Posts Tagged ‘Milk Records’

May be an image of 2 people and text that says 'BACHELOR Ûug"A debut single "Anything At All" out now Lucky Number MULK'

Palehound (Ellen Kempner) and Jay Som (Melina Duterte) have joined forces for a new project, Bachelor, and shared their first single together via Polyvinyl, “Anything At All.” According to a press release, the two musicians began writing and recording together in pre-quarantine 2020, and they wrote, performed, and produced their new single entirely on their own.

“Anything At All” begins with sticky bass lines and steady cymbal hits, met with sparse moments of synth and clever lyrical imagery comparing a menacing adversary to a spider. Later, the track transitions into a swelling moment of head-bobbing instrumentation (in addition to a powerful guitar solo) while its infectious chorus rings out. The duo state in a press release: “We’re so excited to finally share this song with y’all and announce our new band! We’ve been dear friends and huge fans of each other for years and were lucky enough to get to work together in January 2020 before quarantine. We feel that ‘Anything At All’ is an even blend of our tastes and writing styles and to release it feels very hopeful and joyous to us.”

In related news, Palehound has a livestream event, a concert to commemorate the one-year anniversary of their cancelled US tour supporting Black Friday,

The last show Palehound played was at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco on March 11th 2020, halfway through a tour that felt like a blissful dream. Though news of the pandemic shone through our phones and the venue provided hand washing instructions to the lyrics of our songs, we had no idea that night would be the last time we’d play that setlist live. Since returning from tour, Ellen moved to upstate NY and started to work at a recording studio in Stanfordville NY called the Chicken Shack, owned and operated by Nick Kinsey. Back in October, we decided to make a video of us performing the set and decided to do it at the studio so we’d get a great recording of it. We’ve been sitting on it for a minute but it seems right to release it now around the year anniversary of our tour being cancelled. We really miss playing with each other and playing like for y’all and this feels like the closest we can get to that for now.

“Anything At All” is the debut single from Jay Som & Palehound’s new joint project, Bachelor, out now on Polyvinyl Records, Lucky Number, and Milk! Records.

Hachiku, a.k.a Anika Ostendorf, 26, writes and produces dream pop with an avant garde twist from whichever bedroom she is currently inhabiting. Coming from Australia and on the glorious Milk Records is the one and only Hachiku. I got to see her earlier this year opening for labelmate Courtney Barnett on a brief solo tour in the winter. Right away she gripped my ears with her playing and song writing and it’s on full display here. “I’ll Probably Be Asleep” is an absolute scorcher to start the record off, sounding like it came out of the 80’s with a new wave vibe that ends with a guitar solo that climaxes as the song abruptly ends. From there we get a quieter affair in “Busy Being Boring” and “You’ll Probably Think This Song Is About You”. The former is about destroying everything around you and the later is about how to deal with a new love.

She writes in a way that makes you feel like you’re having a private one on one conversation and I find it refreshing. The sweeping guitar riffs in “Bridging Visa B” feel like she borrowed some ideas from Courtney on that winter tour this year. The production she does on the record is so great. There are backwards loops, dropping her voice down a few octaves (“Dreams of Galapagos”), harmonizing with herself. I love when an artist sits down and makes almost an entire album by themselves. It ends with “Murray’s Lullaby”, a song to the dog, Murray, who was at the farm she was on to get her Australian Visa and it’s a sweeping beautiful ode to the companion.

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All instruments & vocals by Anika Ostendorf, except
The Band:
Georgia Smith – additional guitar (song 1 & 3)
Jessie L. Warren – bass (song 1 & 3)
Simon Reynolds – drums (song 1)

All songs written, produced and recorded by Anika Ostendorf

Released November 13th, 2020

Hachiku Anika Ostendorf new album Ill Probably Be Asleep

On Hachiku’s debut album, Anika Ostendorf and collaborators build on the lo-fi foundations of their earlier material, making atmospheric yet achingly visceral off-kilter pop gems. While the familiar vintage keyboards and minimalist drum machines still punctuate throughout, there’s a gritty dynamism that anchors ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’, propulsive rhythms and distorted guitars underscoring its dreamy melodies and Ostendorf’s softly sung vocals.

Loss, long-distance romance, arguments with climate change deniers and bureaucratic immigration processes: On ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’, the debut album from dream pop artist Hachiku, even the topics usually relegated to inflammatory newspaper op-eds take on new depth and heart.

