Posts Tagged ‘Tiny Engines Records’

Stevie Knipe’s Adult Mom is back, unveiling their first new record since parting ways with now-defunct label Tiny Engines. Fittingly, “Sober” trains its focus on the aftermath of a broken relationship’s dissolution, with Knipe’s narrator moving on from someone they no longer love. Keys and a drum machine beat set the tone while Knipe assesses the situation with unflinching honesty and humour: “The only thing that I’ve done / This month is drink beer and / Masturbate, and ignore / Phone calls from you / What else am I supposed to do?” Propulsive pop-rock guitars push the song along until Knipe finally concludes, “Now I don’t even think of you / When I am sober.” 

Adult Mom have been incorporating sonic textures and 00’s inspired guitar tones, as well as Stevie Knipe’s lyrical wit, honesty and humour into the indie pop songs that make up the 10 tracks featured on their new album DriverOriginally Adult Mom began as Stevie Knipe’s solo project, this project is now a collaborative effort working with friends and fellow musicians Olivia Battell and Allegra Eidinger.

Adult Mom have created the reputation of a band that “writes clever and intimate indie pop songs that offer a glimpse into the journey of a gender-weird queer navigating through heartache, trauma and subsequent growth.” Since the band formed in 2012, Adult Mom have released a total five EPs and two full length albums, Momentary Lapse of Happily and Soft Spots, 

Meanwhile, the “Sober” The record will arrive on 5th March via Epitaph, preceded by new single ‘Sober’, a track which examines how people’s perception of each other changes and deteriorates over time. The video—directed and animated by Maddie Brewer, with additional animation from Noah Gallagher—comprises quietly vivid images of someone putting painful memories (and booze) behind them, moving forward on a journey of self-discovery that slowly but surely turns into something quite surreal.

Co-produced by main member Stevie Knipe (pictured) and Thin Lips’ Kyle Pulley, ‘Driver’ will arrive on March 5th via Epitaph

Empty Country is a new project from Cymbals Eat Guitars frontman Joseph D’Agostino, and he just announced that he’ll release his debut album on Tiny Engines in 2020. Ahead of that though, he just shared his debut two-song single, “Ultrasound” / “Jets.” And making it even more exciting, “Ultrasound” features Charles Bissell of The Wrens.

With Cymbals Eat Guitars, Joseph D’Agostino trafficked in indie-minded iterations of classic rock, from epic Built To Spill freakouts to neon Springsteen worship. So it only follows that his new project would plow headfirst into the great wide open. D’Agostino’s debut album as Empty Country plays like a drive through the heartland, except instead of coast to coast it takes you to the 1980s and back. Along the way it connects the dots between “Pink Houses,” Red House Painters, and the houses on all those memorable emo album covers.


The Cymbals Eat Guitars guy has a new project and it sounds like Desparacidos. Well, it doesn’t quite evoke the ire of fifty Kum & Gos, but “Ultrasound” paints with the same sonic palette as Conor Oberst’s snarling anti-consumerist ventilation, blending Joseph D’Agostino’s sludgy garage-punk instrumentation with a vocal performance a few quivers shy of a jorts-clad Oberst. At times it sounds like a demo version of a LOSE-era Cymbals Eat Guitars track, though it mostly feels like a totally new direction for the Philly-based songwriter.

Empty Country “Ultrasound” released at the end of last year on Tiny Engines Joseph D’Agostino, the lead singer/songwriter of Cymbals Eat Guitars, announced his new project Empty Country. Debut Album out on Tiny Engines

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Truth Club are the wistful, nervy relatives of indie rock’s past and present. The four-piece reconfigure the genre’s moodiest, most poignant moments into their own distinctly emotive sound. You can hear echoes of Parquet Courts and Protomartyr’s spoken-word freak-outs and jittery guitars, sensitive and catchy late-’90s alt-rock, Pavement-esque slow-burners, and some emo intonation. Their debut album, “Not An Exit”, is restless and introspective, a meditation that overflows.

