Posts Tagged ‘Jagjaguwar Records’

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Black Mountain’s Stephen McBean turned 16 after Woodstock but before Varg started burning down Norwegian churches. And yet, until just two short years ago, McBean had lived his entire adolescence and adult life without a proper driver’s license, that first and most coveted ticket to personal independence. When he did finally take the wheel in 2017, he essentially became a Sixteen Year Old for the first time, blowing out the doors off the DMV like a pyrotechnics display at a W.A.S.P. gig. Black Mountain’s new album, “Destroyer”, named after the discontinued single-run 1985 Dodge Destroyer muscle car, is imbued with all that wild-ass freedom and newfound agency (and anxiety and fear) that comes with one’s first time behind the wheel. McBean, welding mask pulled over his Alan Watts beard, has even been rebuilding a 1985 Destroyer in his step-dad’s garage all spring — building it from its frame, putting in weekends of work to have this beast ready for sunnier days. And wouldn’t you know it: when the Destoyer’s engine gives its deep snarl and the stereo rattles with Metallica’s $5.98 EP, McBean is fully in the driver’s seat.

Destroyer is structured around that first time behind the wheel of a hot rod. The fat, charging “Living After Midnight” riffs of opener “Future Shade” is, according to McBean, “Straight outta the gates. FM radio cranked.” He ain’t kidding. The song, and all of Destroyer for that matter, seems to exist at that crucial nexus of the early-to-mid 80s Los Angeles when a war between punk and hair metal was waged. Black Flag’s My War tried and failed to keep the peace. The heavy extended player “Horns Arising,” with its Night Rider vocals and golden, climbing Blade Runner synths, is a fill-up at a desert gas station just in time to see a UFO hovering near a mesa.

And other songs, like The serpentine “Boogie Lover” is a cruise down the Sunset Strip. You pull into The Rainbow Bar & Grill to take the edge off. Doesn’t matter what year it is, Lemmy’s there in flesh or spirit. To continue the teenage theme, there’s also a sense of to these cuts — “High Rise” is a foray into Japanese psych, rounding the bend to a careening, youthful sense of discovery, while “Closer to the Edge” feeling like falling in love with Yes (Remember how good they were for a minute there in your youth?). “Licensed to Drive” would easily be the most exhilarating and dangerous ripper on a titular film’s soundtrack, a dose of heavy right before the muscle car’s wheels fly off going 100 mph on the freeway.

Shacked up in his rehearsal space, McBean found an old chair in an alley, spray painted Producer on the back and pressed record. Friends from the endless rock’n’roll highway were invited over and 22 songs were brought to life. And while some were laid back into shallow graves to dig up once again at a later date, the remaining skeletons were left above ground — given organs, skin, eyes, and the opportunity to grow their hair real long and greasy. Some of these zombie hesher jams were sent on a journey to Canada where longtime band member Jeremy Schmidt, slipping on the Official Collaborator satin jacket, had at them with his legendary synth arsenal. As he added long flowing robes, sunglasses, driving gloves and medallions, the undead songs began to transform into the new breathing creatures that make up Destroyer. Schmidt’s work with these songs was the needed transformative glue for this new era of Black Mountain.

Coming off his newfound automotive freedom, McBean also saw some personnel shuffling within Black Mountain. Both Joshua Wells and Amber Webber have retired their Black Mountain Army uniforms while Arjan Miranda paid his outstanding membership dues and rejoined. New members include Rachel Fannan (Sleepy Sun) and Adam Bulgasem (Dommengang & Soft Kill) plus other familiar names like Kliph Scurlock (Flaming Lips), Kid Millions (Oneida), and John Congleton (St Vincent, Swans) take a turn in the shotgun seat. Collectively, there’s a renewed vitality to Black Mountain on Destroyer — a seasoned, veteran of heady hard rock that’s found new, young muscles to flex and roads to explore.

Black Mountain – “Licensed To Drive” from the new album ‘Destroyer,’ out May 24, 2019 on Jagjaguwar  Records.

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Foxygen are back with a new album called “Seeing Other People”. It is due out April 26th via Jagjaguwar Records, and its lead single “Livin’ a Lie” has been released today. The track comes with a music video directed by previous collaborator Alessandra Lichtenfeld. It was filmed in Calabasas and the band’s hometown of Westlake Village, California in the wake of the Woolsey wildfires.

Foxygen – “Livin’ A Lie,” taken from ’Seeing Other People,’ out April 26th, 2019 on Jagjaguwar Records.

Seeing Other People was produced by Foxygen, engineered and mixed by Shawn Everett, and features superstar drummer Jim Keltner. It follows 2017’s Hang. “I remember a quote from [Jonathan] Rado sticking with the press a few years ago about how we’d lived every rock’n’roll cliche in, about, one year,” Foxygen’s Sam France said in a statement. “Well, here’s the album about it. Another movie. I don’t know what’s next. But here’s a snapshot of it all.”

