Posts Tagged ‘Sub Pop Records’

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“I want the power in my music to come from lyrics and melody rather than trickery of the brain,” Marika Hackman said back in 2015, just before the release of her full-length debut We Slept At Last. Fast forward four years and one more album, and the singer-songwriter continues to live up to this promise on late single “i’m not where you are,” all about “breaking up with people, or self-sabotaging relationships,” as Hackman explains in a statement. Between her sultry, languorous delivery and synths that are at once toe-tapping and melancholic, the English artist once again crafts a powerful melody with lyrics that reveal a fraught emotional underbelly. Hackman adds that “i’m not where you are” meditates on “[t]hat feeling of not trusting one’s emotions because you can’t seem to get to the same place as the other person. On the surface, it seems like an arrogant ‘everybody falls in love with me’ kind of song but it’s actually incredibly lonely, introspective and self-deprecating.”

British singer/songwriter Marika Hackman is releasing a new album, Any Human Friend, on August 9th via Sub Pop. This week shared another song from the album titled, “the one,” which was the first song written for Any Human Friend.

It also might be Hackman’s catchiest song to date. In a press release Hackman concurs, saying “the one” is “probably the poppiest song I’ve ever written. I loved the idea of inhabiting this ridiculous arrogant rock star character who has totally fucked their career by writing too many sad songs.”

Previously she shared the album’s first single “i’m not where you are”

Any Human Friend is the follow-up to her 2017-released breakthrough release, sophomore album I’m Not Your Man. Hackman co-produced the album with David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, Let’s Eat Grandma).

In a previous press release Hackman summed up the album this way: “This whole record is me diving into myself and peeling back the skin further and further, exposing myself in quite a big way. It can be quite sexual. It’s blunt, but not offensive. It’s mischievous.”

Hackman added: “I’m a hopeless romantic. I search for love and sexual experience, but also I’m terrified by it.”

Hackman is unabashed about tackling these themes, even if her only family is a little less enthused. “I sent ‘all night’ to my parents and they were quite shocked,” she said in the press release. “Why does it sound shocking coming out of my mouth? Women have sex with each other, and it seems to me we aren’t as freely allowed to discuss that as men are. But at no point am I disrespecting the women I’m having sex with. It can be fucking sexy without banging people over the head with a frying pan. It’s sexy sex.”

Out now on AMF / Sub Pop Published by Transgressive Records Ltd.

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Calexico and Iron & Wine - Years to Burn

Calexico and Iron & Wine first made an artistic connection with In the Reins, the 2005 EP that brought Sam Beam, Joey Burns and John Convertino together. The acclaimed collaboration introduced both acts to wider audiences and broadened Beam’s artistic horizons, but it was the shared experience of touring together in the tradition of Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” that cemented their bond. Their metaphorical roads diverged in the years that followed, but they kept in touch and cross-pollinated where they could. But although they often talked about rekindling their collaboration in the studio and on the stage, it wasn’t until last year that their schedules aligned.

Years to Burn can’t help but be different from In the Reins. Back then, Calexico entered the studio with a long list of previous collaborations (first in Giant Sand, then backing the likes of Victoria Williams and Richard Buckner) and the knowledge that they loved Sam’s voice and his songs, but wondering if his material was so complete and self-contained that it lacked a way in, so hushed and delicate that it might be overwhelmed. For his part, Beam had been intimidated by their virtuosic playing and their deep comfort in an encyclopedic array of styles. “In my mind, I was a guy who knew three chords and recorded in a closet,” Sam says. “They were playing big stages and were superb musicians.”

Those fears were dispelled quickly. Calexico was bowled over by Beam’s many talents: “The arranging, the writing, his sense of rhythm, the quality of his vocals—and then there’s the experimental side of Sam,” Joey says. “They were the perfect band at the perfect time for me,” Sam adds. “I loved all their different sounds. They’re musical anthropologists, not regurgitating but absorbing what they discover.” Nearly 15 years on, “coming back to the project has to do with acknowledging how much impact the first record had for me in my life.”

Calexico and Iron & Wine

Released via Sub Pop (World) and City Slang (Europe)

Transcendent folk-pop artist Shannon Lay will release her Sub Pop Records debut “August”, on August 23rd. You can now watch the official video for “Nowhere,” the album’s lead single, directed by Lay and Chris Slater. She says of the song and visual, “I want this song to emphasize the importance of enjoying the journey. The video is moments of in between travel footage, different settings around my home, singing in the bounty of spring. There is so much power in presence, enjoy every moment, savor every second. Cherish the memories made along the way and appreciate how they change and shape you.”

