Posts Tagged ‘Nonesuch Records’

Rostam (full name Rostam Batmanglij, formerly of Vampire Weekend) shared a new song, “Unfold You,” via a video for it. Rostam self-directed the video, which features himself and actress Hari Hef . “Unfold You” was inspired by a Nick Hakim song and features saxophone playing by Henry Solomon. Sax sells! Meaning, the sax part sent the song over the edge. 

Rostam released his debut solo album, Half-Light, in 2017 via Nonesuch Records. Since then he’s produced the latest albums by Clairo and Haim.  In recent years, Rostam has focused primarily on producing, working with Clairo on Immunity and Haim on their new album Women In Music Pt. III. Although the ex-Vampire Weekend member has not formally announced a new project, “Unfold You” is his first official new solo music since 2017’s Half Light. “Under a lulling beat, mesmerizing saxophone licks, and shimmering keys, ‘Unfold You’ speaks to Rostam’s willingness to be open to a new love,”

Rostam had this to say about “Unfold You” in a lengthy press release statement:

“In November 2017 I played a show with Nick Hakim at Cafe De La Danse in Paris. This was the first Rostam show outside of America. I wasn’t familiar with Nick’s music but I was immediately drawn to it. Later that night in my hotel room I was winding down after the show and listening to some of Nick’s records. The song ‘Papas Fritas’ came on, it’s an instrumental track, and I suddenly found myself singing a melody over it and recorded that in my voice memos. Anyone writing songs probably has a few hundred voice memos on their phone. I kept coming back to this one though, and when I returned from a North American tour in February 2018 I booked some days at my favourite Vox Studios in Hollywood.  

“That’s where I first met Henry Solomon, who came in to play sax on ‘Unfold You.’ I had written out some sax lines for a few sections of the song, but others we arranged together in the studio. I wasn’t exactly sure where ‘Unfold You’ would land. I hadn’t finished writing the song, but I continued building out the track with Nick’s ‘Papas Fritas’ as its backbone. I decided I’d let the recording process take me where it would.

“‘Unfold You’ was the first thing me and Henry had worked on. A year later, I’d ask him to come back to Vox and record some sax lines I sketched out for the song ‘Summer Girl,’ which I was producing for Haim. Henry can also be found playing himself in PTA’s [Paul Thomas Anderson] video for the song.  “Summer Girl’ came out within a few months of us starting to record it, but ‘Unfold You’ took years. In some ways it had to—because the recording of the song tracks an evolution and a metamorphosis for me. As I write this, I’m finishing a record that deals a lot with the subject of change and for this whole album, change was what I was searching for musically.

In the summer of 2016, I was sitting on a park bench on Commercial street in Provincetown, Massachusetts. I found myself in conversation with a stranger who left me with a piece of advice that has stuck with me. ‘Change is good,’ he said, ‘Go with it.

Rostam had this to add about the video: “Hari and I found ourselves in the same quarantine pod in Massachusetts this past July. We also found we had a bunch in common, having gone to the same college nine years apart. The video was shot on the Dune Shacks Trail during the last several days of the trip.”

It’s a decade since The Staves self-released their first EP and a lot has happened since then. Their third album “Good Woman” was written and recorded amid major upheaval, heartbreak and bereavement. The new-found boldness, loudness and lyrical directness on this record are indicative of lives forced to become a serious concern.  In early 2020 the band resumed touring, unveiling their expansive and exhilaratingly powerful new sound, and previewing these emotionally affecting songs in intimate venues across the country; with tickets selling out in seconds. They ended the tour with a triumphant homecoming appearance at the BBC6 Music Festival.

The Staves’ first album in five years is an accumulation of everything that life has thrown at them in that time. Emily: “You find strength in the vulnerability and you find beauty in the sadness and magic in the despair. We lost so much, but we found so much. And while the album is not all about mum, something shifted in us when she died that made us make the record in the way that we made it. We became more fearless.” Camilla: “It feels more about trying to take ownership of these events and not letting sadness or trauma rule you.” Jessica: “It’s a record about sisterhood, motherhood and daughterhood; love, loss, change and trying to be a good person, a good woman.

