Posts Tagged ‘Sacred Bones Records’

Freedom

Amen Dunes (aka the project of New York-based Damon McMahon) will release his fifth album, Freedom, on 30 March via Sacred Bones Records.

Amen Dunes last released an album in 2014. The album was called Love .  The tune below is called “Miki Dora” . Here’s what McMahon has to say about the track.

Miki Dora was arguably the most gifted and innovative surfer of his generation and the foremost opponent of surfing’s commercialization. He was also a lifelong criminal and retrograde: a true embodiment of the distorted male psyche. He was a living contradiction; both a symbol of free-living and inspiration, and of the false heroics American culture has always celebrated. With lyrics of regret and redemption at the end of one’s youth, the song is about Dora, and McMahon, but ultimately it is a reflection on all manifestations of mythical heroic maleness and its illusions.”

On the surface, Freedom is a reflection on growing up, childhood friends who ended up in prison or worse, male identity, McMahon’s father, and his mother, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the beginning of recording. The characters that populate the musical world of the album are a colourful mix of reality and fantasy. Each character portrait is a representation of McMahon, of masculinity, and of his past.The lead single  Miki Dora”, and its accompanying video, which features 17-year old Boomer Feith with McMahon appearing as both the story’s narrator and its subject.

Of the track, McMahon says, “Miki Dora was arguably the most gifted and innovative surfer of his generation and the foremost opponent of surfing’s commercialization. He was also a lifelong criminal and retrograde: a true embodiment of the distorted male psyche. He was a living contradiction; both a symbol of free-living and inspiration, and of the false heroics American culture has always celebrated. With lyrics of regret and redemption at the end of one’s youth, the song is about Dora, and McMahon, but ultimately it is a reflection on all manifestations of mythical heroic maleness and its illusions.”

On every record, Damon McMahon’s project has transformed continuously, and Freedom is its boldest leap yet. On the surface, the album is a reflection on growing up, childhood friends who ended up in prison or worse, male identity, McMahon’s father, and his mother, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the beginning of recording. The themes are darker than on previous Amen Dunes albums, but it’s a darkness sublimated through grooves. The music, as a response or even a solution to the darkness, is tough and joyous, rhythmic and danceable. The album comes out March 30th.

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The video for the first single from Freedom, “Miki Dora,” is out now.

The first LP, D.I.A., was a gnarled underground classic, recorded and played completely by McMahon in a trailer in upstate New York over the course of a month and left as is. The fourth and most recent LP Love, a record that enlisted Godspeed! You Black Emperor as both producers and backing band (along with an additional motley crew including Elias Bender Rønnenfelt of  Iceage and Colin Stetson), featured songs confidently far removed from the damaged drug pop of Amen Dunes’ trailer-park origins.

Love took two years to make. Freedom took three. The first iteration of the album was recorded in 2016 following a year of writing in Lisbon and NYC, but it was scrapped completely. Uncertain how to move forward, McMahon brought in a powerful set of collaborators and old friends, and began anew. Along with his core band members, including Parker Kindred (Antony & The Johnsons, Jeff Buckley) on drums, came  Chris Coady (Beach House) as producer and Delicate Steve on guitars. This is the first Amen Dunes record that looks back to the electronic influences of McMahon’s youth with the aid of revered underground musician Panoram from Rome. McMahon discovered Panoram’s music in a shop in London and became enamored. Following this the two became friends and here Panoram finds his place as a significant, if subtle, contributor to the record.

The bulk of the songs were recorded at the famed Electric Lady Studios in NYC (home of Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, D’Angelo), and finished at the similarly legendary Sunset Sound in L.A., where McMahon, Nick Zinner, and session bass player extraordinaire  Gus Seyffert (Beck, Bedouine) fleshed out the recordings.

On the surface, Freedom is a reflection on growing up, childhood friends who ended up in prison or worse.

The characters that populate the musical world of Freedom are a colourful mix of reality and fantasy: father and mother, Amen Dunes, teenage glue addicts and Parisian drug dealers, ghosts above the plains, fallen surf heroes, vampires, thugs from Naples and thugs from Houston, the emperor of Rome, Jews, Jesus, Tashtego, Perseus, even McMahon himself. Each character portrait is a representation of McMahon, of masculinity, and of his past.

The themes are darker than on previous Amen Dunes albums, but it’s a darkness sublimated through grooves. The music, as a response or even a solution to the darkness, is tough and joyous, rhythmic and danceable. The combination of a powerhouse rhythm section, Delicate Steve’s guitar prowess filtered through.

