Posts Tagged ‘Run For Cover Records’

Houston-via-Dallas band Narrow Head is often classified as shoegaze, but as the band’s guitarist, vocalist and only original member Jacob Duarte puts it, “I don’t even think I like shoegaze.” He elaborates, “I like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Chapterhouse all the main stuff — but when it gets too on-the-nose, it’s like, I need aggressiveness. ”Released through Run for Cover Records, blast of grungy hard rock that reminds me of Nirvana but with even more guitar. The most “rock” of any record I bought this year and loving it.

“Nobody has riffs anymore,” says founding member/vocalist/guitarist Jacob Duarte when asked about his approach on Narrow Head’s highly anticipated LP due out  on August 28th. “That’s the kind of band we are and to me, that’s just how you write songs. Drums, bass, guitar, vocals. Nothing else. There are no other instruments on the record.”

The Houston-based band’s latest entry is the distillation of the greatest moments in 90’s alternative and hard rock with a fresh set of ears, thirteen tracks of their signature brand of bludgeoning lullabies bursting at the seams with creative ideas, new directions and yes, massive, monolithic riffs. In between the sparkle and smash, open-hearted and emotionally naked song writing showcases a core piece of the band’s identity as one of the best releases of 2020.

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Delving into deep-seated themes of self loathing, desolation, self-medication, the loss of loved ones and hopeful redemption as the title suggests, a rock-focused LP themed on transition– exploring the vast abyss of darkness just before the sun cracks upon the horizon. Using distorted guitars as their primary vehicle, Narrow Head’s wall of riffs add stark contrast to their best quality– deceptively sweet pop melodies that channel the lessons of My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Helmet, Deftones and Guided by Voices all at once.

Released August 28th, 2020

Narrow Head is:
Jacob Duarte
Carson Wilcox
William Menjivar
Ryan Chavez
Kora Puckett

Performed by Jacob Duarte, Carson Wilcox, William Menjivar, Ryan Chavez

The five members of Sun June spent their early years spread out across the United States, from the boonies of the Hudson Valley to the sprawling outskirts of LA. Having spent their college years within the gloomy, cold winters of the North East, Laura Colwell and Stephen Salisbury found themselves in the vibrant melting-pot of inspiration that is Austin, Texas. Meeting each other while working on Terrence Malick’s ‘Song to Song’, the pair were immediately taken by the city’s bustling small clubs and honky-tonk scene, and the fact that there was always an instrument within reach, always someone to play alongside. 

Coming alive in this newly discovered landscape, Colwell and Salisbury formed Sun June alongside Michael Bain on lead guitar, Sarah Schultz on drums, and Justin Harris on bass and recorded their debut album live to tape, releasing it via the city’s esteemed Keeled Scales label in 2018. The band coined the term ‘regret pop’ to describe the music they made on the ‘Years’ LP. Though somewhat tongue in cheek, it made perfect sense ~ the gentle sway of their country leaning pop songs seeped in melancholy, as if each subtle turn of phrase was always grasping for something just out Sun June returns with “Somewhere”, a brand new album, out February 2021. It’s a record that feels distinctly more present than its predecessor. In the time since, Colwell and Salisbury have become a couple, and it’s had a profound effect on their work; if Years was about how loss evolves, Somewhere is about how love evolves. “We explore a lot of the same themes across it,” Colwell says, “but I think there’s a lot more love here.

Somewhere is Sun June at their most decadent, a richly diverse album which sees them exploring bright new corners with full hearts and wide eyes. Embracing a more pop-oriented sound the album consists of eleven beautiful new songs and is deliberately more collaborative and fully arranged: Laura played guitar for the first time; band members swapped instruments, and producer Danny Reisch helped flesh out layers of synth and percussion that provides a sweeping undercurrent to the whole thing. Throughout Somewhere you can hear Sun June blossom into a living-and-breathing five-piece, the album formed from an exploratory track building process which results in a more formidable version of the band we once knew. ’Real Thing’ is most indicative of this, a fully collaborative effort which encompasses all of the nuances that come to define the album.

“Are you the real thing?” Laura Colwell questions in the song’s repeated refrain. “Honey I’m the real thing,” she answers back. They’ve called this one their ‘prom’ record; a sincere, alive-in-the-moment snapshot of the heady rush of love. “The prom idea started as a mood for us to arrange and shape the music to, which we hadn’t done before,” the band explains. “ Prom isn’t all rosy and perfect. The songs show you the crying in the bathroom,, the fear of dancing, the joy of a kiss – all the highs and all the lows.”  It’s in both those highs and lows where Somewhere comes alive. Laura Colwell’s voice is mesmerising throughout, and while the record is a document of falling in love, there’s still room for her to wilt and linger, the vibrancy of the production creating  beautiful contrasts for her voice to pull us through.

