Posts Tagged ‘Jagjaguwar Records’

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.

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Sharon Van Etten presents the official video for “No One’s Easy to Love” off her latest album Remind Me Tomorrow, it’s her “most atmospheric, emotionally piercing album to date” (Pitchfork). The video was directed by mentor and previous collaborator Katherine Dieckmann, who directed the “Jupiter 4” video and whose photograph graces the cover of Remind Me Tomorrow, and was filmed at Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York.
“Happy to share another video I made with my dear friend Katherine Dieckmann. Stark, simple, raw,” says Van Etten. “She allowed me to be myself as she took the reins with capturing my performance in her favorite part of downtown Albany.”

Van Etten has had an incredible 2019 since the release of Remind Me Tomorrow. She kicked off the year returning to Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Additionally, The New York Times Magazine named lead single “Comeback Kid” one of “The 25 Songs That Matter Right Now,” while “Seventeen” was discussed in depth by Van Etten on Song Exploder, and recognized as a best song of 2019 by ELLE and ESQUIRE. Remind Me Tomorrow continues to garner glowing praise: it’s Exclaim!’s #1 album of the year so far and is featured prominently in mid-year lists

Van Etten continues to sell out tours around the globe in support of Remind Me Tomorrow. She’ll play a slew of summer festivals, including Lollapalooza, Osheaga, Glastonbury, Roskilde, and Greenman, before supporting Bon Iver for two weeks in September.

“No One’s Easy To Love” off Sharon Van Etten’s new album “Remind Me Tomorrow” out now on Jagjaguwar Records

Bon Iver Announce ‘i,i’<span>New Album Out August 30th </span>

Bon Iver have announced a new studio album, i,i, set for release on August. 30th via Jagjaguwar Records, along with sharing two more tracks from the effort, “Jelmore” and the song “Faith.”

As was hinted at with the band’s “Sincerity is Forever in Season” teaser trailer, released earlier this month, this is the fourth studio record from Justin Vernon’s project follows in the seasonal pattern of the previous three: 2007’s For Emma, Forever Ago (winter); 2011’s Bon Iver (spring); 2016’s 22, A Million (summer); and now i,i representing the fall.

“It feels very much like the most adult record, the most complete,” Vernon says in a press announcement for the album. “It feels like when you get through all this life, when the sun starts to set, and what happens is you start gaining perspective. And then you can put that perspective into more honest, generous work.”

Vernon recorded i,i at Wisconsin’s April Base and Texas’ Sonic Ranch studios and, according to the press release, at times used all five studio rooms of the latter location simultaneously. For the sessions, Vernon was joined by a band comprising Sean Carey, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Mike Lewis, Matt McCaughan, Rob Moose and Jenn Wasner, along with contributions from James Blake, Brad and Phil Cook, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Bruce Hornsby and several others.

“The title of the record can mean whatever it means to you or me,” Vernon says. “It can mean deciphering and bolstering one’s identity. It can be how important the self is and how unimportant the self is, how we’re all connected.”

Bon Iver will head out on a North American tour in the late summer and fall this year, kicking off August. 31st in Missoula, MT.  the two new i,i singles (which follow up the previously released “Hey, Ma” and “U (Man Like)”) .

Valiantly braving the rain (a rarity in Los Angeles), and a broken elevator, Sharon Van Etten and her band loaded into KCRW’s basement studio to deliver a dynamic set from her new album, “Remind Me Tomorrow”. A couple of those songs had previously not been available, including favorite “Memorial Day” which we are thrilled to share with you here. Four years after the release of her EP “I Don’t Want to Let You Down”, Sharon released her new album, Remind Me Tomorrow, to the masses. We are excited to host her in our basement studio where she’ll premiere some brand new music off her album release.

Though the melody of the song feels dark and moody, the backstory is very sweet. The chorus, “you will run,” was written before Van Etten became pregnant with her son who is now just under two years old. She described sitting down one day to work on the lyrics as her child was napping, and realizing that soon he would be able to run. It brought her to tears, and helped her to create that juxtaposition between the music and the lyrics.

“We love drama and we love KCRW,” Van Etten said as Jason Bentley described the ordeal involved in getting the band set up this morning. Given how much she appears to be managing on a day to day basis, a little weather and a few extra stairs probably don’t seem like that much drama in the grand scheme of things.

In addition to raising a toddler with her partner she’s pursuing a degree in psychology, and venturing into the worlds of acting and film scoring. Van Etten’s first professional acting gig was in 2016 on the Netflix series The OA. She told Morning Becomes Eclectic how much she related to her character on the show, and the fascinating differences between mining personal experiences to create a character vs. mining them to write songs. “I think the main difference is I’m drawing from a personal space to be somebody else whereas now for my music I’m drawing from a personal place to be myself,” she said.

Exploring the self, and enabling others to do the same is clearly very important to Van Etten. Her goal of becoming a mental health professional was sparked by interactions with fans who would share their stories with so much emotion, and ask her for advice. She said she wants to be able to help people find their outlet.

Morning Becomes Eclectic has long been an outlet for Sharon Van Etten, and the confidence that she’s gained as an artist over the years did not go unnoticed. When asked about it she gave us a perfect description, “It’s like when you go to karaoke and you pull out that Pat Benatar song and you own it.” Van Etten is obviously owning it across the board.

Remind Me Tomorrow out January 18th via Jagjaguwar Records

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Remind Me Tomorrow was written in stolen time. In the four years since Are We There, Van Etten guest-starred in The OA, performed in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks revival, and wrote her first film score and song for TV – for Kathering Dieckmann’s Strange Weather Tig Notaro’s show Tig, respectively. Van Etten also had a child, and began studying psychology. In the scraps of hours between these endeavors, Remind Me Tomorrow was born.

Working with producer John Congleton, Remind Me Tomorrow reveals piano keys that churn, deep drones, distinctive sharp drums. Originally a piano ballad, “Comeback Kid” evolved into a dark, menacing anthem. “Seventeen” began as a Lucinda Williams-esque dirge, but winds up a star-spangled nod to Springsteen, exploring gentrification and generational patience. The breadth of Van Etten’s new passions have inflected Remind Me Tomorrow with a wise, warped-time perspective. She explains, “I want to be a mom, a singer, an actress, go to school, but yeah, I have a stain on my shirt, oatmeal in my hair. I feel like a mess, but I’m here. Doing it. This record is about pursuing your passions.” This is Remind Me Tomorrow, fusing a pained attentive realism and radiant lightness about new loves.

“No One’s Easy To Love” off Sharon Van Etten’s newest album “Remind Me Tomorrow” out now on 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.

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,”.