Posts Tagged ‘Sub Pop Records’

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Singer/songwriter Lael Neale recently signed to Sub Pop Records, and she’ll release her new album “Acquainted With Night” on February 19th via the label. It features recent single “Every Star Shivers in the Dark” and the just-released “Blue Vein.” Like the previous single, it’s an Omnichord-fuelled offering of dream pop/psych folk that fans of Mazzy Star and Beach House should not sleep on. Acquainted With Night features ten tracks, and includes the previously released standouts “Every Star Shivers in the Dark” and “For No One For Now.”

Well…It is my great honour and thrill to announce I have signed with Sub Pop Records !!! In celebration, we are sharing my debut single and video “Every Star Shivers in the Dark”  which is available NOW everywhere, directed the video & the song was produced by Guy Blakeslee & was mastered by Chris Coady my excitement is beyond measure immense thanks to the good people of Sub Pop Records, Uncut calls the album, “A thing of shimmering beauty, led by Neale’s otherworldly voice with its shades of Vashti Bunyan and Julia Holter.”

“Blue Vein” is her personal anthem. A Paul Revere piece. Galloping through the town as a strident declamation. She offers this, “I wrote this song pre-Omnichord and it is the only recording I play guitar on. I wrote it around New Year’s Eve and it felt like a resolution.” Indeed, it is an amalgam of thoughts, concerns, and lessons as she nearly speaks the words, unmasked by flourishes, ensuring the meaning cuts through. In the final verse she states that, “some say the truth springs for reservoir seekers, but I think the truth sings to whoever listens” thereby establishing herself as the proverbial carrier pigeon delivering a message.

Lael returned to her family farm back in April 2020 and has taken advantage of the limitations imposed by this period. She re-discovered her Sony Handycam from high school and is using it to make impressionistic companion pieces to the songs she recorded in Los Angeles. She continues, “I am enjoying the strong contrast between the songs I wrote and recorded in California and the videos I am making for them in Virginia. It offers something unexpected.”

The lo-fi quality of the films certainly suits the tone of the album. Guy comments, “an idea that was floating around in our conversations before and during the process was ‘lost tapes’ – and I think these recordings feel like such an artifact – a sonic portrait of a season of a life, a sacred tape made in private by an artist at the peak of creative power and rediscovered by chance for the ages.”

“Blue Vein” by Lael Neale from her album Acquainted with Night (Release Date: 02/19/2021) Sub Pop Records.

Acquainted with Night

If you like your post-punk extra post-punk-y, then Moaning is maybe the band for you. The synths have just the right amount of glide, the guitars stab in all right parts (I will not use the term “angular,” thank you very much), and the vocals have the requisite sense of dispassionate detachment. This criminally underrated Los Angeles trio led by frontman Sean Solomon has been producing good music for years and “Uneasy Laughter” has mostly flown under the radar in 2020, but ignore this album at your own peril. Few bands have mastered the beguiling rock mixture of analogue and synthetic quite like Moaning.

What happens when an abrasive rock trio trades guitars for synths, cranks up the beats and leans into the everyday anxieties of simply being a functioning human in the 21st century? The answer is Uneasy Laughter, the sensational second Sub Pop Records release from Los Angeles-based Moaning.

Vocalist/guitarist Sean Solomon, bassist/keyboardist Pascal Stevenson and drummer Andrew MacKelvie have been friends and co-conspirators amid the fertile L.A. DIY scene for more than a decade. They are also immersed in other mediums and creative pursuits — Solomon is a noted illustrator, art director and animator, while Stevenson and MacKelvie have played or worked behind the boards with acts such as Cherry Glazerr, Sasami and Surf Curse. On Uneasy Laughter, they’ve tackled challenges both personal and universal the only way they know how: by talking about how they’re feeling and channelling those emotions directly into their music.

“Ego” from Moaning’s album Uneasy Laughter (Release Date: March 20th, 2020) Sub Pop Records.

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METZ has shared a new video for their song “Framed by the Comet’s Tail”, directed by the band’s drummer, Hayden Menzies. The visual companion to a personal favourite track of Menzies’ from Atlas Vending was created within a set of self-imposed limitations; it was all shot by Menzies on his phone, edited at home, with no borrowed content. He says of the video “It’s not a literal interpretation of the song by any means, but a document of random firing synapses of the mind during isolation.” Watch the video now.

