Posts Tagged ‘Jagjaguwar Records’

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Angel Olsen has announced a new album called “Whole New Mess”, the first material she’s recorded and released without any bandmates since 2012’s Half Way Home. It’s out August 28th via Jagjaguwar Records. Watch a video for “Whole New Mess” below. The time had come, Angel Olsen realized in the fading summer of 2018, to take her new songs out of the house. Olsen’s 2016 marvel, My Woman, had been a career breakthrough, but it catalyzed a period of personal tumult, too: a painful breakup, an uneasy recovery, an inadequate reckoning. At home in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Olsen penned songs that finally grappled with these troubles, particularly love—how forever is too much to promise, how relationships can lock us into static versions of ourselves, how you can go through hell just to make someone else happy.

Find physical editions of Angel Olsen’s Whole New Mess at Rough TradeOlsen recorded Whole New Mess in October 2018 at The Unknown, the church-turned-studio run by Phil Elverum and Nicholas Wilbur in Anacortes, Washington. The album features more intimate versions of several songs that appeared on last year’s All Mirrors. Olsen explained her approach in a brief statement:

I had gone through this breakup, but it was so much bigger than that—I’d lost friendships, too. When you get out of a relationship, you have to examine who you are or were in all the relationships. I wanted to record when I was still processing these feelings. These are the personal takes, encapsulated in a moment.

At least nine of the eleven songs on Whole New Mess should sound familiar to anyone who has heard All Mirrors, Olsen’s grand 2019 masterpiece that earned high honours on prestigious year-end lists and glossy spreads in stylish magazines. “Lark,” “Summer,” “Chance”—they are all here, at least in some skeletal form and with slightly different titles. But these are not the demos for All Mirrors. Instead, Whole New Mess is its own record with its own immovable mood, with Olsen working through her open wounds and raw nerves with just a few guitars and some microphones, isolated in a century-old church in the Pacific Northwest. If the lavish orchestral arrangements and cinematic scope of All Mirrors are the sound of Olsen preparing her scars for the wider world to see, Whole New Mess is the sound of her first figuring out their shape, making sense for herself of these injuries.

Angel Olsen “Whole New Mess”

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Losing someone close to you creates an almost phantom limb-like effect. Often, it feels like they’re a phone call away. But that instant between when you reach for the phone and when your brain delivers the new reality to you is a strange, momentary eternity. It’s both an uncompromising void and maybe as close as you’ll ever come to communing with that loved one again.

Gordi wrote Sandwiches as a tribute to the matriarch of her family. Her late grandmother was, in Gordi’s words, “a great feeder of people.” So when she fell ill, Gordi and her mother took it upon themselves to nourish the visitors gathered around her hospital bed. As they passed around sandwiches, “someone called out that she was gone.”

Sydney-based singer-songwriter Gordi  announced her sophomore album with a brand-new single, ‘Aeroplane Bathroom’, which has arrived with a music video.

Gordi – real name Sophie Payten – told NME Australia that the music video is “the visual centrepiece” of her upcoming album, ‘Our Two Skins’, due for release on June 19th on Liberation Records.

“Aeroplane Bathroom” by Gordi, the new song off ‘Our Two Skins,’ out June 26 on Jagjaguwar Records.

Australian musician Gordi (real name: Sophie Payten) has just shared this shimmering new single which he says is a tribute to her late Grandmother. The song was produced by Bon Iver collaborators Chris Messina and Zach Hanson at Gordi’s family home in Canowindra, Australia. “Her whole life was in Canowindra,” say Gordi of her grandmother. “We made it in a house that’s a hundred meters from her house.” She’ll be on tour with Of Monsters & Men this spring.

The Australian musician Gordi, moniker of Sophie Payten, shares the new single, “Sandwiches,” and its accompanying Justin Ridler-directed video. “Sandwiches” It is a soaring, post-new wave anthem, and a tribute to her late grandmother. One of the first true Gordi “guitar songs,” it shimmers with the lush-yet-fragile momentum of The Cranberries’ classic “Dreams.” “Sandwiches” follows “The Cost,” a track released last month in support of the Australian Bushfire Relief efforts, and is Gordi’s first new recording since her 2017 debut album, “Reservoir”. Gordi has also recently collaborated with Troye Sivan, toured with Sam Smith, Julien Baker and Fleet Foxes, performed at Eaux Claires alongside The National, Bon Iver and Big Red Machine, and finished her medical degree to become a qualified doctor.

