Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

We recorded this song, “Stop Pretending”, this week, as we were continuing to stay at home. The song was written using a collaboration exercise that we had given to our fans as an outlet to create and find connection in a time of duress & isolation (we called it the “Stay Home Stems” series) —and it ended up also working for us— this song was written, recorded, mixed and mastered in two days at our house, & this what we have to show for it.

If often write apocalyptic songs as way to enter a new world that juxtaposes despair with hope.. I hope it can bring a little bit of light in a dark season.

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Sending all of our love to everyone during this time. We can’t wait to be together again.
XO
Jessica, Peter & Deep Sea Diver

Acclaimed Seattle band Chastity Belt have returned with their first new music . This heartfelt new record, simply titled Chastity Belt, from Hardly Art records and Milk! records (Australia and New Zealand). Chastity Belt was co-produced by the band and Melina Duterte aka Jay Som.

The music video for “It Takes Time” from directors Claire Buss and Nick Shively. In the spirit of earlier music videos like “Different Now” and “Cool Slut,” this new clip finds the band flexing their comedic chops, with members Gretchen Grimm, Lydia Lund, Julia Shapiro, and Annie Truscott inhabiting multiple roles, including a nightclub lounge act. As Grimm explains, “We had the idea for a video set in a jazz lounge for a little while and we’re very grateful to Weird Dog for helping us bring it to life. We’re all huge fans of jazz and pasta. We have a special pasta dish that we cook when we’re together called La Vasta. It’s our famous dish, we’ve been making it since college and have shared many fond memories slurping it down together. Before we dig in we join hands in the prayer: When you’re here, you’re family.”

Seattle’s Chastity Belt have just shared a new song from their self-titled album, released September 20th. “Elena” is placid and dreamy, with layers of tranquil guitars and complementary vocal parts. “Over the past year, we all read and loved Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels,” says bassist Annie Truscott. “We individually related to the ways in which the main character’s sense of self is inextricably linked to her desire for love and validation both from lovers and friends. The overlapping voices on top of the whimsical wave-like instrumentals captures the universal feeling of having a conversation with yourself about yourself.”

Chastity Belt will be touring extensively this fall in Europe and North America in support of the record, and just announced a new run of North American tour dates

This is the third full release from Seattle’s Meagan Grandall, a project now 10 years old. A sweeping, symphonic expression of loss and the ache that comes with it, I have listened to this album this year at home, and in my car at the loudest possible volume while in the worst possible mood. Lemolo has been with me for many years now as a favorite, but Swansea was there for me this year. Another great collection of captivating dream pop from Meagan Grandall. The lush sounds and production are warm and welcoming, with intelligent arrangements full of varied instrumentation that never fails to impress..

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Meagan Grandall: Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Synth, Bass, Violin, and Vibraphone
Nathan Yaccino: Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Bass, Cello, and Vibraphone
Alex Guy: Violin and Viola
Maria Scherer Wilson: Cello
Jon Karschney: French Horn

released October 11th, 2019

All songs written by Meagan Grandall ,Lemolo is the Seattle dream pop project of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

This album has so much heart, so much sincerity behind it that you can’t help but love it. Beautiful lyrics, excellent guitar tones, just enough rhythmic complexity – it’s like a rich slice of pie you eat silently at a family gathering, waiting for the next big thing to happen.

With differing time zones and work hours separating the members of Great Grandpa, their follow-up to 2017’s grunge-influenced Plastic Cough had every reason to sound safe and familiar. Instead, without meaning to, the five-piece recorded an album of emo, alternative, and folk-rock hybrids. Four Of Arrows is an immediate listen; these songs are earnest and worried, seemingly always reaching for hope that’s just out of grasp. But they never sound defeated, at least not with friends by their sides. It’s as if by experiencing major changes individually, they saw all the ways in which Great Grandpa could blossom together.

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Four of Arrows, a creative turn toward introspection and Great Grandpa’s collective result of rest and solitude. Undoubtedly, the 11 songs comprising Four of Arrows are a departure from the playful nods to pizza and zombies on Plastic Cough. The writing and recording process had evolved – less Seattle garage jams and more vulnerable solo songwriting sessions. Most of the songs on Four of Arrows were written in isolation by Patrick and Carrie Goodwin while traveling and living in the Midwest.

The band instantly found common threads between their individual contributions, citing mutual love and admiration for vulnerable and emotionally resonate music. Four of Arrows embraces subtlety and pays close attention to the quiet. From the methodical dirge of “Dark Green Water” into the haunting and howling guitar of “Digger” – Great Grandpa try something new by letting the acoustic guitar and piano lay the foundation for many of the album’s tracks.

