Secretly Distributon

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2004-02-03
Danielson: "The Kid"

Nothing spells holiday cheer quite like limited edition Christmas single! That's right, the eldest son of everyone's favorite family from New Jersey, the Danielson Famile, has recorded two beautiful tunes in a spare, field recording-like manner — both with holiday themes. The A-side is a delicate and bold revisionist take on the Royal Trux song "The Kid". The B-side is a Daniel Smith original entitled "Five Stars and Two Thumbs Up".

Damien Jurado / Dolorean: "Traded for Fire" b/w "Ghost of David"

To celebrate their 2005 European Tour and years of mutual admiration, Damien Jurado and Dolorean released a split 7-inch that was originally available only at shows overseas. The ‘A’ side features Damien Jurado’s cover of Dolorean’s “Traded for Fire”. Side ‘B’ is Dolorean’s version of Jurado’s classic “Ghost of David” track. It is a limited release of just 600 copies.

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2012-12-04
Dungeonesse: 'Drive You Crazy' b/w 'Private Party'

Dungeonesse is a collaboration between writer/producer Jon Ehrens (White Life, Art Department) and singer Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak, Flock of Dimes). Born of a mutual admiration for Top 40 and R&B and the mechanics of what makes a hit song, the duo and longtime friends began putting jams together remotely. The songs of Dungeonesse retain an experimental and playful inner beauty while leading the charge to a dance floor of abundantly inclusive and carefree spirits.

The Panoply Academy Legionnaires: 'Nocturnally Yours' / 'Diurnally Yours'

Two sides: nocturnal & diurnal. Illustrating the duality of man, machine and establishment, the night time and the day time, the dead time and the alive time. It is in such a context that the new era in the Panoply Academy begins. A new era for a new line-up. This 7" is the debut release by the Panoply Academy Legionnaires; a precursor to their full-length NO DEAD TIME. Whereas the Glee Club leaned toward experiments in texture and timbre, and the Corps of Engineers rocked with spastic structures, the Legionnaires synthesize the two extremes into songs that stream with a disjointed flow. This is epic art rock, folks. Like the Sun City Girls reinventing "Layla" in a sleepy midwest village. Yes, the piano has been introduced and it's an unbelievable addition. Recorded at Queensize Studios on a cold day in an industrial park on the west-side of Indianapolis by LonPaul Ellrich (Marmoset, United States 3, Sardina).

Goshen Electric Co.: 'The Gray Tower b/w Ring the Bell’ 7”

Goshen Electric Co. happened both all at once and gradually: an electrifying culmination of Tim Showalter's nearly two decades-long love affair with Jason Molina's craft, and just one half-day in the recording studio with the members of Magnolia Electric Co. Better known as Strand of Oaks, Showalter's turn at the helm of Magnolia Electric Co. (Mike Benner, Jason Evans Groth, Mikey Kapinus, Mark Rice, Peter Schreiner) comes ahead of the Goshen, In. native's Memorial Electric Co. European tour. The resulting 7-in. shows a sweeping range: "The Gray Tower," a 2002 single, and "Ring the Bell," which appeared on both Songs: Ohia's Didn’t It Rain (2002) and Magnolia Electric Co.'s Trials & Errors (2005). "Ring the Bell," recorded in one take, roars in with a twinge of psychedelia, thrumming with vibe; Showalter's wail recalls Molina's somber, choir-boy croon, but roughened with sandpaper. The prophetic, dystopian darkness of "The Gray Tower" captures the original soaring chorus and delicate melody with the power of a full band. Decades later, the intense, unflinching urgency of Molina's songwriting endures.

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2000-09-11
Suzanne Langille & Loren MazzaCane Connors: 1987-1989

