Posts Tagged ‘Saddle Creek Records’

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Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan released her debut solo album “Likewise” on January 31st, 2020 via Saddle Creek Records.

On the lead single off her solo album Likewise, “Rare Thing,” Frances Quinlan recalls a surreal dream where barbs like, “I know there is love that doesn’t have to do with taking something from somebody” sting against a stippled synth. For “Detroit Lake,” she conjures images of a hawk striking prey, blooming algae, and words left unspoken, while the plaintive notes of “A Secret” mirror her lyrics’ portrait of geographical and emotional distance. At times, the syncopation between her vocals and the instrumentation is so effortless that it feels like she’s dynamically bending the instruments to her will.

She previously shared the first single “Rare Thing,” and now she’s recently returned with her second single, “Now That I’m Back.” It features Quinlan’s signature vocals but given a new sonic dimension full of space and electronics that surely separates her solo effort from her work with Hop Along.

Below find a little background on the track straight from Quinlan,

I find it mystifying that my idea of love has aged and changed right alongside me. I’d always thought of love as something one is given, I didn’t think much about my own capacity for love, for generosity. That’s too bad, but now I understand a little better, I hope. At this point I think love is always there, it exists in the margins, one needs only to access it (though this often requires some struggle and at times some pain).

Compromise is often required for the survival of most relationships. I was thinking about my struggles with compromise for the sake of understanding someone outside myself. It’s a long road, I think this song just portrays the start of it. Love is always around, even as great chunks of time drift from us and we inevitably find ourselves altered and wonder how we got to this place. I frighten myself with thoughts of love disappearing from my life, or of my hardening as a person. I’ve had some odd chapters over the last few years. I think this song came out of one of them.

Frances QuinlanNow That I’m Back from the album “Likewise” out January 31st, 2020

An exercise in simplicity, The Big Net is the musical project of Kevin Copeland (guitar, vocals) Andrew Emge (drums) and Logan Miley (bass). Attempting to maximize the emotive power of the trio, the band’s style drives down the highway somewhere between drone and country, folk and rock. With Corey Rubin on bass and secondary vocals, their first self-titled record explored more of those rock roots: recorded live in two days with minimal overdubs, trying to capture the freewheeling magnetism that can come alive in a room.

Released as part of Saddle Creek’s Document Series, the band’s two new songs – “Big Moon” and “Rufus” – were recorded that same weekend. The idea of The Big Net is and has always been immediacy, letting that tangible thing in the air be itself and tuning into “song” at its most genuine. Both songs make good on those aspirations. “Big Moon” is quite literal. Written during a particularly lonely period in Copeland’s life, he would sing so that he could fall asleep and from that process the song seemed to “float in all at once.” “Sometimes all you have is yourself, and the moon, or a guitar, or a bed, or the ground under your feet, and that’s ok. Those things will always hold you,” Kevin says of the song.

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Suitably, “Rufus” was tuned into to the same kind of frequency, pulled from the ether as if it had somehow always existed. “When our friend Corey was playing bass with us, most rehearsals before everyone’s gear was even set up; someone was off and everyone else would catch up,” Copeland says. “Somewhere in that soup, an idea would come through. I remember latching onto what became the verse of “Rufus” and, when Andrew and Corey were out getting some air, I just played it over and over and that melody seemed to float right in.”

The band have just finished recording a new, more exploratory LP, again captured in a single room over two days. With Copeland as the primary songwriter, the group continues to interpret earnest emotion in song through their hypnotic and dynamic sensibilities. For now, though, we have this new 7” single; an exercise in vulnerability, in trusting your impulses, in the magic that can be found within.

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Frances Quinlan has among one of the most instantly recognizable voices in indie rock. As the lead singer of Philadelphia band Hop Along, she’s been at the front of two of this decade’s best rock albums, 2014’s Painted Shut, and 2018’s Bark Your Head Off, Dog, one of our favorite albums of that year. Her voice is a raspy force that touches on everything from punk to freak-folk. Hop Along originally began as Quinlan’s solo project, but now she’s releasing her first-ever solo album under her own name. The first single, “Rare Thing,” is a real stunner and surely a harbinger of things to come. Quinlan recorded the album with her Hop Along bandmate Joe Reinhart, who encouraged her to explore new sounds, at The Headroom studio in Philly. “Working with Joe on this made me able to better see that the guitar is just one vehicle … there are so many others to explore,” Quinlan said in a statement.

Frances Quinlan – Rare Thing from the album Likewise out January 31st, 2020

Frances Quinlan: vocals, synthesizer in verses, Rhodes, tambourine Joe Reinhart: electric guitar, synthesizer in choruses, synthetic percussion arrangements, drums up until 1:44 Tyler Long: bass guitar Mark Quinlan: Drums after 1:44 (as well as additions to 1st chorus) Mary Lattimore: harp

Frances Quinlan – Now That I’m Back from the album Likewise out January 31st, 2020

Frances Quinlan: vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, synthesizer (with friendly addition from Mark in 2nd verse) Joe Reinhart: Rhodes, synthetic bass

Easy/Turns Blue

Taking inspiration from the original concept behind the founding of Saddle Creek, as an attempt to highlight our home city through music and art, we began the Document Series in 2017. Each release featured in the Document Series is comprised of an exclusive record featuring unreleased music from artists outside of the label’s roster, along with a specially curated zine created by the artist. The fifth installment in the series comes from Austin, Texas based Hovvdy.

