Posts Tagged ‘Polyvinyl Record Co.’

Boston singer and songwriter Ella Williams released her debut LP as Squirrel Flower, “I Was Born Swimming”, on Polyvinyl Record Co. in 2019. Now she’s announced its follow-up, Planet (i), due out June 25th via Polyvinyl. Ali Chant produced the album, which was written mostly before COVID and recorded in Bristol in fall of 2020. “Planet (i) is my body and mind, and it’s the physical and emotional world of our planet,” Ella says. “It’s both.” You can see the cover art below.

The new single, “Hurt a Fly,” and it’s accompanying music video. The video, directed by Ryan Schnackenberg, finds Williams thrashing around in the same sort of plastic bubble as favoured by The Flaming Lips as of late, all against the almost telephone-like processing of Williams’ breathy, brooding vocals. Lyrics like “Thought that I told you the storm ended, / And I’m never wrong / Took it too far again / Followed you home again” add to the dark atmosphere that the song’s urgent piano and fuzzy guitar help to create.

Williams elaborated on the song’s lyrics, and the creation of the music video, in a statement: “‘Hurt a Fly’ is me embodying a persona of gaslighting, narcissistic soft-boy type shit. The classic ‘sorry I acted violently, I’m not mad that you got upset at me, wanna hang out next week?’ I wanted to see what it was like to be a character trying to skirt around accountability. It’s an angry and unhinged song, and for the video I wanted to be inside a bubble writhing around and trying to get out.

The first single is “Hurt a Fly,” which you can watch the video for below. “Hurt A Fly’ is me embodying a persona of gaslighting, narcissistic soft-boy type shit,” Ella says. “The classic ‘sorry I acted violently, I’m not mad that you got upset at me, wanna hang out next week?’. I wanted to see what it was like to be a character trying to skirt around accountability. It’s an angry and unhinged song, and for the video I wanted to be inside a bubble writhing around and trying to get out. A stranger filmed me practicing choreography at a public park, submitted it to a meme page making fun of ‘influencers,’ and the video got 1,000,000 views, which in my mind is perfect thematically.”

“Hurt A Fly” is taken from Squirrel Flower​’s sophomore album, Planet (i), out June 25th, 2021.

New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma continue to make beautiful, gentle indie-pop worth swooning over on album number three “Truth Or Consequences”.

Their dreamy aesthetic remains intact, but there’s a heightened sense of confidence in the group’s songwriting and the way these songs are presented that makes it stand out from their past work. Truth or Consequences stems from sessions in Los Angeles, London, and Christchurch, where Yumi Zouma actively took a collegial approach, often working note-by-note, to ensure the foundations of the album reflected a sense of togetherness.

n the early 2010s, the members of Yumi Zouma spent time together on a New Zealand street that gave its name to their first single, “The Brae.” After the 2011 Christchurch earthquake destroyed that street and much of the city, its members took off for other parts of the globe and soon began writing their first songs over email.

As a result, the band was born, and distance became a recurring theme in Yumi Zouma’s work. This makes sense given the far-flung cities the group of musicians currently call home: New York City for Burgess, London for Ryder, Wellington for Campion, and Simpson remaining in their native Christchurch. Of course, distance can also manifest metaphorically, and it’s in these figurative chasms that Truth or Consequences, Yumi Zouma’s third album and first for Polyvinyl, finds its narrative: romantic and platonic heartbreak, real and imagined emotional distance, disillusionment, and being out of reach. There are no answers, there’s very seldom closure, but there is an undeniable release that comes from saying the truth, if only to oneself.

“In the age we’re living in, there’s an emphasis on making things clear cut” says Burgess about the album’s title. “But in life and in art, nothing is ever that definitive. The truth is usually in the grey zones, and I think that’s so much of what we were trying to explore and understand on this album.”

