Posts Tagged ‘Merge Records’

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Australian trio Cable Ties recently shared “Self-Made Man,” another thrilling preview from their second album and Merge Records debut, “Far Enough”, out March 27th. The track arrived alongside an Oscar O’Shea-directed music video featuring performances from the band and their community.

Cable Ties are a fierce, tense rock’n’roll trio. They take the three-minute punk burner and stretch it past breaking point to deliver smouldering feminist anthems. Post-punk and garage rock hammered together by a relentless rhythmic pulse. Jenny McKechnie channels her struggles into songs that resonate deeply, giving voice to feelings often buried in modern life. Shauna Boyle and Nick Brown are a rhythm section anchored in Stooges primitivism—relentlessly hammering out a bedrock for McKechnie’s guitar pyrotechnics and vocal wallop. Three friends summoning a rhythmic tide to deliver anthems that turn latent anxieties into a rallying cry.

Renowned for their incendiary live shows, Cable Ties make their American debut next month with dates in LA (including the recently announced Burgerama 2020), NYC, and at South by Southwest, followed by a European tour in April. Stay tuned for the band’s full SXSW schedule.

In case you missed it, watch Cable Ties’ previous equally potent Far Enough single “Sandcastles” and order the album today on CD, LP, and translucent amber and black swirl Peak Vinyl in the Merge Records store,

Waxahatchee shares

Waxahatchee (aka Katie Crutchfield) has shared “Lilacs,” the latest single and video from her highly anticipated new album Saint Cloud, out March 27th worldwide. “Lilacs” received a Best New Track nod from Pitchfork who also announced Waxahatchee as part of their 2020 Pitchfork Festival line-up.

Of the song, Crutchfield says:

“Lilacs” was the last song I wrote for the record, and it’s mostly just about obsessive/negative thought patterns. It’s about backsliding into old behaviors that don’t serve you and sort of letting your worst self get the best of you. I think that when people are in that mindset, they can really try to turn the blame onto other people, so the song sort of plays out like a conflict you’d have with someone you love. It’s meant to capture that moment of heat that happens right when you realize you’re wrong or that your issue is more with yourself than with someone else—being flawed and fragile, but making progress inch by inch. The chorus serves as a sweet little resolve. I wanted it to feel like the light at the end of the tunnel and the reminder that it can always and often does get better.

Watch the previous glowing video for “Fire” which stars Katie and was co-directed by her and Andreina Byrne.

Saint Cloud is available for order on CD, standard LP in a single jacket, and coke bottle-clear Peak Vinyl housed in a gatefold jacket (both vinyl editions include a large full-color poster) in the Merge Records store,

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Not with a fizzle, but with a bang. Lyricist of Waxahatchee, Katie Crutchfield has taken this notion to heart with latest emotionally blazing track Fire. It is our first taste of her newest and fifth full-length album “Saint Cloud”, which will be released on the 27th of March via Merge Records.

Crutchfield’s inspiration is derived from her experiences and journey through life. This ties in well with the band’s name which was inspired by the Waxahatchee Creek, Crutchfield’s hometown in Alabama. Latest track ‘Fire’ captures the sun setting on the Mississippi River while Crutchfield drove from Memphis into West Memphis, AR.

The indie-folk track is a revisitation to stripped-back simplicity. Crutchfield perfectly describes it as a “personal pep talk”, as the album was written quickly following her choice to become sober. The vocals remain central throughout, with only a feather-light touching of keys, tapping drums and a shining strumming guitar. Crutchfield always has a knack for painting a picture with words, and her flair adds a sublime and luminous quality to the track. With lyrics such as “If I could love you unconditionally/ I could iron out the edges of the darkest sky”, and “It’s not as if we cry a river, call it rain/ West Memphis is on fire in the light of day.” Musically it’s a return to her roots such as her EP Great Thunder released in late 2018, and leaves any excessive instrumentals at the door.

From the album “Saint Cloud”, out March 27th on Merge Records

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With 2017’s Out In The Storm, Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield topped herself yet again with a roaring collection of songs worthy of one of the best projects to come out of the last decade. She revisited some older songs for 2018’s lovely Great Thunder EP, and in March, Waxahatchee will release her fifth full-length album.