Hovvdy (pronounced “howdy”) is the writing and recording project of Charlie Martin and Will Taylor. The duo, both primarily drummers, first met in the fall of 2014 and quickly bonded over a love for quiet music. Within a few weeks, they had combined songs and began recording their first EP in bedrooms and family homes across Texas.

By 2016 the two had committed to each others growth in songwriting and recording, resulting in their debut album Taster , originally released on Sports Day Records and reissued in 2017 by Double Double Whammy. They followed this in 2018 with the release of Cranberry , which Pitchfork described as, “Foggy, warm, and wistful, it sounds like faded time.” Hovvdy has found a unique identity in rhythmic, down-tempo pop songs that are hopeful, yet melancholy; relatable, yet distinguishable.

Disq - Collector

Under the name Disq, childhood friends Isaac deBroux-Slone and Raina Bock have emerged out of Madison in recent years as one of the most promising acts operating in the indie-rock sphere, purveyors of guitar songs punchy, catchy, and smart enough to transcend trends. We named them a Band To Watch last year. Before that, they caught our attention with their contribution to Saddle Creek’s Document series, and it seems the label took as much of a liking to them as we did because today Disq are announcing their debut album for the Omaha indie mainstay.

Collector is preceded today by a video for opening track “Daily Routine.” It’s a hard-hitting multi-part pop-rock suite that reminds me of the end of Abbey Road given the Car Seat Headrest treatment. “I love my daily routine/ Spend my hours on computer screen,” deBroux-Slone sings. “I lay around for a while/ Get feeling like I’m supposed to be.” In the Coool-directed video, Disq’s lineup (now expanded to five members) suffers the toll of our mundane, tech-medicated existence.

Some more context from deBroux-Slone:
Daily Routine” is a song about an intense personal struggle. In dark times, life can feel like a cycle that I’m trapped in — repeating over and over with no means of escape. It’s easy to fall into a void, thinking that everybody else has it all figured out, while losing sight of the fact that many others feel exactly the same way. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics are a coping mechanism for me as sometimes being able to laugh at my own situation is the only thing that can make me feel better. Sonically the song ended up a loose template for the sound of many other songs on the album; expressing feelings simply through loud guitars.

Saddle Creek Records will be releasing their debut LP ‘Collector’ on March 6th

Frances Quinlan has one of the most instantly recognizable voices in indie rock. As the lead singer of Philadelphia band Hop Along, she’s been at the front of two of this decade’s best rock albums, 2014’s Painted Shut and 2018’s Bark Your Head Off, Dog. Hop Along originally began as Quinlan’s solo project, but this week she’s announcing her first-ever solo album under her own name, Likewise (out January. 31st, 2020, on Saddle Creek Records). The first single, “Rare Thing,” is a real stunner and surely a harbinger of things to come. “Rare Thing” ropes in a host of new instruments that we maybe haven’t heard previously on a Hop Along release—synths, jammy keyboards, a harp, bouncy electro-beats. The song was written after a dream Quinlan had about her then-infant niece, per a press release, but it could really be about anybody’s journey to letting new love in.

Frances QuinlanRare Thing from the album “Likewise” out January 31, 2020

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Stef Chura has joined the ranks of musicians who’ve paid tribute to the late Silver Jews songsmith David Berman by covering his songs. Since Berman’s death back in August, lots of artists have put their own spin on his music with Silver Jews and Purple Mountains: collaborators such as Stephen Malkmus and Woods, longtime peers such as Bill Callahan and Dean Wareham, distant admirers ranging from First Aid Kit to Frankie Cosmos to Animal Collective.

Chura’s choice of material is “How To Rent A Room,” the opening track from 1996 sophomore LP The Natural Bridge. She had already been performing it live for a while but decided to record the cover in light of Berman’s death. In a press release, the Detroit rocker details her relationship with the song:

“How To Rent A Room” has always been one of those songs that I could never let go of. Ever since the first time I heard it it’s always been one of my favorite songs and remains one that imprinted me as a young songwriter. Now, in light of his death, the lyrics take on a new and much sadder meaning. At the time they seemed conceptual, but the line “Now there’s a lot of things that I’m gonna miss, like the thunder down country and the way water drips” is now a haunting and deeply poetic rendering of everyday minutiae and the texture of our lives that we don’t appreciate on a daily basis. The song seems nostalgic for a life he was currently living, and how important it can feel to mean something to someone. Or at least that’s my interpretation.

Stef Chura – How to Rent a Room Written and originally performed by David Berman / Silver Jews

Communication b/w Parallel

Isaac deBroux-Slone and Raina Bock aren’t related but you’d probably be left with that impression after spending any considerable amount of time around them. In a fateful joining of family friends—Isaac from Madison, Wisconsin and Raina from the tiny town of Viroqua (pop. 4,500)—they were introduced as infants and their relationship has not only persevered but transformed into its entirely own entity as Disq.