Whilst exploring these realms, Yumi Zouma deliberately pursued a deeper sense of collaboration in order to craft a record that reflects the bond between them. Produced by the band and mixed by engineer Jake Aron (Solange, Grizzly Bear, Snail Mail), Truth or Consequences stems from sessions in Los Angeles, London, and Christchurch, where the band actively took a collegial approach, often working note-by-note, to ensure the foundations of the album reflected a sense of togetherness.

“We wanted to make the song writing process as egalitarian as possible. Completely sharing the process helped us feel like we were capturing a purer sense of atmosphere,” says Ryder.

Much like how the first moments of a new year can usher in a wave of emotions, the first notes of Truth or Consequences wash over the listener with the contemplative yet rapturous opener “Lonely After,” in which Simpson softly sings “I was embarrassed when I knew who I was, so wild and zealous and overly down for the cause.” As Burgess recalls, it’s about “that pit in your stomach when you start to question your own identity,” who wrote the first lines of the song one lonely New Year’s Eve, during the nebulous beginnings of a budding relationship.

Lead single “Right Track / Wrong Man” exhibits a Balearic tempo and bass-heavy energy that belies its underlying tension. Simpson reveals, “At the time I was living with a boyfriend who was quite lovely, but there wasn’t that passion or excitement that you imagine for yourself when you’re young. That song is about accepting that something’s not working, and deciding to just be on your own for a while.” Album centerpiece “Cool For A Second” coalesces the motif of isolation and its ensuing fallout into a letter to a past connection: Whilst on “Truer Than Ever,” the band draws inspiration from the classics to radiate a brazen spirit of perseverance. “I love the duality in a lot of disco songs, where they’re incredibly upbeat, but there’s real frustration in the lyrics – sort of like, ‘Nothing’s going the way I want, but I’ve got to deal with it any way I can,’” Simpson says.

Throughout, Simpson’s voice gives weight to whispers of impressionistic poetry, shielding hard truths with soft tones, while Burgess’ vocals reveal a rarified dimension of raw and lucid romanticism. With this being the first Yumi Zouma album to feature live drums, courtesy of Campion, Truth or Consequences is a testament to the success of the band’s approach – a unified body of melody that mines the spaces in between.
It’s a gorgeous record whose depth has only grown richer as we’ve been able to spend more time with it. As we begin to enter spring it feels only right to revisit this hopeful, loving album made by long-distance friends. I hope you put it on and take a long walk out in the sunshine.

The quaint, atmospheric synthpop of ‘Southwark’ is hugely charming, the upbeat-but-gentle rollick of ‘Cool For A Second‘ has one of the best choruses the band has conjured up yet and there’s an immediacy to ‘Right Track / Wrong Man’ that makes it immediately endearing.

Some might say there’s a vintage feel to Yumi Zouma’s brand of synth-heavy indie-pop, but it’s more of a timeless feel. These songs shimmer now and will no doubt age beautifully.

On “Reptilians”, STRFKR’s second full-length album and first for long-time label home Polyvinyl, the band built on what they had accomplished with their self-titled debut album (2008) and the the Jupiter EP (2009) to create an infectious combination of acoustic instrumentation and electronic production.

Originally released on March 8th, 2011, Reptilians has since become one of the band’s most intriguing and successful releases to date. Featuring fan favourites “Bury Us Alive” and “Julius,” Reptilians was written almost entirely by principal songwriter Joshua Hodges with help from bandmates Shawn Glassford, Keil Corcoran, and long time friend Randy Bemrose. The band mixed with Jacob Portrait in the famed Portland studio The Odditorium. Lyrically, the album focuses primarily on death and the end of the world, two subjects intertwined at the forefront of Hodges’ mind following the passing of his grandmother.

To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Reptilians will be released as a deluxe reissue (2xLP) with 4 bonus tracks and reimagined artwork by original artist Sohale Kevin Darouian.

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Releases May 21st, 2021

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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.