Opening track ‘Bad With Time’ sets this tone from the outset, both dark and mysterious, sad and sultry as it fascinatingly unrolls. “I didn’t mean what I said,” Colwell sings. “But I wanted you to think I did.” Somewhere showcases a gentle but eminently pronounced maturation of Sun June’s sound, a second record full of quiet revelation, eleven songs that bristle with love and longing. It finds a band at the height of their collective potency, a marked stride forward from the band that created that debut record, but also one that once again is able to transport the listener into a fascinating new landscape, one that lies somewhere between the town and the city, between the head and the heart; neither here nor there, but certainly somewhere. “Karen O” by Sun June from the upcoming album ‘Somewhere‘ out February 2nd, 2020 via Run For Cover Records,

We are extremely happy to be announcing the February 5th release of Sun June’s forthcoming LP Somewhere. “We shot the video out on a Texas Hill Country ranch with a spotlight ranchers use to check on cattle at night (very Texas of us). We thought the stage lights and disco ball helped draw out the connection between feeling an emotion and performing it, both for yourself and others. We got lucky and happened to shoot during a lightning storm, so we went full melodrama with it.”

Releases January 10th, 2021

Austin Texas band Sun June returns with a gorgeous new single, taken from the band’s long awaited second album, coming in early 2021 on Run For Cover + Keeled Scales. “Singing”, which singer Laura Colwell calls, “our groundhog day song”, finds Sun June subtly ushering their distinctive, gently twangy dream-pop into more widescreen, “timeless classic” territory, while retaining all of the comforting warmth and bittersweet wistfulness of their beloved debut. There’s definitely a melancholy, “summer’s over” vibe to the whole thing, but “Singing” ultimately exudes a hopeful, almost anthemic quality, and it’s one of the prettiest things we’ve heard all year. Colwell talks about the song’s relatable themes and its accompanying video, which she directed with bandmate Stephen Salisbury:

“‘Singing’ is our groundhog day song. It’s about being stuck in an old argument with your partner, wishing you both saw the world the same way. The video expands on that idea by cycling through various mundane ruts we can get caught in. We also explore around our Austin neighbourhood, where they’re tearing stuff down and building stuff up.”

The five members of Sun June spent their early years spread out across the United States, from the boonies of the Hudson Valley to the sprawling outskirts of LA. Having spent their college years within the gloomy, cold winters of the North East, Laura Colwell and Stephen Salisbury found themselves in the vibrant melting-pot of inspiration that is Austin, Texas. Meeting each other while working on Terrence Malick’s ‘Song to Song’, the pair were immediately taken by the city’s bustling small clubs and honky-tonk scene, and the fact that there was always an instrument within reach, always someone to play alongside.

“Singing” by Sun June out now via Run For Cover Records

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Chicago indie-pop collective Varsity recently signed with Run for Cover Records in 2018, and released a doubling of singles which showcased their ability to bring forth unique conversations in song surrounding personal relationships with a wide-eyed dreamy sparkle. This May, they will release their latest full-length effort Fine Forever, and once again, the moment marks another creative transition for the quintet.

On the album’s lead single and opener “Runaway”, they step away from the clouds and move onto the dance floor with streaks of Fleetwood flickers and a groove-laden bassline. Here, vocalist and keyboardist Stef Smith sings through the flashbulb lights without pause, being drawn only to where the heart leads. “Runaway / I don’t even know your name / You’re not going anywhere tonight / Unless you’re gonna run away.” It’s hard to imagine anyone doing so when Varsity’s love energy naturally pulls you in…

Band Members
stef, Dylan, pat, jake, paul,

Varsity’s Fine Forever will be released May 29th on Run for Cover Records.

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Two veterans of those only-slightly-demeaning Best Albums of the year You May Have Missed lists, Field Medic and Great Grandpa vocalist Al Menne teamed up this month for a Run for Cover–released single that feels like a victory lap in the wake of their pair of Generally Best Albums released in 2019. The underproduced track is reduced to Kevin Patrick’s ramshackle guitar and distinct vocals, occasionally harmonizing with those of Menne.

