Posts Tagged ‘Laura Stevenson’

Laura Stevenson‘s second album with The Cans as her backing band, the modern classic “Sit Resist”, turns 10 this year, and we’ve very excited to be teaming up with her to help celebrate that anniversary with a livestream performance of the album in full. “Sit Resist (At Home)” airs on Saturday, February 13 at 8 PM ET (5 PM PT), and tickets, including merch bundles, are on sale now.

“We had a handful of full-band, full album “Sit Resist” shows planned around the release of the reissue before the pandemic put an end to that,” Laura says. “This is probably the closest we can get to actually pulling it off. This will be the first time I’ve ever played some of these songs for an audience. It feels like we took a lot of pre-pandemic life for granted, one of those things being the ability to freely gather together and experience all that music does for communal connection. Livestreams will never be the same as that experience, but I’m hoping this will fill a couple of the cracks in the meantime. 

The thirteen song album has been remastered at the hallowed Abbey Road Studios in London from the original 1/4” analog master tapes, and the vinyl processed with a new half speed lacquer cut to ensure the highest quality audio possible. The bonus LP is a collection of outtakes of nearly every album track, including never before heard pre-production demo recordings, alternate mixes and arrangements, live material, an Archers of Loaf cover, as well as a newly recorded version of the album track “Caretaker” which was recorded in 2019 on the literal last night in the house Stevenson grew up in, ten years after the song was originally written there.

The album features liner note essays written by musicians Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus who drew early inspiration for their own music and song writing from the album. Also contributing liner notes are Pitchfork, NPR and Stereogum writer Nina Corcoran, as well as long time friend and collaborator Jeff Rosenstock who produced and played guitar on some of the bonus demo material contained in the collection.

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The packaging also features many never before seen studio photos and tour photography from the era in which the album was written, produced and released, and outtakes from the photo session at which the album’s iconic cover artwork was shot. The limited run double-LP Remastered Deluxe Edition set of “Sit Resist” is now available for pre-order via Don Giovanni Records, and will be released on September 4th, 2020. This is a one-time edition, and the limited collection will not be reissued in this current state after the initial pressing sells out.

The Band:

Laura Stevenson – vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, piano, organ
Mike Campbell – bass guitar
Alex Billig – accordion, trumpet
Peter Naddeo – electric guitar, glockenspiel
Chris Parker – drums, percussion

Released September 4th, 2020

2020 Remaster:
All songs by Laura Stevenson

After releasing the critically-acclaimed album The Big Freeze in 2019, a recent performance at NPR’s Tiny Desk, and giving birth to her first child mid-pandemic, Laura Stevenson has announced that her long out-of-print sophomore album “Sit Resist” is receiving the deluxe reissue treatment with a special edition double LP gatefold vinyl packaging, to be released on September 4th, 2020. The collection is available for a limited pre-order now. Sit Resist, is remarkable. It is unafraid of the darkness, and allows itself to be playful– the lyrics are tender, honest, inviting you into a vulnerable place but quelling the vulnerability with candid, gentle testaments of living drawn from a deep well of experience.” – Julien Baker

Laura’s records are full of the sensitivity and awareness that are her particular magic… She is one of my favourite writers because she is clearly a listener, listening to herself and clearing a path for the songs to go where they want to go.” – Lucy Dacus

“This record is a great document of a bunch of scrappy weird kids laughing through the terror of an uncertain future together. Sit Resist would be THE ONE if Laura didn’t continue to put out records that feel like THE ONE.” – Jeff Rosenstock

The thirteen song album has been remastered by Miles Showell at the hallowed Abbey Road Studios in London from the original 1/4” analog master tapes, with a new half-speed processing to ensure that the vinyl represents the highest quality audio possible. The bonus LP is a collection of outtakes of nearly every album track, including never before heard pre-production demo recordings, alternate mixes and arrangements, live material, an Archers of Loaf cover, as well as a newly recorded version of the album track “Caretaker” that was recorded in 2019 on the literal last night in the house Stevenson grew up in, ten years after the song was originally written there.

The album features liner note essays written by musicians Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus who drew early inspiration for their own music and song writing from the album. Also contributing liner notes are Pitchfork, NPR and Stereogum writer Nina Corcoran, as well as long time friend and collaborator Jeff Rosenstock who produced and played guitar on some of the bonus demo material contained in the collection.

