Austin-based musician Abram Shook is a remarkable wellspring of ideas when it comes to songwriting. When he sat down to write his third album, he produced two distinct batches of songs, one very personal collection titled Love at Low Speed, and a darker, more detached collection titled Love in the Age of Excess. Due to time and money constraints, he opted to only record the more personal album, which explores themes of love, loss, and connecting with others, all themes he's been careful to avoid on previous albums. As he explains, "I avoided the subject of love in the past because I thought it was a cliched, overwrought topic. What else could I really add to the cannon? Writing the album directly coincided with some pretty big changes in my life, mainly the ending of an 11 year relationship." Love at Low Speed proves that Shook has plenty to offer on these topics, and that he's at his best when he digs deep, mining his years of experience for confessional tales peppered with hard-wrought wisdom.
The production on the new album is fittingly more intimate and organic than what we heard on his previous albums Sun Marque (2014) and Landscape Dream (2015). Inspired by the unique worlds of sound David Bowie created throughout his career, Shook and close collaborators Christopher Cox and Grant Johnson kept the album's production focussed from beginning to end. "With Love At Low Speed I wanted to use a more consistent pallet of sound to tie things together better than I had on my previous records. A touchstone album for me has always been Club Da Esquinha (Milton Nascimento/Lo Borges). It explores multiple genres but filters everything through the same beautiful production arrangements which lends to its cohesion. I think in the back of my mind I'm always striving to achieve something close to that album's rare blend of unique songwriting and challenging production choices without sacrificing a certain pop sensibility that invites new listeners." Their efforts paid off, and throughout Love at Low Speed the world of sound they created balances Shook's tender tenor with sensual bass grooves, and strings provided by Austin's Tosca String Quartet. Mixed by Noah Georgeson (known for his work with Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart, Andy Shauf, et al) the album has a clarity and warmth that focuses your ear on Shook's emotional delivery.
Shook grew up in California where he spent his days surfing, studying jazz, and absorbing the rich radiant music of Brazil and West Africa, before moving to Portland, and then Boston, before finally settling in Austin, TX over 10 years ago. "Settling down in Austin for a longer period of time has allowed me to establish a rich community of peers to draw from for influence and support. With time comes trust, and I’ve learned to give over some control to others in hopes to gain a perspective on songwriting that I might normally overlook." In addition to becoming an important part of Austin's creative community, being landlocked for a decade, has helped Shook develop an affirming perspective on his past, which helps him quell his anxiety, and focus on his creative pursuits. "I write about a California that no longer exists in the nostalgic form that I hold in my memory, just as the people that have journeyed in and out of my life are no longer the same either, nor am I the same to them. If everything is malleable at all times that means I am too, and that’s a notion I can take comfort in."
Alex Lahey originally released B-Grade University on her own label in summer 2016, shortly before playing iconic Australian festival Splendour in the Grass. Immediately after its release, 'B-Grade University' went onto heavy rotation on Australia's TripleJ radio, along with the single "You Don't Think You Like People Like Me" earning a Best New Track tag on Pitchfork. Lahey closed 2016 being the most played artist on Triple J Unearthed, as well as being voted Best Female Artist at Australia's Age Music Awards. Her fuzzed-out, catchy-as-hell indie rock is stacked with emotion, weighing the sound of youthful anxiety against cutting, sophisticated wordplay.
Dada - conceived first as a dream, then manifested into reality as instruments and voices recorded onto magnetic tape - is the newest sonic artifact by the group known as B Boys. Over the course of the album, the 13 songs explore connections between language, self-awareness, introspection and unconventional serenity. A nod to the collective unconscious by way of personal reflection. Experiential wisdom filtered through a tin of mints and a fresh pair of chinos.