The title August refers to the month in 2017 when Lay quit her day job and fully gave herself over to music. This was her liberation as an artist, and the album is devoted to paying that forward to her listeners. “It’s a thank you to the universe,” says the Los Angeles artist. Exquisitely uplifting, August doubles as an aural baptism renewing her purpose for making music. “I always picture music as this river. Everyone’s throwing things into this river, it’s a place you can go to and feed off of that energy,” she says, “and feel nourished by the fact that so many people are feeling what you’re feeling. It’s this beautiful exchange.”

August is now available for preorder from Sub Pop Records. Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on orange vinyl (North America) and Sun Yellow vinyl (UK/EU) while supplies last.

As previously reported, Shannon Lay will be a member of Ty Segall’s Freedom Band for his upcoming full album, Following these shows, Shannon Lay will embark on an 18-date North American tour opening for Mikal Cronin,

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Kyle Craft, along with his now solid backing band dubbed Showboat Honey, their self-titled album, the contemplative yet restless Showboat Honey (Sub Pop Records), due out July 12th, 2019 reflects that sturm und drang. “This is basically an album centered around bad luck and good fortune hitting at the same time,” Craft explains “Then, out of nowhere, I find love. Everything went to shit except that. I guess that’s how life works.”

No track better captures this duality than the sweeping “Sunday Driver,” about sticking to your guns, despite a universe of blowback. “At this point, you get baptized by certain fires and start to walk with the dead a little bit, like nothing can harm you anymore,” says the Portland-based musician. “That’s what self-love sounds like to me, as aggressive as that sounds.”

The sticky-sweet title of the album is lifted from the brightly choral “Buzzkill Caterwaul” (“Once you were the showboat honey/ But your ship sailed out”). “I wanted to make something that sounded like a raucous collision of Leon Russell and Patti Smith,” he says, “But ‘Buzzkill Caterwaul’ was the only tune that ended up showcasing that vision.”

Though aesthetics veer from song to song, Showboat Honey’s steadfast formula remains the same. Drummer Haven Mutlz holds down the machine with a ’60s/’70s fast-molasses groove that locks in with the slinky rolling bass of Billy Slater. When Kevin Clark isn’t bouncing across the piano, his mellotron strings swell in and out of frame. Jack of all trades Ben Steinmetz’s organ parts well up from the deep of the songs, while lead guitarist Jeremy Kale’s solos rip through them like electricity. On top of it all, sits the tongue-in-cheek phantasmagoria created by Craft’s lyrics.

Lyrically, perspectives shift to imbue life into a cast of intriguing, mysterious characters, à la Bob Dylan. (“There is not a single thing in my life that has affected me more than the first time I heard Dylan,” says Craft. “It immediately changed my life.”) “Johnny (Free & Easy)” is seemingly about a date gone awry at a swinger’s party in the Hollywood Hills. And the twangy pop of “O! Lucky Hand” appears to shadow a poor sod desperate to elude a hex. Its antidote is the stunning, cinematic “Deathwish Blue,” which sounds like a deep cut from the book of John Lennon, about the lovesick salvation found in his bride to be, Lydia.

If that’s not head-trippy enough, the carefree sing-along “2 Ugly 4 NY” features a lyrical reference to a previous incarnation of Craft. Its lyrics—“Don’t wanna see Death strum for cash downtown/ Or the look on his face when the change hits the case on the ground”—call out his early days in Portland when he went by the moniker of Hobo Grim. Busking downtown, he’d cover country tunes while dressed as the Grim Reaper so as to conceal his true identity.

Craft started writing about as soon as he could play the guitar at the age of 15. He grew up in the isolated Mississippi River town of Vidalia, Louisiana where his chops weren’t honed in a woodshed, but rather an old, dingy meat freezer that was out of commission.  When asked about the first song he’d ever written, he laughs, saying it was an “angsty-rock tune” and “a rare bird of how bad a song could be.”

