Posts Tagged ‘Sub Pop Records’

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In 2018, Low as a band will turn twenty-five. Since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker—the married couple whose heaven-and-earth harmonies have always held the band’s center—have pioneered a subgenre, shrugged off its strictures, recorded a Christmas classic, become a magnetic onstage force, and emerged as one of music’s most steadfast and vital vehicles for pulling light from our darkest emotional recesses. But Low will not commemorate its first quarter-century with mawkish nostalgia or safe runs through songbook favorites. Instead, in faithfully defiant fashion, Low will release its most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album ever: Double Negative, an unflinching eleven-song quest through snarling static and shattering beats that somehow culminates in the brightest pop song of Low’s career.To make Double Negative, Low reenlisted B.J. Burton, the quietly energetic and adventurous producer who has made records with James Blake, Sylvan Esso, and The Tallest Man on Earth in recent years while working as one of the go-to figures at Bon Iver’s home studio, April Base. Burton recorded Low’s last album, 2015’s Ones and Sixes, at April Base, adding might to many of its beats and squelch and frisson beneath many of its melodies.

Featuring the music videos “Quorum” “Dancing and Blood” and “Fly” from Low’s upcoming album Double Negative (Release Date: September 14, 2018)

This time, though, Sparhawk, Parker, and bassist Steve Garrington knew they wanted to go further with Burton and his palette of sounds, to see what someone who is, as Sparhawk puts it, “a hip-hop guy” could truly do to their music. Rather than obsessively write and rehearse at home in Duluth, Minnesota, they would often head southeast to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, arriving with sketches and ideas that they would work on for days with Burton. Band and producer became collaborative cowriters, building the pieces up and breaking them down and building them again until their purpose and force felt clear. As the world outside seemed to slide deeper into instability, Low repeated this process for the better part of two years, pondering the results during tours and breaks at home. They considered not only how the fragments fit together but also how, in the United States of 2018, they functioned as statements and salves.

Double Negative is, indeed, a record perfectly and painfully suited for our time. Loud and contentious and commanding, Low fights for the world by fighting against it. It begins in pure bedlam, with a beat built from a loop of ruptured noise waging war against the paired voices of Sparhawk and Parker the moment they begin to sing during the massive “Quorum.” For forty minutes, they indulge the battle, trying to be heard amid the noisy grain, sometimes winning and sometimes being tossed toward oblivion. In spite of the mounting noise, Sparhawk and Parker still sing. Or maybe they sing because of the noise. For Low, has there ever really been a difference?.

Low. A band from Duluth, Minnesota, formed in 1993. Featuring Alan Sparhawk on vocals and guitar and Mimi Parker on vocals and drums and Steve Garrington on bass. Sparhawk and Parker are married with two children; they first met in fourth grade in rural Minnesota. Garrington is the latest addition to the band, longtime bassist Zak Sally previously replaced original bassist John Nichols and Sally departed the group after the release of Great Destroyer.

Low released its first album, I Could Live in Hope, in 1994 (producer by Kramer) on Vernon Yard Records. Pegged as “slowcore,” due to the band’s minimalist soundscapes and the beautiful harmonies of Sparhawk and Parker, which stood in stark contrast to the era’s fascination with “grunge.” Low continued to work with varied producers and released a constant stream of critically acclaimed albums (e.g., Long Division, Curtain Hits the Cast, Things We Lost in the Fire), one-offs, collaborations and other miscellany, including a classic Christmas album, aptly titled Low Christmas. Throughout, Low have toured the world.

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Since 2011, the New York band LVL UP has grown up from a dorm room demo collaboration into a full-fledged songwriting force. From their indelibly catchy debut album, Space Brothers, to their 2016 Sub Pop Records release, Return to Love, the band never lost the spark that made their warm hearted indie rock tick. Now, after seven years together, LVL UP are calling it quits, but not before issuing an emotional swan song. “Orchard,” the group’s final single, feels like a fitting end to a musical project based on college friendship. It’s the sort of tune you might imagine playing over the closing credits of a buddy movie as the sun sets in the rearview mirror.

On “Orchard,” thick guitar chords and a haze of synthesized flutes evoke the feeling of humid summer air, while downturned vocal melodies convey a sense of nostalgia for a time that hasn’t quite ended yet. Midway through the track, all the instruments save the drums fall away, leaving the vocals bare. “Watching water run through the fingers,” sings vocalist and guitarist Mike Caridi, as if he’s trying to freeze time as it slips by. By the end, though, drummer Greg Rutkin has shifted to an upbeat pattern, putting an optimistic spin on the melancholy mood. It’s as if a new beginning were forming inside the song’s finish, a new era emerging from the close of the last one. “Orchard” may be the epilogue to a great rock act, but it’s also a reminder that there’s life after the breakup of a band.