The packaging also features many never before seen studio photos and tour photography from the era in which the album was written, produced and released, and outtakes from the photo session at which the album’s iconic cover artwork was shot by photographer Orlando Perez.

Don Giovanni and Better Yet Podcasts are co-producing a limited episodic podcast series chronicling the making of, and lasting influence of the album. Episode One is out now, available wherever podcasts are found, and new episodes will be released every Wednesday until the reissue is released on September 4th. The podcast features interviews with Stevenson, album engineer Eric Bennet, as well as long time collaborators Mike Campbell, Jeff Rosenstock and Don Giovanni owner Joe Steinhardt. Musicians Lucy Dacus and Adult Mom’s Stevie Knipe are interviewed about Stevenson’s song writing, and how it has influenced their own careers. Also interviewed is comedian Chris Gethard who stated “the album was a game-changer for me.”

The limited Remastered Deluxe 2xLP of Sit Resist is available via Don Giovanni Records. It will be released digitally on all streaming platforms and Bandcamp.  Vinyl will ship on or around November 13th.

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Laura Stevenson and Adult Mom are touring together in December, and to celebrate they’ve shared a new split single where each cover one of the other’s songs. Adult Mom covers “Dermatillomania” from Laura’s 2019 album “The Big Freeze”, while Laura takes on “Survival” from “Momentary Lapse of Hapily”, Adult Mom’s 2015 album.

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released November 22nd, 2019

Last year, Laura Stevenson released her latest in a line of great albums, The Big Freeze. Since then, she’s released covers by Wilco and Neil Young and tourmate Adult Mom.

Today, she’s shared a new original track that emphasizes our constant anxiety in trying times: “Quit smoking baby, even though the world is ending,” she sings in its opening lines. “Keep looking maybe there’s a place to rest our heads better than this/ You’ll find the hardest part’s the mark you didn’t make.”

Stevenson had to say about the song: I wrote this song right after I got married, right as Trump got elected. It was a crazy time and a lot of people felt really hopeless. That hopelessness has lingered over the last 4 years, but humanity and love continue to peak through thats just the human spirit & Ive been so inspired by those that stay strong and keep fighting to enact some positive change.

This song is about how the world might seem like its falling apart but we still have love and all we can do right now is take care of ourselves &each other Now during THIS crazy time,I find myself 38 weeks pregnant, waiting in self isolation for my baby to be born, praying that I dont get sick and hoping I go into labor before the hospitals get overrun. Im worried about my baby, In worried about my parents ,I’m worried about everyone.

I know there is so much uncertainty but maybe this song will provide a little comfort, or just remind you that there’s still hope to be had. Sending everyone my love.

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Released March 15th, 2020

When Laura Stevenson released her 2011 album Sit, Resist, she was a little out in front of what quickly became a flood of first-rate indie-rock from women, including Sharon Van Etten, Lucius, Big Thief’s Adrienne Lenker, Mitski, Waxahatchee, Lucy Dacus and many more. Unfortunately for Stevenson, she was ahead of the leading edge just enough that the subsequent wave of acclaim didn’t sweep her up the way it did many of her peers. Thankfully, despite the fact that she’s not nearly as well known as she should be, Stevenson continues to make music that can stop your heart.

In that regard, her latest is arguably Stevenson’s most adept album. The Big Freeze trades the raucous guitars and bold hooks of her earlier work for subtler musical textures on songs that open into more expansive interior worlds. She relies more on her voice, which has both warmth and clarity in proportions that vary with the volume of she utilizes. She sings just above a murmur on opener “Lay Back. Arms Out” and lets the natural sweetness of her voice bubble up in the catchy melody of “Dermatillomania,” the most up-tempo song on the album. Up-tempo, yes, but not upbeat: the title of the song is another name for excoriation disorder, which is the compulsion to pick at one’s own skin to the point of causing physical harm. Stevenson wrote about her own experiences with dermatillomania in February for Talkhouse, and the subject hovers in the background of many of the songs on The Big Freeze.

The album as a whole sorts through a host of complicated feelings about family, the thin line between inter- and co-dependence, and trying, if just for a minute, to silence fear, shame and doubts and feel OK as oneself. Stevenson lays out a portrait of dysfunction on “Hum,” glimmers of guitar framing her precise, quiet vocals as she builds tension with such stealth that it comes as a surprise to find you’ve been holding your breath. “Hawks” is a wistful waltz-time evocation of a happier period, while the next song, “Big Deep,” feels like its emotional counterpoint as Stevenson describes a particularly fraught moment. She harmonizes with herself on both, accompanied by barely-there guitar, the low moan of a cello (on the former) and deep, distant piano (on the latter).

