Posts Tagged ‘Saddle Creek Records’

Introducing our cover of Jeff Tweedy and Wilco’s “I Know What It’s Like.” We always love throwing a cover or two in the set, and were gearing up to learn this one as a band so we could play it on our Collector release tour, but we all know what happened to that. We hope that somebody might find some comfort in our version of this song like we’ve found comfort in Mister Tweedy’s original. I’ve been a big Wilco fan for the past few years and picked up Jeff Tweedy’s album Warm after Brendan had played it in the car a few times the track- “I Know What It’s Like” really stood out to me as a great pop/rock song that I could put my own spin on- the minimal structure of the original gave room for creative license. I sped up the original recording a decent amount so I’d have something to play along to and off I went. We decided it’d be fun to present the finished product as an interim release; post-Collector and pre-whatever’s next.

We always love throwing a fun cover or two in the set, and were gearing up to learn this one as a band so we could play it on our Collector release tour, but we all know what happened to that. My hope is that somebody who is a fan of Disq or Wilco (or both, or neither) could find some comfort in our version of this song.
Isaac deBroux-Slone
June 2020

Released on 30th June 2020 Saddle Creek Composer: Jeff Tweedy

what we say in private

Montreal, Quebec-based musician Alexandra Levy — who records and performs as Ada Lea— 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 to be released later this summer via Saddle Creek Records .

To her, music and visual art are different vessels for communicating similar ideas. Levy’s appreciation of female artists — including the writer Sylvia Plath, visual artists Frida Kahlo and Eva Hesse, and musicians Karen Dalton and Nina Simone — provides inspiration and guidance, informing her use of multiple artforms as tools for self-expression. Whether it’s creating music or art, “It’s a world that I can build around me and sit inside,”she says.Through all her work, Levy explores the concept of womanhood as it feels and looks to her, as well as love and how it transforms over time. She doesn’t shy away from exploring uncomfortable and painful emotions, either. With the brightness of love, strength, and hope contrasted with the darkness of loss, suffering, isolation, and abandonment, the Ada Lea album what we say in private is a varied and vivid record that constantly seems to shift in the light, bringing together all the intricate influences she’s collected over the years.

what we say in private began with a need to document the ending of an important romantic relationship. Following a tormented period of staying up all night (sometimes days at a time), frantically painting or writing songs as a means of coping, she journalled for 180 days in the hope of finding herself again. She conducted this period of analysis and introspection in private, like most of her creative pursuits, and the process eventually resulted in a rebirth: a rediscovery of self and a new sense of freedom and self-acceptance.

These chaotic feelings and the resulting catharsis are deeply felt in the final recording of what we say in private. Levy wanted the Ada Lea album to feel like a journal entry from those 180 days as she cycled through emotions. 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 favouring the uncomplicated, curated, and manicured.

Levy delivers something very special on what we say in private. Bold and daring, but also gentle and vulnerable, the album finds new ways of presenting its vision from one inspired idea to the next, a big leap into the wider world with passion and exuberance.

Released: July 19th, 2019

Get Disowned

Hop Along‘s Painted Shut made many 2015 best-of lists and definitely made it into my personal top ten for the year. Now thankfully Saddle Creek Records is reissuing Hop Along’s 2012 debut full-length album “Get Disowned” for those of us who missed out on either of it’s previous pressings. This is also Get Disowned’s first ever colored vinyl pressing for those of us addicted to colored wax. With 2,000 pressed there will be plenty to go around, but preordering helps guarantee you’ll get the record about a month before it hits your local record store.

This band reminds me of Gang of Four. It has this strange indie-rock–meets-funk thing happening. The singer [Frances Quinlan] has this way of effortlessly taking it from this angular funk verse to this incredible melodic hooky thing. When she sings, she has this beautiful, breathy voice. But when she wants to hit something harsh, she pushes it so much you can feel her voice flaying under the pressure she’s putting into it. Her voice starts to whistle like it’s going to spray apart into pieces and shatter. It doesn’t ever, but it’s really cool

The 2012 debut full-length from Philadelphia’s Hop Along, Get Disowned. Featuring “Tibetan Pop Stars,” which Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 called “the most painfully beautiful song ever.”

“Their first album, 2012’s Get Disowned, is a messy world where people stomp on old floorboards for percussion and saw violins like they were made of something stronger than wood. Everything is governed by Quinlan, who sings in the wild voice of someone casting out demons (or having the demon cast out of them). Its second song, “Tibetan Pop Stars”, should be etched in titanium and shot into outer space for safekeeping.” – Pitchfork

Hop Along’s first full-band full-length, Get Disowned was punk’s best kept secret. Critically overlooked but totally devastating, full of epic, unpredictably unfolding guitar songs with massive, quotable lyrics that wring you out emotionally and inspire the kind of furtive, conspiratorial devotion punks live for.” – Impose

“nearly perfect… The album is notable for its folk-gone-indie-punk approach, coupled with massive choruses and Quinlan’s personal, soul-crushing lyricism” – AV Club

“one of the most devastatingly honest records I’ve heard in years.” – Stereogum

Hop Along Bundle

yr heart

Welcome to our new series, Document, where we aim to highlight artists and music scenes from around the world that we’ve fallen in love with, but aren’t necessarily already part of the Saddle Creek family. Our third release in the series is the “yr heart” 7-inch from Los Angeles’ Hand Habits.