“talkin johnny & june (your arms around me)” by Field Medic featuring Al from Great Grandpa out now via Run For Cover Records

How Camp Cope’s Georgia Maq made <i>Pleaser</i>, her debut solo album

Georgia Maq has released “Pleaser”, a solo album produced with Katie Dey and Darcy Baylis. It’s a pop record that sounds like “Paul Westerberg meets Robyn.” “Is it real?” Georgia Maq is standing patiently in the front bar of Melbourne’s Tramway Hotel while I gape in awe at the Louis Vuitton handbag that sits under her arm. It’s a beautiful object that feels especially glamorous considering its owner — the lead singer and guitarist of Camp Cope, one of the most popular and prominent punk bands to come out of the Melbourne DIY scene in a long while.

Maq’s caustic vocals and frank, powerful lyrics have made her an indie rock celebrity of sorts, and while she often flaunts a compelling and idiosyncratic sense of style on her prolific Instagram account — a lot of leopard print, a lot of Calvin Klein — the pristine LV piece still throws me. “It’s real,” she tells me gleefully in her now-familiar drawl, “I got it on Facebook Marketplace. You should definitely buy one.”

The eight-track record is a sharp left-turn from a musician who many have assumed to be punk through and through; produced by Maq alongside Melbourne-based experimental luminary Katie Dey and Melbourne-born, Berlin-based producer Darcy Baylis, it’s a sleek, wounded pop record that crackles and pulsates like an exposed tesla coil. Released today through Boston indie label Run For Cover, “Pleaser” is perhaps best thought of like that secondhand baby LV under her arm: a pop record with all the glamour of the real thing and little of the unsettling capitalist intent.

Written and produced over the better part of 2019, Pleaser is shockingly and wonderfully unfamiliar territory for a musician familiar to scores of die-hard fans. These are songs that soar and swoop, fitted with repeated phrases and expansive choruses — elements that have never really been present in Maq’s past work. Camp Cope’s music is typified by Maq’s narrative-based storytelling and her distinctive sing-speaking, while Pleaser finds her flexing a newly-trained voice and a knack for writing sticky, surprising melodies.

The product of a period in which Maq found herself pining after someone who didn’t love her back, Pleaser offered the chance to, in her words, “repetitively scream about how I feel” — in other words, perfect conditions to write a pop album. The finished product doesn’t squander Maq’s first step into this shinier, more surreal corner of the music world; as evidenced by songs like the record’s title track — the chorus of which finds Maq sighing “I am dooooomed to be in love with yoooou,” elongating her words like the best stadium divas — Maq sounds as powerful as she’s ever been

On their second album and first for Run For Cover Records, Horse Jumper of Love perfect their driving slowcore while discarding some of the moping that characterized their self-titled debut. This time around, the Boston trio’s desolation is mostly confined to the dejected guitars, which exude as much angst as a pop-punk chord progression, as much muscle as a metal riff and as much sonic weight as a shoegaze solo.

Memory looms large on Horse Jumper of Love’s hypnotic sophomore album, ‘So Divine,’ but it remains elusive. Throughout the record, tiny snapshots from the past float to the surface, baring themselves for brief moments before diving back into the ether. Like abstract collages, the Boston-based three-piece’s songs jumble richly detailed scenes and vivid imagery, papering over one moment with the next until each string of seemingly unrelated thoughts coalesces into a breathtaking work of art, one that reveals deep truths about ourselves and our psyches.

“A lot of these songs are about making small things into huge deals,” says guitarist/singer Dimitri Giannopoulos. “They all start with these very specific little memories that, for some reason or another, have stuck in my mind. Memories morph and change over time, though, and they become freighted with all these different meanings. We’re constantly adding to them.” Giannopoulos officially launched the group with bassist John Margaris and drummer Jamie Vadala-Doran in 2013, taking their moniker from a Latin phrase that had gotten more than a little lost in translation. The band would spend the next three years refining their studio craft and live show, garnering a devoted following playing DIY gigs around New England as they climbed their way into what Pitchfork described as “the top tier of the Boston house show scene.” In 2016, they released their self-titled debut to rave reviews, with NPR praising the band’s “slow, syrupy rock songs” as “cautiously measured and patiently curious” and Audiotree hailing the “soft spoken, contemplative trio” for their “unique sonic palette and precise compositions.” In 2017, the group released a vinyl and digital re-issue of the album along with a limited edition demo anthology.

