Posts Tagged ‘Merge Records’

We did our best mechanic impression and starred in a vid for “Desire” made by the great Heather Rappard. Check it out below! .

Ought the great Montreal post-punk outfit returned with their third album, “Room Inside The World”. It’s a dense, exciting new collection of songs, one that rewards spending some time with it and parsing all the different avenues the band ventures down across its nine songs. Of course, there were also tracks that didn’t require too much patience, compositions that immediately revealed themselves to be something special. One of those was “Desire,” a song that also acts as a highlight and centerpiece once heard in the context of Room Inside The World as a whole.

The video for “Desire.” The clip begins simply, a nicely filmed performance from the band interspersed with a narrative that follows a guy who affably but somewhat shyly goes about his daily routine. We see him go to work, meet a friend at a bar, and hit it off with a waitress at a coffee shop. But he really comes into his own when he dresses up in drag and winds up fronting Ought during the climactic build of “Desire.”

It’s a video that plays with the song’s central themes as well as gender. Here’s what director Heather Rappard had to say about the concept:

“Desire” as a song has a real triumphant quality and masculine energy; I wanted to take this and subvert it and create a video that focused more on internal desire. Something that was important to me was that the video feel cathartic and positive; I’ve seen a lot of videos that take on ideas around gender that have characters being assaulted, or just exoticized. I wanted this character to have a full life but be most empowered, happiest, and at peace with himself when he’s on stage at the end.

Room Inside the World is Ought’s third album and their first for Merge Records growing up doesn’t mean mellowing out so much as it means learning to pay attention, listening carefully and openly, staying somewhere long enough to really understand where you are. Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Silver Jews), Room Inside the World explores themes that have always concerned the band—identity, connection, survival in a precarious world—but with a bolder, more nuanced sound palette. Vibraphone, justly intonated synthesizers, drum machines, and a 70-piece choir suffuse the precise post-punk breakdowns that spangled Ought’s first two albums, giving rise to an emotional complexity that pushes their characteristically taut sound to greater depths.

The band are in Austin this week for SXSW, performing on some great showcases before heading back out on our headline tour.


Today we’re sharing the third single from our third record. We just had a nice meal together on this cold night and are glad you are all finally able to hear it. The song is called “Desire” and it’s one of our favorites. It includes a performance by impromptu mass choir Choir! Choir! Choir! that was incredible to witness. Check it out on your preferred music service now. Room Inside the World is out in 10 days.  Thanks,
Tim Darcy
(in my kitchen with the rest of Ought)

After the recent track “Disgraced In America”, the most recent single from Ought’s soon to be released new album Room Inside The World (out via Merge Records on the 16th).

Now we can share the album’s side one closer, Desire, with you. Marvellously described by bassist Ben Stidworthy as “Sade meets Bruce Springsteen,” the song employs a 70-piece vocal choir and uncovers a romantic side of the band seen only in glimpses before.


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I’m pleased to report the Wye Oak is at it again with their 6th studio album, The Louder I Call, The Faster It RunsThis time around, they are suckling on the particle climate that we live in and aim to provide sound to the feelings and torment that many of us our experiencing. The release is on “sand and sky” (opaque beige and transparent blue) vinyl

For The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack flew to one another’s cities—she in Durham, North Carolina, he in Marfa, Texas—for a week or so at a time, hunkering in home studios to sort through and combine their separate song sketches. These shorter stints together produced less second-guessing and hesitation in their process, yielding an unabashed and unapologetic Wye Oak. They discarded past rules about how to write a record, instead funneling all those experiences and experiments into perfectly unified statements.

The result is the biggest, broadest, boldest music Wye Oak has ever made. Louder pursues a litany of modern malaises, each of its dozen tracks diligently addressing a new conflict and pinning it against walls of sound, with the song’s subject and shape inextricably and ingeniously linked. It arrives at a time of immense doubt, when our personal problems are infinitely compounded by a world that seems in existential peril. But these songs answer the challenge by radiating self-reflection and resolve, wielding hooks and musical intricacy as a shield against the madness of the moment.