This week we also announced the first Atlas Vending tour dates and tickets for our 2021 European and UK tour are on sale now. If you can’t wait until 2021, join us next week for a very special livestream of Atlas Vending in its entirety from The Opera House in Toronto.

“Atlas Vending” is Metz’s most dynamic, dimensional, and compelling work of their career, and is now available worldwide from Sub Pop Records.

What people are saying about Atlas Vending:
“Atlas Vending is the sound of a band fully confident in itself and delivering their biggest and best work yet.” ★★★★ – Upset Magazine

“The Toronto band maintain a formidable degree of power and velocity throughout their fourth album yet… provide more welcome respites from the ferocious barrage they’re otherwise highly skilled at delivering.” [8/10] – Uncut

” A record which draws on 35 years of North American alt-rock excellence, while still stamping its creators’ own identity firmly across its grooves.” [4/5] – Kerrang

”By gathering everything the group has done to date and mixing it together Metz manage to create a perfectly potent cocktail, one filled with nostalgia, sadness and grinding euphoria.” [8/10] – Loud and Quiet

“The expansiveness of the sonic palette on Atlas Vending just gives the band more room to paint outside the lines.” [8/10] – Under The Radar

“A record that feels both raw and refined, this will shake you to the core”★★★★ – DIY Magazine

Lael Neale is sharing an official video for new single “For No One For Now,” an uptempo lament set in Didion’s Los Angeles. The drum track of the Omnichord calls to mind the agitated beat of driving fast on the freeway against the backdrop of the San Fernando Valley with its bent palms. Lael offers this, “I’ve always loved these stretches of road where the magic of the city seems hemmed in by the mundane.” The song contrasts romantic idealizations with the banality of folding sheets and toasting bread. “For No One For Now” is available worldwide on Sub Pop Records.

Lael grew up on a farm in Virginia among acres of clouds, fields, and woods. It was writing and writers close to nature – Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Steinbeck, and Mary Oliver – that she most connected with. In 2009, she moved to California with a rising devotion to music and for nearly 10 years has now called Los Angeles home.  She worked with countless musicians, producers and collaborators, making entire records and eventually stowing them away. Despite endless frustration, she never resigned.  After discovering a new instrument, the Omnichord, she experienced a moment of illumination and began recording a deluge of emerging songs with the intention to capture them in their truest form.  She remarks, “Guy Blakeslee who had been an advocate for years facilitated the process. He set up a cassette 4-track in my bedroom and provided empathic guidance, subtle yet affecting accompaniment, and engineering prowess.”

She returned to her family farm back in April 2020 and has taken advantage of the limitations imposed by this period. She resurrected her old Sony Handycam from high school and is using it to make impressionistic companion pieces to the songs she recorded in Los Angeles.

She continues, “I am enjoying the strong contrast between the songs I wrote and recorded in California and the videos I am making for them in Virginia. It offers something unexpected.” In this installment, starry-eyed fantasy is cut with dull reality and a touch of the otherworldly.  It is at once dreamy and creepy. The sweetness is skinned by subtle humour as she pokes fun at her own romanticism.

Buildings burning in every direction; macabre unknowns in your friendly neighbour’s basement;  under pressure we could call Kiwi Jr’s “Cooler Returns” “timely.” But what year is it, again? On their sophomoric smash-up album released world-wide by Sub Pop Records, Kiwi Jr troll through the recent zigs & looming zags of the new decade, forgotten and under-investigated small town diner fires, piecing together low-stakes conspiracy theories on what’s coming down the pike in 2021. Put together like a thousand-piece puzzle, assembled in flow state through the first dull stretch of quarantine, sanitized singer “Cooler Returns” materializes as a sprawling survey from the first few bites of what has been the terrible twenties. 

Not so long since their debut “Football Money” in unending grey eons later in the years of quaran-time, spiritually Canadians Kiwi Jr return to disseminate this year’s annual report to the shareholders, burying the incriminating numbers in the endless appendices of a longform narrative record.

Opener “Tyler” builds a Frankenstein of all your musician exes; don’t you remember “falling apart in the green room while they drank half the headliner’s rider?” In “Waiting In Line” we’re still slumbering at the bar, We hear “it isn’t past until it burns,” in “Maid Marian’s Toast” but what explains the accompanying & extensive itinerary of incinerated Eastern Canadian eateries? Investigated off the clock by Kiwi’s Jr.  Throughout these crises, histories, and head games Kiwi Jr. don’t expect you to be taking notes or checking dates – and on the back nine, when “Omaha” demands proof that “Woodstock ever happened in the first place,” perhaps the freewheeling guitar groove underfoot tells us all we need to know about who’s been flipping through the festival files, air-drumming along.