Her late grandmother was, in Gordi’s words, “a great feeder of people.” So when she fell ill, Gordi and her mother took it upon themselves to nourish the visitors gathered around her hospital bed. As they passed around sandwiches, “someone called out that she was gone.”

The gravity of the moment was poignant for its softness and mundanity. Gordi approaches the totality of a loved one’s life as measured in the small memories that stay with us. She sings, “When I think of you a movie-reel of moments plays / We’ll be in the car or after mass on Saturdays / You’ll be walking down the driveway, you’ll be in your chair / You’ll say ‘See you round’ or ‘Say your “Three”’ / And now you’re everywhere.”

Gordi called on long-time collaborators and Bon Iver production duo Chris Messina and Zach Hanson to make “Sandwiches” at her family home in Canowindra, Australia — an old cottage littered with some of Sophie’s favourite pieces of musical arsenal combined with some flown in from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The tiny farm town where her family has lived for over a century, Canowindra, and the heart of the matriarch, is embedded in this song, and where the video was filmed. “Her whole life was in Canowindra…we made it in a house that’s a hundred meters from her house.”

“Sandwiches” by Gordi, out now on Jagjaguwar Records..

In early 2003 a young Steve McBean was living in Vancouver and in the midst of a transition from his sorely overlooked rock band Jerk With A Bomb into an auspicious new chapter. JWAB was his umpteenth band in as many years woodshedding as both a frontman and a supporting musician in countless punk & hard core bands in the Canadian wilds starting in his teens and going through his twenties. JWAB was arguably the band in which he’d finally found his signature singing voice and started collaborating with drummer Joshua Wells and vocalist Amber Webber.

Around this time his friend Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers) sent to Jagjaguwar Records a demo tape of new songs that Steve had been writing. He wasn’t sure if it they were JWAB songs or something new entirely. The songs were randy & ribald, with a primitive drum machine beat and a Bo Diddley guitar swagger. They were scintillating and taught us things that our parents were too scared to teach.

These were the demos for the songs that would be re-recorded as the debut album by Pink Mountaintops, a sister project to the other McBean-fronted rock band that was being born at the same time — Black Mountain. This was an exciting time not only for McBean — who was bubbling with songs & ideas — but a turning point for Jagjaguwar, thrilled to sign two of its most significant projects simultaneously. We’re very pleased to be able to share these first demos which bred so much inspiration and provided a horny clarion call for things to come.

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Chris Swanson,

released May 1st, 2020

We’ve already shared the excellent “Mark Zuckerberg” single from Nap Eyes, and now we have the latest track from their upcoming album “Snapshot of a Beginner”, which is out on the 27th March via Jagjaguwar Records.

“So Tired” is a change of pace from the irrepressible catchiness of the last single, a more mournful, resigned slice of slacker rock that just begs for a hot water bottle and a blanket.

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Nap Eyes are releasing a new album, Snapshot of a Beginner, on Jagjaguwar/Royal Mountain in partnership with Paradise of Bachelors. On Tuesday they shared another song from the album, “So Tired,” via a lyric video. It features a sublime guitar solo towards the end.

In a press release frontman Nigel Chapman had this to say about “So Tired”: “The ‘So Tired’ refrain marks a slight shift in perspective and its meaning is twofold. For one, I get frustrated sometimes by what the world seems to require for success at a given task (for example, polished songwriting, coherent and understandable communication), so part of this is just me venting on this subject. Sometimes I would rather flow with free writing than try to box songs into rehearsed, many-times-repeated containers.

“Second, at times I find myself wishing people would not hold so many preconceptions about the things in this world a given person might try to communicate. Most of us, myself included, usually assume we already know a lot – even about things we’ve spent very little time thinking about – and because of this attitude, people are often predisposed to misunderstand new ideas, even when they’re communicated in straightforward and coherent ways. But there’s no doubt, an idea won’t ever get through until there’s someone around to listen to it.”