The project of 26-year-old Anika Ostendorf, Hachiku emerged onto the local Melbourne scene in 2017 with a suite of minimal electronic songs inspired by the folk artists she aspired to emulate as a teenager. On her 2017 EP and successive singles – all released by Milk! Records, the label whose massive merch operation Ostendorf runs with her partner, photographer Marcelle Bradbeer  the now-signature Hachiku sound began to take form: Hopeful keys, occasionally anxious production and Ostendorf’s cynical lyricism, so clear-eyed you felt it had the capacity to permanently change its subject.

But even Ostendorf admits that sometimes the ideas occupying her mind aren’t clear at first. Like sediment in a glass of water, the true meanings need time to settle. Two years after subconsciously processing her grandmother’s death in a song on her EP, she noticed a “lyrically obvious” reference to it that has previously passed her by. The same is true of the territory she covers on ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’. “Thematically, what each song [on the album] would be about is so all over the place,” Ostendorf tells NME from her home in Melbourne. Over Zoom, I can see she’s tucked in the corner of what looks like an all-purpose room – there’s a couch next to her and on the other side, instruments she used to record a sizeable chunk of the new album.

That sonic turn pairs perfectly with the album’s themes of loss and grief, the exasperating experience of being a young woman in the world, and displacement (Ostendorf explores the limbo of waiting to be granted permanent residency on album highlight ‘Bridging Visa B’). The album charts a timeline of around four years, but is punctuated less by dates than the places Ostendorf found herself: “Some songs would be [written] while doing long-distance. Some were when I was back in Germany and while my dog was passing away.”

While the sense of place isn’t always noticeable for listeners, it informs Ostendorf’s understanding of not just where she was in her life when writing each song, but where in the world, too. Ostendorf was born in Michigan, grew up in Germany and studied in London before a university exchange gave her the choice to spend a year in either Singapore, Auckland or Melbourne. On the advice of her worldly grandmother, she chose the city with the fewest major cultural differences and most promising music scene.

While ostensibly in Melbourne to continue studying biology, she could already feel herself being pulled in a different direction. “I had already told my parents, ‘I actually don’t really want to do biology. I kind of want to do music instead.’” She recalls, “I think I told my father first, because he’s always good at giving life advice. And, I think growing up, he would have always wanted to become a musician if he hadn’t grown up in Germany in the ’60s and ’70s.”

Ostendorf describes hers as “a Ford family”; grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles alike all went to work for the company. It’s the reason she moved around so much as a kid, and she thinks that the stability of life with the auto manufacturer left her father with a lingering sense of ‘what if?’, exacerbated by the knowledge that childhood friends found success as professional musicians. “I think there’s always a little bit of like, ‘Ooh, that could have been me, but if I had done that I wouldn’t have met my wife, I wouldn’t have my children, I wouldn’t be financially stable’,” she muses.

Ostendorf’s father was both her greatest encouragement and “probably one of the best guitarists I know, actually”, but her mother wasn’t far behind. She plays the accordion and takes opera singing lessons, and as a teen Ostendorf played in her band, a troupe of IT staff at the Ford factory that performed pop songs they hijacked and rewrote about the inner-workings of the office.

“They play in a duo at friends’ birthdays and sing songs together,” Ostendorf says of her parents. “They always wanted me to start learning an instrument early on and join the choir. Never discouraging, but never pushy.”

The perfect balance, it sounds like. Ostendorf describes her father taking her to a studio when she was 17 so she could record a CD. Influenced by Regina Spektor and Fleet Foxes mostly, but also featuring a cover of a song by hardcore band Fucked Up, the formative record set her on a course as an artist – even if the medium didn’t stick around. “My dad would be happy if you mentioned this, because we still have around 800 of those CDs left that we made,” she tells me. “I don’t know why we made a thousand CDs; for our upcoming album, we only made 500.

Recorded over years spent flitting between focusses and countries, ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ feels nonetheless resolved and settled. The song ‘Busy Being Boring’ is testament to that. Ostendorf wrote it in 2018 while applying for a partner visa to stay in Australia for a further two years. “At the start of being here I’d never really seen myself as being in one place longer than two years. For some reason when I’m not stimulated with a new thing, I get distracted really easily.”

