Posts Tagged ‘Sub Pop Records’

Loma-4

Loma is the new Texas based project between Shearwater vocalist Jonathan Meiburg, and Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record. The three will make their mark with their self-titled debut album on February 16th 2018 via Sub Pop Records.

After their earlier debut single ‘Black Willow’, they now close off the year with another track from the album. If you ever wondered (though probably unlikely!) what a krautrock track might sound like accompanied by frogs and cicadas, then Loma come up with the answer on ‘Relay Runner’.

“‘Relay Runner’ was the happiest accident on the record,” says Meiburg. “We discovered it when we wired up a tremolo pedal the wrong way, and got this funny, stuttering loop – and then we built a whole song around that sound. The last thing we did in the mix was erase the loop, which had gone from inspiring the song to ruining it! But it made sense that what was left underneath was a song about how to escape from a sealed room”.

The project was contrived when the two bands went on tour together; the members of Loma convening at a house in Texas, creating their debut record while Emily and Dan’s marriage fell apart around them. Jonathan became the middle ground in an atmosphere he describes as, “both challenging and inspiring”. The isolated house where the band worked became, “the album’s muse”, and a fascinating record was born.

Musically, it is a record produced with great freedom, with the exception of Emily’s omnipresent vocal there were no particular roles on the album, the trio playing instruments as inspiration hit them, forming a record built from buried energy resonating from the players. Two brilliant singles, Black Willow and Relay Runner, have so far emerged from the self-titled release, enough evidence to suggest its release in February promises to be one of the most fascinating and exciting musical moments of 2018.

Loma, comprised of Jonathan Meiburg, best known as the singer of Shearwater, and Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record, will release their self-titled debut album on February 16th via Sub Pop.

Loma, comprised of Jonathan Meiburg, best known as the singer of Shearwater, and Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record, will release their self-titled debut album on February 16th via Sub Pop Records.

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Moaning - S/T

Moaning is a band defined by its duality. The abrasive post-punk trio comprised of LA DIY veterans, Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie, began nearly a decade after the three started playing music together. Their impassioned debut album comes born out of the member’s experiences with love and distress, creating a sound uniquely dark and sincere. Although the band is just breaking out of their infancy, Moaning’s sleek and cavernous tone emphasizes the turmoil of the era they were born into. One where the endless possibility for art and creation is met with the fear and doubt of an uncertain future.

We have a new song streaming today, called Jesse. And a new album coming out, called Vessel! New York-native songwriter Greta Kline has shared a bounty of her innermost thoughts and experiences via the massive number of songs she has released since 2011. Like many of her peers, Kline’s prolific output was initially born from the ease of bedroom recording and self-releasing offered by digital technology and the internet. But, as she’s grown as a writer and performer, devising more complex albums and playing to larger audiences, Kline has begun to make her mark on modern independent music. Her newest record, Vessel, is the 52nd release from Kline and the third studio album by her indie pop outfit Frankie Cosmos. On it, Kline explores all of the changes that have come in her life as a result of the music she has shared with the world, as well as the parts of her life that have remained irrevocable.

Frankie Cosmos has taken several different shapes since their first full-band album, 2014’s Zentropy, erupted in New York’s DIY music scene. For Vessel the band’s lineup comprises multi-instrumentalists David Maine, Lauren Martin, Luke Pyenson, and Kline. The album’s 18 tracks employ a range of instrumentations and recording methods not found on the band’s prior albums, while maintaining the succinctly sincere nature of Kline’s songwriting. The album’s opening track, “Caramelize,” serves as the thematic overture for Vessel, alluding to topics like dependency, growth, and love, which reemerge throughout the record. Although many of the scenarios and personalities written about on Vessel are familiar territory for Frankie Cosmos, Kline brings a freshly nuanced point of view, and a desire to constantly question the latent meaning of her experiences. Kline’s dissonant lyrics pair with the band’s driving, jangly grooves to create striking moments of musical chemistry.

Vessel’s 34-minute run time is exactly double the length of Frankie Cosmos’ breakout record, Zentropy, and it is an enormous leap forward. Typically, albums by artists at a similar stage in their careers are written with the weight of knowing that someone is on the other end listening. Yet, despite being fully aware of their ever-growing audience, Kline and band have written Vessel with a clarity not muddled by the fear of anyone’s expectations. Vessel’s unique sensibility, esoteric narratives, and reveling energy place it comfortably in Kline’s ongoing musical auto-biography.

“Vessel” (Release Date: March 30th, 2018)

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A product of their hometown’s DIY scene, this Los Angeles trio have spent the past couple of years creating moody guitar music that draws on shoegaze, slacker-rock and post-punk. They’ve already whetted appetites for their upcoming debut album with a series of driving, dirge-like, deadpan tunes.