"Repetition is a form of change," reads one of Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies. Seth Haley knows the concept well, and his style of technicolour synth-wave takes the mantra as a challenge. Six years after Galactic Melt introduced the cosmic story of Com Truise, Iteration now concludes his sprawling saga. True to its name, the album is built on Com Truise hallmarks: neon-streaked melodies, big drums, robotic grooves, bleary nostalgia. But Iteration is also the most elegant and streamlined that Haley's singular music has ever sounded. At the album's heart is an elaborate narrative, one full of longing, hope, anxiety, and triumph. Iteration illustrates the last moments Com Truise spends on the perilous planet Wave 1, before he and his alien love escape its clutches to live in peace. "...Of Your Fake Dimension" launches the interstellar drama with its anthemic swells and widescreen sound design, before lovesick songs like "Dryswch" and "Propagation" outline scenes wrought with cybernetic pathos. Later, the frantic rhythms of "Syrthio" conjure images of panicked flight as Haley's gorgeous synth melodies gild the action in quiet heartbreak. Then comes the resounding "When Will You Find The Limitâ€¦", when Iteration's pain and sadness finds liberation in the vast unknown. The closing title track ends it all in a gush of majestic revelry. So goes the winding story that Iteration tells, and yet there's more behind its telling. "I try hard not to write from my personal life, but it's inevitably going to seep into the music," Haley explains. "It's basically like I'm scoring this film in my head, but that film I'm scoring is also somehow my life." There are glimpses of the difficult time the East Coast native spent adjusting to a new life in Los Angeles, fighting homesickness and burnout while also touring the world. It was a time full of uncertainty, transition, and self-realization. After a year and a half of living in California, Hayley finally recaptured his creativity by finding new excitement in his work. "I put more air, more breathing room in the music-- that was the big change," he says. And once that clicked, the album just poured out of him. "It was like an information dump. I feel like I finished the record in two weeks." Such a clear refinement of the Com Truise sound took time to develop, but Iteration is well worth the patience and perseverance it cost. Some of Haley's smartest, catchiest work is here, from the weightless pop of "Isostasy" to "Ternary"'s lush synth-funk. A song like "Vacuume" somehow balances massive bass drops and smashing drums with angelic gasps, and "Usurper" gracefully pairs subtle poignancy and uplifting dance beats. "For me, it feels like change," Hayley says of his second album, and yes, this is Com Truise like never before. By embracing the music's inherent nature and peerless qualities, Iteration finds new avenues of expression in its vivid, familiar surroundings.
Eraserhead rests firmly at the top of that canon of American underground culture for which there is no genre. A staple of the dark underbelly of popular cinema that was originally only viewable at arthouse screenings or on the Midnight Movie circuit, Eraserhead is a truly unadulterated offering; and much of its sensation lies beyond the purely visual realm. The stark, dusty black and white images put forth are caked with and submerged in a dense jungle of industrial hums, buzzes, screeches and screams. Eraserhead is a narrative made up of two intertwined veins: one of bleak and beautiful pictures elegantly painted in gray and black, and one of blankets of sublime, enveloping noise and static, the tinkering of Fats Waller organ rolls echoing in the background.To lay in the dark and listen to this dizzying succession of blissful noise is a different way to get "lost" than in the visuals of the film itself. It's no stretch to consider this soundtrack an experimental, early industrial masterpiece. Eraserhead's individual passion and personal tone shines through even in the thickest moments of fierce static, an audio undertaking that took David Lynch and sound designer Alan Splet years to perfect. Eraserhead's most famous piece of music is undoubtedly Peter Ivers' unforgettable, oft-covered haunting ballad "In Heaven," and the most exciting attribute of this edition of the soundtrack is no doubt its expansion, and it’s present here, along with "Pete’s Boogie," an Ivers recording previously only available on the long out-of-print limited edition LP of this soundtrack.
The brainchild of Amelia Murray, Fazerdazeâ€‹ began as a string of bedroom recordings created late in the night, emerging fully-formed in 2014 as her debut eponymous EP. NME described it as 'elegant dream pop', while US blog HillyDilly exclaimed how 'Fazerdaze transports us to a warm, optimistic sonic space with her glistening synths and mellow acoustic guitar strums'. NZ's Sunday Star Times listed it in their 'Best of 2014' spread, hailing it as a 'versatile collection of near-perfect pop songs...'.
Since the EP release, Fazerdaze and her band have shifted to another level. Opening the 2015 New Zealand Silver Scroll Awards with her cover of Marlon Williams' Dark Child as well as supporting and touring with international acts like Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Connan Mockasin. This year Fazerdaze toured the UK, became a genuine highlight at Australia's BIGSOUND music conference and recently took part in the the 2016 Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal.
Jason Loewenstein has been a major force behind lo-fi pioneers Sebadoh ever since their pivotal 1991 record, "III". Along with fellow partner in crime Lou Barlow, Loewenstein has co-created some of the most influential releases in indie-rock, including the pivotal 90's albums "Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock", "Bubble & Scrape", and "Bakesale".