After years of touring, two LPs with Sub Pop Records, and solidifying the band, he’s since grown into a prodigious songwriter, to say the least. The band recorded Showboat Honeyco-produced by Craft, Clark, and Slater—at their own Moonbase Studios in Portland over 2018. “We approached this record differently for sure,” Craft says. “I’d make a demo, and after putting the songs together, shoot it to the band for ideas.” Tracks such as “Broken Mirror Pose” ended up being highly collaborative, while others settled into Craft’s original vision. “Deathwish Blue,” for instance, was tracked in a similar fashion to his solo debut, Dolls of Highland, with Craft tracking every instrument by himself.

Kyle and the members of Showboat Honey worked at such a feverish wine-fueled pace that they actually ended up with two completely different albums. But at the end of the day, they decided to combine the two into what is now Showboat Honey, a moonstruck rock ’n’ roll record teeming with reckless abandon.

“We thought we had the album done at one point. But at the last minute, I was like, ‘Shit, this isn’t the album. This isn’t it,’” Kyle says. “It was just a gut feeling. I’m glad for that because I feel like I ended up writing some of the best songs I’ve ever written.”

‘Showboat Honey’ (Release Date: July 12th, 2019) Sub Pop Records

deaf wish

There’s an inherent flaw in the perennially alternating “rock is back” and “rock is dead” arguments: they are based on the idea that rock music is a logic-based choice a person consciously chooses to make. Contrary to the critics who are looking to suss out cultural trends and movements (but have never actually lifted a greasy bass cab onto a stage in order to entertain a couple dozen people), the decision to play loud, distorted, unabashed guitar-rock isn’t a strategic move but a higher calling (or curse, depending on one’s point of view). Some might say the pursuit of rocking out via deafening amplifiers, crusty drums and a beer-battered PA is a spiritual one, an affliction that either strikes or doesn’t. Few groups today embody this sentiment like Melbourne’s aptly-named Deaf Wish. 

Australian band Deaf Wish will release new album Lithium Zion on July 27 via Sub Pop Records. They’ve shared two tracks from the album so far and you can check out “The Rat is Back” and ripper “FFS” below.

“The Rat Is Back” from the album Lithium Zion (Release Date: July 27, 2018)

They’re more likely to ask a fellow musician what they do for their “real” job (for one, guitarist Jensen Tjhung works as a builder) than talk shop about publicists, ticket counts and online promotions. They’re a grisly rock group and they’ve already signed to Sub Pop, which is to say they’ve already succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, so anything that comes after (performing in strange new cities, meeting like-minded souls, maybe even selling a t-shirt or two) is a bonus.

Lithium Zion is their fifth full-length album (and second for Sub Pop following 2015’s Pain), and while it’s a rare case that a group’s fifth album is their best, particularly any band operating under a “loud fast rules” ethos, Deaf Wish make a strong case as the exception. Their previous albums were all recorded in makeshift studios (Is that a basement with some quilts stapled to the ceiling? Now it’s a “studio”!), which of course is a wise aesthetic choice for capturing the hazardous riffing, chemically-stained vocals and fiery rhythms conjured by a group such as this, but this step toward a slightly more professional sound only enhances their power – think of the difference between a tangled pile of firecrackers and a red stick of TNT lodged in a hornets nest. The record opens with “Easy”, a languid rocker in the rich Australian tradition of groups like X and The Scientists. From there it’s onto “FFS”, a moody downhill rocker sung by guitarist Sarah Hardiman (“I feel like a fool / out playing pool / hitting on you”) that confirms Deaf Wish’s relation to fellow Sub Pop employees like feedtime and Hot Snakes. “The Rat Is Back” is tense and epic; “Hitachi Jackhammer” pays a brief and noisy tribute to Hitachi’s second most notable device (you’d be forgiven for assuming this song is about vibrators). Lithium Zion is a veritable buffet of garage-punk energy, post-punk pathos, sardonic wit and the fearlessness that comes with Aussie rock, a natural consequence for anyone living on a continent teeming with grapefruit-sized spiders and man-eating mosquito swarms.

As has always been the case, the whole group shares vocal duties, even drummer Daniel Twomey (you know the band is slightly unhinged if they’re letting the drummer sing). Hardiman and Tjhung are as ragged and hairy as ever, chugging along as though krautrock was trying to speed past the late ‘70s but got caught in the sticky grasp of punk. Such is the way of Deaf Wish, a group destined to write songs that are simultaneously stupid and sublime, vulnerable and ferocious, and play them with the unbridled intensity they demand. Anyone serving a life sentence to rock will surely concur.

