced Tamara Lindeman returns as The Weather Station with new LP Ignorance, her first in partnership with Fat Possum. We’ve long adored her work (she is a Sea Change alumna you know), but there is something very special about this one, beautifully delivered and fascinating.

“Ignorance”, is the fifth album from The Weather Station and their first on Mississippi’s Fat Possum Records, finds Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman continuing to move beyond her project’s folk beginnings, like a rocket that’s left the launchpad. The more rock-oriented arc of her 2017 self-titled curves even further on Ignorance, as Lindeman gracefully embraces art-pop sounds, setting the record’s propulsive, enigmatic tone with opener “Robber”—Max Freedman called that track “a welcome left turn for Lindeman” and “a bold reintroduction” in highlighting it as one of this last year 2020’s best songs. 

Through Ignorance, Lindeman has remade what The Weather Station sounds like, using the occasion of a new record to create a novel sonic landscape, tailor-made to express an emotional idea. Ignorance is sensuous, ravishing, as hi-fi a record as Lindeman has ever made, breaking into pure pop at moments, at others a dense wilderness of notes; a deeply rhythmic and painful record that feels more urgent and clear than her work ever has. Ignorance began when Lindeman became obsessed with rhythm; specifically straight rhythm, dance rhythm, those achingly simple beats that had never showed up on a Weather Station album before. The album marks Lindeman’s first experience writing on keyboard, not guitar, and her first time building out arrangements before bringing them to a band. Montreal producer Marcus Paquin (Arcade Fire) co-produced, with Lindeman, and also mixed the record. The lyrics across Ignorance roil with conflict.

The narrator confronts characters who turn away from love. “I used to be an actor, now I’m a performer,” Lindeman says. In those roles she often finds herself to be the subject of projection, reflecting back the ideas and emotions of others. In turn, the album cover shows Lindeman laying in the woods, wearing a hand made suit covered in mirrors. Throughout Ignorance, she sings of trying to wear the world as a kind of ill fitting, torn garment, dangerously cold; “it does not keep me warm / I cannot ever seem to fasten it” and of walking the streets in it, so disguised and exposed.

Elsewhere on the record, Lindeman imbues her surprisingly dancefloor-friendly tracks with nimble poise and unknowable intrigue, wielding strings, synths and keys with equal ease. She named her album for the French verb ignorer, which “connotes a humble, unashamed not knowing,” per the LP’s bio. Here in early 2021, what could be more important?

Country Westerns is a three-piece rock band from Nashville that sounds nothing like its name. Drummer Brian Kotzur (Trash Humpers, Silver Jews) and singer-songwriter-guitarist Joseph Plunket (The Weight, Gentleman Jesse) began working on songs together in 2016, after bonding over the shared desire to be in a band in a town full of solo artists and guns-for-hire. Following a couple of years writing and playing shows with varying lineups, Sabrina Rush (State Champion) joined the band as bassist. The now complete Country Westerns recorded their debut album in New York and Nashville, encouraged by friend and producer Matt Sweeney. Plunket’s raspy bravado and subtle twang, his insistent 12-string guitar riffs, Kotzur’s dynamic and metronomic drumming, and Rush’s harmonic bass playing create hyper catchy rock songs, with lyrics that bend towards poetry and punk rock sneer in equal measure. Their self-titled debut is slated for release in 2020 on Fat Possum Records. 

 The band made Country Westerns with no filler, packing every song with twangy riffs and shout-along hooks. You can practically smell the sweat and beer from the crowd.

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Hi it’s Matt Sweeney, I produced this Country Westerns album. Singer-guitarist Joey Plunkett left NYC for Nashville after making a name for himself in legends The Weight & hustling bass in Gentleman Jesse. In 2019, Sabrina Rush joined on bass. Nashville drummer Brian Kotzur was a member of Silver Jews and David Berman encouraged them to record with me and Fat Possum gave em a record deal.