Previously Nap Eyes shared Snapshot of a Beginner’s first single, “Mark Zuckerberg,” via a video for the song (which of course tackles the founder of Facebook).

Nap Eyes features frontman Nigel Chapman, drummer Seamus Dalton, bassist Josh Salter, and guitarist Brad Loughead. Jonathan Low (Big Red Machine, The National) and James Elkington (Steve Gunn, Joan Shelley) produced Snapshot of a Beginner, which was recorded at The National’s Upstate New York Long Pond Studio.

Releases March 27th, 2020

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Sharon Van Etten moved away from New York, what, a couple of months ago? And she’s already making artfully expressionistic black-and-white videos where she wears floppy hats and stares and desert horizons. Nicky and Juliana Giraffe at Giraffe Studios directed the black and white video, which features Van Etten and the dancing duo of Allison and Veronica Huber in the California desert. John Congleton produced the song, which simply has a very cool vibe.

Van Etten had this to say about the video in a press release: “‘Beaten Down’ is about love, patience and empathy. It’s about making life-changing choices and remaining strong enough to see them through.”

Just a year ago, Van Etten shook off all vestiges of stereotypical singer-songwriter fare to release Remind Me Tomorrow, a dank and scuzzy electronic rock record. What’s so marvelous about her new single “Beaten Down” is how she’s managed to keep those sharp, hard textures while turning them toward something more languid and expansive. “Beaten Down” is a song of support and encouragement, and Van Etten delivers it over a miles-deep bass groove, layering her own voice up symphonically and soaring high on the chorus. It sounds like space opening up. It’s the sound of somebody who can breathe.

“Beaten Down”, the new track from Sharon Van Etten, available now on Jagjaguwar Records

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Psych Ward is an irresistible slice of slacker-indie that is notable for it’s resigned, literal lyrics, and was inspired by Kaya Wilkins’ own experience in a mental health institution. Kaya’s Jagjaguwar debut, “Watch This Liquid Pour Itself”, due on 24th January 2020, is filled with images of pools of sweat, oceans, and other forms of wetness. On her first single, Kaya has been playing music since she was a tween, learning songs on her acoustic guitar and listening to Cody Chesnutt. And, being from originally from Norway, she also played in a black metal project. Although she remains at the center of her artistic process,

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Psych Ward’ from ‘Watch This Liquid Pour Itself’ by Okay Kaya, available January 24th, 2020 on Jagjaguwar Records. Released January 24th, 2020.

Angel Olsen  “All Mirrors”, her fourth and quite possibly most anticipated release to date. Described by Angel as a record about, “owning up to your darkest side, finding the capacity for new love and trusting change”,

“Lark” Clocking in at over six minutes, and featuring an 11-piece string section, could easily be mistaken for Angel at her most bombastic and impersonal, yet there’s another side to Lark hiding beneath the dense arrangements. “Hiding out inside my head, it’s me again, it’s no surprise, I’m on my own now”for all the grandeur, this is Angel at her most personal and insular. It’s a track that almost feels like being trapped in your own head, there’s a claustrophobia to the strings and the repetitive pounding drums, yet at the centre of it all is a singular voice, whether accompanied by John Barry-like strings or a meditative Velvet Underground-like pulse, it’s always that voice, above all else, that demands your attention. It may lack the instant sugary thrills of Shut Up Kiss Me or the raw angsty charms of Hi-Five, yet as Lark slowly worms into your brain, it already feels like Angel’s finest work to date.

From her very earliest recordings, Angel Olsen has mined drama from her relationships with physically present but psychologically absent partners. Across her often-brilliant catalog, the Asheville singer/songwriter has sung candidly about staying with these partners despite recognizing their awful qualities.

“All Mirrors” is out October 4th via Jagjaguwar Records.

“Lark” by Angel Olsen from ‘All Mirrors’ out October 4th on Jagjaguwar Records.