“FFS” from the album Lithium Zion (Release Date: July 27, 2018) Sub Pop Records

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Pittsburgh four-piece The Gotobeds‘ new album Debt Begins at 30, due out next week, is their idea of a punk/indie rock equivalent of a trap mixtape, featuring guests on every track. Those include Protomartyr’s Joe Casey on the fierce “Slang Words,” his bandmate Greg Ahee, who contributes atmospheric guitar on the introspective “On Loan,” and Pavement’s Bob Nastanovich who brings his spirited voice to the sharp “Dross.” There’s also Silkworm guitarist Tim Midyett on the anthemic “Parallel,” Tracy Wilson of Positive No contributes to the very catchy and Pavement-y “Twin Cities,” and there are two different versions of the title track — one featuring Bob Weston of Shellac/Mission of Burma, and a Spanish language version with Victoria Ruiz of Downtown Boys. And more! It’s an ambitious record, but one that never doesn’t sound like The Gotobeds.

On May 31st, The Gotobeds – Cary, TFP, Eli and Gavin – return to the fray with their third full lengther, Debt Begins at 30

Seattle band Tacocat will release “This Mess Is a Place”, their new full-length album on LP/CD/Digital and Cassette tomorrow, Friday, May 3rd. The album is their first for Sub Pop Records, and heralds a more pop-driven and ebullient direction in their sound. Critics are calling it “as effervescent as ever”and “the band’s most polished record to date” ( The Seattle Times). Checkout the band’s trippy music video for “New World”.

This Mess is a Place (release date: May 3rd, 2019)

British singer/songwriter Marika Hackman has shared a new song, “I’m Not Where You Are” . It’s the first single from her upcoming new album on Sub Pop Records (details are still forthcoming). The album will be the follow-up to her 2017-released breakthrough release, sophomore release I’m Not Your Man. Hackman co-produced the song with David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, Let’s Eat Grandma).

In a press release Hackman says the song “is about breaking up with people, or self-sabotaging relationships. That feeling of not trusting one’s emotions because you can’t seem to get to the same place as the other person. On the surface, it seems like an arrogant ‘everybody falls in love with me’ kind of song but its actually incredibly lonely, introspective, and self-deprecating.”

“i’m not where you are” from Marika’s forthcoming new album,

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Kyle Craft, along with his now solidified backing band dubbed Showboat Honey, release their self-titled album, the contemplative yet restless Showboat Honey (Sub Pop Records, July 12th, 2019) This is basically an album centered around bad luck and good fortune hitting at the same time, Craft explains “Then, out of nowhere, I find love. Everything went to shit except that. I guess that’s how life works.”

No track better captures this duality than the sweeping “Sunday Driver,” about sticking to your guns, despite a universe of blowback. “At this point, you get baptized by certain fires and start to walk with the dead a little bit, like nothing can harm you anymore,” says the Portland-based musician. “That’s what self-love sounds like to me, as aggressive as that sounds.”

The sticky-sweet title of the album is lifted from the brightly choral “Buzzkill Caterwaul” (“Once you were the showboat honey/ But your ship sailed out”). “I wanted to make something that sounded like a raucous collision of Leon Russell and Patti Smith,” he says, “But ‘Buzzkill Caterwaul’ was the only tune that ended up showcasing that vision.”

Though aesthetics veer from song to song, Showboat Honey’s steadfast formula remains the same. Drummer Haven Mutlz holds down the machine with a ’60s/’70s fast-molasses groove that locks in with the slinky rolling bass of Billy Slater. When Kevin Clark isn’t bouncing across the piano, his mellotron strings swell in and out of frame. Jack of all trades Ben Steinmetz’s organ parts well up from the deep of the songs, while lead guitarist Jeremy Kale’s solos rip through them like electricity. On top of it all, sits the tongue-in-cheek phantasmagoria created by Craft’s lyrics.

Lyrically, perspectives shift to imbue life into a cast of intriguing, mysterious characters, à la Bob Dylan. (“There is not a single thing in my life that has affected me more than the first time I heard Dylan,” says Craft. “It immediately changed my life.”) “Johnny (Free & Easy)” is seemingly about a date gone awry at a swinger’s party in the Hollywood Hills. And the twangy pop of “O! Lucky Hand” appears to shadow a poor sod desperate to elude a hex. Its antidote is the stunning, cinematic “Deathwish Blue,” which sounds like a deep cut from the book of John Lennon, about the lovesick salvation found in his bride to be, Lydia.