It was 1987. Loren MazzaCane Connors, not yet recognized by a world audience, had already recorded and released his 8 volume Dagget series and his five albums with folk singer Kath Bloom. He had abandoned his guitar for a 3-year period, and returned to it with renewed vigor. He was not yet recognized as one of the great musical loners of the age (his future Black Label solo recordings and the eventual unearthing of the Dagget series were the titles that would establish Loren as such). He was, in fact, performing live and about to record some of the most potent recordings of his career -- recordings which may challenge any present notion of Loren being a true loner at all. It was on these recordings that he first played with his future wife Suzanne Langille. Together they performed Langille-adapted traditionals and gospel standards, slowing them "down to a crawl." Two albums were released on his own St. Joan label under the moniker Guitar Roberts with Suzanne Langille, entitled BLUESMASTER 1 and BLUESMASTER 2, in 1987 and 1988, respectively (both issued in small runs of 200). This album represents the best of their material as a duo from those two records (there were also intermittant solo guitar compositions on both BLUESMASTER recordings), plus the one song they performed as a duo from Loren's 1989 IN PITTSBURGH full-length ("Haunted House") and three previously unreleased recordings from the same period. In her spare and "deeply considered" arrangements for these songs, Suzanne allows all the room necessary for their collective personality to shine through, making for truly timeless performances. These recordings were Suzanne's first to be released publicly. They showed a singer who was unafraid to push herself to lay claim to these folk tunes and make them her own, particularizing them with her own experience and thus imbuing them with a rare vitality. These recordings layed the groundwork for the work they would later do on the albums COME NIGHT, THE ENCHANTED FOREST, LET THE DARKNESS FALL and with their new group Haunted House. After even a casual listen to the songs on this collection, it's quite difficult to imagine either Suzanne or Loren playing with another performer, or alone for that matter. The grace and intimacy with which they perform these songs together gives the impression that they'd been playing together since childhood. It's no wonder Loren found so much fulfillment in playing music again.

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2015-12-01
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2008-07-22
Bodies Of Water: A Certain Feeling

One year after the self-release of the acclaimed "Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink," Bodies of Water have created another full-length offering. "A Certain Feeling," their first record for Secretly Canadian, was written, arranged and recorded in David & Meredith Metcalf's house in the Northeast L.A. neighborhood of Highland Park. The strains that one can hear running through all of Bodies of Water's music are fully exhibited here; instantly familiar melodies, rich harmonic color, expansively deft arrangements, and compositions that ebb, flow, and double back on themselves in cathartic synchronicity. Though no two songs sound entirely similar, it's a cohesive that comes out feeling like the anthemic prog/gospel/psychedelic/kraut-tribal movie score that Ennio Morricone and Phil Spector never got around to collaborating on. The choral hugeness that typified "Ears Will Pop" still rears it's emphatic head, only here it is more often held in reserve while we marinate in each movement before being pulled along into the next passage of the narrative.

"A Certain Feeling" is the sound of a group carving out an ever-evolving, but distinct aesthetic niche for themselves. Steve Reich organ figures meet brutal Sabbath-meets-Wagner riffing. A shape-note choir is dropped into the midst of an Upsetters/ESG jam. Musique concrete meanderings beget Velvet Underground plodding that escalates into a five-time tropicalia workout. In spite of (or because of) the record's breadth, it is easy to see the group's fingerprints all over. The singing, playing, compositions, lyrical themes (obsessive meta-physicality/spiritual surrender/human frailty) are unmistakably theirs. "A Certain Feeling" is a step forward, but assuredly filled with the same beautiful urgency that we have come to expect from them.

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2012-05-08
Here We Go Magic: A Different Ship

A Different Ship is Here We Go Magic’s most remarkable and captivating album yet, with an emotional and musical arc that is alternately calming and anxiety-inducing, and often both at once. “I Believe In Action” and “Make Up Your Mind” sound like they’re being beamed in from outer space, while more earthbound tracks such as “Miracle of Mary,” “Over The Ocean” and “Alone But Moving” amble in a somnolent haze, with Temple’s cool timbre cutting through the fog.

Recorded & produced by Nigel Godrich (Rodiohead, Beck), the ten songs of A Different Ship carry a consistent thematic concern -- what the band describes as an “unresolved tension between valuing being alone and valuing being connected.” Says Temple: “The music is beautiful, but feels like it’s brittle and about to crack. It’s always suspended in between major and minor, happy and sad, trying to find that middle ambiguous place.”

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2012-05-08
Here We Go Magic: A Different Ship

A Different Ship is Here We Go Magic’s most remarkable and captivating album yet, with an emotional and musical arc that is alternately calming and anxiety-inducing, and often both at once. “I Believe In Action” and “Make Up Your Mind” sound like they’re being beamed in from outer space, while more earthbound tracks such as “Miracle of Mary,” “Over The Ocean” and “Alone But Moving” amble in a somnolent haze, with Temple’s cool timbre cutting through the fog.

Recorded & produced by Nigel Godrich (Rodiohead, Beck), the ten songs of A Different Ship carry a consistent thematic concern -- what the band describes as an “unresolved tension between valuing being alone and valuing being connected.” Says Temple: “The music is beautiful, but feels like it’s brittle and about to crack. It’s always suspended in between major and minor, happy and sad, trying to find that middle ambiguous place.”