Kiwi Jr sing this song to an indoor audience, only song writing remaining to deliver engrossing tales to the populace, just how I imagine it worked in the old days. Best Wishes, Warm Regards, Good Luck? Cooler Returns. 

Kiwi Jr. is Jeremy Gaudet (mic, guitar), Brohan Moore (drums), Mike Walker (bass), and Brian Murphy (guitar). 

Releases January 22nd, 2021 on Sub Pop Records

Since the late nineties, Fruit Bats has been the music of Eric D. Johnson. including Bloody Marys, major 7th chords, Nashville tuning, tibetan singing bowls and many other things. On “Mouthfuls”, the Fruit Bats tone down the twang of their debut, Echolocation, and offer something closer to a mix of late-’60s/early-’70s folk and bubble-gum shot through with unpredictable electronic elements that, paradoxically, make the group’s music seem even more homemade and organic.

Most of the songs have sunny, winding melodies and arrangements that twist and turn until they end up in a completely different place than where they began; “A Bit of Wind” starts out as a simple, jangly singalong and gradually adds a brass band, strings, and flutes until it becomes a sweeping pop symphony. The lilting vocals and bittersweet harmonies on “Rainbow Sign” and “Magic Hour” call to mind the Fruit Bats’ labelmates, the Shins, at times although the Fruit Bats’ brand of summery, psych-tinged pop is much mellower. From beginning to end, Mouthfuls radiates laid-back contentment, but it’s to the band’s credit that this vibe rarely dips into laziness or complacency, even on relatively simple pastoral interludes like “Track Rabbits.” Actually, there’s a lot going on within the album’s serenity, especially on tracks like “Union Blankets,” which features an intricate mix of programmed and live percussion underneath its strummy acoustic guitars and close harmonies, and on “The Little Acorn,” which begins as a drifting,

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Radar Brothers-esque ballad before adding sparkling synths and soft rock-inspired backing vocals. Toward the end of Mouthfuls, the Fruit Bats return to the country-folk fusions of Echolocation, and while they’re still very pretty, they don’t quite capture the imagination the way the album’s earlier, more experimental tracks do. Still, when an album is as effortlessly warm and pretty as this one is, it’s hard to begrudge the band a return to more familiar sonic pastures, and even more so when Mouthfuls suggests that the Fruit Bats’ next album will be even more winning in its ways.

Originally released August 4th, 2003

2003 Sub Pop Records

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It’s tempting to think that you have all the answers, screaming your gospel every day with certainty and anger. Life isn’t quite like that though, and the debut album from London four-piece TV Priest instead embraces the beautiful and terrifying unknowns that exist personally, politically and culturally.

Posing as many questions as it answers, “Uppers” is a thunderous opening statement that continues the UK’s recent resurgence of grubby, furious post-punk music. It says something very different though – something completely its own. Four childhood friends who made music together as teenagers before drifting apart and then, somewhat inevitably, back together late in 2019, TV Priest was born out of a need to create together once again, and brings with it a wealth of experience and exhaustion picked up in the band’s years of pursuing “real life” and “real jobs,” something those teenagers never had.

In November 2019, the band – vocalist Charlie Drinkwater, guitarist Alex Sprogis, bass and keys player Nic Bueth, and drummer Ed Kelland – played their first show, to a smattering of friends in what they describe as an “industrial freezer” in the warehouse district of Hackney Wick. “It was like the pub in Peep Show with a washing machine just in the middle…” Charlie laughs, Unsurprisingly, there isn’t a precedent for introducing an album during a global pandemic, but among the general sense of anxiety and unease pervading everything at the moment, TV Priest’s entrance in April with the release of debut single “House of York” – a searing examination of the Monarchy – served as a breath of fresh air among the chaos, its anger and confusion making some kind of twisted sense to the nation’s fried brains.

It’s the same continued global sense of anxiety that will greet the release of Uppers, and it’s an album that has a lot to say right now. Taking musical cues from The Fall and Protomartyr as well as the mechanical, pulsating grooves of Kosmische Musik, it’s a record that moves with an untamed energy. Over the top of this rumbling musical machine is vocalist Charlie, a cuttingly funny, angry, confused, real frontman.