It’s a sound never heard before on an Amen Dunes record, but one that was always asking to emerge. Eleven songs span a range of emotions, from contraction to release and back again. ‘Blue Rose’ and ‘Calling Paul the Suffering’ are pure, ecstatic dance songs. ‘Skipping School’ and ‘Miki Dora’ are incantations of a mythical heroic maleness and its illusions. ‘Freedom’ and ‘Believe’ offer a street tough’s future-gospel exhalation, and the funk-grime grit of ‘L.A.’ closes the album, projecting a musical hint of things to come.

 

 

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Drift

Drift is the seventh full-length by NYC rock polymaths The Men, and it marks their 10th anniversary as a band. The Men’s last album, the self-released Devil Music, was the sound of a band who had been through hell hitting reset and looking to their roots to rediscover themselves. On Drift, The Men return to their longtime label Sacred Bones Records and explore the openness that Devil Music helped them find.

The immediately evident result of that exploration is the experimental quality of much of the material on Drift. Songwriters Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi chase their muses down a few dozen thrilling rabbit-holes over the course of the album’s nine tracks. The songs on Drift veer in a number of directions, but notably, almost none of them feature a prominent electric guitar. The lone exception, “Killed Someone,” is a rowdy riff-rocker, worthy of the finest moments of the band’s now-classic Leave Home and Open Your Heart albums. The rest of the album drives down stranger highways. “Secret Light” is an improvisation based on an old piano riff of Perro’s. “Maybe I’m Crazy” is a synth-driven dancefloor stomper for long after last call. “Rose on Top of the World” and “When I Held You in My Arms” are paisley-hued, psyched-out jams with big, beating hearts.

We’re so stoked to announce that Brooklyn rock lifers The Men are back with their most eclectic and deeply satisfying collection of songs yet. Drift marks not only the 10th anniversary of the band, but their return to Sacred Bones following the self-released Devil Music. The songs on Drift veer in a number of directions, but notably, almost none of them feature a prominent electric guitar. Lead single “Maybe I’m Crazy” is a synth-driven dancefloor stomper to be played long after last call.

Ahead of UK live dates starting later this month, Portland’s Moon Duo are back with a new limited edition 12″, featuring covers of classic songs by Alan Vega of Suicide and The Stooges. Their new take on Vega’s ‘Jukebox Babe’ is streaming now, and the 12″, which also features The Stooges’ ‘No Fun’, is due for release on January 19th via Sacred Bones.

The covers were conceived during the band’s last UK tour, which saw them play their biggest London show yet at a sold out Heaven, in support of two-part opus Occult Architecture: “We started playing ‘No Fun’ after BBC6 Radio asked us to record an Iggy song for his 70th birthday,” the band explained.

“We added it to our set to work it out for the session and kept playing it every night because everyone loves that song. We worked up a version of ‘Jukebox Babe’ because our sound engineer Larry got it stuck in his head and was singing it all the time. We figured, we may as well play it if we’re going to hear it all the time.

“The Stooges and Iggy, and Suicide/Alan Vega/Martin Rev, are all huge influences on us. But we never want to do faithful covers of great songs, because what’s the point. So we tried to push both of the tracks in less obvious directions, incorporating other influences, like California psych and cosmic disco, giving them more of a summer vibe. We knew Sonic Boom was working outside of Lisbon, so we asked him to produce the tracks, recording them in August for maximal summer heat.”

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A few weeks ago Zola Jesus  released the track “Exhumed”, as well of details of new album Okovi,

Now we’ve doubled up on that excitement with the release of the second song from the upcoming album, entitled ‘Soak’, which cuts straight to the personal in Zola’s idiosyncratically powerful way. Check it out below, and get ready to see it blasted straight into your face at one of her newly announced UK tour stops in November.

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From ‘Okovi,’ due out September 8th on Sacred Bones Records

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Purveyor of gothic pop Nika Roza Danilova, who you better know as Zola Jesus, makes an ominous return this June with “Exhumed.” Featured on her forthcoming fifth album Okovi (the Slavic word for “shackles”), “Exhumed” begins with doom-laden strings set against Zola’s operatic vibrato. Industrial-tipped electronics then enter to ramp up the sense of menace, giving life to images like: “The knife deepens, spit or swallow/Smoother, knocking, impalpable/Sever in two and fuse to both/Dull throat, you let it go.”

“Okovi” is released on Sacred Bones Records in September.

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Occult Architecture Vol. 1

Back at the start of the year, with the cold nights and dark mornings closing in Moon Duo, fittingly, released the first of two parts to their latest album.

