Posts Tagged ‘Spacebomb Records’

Get ready, because you’re about to feel. That’s what Tim Heidecker warns on “Fear of Death’s” opening track, “Prelude to Feeling.” And he means it. This is a Serious Album about Serious Topics – a doomed future, abandoning life in the city, and, you guessed it, the inevitability of death – and without a warning, those feelings might just sneak up on you.

Fear of Death is the follow-up to 2019’s What the Brokenhearted Do, which chronicles a fictional divorce from his wife and the accompanying depression. Just like that one with its morose theme of a contentious breakup, the new album puts Heidecker squarely in the tradition of comedians and actors like Steve Martin, Hugh Laurie, and Donald Glover, eschewing his funny side in his music and leaving the jokes for the screen.

Tim Heidecker and Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering have chosen an alarmingly on-the-nose year to release a mostly sunlit album about death. Although the duo and a host of collaborators recorded “Fear of Death” in 2019, the absurdity of the album’s release amid a global pandemic, overdue uprisings against police brutality, raging West Coast wildfires and the 2020 election cycle only amplifies these songs’ often upbeat morbidity. Heidecker and Mering certainly aren’t strangers to the absurd and its accompanying hilarity. Over Heidecker’s 20-or-so-year career, he’s developed a distinctly surreal, ironic brand of hipster humour through the cult Adult Swim shows Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Decker. Even before Mering jumped to the forefront of the chamber-rock pack with last year’s apocalypse-themed instant classic Titanic Rising, she was singing about how bizarre the world’s end will look. Both also share a passion for ’70s soft rock, as do some of their Fear of Death collaborators.

Fear of Death is a Serious Album about Serious Topics – a doomed future, abandoning life in the city, and the inevitability of death. It’s Heidecker’s biggest sounding and most fleshed out album yet featuring an all star band comprised of Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering (vocals and piano), Drew Erickson (Jonathan Wilson, Dawes), The Lemon Twigs’ Brian and Michael D’Addario, Jonathan Rado, and string arrangements by Spacebomb’s Trey Pollard (Foxygen, Bedouine, The Waterboys, Natalie Prass). “I didn’t know that Fear of Death was going to be so focused on death when I was writing it,” Heidecker says. “It took a minute for me to stand back and look at what I was talking about to realize that, yes, I am now a middle-aged man and my subconscious is screaming at me: ‘You are getting old, dude! You are not going to live forever! Put down that cheeseburger!’”

The album’s lead single, “Fear of Death,” is “about as ‘Dead’ as I get,” says Heidecker. Over an intricate guitar line, Heidecker’s voice intertwines with Mering’s elevative vocals as he swears off partying and risky decisions: “I don’t see the value in having fun // I think I’m done growing // fear of death is keeping me alive.” And while “Fear of Death” is an upbeat take on avoiding potentially fatal choices and avoiding death, “Nothing” comes to terms with it. “Nothing, that’s what it amounts to, they say // A black void waiting down the road for us one day,” Heidecker sings from a recording session that he calls “one of the more spiritual and emotional moments of my creative life.”

The band nods to J.J. Cale in the bluesy and smoky “Say Yes To Me” and The Faces in the uptempo ode to country living, “Come Away With Me.” The album’s haunting and sad closer “Oh How We Drift Away” began as a Bernie Taupin/Elton John-style writing experiment, with Heidecker supplying the words and Mering setting them to music. “I was very interested in trying to do something big in scope and otherworldly,” Heidecker says. “I hope it leaves you thinking.”

While this is serious music about serious topics, it’s not all doom and gloom. Heidecker says, “I hope my observations and meditations on death, the afterlife, the future, while at times a little dark and grim, offer a little comfort and catharsis for some people, as I don’t think I’m the only one who occasionally thinks about this stuff.”

“This record is a dream come true for me,” he continues. “I got to work with some of the best, and nicest, musicians in town who helped me take some shabby, simple tunes and turn them into something I’m really proud of.” Occasionally, an idea with the shabbiest, simplest beginnings will grow into something more special than ever intended. With Fear of Death, Heidecker and his band of friends have achieved just that.

From the album Fear of Death, out September 25, 2020, on Spacebomb Records

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We said Joining the Spacebomb family not only gave Nadia Reid more visibility in the US, it also allowed her to work with the label’s in-house production team of Matthew E. White and Trey Pollard, who have earned themselves a reputation for their grand string arrangements thanks to their work on recent albums by Foxygen, Natalie Prass, Bedouine, and more. The strings do wonders for Out of My Province, which is a beautiful sounding record and the most massive sounding album Nadia has released yet. But as much of a sell as they are, Nadia never relies on any of the embellishments to drive these songs home. Just like her first two records, Out of My Province brings you to the edge of your seat with the power of Nadia’s words and voice alone.

The New Zealand singer/songwriter Naida Reid released “Out of My Province”, her debut LP for Spacebomb Records, this year, and it’s one of the most eloquent, shockingly overlooked folk-pop releases from 2020. Reid cites Joni Mitchell and Rufus and Martha Wainwright as influences (especially for her song “Oh Canada,” which serves as a tribute to the country and Mitchell, the Wainwrights and all its many musical exports), and it’s not such a stretch to hear little bits of those accomplished lyricists in Reid’s soft-spoken inflection.

These are the kind of songs you might fancy listening to over a cup of coffee in the morning, or maybe moodily by a window during a summer rain shower. This is all to say they have a lovely vintage bent to them and will make you feel things. Reid can shift from sharply written soft rock “High & Lonely,” “Other Side of the Wheel” to contemplative folk “Heart to Ride” to wistful radio pop à la KT Tunstall or Colbie Caillat “Best Thing” at a moment’s notice, and all together, Out of My Province displays an artist gracefully establishing her sound through the art of genre-mixing.

