Posts Tagged ‘Partisan Records’

Deer Tick

Deer Tick proves with their two simultaneously released albums titled, Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2 that their punk-roots rock have only gotten better with age since their last LP. The twin albums complement one another but also stand independently. Vol. 1 is classic Deer Tick: folk-rooted acoustic guitars and soft piano cushion out-front vocals. Vol. 2 commits wholly to the band’s longtime garage-rock flirtations for a triumphant foray into punk. McCauley sees the two records as a natural progression as he’s always had one foot in each door. “Every album we’ve put out has had its manic moments in one way or another. I felt good enough about everything that I was writing to think that we could truly separate our two big interests: quiet and loud.”

It’s been four years since Deer Tick’s last release, Negativity. In the meantime, Deer Tick – an all-consuming band known for constant touring and steady artist output – took a backseat. The band – made up of McCauley, guitarist Ian O’Neil, drummer Dennis Ryan, and bassist Christopher Ryan pursued solo and worked on others’ projects. Personal lives also underwent massive changes, especially for McCauley, who married Vanessa Carlton and became a dad. When the band came back together for their beloved after-party shows at the Newport Folk Festival, the reunion reminded them what they missed about creating with one another so they started making plans to go in the studio.

 “Jumpstarting” is from Deer Tick’s album ‘Deer Tick Vol. 2’.

McCauley says that he believes “Sea of Clouds” and “It’s a Whale” probably best capture the “extremities” of both records. He’s right, of course: It’s Vol. 1’s quiet vs. Vol. 2’s loud – Deer Tick’s dual personalities, finally channelled onto two distinct and equally brilliant records. “These albums represent a new phase of my life that I haven’t entirely figured out yet,” McCauley says. “I don’t know what’s going to happen but that’s part of the excitement for me.”

Deer Tick are , Robert Barry Crowell, John Joseph McCauley, Ian Patrick O’Neil, Christopher Dale Ryan, Dennis Michael Ryan

Deer Tick are currently on tour in support of their two 2017 releases Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, and they’ll be doing a few shows in Australia some of which are this weekend opening for Jason Isbell  before playing a bunch of dates around North America next month.


Craig Finn We all want the same things album art

There’s a danger that pushing everything through the Trumpian prism collapses some of the intricacies and nuances of art. After all, The Donald is a product of the disaffection Craig Finn is exploring here, not the cause. The problem is deeper and more complex than any government-related trouble, and Finn is too wise to offer much in the way of an answer. Instead, he suggests we shift the focus of our questions. Because We All Want the Same Things is an album about relationships, but not in the usual sense. Not the transcendental, star-aligned love of Billboard hits and Hollywood flicks but coupling based on common needs. Not life-changing answers but life-preserving strategies. Luckily, in the hands of Craig Finn, this version of ‘romance’ feels somehow more fulfilling, the opposite of cynical, for better or for worse, genuinely human. Perhaps the revolution in the conclusion isn’t some violent revolt or epiphanic break, rather a gradual yet constant commitment to challenging our own expectations. To stop wanting too much for ourselves and to start being sympathetic to others. A comeback story, of sorts.”


The plaintive tune “God In Chicago” appears at the midpoint of Craig Finn’s “We All Want The Same Things”, his third and most fully realized solo album to date. While it’s got all the characteristics of the best of the Hold Steady and Lifter Puller songs — when push comes to shove, I bet Wayne from Winnetka could hold his own with Charlemagne from “Separation Sunday” — the track feels utterly singular in Finn’s body of work. With unsettling solemnity and uncanny deliberation, “God In Chicago” befits a Midwestern winter, icy and foreboding. It comes not in hollers, but in hushed tones, hinting at desperation and hiding fresh wounds. It’s a short story of a song that’s fixated on specificity: that Mexican restaurant near Midway, a left turn on Cermak, the Walgreens near the Hyatt. “God In Chicago” is an attempt at closure amid unfinished business and uncertain future.

We expect strong characters and compelling stories from Craig Finn, whether he’s recording solo or with the Hold Steady. We even expect beautiful details and excellent location scouting. But we didn’t expect a song as powerful, as specific, as lived in, as beautiful, as insightful, as risky as “God in Chicago,” one of the great surprises of 2017. The music is as simple as anything he’s ever done: just a few sad piano chords and a bruised chorus that never repeats. He doesn’t sing, either. Instead, he relates the story of two grieving souls in a matter-of-fact tone, speaking to you, direct and conversational, as casual as a tale told over beers but as serious as a eulogy. When he remarks, “We all want the same things,” you know exactly what he’s talking about, because this story he’s telling isn’t just about two people selling drugs and having a night in Chicago. It’s about you and me and our desire to find some brief escape from the beautiful horror of living.

“We All Want The Same Things” available now on Partisan Records.