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2007-02-20
Normanoak: A Double Gift of Tongues

Chris Barth re-emerges with A Double Gift Of Tongues to share once again Normanoak's mysterious fibrillation of heart and lung. Unbound from his share of duties with The Impossible Shapes, Barth chronicles a world "of acorns, blood, and sacrifice; of the holy hexagram of intertwined triangles; of the holy books writ in the sands of madness; Of the language behind language and the seeds of the unspeakable."

Barth's ability to chew up, unbuckle, and alternate between sanguine sanctity and life's whimsical playfulness has never shown itself in a purer light than throughout the 14 song landscape of this limited vinyl release. Fans of the inwardly mobile mysticism of Donovan or the soul damaged guitar skree of George Brigman's Jungle Rot in its most minimal state should book their ticket to A Double Gift Of Tongues immediately.

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2016-11-11
Luke Temple: A Hand Through the Cellar Door

A Hand Through the Cellar Door is, in many ways, Temple's most straightforward collection of song-storying tunes to date. There are tales of dysfunctional, broken homes and of dysfunctional, broken people. "Birds of Late December," with its fluttering, nimble fingerpicking, paints an exacting but impressionistic portrait of divorce through the eyes of an exceptionally wistful child. In both "Maryanne Was Quiet" and "The Case of Louis Warren" we follow two characters whose lives unravel in very different ways, though their central question is the same: After you shed all the things you think make you who you are, what is left? Temple is creating small, confident stories with a massive scope. Yes, while the tales Temple weaves are bleak, the aura of hope never quite fades from the picture. He turns the tragedies of human folly into a celebration of our eccentricities.

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2002-06-04
Danielson Famile: A Prayer For Every Hour

There's new reason to rejoice now that this lost classic from '94 -- the world's first glimpse of the remarkable Smith family of New Jersey, best known as the Danielson Famile -- is being made available once again to the public. Having been described as the "most joyously eccentric group of performers to ascend the New Jersey Turnpike since Sun Ra's Arkestra" (Richard Gehr, Spin Magazine), the Famile has been slowly unfurling their mythology to the public for nearly a decade now. The group, led by eldest brother Daniel, initially had critics and audiences alike scratching their heads wondering if their collision of aesthetics and spirituality was, as some put it, "an elaborate put-on." In those days artists and rockers alike were dumbfounded by just how complicated a marriage the Famile's collision of aesthetics and faith seemed to them. In '94, there weren't many artists weened on Sonic Youth and the Pixies who were as serious about spirituality as the Danielson Famile. The independent rock underground, rather, was more comfortable leaving faith issues to be dealt with by folks such as Marvin Gaye and George Harrison. Daniel and Co., however, have helped contribute to a partial breaking down of that barrier of cool, and it all started with A PRAYER FOR EVERY HOUR, a 24-song cycle of tunes intended to be performed or experienced once an hour, on the hour, as a devotional gesture of faith.

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2004-07-20
The Horns of Happiness: A Sea As A Shore

The Horns of Happiness are all around you. Stretching across the countryside and delving into the deepest sea, they create and are created by all existence. They can be found in boisterous days of celebration and rebirth along with the quiet whispers of defeat and loneliness. A song to lift your feet through uncountable joy and complete distress. In this case, The Horns are interpreted almost entirely by songwriter Aaron Deer as he has witnessed their actions and reactions throughout 2001 and 2002. As core member of both the Impossible Shapes and John Wilkes Booze, Deer has established himself as a feroucious live performer and inventive collaborator in the studio. For his second album utilizing the Horns of Happiness moniker, he showcases his prowess on virtually every instrument. Like a glorious pillow fight in the heavens between Paul & Linda McCartney and Grandaddy, A Sea As A Shore is full of fuzzed out psychedelic pop songs composed with acoustic & electric guitars, pumping organs and dreamy vocals. They are interspersed with instrumental interludes where pianos mingle, banjos bark and tape loops shuffle. Built upon simple, spontaneous parts, and sculpted onto the tape, the songs as a whole take the listener by the hand guiding him to the revelation that music can transport the listener to another place. Fans of Maher Shalal Hash Baz, the Microphones and the Olivia Tremor Control will find a good friend in A Sea As A Shore.