The Staves have their first new album in six years, “Good Woman”, which will arrive on February. 5th via Nonesuch Records. Following the release of “Nazareth” and “Trying,” the trio shared the album’s title track. 

Our new album ‘Good Woman’ released 5th February 2021.

Mountain Man the trio of Amelia Meath, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, and Molly Sarlé—releases Mountain Man “Sings Simple Gifts”, the latest in its series of cover singles, featuring its version of the 1848 Shaker hymn, today. The digital single follows previous editions in the Mountain Man “Sings” series, which also includes the band’s versions of Kacey Musgraves’ “Slow Burn,” Wilco’s “You and I,” John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” and the Irving Berlin holiday classic “White Christmas.” Last month, Nonesuch released Mountain Man’s live album, Look at Me Don’t Look at Me, recorded in November 2018 at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle.

“‘Simple Gifts’ is one of those incredible songs that transforms you while you sing it,” says the trio. “It’s like an incantation, and it was a joy to record.”

Our version of the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts” is out everywhere today. “Simple Gifts” is one of those incredible songs that transforms you while you sing it. It’s like an incantation, and it was a joy to record.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor

Nonesuch Records announces the digital release of two Natalie Merchant albums, previously unavailable: “Butterfly”, a studio album featuring four new songs and six reinterpretations from her catalogue arranged for string quartet, and “Rarities”, a collection of 15 rare and previously unreleased tracks recorded between 1998 and 2017. For Rarities, Merchant curated a selection of unique home studio demos, album outtakes, live tracks, and collaborations with diverse artists like Billy Bragg, David Byrne, The Chieftains, Cowboy Junkies, and Amy Helm (complete track list below). Both albums were created for inclusion in The Natalie Merchant Collection released by Nonesuch in 2017, and previously only available as part of the deluxe ten-CD box set.

“Since 2010 I’ve performed mainly as soloist with string ensembles and chamber orchestras. I love the subtle emotional quality strings give to my songs and it’s such a pleasure to reinterpret them in this way. In 2015, we celebrated the twentieth anniversary of my first solo album, Tigerlily, with an album featuring string quartet versions of that material; with Butterfly, I was able to give ‘My Skin,’ ‘Frozen Charlotte,’ ‘Ophelia,’ and ‘The Worst Thing’ the same attention,” Merchant says.

“There are four songs on this album that I think represent some of the best writing of my career: the title track, ‘Butterfly,’ ‘She Devil,’ ‘Baby Mine,’ and ‘Andalucía’,” she continues. “Written over a period of twenty years, these songs represent such different phases of my life and career. What they all share is that none of them fit into previous albums or I was unable to capture a performance that did them justice. Listening to them today, I hear how they truly belong together.”

Merchant notes, “We have all found ourselves living through a very frightening period of history. Our rare and exceedingly beautiful planet is in peril and all the creatures (our species included) feel on the brink of chaos. In the face of crisis, we still search for meaning and reach out for beauty. I hope that Butterfly is received as my offering of beauty and meaning for these times and that it gives solace to anyone willing to listen.”

Merchant’s career began in 1981 when, as a college student, she joined the seminal alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs. As lead vocalist, lyricist, and sometimes pianist, Merchant released six critically acclaimed studio albums with the band. She left the group in 1993, and in 1995 released her multi-platinum solo debut, Tigerlily, followed by the platinum Ophelia (1998) and Motherland (2001). In 2003 she independently released an album of traditional and contemporary folk music, The House Carpenter’s Daughter. In 2010, Merchant returned with a double album, Leave Your Sleep, her debut for Nonesuch Records. In 2014, Nonesuch released Natalie Merchant, her sixth solo album and first of entirely original songs in thirteen years. Nonesuch most recently released Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings in 2015, and the Natalie Merchant Collection box set in 2017.