“God in Chicago” written by Craig Finn & Josh Kaufman
Craig Finn – Vocals
Josh Kaufman – Bass
Sam Kassirer – Piano, Organ
Matt Barrick – Drums
Annie Nero – Additional Vocals

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Danish-trio, Baby In Vain are set to release their debut album More Nothing later this month on Partisan Records, and last week shared the latest taste of it, Low Life. The track was initially written three years earlier, and recorded as a, “trippy, hard rock kind of song”It was only after three years of working on other material and experience, that the band came back to the track, and it emerges transformed, and unlike anything the band have done before.

While normally noted for their visceral musical assault, Low Life is a bassy, slowly unfurling beauty, incorporating twinkling synthesisers, muted drum sounds and even some wonderfully scuzzy saxophones. Bringing to mind the likes of Howling Bells, Timber Timbre and The Twilight Sad, it’s easily the most exciting thing Baby In Vain have done to date. Even if all their songs take three years to sound this good, it’ll be more than worth the wait.

More Nothing is out August 25th via Partisan Records. 

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It’s been four years since Deer Tick released their last album, 2013’s Negativity. This fall, they’re set to make their return with not one but two brand new records. Eloquently entitled Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2, the distinct efforts are due out September 15th on Partisan Records.

Both albums were recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. Each features 10 new tracks, meaning Deer Tick fans will be getting 20 new songs this fall. What’s more, the albums showcase different sides of the band, one softer and the other grittier.

Vol. 1 will highlight the Rhode Island outfit’s acoustic folk rock side, harkening back to where they started on albums like their War Elephant debut. A press release says the 10-track effort highlights frontman JohnMcCauley’s “masterful, introspective and observational” songwriting with songs that document “inner struggles and external conflicts with a perfect balance of heartfelt sincerity and wry wit.”

The press release revealed that Deer Tick Vol. 1 showcases the folk-driven, roots/rock style with right amount of grit, that Deer Tick is known for. Lead singer/songwriter John McCauley is a masterful introspective and observational songwriter, who documents inner struggles and external conflicts with a perfect balance of heartfelt sincerity and wry wit. The opening track “Sea of Clouds” encompasses all of what brought so many fans to Deer Tick in the first place, and also what kept them there.

‘Deer Tick Vol. 1 & Vol. 2’ available September 15th, releasing 2 new albums on Partisan Records. These records Vol. 1 is an acoustic record, Vol. 2 is a rock record. This is not a double album. These are two separate records being released on the same day. The two albums complement each other yet reflect completely contrasting styles, both of which accurately represent the two distinctive musical personalities of Deer Tick — quiet and thoughtful/loud and raucous.

On Deer Tick Vol. 2, the band turns it up and lets it fly with an injection of punk-inspired garage rock at it’s finest. Clever lyrics, infectious hooks and captivating melodies pack Vol. 2 with bassist Christopher Ryan skillfully laying it down with authority and attitude. The propulsion of opener “Don’t Hurt”, edgy pop of “Jumpstarting” and rowdy punk of “It’s a Whale” reveal that there was an obvious Jekyll & Hyde approach to recording Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. Vol. 2 closes with boisterous “Mr. Nothing Gets Worse”, with all three singers taking a verse on a song that would have made The Replacements proud. From the raucous, the garage punk infused It’s a Whale

Deer Tick defines the term outlier. Their ever-evolving style has never been claimed by any one scene or genre. They encompass key elements of indie-rock, country, punk, pop, Americana, folk and so much more, which is what makes it difficult to nail them down. With Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2, the question really is, why would anyone want to?

The Black Angels have shared the second track from their upcoming album ‘Death Song’, out April 21st on Partisan Records. Called “I’d Kill For Her”, the band “psychedelia’s premier standard bearers.” The band’s Alex Maas talked about the new project,

The song is kind of a reaction to what’s happening in the world—but that’s all art, isn’t it? Not to say that art is political in itself, but if you’re going to say anything it might as well be important to you. There are threads on the record that go through every song, and we’re inspired to write music by the unknown, and fears about where the world might be headed, that’s kind of a golden thread through all our work. You can tie money and greed into a lot of the songs that we wrote on this record, and we’ve touched on that before.

America is obviously a toxic place to live in right now, and I think the new record speaks to that toxicity, the greed, and the illusion that people in power have any interest in what’s best for the world.

Produced by Phil Ek (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Shins), ‘Death Song’ features some of the heaviest music these psych rockers have ever put to wax slow-burning, menacing fuzz earworms meditating on the realities of society and devotion. The album’s opening track, “Currency”, has already earned raves everywhere from the New York Times to NPR Music, who say “heavy psych rarely feels as fresh as it does with The Black Angels”.

On April 22nd Record Store Day , there will be a special limited edition release of ‘Death Song’, including the new album on two glow-in-the-dark vinyl LPs and packaging printed entirely in blacklight-reactive ink.