Get The Devil Out is up for an APRA Silver Scroll. If you’re a member, don’t forget to vote. It’s such a strange feeling having released this record in March without touring it properly. The build-up to releasing an album is so immense; full of elation and terror…! There was a big rush of relief when it finally came out on 6 March. My highlight being the little listening party I held in Dunedin, New Zealand. I feel proud of this record and proud of this song… (written under a bunk bed at the Grace Emily Hotel in Adelaide). And is about all the big things. I can’t wait to tour this album in due time.

‘Out Of My Province’, the amazing new record from Nadia Reid  the album released March 6th, 2020, on Spacebomb Records.

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For those of us already in the know, the three years between New Zealand songwriter Nadia Reid’s albums have been an excruciating wait.  A wait no doubt earmarked by endless listens to her pristine sophomore album, Preservation.  On March 6th 2020, Nadia Reid will release her third album, “Out Of My Province”, on her own aptly named Slow Time Records.  The album will release outside of New Zealand on Spacebomb Records, and yes, she made the trek to Richmond, Virginia, to receive the full Spacebomb production treatment of strings and lush arrangements.  First single and video, “Best Thing” is already out.  Reid has a voice that is at once delicate, but also sturdy enough to command attention and instill an instant addiction.   A voice that stands up to any instrumentation thrown her way and earns whatever superlatives you care to apply.  Reid only first toured out of her native home to neighboring Australia in 2016 and maintained her job at a cafe up to that point.

Since then, Reid has performed in the U.K., Europe and barely in the U.S.  As her new album predicts, Reid will undoubtedly find herself extensively out of her province in the ensuing year.  Already having been nominated for numerous awards at home, the rest of the world will soon figure out that she is a necessary fixture in their listening libraries.

“Best Thing” off the album ‘Out of My Province’ due for release March 6th, 2020, on Spacebomb Records.

Bedouine (Credit: Polly Antonia Barrowman)

Azniv Korkejian started moving as a child and never stopped. Born in Syria to Armenian parents, she spent time in Saudi Arabia, Boston, Houston, L.A. Kentucky, Austin and Savannah, before finally settling (loosely) in Los Angeles.

Which is where the name Bedouine comes from – a vehicle for her artistry, it’s a nod to the nomadic character bedouin. An enchanting songwriter whose work is impossible to place, new cut ‘Dusty Eyes’ wanders across the landscape of husky 60s folk before adding some funkier elements. One day she walked into Gus Seyffert’s studio to inquire about getting a reel-to-reel tape machine, something analogue and portable to record herself in small, quiet places. On a whim, he asked if she would play a song right then, so she stepped into the room and cut “Solitary Daughter” in a first take, and they were off on a three year collaboration. One night, she approached Matthew E. White of Spacebomb Records after a show at The Echo in L.A., saying that she wanted to send him a song. He remembers listening to “One of These Days” on the rest of that tour “like a thousand times,” it knocked him and his band right out, and they even set it as their alarm to wake up to in the morning. If that all sounds a bit mythic, a bit rock-and-roll legend, remember that reality always outdoes the script, even in a town like Hollywood.

Literate and entrancing, you can check out ‘Dusty Eyes’ below.

Dusty Eyes” appears on Bedouine’s self-titled debut album, out June 23rd, 2017.

The Spacebomb superstar Natalie Prass is having a rather good year; her debut album was released to critical acclaim, she also made her UK TV debut with an appearance on Later with Jools Holland, and then Ryan Adams liked her so much he dressed up as her and played a set of her songs when she was delayed by airline troubles.

She released the superb video for one of her self-titled albums stand out moments, the beautiful “Bird Of Prey”, and it’s unsurprisingly, a  technicolor triumph, continuing the theme of this super talented lady who can do no wrong, keep up the good work please Natalie!

Natalie Prass self-titled debut album is out now via Spacebomb records. Natalie tours the UK this month with a few festival dates completed, including Green Man and  End Of The Road, and then she’s back again in November, she sure does love us!

 

 

“Rock & Roll is Cold”, the first single from Matthew E. White’s forthcoming “Fresh Blooddue out 10th March on Domino Records , is vibrant and playful. Taking inspiration from legends like Randy Newman, the Richmond, Virginia native manages to be reverent but not beholden to his retro influences. The song’s a meta-commentary on music, with lines like, “Rock ’n’ roll? It don’t have soul” and “Everyone likes to talk shit,” which music writers everywhere will probably think is about them. As he proved on 2012’s album the excellent “Big Inner“, White and his Spacebomb Records crew have a knack for producing orchestral ‘70s-inflected arrangements and making them feel wholly relevant and delectable.

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Swoonsome, soul-tinted singer-songwriter offering from Natalie Prass on Spacebomb Records, collaborating with the label’s Matthew E. White. Think Muscle Shoals reborn for the 21st Century – not to be missed!,“My Baby Don’t Understand Me” is the opening track on Natalie Prass’ self-titled album, and what an opening it is. Prass, a member of Jenny Lewis’ backing band, recorded the album at Matthew E. White’s Spacebomb studio in Richmond, and the crew of musicians they rallied rounded out her deeply vulnerable, Joni Mitchell-esque folk-pop with orchestral grandeur. Jenny Lewis, who is Prass’ boss right now, just made a really great major-label singer-songwriter album, but it’s not anywhere near this rich. We’re just not used to hearing music that sounds like Natalie Prass anymore. It feels like a luxuriant shock to the system,

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