It’s called Saint Cloud, and Crutchfield wrote the songs after committing to getting sober. Naturally, Saint Cloud is a potent examination of the behavior that springs from addiction and what it can feel like to be truly in tune with yourself. Crutchfield recorded Saint Cloud at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, TX, and Long Pond in Stuyvesant, NY, and it was produced by Brad Cook .

Its lead single, “Fire,” is about straddling between borders — physically, the border between Tennessee and Arkansas (as Crutchfield explains below) but also emotionally. It’s groovy and intricately layered and warm, unlike anything Crutchfield has put out with this project before. “If I could love you unconditionally, I– / Could iron out the edges of the darkest sky,” she sings. “For some of us, it ain’t enough.”

Crutchfield returns to that physical border in the video for “Fire.” Here’s her statement about the song:

The idea and melody for ‘Fire’ was dreamt up while driving over the Mississippi River from Memphis into West Memphis, AR, sun reflecting off the water which literally made West Memphis glow. The song’s written by me, to myself. It’s about the internal dialogue of shame surrounding mistakes you’ve made in the past and how we spiral and beat ourselves up when we slip. It’s meant to be a bit of a personal pep talk. If I can love myself unconditionally, then I can move through the world a little easier. If I can accept that I only have a partial view of the universe, and that I can’t know everything or control much of anything, then I can breathe a little easier, take better care of myself, and be closer to my own truth.

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Wye Oak (Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack) have shared a brand new song, “Fear of Heights.” It follows “Fortune,” a new song they shared back in November . “Fear of Heights” is a bit more subdued than “Fortune” but soars on the strength of Wasner’s always sublime vocals.

Wasner had this to say about “Fear of Heights” in a press release: “This song’s central metaphor likens the deepening of a relationship to the feeling of ascending to the top of a very tall place. There’s something to be seen (or learned, or experienced) once you arrive, but for some there is also a fear that increases with every step upwards. You say it’s worth it for the view, but it’s impossible to know if that’s true until you get there to see it with your own eyes.”

For the first time since 2012, Wasner and Stack are now both living in the same city together, Durham, NC (home to their label Merge Records), which has allowed for renewed creativity and led to the band recording last summer. There’s no word yet on a new album.

Wye Oak released their last album, The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs, back in April 2018 via Merge.  Since their last album, Stack launched his solo project, Joyero, releasing his debut album as Joyero, Release the Dogs, in August 2019 via Merge. Wasner, meanwhile, has been touring as part of Bon Iver’s band. A previous press release promised that the JOIN tour dates will feature an expanded live band and will find them not just performing Wye Oak songs, but also ones by Joyero and Wasner’s Flock of Dimes solo project.

The single, “Fear of Heights,” is out now on Merge Records.

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This summer, Torres (aka Mackenzie Scott) announced that she was readying an album with her new label, Merge Records, after being dropped by 4AD in 2018 for “not being commercially successful enough.

The return of Torres, the project of New York-based musician Mackenzie Scott, might just be one of the most exciting events of the musical year. While never quite hitting that break through moment, Torres is a songwriter we’ve always loved, and with each new single she shares, her upcoming album, “Silver Tongue”, just seems to get all the more exciting. Possibly the best to date came this week in the shape of the sublime, Dressing America.

“Dressing America” is a track that seems to gently unfurl itself, as the initial strum of muted guitar gradually blossoms, into a Bowie-like slice of hypnotic New Wave glamour, resplendent with motorik rhythms and Mackenzie’s strikingly commanding vocal delivery. Lyrically, it seems to set Mackenzie as a wannabe romantic-hero, a macho cowboy, who might not understand the subtleties of the human heart, yet is ready and waiting to go rescue a damsel in distress, “you’re always telling’ me I don’t know who you are, come on, woman, I tend to sleep with my boots on should I need to gallop over dark waters to you on short notice”.

From the singles delivered, Silver Tongue already feels like Torres’ most immediate release to date, a study of infatuation, lust and human connections, that might just end up being her break-out moment.

Along with the Silver Tongue album announcement, Scott released the lead single, LP opener “Good Scare.” Like the material on Three Futures, “Good Scare” melds oceanic guitar, percussion and synth, offering a lush and layered complement to Scott’s gravelly lows and tender falsetto. The new track takes up the stops and starts of a budding romance, when the prospect of love feels both terrifying and predestined.