Released October 25th, 2019

Like many important bands, Seattle quartet Versing got their start in college radio—Tacoma’s KUPS. The group’s main songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Daniel Salas served as alternative music director there, where he met guitarist Graham Baker, drummer Max Keyes, and bassist Kirby Lochner. Now Versing are poised to spread their coolly combustible brand of rock on those said airwaves…and beyond if the world knows what’s good for it.

Baker, Keyes, Lochner, and Salas have risen through Seattle’s competitive rock ecosphere with nonchalant élan. They cheekily titled a previous album Nirvana, but never mind the bleach: Versing isn’t emulating Sub Pop’s most famous artist. Rather, these four twenty-something aesthetes are forging an exciting sound that finds a golden mean between lustrous noise and ebullient melody.

“Tethered” is the lead-off single from Versing’s full-length album “10000”, out May 3rd 2019 on Hardly Art records.

With Versing, songwriting is obviously crucial, but much of the pleasure in 10000 comes from its guitar textures. They’re swarming, yet also spiky and agile. Gently chiding the Seattle music scene’s self-seriousness while acknowledging Versing’s playfulness and irony, Salas says, “There’s a ‘let’s just fuck around and see what comes out,’ aspect of what we do, which I think is uncommon for Seattle bands.”

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Versing’s freewheeling attitude has paradoxically resulted in 10000, an engrossing album that’s impossible to feel ambivalent about.

Released May 3rd, 2019

Owning the distinction as one of the original driving forces behind the short-lived Seattle-birthed but highly influential grunge movement, Pearl Jam administered a brutal blow directly to the nut sack of the international rock establishment when they dropped their dazzling debut record back in 1991. Yet, despite moving in excess of 13 million units and delivering an impressive string of old school classic rock staples (“Alive,” “Even Flow” and “Jeremy”), it can be argued (by me) that 10 isn’t necessarily the crown jewel of the band’s celebrated ten-slab studio catalogue.

Released 25 years ago this week (November 22nd, 1994), via Epic Records, Pearl Jam’s third released set, Vitalogy, burned hotter than its two predecessors, topping the Billboard Top 200 album chart and turning five-times platinum. A collaborative production effort between the band and famed go-to guru Brendan O’Brien , “Vitalogy’s” lo-fi sheen crackled — a detail noticed immediately by those who first experienced the record on vinyl. Thanks to its stripped-down, lean production, Vitalogy stands as Pearl Jam’s most original and uncompromising album. Not that there was anything easy about the album’s recording process, which was carried out in fits and spurts over several months amid Pearl Jam’s grueling tour in support of the previous year’s multi-platinum Vs. album. Sessions were conducted in New Orleans, Atlanta – the base of producer Brendan O’Brien – and Seattle.

While it isn’t a concept album, Vitalogy sounds like one. Death and despair shroud the album, rendering even the explosive celebration of vinyl “Spin the Black Circle” somewhat muted. But that black cloud works to Pearl Jam’s advantage

Accelerated by Dave Abbruzzese’s rib-cracking drum intro, “Last Exit” kicks off the collection furiously — demanding that you sit down, shut up and pay attention. My initial reaction upon first hearing the lead-off single, “Spin The Black Circle,” was something along the lines of, “holy shit!” Decades later, my opinion hasn’t changed, by the way. Driven by Mike McCready and Stone Gossard’s breakneck, in-the-pit guitar riffage, the song is pushed further by Eddie Vedder’s urgent, signature-style vocal performance.

If the accusation is that I’ve remained partial to Vitalogy’s radio tracks over the years, While the delicate “Nothingman” and the garagey “Whipping” still move me, I continue to connect best with the straight up rock crunch of “Corduroy” and the honest purity of “Better Man.”

However, Vedder’s “Not for You” remains my personal favourite of this 14-track litter. Speaking to then-current youth culture, the song opens with beautiful organic keyboards, glossed by Vedder’s transparent vocals. Then, as Vedder veers off the rails, Jeff Ament’s chugging bass groove grabs ya in the nether region while layers of crazed guitar work wash over in a blaze of glory.

I’ve bought several of the band’s albums over the years. Vitalogy is the one Pearl Jam record I rushed to buy on Day One  In sum, Vitalogy — still sounds fresh today as way back. it’s still intoxicating. Still relevant. And 25 years later it still is a great rock record.