From the album The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs, out April 6th, 2018 on Merge Records.

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For her debut solo album “Lionheart”(out January 26th), H.C. McENTIRE found a creative catalyst in Kathleen Hanna. What began as an invitation from McEntire to have Hanna’s band The Julie Ruin perform at Girls Rock North Carolina’s 10th anniversary soon turned into a friendship and, ultimately, an artistic mentorship. “Quartz in the Valley”was the first song the two worked on together.

Revisit the lyric video for “A Lamb, A Dove” and you can pre-order “Lionheart” in the Merge Records store on CD, LP, and limited-edition white Peak Vinyl. In addition, we are offering the album bundled with a special screenprinted handkerchief created by McEntire, who will donate all profits from its sales to “Southerners On New Ground”.


You might not have heard of H.C. McEntire, but you’ll almost certainly know her collaborators; Kathleen Hanna, William Tyler and Angel Olsen to name just a few of the stellar accompanying cast. Currently best known as frontwoman of Mount Moriah, stepping out solo feels like a logical next step for H.C, a songwriter with the noble aim of reclaiming country music from, “the hetero-normative, homogenous schtick of tailgates and six-packs and men chasing women”.

The resultant album, “Lionheart”, is undeniably a record of turbulence and change how could any album about America released this year not be – but more than that it is a record about reclaiming your own power. Lionheart takes all the traditions of the American South, and sets about tearing them to pieces. As H.C. McEntire explains, “in music, there are no rules. You make your own language. You can be both the Southern rock outlier and the twangy gospel conduit. You can be both the cherubic, honey-tongued innocent and the ardent punk. To get here—to find my lion heart—I had to become them all”. Mainly though on Lionheart, despite all her influences, all her outfits, all her collaborators, H.C. McEntire sounds entirely like herself, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

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Ought. is not only a brilliant band they have released a new track but also a brilliant new video for ‘Disgraced in America’. The song, ‘Disgraced In America’ matches Ought’s recent output . A unique voice and a thick rhythm add to the band’s new sound. It’s a sound which will come in to full focus on the new album Room Inside The World, which is out on Merge Records on February 16th. The sound is an evolution for the Montreal band who are now using their anger to fuel their investigation in to this world. There’s a sense the band are paying closer attention than ever and choosing the optimum time to unleash their fury.

The video is also incredibly impressive, it shows a band keen on their artistic output rather than super-stardom: shot in 15-second increments over the course of three weeks it is something very special. “Breaking a song down into its tiniest parts actually leaves lots of room to improvise and really consider how to describe it visually,”

Ought’s Tim Darcy had this to say about the video; “The term ‘microcosm’ came to mind when I read Heather Rappard’s accompanying description for ‘Disgraced in America’. The way they worked on the song, second by second, opened up deeper layers than we’re used to. Anyone who’s tried to memorise a lyric or a melody will know how unseen worlds can open up when you dig in like that. Songs can last for days, years, fucking centuries, and then you pull your head out of the brook and maybe 15 seconds have passed.

“I wanted to create a video that morphed and visually changed in the same ways the song does: in the beginning, working with the bright guitar sound and the illustrative qualities of the lyrics, then moving into the abstract at the bridge’s breakdown, to the ending where it completely changes, becoming much noisier and darker with the percussion, spacey synths, and ringing guitar hits.”

We are completely honoured and rocked by Heather and Mike’s work, and hope it can take you a few layers deeper, where the clock ticks a bit slower and the drum fills are as big as billboards. Definition of microcosm on dic-tion-ary-dot-com? “A little world.”