Download Links:
Butterfly: https://smarturl.it/NMButterfly
Rarities: http://smarturl.it/nmrarities

David Byrne

The filmed version of the acclaimed Broadway show David Byrne’s American Utopia, directed by Academy Award–winning director Spike Lee, will be presented by HBO and will debut on HBO later this year. “David Byrne’s American Utopia is a uniquely transformative experience and a perfect example of how entertainment can bring us together during these challenging times,” said Nina Rosenstein, Executive Vice President, HBO Programming. “Spike’s brilliant direction adds a level of intimacy to this powerful performance, and we’re so thrilled to share this groundbreaking show with our audience.”
Spike and I have crossed paths many times over the years, obviously I’m a huge fan and now finally here was an opportunity for us to work together,” said David Byrne. “I am absolutely thrilled with the result. The Broadway show was a wonderful challenge as well as an opportunity—it was a joy to perform and, well, best to let the quotes speak for themselves.

Thrilled that this show and the subjects it addresses will now reach a wider audience.”
“It is my honour and privilege that my art brother, Mr. David Byrne, asked me to join him in concert, to invite me into his magnificent world of American Utopia,” Spike Lee said. “And dat’s da ‘once in a lifetime’ truth, Ruth. Ya-dig? Sho-nuff. Peace and love. Be safe.”

The Broadway production of American Utopia featured Byrne, together with eleven musical artists from around the world performing songs from Byrne’s 2018 album of the same name, along with songs from Talking Heads and his solo career for a major cultural milestone in the worlds of music and theater. The original American Utopia album, as well as the Broadway cast recording, were released on Nonesuch Records.

The set list each night included “Once in a Lifetime,” “Burning Down the House,” several selections from Byrne’s American Utopia solo album, and a rendition of Janelle Monáe’s “Hell You Talmbout,” which featured Byrne and the musicians calling out the names of black Americans who have been unjustly killed with the refrains “say his name” or “say her name.”

In a recent interview, Byrne recalled approaching Monáe about permission to use the song. “She loved it,” he said. “I was kind of surprised. There was no hesitation. She’s very generous. So I continue to ask her, ‘We’re doing it on Broadway now. You sure you’re OK with all this?’ ‘Yeah.’ I thought I had to do that; I had to check with her and see what her take was on that, because otherwise, it could seem pretty strange. She’s about getting the message out.”

This one-of-a-kind, dynamic film gives audiences around the world access to Byrne’s electrifying Broadway show that played to sold-out, record-breaking audiences during its run from October 2019 to February 2020 at Broadway’s Hudson Theater. The New York Times called the production “dazzling, jubilant and rapturous,” while the Hollywood Reporter hailed it as “an astonishing knockout.” The Broadway production featured the work of choreographer Annie-B Parson, with Alex Timbers serving as production consultant (both had previously collaborated with Byrne on the acclaimed Imelda Marcos musical Here Lies Love); lighting design by Rob Sinclair and sound design by Pete Keppler; Karl Mansfield and Mauro Refosco are musical directors.

David Byrnes American Utopia

In addition to the partnership of David Byrne and Spike Lee, the feature-length film includes the work of choreographer Annie-B Parson; director of photography, Ellen Kuras (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind); production consultant Alex Timbers; and editor Adam Gough (Roma). Collaborating with Kuras are eleven camera operators, many of whom are directors of photography in their own right, including Declan Quinn (Leaving Las Vegas) and Sam Levy (Lady Bird).

American Utopia, the album upon which the stage show is based, received a Grammy nomination and was the first by Byrne to reach No. 1 on the Top Current Album Chart. Released by Nonesuch Records in 2018, it was a global hit and the accompanying tour reached more than 27 countries with 150 concert dates.