Release Date: November 22, 1994
Record Label: Epic Records

Pearl Jam

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Named one of the 10 best live albums of all time by Rolling Stone, Nirvana’s “Unplugged in New York” will be reissued on 2LP vinyl in celebration of the 25th anniversary of its 1994 release.Expanded to include 5 rehearsal performances previously only available on DVD, the anniversary release also features an exclusive gatefold jacket including anniversary silver foil detail on the front and back cover.180gm black vinyl.

The performance which became the most enduring image of indie rock’s founding idol. Featuring unique acoustic renditions of their legendary hits as well as the captivating cover of Bowie’s Man Who Sold The World. It features an acoustic performance taped at Sony Music Studios in New York City on November 18th, 1993 for the television series MTV Unplugged. The show was directed by Beth McCarthy and first aired on the cable television network MTV on December 14th, 1993. As opposed to traditional practice on the television series, Nirvana played a setlist composed of mainly lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by The Vaselines, David Bowie, Meat Puppets (during which they were joined by two members of the group onstage), and Lead Belly.

When you get your own MTV Unplugged session, it is seen by many bands and artists as a career highlight: an intimate moment in time where you can lay yourself bare for your fans to see, often cementing yourself as one of the greats. The likes of Lauryn Hill, Oasis and Eric Clapton are just a few of the names that have graced the MTV stage as part of their Unplugged sessions.

One of the most iconic MTV Unplugged sets came in 1993 when Seattle grunge gods Nirvana took to the stage to unequivocally write their names in the history books. Backed by a youthful Dave Grohl on drums and bassist Krist Novoselic, the spotlight shone on enigmatic frontman Kurt Cobain. The producers behind the show always wanted artists to play their biggest hits, however Nirvana had different ideas. Their set was packed full of B-sides and covers, swapping out the more obvious crowd pleasers for something more against the grain.

Kicking things off with ‘About A Girl’, it becomes quite clear that this was going to be something special, and a whole world away from the heavy, melodic assault that they were renowned for.

The anthemic ‘Come As You Are’ drew a raucous cheer from the assembled crowd, as Cobain nonchalantly recited the lyrics. Their cover of The Vaselines’ ‘Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam’ saw Novoselic swapping his bass for an accordion, while Grohl’s ability to play the bass and percussion at the same time continued to wow the crowd.

A cover of David Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ is an obvious highlight, with many people often preferring this version to the original. A couple of B-side gems follow this, with ‘Pennyroyal Tea’ and ‘Dumb’ being stripped down to their bare bones. The band return to their best selling album ‘Nevermind’ for the next few tracks, with folky renditions of ‘Polly’, ‘On A Plain’ and ‘Something In The Way’, satisfying the crowds lust for their more popular cuts.

As the set draws to a close, Nirvana call upon their friends Cris and Curt Kirkwood from the band Meat Puppets. With the Kirkwood brothers joining them onstage, they rip through three of their band’s songs: ‘Plateau’, ‘Oh, Me’ and ‘Lake Of Fire’, each shifted from their punky roots to be delivered as folky lullabies that the crowd lap up.

The final two songs on the album are the ones you get the most goosebumps from. The eerily chilling delivery of ‘All Apologies’ hits you right in the heart as soon as Cobain squawks the opening impassioned lines.

However, it’s the last song, a cover of a traditional folk song that the group renamed ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night?’ that equally amazes and unsettles you. As Cobain wails “my girl, my girl, don’t lie to me,” pain etched all over his voice, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up instantly. Little did we know that, just a few months later, Cobain would take his own life at his home in Seattle.

The original album was released posthumously in 1994, almost a year after it was recorded and quickly went on to become one of the best-selling records in the MTV Unplugged series, a huge testament to a band who stepped far away from their comfort zone and created a piece of art that has stood the test of time.

Words: Mike Wood

Lisa Prank is a true-blue romantic. In fact, “I’m very preoccupied with romance,” songwriter Robin Edwards admits. On her second full-length for Father/Daughter Records, Perfect Love Song, Edwards acknowledges the ultimate joke of love: that there is no perfect, so you’ll get tripped up while chasing it—but what else could possibly be more rich, more exhilarating, more everything, skinned knees be damned? Stitching together pop-punk panache and pillow talk introspection, Perfect Love Song finds Lisa Prank not in pursuit of the flawless impossible, as the title may suggest. Rather, she’s interested in the entire experience of love and learning through it. “I never learned how to get mad,” Edwards sings on the reflective “Get Mad”—but she did learn how to write totally gratifying pop songs about it. Perfect Love Song is an album that takes a soft-focus gaze at romance’s sharpest points and edges, both the exciting peaks and the scary cliffs.