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With only single-digit days left before the June 15th release of their much-anticipated album Hope Downs, from Australian Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have shared one last single and announced their biggest headlining tour yet, album-closing cut “The Hammer” comes on the heels of three previous singles, “Mainland,” “Talking Straight” and “An Air Conditioned Man.”.

“The Hammer” taken from their forthcoming album, Hope Downs, which is out next week (June 15th) via Sub Pop Records. Like most of what you’ll hear on the new album, “The Hammer” is earworm indie rock that nods to Australia’s (and New Zealand’s) rich history of strummy pop (The Go Betweens, The Clean).

Sub Pop Record’s latest introduction to the world, Jo Passed brings psych rock from a north-of-the-border region better known for more traditional indie. Pink Floyd and Sonic Youth are touchstones here, as this eclectic release establishes Jo Passed as the latest band to watch on a label that is known for bands to watch.

Jo Passed originally consisted of Jo and his friend and drummer Mac Lawrie. The two moved to Montreal together, and toured the far-right corner of North America. After Jo’s return to Vancouver, multi-instrumentalist Bella Bébé joined the band in January of 2016, and multimedia artist Megan-Magdalena Bourne joined on bass, after working on a video for the song “Rage” (from Jo Passed’s ‘Out’ EP). The nicest thing anyone has ever – ever – said to Jo Hirabayashi, frontman of Jo Passed, is that his band’s debut album sounds like “fucked-up Beatles”. ‘Their Prime’, the full-length follow-up to Jo Passed’s two EPs, ‘Up’ and ‘Out’, does sound like fucked-up Beatles. It sounds like Lennon and McCartney discovered Can and Neu!, and maybe a little Sonic Youth and XTC along the way. It demonstrates that timeless knack for dreamy melodies – chord progressions that sound like they were created in a land far, far away.

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GospelbeacH | Photo by http://www.alive-records.com/artist/gospelbeach/

iA band formed by Brent Rademaker of Beachwood Sparks and former Sparks drummer, Tom Sanford. The band includes Neal Casal (of Ryan Adams & The Cardinals) and Jason Soda on vocals and guitars, Kip Boardman (vocals, bass), with a guest appearance by Nelson Bragg (vocal harmonies).

The band is helmed by Beachwood Sparks‘ Brent Rademaker, and they released their sophomore album, Another Summer of Love, . But we need something for this summer, and that’s just what GospelbeacH is giving us. Their new song, “Dreamin’”, is from the recording sessions of Another Summer of Love, so it already has that summer vibe instilled within it. It’s a bright, warm invitation to chill.

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Beachwood Sparks debuted in 2000, with a collection of songs on Sub Pop Records that couched the band in 1960s’ Laurel Canyon country-rock of The Byrds, and the cosmic country of Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers. With Rademaker at the helm of this new band, GospelbeacH continue to draw connections between the country-rock and pop on their debut album, Pacific Surf Line came out on October 9th 2017 on Alive Naturalsound Records.

Frankie Cosmos, the up-close and tender musical project led by singer/songwriter Greta Kline, released their Sub Pop Records debut Vessel late March , and now they’ve just released a third new song from that album, “Apathy,” which you can hear below. Like earlier singles “Jesse” and “Being Alive,” “Apathy” finds Frankie Cosmos stretching beyond Kline’s intimate singing to explore the DIY indie-pop sound as a full band.

The Band are having some fun with their videos. In their clip for “Jesse,” they messed around with the popular fringe YouTube video genres of ASMR and slime videos. Now they’re back with a video for “Apathy,” and it’s also pretty silly.

In the clip, directed by Tom Scharpling, a different band named Frankie Cosmos comes across the Frankie Cosmos that we know and love, so they go to one of their shows and meet them outside after, with the intent of intimidating them into changing their band name. Frankie Cosmos leader Greta Kline nonchalantly flips open her switchblade, and that’s the end of that conflict. Kline says that the video was a delight to make with Scharpling: 

With an interview, The new song Kline spoke about growing into her role as a professional musician, moving on from a pretty public relationship with Aaron Maine of Porches, and how maturity has changed her understanding of love songs she wrote as a teen.

Vessel (Release Date: March 30, 2018)

Father John Misty has shared his disorienting new video for “Mr. Tillman,” the first single off his upcoming new album God’s Favorite Customer. Just as the song’s lyrics zero in on the singer’s unpleasant experience at a hotel, the “Mr. Tillman” video is like The Shining meets “Hotel California,” as Father John Misty is doomed to relive his stay and inability to leave countless times. The result is interactions with doppelgangers, an attempted suicide and a taxicab escape.