Band Members
Travis + Elise + Kam + Yvonne

Truth Club “Not An Exit” out May 3rd 2019 on Tiny Engines

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Hear Strange Ranger’s beautiful, apocalyptic indie LP, <i>Remembering The Rockets</i>

Philadelphia-based indie quartet Strange Ranger’s lush-sounding third album, Remembering The Rockets, is pockmarked by the apocalypse; anxious moments poke through in the middle of lead vocalist Isaac Eiger’s verses, then recede from view. “I think he’s evil privately / Hold my tongue and do the dishes,” he sings over the summery pop-rock of “Sunday.” The breezy humming on “Pete’s Hill” is preceded by two troubled hypotheticals: “If I tried my best but killed again / If I hit your chest with gold cement.” On the fluidly synthetic “Living Free,” he thinks about a planet on fire and asks: “What if I just want a family?”

“It’s hard for me to write a song that’s about one event,” Eiger says over the phone from his girlfriend’s house in Philadelphia. “There are explicit references to wanting to have a family in a world that is not guaranteed to be the same, and latching onto that as a narrative is totally natural. But there are tons of lyrics on the album that are just about my relationships with the people in my life, just looking at the world. Climate change politics are a part of that.”

Recorded mostly at an ad hoc studio Eiger’s parents’ home in Montana, Remembering The Rockets — premiering in full below — upends the occasionally scuzzy and almost always fraught guitar rock that the band put out on their last two LPs, 2016’s Rot Forever (as Sioux Falls) and 2017’s Daymoon. A Korg M1 synthesizer finds its way onto most of the songs here, usually to warm the mix on instrumentals like “athens, ga” and “rockets” or to provide a dreamlike backdrop for the already uncanny lyrics. Bassist, keyboardist, and singer Fred Nixon creates drummer Nathan Tucker, and occasional vocalist Fiona Woodman distort, harmonize, and augment around Eiger’s guitar, turning most of these songs into delicate, miniature hallucinations.

That often beautiful detachment from reality fits with Eiger’s perception of reality — half rooted in the day-to-day, half off in metaphor. “Planes move through the sky / I walk to work in fading light,” he sings over the hum of “Planes in Front of The Sun” before again projecting forwards and scaring himself out of it: “Daddies with their kids / I still want that / I still feel sick.”

Listen to Remembering The Rockets below ahead of its release this Friday, July 26, via Tiny Engines

Maybe this Raleigh four-piece fits more squarely in the indie rock category, but there are enough post-punk rhythms and tones to justify its place here. Truth Club’s debut album Not An Exit is full of propulsive movement, but Travis Harrington’s earnest voice and tender lyrics are firmly tethered to the ground. Their guitars pump, twinkle and echo, but never remain static for too long.


On “Student Housing,” the guitars cascade with precision, on “No Planned Sequel,” they rumble with grit, and on “Luminescence” they hum with subtlety. In addition to their guitar mystique, Not An Exit is more poetic than most indie or post-punk records. Harrington writes with mature poignancy about topics like entrapment, belonging, purpose, desire and anxiety. “Path Render” is an affecting view of one’s life from the ether, and on “Tethering,” Harrington poses a question that will leave you in silence for a while: “If everyone’s supposed to leave their own mark on everything / At what point does the world just seem too worn out?”

Band Members
Travis + Elise + Kam + Yvonne

Truth Club “Not An Exit” out May 3rd 2019 on Tiny Engines

Haybaby - "Pig" (Stereogum Premiere)

Brooklyn band Haybaby are stretching their creative muscles with Blood Harvest, their new EP that comes out at the end of the month, and exploring where they could go next. Lead single “Joke/Rope” was a jagged, crackling escalation of the sound they laid out on last year’s debut Sleepy Kids, and now  “Pig” stretches that wiry tension out past the five-minute-mark, blending bubbling post-hardcore restraint with an extended stretch of post-rock catharsis. Leslie Hong’s raw screams stay planted in the background, seceding to the noise. In terms of directions the Brooklyn three-piece could go, this one could be the most exciting, and “Pig” demonstrates that these musicians are more than up to the task of transforming into something completely different from what was on their debut while staying undeniably great.