She imagines the life of a professional dabbler: “Ooh, I can do two months of farm work! Ooh, afterwards, maybe I could move to Iceland and just work on a wind farm, or like maybe I could go to the Maldives and become a professional diving instructor!”

‘Busy Being Boring’, Ostendorf says, is her coming to terms with staying still after a lifetime of moving. “Like maybe it’s OK to just be… determined to make something work and stick with something because you think that it is worthwhile and not be so cynical and negative about it.”

She saves the cynicism and negativity for the record’s title track, which is also its opener. In a press release, Ostendorf explained the song: “In essence, it is like an escapist’s testament about the wish to gain sovereignty over your thoughts. Freud’s id vs superego. The thought of wanting to be part of something but the idea of it being way more enticing than the reality.”

The record’s only song recorded with the full Hachiku band – guitarist Georgia Smith, bassist Jessie L. Warren and drummer Simon Reynolds – ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ is murky and cheeky, channelling a beautiful inner brattiness. Like much of the record, its driving motivation is want.

But where tracks like ‘You’ll Probably Think This Song Is About You’ and ‘Dreams Of Galapagos’ project that wanting outwards, here the song wrestles with itself internally. There is a delicious kind of petulance at play, as if having lived a life full of options has left Ostendorf with just one thing left to do: stay in, stay still and sort through her stockpile of confrontational conversations and tough experiences until, in time, she’s ready to have the last word.

I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ is out now on Milk! Records and Marathon Artists. From the forthcoming album ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ released November 13th, 2020.

After 4 years in the making, today we are thrilled to announce the release of Hachiku’s debut album “I’ll Probably Be Asleep” which is out Friday November 13th. Anika started working as an intern at Milk! Records 5 years ago and it’s been a pleasure to watch her musical career grow and go from playing small single releases at the Old Bar to playing packed out performances at Iceland Airwaves.

Her time and dedication to making an amazing album have really paid off – if you ask us. During this quite extraordinary year we are hoping this album will bring some joy to everyone’s lives and we are so excited to witness where the next 5 years will take Hachiku. Ahead of the album, a new Hachiku track & video is out today! ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ was directed by Roxie Halley who says “It draws on the camp, colourful and psychedelic visuals of cult 70’s horror, while dealing with honest emotional themes at its core.

“Hachiku’s globe-trotting has made for more worldly pop, and her songs have a homespun feel that is both intimate and magical, assured and hard to pigeonhole.” – Brooklyn Vegan

“Hachiku’s music sounds like if Wes Anderson recorded Beach House’s second record Devotion.” – The Music

“Her music is brave, bold and extremely well-crafted. Not only the sound and the production, but the writing, while innocent at times, evokes real and raw emotions. Hachiku may well be the Björk of the bedroom pop generation” – SXSW Music Preview

“There is nothing undercooked about this majestic piece of music, a haunting ethereal plod through raw emotion, with Ostendorf’s icy voice rhythmically plucking each syllable.” – The Guardian

‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ is out now on Milk! Records and Marathon Artists. From the forthcoming album ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ out November 13th, 2020.

Chastity Belt and Melbourne band Loose Tooth have shared a “digital split single” featuring new material from both acts: Chastity Belt’s A Side “The Process” and Loose Tooth’s B side “Lonely.”

Fifty percent of Bandcamp sales for either track will benefit Australian wildfire relief efforts, specifically the Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities and the Country Fire Authority.

Of “The Process,” Chastity Belt songwriter Lydia Lund explains, “The lyrics came later and are a sort of reminder of the way self-criticism can compound. When I’m in that critical state of mind, I try to suspend judgement for that current state and I find it reassuring to remember that it’s temporary – a process.”

As for “Lonely.” Loose Tooth says, “We wrote ‘Lonely’ at the end of 2019. It is about an experience we witnessed when we were teenagers. #MeToo brought up a lot of realizations for many people, and for us; thinking back to us as young and vulnerable women, finishing high school and feeling invincible; we didn’t realize that we could be taken advantage of by predatory and powerful men. ‘Lonely’ is about the power dynamics and manipulation of these relationships, and the lasting cycle of trauma that they can bring.”

released January 31st, 2020

Swept together from the ashes of your finest night on the tiles, Loose Tooth are a Melbourne three-piece who craft sweet guitar pop with frayed edges.

“Everything Changes unspools like your standard low-slung churner in the manner of The Velvet Underground, but Loose Tooth make it interesting with both sweetened female vocals and a surreal, hot-boxed atmosphere.