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Halfway through Vagabon’s 2017 debut Infinite Worlds, Lætitia Tamko stepped away from her guitar. The song, “Mal a Laise,” was an exercise in atmosphere, with droning synth loops layered over reverb-heavy vocals murmured in both French and English. It stood at odds with the guitar-centric indie rock production that defined the rest of the record: It was a detour, but it almost felt like a homecoming. Maybe it was. Tamko’s sophomore effort, the self-titled, self-produced Vagabon, is a more formless affair, a cosmic journey through synthetic sounds, lush orchestral suites and lyrical self-realization.

The result is an ambitious album overflowing with generosity and empathy, warm in production and rich in theme, even if it largely lacks the punch that made Infinite Worlds so immediately memorable. But homes are made to shelter aspirations, dreams, fears, anxieties, hopes, doubts. Homes are sanctuaries, and that’s what Tamko has created with Vagabon

Vagabon’s “Every Woman,” from her self-titled album, out now on Nonesuch Records; vinyl out soon:

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Vagabon (aka Lætitia Tamko) released a new self-titled album via Nonesuch. Earlier this week she shared one last pre-release single from the album, “Every Woman,” via a video for the track. Lino Asana directed the video, which features Tamko in a clear bubble house and out in nature.

Tamko had this to say about the song and video in a press release: “‘Every Woman’ is the thesis of my album so I wanted the visuals to represent transparency and to create a world for this thesis statement to live inside of. It’s an ode to all those who feel different and who actively search and fight for space. When I was approached by Cameroonian filmmaker, Lino Asana, I was really, really excited to work with an artist from my country. There was this immediate understanding of one another. So many scenes of this video feel reminiscent of my early life in Cameroon, the chores I would do as a kid, the way we lived simply and humbly. The bubble displayed in this video represents an invitation to find yourself in this world.”

Previously the album was titled All the Women in Me and due out September 27th, but in August Tamko announced that the album title and release date were both changing. Also, the album’s first single was originally titled “Flood Hands” but was then changed simply to “Flood” and another track from the album had a title change from “All the Women” to “Every Woman.” The lyrics for both songs were also changed. This was all because a poet wouldn’t give Tamko her blessing to reference her work in the songs.

“My original album title and two lyrics were inspired by and referenced poetry by a writer I greatly admire, Nayyirah Waheed,” Tamko said in a previous press statement about the changes to her album. “When I learned that she preferred I not quote her words, I made changes out of respect for her wishes.”

Vagabon is Vagabon’s second album, the follow-up to her 2017-released debut Infinite Worlds, and is her first for Nonesuch. Tamko wrote and produced the entire album herself. “Flood Hands” (or “Flood” now) Then she shared another song from the album, “Water Me Down”  as well as a stylish video for the song.

In a previous press release Tamko set the scene for where she was at prior to recording the new album: “I was in a pretty tortured headspace when I returned home from touring Infinite Worlds. That album contained some of the first songs I’d ever written, and more people than I could have ever imagined heard it. I was proud to become a full-time musician and recognized how rare of a thing that is, but was also debilitated by the very same fact. Fear overtook me and I couldn’t write. I felt stagnant and unsure of what to do next.”

Unlike Infinite Worlds, Vagabon has less of a straight up indie rock guitar sound, with more electronic textures. “With this album, I wanted to impress myself,” Tamko said in the previous press release. “I wanted to be curious and I wanted to make big leaps as a producer. All I had access to on the road was my computer and Logic, so naturally I started writing songs electronically with what was at hand.”

Tamko added: “The drums and vocal forward approach I took on [Vagabon] is drawn from my love for rap and hip-hop production as well as R&B and folk storytelling. That’s the music that got me excited about writing again.”

“Break the rules you think you are bound by.”