The Brooklyn-based three-piece Haybaby is a self-proclaimed “band of total babes that play honey-ass heartbreak, crooning sometimes screamy, sludgy pop & slop rock.” Also check out their song “Animosity” leans particularly into the honey-ass heartbreak and sludge factors.

On their third full-length ​”Remembering The Rockets” ​(out 26th July via Tiny Engines)​, Strange Ranger continue to excel at translating the way intimacy can feel so overwhelmingly gigantic. With a dozen releases across their 10 years as a band, the Philly-via-Portland-via-Montana group, currently featuring Isaac Eiger (guitars, vocals), Fred Nixon (bass, piano, vocals), Nathan Tucker (drums), and Fiona Woodman (vocals), have traversed genres, moods, and textures while maintaining one important throughline: an exploration of closeness.

“Trying to close the distance between yourself and another person and wondering how much can really be done about that gap,” Eiger says. “​Sometimes you don’t want to be close with others but you feel guilty, and sometimes you do but you can’t.”

Eiger, who writes the bulk of Strange Ranger’s lyrics, is a modern master of conveying the anxiety and uncertainty of growing older through a mixture of childhood nostalgia and interpersonal tidbits. There’s plenty of that on ​Remembering The Rockets​, but after all of these years of singing about his own coming-of-age story, the album approaches the quandary of whether he’ll ever be able to impart that process—through which he’s reaped so much artistic joy and curiosity—onto someone else.

“​So much suffering and horror is coming if we don’t seriously restructure our entire society, and I just really hope we get it together. I want to be a dad more than basically anything, and it’s unclear if that’d be an OK decision to make,” he says.

For a topic as severe as ecological collapse affecting his own parental aspirations—as well as other melancholy ruminations on loneliness, the passing of time, and the complications of emotional intimacy—Strange Ranger still ended up making the lushest, smoothest, and most pleasingly hypnotic album of their careers.

“​After making ​Daymoon,​ I think Isaac and myself were both feeling pretty creatively exhausted with the rock band format,” Nixon says. “We wanted the feel of the next record to put you in a trance.”

Opener “Leona” is a celestial pop song with a springy bassline and a shimmering, magical synth effect that dusts over its punchy outro groove. “Nothing Else To Think About” is a bobbing sunset soundtrack with a drum sample that puffs and clacks behind its ASMR-inducing bassline. For “Beneath The Lights,” Eiger pulls out the drawly, prickly croon of a ​Daymoon ​ballad like “Most Perfect Gold of the Century” and then contorts it with warbling, Justin Vernon-esque auto-tune. Ambient interludes like “athens, ga” and “‘02” are void of vocals and “traditional” rock elements altogether.

“It was definitely a learning curve figuring out how to do some of the weirder stuff,” Eiger says. “We’ve been using keyboards for a while now, but before we made this record we got this old Japanese synthesizer [Korg M1] which has like a trillion sounds. So that was a totally different experience.”

“We really didn’t know what we were doing and probably stumbled our way into a bunch of sounds we wouldn’t be able to recreate if we tried,” Nixon adds.

Portland, OR producer Dylan M. Howe was an essential contributor in this regard. Most of the samples and electronic beats were designed with Howe’s assistance, and he helped the band navigate the archaic software of the Korg M1—which was used for nearly every synth sound on the album. For many of the songs, such as “Message To You”, which Fiona Woodman sings the entirety of, the only component the band had going into their home studio was the drum loop. From there, they experimented with different arrangements and benefitted from Nathan Tucker’s versatile drumming abilities to build that song, and many others, outward.

“​I think we’ve always been attracted to music that you can nod your head to, and this time around I think we really tried to emphasize that,” Eiger says.

Tracks like “Pete’s Hill,” “Planes in Front of the Sun” and “Leona” lock into a pleasing breed of entrancing, rhythmic bliss. And they hit with maximum impact every time because they’re tastefully offset by a cheeky alt-country burner like “Ranch Style Home,” or a Lemonheads- esque cruiser like “Sunday.” But like all Strange Ranger albums, the band saved the most emotionally devastating songs for its finale.