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The duo’s new single arrives with a music video filmed in California in the wake of the Woolsey fires

releases April 26, 2019

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Rock’n’roll evolves, shifts, mutates—and persists. Anyone who doubts this need only listen to “Seventeen” which performs the magic trick of weaving a classic-sounding song out of strands and blocks of textures that never quite existed in music’s “classic rock” heyday. A heavy beat offsets a desultory piano line, synthesizers at once ferocious and distant blaze around the edges, guitars eventually squonk onto the scene, all while Van Etten sings poetically of longing, nostalgia, and destiny—lyrics at once concrete and slippery, a deft interweaving of adult and teen-aged introspection that as a listener you intuit more than comprehend. The song rumbles and, eventually, roars. A master of subtle melodic gestures, Van Etten along the way crafts a chorus that slays with muted glory.

You can hear Bruce Springsteen in the anthemic energy of this song, and while I get the comparison, leaving it at that diminishes Van Etten’s accomplishment. The entire album in fact strikes my ear as a brilliant example of how to be a 21st-century rock’n’roller—taking the bones of archetypal rock music , and then planting your own individual 2019 self, with all its accumulated know-how and influences, right into the heart of it. Since we last heard from Sharon Van Etten (2014’s Are We There), she has become an actor, a film composer, a mother, and a graduate student in psychology. Which is just to say that she has quite a formidable self to align with one type of creative expression or another. When it came time to record a new album, she opted for a producer, John Congleton, known for synth-pop stylings, and arrived at the studio inspired by the dark, reverberant music of Portishead and Nick Cave. Something arresting was bound to come of all of this, and it did in the form of the enigmatic but majestic Remind Me Tomorrow, which was released in January on Jagjaguwar Records. That’s where you’ll find “Seventeen.”.

You can listen to Remind Me Tomorrow, and then buy it, on Bandcamp, where it is available digitally, on CD, or on vinyl. And in case you missed it, another song from the album, the brilliant “No One’s Easy To Love,”.

Foxygen have announced a brand new album. Titled ‘Seeing Other People’, the full-length is previewed by a lead single ‘Livin’ A Lie’, Arriving alongside a video directed by previous collaborator Alessandra Lichtenfeld, it was filmed in Calabasas and the band’s hometown of Westlake Village, California following the Woolsey wildfires.

“I remember a quote from [fellow band member Jonathan] Rado sticking with the press a few years ago about how we’d lived every rock’n’roll cliche in, about, one year,” Sam France explains in a statement. “Well, here’s the album about it. Another movie. I don’t know what’s next. But here’s a snapshot of it all.”

‘Seeing Other People’ was produced by Foxygen, mixed by Shawn Everett, and features drums by Jim Keltner. Following on from 2017’s ‘Hang’, its set for release on 26th April

Californian duo Foxygen has released Livin’ a Lie, which layers a myriad of instruments from synths to guitars and strings. The track is the first glimpse of “Seeing Other People”, their upcoming album due out 26th April.  on Jagjaguwar Records

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Sharon Van Etten’s full length album, Are We There, was released in 2014, but she’s been anything but idle in the time since. She tried her hand at acting with a role on The OA, and appeared at The Bang Bang Bar on an episode of Twin Peaks: The Return (as well as playing David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption). That’s not the only musical project she’s been involved with, either; she lent vocals to music from Lee Ranaldo, Land of Talk, Hercules & Love Affair, Michael Cera, and Lost Horizons. She also scored Strange Weather, appeared on the soundtrack for The Man in High Castle, and re-released her 2009 debut, Because I Was in Love. We may be able to expect even more new music from Sharon who Also became a mother .In an interview with The Creative Independent that was published last November, she said she was heading back to the studio “next week.” The interview also talks about how motherhood is inspiring her writing now,

The motivation behind the re-release was related to music people heard on The OA, her getting her masters back, and just perfect timing in general: “During this off time, where I probably won’t have a record out for another year, why not share something that will feel new to people? Why not remind people where I came from a little bit, before I scare them with my next record?” We promise we won’t be scared!

“Seventeen” off Sharon Van Etten’s new album “Remind Me Tomorrow” out Jan 18th on Jagjaguwar Records

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Preoccupations kick things off on a decidedly ‘80s note with “Espionage,” the synths, skeletal beat, and Matt Flegel’s dramatic vocals sounding like a twisted, bleaker version of Depeche Mode. It’s dark and grinding, but still so danceable it could be an alternate soundtrack the scene in The Breakfast Club where they’re all gettin’ down cue Judd Nelson hanging off of that weird hand statue thing. On “Decompose,” the unrelenting, singular beat from Mike Wallace’s drums and the solitary, swiped chord of some kind of eastern harp are softened by Flegel’s pointedly dreamy vocals, the only relief from the cyclical, driving rhythm getting beaten in to your skull. Sonically, “Disarray” takes a nod or two from the “Disorder” version of Joy Division. Lyrically, it’s a study in harnessing the chaos and discord of life, while acknowledging the futility of doing so. Flegel sings the title over and over, making a pattern of a word whose definition means exactly the opposite.