On Friday a new Milk! Records compilation called “Milk On Milk”. It features my version of “Keep On” (written by my friends Loose Tooth) n playing with me on that recording is Jen Sholakis (drums), Dave Mudie (bass) and some extra vocals by Anika (Hachiku).

This is the third compilation we have made as a label (the first two featured my tracks ‘Pickles From The Jar’ and ‘Three Packs A Day’). Barnett and Jen Cloher asked every artist to pick their favourite song by a label-mate and record their own version of it.

It includes some truly amazing tracks from Tiny Ruins, Jade Imagine, Jen Cloher (ft. The Letter String Quartet), Hachiku, Evelyn Ida Morris, East Brunswick All Girls Choir, The Finks, and Loose Tooth. It was (mostly) produced, engineered & mixed by Anna Laverty at (mostly) Audrey Studios in Coburg!

 

The debut self-titled album from Dyson Stringer Cloher (out Oct 4th) was recorded at Wilco’s The Loft studio in Chicago April 2019 with Grammy Award winning engineer Tom Schick and Wilco’s Glenn Kotche on drums.

There’s an undeniable intimacy to this collaboration between Jen Cloher, Mia Dyson and Liz Stringer. The powerhouse singer-songwriters released an EP and toured extensively under the Dyson Stringer Cloher moniker in 2013, before splitting off to conquer their own corners of the local and international indie music scenes.

It’s quite a show. The trenchant, Cloher-led rocker Falling Clouds frames the album as a manifesto for women and gender non-conforming artists too often relegated to a supporting role: “Nothing against Paul or Nick, but if you want to be remembered then you better have a dick.” Such gendered iconoclasm broils along in the background and comes to a head later on in the album with the equally resounding Be Alone, a boot-stomping statement about self-actualisation, where to be alone is a gesture of power rather than passivity or failure.

Dyson Stringer Cloher’s ten tracks happily plumb an array of modes and moods. There’s an energy to the album that seems to have absorbed the entire oeuvre of women-led rock music. With My Hands delivers its chunky guitar riff and rimshot-driven chorus with a swagger worthy of The Runaways; it is tailor-made to get audiences jumping. Elsewhere Believeris stadium-sized rock that winks at The Jezabels.

Now, nearly three decades later, these three artists are inspiring a new generation. Supergroups don’t always work, but this is a winner.” – STACK

“A manifesto for women and gender non-conforming artists too often relegated to a supporting role.” – The Music 

“An album that celebrates the importance of music in each of their lives.” – The Australian

‘With My Hands’ from Dyson Stringer Cloher’s self-titled album is out October 4th, 2019 on Milk! Records.

The arrangements and musicianship are as solid as the songwriting is memorable – from the tightly wound beats and dialogical guitar section that steer future road trip anthem The Other Side down its sombre highway, to the brushed snare and picked guitar that bring colour and texture to the bitingly confessional Young Girls. All of which provides a perfect setting for the three-pronged vocal onslaught, the contrast and complementarity of the singers’ voices helping to ensure that this collaboration is as aurally rich as any.

Lest you fear that Dyson Stringer Cloher are taking themselves too seriously, for a change of pace there’s, well, Too Seriously a tongue-in-cheek gospel-country romp delivered with alternating lead vocals and honky-tonk flair, and more than a little Wilburys-esque goofiness. It’s a moment to both celebrate and lampoon this whole supergroup business, albeit coupled with a little obligatory hard-bitten wisdom about rising above life’s more bruising knocks.

Be Alone’s pounding drums and haze of fuzz guitar bring things to a rousing climax ahead of the album’s stunning benediction, Can I Borrow Your Eyes. Sung largely a cappella, aside from a wafer-thin bed of synth, the closing track finds the singers’ voices blended in perfect three-part harmonies, their contrasting styles united into a singular vision. It sums the album up nicely, and leaves the listener to slip back into the world warmed by the knowledge that these are three artists who’ll be remembered, together and alone.

Mia Dyson – Vocals / Guitar / Bass
Liz Stringer – Vocals / Guitar / Bass / Keys
Jen Cloher – Vocals / Guitar
Glenn Kotche – Drums / Percussion

Hachiku, a.k.a Anika Ostendorf, 24, writes and produces dream pop with an an avant garde twist from whichever bedroom she is currently inhabiting.