Laura lets the natural sweetness of her voice bubble up in the catchy melody of “Dermatillomania,” the most up-tempo song on her new album The Big Freeze. Up-tempo, yes, but not upbeat: the title of the song is another name for excoriation disorder, which is the compulsion to pick at one’s own skin to the point of causing physical harm. Stevenson wrote about her own experiences with dermatillomania in February and the subject hovers in the background of many of the songs on The Big Freeze.

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Album closer “Perfect” feels like Stevenson has reached an equilibrium of sorts, balancing past with present, and emotional turmoil with a brittle sense of acceptance. There’s tenacity there, too: “I’ll be alright by myself tonight,” she sings in the first and last lines of the song, a folky number with acoustic guitar and multi-tracked vocal harmonies. It’s clear that she means it, and even if being genuinely alright takes more time, more effort, more emotional energy than she ever would have wanted, it’s equally clear that she is determined to make it true.

Laura Stevenson’s last album, 2015’s Cocksure, found the singer beefing up her stripped-down sound with big guitars. A follow-up called The Big Freeze comes out at the end of March, and it heralds a return to Stevenson’s more finely detailed, wrenchingly intimate songwriting. The title refers to an eventual freezing of the universe which makes sense, given that she recorded it in the dead of winter — as well as to the ways relationships strain against emotional and physical distance. In first listen is the song “Living Room, NY,” she longs for a connection to the small details of everyday life with a long-distance partner, singing, “I want to see you stare at ceilings until you fall back to sleep.”

Recorded in her childhood home during the dead of winter, The Big Freeze represents a pivotal step for New York songwriter Laura Stevenson. Despite her pedigree in the punk and indie rock scenes, and the occasional inclusion of a backing band (like the sprightly, C86-inspired pop track “Dermatillomania”), for the first time on record Stevenson’s voice and guitar are in clear and highlighted focus. It is a natural aesthetic choice for the musician, who has often toured as a solo act and who pulls influence from the great American songbook, and a choice that plays to the core strength and organic beauty of her writing. And though it is easily the darkest and most emotionally-devastating album of Stevenson’s career, it is also without a doubt her most powerful.

Stevenson builds on her own private worlds with choruses of multi-tracked voices, swarms of cellos, French horns and violins; orchestration that blooms and swells throughout each intimate performance. Exploring thematic ideas of distance and misconnection; worlds pulling apart, aching loneliness, and attempts to drive out hibernating dormant demons.

In the opening track Stevenson’s voice insists the listener “lay back with arms out, all-in, unfeeling,” to allow themselves to sink into a flood of instrumental sound that thrums between dissonance and resolution. From waves crashing in an abandoned waterpark on the haunting “Value Inn”, to the last leaves trembling before winter sets in on “Rattle At Will”, a creeping sense of isolation and anxious beauty surrounds every song. And yet there is also warmth, and hope. The album’s third track “Living Room, NY” tells of an intercontinental love and longing which seems to have the strength to thrive despite even the most trying and impossible of circumstances. Across ten tracks, the listener will travel through the cold night, following after a small but powerful flame burning from the other side.

I am so happy to (finally) announce that my new album, “The Big Freeze” is out on March 29th! You can hear the first single “Living Room NY” . Laura Stevenson’s music has always dealt in crushing existential dread, be it self-deprecation or heartache. This is an artist who once opened a 2015 song called “Jellyfish” with “I’m fucking hideous and spiteful / When I’m left to my devices.” Even the press release for her new album opens with: “If gravity is strong enough, at the end of time our universe will collapse, pulling all of existence back down to infinitesimal size, like before the Big Bang. But if expansion outpaces gravity, eventually the universe will be cold and empty – all light, heat, and connection will be gone.” That phenomenon of a too cold, uninhabitable universe is called The Big Freeze, which is also the title of Stevenson’s upcoming fifth LP that’s out 29 March.

The New York songwriter is back with her fifth album, ‘The Big Freeze,’ out 29th March.