If that’s not head-trippy enough, the carefree sing-along “2 Ugly 4 NY” features a lyrical reference to a previous incarnation of Craft. Its lyrics—“Don’t wanna see Death strum for cash downtown/ Or the look on his face when the change hits the case on the ground”—call out his early days in Portland when he went by the moniker of Hobo Grim. Busking downtown, he’d cover country tunes while dressed as the Grim Reaper so as to conceal his true identity.

Craft started writing about as soon as he could play the guitar at the age of 15. He grew up in the isolated Mississippi River town of Vidalia, Louisiana where his chops weren’t honed in a woodshed, but rather an old, dingy meat freezer that was out of commission.  When asked about the first song he’d ever written, he laughs, saying it was an “angsty-rock tune” and “a rare bird of how bad a song could be.”

After years of touring, two LPs with Sub Pop Records, and solidifying the band, he’s since grown into a prodigious songwriter, to say the least. The band recorded Showboat Honeyco-produced by Craft, Clark, and Slater—at their own Moonbase Studios in Portland over 2018. “We approached this record differently for sure,” Craft says. “I’d make a demo, and after putting the songs together, shoot it to the band for ideas.” Tracks such as “Broken Mirror Pose” ended up being highly collaborative, while others settled into Craft’s original vision. “Deathwish Blue,” for instance, was tracked in a similar fashion to his solo debut, Dolls of Highland, with Craft tracking every instrument by himself.

Kyle and the members of Showboat Honey worked at such a feverish wine-fueled pace that they actually ended up with two completely different albums. But at the end of the day, they decided to combine the two into what is now Showboat Honey, a moonstruck rock ’n’ roll record teeming with reckless abandon.

“We thought we had the album done at one point. But at the last minute, I was like, ‘Shit, this isn’t the album. This isn’t it,’” Kyle says. “It was just a gut feeling. I’m glad for that because I feel like I ended up writing some of the best songs I’ve ever written.”

‘Showboat Honey’ (Release Date: July 12th, 2019)

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Out this Friday! Brand new limited single from Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever on Sub Pop Records.

After a landmark 12 months for Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, who released their debut album ‘Hope Downs’ to worldwide critical acclaim in June 2018, Sub Pop Records are excited to reveal new music from the Melbourne band in the form of single, ‘In The Capital’. The track features alongside a second A-side single, titled ‘Read My Mind’.
To celebrate the highly-anticipated arrival of new music, the band have announced extensive touring plans for the UK and Europe this summer.
Fran Keaney describes how ‘In The Capital’ came together: “I first had the idea for the melody and some of the lyrics when I was swimming. It’s taken a while to finish the song, to make it feel like the initial feeling. I can’t neatly describe it, but something like connection despite distance. I was thinking about transience and water and death and big cities and fishing towns and moon river.”

To say 2018 was a big year for Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is an understatement. ‘Hope Downs’ – which featured singles ‘Mainland’, ‘Talking Straight’, ‘An Air Conditioned Man’, ‘Time In Common’ and ‘Sister’s Jeans’ – was embraced by lovers of their early EPs ‘Talk Tight’ and ‘The French Press’ and new fans alike.

The record quickly became one of the most acclaimed albums of the year, appearing in many sought after Best Of 2018 lists, coming in at #3 on Mojo’s Album of The Year list (and was named Mojo’s Debut Album Of The Year), #2 on Uncut’s Albums Of The Year and many more. The band kicked off 2019 by being shortlisted for the prestigious AMP Award.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever also enjoyed tremendous support from the likes of triple j, Double J, Pitchfork, The Guardian, Paste Magazine, NME, Rolling Stone, BBC 6 Music, Stereogum, DIY and Q.
Meanwhile, the band’s renowned live show led to selling-out their mammoth ‘Hope Downs’ Australian tour, as well as sold-out performances in London, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Philadelphia and New York City. The huge touring schedule also included shows at the world’s biggest music festivals, from Coachella, The Great Escape, Primavera, and Shaky Knees to Lowlands, Pukkelpop, Green Man and Splendour In The Grass.