When I tell you this set re-energized me in the first symptoms of the week’s malaise to come, believe it. Listen, I didn’t grow up on no hard rock shit. I have minimal context for it, save for how They inject it into the mainstays of American culture to the point of ubiquity. I say that because my barrier to accessing all the sources Disq draws from proved to be no hindrance from processing how fucking hard these Wisconsin white kids go! I’ve seen hella Disq sets — marveling at how cool they are, highkey — but this set hit different for the incoming demise of my circadian rhythm. Disq blew them speakers out for damn-near 40 minutes, guns ablaze with tireless precision and a lingering self-awareness that’s never painful. The wink-wink quality of the banter does nothing to diminish how this five-piece pulverizes this rock ’n’ roll shit. Like, I’m sure I asked Isaac why he wanted to die when he wrote “I Wanna Die,” and I damn sure forgot what he told me. We ain’t know each other like that yet. Either way, I felt that shit and I don’t think I’ve ever felt that shit! Look, the way I feel about Disq after a set like this must be how washed-up Aerosmith heads feel on some “REAL ROCK ’N’ ROLL” shit!

Now, after hitting the road, the band will release a 7” titled “Communication b/w Parallel” as part of Saddle Creek’s Document Series, dedicated to highlighting artistic communities around the world that haven’t quite gotten the spotlight they deserve. And as much as Madison has been a breeding ground for the band’s creativity—a place to find inspiration—what also provides crucial context for both “Communication” and “Parallel” is this moment in time when the band is coming of age. Young people have unprecedented tools and technology for maintaining nonstop contact with far-flung family and friends, yet ironically both songs reflect a growing frustration with how ever-more difficult it is to truly find connection, understanding and intimacy in our lives despite devices and social media.

“Communication” is a big, crunchy power pop anthem, the type of song most bands work for years to produce. Both the song and its video—entirely conceived and produced by a group of friends, all iGen—speak to the ways we so desperately want to feel seen and understood yet so frequently misconstrue each others’ words and intent. Side B “Parallel” is immediately driven by Isaac’s stoically laconic vocal delivery that drones on until it blends seamlessly into a kaleidoscope of psychedelic sounds that evoke more contemporary galvanizers Tame Impala with production flourishes that recall Rundgren. It addresses the dissolution of a deep and meaningful relationship, and this universal experience of grief and loss is recounted by a voice attempting to ruminate on what it means to forge connections in a time when young people are completely redefining community in new and evolving ways.

Together, these songs encapsulate a dynamic band, grounded but ready for change.

Release Date: January 25th, 2019

“This album is about friendship, love and what it means to support one another,” Katherine Paul says of her new album. Arriving just a year after her debut record, “At the Party With My Brown Friends” redefines KP’s Black Belt Eagle Scout project. Where that first record was a snapshot of loss and landscape and of KP’s standing as a radical indigenous queer feminist, this new chapter finds its power in love, desire and friendship. At the Party With My Brown Friends is a profound and understated forward step. The squalling guitar anthems that shaped its predecessor are replaced by delicate vocals and soft keys, sentiments spoken and unspoken, presenting something shadowy and unsettling; a stirring of the waters. The end result presents a captivating about-face that redefines KP’s beautifully singular artistic vision.

Paul’s soft voice, washed by reverb, recalls the dreamscapes of Beach House, and there are reminders of Sharon Van Etten in the enveloping swells. The uniqueness of her voice, though, stems not just from her origins, but her uncanny ability to capture the heart.”

Black Belt Eagle Scout – “At the Party With My Brown Friends”

It’s hard to classify the sounds of Ada Lea’s “What We Say in Private”, as it mimics the playful intensity of Angel Olsen’s “Shut Up Kiss Me” on opener “mercury” before unraveling into Big Thief–like existential folk on the ensuing “Wild Heart.” The reason for this, perhaps, is Alexandra Levy’s scrapped plan to split the record down the middle between tracks she identified as “sun songs” and those she classified as “moon songs.” The result is a blending of the two on songs like “The Party,” which begins with an inherently lunar acoustic tranquility before the chorus’s glowing ambiance sets in around the two minute mark. More experimental elements shine through across the album via spoken-word postscripts, distorted vocal samples, ambient blips, and—her evident strong suit—lo-fi crescendos, for a truly unique feel.

Montreal, Quebec-based musician Alexandra Levy is also a painter and visual artist, and traces of her many creative abilities run throughout her debut album what we say in private, a beautifully colorful collection of profound pop songs. Throughout, she expresses feelings and thoughts that all humans experience behind closed doors and alone, but are conditioned to keep to themselves. This is reflected in the lyrics, the artwork, and the songs — together forming a public exhibition of deeply private matter. The album is a collection of raw, confessional, and at times messy emotions, presented to a society that can fear such realness, often favoring the uncomplicated, curated, and manicured.

“The Montreal singer-songwriter’s debut album uses heartbreak as the springboard for an innovative brand of indie rock that’s both fiery and introspective.

Ada Lea, what we say in private (Saddle Creek)