Posts Tagged ‘Spencer Krug’

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Spencer Krug has released an insane amount of music over the past two decades — with Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, his solo project Moonface, and more — but in all that time he’s never put out an album under his own name. Until now. “I’m just tired of the name [Moonface], and crave the excitement of a clean slate,” Spencer said in 2018 when he revealed that he’d be retiring his former moniker. “I’m in my 40s now, and ready to make music and tour under my own name – Spencer Krug; ready to get personally behind what I do in a more literal and meaningful way.”

In 2019, Spencer began releasing a song a month on his Patreon, and now he has completed his first album as Spencer Krug, featuring full-band versions of songs that were originally released as piano ballads via Patreon. It’s some of Spencer’s most earthy music — full of breezy acoustic guitars, piano, and a great deal of pedal steel — and it’s nice to hear him make such a relaxed, stripped-back album. And though the arrangements are a little more straightforward for his standards, the song writing is about as classic Spencer Krug as it gets.

Long time fans will find this comfortingly familiar, and if this album is the first you’re hearing from Spencer, this album would give you a good idea of what makes his song writing so special and timeless.

Wolf Parade's Spencer Krug Announces Debut Album Under His Own Name

Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug has announced new solo album Fading Graffiti which will be out April 16th via his own helpfully named label, Pronounced Kroog. His first album released under his own name, it takes songs that originated as piano ballads on Krug’s Patreon in 2019 and recontextualizes them as indie rock. After abandoning his Moonface moniker and successfully launching his Patreon subscription, Wolf Parade member Spencer Krug has announced his first album under his own name. Fading Graffiti is due on April 16th as the first release on the artist’s own label.

The album is composed of 10 full-band versions of songs that initially debuted on Krug’s Patreon account throughout 2019 as solo piano compositions. Krug and his new band recorded the songs at the tail-end of that year at the Noise Floor Recording Studio on Gabriola Island in British Columbia. According to the album’s pre-order page, the Patreon was “used to help fund the creation of the album.”

As heard on the newly released title track, the new version swaps out the original’s neoclassical slow burn for twanging rock fare augmented by slide guitar and synths. An accompanying lyric video by aitso draws out the song’s murmuring psychedelia by layering multiple videos of Krug dancing and singing along to the track.

Though this is Krug’s first album under his own name, it’s hardly his first solo album — Sunset Rubdown debuted in 2005 as Krug’s solo vehicle before becoming a full band, which led to the creation of Krug’s Moonface moniker in 2009. His final album as Moonface was 2018’s “This One’s for the Dancer & This One’s for the Dancer’s Bouquet”. Wolf Parade released “Thin Mind” in early 2020.

First single from the album by the same name Listen to “Fading Graffiti” coming April 16th.

Wolf Parade Thin Mind review

Wolf Parade the Montreal band’s 2005 debut, Apologies to the Queen Mary, became a ubiquitous indie radio staple. The band Wolf Parade – Dan Boeckner, Spencer Krug and Arlen Thompson – release ‘Thin Mind’, the group’s fifth album for Sub Pop. their heart, panache, and synthesizers on display through their next few albums, 2008’s excellent At Mount Zoomer and 2010’s Expo 86, and after a lengthy hiatus, they showed more growth on 2017′s Cry Cry Cry.

Their new album “Thin Mind” still comes as an unexpected new peak for the band this album scratches a very specific and satisfying itch for indie guitar music in 2020. Now a trio, the group has only deepened its talents and personal musical aesthetic, while their lyrical themes have taken on both a newfound maturity and optimism.