Los Angeles band Moaning recently toured with Sub Pop labelmates Metz, though they’re a new enough band that they’re likely being introduced to most listeners with the release of their upcoming debut album. And though they certainly have the energy and intensity to fit in comfortably alongside an aggressive, intense band like Metz, there’s a sexier, darker undercurrent of vintage post-punk in what they do that sets them apart. Throttling intensity plus sinister grooves? Sounds like Moaning has some serious potential.

Sam Beam’s return to veteran indie label Sub Pop after five years with major label Nonesuch seems significant. When Beam introduced himself as Iron & Wine on the lo-fi-recorded folk pluck-alongs of 2002’s The Creek Drank The Cradle, he proved that all you need to make a great song is a few good chords and a warmly melodic voice. Yet with albums like 2013’s Ghost On Ghost, Beam strayed far from that stripped-down approach by adding strings, ’70s soft-rock production and a lushness that sounded dramatically different, even if the songs at their core were just as warm and nourishing.

Beast Epic, Beam’s fourth for Sub Pop and sixth overall, is a happy midpoint between his starkest, simplest recordings and his more indulgent ones. Beam keeps to simpler arrangements on Beast Epic. The days of him simply finger-picking an acoustic guitar alone are well behind him, but a track like “Thomas County Law” only features slightly more instrumentation: light taps of percussion, a sparse bassline and gentle piano accompaniment. It’s the most intimate he’s sounded in years.

The album’s relative spaciousness is neither shocking nor unexpected. Beam wears this comfortable, lived-in approach well, delivering songs that maintain the prettiness and emotional impact of past records while offering the illusion of sitting in on a loose session between veteran session players. “Call It Dreaming” is just such an example, a big-hearted hymn about making the most of our short-term flesh-and-bone rentals. There’s a knowing sense of hurt, yet he delivers it with a smile.

Everything about Beast Epic feels true to Iron & Wine. Beam neither abandons his greater ambitions nor overindulges. He’s making a return trip to his roots, offering a gentle reminder of his early records’ simple beauty while allowing himself the freedom to build.

We were excited when Sub Pop Records signed Kyle Craft, and now we’re extremely pleased to have him & the band in for a ‪#‎KeepOregonWell‬ session for Kink.fm! This is one of the shows you won’t want to miss! Join us in the Studio (1210 SW 6th Ave downtown PDX .

Kyle Craft grew up in a tiny Louisiana town on the banks of the Mississippi, where he spent most of his time catching alligators and rattlesnakes instead of playing football or picking up the guitar. He’s not the born product of a musical family, and bands never came through town–it was only a chance trip to K-Mart that gave him his first album, a David Bowie hits compilation that helped inspire him eventually to channel his innate feral energy into songwriting and rock and roll.

That self-made talent drives every note of his previous album release Dolls of Highland, Craft’s exhilarating, fearless solo debut. “This album is the dark corner of a bar,” he says. “It’s that feeling at the end of the night when you’re confronted with ‘now what?’”

Craft knows the feeling well–Dolls began to take shape when everything he took for granted was suddenly over, including an eight-year relationship. “All of a sudden I was left with just me for the first time in my adult life,” he says. He decided to get himself and the music he’d been working on far away from the ghosts of his home in Shreveport, Louisiana, to make a new life for himself in Portland, Oregon, living under a friend’s pool table while he demoed new songs and started to tackle his own question about what came next.

Dolls of Highland crashes open with “Eye of a Hurricane,” a whirlwind of ragtime piano and Craft’s dynamic, enthralling vocals. He calls it a “jealous song,” stirred up by the memories of an ill-fated crush and a drama of “weird little connections, a spider web of what the fuck?”

The swinging, resonant “Lady of the Ark” is also tied up in that web, “a very incestuous song,” says Craft. “It’s about these messed up relationships, maybe involving me, maybe revolving around me.” Most of the characters and atmospheres on the album come from in and around Shreveport, where Craft briefly returned while recording the album for an intensely productive reckoning with his past. He stayed in a friend’s laundry room in the Highland neighbourhood, where he recorded the whole album in two months on a home studio rig. “I dedicated the album to Shreveport and called it Dolls of Highland for all the girls and ghosts in town who influenced it so strongly.”

Craft eventually returned to Portland where Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel of The Helio Sequence helped refine and mix the album to move it from its DIY beginnings to a more fully realized work. Craft played most of the instruments on the album, but the recorded songs transmit the power of his live performance. “It’s just letting go,” says Craft. “I think it’s just all about feeling it in your chest.”

And then there’s Craft’s unforgettable voice–”I’m fully aware that I have a very abrasive, very loud voice, but Bob Dylan is the one that taught me to embrace that,” says Craft. “I stray away from him from time to time, but always come back. I don’t want to come off as antique, but I also don’t want to be afraid of paying homage to the stuff I’ve always loved.” With those influences as inspiration, Craft’s talent and singular creativity move the conversation into new and unpredictable places.