Laura Stevenson also recently released her first live album, a recording of a show in the Netherlands in June of 2016. Of the show, she said:

“We played to a small smattering of people at Vera in Groningen – a city in the far north of The Netherlands. About forty or so folks showed up on a Saturday night. We didn’t have any expectations of how the show would go, having never been to that part of the world before and being the only band on the bill. We didn’t feel too bad at the small turnout either, having been told by Peter Weening, the venue’s director for the past few decades, that when Nirvana played the same venue in 1990 just before Nevermind came out, and when U2 played there in 1980 just before Boy was released, there were roughly the same amount of people there”

The album, which includes a cover of The Replacements,  Quote Unquote Records on a pay what you wish basis, and all proceeds go to support Planned Parenthood.

 

 

In related news, Bomb the Music Industry!, a band Laura Stevenson and Jeff Rosenstock were both members of, is the subject of a crowdfunded film, “Never Get Tired,” that you can now obtain online . The film follows Bomb the Music Industry! on tour for five years of crazy shows and DIY ethos. Watch the trailer for “Never Get Tired” below.

Image result for matt pond and laura stevenson

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Matt Pond PA is going on tour in support of their recent album The State of Goldreleased on Doghouse Records. The album features guest vocals from Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds and drumming from Matt Iwanusa of Caveman on it’s lead song “More No More.”

The album is available in limited edition gold translucent double LP edition of The State of Gold.  The guy’s a craftsman, and his body of work proves he’s got reliable songwriting aptitude. In what employ he decides to use it, well, that’s what will sum up everything in the end.

Laura Stevenson, is an artist finally hitting real stride. Though pleasant, her musical footprint has to this point been somewhat indistinct. But she’s got a new album, Cocksure, that’ was released October on Don Giovanni Records . Like a modern-day Tanya Donelly, Stevenson leaves the whimsical folk and pop detours behind and really digs into a direct indie-rock sound that’s muscular and classic on this ‘90s-channeling record. A mixture of sweetness, crooked charm and sharpening marksmanship, this simultaneously beaming and driving album is easily her most definitive work yet.

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These Days as covered by Matt Pond (feat. Laura Stevenson & Chris Hanson) From the Wes Anderson film Royal Tenenbaums, Originally performed by Nico Written by Jackson Browne .

From the Laura Stevenson record “Cocksure” which came out late October on Don Giovanni Records. The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a jellyfish is their sting. Scary, right? But these perceptively “dangerous” creatures fall apart the more you think about them — they’re flabby, gelatinous blobs with no structure or shape. They’re pretty useless, really. So when Laura Stevenson compares herself to one on her new song, it’s easy to conjure up an image of what she’s talking about: sprawled out in bed, arms and legs out in whatever direction, unable and unwilling to move. Underneath all that laziness and fear, there’s potential for a spark, a jolt, but it doesn’t manage to come through. “I’ll be home indoors because I’m wasting away my life and gifts on being a piece of shit,” she sings in the way-catchy chorus. Stevenson embraces her self-destructive tendencies because it’s easy. Staying in and not facing the world requires no effort at all. Why bother to grow a backbone at all? The act of not doing feels as natural as floating

There’s self-deprecation, and then there’s what Laura Stevenson does. While some songwriters have playfully toyed with their own ineptitudes in love, friendships, or life in general throughout their music, Stevenson full-on lives in it. If you ever catch her live show—and you should—make a drinking game out of every time she introduces a song by saying, “This next song is a sad one.” You’ll be lucky to be able to walk out of the venue of your own accord.

On her last album, the under-appreciated Wheel, Stevenson mused in one song about being content to sit in a room while the building burned around her: “I wouldn’t mind if you left me here, standing on the other side of a locked door in a big, big fire.” Tragic, fucked up, and even oddly beautiful, but not a new thing for her. Over three albums now, Laura Stevenson has been spinning this gift for dark poetics.

But “Jellyfish,” her new single from her forthcoming fourth album, Cocksure, is next-level self-loathing. Stevenson goes right for her own gut from the very first line: “I’m fucking hideous and spiteful when I’m left to my devices.” And it doesn’t get much brighter from there. She goes on to call herself lazy and a loser before ending with “I’m wasting away my life and gifts on being a piece of shit.” Jesus Christ, what a dark line. What a dark song.

While the inward jabs are cutting, Stevenson’s true gift is taking this melancholy and making it sound upbeat and fun. She is the undisputed champion of writing feel-good feel-bad songs.