As Edwards was navigating a drawn out, Lifetime-movie level heartbreak, she found herself drifting back towards the home she had in her friendships. She moved back into her old room in storied Seattle punk house, Spruce House, sharing a door with Tacocat’s Bree McKenna (who’s also her bandmate, along with Julia Shapiro, in the supergroup Who Is She?). She’d knock and ask McKenna for feedback on songs, who wound up playing bass on the record. To produce, Edwards tapped close friend and indie pop legend Rose Melberg of Tiger Trap, The Softies, and Go Sailor. Melberg’s artistic alignment and personal closeness to Edwards gave her near psychic insight into Lisa Prank’s sonic goals, but at enough remove to provide breakthroughs to Edwards at stuck points (Melberg also co-wrote “Telescope,” and sang harmonies on several tracks). It was a collaboration that felt like coaching, leading her achieve her ideal polished-punk sound, alongside Ian LeSage who engineered and mixed the record at the Vault Studios. Recording was fun, too. Friends were around, creating the kind of lighthearted, mutually supportive feeling one needs surrounding them feel like themselves again after retrieving their heart back from a breakup. Lisa Prank’s last record, Adult Teen, used a Roland MC-505 drum machine, for Perfect Love Song, she traded it in for real life drummer, Tom Fitzgibbon.

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Writing Perfect Love Song was Edwards’ opportunity “to personally say all the things that I wanted to say, or wish I had said.” In “Scream the Truth,” a gaslighting extinguisher anthem about reclaiming your sanity, she gets to be mad on her terms: “I wasn’t losing my mind,” she sings. Says Edwards, “it’s about being frustrated seeing someone else navigate the world as a very surface-level nice person who is performatively feminist and social-justice minded, but knowing the truth of how they treat people in their personal life.” The opening track, “Rodeo,” likens the searing, sinking-in feeling of a post-fight realization—“‘cause ‘I don’t wanna be in love’/means I don’t wanna be in love/with you”—to the dangers and desires of the spectacle of love. “By now I know/this is the rodeo I chose,” she sings, electing to get back on her horse and ride, acknowledging the pain that’s part of that game.

“I wish a different emotion was so alive and exciting to me,” Edwards laughs, “but love is just the one that feels so visceral and consuming.” Perfect Love Song explodes the roller coaster snapshots of romance in bursts of poppy neon bright color, with Edwards’ cheeky perspective polished to full pop-punk shine. And the mission of that genre, one could argue, is to keep on bopping along through the bullshit of life. To stay buoyant, to find fun in the big what-ifs and whatevers. It what keeps the dream Lisa Prank afloat: as she sings on “Constellations,” “still I keep on hoping this is some perfect love song/and we’ll go on and on and on, and on and on, and on.”

released October 4th, 2019

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“Four of Arrows” is the incredible new album from Seattle based indie rockers Great Grandpa.
A departure from the playful nods to pizza and zombies on 2017’s Plastic Cough, this beautiful collection of 11 songs weaves through the pains of familial divisions, partnership, internal and external forgiveness, and the struggles of mental illness, going headfirst into the darkness but escaping from the other side with their most transparent and accomplished work to date. A must-listen.

FFO Big Thief, Hop Along, Better Oblivion Community Center

“Four of Arrows”, a creative turn toward introspection and Great Grandpa’s collective result of rest and solitude. Undoubtedly, the 11 songs comprising Four of Arrows.  The writing and recording process had evolved – less Seattle garage jams and more vulnerable solo songwriting sessions. Most of the songs on Four of Arrows were written in isolation by Patrick and Carrie Goodwin while traveling and living in the Midwest.

The band instantly found common threads between their individual contributions, citing mutual love and admiration for vulnerable and emotionally resonate music. Four of Arrows embraces subtlety and pays close attention to the quiet. From the methodical dirge of “Dark Green Water” into the haunting and howling guitar of “Digger”Great Grandpa try something new by letting the acoustic guitar and piano lay the foundation for many of the album’s tracks.
‘Four of Arrows’ is out October 25, 2019 via Double Double Whammy.

“Four of Arrows” is out October 25th

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Chastity Belt’s energy is like a circuit, circling around the silly and the sincere. Tongue-in-cheek shit-shooting and existential rumination feed into each other infinitely.