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The descent into darkness is a trope we find time again across history, literature and film. But there’s also an abyss above. There’s a winding white staircase that goes ever upward into the great unknown – each step, each turn, requiring a greater boldness and confidence than the one before. This is the journey on which we find Angel Olsen. The singer-songwriter’s artistic beginnings as a collaborator shifted seamlessly to her magnificent, cryptic-to-cosmic solo work, and then she formed bands to play her songs, and her stages and audiences grew exponentially. But all along, Angel Olsen was more concerned with a different kind of path, and on her vulnerable, new album, “All Mirrors”, we can see her taking an introspective deep dive towards internal destinations and revelations. In the process of making this album, she found a new sound and voice, a blast of fury mixed with hard won self-acceptance.

By her usually prolific standards, it’s been a long time between albums for Angel Olsen. “All Mirrors” is her first album for three years – an epic gap given that she used to average an LP a year in the early stage of her career. As usual, Olsen has redefined her sound once more, offering up impassioned songs that come backed by bold, wall of sound style production from John Congleton.

There are many moments of stirring intensity, where swirling strings, eccentric electronics and low-slung indie-rock grooves join forces to create stunning and arresting musical works of art. The more contemplative moments often sound a little like “Mezzanine”-era Massive Attack or Portishead, though Olsen’s voice and Congleton’s production are always unique enough to make comparisons with those bands moot.

The mid-album ballad, “Spring.” Over warm, gently warped piano, Olsen opens with advice: “Don’t take it for granted, love when you have it,” she singe, before observing almost in passing how quickly time flies: “Remember when we said we’d never have children, I’m holding your baby now that we’re older.”

For anyone who’s ever invested too heavily in a hypothetical future, or mentally broken apart every minuscule bit of a fresh and failed romance, that lyric can be a terrifying reminder that we will never know what will happen next. Olsen says as much in the next few lines: “I’m beginning to wonder if anything’s real, guess we’re just at the mercy of the way that we feel.”

Her message never veers into existential-panic territory, though, instead held steady by the song’s even-paced, rolling rhythm, and Olsen’s fuzzy vocals, hovering like a reassuring guide. She ends her gentle journey on the only piece of certainty she has access to: the fragile and fleeting present. “So give me some heaven, just for a while,” she sings, before her falsetto takes off into the heavens: “Make it eternal, there in your smile.”

“Spring” is the song that stayed with me the longest, through my dozens upon dozens of replays lying in my darkened bedroom, cooking with my roommates in my kitchen, singing by myself in the shower, like a forever-looping Twilight Zone-ish theme song. There is no true rhyme or reason to anything; there are just things that happen to us and people we meet, and we should try to enjoy everything while it lasts. It may not be a satisfactory revelation and — don’t get me wrong — it will emotionally wreck you. But once the tides of perpetual uncertainty subside, it’ll feel quite freeing.

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Angel Olsen is a master of shifting our perception of her. Each one of her albums has been a sweeping evolution—sonic, musical, conceptual—that has made its predecessor seem humble by comparison. “All Mirrors,” is the title track of her upcoming fourth album, immediately sounds bigger than anything she’s done before. Initial listens will leave you overwhelmed by the string arrangement: an ominous, heroic swell over a synthy pulse, the troubled waters that connect the song’s two parts.

Some of Olsen’s songs feel like they’ve always existed—lost country standards or themes from old romantic films—but “All Mirrors” is mostly alien. She centers its movement on just one vocal melody, loosening and intensifying her delivery as if holding onto something delicate in a windstorm. Even her one-of-a-kind voice, the constant through her work, gets coated in silvery new effects.

Underneath all these layers is a deceptively stark composition, a plea for consistency whose cryptic lyrics seem to be carved out of a larger story. In the accompanying video, with imagery that falls between Greek myth and science fiction, Olsen succumbs to a void of demonic hands, undergoes a transformation, and locks eyes with a crowned doppelgänger in some smoky purgatory. She alludes to all these selves in the chorus, describing her reflection as something constantly changing, in danger of disappearing completely: “At least at times it knew me,” she sings, face-to-face with the mystery.

“All Mirrors” by Angel Olsen from ‘All Mirrors’ out October 4th on Jagjaguwar Records.