That’s the recurring sentiment Lætitia Tamko carried with her through the writing and recording of her second album under the Vagabon moniker. Her first, 2017’s Infinite Worlds, was an indie breakthrough that put her on the map, prompting Tamko to tour around the world and quit her job in electrical/computer engineering to pursue a career in music full-time. Tamko’s self-titled Nonesuch Records debut finds her in a state of creative expansion, leaning fully into some of the experimental instincts she flirted with on the previous album. This time around, she’s throwing genre to the wind. Vagabon is a vibrant culmination of influences, emotional landscapes, and moods; a colorful and masterful statement by an artist and producer stepping into her own.

Following her 2017 debut Infinite Worlds, Vagabon (aka Laetitia Tamko) became one of the most distinct voices in indie rock. Her husky alto is warm and unforgettable. Now add indie pop to that faction of genres. Her next album, a self-titled effort, breezes through synthy breakdowns and horn numbers with ease, never content to be just one thing. Tamko’s voice remains each song’s focal point, especially on the bouncing pop numbers, but the album as a whole feels most like a low-lit mood. Hypnotic and transportive, Vagabon feels even more like Tamko’s arrival than her warmly received debut.

releases October 18th, 2019

Produced by Laetitia Tamko

The year is just halfway through, but 2019 has already been a big one for Alexandra Sauser-Monnig. The musician best known as one-third of Mountain Man, the folk trio who made their comeback with last year’s beautiful Magic Ship, announced earlier this year that her debut solo record was en route. Dawnbreaker arrives less than a year after Magic Ship, Mountain Man’s second album as a trio and their first after an eight-year hiatus. It’s a gentle 10-song collection of rustling folk-pop.

Dawnbreaker is the first album Alexandra Sauser-Monnig she has released under the name Daughter of Swords. To celebrate its release (it’s out today via Nonesuch Records) Sauser-Monnig broke the album down for us track-by-track.

“Fellows”

The guitar line of “Fellows” materialized while I was living in a beautiful, ramshackle old farmhouse in rural Virginia with a former partner, and the words later while camping high up a California mountain road on a break from touring with Feist many years ago. The writing of the song spanned the end of one relationship and the beginning of another, and it reflects on the futility of defining yourself through your relationship to a partner.

“Gem” 

“Gem” was the first song that Nick Sanborn — who engineered, co-produced, mixed and played on the record — and I collaborated on arranging. He’s really good at following what’s fun, and pivoting to another song or idea or approach when the joy or the energy feels like it’s beginning to lag. After having recorded a couple of pretty spare demos and takes, this song ventured into new terrain and was the first time the breadth of the spectrum of sound and arrangement of the record became clear.

“Shining Woman” 

I wrote this song when I was feeling wrapped up about what being an adult person with a womb means. Writing it felt like a reminder to myself that the world is full of inspiring people choosing to make their own paths through life liberated from the cultural and biological script. The main character of the song took up residence in my mind and served as a reminder to me that change is always possible.

“Fields of Gold”

Drummer Joe Westerlund, formerly of Megafaun and currently of Mandolin Orange, played a large role in shaping the feel of “Fields of Gold.” He is a wizard of aux percussion and has a library of things to make sounds with, from shakers and bells to custom made metal sculptures that you play with a bow to things nature made that happen to sound beautiful. He lived next door to the studio where Dawnbreaker was made, and for a couple of magical days made complicated, delicate percussive arrangements holding more percussion in his hands than seemed humanly possible before I saw him in action.

“Grasses” 

“Grasses” is a meditation on acceptance. I wrote the words when I was sick with tick-borne illness. My body felt really wrong and I was having trouble getting any insight or advice, or even a diagnosis from doctors. So all I knew was that I felt terrible and that it wasn’t getting better. I sang “Grasses” to myself while lying in bed in an effort to comfort myself and to get down from the high ledges of fear and panic I was on in my mind.

“Easy is Hard”

Country was the first kind of music that made me feel something potent that I couldn’t name. It’s often where my songwriting begins, even if it doesn’t stay there. “Easy is Hard” follows its own logic, but feels like one of the songs on the record whose roots are most obviously in country.