Theirs is a long-term relationship, and that loop sustains them. That’s a creative thesis in and of itself, but isn’t that also just the mark of a true-blue friendship?

The band talks a lot about intention these days—how to be more present with each other. The four piece—Julia Shapiro (vocals, guitar, drums), Lydia Lund (vocals, guitar), Gretchen Grimm (drums, vocals, guitar) and Annie Truscott (bass)—is nine years deep in this, after all. It seems now, more than ever, that circuit is a movement of intentionality, one that creates a space inside which they can be themselves, among themselves. It’s a space where the euphoria of making music with your best friends is protected from the outside world’s churning expectations. It’s a kind of safe zone for the band to occupy as their best selves: a group of friends who love each other.

Their fourth record, Chastity Belt, comes out of that safe space. After a restorative few months on hiatus in 2018, each member worked on solo material or toured with other bands. “So much of the break was reminding ourselves to stay present, and giving ourselves permission to stop without saying when were gonna meet up again,” says guitarist Lydia Lund. “It was so important to have that—not saying, ‘we’re gonna get back together at this point,’ but really just open it up so we could get back to our present connection.”

Their discography is an album-by-album documentation of a manic desire for human connection that invariably leads to the slow unhinging of the ego—and by extension, a constant series of self-destructive choices; this is explored at length on the indelibly sad 2017 album I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone. On their self-titled, fourth LP, the Seattle band don’t get any closer to clarity, but they do arrive at an emotional détente of sorts: there won’t be any catharsis, at least not yet, or perhaps, never.

Chastity Belt’s sound has flattened out since their earliest releases, the sonics becoming more insular as the moods became more nebulous. Here, working alongside producer Melina Duterte  the group imbue their songs with a superficial serenity that’s similar in feel to vocalist and guitarist Julia Shapiro’s recent solo record, Perfect Version. The songs on Chastity Belt flow seamlessly into each other, drifting along on an even ebb of gentle rhythms and even gentler vocals; Shapiro has dropped her bellows and spends more time singing in her higher registers.

Chastity Belt’s placid surface is further emphasized by Shapiro’s tendency to repeat platitudes in her lyrics, almost as if she’s talking to herself. “It takes time to really get it right / Let go of control,” she sings on the dreamy “It Takes Time,” her voice hovering lightly over a lazy looping guitar line as the band sinks into the amorphous atmospherics behind her. But the surface-level tranquility serves only to obscure. Later, on the brutally pretty self-critique “Drown,” Shapiro softly confesses what’s been true all along: “Repeated meaningless words don’t work / Speech is pointless.”

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There’s nothing glamorous about the personality crisis happening on Chastity Belt: We’re not drowning our sorrows on a Grecian isle, we’re just going to the bar in a Toyota Rav-4 (“Rav-4.”) This is a record about giving up, with no anticipation of better things on the horizon. But at least we’re among friends. Chastity Belt derive their singular strength from group solidarity, and on this self-titled release they circle the wagons in an even more rigid lockstep, their deepening musical bond offering temporary shelter from the perpetual blues. The generosity between the players on Chastity Belt suggests that, if there is any way to be saved from disappearing completely in a lonely world, it’s through the healing energy of the group hug, or, in this case, the rock band.

Their experience navigating adult life within the strange seasons of the music industry has Chastity Belt orienting themselves towards whatever gets them to feel the most present with each other, in any part of the band grind. With the luxury of spending several weeks in the studio with Jay Som’s Melina Duterte, Chastity Belt was able to experiment. The new self-titled album is the work of the band playing “old songs, and trying new things on top of it,” like adding more dynamic harmonies and violin, says bassist Annie Truscott. Lydia, Gretchen, and Julia all share lead vocals on different tracks on the album. The result is their most sonically developed and nuanced record yet; one that’s not only a product of, but a series of reflections on what it means to take what you need and to understand yourself better.

Many of Chastity Belt’s signature dynamics, from the silly to the sincere, have read as feminist gestures: the Cool Slut DGAF-iness, the shrugging off of the “women in rock” press gargle, the fundamentally punk act of creating music on your own as a woman, and being lyrically forthright. What the making of Chastity Belt reveals is that the band has tapped into a deeper tradition of women making art on their terms: the act of self-preservation in favor of the long game. In favor of each other. In this cultural moment, taking space like this to prioritize the love over the product seems progressive. Chastity Belt’s intentions have resulted in an album deeply expressive of four people’s commitment to what they love most: making music with each other.