Kyle Craft in the Skype Live Studio presented by Keep Oregon Well

“‘Cause what I want with you is none of your business,” Alicia Bognanno sings in a soft bedroom voice, layered above a repeating and driven guitar riff in the opening verse of “Kills to Be Resistant.”

This release off of Bully’s sophomore album, Losing, is not hard to identify with. The drums in this song lay down a foundation, perfectly mirroring Bognanno as she ebbs between gentle verses tip-toeing around the topic, and choruses riddled with gravel, grit and the pain that comes with accepting circumstances as they are. With just drums and bass to hold the words, Bognanno confesses, “When I’m alone, I stare at your picture,” a habit with which most of us are all too familiar. When the guitar riff comes back in for the bridge, it’s an embodiment of that cyclical, anxious thought process that’s attached to facing an end to or a shift in a relationship.

“It won’t stop / Do you feel nothing?” she asks in the chorus leading into an outro that matches the built-up frustration in the lyrics with dissonant chords and skillfully-played drum fills.

This is all anyone could have hoped for when anticipating new music from Bully. The sound is full, but nowhere near overly-complicated. Every necessary element is there, coming together to sound so effortless and raw. The only thing more to ask for is a ticket to a live performance.

When Alicia Bognanno came forth with her debut album Feels Like under the pseudonym Bully in 2015, it was relatively easy to compare her lucid, diary-entry songwriting and throaty head-screams to dozens of 90s’ indie powerhouses.

These comparisons were appropriate at the time – Feels Like was 31 restless minutes of explosive indie guitar-rock, with a timeless appeal boasting 90s’ nostalgia and emotional self-revelations. But as time passed, Feels Like aged adequately, and each listen felt more refreshing than the last. Minute production details that were once unnoticed began to show – courtesy of Bognanno’s tenure at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studios in Chicago – and Feels Like became a vital document for heady 90s’ indie-rock revivalists.

Now two years wiser, Bognanno has returned with the follow up, and her Sub Pop debut, Losing – an album even more focused and emphatic than its predecessor.

US trio Bully like to mimic their live performance on record; a sound that’s frenetic, raw, vulnerable, and pulses with tension from start to finish. For frontwoman Alicia Bognanno, this year feels like the perfect time for the band’s return, with their sophomore record, Losing – the band’s first release with legendary label Sub Pop Records (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Sleater Kinney).

The same raw intensity that made fans fall under Bognanno’s spell in 2015 is still very much present, but this time around Bognanno sounds more self-assured. Whether it’s the muscular bass riffs on “Running,” the despairing chorus of “Feel the Same,” or the repetitive drum-rolls and cries on “Not the Way,” Bognanno is her finest and purest self on Losing.

Per usual, Bognanno’s perennial hooks and screams are felt with a stubborn sense of irritability and angst, ripping off old emotional band-aids in attempts to decipher the complexities of aging. Suffice to say, Alicia Bognanno is in her prime as a musician, songwriter, and producer, and somehow comes out of Losing better than before, proving herself as one of the most consistent and impressive artists of the decade.

‘Losing’ (Release Date: October 20, 2017) LP version of ‘Losing’ from the Sub Pop Records.

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After Kyle Craft wrapped up the recording of his upcoming (all originals) 2018 album, he decided to record a cover of a Jenny Lewis song for fun. This quickly spiraled into a full fledged project with Kyle recording a slew of songs by his favorite female singers.  Working with his bandmate, Kevin Clark in their home studio after hours, Craft multi-tracked all the parts himself, and what started as an idle aside became a labour of love.

Now Sub Pop Records and Kyle Craft have picked ten favorites from the sessions to release as Girl Crazy, a series of 2-track singles rolling out weekly starting in September.   Focusing on Kyle Craft’s acclaimed interpretive talents – his version of Bowie’s “Heroes” stole the show at Newport 2017 –“Girl Crazy” introduces audiences, who may know Craft from his Sub Pop debut album Dolls of Highland, to another side of the artist.  The series will run every Thursday through October 5th, and also features covers of artists like Sharon Van Etten, Jenny Lewis, Cher and Patsy Cline.

‘Girl Crazy‘ a collection of covers from Kyle Craft available now

Wolfparade crycrycry 3000

The soaring choruses, rousing anthems, sprawling guitars and chaotic keys that make up Wolf Parade are on proud display over the course of Cry Cry Cry, the band’s thunderous first album in seven years.

That unique combination of sounds and influences, spearheaded by electric co-frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner—a complex yet relatable, energetic brew of glam, prog, synth-rock, and satisfying discomfort—helped define 2000s indie rock with three critically celebrated albums, and propelled a growing Wolf Parade fandom even after the band went on a then-indefinite hiatus in 2010.

‘Cry Cry Cry’ (Release date: October 6th, 2017) Sub Pop Records.


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