Meg Duffy, aka Hand Habits, is a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Upstate New York. She has been putting her time in on the road and in the studio over the past two years with pacific northwest band Mega Bog, and the Kevin Morby Band, making an impression on everyone she comes across with her natural charisma and uncharted talent as a multi-instrumentalist.

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Release Date: August 25th, 2017

Dandelion

The “Dandelion” 7″ features solo acoustic performances from Big Thief frontwoman Adrianne Lenker recorded by Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic, all adorned with a cover painting by Temple.

Put to tape one wintry day in early 2016, the recordings find Temple capturing Lenker in a searching, intimate performance. They offer a first public hearing for “Dandelion”, a beguiling new song from Lenker’s visionary pen; while the version of “Masterpiece” contained here casts a new light on the title track of their acclaimed debut LP.

Explaining how the recordings came about, Lenker says: “On tour with Here We Go Magic, our van, Bonnie, broke down in the Rocky Mountains. We really didn’t want to miss any shows. Fortunately, Here We Go kindly offered me the empty seat in their truck, and I went ahead to play two solo shows while the rest of the band fixed Bonnie.

“After Luke saw the show, he had an idea to capture the simple raw form of the songs played solo. Several months later, I went out to Hudson, NY, and we filled eight cassette tapes, with one song played through a few times per 15-minute tape. It was a really relaxing way of recording. I thought we might just stuff the tapes in a shoebox in a closet and find them years later. It’s nice to record without the intention of releasing the thing you’re making.”

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Release Date: September 2nd, 2016

woman, here

The way we talk about gender in the music business hasn’t seemed to progress at all over time. “Female-fronted” is still the way bands get pitched to me from publicists, while “all-female” is too frequently cited as something of a gimmick to set a typical rock act apart “Woman Here” is practically what these exploitational press releases promise, though Ada Lea’s new single “woman, here” is the quiet inverse to this declaration, a modest, mildly wonky guitar-driven number in which the songwriter recognizes in the chorus that “[she] can’t be a woman here” (nor “over there”)—whether she’s referring to her industry or anywhere else seems irrelevant.

Less than a year after the release of her highly-acclaimed debut album, “what we say in private”, Montreal, Quebec-based musician Alexandra Levy – who records and performs as Ada Lea – returns in early 2020 with a new four-song EP which acts as a bridge between what’s come before and where she means to go next.

A mix of both the old and new, the “woman, here” EP takes its name from a brand new composition recorded recently in LA with Marshall Vore ( Phoebe Bridgers, Better Oblivion Community Center). Perhaps her most direct work to-date, the new song offers a beautiful glimpse into the bold new chapter of Ada Lea. “I went to LA and recorded the song in a day and a half with Marshall,” Levy says of the song. “The writing and recording of this song happened like magic.”

Aside from the title-track, which is shared here alongside a raw and captivating demo version, the  woman, here EP also offers two previously-unheard recordings from the what we say in private sessions, in the form of the reflective and melancholy ‘perfect world’, and the sparse and dream-like ‘jade’, which was inspired by a John Updike short story.

A fascinating glimpse behind the curtain, Levy says that the new EP should be seen as being “like a second cousin” to  what we say in private. “We included the songs that we still felt close to,” she explains, “but didn’t seem to have a place on the album.”

Ada Lea – “woman, here” from the EP woman, here, Out 27/03/2020

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Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan released her debut solo album “Likewise” on January 31st, 2020 via Saddle Creek Records. After four explosive albums in the form of Hop Along, the opening strains of Frances Quinlan’s Likewise play appreciably against expectations. The singer possesses one of the greatest and most unique voices in rock ‘n’ roll today, an instrument of both ragged power and fluttering grace, but here it’s been tamed from the guttural intensity so often heard in classic Hop Along tracks like “Waitress.” Her first solo album is a pristine work of inventive, introspective and sometimes chaotic songwriting, and although I warmed to it quickly when it was released in February, I find myself repeatedly spinning it now at home, especially while I’m working.

Frances Quinlan is one of our finest songwriters, and Likewise, her first solo album after almost a decade in Hop Along, is a showcase for her many talents. Her songs are impressionistic fragments — they feel unmoored in time, like “Went To LA,” or they settle for indeterminate endings, like “Your Reply” and “Rare Thing.” Her arrangements on Likewise are light and weightless, but Quinlan brings a gravity and emotional acuity to everything that she does. It’s an album that ponders big questions but doesn’t get tripped up on the answers; it savours the unknowing.

There isn’t a song that has been more deeply ingrained in my head for the last month than earworm “Your Reply,” to the point that I’m wondering if surgery may be required to dislodge it. Inspired by the notes found within the copy of a dog-eared book, there’s just something mesmerizing about how Quinlan manages to turn real-life horror—“The author I read fell from a window many stories high / stretching out to feed pigeons or a stray cat depending on the website”—into a turn of phrase that would only sound pretty when she’s the one delivering it.

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.