Silver Tongue is out January 31st via Merge Records.

Cable Ties, photo by Spike Vincent

Melbourne trio Cable Ties have announced their second album, ‘Far Enough’, will be released on March 27th through Merge Records and follows their excellent 2017 debut.

They precede it with the record’s lead single ‘Sandcastles’, debuted via the Danny Cohen-directed visuals below.

“‘Sandcastles’ is a criticism of the idea that an effective activist community can be created by shouting down and casting out anyone who doesn’t abide by the social norms or language of an exclusive community or group,” explains vocalist Jenny McKechnie.

“The song is aimed at a figurative individual who doesn’t have any interest in making positive changes in society or participating in open and productive discussions about political and social issues. Rather, they set themselves up as the gatekeepers of progressive groups by aggressively policing language and immediately casting out anyone who doesn’t abide by the codes of behaviour they have created. This turns purportedly inter-sectional, progressive groups into exclusive clubs only accessible to people with homogeneous opinions, social and economic backgrounds, and ways of speaking.”

Jenny McKechnie, Shauna Boyle, and Nick Brown will release the album “Far Enough,” out March 27th, 2020.

Cable Ties are frenetic lead lines tethered to a hypnotic rhythm section. They take the 3 minute punk burner and stretch it past breaking point. Suddenly the garage rock gives way as primitive boogie, kraut and post-punk take things way out to the horizon.

We are all over the moon to let you know that we’ve joined the family at the remarkable Merge Records. We have long admired their journey from bedroom cassette-dubbing syndicate to beloved independent icons. We made a little playlist of our fave Merge bands to celebrate – https://www.mergerecords.com/cable-ties-sign-to-merge Couldn’t ask for a dreamier bunch to work with on our future releases to the big wide world.
Our first love – Fitzroy filth-rock factory poison city records – is still our home here in Oz & NZ.

Fusing riot-grrrl energy with an unmistakable garage-rock urgency, Cable Ties have gone far beyond a well-kept Melbourne secret and have long since evolved into a national treasure. The power trio deliver brisk drums, churning bass and piercing post-punk guitar to meld with vocalist Jenny McKechnie’s defiant, resonant vocals and lyricism. Describing the end result as “smouldering feminist anthems,” the band’s must-see live show has endeared them to audiences both nationally and internationally.

The single, “Tell Them Where to Go” is out now on Merge Records

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California garage rocker Mikal Cronin recently shared “I’ve Got Reason” the final single ahead of the release of his fourth album, Seeker, out today. The song lets it rip with a fuzzed-out chaos that’s wonderfully sloppy—with a psychedelic music video adding to the madness.“I’ve Got Reason” is undoubtedly the heaviest of Cronin’s new releases. While “Shelter” works soaring strings into its beautiful arrangement, “I’ve Got Reason” strips away the frills. The single feels straight out of the garage, with a minimal guitar, bass and drum formula.

On his fourth full-length, Mikal Cronin continues to experiment outside of the Bay Area garage rock scene he was reared in. The songs on Seeker are imbued with darkness: lovelorn, tense, unsure. They’re rocking ballads filled with ornate production and doubts

From the album “Seeker” out October 25th, 2019 on Merge Records.

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Hiss Golden Messenger has released a new track from their upcoming album Terms of Surrender”, which comes out September 20th. The hypnotic and moody “Cat’s Eye Blue” finds lead singer/songwriter M.C. Taylor taking emotional inventory and gaining a new perspective focusing on what is fundamentally most important.

Taylor says of the track, “‘Cat’s Eye Blue’ is a song about anxiety. And about fathers. How to express ourselves in real terms. How to cut the poison out to avoid further harm. ‘Is this wicked word too bad to be spoken? You let the heart attack in. One taste and it’s broken.’ I sing about fathersmy own, specificallybecause I almost lost mine during the writing of this record. He’s still hereI hear him outside playing with my kids right nowbut I’ve been thinking about him a lot this past year.”

“Cat’s Eye Blue” follows the June release of “I Need a Teacher”, the first single off of Terms of Surrender. The inspiring video for the song was filmed during the statewide North Carolina Association of Educators’ Day of Action demonstration. The reaction and support since the release of the song and clip has been exceptional.

“Cat’s Eye Blue” from the new record Terms of Surrender, out September 20th on Merge Records.