Way back in 2002 Jason Loewenstein released his first solo album "At Sixes And Sevens" via Sub Pop. Now 15 years later, the follow-up has finally arrived. "Spooky Action" contains 13 new songs of unwavering rock. The self-recorded, self-produced album is as solidly engaging as anything in Loewenstein's formative lineage.
Do With Me What U Will is the second album by Melbourne noir pop artist Jessica Says.Jessica's debut album We Need To Talk was released in 2009, but the following year Jessica fractured her spine and pelvis falling from a first-floor hotel window. Do With Me What U Will is Jessica's first new album after her long recovery. Inspired by her treatment in hospital, Jessica also spent the last years studying to become a nurse, and now works in a Melbourne hospital.The album was recorded with longtime collaborator Geoffrey O'Connor (Crayon Fields Summer Flake, Sarah Mary Chadwick) and features production on key tracks from Travis Cook of Collar-bones and Melbourne electronic auteur Darcy Baylis. A classically trained cellist, Jessica moves seamlessly between hi-sheen pop and dark, string-driven confessionals."The songs are about girlhood, mental illness and desire, mostly at the same time," Jessica says.Do With Me What U Will is a vivid account of the progression from fiery pubescent longing, through adolescent anxiety/self loathing and emotional numbness, before discovering the possibility of a sexuality driven by desire rather than low self opinion."The music is inspired by the women who guided me through the strange passage of adolescence," says Jessica. "The sublime candy pop of Britney Spears and the emotional intensity of Dory Previn."Languorous first single Fairest Of Them All, produced by Baylis, was released in late 2016 and premiered on I-D. The video, channeling Picnic At Hanging Rock and Lolita, was premiered by US site CLRVYNT.
City Music is an airplane descending over frozen lakes into Chicago. City Music is riding the Q Train out to Coney Island to smell the ocean and a morning in Philadelphia where greats cranes reconfigure the buildings like an endless puzzle. City Music is also the new album by Kevin Morby. Full of listless wanderlust, it's a collection inspired by and devoted to the metropolitan experience across America and beyond by a songwriter cast from his own mould. It is a collection crafted using the other side of its creator's brain, the jumping off point perhaps best once again encapsulated by an image. "Here, Lou Reed and Patti Smith stare out at the listener," explains Morby. City Music sees Morby joined once again by cohorts Megan Duffy (guitar) and Justin Sullivan (drums). Here the vocals were recorded at night, in darkness, overlooking a Pacific Ocean illuminated only by the stars, the wash and whisper of the ebbing tidal a distant soundtrack. The record was completed with Richard Swift in Oregon (producer of Foxygen, sometime member of The Black Keys). Here the album gives voice to the all those cities speaking the same universal language of chaos and commerce and culture.
The debut album by Athens, GA supergroup Lavender Holyfield (includes members of Bubbly Mommy Gun, The Olivia Tremor Control, Circulatory System, The New Sound of Numbers, Half Acid, Freehand, and Realistic Pillow). Surrealistic lyrics by lead singer Charlie Key evoke the universes depicted in his paintings, populated with magic animals and strange symbolism. The music sounds similar to Eno-era Talking Heads, Vocals that sound similar to Television and avant-garde violin playing that sounds similar to Ornette Coleman's violin work. Side A was recorded by the band at home and Side B was recorded at the Glow Studio in Athens. Artwork by Charlie Key. Limited Edition of 500 Copies. Comes with Download code.
Michael Nau returns with his new album, Some Twist, out June 16th. Some Twist is the follow up to 2016's Mowing and its announcement comes amidst a flurry of recent activity. Two weeks ago, Nau debuted songs from Some Twist on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic and headlined two sold out shows on back-to-back nights in Los Angeles. He has received extensive BBC radio play and been selected as a "6 Music Recommends" pick. One-off single "Love Survive" cracked the top 50 on Spotify's Global Viral Chart and Elton John has played Nau on his Beats1 show.Suicide Squeeze Records is proud to release Some Twist on LP and CD. The first pressing of the album is available on 1,000 copies of pink vinyl and contains a download code. CD is housed in a digipak.
Poiemusia La Nau Dels Argonautes offers a Mediterranean journey, one that Ulysses, Aeneas, and Jason with his Argonauts charted first and Valencian artist, Pep Llopis, retraced and retread from the islands of Menorca to Santorini. All of his experiences are aboard this vessel of sound: no format in mind, no course but the chasm within self. Poiemusia La Nau Dels Argonautes offers a musical language that any listener can understand. Untethered to the meaning of words, one is set adrift and free in minimalist sound and traditional music.