“Rising Sun”

For a while I had an old worn out Sun Records tape of Billy Lee Riley songs in my car. I was in a very transitional phase of life and latched onto this tape and listened to it all the time in a way that gave me the tiniest sense of stability. I learned a blues shuffle off of it and wrote a different version of the song, which is “Rising Sun.” One of my favorite moments on the record is the end of this song — as the band fades out, the voices of Mountain Man fade in, humming like the highway and ending with all our voices and the sound of the room predominant in an unexpected way.

“Long Leaf Pine”

I had just moved to North Carolina and had been out blackberry picking and exploring the woods behind my house when I wrote “Long Leaf Pine.” I came back in and sat down and the song came out more or less complete. Recording it was equally magical — Nick Sanborn and I had been trying different arrangements of the song, and had started over again, making some kind of far out choices. It had started snowing outside when Amelia Meath and Molly Sarlé came over. They sang beautiful witchy harmonies while snow was falling outside the window and contextualized everything else beautifully within the realm of harmony.

“Human”

This was another song that appeared mostly formed very fast. I’ve had the possibly common but definitely surreal experience a few times of my subconscious delivering up verdicts on my life choices in song form before the rest of my mind is ready to acknowledge whatever it is, and that was the case with Human. We recorded the song, and then I left it alone for almost a year without even listening to it. There was a point that I didn’t want it on the record because it’s so raw. But now its presence feels crucial to me in the arc of the record.

“Dawnbreaker” 

“Dawnbreaker” is a dive into the ways imagining possible transmogrification into a different life form sometimes feels preferable to facing the hard emotional truths of life with a human consciousness. This last track on the record was one of the first takes that we recorded, and it was recorded as a demo. For a while, I wanted to get a different take to use, but none of the subsequent takes had the same rawness and tentative energy that ultimately felt so right as a note to end on.

thanks to http://www.talkhouse.com

“Dawnbreaker” is on the debut album from Daughter of Swords, out 28th June via Nonesuch Records

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Vagabon (aka Lætitia Tamko)’s new album, All The Women In Me, the follow up to her breakout debut, Infinite Worlds, is an artistic leap for Tamko, who wrote and produced the entire album. Guitar-driven melodies are largely absent, replaced by hybridized analog and digital arrangements,

All the Women in Me will be Vagabon’s second album, the follow-up to her 2017-released debut Infinite Worlds, and is her first for Nonesuch. Tamko wrote and produced the entire album herself and plays all the instruments on “Flood Hands,” for example.

Of the single Tamko says in a press release: “‘Flood Hands’ is a track I originally produced and arranged for a well-known pop-duo to have on their album. Knowing I was writing this song for musicians I admire, allowed me this relief from my writer’s block. I used this assignment as a chance to flex my production muscles and write something I wouldn’t have written as a ‘Vagabon’ song a couple years ago. The result felt like a triumph for me in my progression as an artist and I just couldn’t stand to part with the song by the time I was finished.”

The press release Tamko sets the scene for where she was at prior to recording the new album: “I was in a pretty tortured headspace when I returned home from touring Infinite Worlds. That album contained some of the first songs I’d ever written, and more people than I could have ever imagined heard it. I was proud to become a full-time musician and recognized how rare of a thing that is, but was also debilitated by the very same fact. Fear overtook me and I couldn’t write. I felt stagnant and unsure of what to do next.”

Unlike Infinite Worlds, All the Women in Me has less of a straight up indie rock guitar sound, with more electronic textures. “With this album, I wanted to impress myself,” Tamko says in the press release. “I wanted to be curious and I wanted to make big leaps as a producer. All I had access to on the road was my computer and Logic, so naturally I started writing songs electronically with what was at hand.”

Tamko adds: “The drums and vocal forward approach I took on All The Women In Me is drawn from my love for rap and hip-hop production as well as R&B and folk storytelling. That’s the music that got me excited about writing again.”

Vagabon’s “Flood Hands,” from the album ‘All The Women In Me,’ due September 27th on Nonesuch Records.