Released June 26th, 2020

“Ignorance”, is the new album by the The Weather Station, It begins enigmatically; a hissing hi hat, a stuttering drum beat.  A full minute passes before the entry of Tamara Lindeman’s voice, gentle, conversational, intoning; “I never believed in the robber”.  A jagged music builds, with stabbing strings, saxophone, and several layers of percussion, and the song undulates through five minutes of growing tension, seesawing between just two chords.  Once again, Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman has remade what The Weather Station sounds like; once again, she has used the occasion of a new record to create a new sonic landscape, tailor-made to express an emotional idea.  Ignorance, Lindeman’s debut for Mississippi label Fat Possum Records, is sensuous, ravishing, as hi fi a record as Lindeman has ever made, breaking into pure pop at moments, at others a dense wilderness of notes; a deeply rhythmic, deeply painful record that feels more urgent, more clear than her work ever has. 

On the cover, Lindeman lays in the woods, wearing a hand made suit covered in mirrors.  She was struck by the compulsion to build a mirror suit on tour one summer, assembling it in a hotel room in PEI and at a friend’s place in Halifax.  “I used to be an actor, now I’m a performer” she says.  In those roles, she points out, she often finds herself to be the subject of projection, reflecting back the ideas and emotions of others.  On the album, she sings of trying to wear the world as a kind of ill fitting, torn garment, dangerously cold; “it does not keep me warm / I cannot ever seem to fasten it” and of walking the streets in it, so disguised, so exposed.  Photographed by visual artist Jeff Bierk in midday, the cover purposefully calls to mind Renaissance paintings; with rich blacks and deep colour, and an incongruous blue sky glimpsed through the trees.

The title of the album, Ignorance, feels confrontational, calling to mind perhaps wilful ignorance, but Lindeman insists she meant it in a different context.  In 1915 Virginia Woolfe wrote: “the future is dark, which is the best thing a future can be, I think.”  Written amidst the brutal first world war, the darkness of the future connoted for Woolfe a not knowing, which by definition holds a sliver of hope; the possibility for something, somewhere, to change.  In french, the verb ignorer connotes a humble, unashamed not knowing, and it is this ignorance Lindeman refers to here; the blank space at an intersection of hope and despair, a darkness that does not have to be dark. We are so proud and relieved to finally announce that my next album, the fifth Weather Station album, is set for release February 5th. It’s called “Ignorance”. It’s the strangest record I’ve made, and also the most pop record I’ve made. It’s a bit of a monster. It’s available now for pre-order through Fat Possum Records and Next Door Records and also my new web store. Cover art by the one and only Jeff Bierk. Today also marks the release of a new song ‘Tried To Tell You’ with accompanying video. 

Ignorance

Occasionally when a hip new band starts to get considerable buzz there’s usually one single in particular tied to the hype. For Austin-based indie rock group Why Bonnie, that song just might be the blistering “Athlete,” a recently released single from their “Voice Box” EP. It’s truly an attention-grabber, full of fortified feedback fuzz, screeching guitars and the unmistakable power of frontwoman Blair Howerton’s soft yet deep voice. It begins with scratchy violin strings straight out of a horror flick before the band pokes at the idea of athletic prowess “‘Athlete’ is the most ‘rock and roll’ track on the EP so we wanted to make a video that embodied that, but also felt like casual, day-in-the-life footage,” the band said in a statement.

“Kind of like watching a home movie that you found in a box in your parents’ attic, but instead of you as a three-year old on the soccer field, you’re a grown adult with about the same skill level.” “Athlete” isn’t the only star single, though: The Voice Box title track is just as attractive, but a bit closer to the dream-pop side of things. Any band who can squeeze this much beautiful noise into such a small amount of output is one to keep your eyes on.

The Austin group add:  “The video was directed by Alex  inker and is essentially just a true field day filmed on VHS. ‘Athlete’ is the most ‘rock and roll’ track on the EP so we wanted to make a video that embodied that, but also felt like casual, day-in-the-life footage.”

“Kind of like watching a home movie that you found in a box in your parents’ attic, but instead of you as a three-year old on the soccer field, you’re a grown adult with about the same skill level.”

Loosely focused on Austin, Texas, the project match skittering indie pop to some early 90s alt-rock influences. Pitting the dream-like sheen of Mazzy Star or The Cranberries against grainy, DIY production, their song writing matches a sense of classicism to a supremely personal approach.

“Voice Box” by Why Bonnie off of ‘Voice Box’, It came out April 10th, 2020 on Fat Possum Records.

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We first got to know Courtney Marie Andrews back in 2018 when she recounted for us her journey from emo to country on the occasion of releasing her breakthrough Americana solo record May Your Kindness Remain. Just two years later and it sounds like she’s been churning out these folksy sounds her entire career with her heartbroken new LP Old Flowers.