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As of this week, Ian Sweet, the project of Jilian Medford has found a new label. “Welcome to the family, Ian Sweet,” tweeted Polyvinyl. And the only way to properly celebrate is with a new song,

In the song, Medford knows her relationship isn’t good for her. “I’m a dumb driver/when I’m in love/I run all the red lights,” she sings over mid-tempo drums and regretful synths. Eventually the music swells as she admits her folly: “I want to stop, I want to,” she sings, engaging the full band for a mini-breakdown.

“‘Dumb Driver’ is an examination and grieving of, both during and after, a broken relationship,” Medford says in a press release. “It describes the toxic cycle of being so overtaken by your love for someone that you put yourself in harm’s way for it—like a car crash you can’t look away from. On ‘Dumb Driver’ I am pleading with myself to stop the car, pull over, and get out of the situation before the damage is irreversible.”

“After pulling myself from some massive wreckage, I want to throw a party and sing about it,” she says

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Along with “Dumb Driver,” Medford releases the disco-esque track “Sword” this summer.

released August 20th, 2020

Yumi Zouma‘s glorious Polyvinyl Records debut, “Truth or Consequences”, arrived back in March and today we get an official music video for fan-favourite track “Sage“. the video was filmed by Jack Shepherd in 2019, and edited by Austin Roa, in the band’s native New Zealand. Watch below.

Earlier this month, the band shared a remix of their ToC standout, “Cool For A Second,” courtesy of Australian singer/producer Japanese Wallpaper. Look for more exciting news in the coming weeks from the zoomies!!!

“The video for ‘Sage’ was shot by the brilliant Jack Shepherd, who managed to discreetly capture us in-between our various band activities on his Super 8 camera, before passing the footage onto our good friend Austin Roa, to create a beautiful homage to one of our most loved songs from the new record.” – Yumi Zouma

“Sage” is taken from Yumi Zouma’s third album, Truth or Consequences, out now.

Stay Home Polyvinyl

Polyvinyl has just released the Stay Home compilation, which features previously unreleased music, demos, and covers from 16 artists on their roster, with all proceeds going directly to the artists. “What originally began as a way to help support the Polyvinyl artists affected by COVID-19, quickly grew into a project spanning more than half of the label’s active roster,” the label writes. And as you might’ve guessed, “The compilation’s titular theme, Stay Home, doubles as both a social plea – a worldwide effort to help ‘flatten the curve,’ while giving nod to the sprawling classic on American Football’s landmark self-titled debut.”

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The covers include American Football frontman Mike Kinsella doing an exceptionally gorgeous cover of The 1975‘s “Me” under his Owen moniker, Palehound doing Karen Dalton‘s “Something On Your Mind,” Squirrel Flower doing Emmylou Harris‘ “Icy Blue Heart,” Hazel English doing The Mamas & The Papas‘ “California Dreamin’,” and Xiu Xiu doing Kim Jung Mi‘s “Haenim,” and there are also demos by The Get Up Kids, of Montreal, Yumi Zouma, and STRFKR, a new Chris Farren song, and tracks by Pedro the Lion, Kero Kero Bonito, and more.

Introducing Stay Home, a Polyvinyl Record Co. compilation featuring 16 tracks including previously unreleased music, demos, and covers.

Available exclusively on Bandcamp for Pay What You Want (starting at $5) with all proceeds going directly to the artists involved.

released April 7th 2020

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What is this instinct to hate on everything?” asks singer/songwriter Anna Burch on her song “Not So Bad,” the first single from her new sophomore album If You’re Dreaming, which is out today on Polyvinyl. This is Burch’s second LP for the label, following 2018’s Quit the Curse. Sam Evian produced the new record. “Not So Bad” is kind of like a dreamscape, as its delightful music video, which features several dance sequences and plenty of twirling. The chorus is a response to Burch’s question: “It’s not so bad,” she sings. “I’m still here,” she later says, “if it’s not clear.” The video was directed by Burch, and Ben Collins was the director of photography.

Tell Me What’s True – new single + video inspired by Scorsese’s 1974 film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.

“Tell Me What’s True” is taken from Anna Burch’s sophomore album, If You’re Dreaming, out April 3rd, 2020.