“Living Free” and “Cold Hands Warm Heart” play like they’re in conversation with one another. The former is a synth-soaked reckoning with age (“all the years as blurry cars and trees / screaming right past me”) and purpose (“awkward angels in the snow / what if I just want a family?”). The latter is a sparse, two-and-a-half-minute piano ballad where Eiger acknowledges tepid hope as the only way forward. “Flickers of a world to come / here but lovelier than this one / see it rippling in the river,” he sings with a shaky intonation.

“​The image of a rocket in the sky just feels very beautiful to me and full of possibility,” Eiger says. “If you’re someone who wants to have kids and you decide not to, that kinda feels like folding and just saying, “yeah everything is fucked, there is no future.” And why even live at that point? It sucks that ‘hope’ has—for good reason—become this cheesy, lame idea. But if you’ve got no hope, you’re completely fucked in a situation like this one.”

Strange Ranger “Remembering The Rockets” Out July 26th on Tiny Engines

With 5 Songs, Wild Pink make a quick return on the heels of their critically-acclaimed sophomore album, Yolk In The Fur, which was released in July of 2018 on Tiny Engines. 5 Songs, due out in March of 2019 sees three Yolk In The Fur tracks receiving the remix treatment and also showcases two unreleased songs from those same recording sessions. Existing somewhere between the band’s understated Self-Titled debut album and the more sprawling follow-up, Yolk In The Fur, these tracks once again highlight the band’s incredible knack for writing subtle but timeless songs that open up slowly but hit hard. “Coaches Who Cry” is about being young and growing up in Virginia. “How’s The Tap Here?” is about how relationships change and also about a dog. The remixes come from Shy Layers, Dondadi (ambient/electronic project of Connor Hanwick, a sometimes touring member of Wild Pink) and Eerie Gaits, which is the solo ambient guitar project of Wild Pink lead man John Ross. 5 Songs is a small but powerful reminder that Wild Pink are truly on to something.


Track Listing

  1. There Is A Ledger (Shy Layers Remix)
  2. Love Is Better (Connor Hanwick Remix)
  3. All Some Frenchman’s Joke (Eerie Gaits Remix)
  4. Coaches Who Cry
  5. How’s The Tap Here

Wild Pink ‘5 Songs’ out March 2019 on Tiny Engines Records

As its title suggests, Kiss Yr Frenemies is an album about forgiveness. Sarah Tudzin’s debut full-length as Illuminati Hotties sees each stage of the grieving and coping that leads to radical acceptance — digging into the grey areas of flings and relationships, growing up and feeling the same. Her disposition shifts from lighthearted smirking to choking on her words. Mood swings are well-met with Tudzin’s diverse palette of influences and genres. She grits her teeth to synth and static booms, bobs her head to jangly guitars, whispers to echoey acoustics, and makes fart noises to a relentless riff. Moving forward is rarely a straight shot. It’s messy. There are distractions, setbacks, and diversions. Tudzin takes the winding road and brings us along for the ride.


Rarely is there an album that I can listen to and enjoy every song, but this album has certainly been able to get me to listen to it on repeat. Love this album already and looking forward to what else Illuminati Hotties has to offer.

Released May 11th, 2018

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Illuminati Hotties, aka L.A.’s Sarah Tudzin, seems plagued by the past on “Cuff.” But over a chorus of explosive guitars, backed by simple, steady drum programming, she settles on a solution: “I cuff my T-shirt sleeve / and grit my teeth / How else can I tell myself I can do most anything?”

In a new video for the track, featuring animation from Sam Lane, the protagonist is a humble fish that has fantasies of flight. As the chorus explodes, dreamy visions of possibilities flash, the colors shifting. For the film’s fish protagonist, despite the cost, hope remains. And for Tudzin, the final chorus offers relief in letting another in.

“After watching an animated short film that Sam created for part of her coursework at CalArts, I knew I wanted to collaborate with her on something,” Tudzin says. “The animation and storytelling she does is so sensitive, emotionally aware, and poignantly relatable – it sneaks right into your guts and twists them up in the most winsome way.”

The same can be said of Tudzin’s debut, a record that balances humor and heart, illuminating the ways in which we cope with coming into our own, no matter our age.

Kiss Yr Frenemies is out now via Tiny Engines.