“Decoration,” Uppers’ center-piece, has a streamlined groove soundtracking Charlie’s lyrical vignettes that captures the absurdity and mundanity of life. Its opening and closing line (“I’ve never seen a dog do what that dog does”) is a misremembered quote by Simon Cowell about a performing dog on Britain’s Got Talent. Charlie says, “We often said it in the studio as a kind of in-joke when someone did something good or unexpected. Having already toyed around with the ‘Through to the next round’ line,’ this seemed too good to leave out.” And the chorus “It’s all just decoration” is credited to 2-year old niece of Alex’s fiancé, who reassured him after he pretended to be scared by Halloween decorations.

“Press Gang” is inspired by Charlie’s grandfather’s life’s work as a photojournalist and war correspondent on the UK’s Fleet Street from the 1950s to the early 1980s. The song is about the shifting role in the dissemination of information and ideas, and how the prevailing narrative that the “Death of Print Media” has contributed to a “post truth” world.

Album closer “Saintless” is the most personal and raw moment on Uppers. Charlie wrote a note to his son after his birth, following a difficult period his wife had faced during and after the pregnancy. The song is about how as parents we’re fallible and human, and while the world can be a difficult place at times the one thing that gets you through is giving your love to those that need and appreciate it. “Saintless” rides a motorik beat, with guitars, bass and synths building layers of intensity and emotion that replicate and swell with the message of the track. 

Uppers sees TV Priest explicitly and outwardly trying to avoid narrowmindedness. Uppers sees TV Priest taking musical and personal risks, reaching outside of themselves and trying to make sense of this increasingly messy world. It’s a band and a record that couldn’t arrive at a more perfect time.

“Press Gang” is Out now – our new one from our album ‘Uppers’, out on Sub Pop Records next month. “Uppers” It’s about Charlie’s grandad, news cycles, truth, chip paper, and information. It’s also pretty loud. Lots of love to Joe Wheatly for another wild ride making the video & big love to all the crew who helped us out over a very cold weekend.

“Press Gang” by TV Priest from their album “Uppers” (Release Date: 02/05/2021)

Buildings burning in every direction; macabre unknowns in your friendly neighbour’s basement; undecided voters sharpening their pencils: under pressure we could call Kiwi Jr’s Cooler Returns “timely.” But what year is it, again? On their sophomoric smash-up released world-wide by Sub Pop Records, Kiwi Jr cycle through the recent zigs & looming zags of the new decade, squinting anew at New Year’s parties forgotten and under-investigated small town diner fires, piecing together low-stakes conspiracy theories on what’s coming down the pike in 2021. Put together like a thousand-piece puzzle, assembled in flow state through the first dull stretch of quarantine, sanitized singer shuffling to sanitized studio by streetcar, masked like it’s the kind of work where getting recognized means getting killed, Cooler Returns materializes as a sprawling survey from the first few bites of the terrible twenties, an investigative exposé of recent history buried under the headlines & ancient kings buried under parking lots.

Not so long since their debut Football Money in archaeological time, unending grey eons later in the dog years of quaran-time, spiritually antipodean Canadians Kiwi Jr return to disseminate this year’s annual report to the shareholders, burying the incriminating numbers in the endless appendices of a longform narrative record, a 3,000 word tract for stakeholders to pore over.

Opener “Tyler” builds a Frankenstein of all your musician exes; don’t you remember “falling apart in the green room while they drank half the headliner’s rider?” In “Waiting In Line” we’re still slumbering at the bar, agitation skyrocketing contemplating “what breed of beast protects the back door.” We hear “it isn’t past until it burns,” in “Maid Marian’s Toast” but what explains the accompanying & extensive itinerary of incinerated Eastern Canadian eateries? Investigated off the clock by Kiwi’jrs amateur arson division, suspicion is cast on all: The Cook, The Regular : Ms. Scarlett, Colonel Mustard. Throughout these crises, histories, and head games Kiwi Jr. don’t expect you to be taking notes or checking dates – and on the back nine, when “Omaha” demands proof that “Woodstock ever happened in the first place,” perhaps the freewheeling guitar groove underfoot tells us all we need to know about who’s been flipping through the festival files, air-drumming along to the complete 10-CD set.

Opening with a sweet melody on 12-string guitar, the band offer up even more evidence that ‘Cooler Returns’ is set to be one of the best releases of 2021. Reminiscent of a forgotten 70s classic, its fairground piano and bouncing rhythms are prefect for blowing away the January blues.