The Men yes, "The", are a four-piece post punk outfit from Brooklyn, NY. Their catalog which began in 2008 with a hand-dubbed self- released demo cassette has grown to include two LP’s- We Are the Men and Immaculada- two more tapes, and a 7". The buzz in their hometown has grown so fervent that the Village Voice debuted this album's first single, "Bataille," a full six months before the record was scheduled to street. Named for the famed French pornographic writer the track review expounds it, "rides a pug-ugly joy-punk riff into almost krautrock oblivion--complete with gorgeous voice cracks and face-mooshing distortion."Having three songwriters in the band allows them to pull from innumerable post punk sources, referencing drone, metal, shoegaze, and even Suicide lyrics on Leave Home. Recording to tape for the first time here, using elements of distortion, feedback, pop hooks, and a couple of beautifully destructive instrumental passages, The Men have been described by Mishka as, "more composers than musicians." They have breathed new life into the genre of hardcore and created a seminal album that is truly for punks of all ages.
It's Trevor Sensor's voice you notice first. A deep bubbling black tar pit of a sound, it's a voice whose unique timbre resonates far beyond the constraints of the songwriting format. It demands the listener reaches for a new vocabulary.
The 23 year old's debut album Andy Warhol's Dream is part of a literate folk lineage that runs from Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan through Tom Waits and onto the likes of Bon Iver, Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens today. It’s an unflinching honest album, transcendent in its exploration of self and sonically a collision between the classic and the forward-thinking.
Sensor's debut EP for the label, 'Texas Girls and Jesus Christ', was written on a borrowed acoustic guitar and took him out into the world. 2016 saw him tour Europe before hitting the road in the US for tours with Foy Vance and The Staves.
Andy Warhol's Dream was recorded to tape at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio and produced by both Jonathan Rado of Foxygen (The Lemon Twigs, Whitney) and songwriter/producer Richard Swift (Damien Jurado, Foxygen). His backing band featured members of Whitney.
On these 11 songs Sensor doesn't so much wear his heart on his sleeve as flings it out in the darkness of the front rows that sit beyond the glare of the single blinding spotlight. This is the sound of one man’s soul laid bare, facing life head on.
We are glad to announce that our legendary DINGED VINYL GRAB BAGS are back while supplies last! Most of the dinged vinyl has either rounded or bent corners but the vinyl in each package is still unused / unplayed.
Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Dead Oceans, and St. Ives are offering these 30 piece vinyl grab bags to direct retailers for $100!
A few things to note:+ Each box will contain 30 randomly selected Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar, Secretly Canadian, or St. Ives LPs+ Vinyl will be chosen at random per Grab Bag, so we can't do specialized boxes.+ We'll try and make the selections diverse, but boxes may include doubles of some titles.+ This promotion is effective now until stock runs out (roughly 1-2 weeks)+ As per usual, these vinyl titles are nonreturnable.+ You will find various states of distress: full corner bends, crunched corners, missing/damaged shrinkwrap -- just remember, these are SUPER discounted.+ Order quantities may be capped to satisfy demand.
The Numero Group's dive into the deep end of America's private press continues. Having battled the witches and wizards of Darkscorch, the outlaws of Cosmic Americana, and traveled alongside Ladies From the Canyon and their Lonesome Heroes, it's time to take it easy.
With pop music's volume knob adjusted for deflation in the early '70s, softness begat smoothness. Crewmen arrived from the worlds of jazz, folk, rock, and soul, all peddling a product that was sincere, leisurely, and lofty. A sound that was buoyant, crisp, defined. Sometimes classified as West Coast - and, later, Yacht Rock - the compass points of our Private Yacht expedition are the blue-eyed harmonies of Hall and Oates, the cocaine-dusted Fender Rhodes of Michael McDonald, and the combover strums of James Taylor. Here, at the glassy apex of rock's softer side, 20 strong swimmers are gathered together. An album for both relaxation and reflection, where listeners can enjoy the present, a cool breeze, and a taste of the good life.