The Portland duo – guitarist Ripley Johnson and keyboardist Sanae Yamada – deliberately went with the dark stuff first, as our writer David Zammitt commented at the time in his review of ‘Occult Architecture Vol. 1’.

Meaning all things magick and supernatural, the root of the word occult is that which is hidden, concealed, beyond the limits of our minds. If this is occult, then the Occult Architecture of Moon Duo’s fourth album – a psychedelic opus in two separate volumes released in 2017 – is an intricately woven hymn to the invisible structures found in the cycle of seasons and the journey of day into night, dark into light.

Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang.

In Chinese, Yin means “the shady side of the hill” and is associated with the feminine, darkness, night, earth. Following this logic, Vol. 1 embraces and embodies Moon Duo’s darker qualities — released appropriately on February 3rd, in the heart of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

BLANCK MASS
GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE & EDLEY ODOWD feat. BLANCK MASS
JENNY HVAL
MARISSA NADLER
THE MEN feat. CHRIS HANSELL (Leave Home / Open Your Heart Era Set)
MOON DUO feat. JIM JARMUSCH

PSYCHIC ILLS
ROSE McDOWALL
UNIFORM
ZOLA JESUS

Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang. Following the Yin (feminine, darkness, night, earth) represented on Occult Architecture Vol. 1, Vol. 2 presents the Yang.”

“In production we referred to Vol. 1 as the fuzz dungeon, and Vol. 2 as the crystal palace,” guitarist Ripley Johnson explains. “The darkness of Vol. 1 gave birth to the light of Vol. 2. We had to have both elements in order to complete the cycle. We’re releasing them separately to allow them their own space, and to ensure clarity of vision. To that end we also mixed Vol. 2 separately, in the height of Portland summer, focusing on its sonic qualities of lightness, air, and sun. Listeners can ultimately use the two volumes individually or together, depending on circumstance or the desired effect.”

Vol. 2 was mixed in Portland by the band’s longtime collaborator Jonas Verwijnen.

From ‘Occult Architecture Vol. 2’ out May 5th, 2017 on Sacred Bones Records.

Moon Duo announce Occult Architecture Vol. 2 and share video for 'Lost in Light'

Following on from Volume 1 of Moon Duo’s two part psychedelic opus, Occult Architecture, Sanae Yamada and Ripley Johnson announce the release of Volume 2 for May 5th on Sacred Bones.

The announcement comes with a new track and video entitled ‘Lost In Light’, created by Micah Buzan as a counter-reaction to his previous animation for ‘Cold Fear’:

“’Lost In Light’ is the yang to ‘Cold Fear’s yin,” Buzan said of the video. “In ‘Cold Fear’ the aliens ruled the planet in their giant skyscrapers and tortured humanoids. ‘Lost In Light’ continues the story of ‘Cold Fear’ a million years into the future, when the aliens have died off after exhausting the planet’s resources, and nature reclaims the land.

“Huge flowers grow out of the dead humanoids, aliens, and their buildings. Moon Duo emerge from an alien’s head as a flower and rainbow, becoming one with the planet as the sun absorbs everything into oblivion.”

Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang. Following the Yin represented on Occult Architecture Vol. 1, Vol. 2 presents the Yang.

“In production we referred to Vol. 1 as the fuzz dungeon, and Vol. 2 as the crystal palace,” guitarist Ripley Johnson explains.

“The darkness of Vol. 1 gave birth to the light of Vol. 2. We had to have both elements in order to complete the cycle. We’re releasing them separately to allow them their own space, and to ensure clarity of vision.

“To that end we also mixed Vol. 2 separately, in the height of Portland summer, focusing on its sonic qualities of lightness, air, and sun. Listeners can ultimately use the two volumes individually or together, depending on circumstance or the desired effect.”

From ‘Occult Architecture Vol. 2’ out May 5th, 2017 on Sacred Bones Records.

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Exploded View came to be after UK-born songwriter and vocalist Berlin-based Annika Henderson played a slew of solo shows in Mexico with a backing band composed of local producers & artists. Their sound ultimately gelled in such a powerful way that it demanded its own creative channel. AnnikHenderson, who produced a solo album & EP under the name Anika then after having spent some time teaming up with Geoff Barrow to provide vocals for his post-Portishead project, Beak, now seems to have found the perfect dark, pulsing home for her Nico-esque voiced project. It’s a dark-alley-in-a-foreign-country journey that ultimately rewards listeners with what could be the sleeper album of the year.

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