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2005-05-03
Swell Maps: A Trip to Marineville (reissue)

Noisy and experimental, Britain's Swell Maps experienced little commercial success during the course of their chaotic career, but in hindsight they stand as one of the pivotal acts of the new wave: not only was the group an acknowledged inspiration to the likes of Sonic Youth and Pavement, but their alumni — most notably brothers Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks — continued on as key players in the underground music community. Although Sudden (vocals/guitar) and Soundtracks (piano/drums) formed the first incarnation of the Swell Maps (named after the charts used by surfers to gauge wave intensities) as far back as 1972, the group did not begin to truly take shape until 1976, when the siblings enlisted bassist Jowe Head and guitarist Richard Earl. In the spirit of punk's "do-it-yourself" mentality, they formed their own label, Rather Records, and issued their debut single in the early weeks of 1978. Local media support soon won the group a distribution pact with Rough Trade, but they did not resurface until over a year later. In mid-1979, the Swell Maps released their full-length debut A Trip to Marineville, a crazy-quilt of punk energy and Krautrock-influenced clatter. After the release of one more speaker-shredding single, the group recorded one final studio LP, Jane from Occupied Europe, before breaking up. Each of the members followed their own career paths, playing solo and forming bands: Sudden formed the Jacobites, Soundtracks joined Crime and the City Solution, and Head played with the Television Personalities. Each album has been remastered, includes liner notes and unreleased photos as well as bonus tracks not available on previous versions of these iconoclastic albums.

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2007-12-04
Throw Me The Statue: About To Walk

The title track the "About To Walk" ltd. ed. single is a Neutral Milk Hotel-fueled concoction of fuzzed synths, doubled bedroom beats and epic vocal harmonies. Also present are the upbeat handclapper "Lolita" and Elverum-esque "The Old Believer."

Conceived and fronted by Scott Reitherman, TMTS will release its debut full length, "Moonbeams" February 19th, 2008 on Secretly Canadian.

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2006-07-11
I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness: According to Plan

Not a band to sit still, our favorite Austinites, I LOVE YOU BUT I'VE CHOSEN DARKNESS have emerged from the big state by crossing the country several times over in support of "Fear Is On Our Side" and now releasing the first single from the record, "According to Plan."

Described by Res Magazine as an "ethereal anthem with a great bass hook and gently chiming guitars" (Res Magazine), the song transcends and destroys the generational gap that plagues so many bands these days who were influenced Joy Division and New Wave hookery.

The single also includes the Fear Is On Our Side out-take, "Close To Here," and the newly recorded piece, Better Strangers.

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2009-08-04
Antony and the Johnsons: Aeon

Antony and the Johnson will release the “Aeon”/”Crazy in Love” double A-side single in the US on August 4th on CD and 7”through Secretly Canadian and on August 3rd in Europe and UK on 7” through Rough Trade. “Aeon” is one of the highlights of the critical and commercial smash album “The Crying Light” which debuted at #1 on the European chart. The band appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman for the song’s television debut. Antony and the Johnsons’ earnest and impassioned cover of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”, a long time live favorite, is being released officially for the first time.

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2009-09-08
BLK JKS: After Robots

Just a short time ago — in a last ditch effort to supply a borrowed van with wheels to make a club gig — the four members of BLK JKS took turns hand-over-hand pushing a tire through the darkened, kinetic streets of Johannesburg, South Africa's Soweto township. For bandmates Lindani Buthelezi, Mpumi Mcata, Molefi Makananise and Tshepang Ramoba it's a simple and tough philosophy: every gig, everything at stake. They have shared stages in North America and Europe with artists as celebrated and disparate as Femi Kuti, Santigold, Dirty Projectors, Michael Franti and Cody Chesnutt; they have played festivals like Sasquatch and Soweto Arts Festival; and Ramoba has been celebrated by Billboard as "the best musician" at SXSW. It's an inspiring juxtapose from that day when a Jo-burg gig hung in the balance. But to witness the frenetic energy and soaring celebration of a BLK JKS gig is to know that they have maintained that same ideology. It's been too long since anyone was able to bring this much soul and heartblood to progressive rock, a medium that has been left cold and dry by a misguided focus on technical show-offery. But by entangling the music they love — township blues, fringe jazz and renegade dub — into the DNA of prog, BLK JKS have provocatively pulled afro-futurism into a new century. After Robots has all the ingredients of a party record — young, joyous musicians; surging, afro-drumming; aggressive horn blasts (supplied by the cultishly famous HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE) — but this is not party music. It's at times disorienting and overwhelming, but it always maintaining a cool, alluring mystique. It's in Mcata's patient, complex and enviable jazz chord vamping. It's in Makananise's from-the-pocket-to-the-stars bass approaches. It's in Buthelezi's blues-inflected phrasing and searing guitar leads. It's in Ramoba's super-polyrhythmic, flailing beats. In January 2009, BLK JKS set foot on US soil for just the second time, holing up with Brandon Curtis (SECRET MACHINES) in the quaint, spirited town of Bloomington, Indiana, to record the music that would become After Robots, their first proper album. Ten-hour days turned into fourteen as the band relentlessly exorcised their collective ideas and ideals about music. The process was an overwhelming sensory experience in its own right. To discuss certain musical passages for which there is no accurate English befit to describe, BLK JKS seamlessly shifted from accented English to their differing tribal languages. Then —giving up on words altogether — they'd dive back into a fine-tuned performance of a song. It is the band's tendency to work it out on the spot that is most impressive about their approach to recording and structure. After Robots triumphs on its own strange set of genre-ending rules, and BLK JKS are undeniably a band of our times, embodying the duality of our violent and hopeful new world, these days of mystery and wonder.