New Zealand indie-pop band Yumi Zouma released a new album, Truth or Consequences, today via Polyvinyl, their first for the label. Now that the album is out, The band self-produced the album and it was mixed by Jake Aron (Solange, Grizzly Bear, Snail Mail). While formed in New Zealand, Yumi Zouma’s members currently reside in various cities around the world: New York City (Josh Burgess – guitar, vocals), London (Charlie Ryder – guitar, bass, keys), Christchurch, New Zealand (Christie Simpson – vocals, keys), and Wellington, New Zealand (Olivia Campion – drums).

Yumi Zouma shared Truth or Consequences’ lead single, “Cool For a Second,” via a video for the track The album also includes “Right Track / Wrong Man,” a song the band shared back in December. Then they shared another song from the album, “Southwark,” via a self-directed video for the track,

The band released a new EP, EP III, last September 2018 via Cascine Records. EP III was the follow-up to Yumi Zouma’s sophomore album, Willowbank, which was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2017. In May 2019 they shared another brand new song, “Bruise,” that was a standalone single .

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New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma are releasing a new album, “Truth or Consequences”, on March 13th via Polyvinyl, their first for the label. On Tuesday they shared another song from the album, “Southwark,” via a self-directed video for the track. The video intercuts between the band at the beach and performing the song indoors somewhere. “Southwark” continues Yumi Zouma’s remarkable track record of creating irresistible and effortless indie-pop.

In a press release the band’s singer/songwriter Christie Simpson says the song “feels like a dedication, a mantra, a promise to myself. I wrote the chorus line about the someone in particular that I was with at the time, but it now feels like a universal truth for my relationships, a dedication that goes to every person I’ve loved and those that I’m still loving now. I can be quite dramatic in love and relationships, and I don’t always do or say the right thing when I should, but I do throw myself in completely (for better or worse). I loved that idea of repeating that dedication – ‘I am imperfectly yours’…. This track has haunted me a little every time I listen, there’s something melancholy that sits in there alongside that overall feeling of quiet elation. I suppose that speaks to the classic dichotomy of love and relationships – nothing is ever 100% good or perfect, and that’s what I am constantly trying to come to terms with.”

Guitarist/vocalist Josh Burgess had this to say about the video: “A bit of a Yumi tradition is having at least one video on a record we shot ourselves. While we’re not going to be nominated for an Oscar anytime soon, it’s always fun to grab a camera and start shooting. It felt like too good of an opportunity to pass up having us all sitting there in a photo studio mere moments after the centerfold picture of our record. From there we headed off to the beach for sunset. Christie wanted to get into the water but the threat of hypothermia proved too much! It’s also the first video/time we’ve ever revealed lyrics so overtly! The fantastic Lorenzo Fanton’s typeface was too good to pass up!”

Previously Yumi Zouma shared Truth or Consequences’ lead single, “Cool For a Second,” via a video for the track The album also includes “Right Track / Wrong Man,” a song the band shared back in December.

Yumi Zouma’s glistening new single “Southwark” is taken from the group’s new LP Truth or Consequences, coming March 13th on Polyvinyl. Watch the video, shot by the band’s own Josh Burgess,

“Southwark” is taken from Yumi Zouma’s long-awaited third album, “Truth or Consequences”,

The band self-produced the album and it was mixed by Jake Aron (Solange, Grizzly Bear, Snail Mail). While formed in New Zealand, Yumi Zouma’s members currently reside in various cities around the world: New York City (Josh Burgess – guitar, vocals), London (Charlie Ryder – guitar, bass, keys), Christchurch, New Zealand (Christie Simpson – vocals, keys), and Wellington, New Zealand (Olivia Campion – drums).

The band released a new EP, EP III, in September 2018 via Cascine. EP III was the follow-up to Yumi Zouma’s sophomore album, Willowbank, which was among our Top Albums of 2017. In May 2019 they shared another brand new song, “Bruise,” .