These stories – memories of Augusts past, unrepressed & transcribed fast – go down easier thanks to meaningful changes enacted in 2019’s KiwiCares Pledge: delivering on a promise to transition from Crunchy to Smooth by 2021, the caveman chug of Football Money has been steamed & pressed with the purifying air of a saloon piano – operated with bow-tie untied – and a spring green side-salad of tentatively up-tempo organ taps & freshly fluted harmonica.

A chronically detuned spin of the dial through swivel-chair distractions & WFH daydreams, an immersive ctrl-tab deluge cycling through popular listicle distractions like the unentombing of Richard III, or the deja vu destruction of the Glasgow School of Art, Kiwi Jr sing this song to an indoor audience, crisscrossing cancelled, every other prestige distraction source wrung dry, only song writing remaining to deliver engrossing tales to the populace, just how I imagine it worked in the old days.

Fixing loose ingredients into a sturdy whip, Kiwi Jr beam in live from the 9-5, striding into 2021 with a mastered brainwave that comes equally from the back room of the record store as the penalty box. And how do we, left holding this box of deliberate entanglements, sign off to those as yet uninitiated, undecided, uncertain, unseen, absent return coordinates 

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Kiwi Jr.’s “Cooler Returns”, featuring the title track, “Undecided Voters,” “Maid Marion’s Toast,” and “Waiting in Line,” will be available January 22nd, 2021 worldwide through Sub Pop with the exception of Canada through the band’s Kiwi Club imprint. The album was produced by Kiwi Jr., mixed and engineered by Graham Walsh (METZ, Bully, Preoccupations) in Toronto, and mastered by Phillip Shaw Bova at Bova Labs in Ottawa, Ontario.

Kiwi Jr. is Jeremy Gaudet (mic, guitar), Brohan Moore (drums), Mike Walker (bass), and Brian Murphy (guitar). 

releases January 22nd, 2021  Sub Pop Records

The Postal Service’s “Everything Will Change” live album will be available digitally for the first time on December 4th, 2020 worldwide through Sub Pop Records. The beloved band’s 15-track set, which features fan favourites ”Such Great Heights,” “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight,” “Sleeping In” and “Natural Anthem,” along with a cover of Beat Happening’s “Our Secret” and a rare live take on Dntel’s “(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan,” was performed live at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA, during their 2013 reunion tour. This 2020 release of Everything Will Change was remixed by Don Gunn and remastered by Dave Cooley earlier this year, from the recordings that were originally released as part of the the 2014 concert film.

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Released December 4th, 2020

© 2020 Sub Pop Records

The debut album from Loma, a collaborative trio formed of members of Shearwater and Cross Record, has an intriguing atmosphere and dynamic to it, likely due in part to the unusual circumstances of its creation. At the outset of the sessions, singer Emily Cross and multi-instrumentalist Dan Duszynski were a married couple, who towards the end of recording decided to divorce. Despite this, the trio completed ‘Loma’, a record of incredible depth and clarity that cathartically explores rich soundscapes. Though the album is strong in its entirety, the stunning highlight ‘I Don’t Want Children’ exemplifies the trio’s acute attention to detail as synthesised textures gradually layer over a delicate piano arrangement, with Cross‘ crystal-clear vocals piercing straight through. ‘Loma’ is an emotionally wrought and delicately crafted album that is beyond impressive for any first offering – regardless of its circumstances.

It was only last month that the return of Loma, the collaboration of Cross Record’s Emily Cross, Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater and Dan Duszynski. That was around the release of the track “Ocotillo”, the first track from their upcoming second album, Don’t Shy Away, out in October via Sub Pop Records. This week the band have shared the latest offering from the record, Half Silences.

The first song the band wrote for Don’t Shy Away, “Half Silences” is the result of what Jonathan described as, “tinkering”, the track evolving from its early form, into the final version that, “always seemed to belong”, on this record. The whole track is built around the propulsive, brilliant drum beat, accompanied by chiming guitars and Emily’s echo-drenched vocal, creating an eerie shuffle that slowly worms its way into your mind and refuses to let go. Particularly wonderful is the chant along chorus, where voices arrive en masse to repeat the line, “generate light, generate heat, generate feeling”, driving the uneasy message home with each run-through. Further evidence that we’re on the right track when we declare Don’t Shy Away our most anticipated record of 2020,

“Half Silences” by Loma from their album Don’t Shy Away (Release Date: 10/23/2020 on @Sub Pop Records)