Perhaps that was the missing ingredient in her solo career, which now spans over a decade—the themes of love and heartbreak haunt the new record in a way that never felt this present on previous releases. The shaky minimalism of songs like “If I Told” are shockingly vulnerable, while full-band numbers like “It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault” match this openness in Andrews’ lyrics.

In the spirit of this theme of love and heartbreak, CMA has assembled eleven tracks that she sees as spiritual predecessors to Old Flowers’ lovelorn charm.

I wanna tell you about the small group of musicians on this record. At the beginning of 2019, I wanted to try out a few producers to test out who would best fit these songs. After only one session with Andrew Sarlo, I knew he had the keen empathy and magic to produce this very personal record. He was very in tune with the vision. We both agreed the record needed to be soft and intimate, so we decided to only take two musicians on board as the band. One of those players is one of my favourite musicians in the whole world, Matthew Davidson (Twain) He is a big part of this record, and recording with him is inspiring because every take is a journey. Then, Sarlo suggested we bring James Krivchenia on board to play drums, but James ended up adding so much more. Playing with these two in a room was pure inspiration and magic. Every take was its own, a journey into possibility. Nothing felt regimented or sterile. It felt like throwing paint on canvas, no sound off-limits.

I am proud to release the final single from my new upcoming record,
‘Old Flowers’. (Coming out July 24th!) ‘How You Get Hurt’ is a heartbreak saga. Learning to love again, but afraid and unsure? This song is for you. Recording this offered so many magical moments in the studio and this one sits close to my heart

Old Flowers is out this Friday, July 24, via Fat Possum Records

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Rock ‘n’ roll lifers Sabrina Rush, Joseph Plunket and Brian Kotzur have played with State Champion, Gentleman Jesse and Silver Jews to name a few great bands. Now like Voltron, they have taken their skills to make a big giant rock ‘n’ roll robot and I am here for it.

Big guitars and a ripping rhythm section is like a belt-high fastball on a 3-0 count. From beginning to end, this album delivers the goods. I’ve tried to put a label on them but I always just wind up going with straight up rocking, sort of like a great Reigning Sound album. Plunkett’s vocals are raspy with hints of twang; again belt-high fastball for my tastes.

If you don’t like this album, you don’t like rock ‘n’ roll. This album literally pulled me out of funk and I’m grateful for its existence. It’s Not Easy, Gentle Soul and Two Characters are among my favourites.

Don’t go into Country Westerns’ self-titled debut expecting twangy back-porch music. Calling the group Country Westerns is a misnomer. The three-piece band from Nashville delivers riotous rock ‘n’ roll leaning more towards the Replacements than Dwight Yoakam. Drummer Brian Kotzur (Trash Humpers, Silver Jews) and singer-songwriter-guitarist Joey Plunkett (The Weight, Gentleman Jesse) began collaborating in 2016. Writing and performing music was meant to be an outlet for the two musicians, a method to release pressure, write songs, and hit-up Nashville’s DIY party scene. Shortly thereafter, Sabrina Rush (State Champion) joined as a bassist, although she was inexperienced with the instrument. Despite the blasé beginnings, Country Westerns delivers a musically rousting album that is at once catchy and gritty.

If not listening closely, the fierce musicality can obscure the sensitive and affecting lyrics. “Gentle Soul” is wistful, especially when Plunkett laments, “I don’t want to fight with you anymore.” Whereas the vulnerability is short-lived, the righteous indignation is palpable throughout the track. “Gentle Soul” is as angry as it is sad, an accurate portrayal of heartache. Country Westerns are decidedly self-aware. The band know they are blurring vulnerability and rage as exhibited in “Times to Tunnels”. The lyrics, “It ain’t a boast in the least / It’s just a plea for grace / Full of honesty, this rage and me”, provokes authentic self-consciousness.

On top of the engrossing lyrics, Country Westerns uses the album to showcase their musical alacrity. Kotzur’s drums on “Guest Checks” is rough and shrewd, the ideal counterpoint to Rush’s melodic bass. Plunkett’s guitar accentuates their stability with a rawness that melds into while deflecting Kotzur and Rush. Their musical charisma is extenuated on “It’s on Me” and “Anytime”. Whereas the former is comparatively understated in its rock ‘n’ roll energy, the latter roars.