Take a look below at Ought’s ‘Disgraced in America’,

When Katie Crutchfield released her last record as Waxahatchee, 2015’s Ivy Tripp, she called the album a gas and her release before that, 2013’s Cerulean Salt, a solid. But her fourth full-length, Out in the Storm, may not symbolize a physical state of matter, but it reveals Crutchfield as a scientific element in her own right—explosive, volatile and uncontrollable. At moments where Crutchfield used to put herself down, like on Ivy Tripp’s “Less Than,” she now talks back, standing up for herself, even to herself. She allows herself to get angry or frustrated, such as on “Never Wrong,” the record’s purely rock ‘n’ roll opening track. And she indignantly removes herself from a noxious relationship and asserts her independence on tracks like “8 Ball” and “Brass Beam,” but later portrays the vulnerability and weakness that unavoidably merge with that withdrawal

After the release of 2015’s excellent Ivy Tripp, Katie Crutchfield, a.k.a. Waxahatchee, suggested her next album would revisit the quiet minimalism of her debut, American Weekend. What she produced instead was her loudest, angriest, and—most importantly—best album to date. Out In The Storm is a scathingly candid post-mortem of a bad relationship that isn’t the slog such a description might suggest. The album opens with the catchy, Superchunk-esque guitar rocker “Never Been Wrong” and keeps its hooks in for the nine following tracks. (Credit producer John Agnello for some of that, as his discography goes deep with some of the best guitar-rock bands of the past two decades.) This being Waxahatchee, Out In The Storm still offers plenty of quieter moments, like the slow burn of “Recite Remorse,” the acoustic “A Little More,” and somber album closer “Fade.” The album marks a high point for Crutchfield, who turned a soul-destroying time of her life into one of 2017’s best releases.

Titus Andronicus A Productive Cough

The official video for the first single from Titus Andronicus‘ forthcoming studio album “A Productive Cough,” available March 2nd, 2018 from Merge Records.

The forthcoming record is the band’s first new music for almost three years, following their last studio album The Most Lamentable Tragedy which was released in 2015. To accompany the album news the band have also shared shared new video for the LP’s first single ‘Number One (In New York).

The new album also comes with a 7″ featuring a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone. Patrick recorded it with frequent Titus contributors Liam Betson, Ian Dykstra, RJ Gordon, Chris Wilson, Alex Molini, and Matt Miller, and a handful of other musicians including horn players, string players, backing vocalists, and and guest lead vocalist Megg Farrell (on “Crass Tattoo”).

Titus Andronicus records have always had their fair share of ballads,” Patrick Stickles said in a statement. Now, they are the cornerstones.”  the 10-minute lyrical ballad that sounds like it’s pretty indicative of this album’s direction. “[Titus Andonicus] records have always had their fair share of ballads, but they were always buried.

Destroyer 'Ken' artwork

Dan Bejar, aka Destroyer, has announced a new album today called Ken. The title is apparently lifted from the original title of Suede’s “Wild Ones”. Ken will be Bejar’s first album since 2015’s Poison Season. It’s out October 20th on Merge Records . Chaos strikes in a hospital. Satan haunts a fashion show. Tinseltown swims in blood. Destroyer’s twelfth album, ken, is full of unforgettable scenes from Dan Bejar, one of indie rock’s finest lyricists, with a macabre bent suiting his newfound penchant for gothy synths.

The LP’s opening number, “Sky’s Grey”,

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Directed by Jonny Look and Scottie Cameron, Montreal post-punks Ought share the lead single from their forthcoming ‘Room Inside The World’ album, due out on February 16th 2018 via Merge Records.

This album has a whole mess of love and care and fire in it. We put a lot into this one and hope you enjoy it. Like our other records there are many sound-worlds and layers to peel back and we look forward to sharing them all with you. Today, start with “These 3 Things”, a dance track with lyrics about forgetting the ills of the world for a moment and finding communion in sweat, in short.

Watch the clip above to ‘These 3 Things’ which features some surreal scenes with a mannequin.

Ought are:

Tim Darcy: voice and guitar
Tim Keen: drums, viola, vibraphone, and synth
Matt May: keys, guitar, and synth
Ben Stidworthy: bass

Nicolas Vernhes: guitar, keys, and noise box
James Goddard: saxophone
Eamon Quinn: clarinet
Choir Choir Choir: additional vocals on “Desire”