“Nature” by Horse Jumper of Love from the upcoming album ‘So Divine’ out June 28th via Run For Cover Records

Katie Dey record isn’t quite like anything else. Somewhere buried in countless loops of warped-beyond-recognition effects lies the songwriter’s voice, manipulated to sound inhumanly tiny—though by no means peripheral. It seems that at some point before lavish post-production, these recordings were ordinary pop songs, but rather than undergoing meticulous remixing they were instead the result of some sort of happy accident.

On her much-anticipated follow up to 2016’s Flood Network, Dey reaches a new level of opulent, near-Björkish production, while her vocals sound more subdued than ever. This polarization doesn’t feel accidental: “This album is about feeling that you’re made up of a bunch of disparate parts that are at odds with each other, and making it hard for you to live,” Dey explains. “I wrote it when I was very isolated and feeling very alone, and so I would do a lot of arguing with myself and getting caught in loops—yelling at myself and myself yelling back, my body causing pain to my brain and my brain causing pain to my body…stuff like that.”

Despite such dissociative thoughts—or perhaps inspired by them “Solipsisters” covers a wide range of sounds, neatly packing them into a cohesive, tranquil forty minutes. “I wanted to try to reconcile these things because I don’t want to be at war with myself,” she continues. “I have to live here in this body and I want it to be peaceful. There is so much horror and violence in this world, it would be nice if at least my own body was not fighting with itself.” “Solipsisters,” then, sounds idyllic: two biologically connected individuals amiably cohabiting a single mind.

“Anyway,” she concludes, “I am a little less lonely these days, so you don’t have to worry too much.”

With her new album officially out today via Run for Cover, Dey gives us a behind-the-scenes look at all ten of Solipsister’s unique tracks.

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I don’t exactly love prescribing meanings to songs. I like to let people interpret stuff for themselves and have their own ideas of what it means to them. So if you don’t want me messing with that, you can just close the tab now and do something else . But if you’re curious, then here you go. Also, I wrote these songs years ago, and I hardly remember what I was thinking at the time, so take everything with a grain of salt.

1. “waves”

This was the last song I wrote for the album. It’s about being confused and in pain, but trying not to be angry at yourself for it; seeing your flaws and your mistakes and not giving yourself a hard time, just knowing that they’re there and staying alive in spite of how horrible it can be; not trying to know the things you can’t know or change the things you can’t change. Thematically this song should be at the end of the album, but I put it at the start because it felt better that way. It gives it a sorta cyclical feel or something. Oh, the sound effects in this are just me going like, “Wooooosh” into a microphone with some effects.

2. “solipsisting”

This was the first song I wrote for the album, and it’s about feeling stuck in a body with all the horror that involves and saying, “Fuck this, I want out, I want to be free of all this pain.” Being so frustrated by life and thinking how wonderful it would be to just escape and be a being of pure light, free of the constrictions, dissolving into infinity. How nice that would be! A very appealing prospect.

3. “stuck”

A lot of these songs are grappling with the fact that I have this body that I can’t bear to live in. But also there are these other people in the world that I love, and they know me as this body and love me as this person, even though I can’t stand to be that person anymore. And being like, “Oh, if I change or if I escape, what about these people that love me? Will they still love me?”

4. “dissolving”

Sometimes you just hate yourself and wanna die, you know? But also, you don’t wanna die at the same time. That’s a constant tension in my life. All these songs are sorta about that tension. Different shades of suicidality.

5. “(at least for now)”

But, like, sometimes I feel really good. Like, one day you’re feeling like you have no other options but to die, and then another day you’re like, “How could I have ever felt that way? I love being alive!” It’s hard to make decisions when your brain decides to flip-flop unpredictably between those two states.

6. “shell”

I feel a disconnect between my body and my soul that I can’t really explain. It’s like, “philosophically wrong” to think this way, and yet that’s still how I feel. I think most people feel like this? It’s just really hard to think, “I am only a body” when you feel so constantly at odds with your body. It’s hard to think you’re just this horrible object that is hurting you every day. So I find it helpful for my life to think, “I am separate from this thing that I carry around.” Even though that’s wrong. I don’t know. It’s complicated. This is also about the desire to change your body to better align with how you feel inside, and wondering whether that will even help. What could it all mean? Is this…transgenderism? Who could say.