The Black Angels performed at SXSW last week, and kick off an extensive tour next month including a headline set at one of the first-ever shows at new NYC venue Brooklyn Steel. The band will be supported by A Place to Bury Strangers, I’d Kill For Her is a typically brilliant slab of hypnotic, heavyweight psych – one of the best things we’ve heard from them. And that’s high praise indeed.

The Black Angels are back after a four year hiatus and are now part off the acclaimed Partisan Records roster. “Death Song” will be their debut album release. Here’s some info on the album.

Written and recorded in large part during the recent election cycle, the music on ‘Death Song’ serves as part protest, part emotional catharsis in a climate dominated by division, anxiety and unease. “Currency,” a strong contender for the heaviest song the band has ever put to wax, meditates on the governing role the monetary system plays in our lives, while slow-building psychedelic earworm “Half Believing” questions the nature and confusing realities of devotion.

From Death Song – The new album from The Black Angels out April 21.


Eagulls have been one of the more interesting bands to emerge from the recent post-punk renaissance. Originally purveyors of quite spiky punk, their sound has mellowed a little over the past few years and their second album Ullages also an anagram of Eagulls marks a definite move forward from the band’s impressive self-titled debut of 2014. George Mitchell’s vocals are a little more defined, but retain their early Bob Smith quality, slightly stretched and pleading, reaching out for answers that never come, leaving only bewilderment and frustration. “Each night’s like the needle slipped, does existence have much more than this?”, “Is our future grey as the slabs on our drives?”, “Why don’t I ever stop and start to think?” – there are more questions than answers for Eagulls in the bleak world they inhabit, the desolate city scapes mirroring their inner desolation and helplessness.

If anything, there is less hope on Ullages than on their first album Eagulls, the tone is more resigned, the music less of an attack and more of a blurred soundscape. Emptiness, Eagulls

Eagulls delivered a daring follow-up that transformed George Mitchell’s vocals from echo-drenched hollers to sharp, wry observations. ‘Heads or Tails’ is an almost folky opener, while ‘Velvet’ and ‘Psalms’ sound like wandering alone into a dark alleyway, not sure whether you’ll make it out the other side.

Tony Wilson once said post-punk is about moving on from saying ‘fuck you’, to saying ‘I’m fucked’. Eagulls have encapsulated this perfectly in two albums.

Though the band describe the record as positive with a glass half-full mentality, it is a curious mind that would find positivity only in the fact that things couldn’t really get any worse. Sonically, there is a marked change, with more thoughtful backdrops framing the vocals, often slighty warped in an MBV style, though with plenty of picked notes and a clattering drum attacks straight from the Birthday Party. It’s a beautiful amalgam of all that has been good in music over the past thirty-five years, with jumping Cure basslines, plangent guitars, the occasional power chord and even some ambient flickers. There’s a very limited indies-only green vinyl edition, so get in quick, and all housed in a sleeve by cult photographer Peter Mitchell. Near enough the perfect package.

EAGULLS – ” Skipping “

Posted: December 22, 2016 in MUSIC
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Among my favourite albums of 2016 was the Leeds post-punkers Eagulls their debut in 2014 album had been an angry struggle of Joy Division pastiches. But they amped up the poetic melodrama (and their songwriting chops) for this second album titled after an anagram of their own band name Ullages, taking cues from the windswept sookiness of Disintegration-era The Cure as much as the sonic cathedrals of Simple Minds and Cocteau Twins.

Massive singalongs “Velvet” and “My Life In Rewind” (a widescreen stadium anthem which I’ll bet The Horrors wish they’d written).


Earlier this month, in addition to the release of new song “Lemontrees”, post-punk collective Eagulls hinted that their sophomore LP was on its way. Today, they’ve formally announced details of the follow-up to their 2014 self-titled debut. It’s titled Ullages and expected to hit shelves on May 13th through Partisan Records .

The 11-track effort was recorded in a converted church in the band’s hometown of Leeds. Mixed by Craig Silvey (Nine Inch Nails, Depeche More), it’s said to recall “the shimmering opulence of Cocteau Twins, the guitar lines of Smiths-era Johnny Marr, and the ominous gloom of Disintegration/Pornography-era The Cure,” according to an official statement.

In an interview in January, drummer Henry Ruddell discussed one of the main differences between Ullages and its predecessor: “It’s still all from George’s [Mitchell, frontman] viewpoint but whereas on the last album it was his own personal outlook, this time we tried to step away from that a bit and look outwards and how he gets on with other people. It feels like it’s more to do with relationships, not in a romantic way, but more as in your relationship with the person you might bump into on the street, or the person you work with..very brief encounters and how odd they can be.”

In advance of the full-length, Eagulls have let loose “My Life in Rewind”. Mitchell here is a yearning presence, his vocals enveloped by a cloud of muggy shoegaze guitars like a memory that’s struggling to stay alive.