Inspired by other do-it-yourself artists like Grimes, Hachiku AKA singer/songwriter Anika Ostendorf writes and produces her shoegaze/dream pop with an avant garde twist on operatic vocals from whichever bedroom she’s currently inhabiting. Born in Detroit but raised in Germany, Anika is what can be best described as a “global artist“ whose bedroom’s are continuously changing. She began to form her sound aged sixteen on a road trip round 42 of 50 US states (accompanied only by her dog, called Lexus), before moving to London and then to Melbourne, further developing her music with influences from across the globe. Her unique brand of layered “glitterpop“ paints dreamy landscapes of monumental sound, with each song carrying the listener on a melodic journey.

Her celestial bedroom beats are already creating a buzz – she opened for Courtney Barnett on her European tour in 2015 and continues to collaborate with Milk! Records.
Hachiku is now permanently based in Melbourne and plans to release her debut EP in June

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released June 2nd, 2017

In 2013,Jen Cloher, Mia DysonandLiz Stringercame together in the spirit of collaboration and experimentation to release an all-too-brief 3-track EP. They took their music deep into the heart of the country, playing more than 40 shows across every state and territory. Dyson Stringer Cloher was a moment in time that showed extraordinary promise. In the intervening six years they all pursued their solo careers – releasing a combined 8 studio albums, winning multiple awards and touring globally. Now, the trio mark their return with a new single & video ‘Falling Clouds’ out now on Milk! Records.

‘Falling Clouds’ reminisces a time when Jen saw The Clouds and Falling Joys at an underage gig in her hometown of Adelaide in the early 90s. “You kicked the door wide open so I could walk onto that stage”  Jen sings, paying tribute to the axe wielding women in Australian music who showed those coming up that it could be done. In the same songthe band questions the absence of Australia’s female poet laureate, “Nothing against Paul or Nick, but if you want to be remembered, then you better have a dick.”

Of the video directed by Annelise HickeyJen explains, “Drag has always been a fun way to explore gender through performance. ‘Falling Clouds’ examines how the rules and privileges of gender have shaped the careers of women and non binary artists in Australia. Whilst it’s a serious subject, we decided to have some fun with it. Choosing to take on three of glam rocks most revered icons, we discovered that even masculinity is a performance. Ru Paul nailed it when he said, “We’re all born naked, the rest is drag.”

‘Falling Clouds’ is out now on Milk! Records:

Sleater-Kinney share “The Future Is Here,” the second new track to be revealed from their forthcoming highly anticipated album, The Center Won’t Hold, produced by St. Vincent and slated for release August 16th on Milk! RecordsThe Center Won’t Hold is the tenth album from the iconic trio comprised of Carrie Brownstein (guitar/vocals), Corin Tucker (guitar/vocals) and Janet Weiss (drums). Brownstein explains, “We’re always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person — ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness — in the middle of the chaos.”   Weiss adds, “I think for Carrie and Corin it was liberating to explore a different sound palette. Annie (St. Vincent) has a lot of experience building her own music with keyboards and synthesizers so she could be our guide to help us make sense of this new landscape and still sound like us.” Tucker says, The Center Won’t Hold drops you into the world of catastrophe that touches on the election. And almost like a mission statement, at the end of that song, it’s like the band is finding its way out of that space by becoming a rock band.”

“The Future Is Here” permeates an understated intensity, with building vocals and a menacing longing while simultaneously drawing the listener in with its catchy chorus “I need you more than I ever have, because the future is here and we can’t go back.” The track follows “Hurry On Home,” the first single unveiled from the forthcoming record.  Upon its release the critical praise was unanimous; NPR raved, “Sleater-Kinney’s first new song since 2015’s No Cities To Love blisters with desperation and desire, a promising hint of the St. Vincent-produced future we were promised,” while GQ stated, “urgent and throttling and sticky all at once, ‘Hurry On Home’ is the first taste of rock legends Sleater-Kinney’s upcoming album that’s produced by St. Vincent. If the rest sounds anything remotely as good as this, well, we’ve got an Album of the Year contender on our hands.” Pitchfork said of the Sleater-Kinney/St. Vincent pairing, “The endless possibilities of what this collaboration might sound like remain a bit mystifying, but the first taste is a clear knockout.”

The Center Won’t Hold – Out August 16th, 2019