Wolf Parade seem more comfortable commenting on the world around them on Thin Mind, but they sound just as interested in having a good time making music. The songs bounce and zip with the sort of kinetic energy that’s hard to find in blogosphere success stories still making music in 2020. As can be heard on standout tracks such as “Julia Take Your Man Home” and “Forest Green,” everything sounds sharper and more direct, without being aggressive or in-your-face, as any art-pop sprawl has been replaced with glammy arena rock tendencies. The panoply of synthesizers on display across the entire project, especially on “Wandering Son” and “Against the Day,” are also a fine addition. This full turn away from being Wire disciples to New Order and Duran Duran acolytes provides a resplendent edge.  for Wolf Parade to kick off 2020 with a ten-song album bursting with mature perspectives and emotional heft, it makes even jaded assholes like me sit up and take notice.

Thin Mind is packed with straight-up fun music that overflows with a danceable sensibility, infectious melodies, and overall good vibes. The songs here find Wolf Parade openly encouraging their listeners to make a difference in the world, to work to make things better. As they put it, during the chorus of album highlight “The Static Age,” “I don’t want to live in the static age staying in a place where nothing changes. We can begin again.”

Band Members
Arlen Thompson,
Dan Boeckner,
Spencer Krug,

Wolf Parade will release “Thin Mind”, the group’s fifth full-length, on January 24th worldwide through Sub Pop Records, with the exception of Canada through Royal Mountain Records. The ten-track album, which features the singles “Forest Green,” the previously released  “Against the Day,”  and “Julia Take Your Man Home,” was produced by John Goodmanson at Risque Disque on Vancouver Island, BC.

Every moment spent gazing at our screens is oversaturated with content, an ever-accelerated news cycle conditioning our ever-decreasing attention spans. The struggle to stay present, and to foresee a clear, sustainable future, feels very real. Wolf Parade address this phenomenon head-on with Thin Mind, the band’s 5th full-length and second to be produced by John Goodmanson (Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Unwound).

“Thin Mind” refers to the way that being around too much tech has made our focus thin,” says keyboardist Spencer Krug. “It’s opening one more page, scrolling one more thing,” adds guitarist Dan Boeckner, “and the weird, sort-of hollow automaton feeling that you get from it.”

“This record is very personal, but at the same time, we’re all coming from the same place of a general sense of anxiety,” says drummer Arlen Thompson. “How do you deal with the constant barrage of having your opinions swayed by all these different actors when you don’t know who they are or what their purpose is? There is no normal anymore.”

Thin Mind marks a return to the original power trio of Dan, Spencer, and Arlen, following multi-instrumentalist Dante DeCaro’s amicable departure from the group in 2018, after the conclusion of their world tour supporting Cry Cry Cry.

One month later, the trio got together at Risqué Disque, an old stone barn-turned-studio in the woods of Vancouver Island, to begin writing Thin Mind—emerging with an album about making sense of the present while reckoning with visions of the future

From the album Thin Mind (Release Date: January 24th, 2020

This week Wolf Parade returned with a brand new single, “Against the Day.” It was shared via a video for the track. It’s the band’s first new song since their 2017 reunion album Cry Cry Cry. The song is out now via Sub Pop Records and you can watch the video below. “Against the Day” features alternating vocals between Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug and Scorpion Dagger directed the video.

Band Members
Arlen Thompson
Dan Boeckner
Spencer Krug

 

It’s been a long seven years since Montreal’s Wolf Parade released a full-length, having gone AWOL in 2011 after the release of their third full-length, Expo 86, the year before. Whatever may have transpired in the intervening years for the four-piece—who reunited in 2016 for a series of shows and an EP—it seems to have done them a hell of a lot of good. Co-frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner lead the charge of these eleven songs with a renewed confidence and spark. Mixing futuristic electronics with good old fashioned rock and roll riffs, the pair—with drummer Arlen Thompson and guitarist Dante DeCaro in tow—trade their only slightly dissimilar voices and styles with each other to create, thankfully, a record very much worth the wait.

Proving their sense of humor is still intact after all these years, Wolf Parade kick off their rebirth with an apocalyptic song called “Lazarus Online.” Yet while the lyrics and the title recast the biblical character in a modern day setting of e-mails and online existence, the gloomy, piano-laced song itself treats the idea of death—and mourning—with the reverence and beauty it deserves. It’s about as strong a beginning as possible—perhaps one of the best songs of their career to date—and the pace picks up from there.