In February, the singer, whose real name is Josh Tillman, unveiled “Mr. Tillman” along with a low-budget green-screened video of himself messing around in a hotel.

Father John Misty has previously released two songs, “Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All” and “Just Dumb Enough to Try,” from his forthcoming album God’s Favorite Customer, the speedy follow-up to 2017’s Pure Comedy. God’s Favorite Customer arrives June 1st.

“Mr. Tillman” is off of Father John Misty’s upcoming album, God’s Favorite Customer, out June 1st on Sub Pop and Bella Union.

The rollicking guitar pop of Aussie band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever captured our attention at SXSW 2017. Now signed to Sub Pop Records and with a full length album Hope Downs on the way this summer,

Fresh off Coachella, Melbourne-based indie rock band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever performed live on Morning Becomes Eclectic. With two outstanding Talk Tight and French Press EPs already released and a debut full length album on the way – this quintet bounced around their catchy catalogue with ease (including an unreleased standout track and an Orange Juice cover).

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Musicians:
Fran Keaney – Vocals, Guitar
Tom Russo- Vocals, Guitar
Joe White- Vocals, Guitar
Joe Russo – Bass
Marcel Tussie– Drums

Hope Downs

It’s rare that a band’s debut album sounds as confident and self-assured as the Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s “Hope Downs”.

To say that the first full-length from the Melbourne quintet improves on their two buzz-building eps from the last few years would be an understatement: the promise those early releases hinted at is fully realized here, with ten songs of urgent, passionate guitar pop that elicit warm memories of bands past, from the Go-Betweens’ jangle to the charmingly lo-fi trappings of New Zealand’s Flying Nun label. but don’t mistake Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever for nostalgists

Hope Downs is the sound of a band finding its own collective voice. the hard-hitting debut album is a testament to the band’s tight-knit and hard-working bonafides. prior to forming the band in 2013, singers/guitarists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo, and Joe White had played together in various garage bands, dating back to high school. when Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever . started, with Joe Russo [Tom’s brother] on bass, Marcel Tussie, Joe White’s then-housemate on drums, the chemistry was immediate. after a split ep with You Yangs (another Russo brother’s band), released in the form of a frisbee, they self-released talk tight in 2015, which Sydney-based record label Ivy League gave a wider release the following year. talk tight garnered plaudits from critics, including legendary rock scribe’s.  In 2017, Sub Pop released the French Press ep, bringing the band’s chugging and tuneful non-linear indie rock to the rest of the world as they settled into their sound with remarkable ease.

Hope Downs was largely written over the past year in the band’s Melbourne rehearsal room where their previous releases were also written and recorded. the band’s core trio of songwriters hunkered down and wrote as the chaos of the world outside unavoidably seeped into the songwriting process. “we were feeling like we were in a moment where the sands were shifting and the world was getting a lot weirder. there was a general sense that things were coming apart at the seams and people around us were too,” Russo explains. the album title, taken from the name of a vast open cut mine in the middle of Australia, refers to the feeling of “standing at the edge of the void of the big unknown, and finding something to hold on to.” with the help of engineer/producer Liam Judson and his portable setup, the band recorded Hope Downs live, and co-produced ten guitar pop gems over the course of two weeks in northern New South Wales during the winter of 2017. Hope Downs possesses a robust full-band sound that’s all the more impressive considering the band’s avoidance of traditional recording studios. if you loved Talk Tight and the French Press, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

But you might also be surprised at how the band’s sound has grown. there’s a richness and weight to these songs that was previously only hinted at, from the skyscraping chorus of “Sister’s Jeans” to the thrilling climax of album closer “The Hammer.” Hope Downs is as much about the people that populate the world around us—their stories, perspectives, and hopes in the face of disillusionment—as it is about the state of things at large. it’s a record that focuses on finding the bright spots at a time when cynicism all too often feels like the natural state. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are here to remind us to keep our feet on the ground—and Hope Downs is as delicious a taste of terra firma as you’re going to get from a rock band right now.

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METZ have a new animated video for the blistering Mr. Plague, taken from their 2017 album, Strange Peace.

As described by director, Shayne Ehman, the video examines: “…the crumbling remnants of civilisation…a broken justice system…a consumer wasteland… Was it all part of the plan?

The Toronto-based trio Metz have incorporated harmony into their heavy sound on their third full-length. They shift away from all-out abrasion, adding color to their eruptions. Metz haven’t turned into a pop band. They’ve actually done the opposite, incorporating harmony without going soft. The fact that so few heavy bands have been able to pull that off attests to how difficult it is. With Strange Peace, Metz make it sound easy.

‘Strange Peace’ (Release date: September 22, 2017)