7. “reflection”

This is just some trippy nonsense. It’s about how you’re the product of, like, basically everything that’s ever happened, and feeling insignificant in the face of that. Like looking at the stars and thinking about how they’re a billion years old or whatever. Sometimes I feel a billion years old… Anyway it’s like trying to hold that knowledge in your head and letting it inform your actions. I’m not sure it’s productive to think this way, but it is a pretty tune. Also I wasn’t sure if the lyric should be “I’ll find a place to become,” or “I’ll find a place to be calm,” so you can decide which one you like better. It can be either or both.

8. “escaping”

At the point I was writing this song I was pretty resigned to just dying. But if you’re gonna die, you want your life to be a nice memory for the people around you, which is a thought that keeps me alive. I don’t want to die and live on in their minds as an asshole. They’re the ones that really know what I am. I have some ideas of who I am, but it doesn’t matter what I think in the grand scheme of things. It also doesn’t matter what I think of these songs—like, you’re the ones that know what they really are. I hardly know what they mean to me, just like how I hardly know who I am to myself. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything. Maaaaan. Brooooo.

9. “unforming”

Another song about wanting to be dead…a self-hatey song. Being frustrated with yourself for failing over and over. Feeling like you’re better off not being in the world because you just cause all this destruction, and that it doesn’t really matter anyway because the mechanisms of the universe are just gonna play out how they’re gonna play out. Very fatalistic, nihilistic, ill-advised thinking in this song. The “she won’t get better if you don’t let her” thing is saying that if I want to recover from this hopeless spiral I need to allow myself to.

10. “sieve”

I like when things have hopeful endings. I think this is an acknowledgement that life is really very horrible but that there are some things that are nice and maybe we can cultivate those things and make the future nicer for us to live in. And that a lot of moving forward involves letting certain things flow through you, trying not to let unhelpful thoughts get caught in your mind. That is hard though. I think it’s a futile wish that things will be better. Not saying they will but…

songs by katie dey 
mastered by ada rook
released May 31st2019

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Petal is a singer-songwriter from Pennsylvania. Kiley Lotz, is a the singer and songwriter who records under the name Petal, released a strong under-the-radar debut album called Shame in 2015. Since then, she’s covered Fleetwood Mac and released a very impressive 7″.

Her music reminds me of Blake Babies sometimes. On this song, the guitars that are fuzzed out and grungy, but her voice is really melodic and it reminds me of Aimee Mann. She has this sob in the back of her throat that Aimee Mann had, but over a much grungier, fuzzier guitar base. She’s the guitar player in the band. This song is this really cool kind of fuzzed-out description of queer life right now.

Of the new album, Lotz says:

Magic Gone is the physical and sonic representation of me fighting for my right not only to survive but live all while coming to terms with encroaching adulthood. I was a closeted queer person struggling with chronic mental health disorders; terrified that if I tried to deal with these two major issues in my life I would lose everyone and everything I loved. Coming out was the beginning of a long and continuing process of self-actualization, of taking a hard look at myself and the problems I had and how I could fix them. This record is the result of being the most honest I have ever been in my life, and the constant battle of overcoming the thought that, “maybe if I were just someone else completely, everything would be better.” Magic Gone is about letting go of the anger induced by all the paranoia, anxiety, guilt and pain, and embracing the magic of your own endurance and hoping for the best.

Better Than You” by Petal from the upcoming album ‘Magic Gone’, Originally released June 15th, 2018 on Run For Cover Records

Praised by Stereogum as a “delightfully distorted mess of energy,” the band’s sound is absorbing and urgently hypnotic, with songs that develop at a glacial pace, progressing forward with almost imperceptible momentum to carve deep canyons and valleys through walls of solid rock. Giannopoulos officially launched the group with bassist John Margaris and drummer Jamie Vadala-Doran in 2013, taking their moniker from a Latin phrase that had gotten more than a little lost in translation. The band would spend the next three years refining their studio craft and live show, garnering a devoted following playing DIY gigs around New England as they climbed their way into what Pitchfork described as “the top tier of the Boston house show scene.” In 2016, they released their self-titled debut to rave reviews, with NPR praising the band’s “slow, syrupy rock songs” as “cautiously measured and patiently curious” and Audiotree hailing the “soft spoken, contemplative trio” for their “unique sonic palette and precise compositions.”

They have soft/loud dynamics that remind me of early Mission of Burma. In 2019 Run For Cover Records announced they had signed them.

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The Band:
Dimitri Giannopoulos – Vocals / Guitar
John Margaris – Bass
Jamie Vadala- Doran – DrumsCo-released by Joy Void x Disposable America.
Originally released March 11th, 2016