The jittery nerves of “You’re Dreaming,” the somber yet playful stadium-esque rock of “Baby Blue,” and the catchy melancholy and surreal nostalgia of “Am I An Alien Here”—which at times summons the spirit of the late David Bowie in a wondrous flourish of space-age morbidity—can stake claims to be near the top of the band’s repertoire. Similarly, “Artificial Life” and “King of Piss and Paper” end the album with a highly dramatic one-two punch of emotion that recalls exactly why this band were so revered to begin with and why their hiatus was such a loss. Only the Doors-esque “Who Are Ya” falls short of the expectations, its whimsical ’60s-style posturing feeling more like an insincere tribute than an actual Wolf Parade song.

It’s a small misgiving, however, and one that can be easily forgiven in the context of what surrounds it. Because this is a truly triumphant return, an ominous soundtrack to an Armageddon that seems to be getting closer with every damn day. Hopefully, we’ll have a bit more time to soak this up, revelling in the damage we’ve all done to ourselves before we all flicker, fade, and then explode in one final blast of nuclear regret that not even Lazarus would be able to return from. Make the most of it while you can.

‘Cry Cry Cry’ (Release date: October 6th, 2017)

Wolf Parade

Wolf Parade have officially announced their anticipated new release, Its their first album in seven years. It’s called Cry Cry Cry, and it follows 2010’s still-great Expo 86. The album drops through Sub Pop Records on October 6th. This one was produced by John Goodmanson, who’s known for working with Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Harvey Danger, and also did the last Cloud Nothings album .

Wolf Parade first reunited last year for some live shows and a four track EP. Before they got working on the new full length, co-frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner put out new albums with their respective Moonface and Operators projects. Then they posted updates from the studio, and announced that the new album was finished. They played two songs from it at a recent live show, including “Valley Boy,” which is Cry Cry Cry‘s lead single.

Spencer Krug takes lead on “Valley Boy,” and this song really says “we’re back” more than anything on last year’s EP did. It’s got not one but two of those classic singalong Krug hooks (the chorus and the “the radio’s been playing all your songs” line, a line Krug says is about the late Leonard Cohen). As these live shows have been reminding us, Wolf Parade are not just great pop songwriters but they really know how to let loose as musicians, and the jammy instrumental bridge of “Valley Boy” is a fine example of that.

Talking about this album compared to last one, drummer Arlen Thompson said, “All of our albums are always a reaction to our last one. Expo 86 was about as sparse as we get, which is usually still pretty dense, and this time we wanted to make the palette a little larger.” Bassist/guitarist Dante DeCaro added, “Expo 86 was a real rock record. We just sort of banged it out, which was kind of the point.” And Dan Boeckner assures us: “There are two very long songs on the record… I don’t think it would be a Wolf Parade record if it didn’t have some kind of prog epic.” Considering a major highlight of their recent live shows has been the lengthy “Kissing the Beehive,” that’s good news.

Wolf Parade have tour dates coming up,

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Since January 2010, Spencer Krug has used Moonface as a venue for home-recorded instrumental and conceptual experimentation, expanding the ideas he developed collaboratively with Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown. Releases under this moniker have come quickly, each distinct from the other. The “Dreamland” EP and “Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped” were conceptual excursions merging instrumental and thematic fixations. After moving from Montreal to Helsinki, Krug teamed up with the Finnish band Siinai to create a lush rock record–2012’s “Heartbreaking Bravery”–driven by the dark despair of a breakup. Staying in Helsinki, Krug set off on yet another creative departure, driven by a rediscovery of love and a reconsideration of the Moonface persona he’d created for himself. The quietly stunning “Julia with Blue Jeans On” is the fourth Moonface release, bringing a degree of intimacy and self-reflection unlike anything Krug has produced to date.