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2010-06-22
Windsor For The Derby: Against Love

In a world of “slow” movements that rail against mindless consumption, rock survivalists Windsor for the Derby represent “slow” music. For their latest outing, they began with a set of seemingly infinite drones and loops inspired by their early beginnings as a band. As those recordings were passed back and forth, the sounds were further sculpted by Dan Matz and Jason McNeely into their own leftfield brand of pop song. This became Against Love.

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2005-01-18
Early Day Miners: All Harm Ends Here

Early Day Miners are back with another platter of Midwest post-goth. Having already introduced their new rhythm section (Matt Griffin on drums and Jonathan Richardson on bass) to the world over the course of their last two tours, with All Harm Ends Here EDM have combined the lushness of their second album Let Us Garlands Bring with the conciseness of their last full-length Jefferson At Rest. Moreso than on any of their previous efforts, they take both musical and tonal cues from the principal architects of the 80's sad-as-hell dark underground — Echo & the Bunnymen, the Church, early-the Cure, and most notably the Bauhaus/Tones On Tail/Love And Rockets axis. While contemporaries like Bedhead and Interpol have mined primarily the darkest aspects of these long shadows, there lies in Early Day Miners' method an innate sense of hope that transcends even their darkest themes (decay, suicide, desertion). Perhaps this is most evident in the guitar interplay of long-time collaborators Dan Burton (Ativin) and Joseph Brumley. Arpeggios abound, the works of Roger McGuinn and The Edge come to mind in that there is a sense of hopefulness and sublimation which drives the songs to a better place.

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2011-03-08
Nightlands: All The Way / Buggin Out

Nightlands' David Hartley is in the creative pocket at the moment. On the heels of his lovely Secretly Canadian debut, Forget the Mantra, and at the precipice of Nightlands first-ever live engagements, Hartley gives us the All The Way 7". It's Forget the Mantra's strange lil' bro, doing all sorts of interesting, unknowable shit in his room all night long.

"All The Way" is an ode to pain and reinvention, a joyful noise about hopelessness. Written, recorded and mixed in one day. Like Jeff Lynne floating down Billy Joel's River of Dreams on a drone raft. It's flipside, "Buggin Out," absolutely comes from an obsession with Bo Hansson's Lord of the Rings (1970), the epic Swedish instrumental masterpiece. The skeleton of the track was played live on Hartley's Hammond 144, originally clocking in at almost 16 minutes of synth/organ madness. After some Casio/Korg overdubbing, the piece was chopped to the still-epic, seizure-enducing 6 minutes we have before us.

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2002-04-02
Swearing At Motorists: Along the Inclined Plane

In the year and a half since Swearing at Motorists released Number Seven Uptown in 2000, the band has played over 200 shows in North America and Europe and has developed the reputation of being one of the most energetic and charismatic American bands, both on stage and on record, around today. Dubbed a veritable ?wo-man Who?by more than one critic, this Dayton, Ohio twosome ?fronted by singer/songwriter Dave Doughman ?brings to mind Twin/Tone-era Replacements and early Elvis Costello for their ability to translate their legendarily venomous and soulful live show to record. This new five-song EP, Along the Inclined Plane, is the perfect segue into the band? next full-length album This Flag Signals Goodbye (out 6/4/02). Recorded by Brian McTear in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (except ?an? Help Ourselves?which was recorded by Doughman at the House of Hits, Dayton, Ohio), it is vintage Motorists ?a perfect combination of compact stadium rock vignettes with deeply intimate love songs, such as Steve Earle? ?? Still In Love With You? on which Doughman performs solo with just acoustic guitar and voice.