“I’m Not Ready” off upcoming Country Westerns “S/T” album, out June 26, 2020, on Fat Possum Records.

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Ellis (aka Hamilton, Ontario dream pop artist Linnea Siggelkow) is released her debut album, Born Again, via Fat Possum. On Wednesday she shared another song from it, “Saturn Return,” via a Michael Pugacewicz-video for the track. The full-length debut from Ellis, “Born Again” takes place in spaces both intimate and vast, ordinary and near-mythic: warm beds and lonely church pews, restless cities and desolate forests and the furthest reaches of the cosmos. Produced by Jake Aron (Snail Mail, Solange, Grizzly Bear) and recorded partly at Aron’s Brooklyn studio, Born Again arrives as the follow- up to Ellis’s debut EP The Fuzz—a self-released, self-produced effort that promptly led to a deal with Fat Possum Records. In a departure from the viscerally charged dream-pop of The Fuzz, Born Again unfolds with a mesmerizing subtlety, gracefully spotlighting Ellis’s unhurried melodies, starkly confessional lyrics, and the luminous vocal work she’s shown in opening for artists like Soccer Mommy and Alvvays.

Siggelkow had this to say about “Saturn Return” in a press release: “‘Saturn Return’ is an astrological term for the time in your life where Saturn literally returns to the same place in it’s orbit that it was the moment you were born. The first one happens in your late twenties, and it’s a time of radical transformation. I am in mine now and have been feeling it big time! I wrote this record while reflecting on all the ways my life is changing, reconciling things from the past and making space to move forward.”

Previously Ellis shared Born Again’s first single, “Fall Apart,” via a video for the track. Then she shared another song from it, “Embarrassing,” via a video for the short track. Then she shared another new Born Again song, “March 13,”

Jake Aron (Snail Mail, Solange, Grizzly Bear) produced the album, which was partly recorded at his Brooklyn studio. Born Again follows Ellis’s debut EP The Fuzz, which she self-produced and self-released in 2018.

As Born Again’s title suggests, the album partly deals with questions of faith. Siggelkow is the daughter of a traveling book salesman and a piano teacher. “I grew up Christian and was quite devoted to faith up through my late teens, but I started challenging that once I got to university,” said Siggelkow in a previous press release announcing the album. “Since then I’ve been trying to redefine who I am and where I stand and what I think about these things on my own, and that journey very much played into the songwriting on this record.”

“Saturn Return” from Ellis’s debut album ‘Born Again’

Delta 88 Nightmare,” newly recorded music from the iconic punk rock band, X, along with the video directed by Henry Mortensen, The 7” vinyl will be released on November 29th,

Earlier this year, the original foursome – Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebrake went into the studio together to record fresh material for the first time since 1985’s “Ain’t Love Grand.”  Five songs were recorded over the course of two days with producer Rob Schnapf.The first of these new songs is the recorded version of an older X song, “Delta 88 Nightmare,” which previously was only included as a bonus track on the 2001 reissue of “Los Angeles” in demo form – never as a fully recorded and mixed track. The song is available today as a 7″ with the flip side being the newly recorded “Cyrano de Berger’s Back,” one of the earliest songs John wrote for the band that became X.

The iconic punk rock band, X, recently announced their annual Holiday tour plans. Hitting theWest Coast for X-Mas ‘19, finishing up on December 19th & 20th with hometown Los Angeles finale shows. The Blasters will join X on all shows .

Formed in 1977, X quickly established themselves as one of the best bands in the first wave of LA’s flourishing punk scene; becoming legendary leaders of a punk generation. Featuring vocalist Exene Cervenka, vocalist/bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom, and drummer DJ Bonebrake, their debut 45 was released on the seminal Dangerhouse label in 1978, followed by seven studio albums released from 1980-1993. X’s first two studio albums, Los Angeles and Wild Gift are ranked by Rolling Stone among the top 500 greatest albums of all time.

Over the years, the band has released several critically acclaimed albums, topped the musical charts with regularity and performed their iconic hits on top television shows such as Letterman and American Bandstand. In 2017, the band celebrated their 40th anniversary in music with a Grammy Museum exhibit opening, a Proclamation from the City of Los Angeles .The band continues to tour with the original line-up.

Fat Possum Records