Chapter is excited to announce the first ever reissue of "What Is This Thing Called 'Disco'?", a landmark Australian post-punk artefact originally released in 1981 as an LP with accompanying 12" single. One of the first records from the Australian underground to incorporate disco elements into the reigning post-punk asethetic, "What Is This Thing Called 'Disco'?" sits alongside records by international counterparts like Flying Lizards or Yellow Magic Orchestra in its combination of art school formalism and dancefloor hedonism. Melbourne artist Philip Brophy is best known for his work with 70s/80s art-punk provocateurs Tsk Tsk Tsk (pronounced with three clicks of the tongue). Asked to stage an exhibition in Melbourne in 1980, Brophy decided to put disco into an art gallery context. He created 'fake' band Asphixiation to mime on stage along to tape, and recorded "What Is This Thing Called 'Disco'?" as the backing tracks.In 1981, iconic Melbourne label Missing Link released a two song 12", and later that year the band released the album themselves, repressing the 12" and including it in the package. 36 years later, Chapter has lovingly remastered and reissued the album + single package, with new liner notes and photos.
The long-awaited return of Brooklyn's Beach Fossils, Somersault showcases a band in bloom. Charting into new musical territory with a refined songwriting style, it's an album that captures flashes of life in New York grounded in personal experience.
As the band's first release on Dustin Payseur's new label Bayonet Records, which he co-owns with wife Kate Garcia - the group made the most of their newfound independence, investing ample time in expanding its range both musically and lyrically. While Payseur handled the bulk of the songwriting duties in the past, Somersault is a true collaboration between the founding member and bandmates, Jack Doyle Smith and Tommy Davidson. Augmented with more complex instrumentation, including string arrangements, piano, harpsichord, flute, and sax, the new songs offer multi-layered pop guided by sharp, poignant, and honest lyrics.
Orchestral pop gem "Saint Ivy" shines with plucked strings, buoyant basslines and a propulsive, wayward, guitar. "Tangerine", a driving, tightly wound melody, rushes forward and briefly leaves the ground due to the gossamer guest vocals of Slowdive's Rachel Goswell. The cloudy, wistful "Social Jetlag," bustling with samples of crowded streets, features the type of candid, off-the-cuff lyrics that make the entire effort immediately illuminating.
Somersault evokes the laid-back mood of a warm, breezy city night, the air crackling with humidity and excitement. These songs pulse and pull, capturing a blend of promise and heartache. It's beautiful and layered, a refined, sweeping creation that threads together numerous styles, textures, and themes into a refreshing, singular vision.
Föllakzoid began in Santiago, Chile from what they describe as the result of "a product of a trance experience between friends, sort of a soul abduction in which they’ve been living since 2008." The band is made up of multi-faceted artists: Juan Pablo (bass, vocals) is a producer of the Sangre Fresca Music Festival in Santiago, Diego (drums) is a photographer, Alfredo (synth) is an architect and Domingo (guitar) is also a filmmaker who just premiered his first long length movie "Partir to Live". They believe that there is some sort of gravitational force that makes South America able to dialogue directly with other places, times and dimensions. They have all known each other from childhood in Santiago. This album shows the band growing an enormous amount as songwriters, focusing on more developed songs and structures. Throughout these five songs, Föllakzoid craft one of the finest kraut-rock record in years.
Since their first demo in 2013, the Austin expats in Institute have edged their raw anarcho punk blitz into something much more expansive and nuanced. 2014’s Salt EP marked the beginning of the band’s working relationship with Sacred Bones, and it explored longer, more experimental song forms. Catharsis, the band’s debut full-length, was another huge push forward, with a slightly cleaner production and some krautrock influence creeping in around the edges. Subordination sees them push themselves further out of genre, incorporating hard rock and glam and writing some of the most diverse material of their career.
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Moon Duo is the solo alter-ego of Wooden Shjips guitarist and singer Ripley Johnson. Under the Moon Duo moniker Johnson creates expansive Krautrock influenced tapestries of warm cascading fuzz and controlled feedback, organ, and accenting keyboard. This four song 12-inch is the second release and incorporates a much more concise, composed and driving sound than before. Johnson expands on ideas only hinted at on the Sick Thirst 12-inch (which is already long gone) adding a driving drum machine beat behind the thick walls of layered sound. Don’t sleep on this one.Information on bonus tracks:"Bopper’s Hat" originally released on a split-7" with Bitchin Bajas on Permanent Records. "Run Around" originally released on Menagerie #2 on Blackest Rainbow Records. "Dead West Pt. II" originally released on Raven Sings the Blues Vol. 2.