The members of Preoccupations have always confidently followed their own rules as they straddle the line between humanity and the brutish force of their music. Examinations of creation, destruction and the ways that we often practice the two in vain have regularly been tethered to the Canadian post-punk band’s work—even going back to their days as Viet Cong. And while that’s quite a downcast undertaking, it’s one that goes hand-in-hand with Preoccupations’ dystopian-future-sounding music. With their third LP, New Material, they dive into it headlong, kicking things off on a decidedly ’80s note with “Espionage,” the synths, skeletal beat, and Flegel’s dramatic vocals sounding like a twisted, bleaker version of Depeche Mode. It’s dark and grinding, but still so danceable it could be an alternate soundtrack the scene in The Breakfast Club where they’re all gettin’ down—cue Judd Nelson hanging off of that weird hand-statue thing.

Preoccupations – “Espionage” from ‘New Material’, out March 23rd, 2018 on Jagjaguwar Records.

Ruban Nielson’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra are band that always moved between psych-rock, frenetic sonics and oddball funk. Sex and Food finds a bit of everything of the band’s established sounds in there along but perhaps with everything pushed to the fringes or testing the limits somewhat. So there’s the aggressively-charged distorted rock of ‘American Guilt’ alongside the positively ’70s yacht rock tracks ‘Ministry of Alienation’ and ‘Everybody Acts Crazy Nowadays’. “When it comes to rock, I want to get into dodgier territory.”, is how Nielson has talked about the album.

Nielson’s voice remains as the peculiar whispering floating timbre. It’s a little creepy, a little laconic, and totally unique. With influences drawn from places he visited like Reykjavík, Seoul, Auckland, Hanoi and Mexico, away from the Portland home that informed much of his 2015 breakthrough record Multi-Love, Sex and Food ultimately, is like a patchwork of their sound to date.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays” from the album ‘Sex & Food’, Released April 6th, 2018 on Jagjaguwar. 

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Sharon Van Etten’s new single, “Jupiter 4”, is probably more likely to be named after a Roland Synth than a crack team of Jupiter bound astronauts. The track, shared this week, is the second to come from Sharon’s upcoming album, Remind Me Tomorrow, due early next year on Jagjaguwar Records.

If the first single, Comeback Kid, was probably the closest Sharon’s ever got to a pop-song, Jupiter 4 is a completely different beast, all moody drones, eerie noises and impending gloom; there’s a touch of The Twilight Sad about it, which is as exciting as it is confusing. Despite the dense musical accompaniment, the lyrical content seems to be quietly upbeat, a declaration of passion, “it’s true that everyone would like to have met, a love so real”,sure with the musical accompaniment it feels almost creepily intense, but taken as face value, Sharon’s words are unquestionably positive. We’ve heard two snap-shots of Sharon’s new album, both two different moods, two different directions, two reasons to be very excited where Sharon Van Etten takes us next.

Remind Me Tomorrow is out January 18th via Jagjaguwar.

Cut Worms is the nom de plume of songwriter Max Clarke, whose debut LP will seduce you right off the bat with its sparkling opening track, “How It Can Be.” With his intimate indie voice and facility for instantly memorable melodies and guitar lines, Clarke conjures a kind of garage-tested Everly Brothers, reminiscent of early Shins, with breezy pop ballads just tart enough to soundtrack lonesome summer days. Hollow Ground was recorded in the L.A. home studio of Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, and in New York with Jason Finkel at Gary’s Electric. Check out the animated video for “Don’t Want To Say Good-bye,” and prepare to hum it for the rest of the day.

“Don’t Want To Say Good-bye” from debut LP “Hollow Ground” out May 4th on Jagjaguwar

Tons of Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly in Hollow Ground, which flies in the face of present day music. What’s wrong with this one man band Max Clarke and his compulsion of a bygone era? Who cares, when it sounds this good.

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“Cash For Gold” from debut LP “Hollow Ground” out May 4th on Jagjaguwar Records

Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner Detail New Album as Big Red Machine.

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and the National’s Aaron Dessner have detailed their debut album as Big Red Machine. The self-titled LP is set to come out August 31st via their PEOPLE digital platform, as well as on vinyl, CD, and cassette in partnership with JagjaguwarBig Red Machine includes the four songs that Vernon and Dessner released last month (“Forest Green,” “Lyla,” “Gratitude,” and “Hymnostic”).

Vernon and Dessner developed Big Red Machine over the last two years. They produced the album together with frequent collaborator Brad Cook. Big Red Machine was recorded and mixed by Jonathan Low, mostly at Dessner’s Long Pond studio in upstate New York (where the National also recorded much of Sleep Well Beast).

In a press release, Dessner stated, “I don’t think the record would exist without the community that came together to make it.” He continued, “We took the music to a certain point, and then we reached out and sent it far and wide, inviting friends to contribute any and all ideas. We’ve viewed the record and the process from a community standpoint. We’re incredibly excited about it, as excited as we would be for any album we might make in another situation that’s more conventional. But this feels like something new the process felt different and the outcome felt different.”

Releases August 31st, 2018