Seattle indie rock / psychedelic rockers Spirit Award have released a new 7″ available on Bandcamp.
Exclusive / limited run of only 200 white vinyl 7-inches. Pressed by Third Man, marketed by Share It, distributed by Sub Pop.
Following on the heels of Spirit Award‘s 2018 album Muted Crowd – which centered around ideas of homelessness, greed, and the wealth gap – the band has returned exceedingly focused with “Currency.” And when the band heard the idea of teaming with a nonprofit label in Seattle that gives a portion of proceeds to a charity of the band’s choice for this release, they dubbed it a “no-brainer.”
For “Currency,” Spirit Award chose to donate to Mary’s Place in Seattle, an organization that “provides safe, inclusive shelter and services for women, children and families on their journey out of homelessness.”
To that end, “Currency” is comprised of a pair of songs that circulate around the idea of wealth and greed. The track ‘Mountain’ asserts the message to the 1% that “in the end you will die like the rest of us, just bound to your golden chains”. The piano-driven track ‘Is It Enough?’ is a bit of a departure from Spirit Award‘s previous work. But its spacey guitars and sparkly keys give it a slight psychedelic treatment.
“Like many important bands, Seattle quartet Versing got their start in college radio—Tacoma’s KUPS. The group’s main songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Daniel Salas served as alternative music director there, where he met guitarist Graham Baker, drummer Max Keyes, and bassist Kirby Lochner. Now Versing are poised to spread their coolly combustible brand of rock on those said airwaves…and beyond if the world knows what’s good for it.
Baker, Keyes, Lochner, and Salas have risen through Seattle’s competitive rock ecosphere with nonchalant élan. They cheekily titled a previous album Nirvana, but never mind the bleach: Versing isn’t emulating Sub Pop’s most famous artist. Rather, these four twentysomething aesthetes are forging an exciting sound that finds a golden mean between lustrous noise and ebullient melody.
Emerging from a stint as a drummer in a stoner-metal band, Salas formed Versing as a vehicle to vent obliquely about his political and social views with irony and humor. Populated with strange characters, his songs often double as “critiques of centrism and conservatism, from a leftist perspective. That’s a theme: committing to something or doing something that may be hard but is the better option. However, when I write politically, it’s more allegorical and can be interpreted beyond the political realm. I find that more interesting to write about than my personal life.”
That being said, the pell-mell, ostinato-laced “Renew,” which Salas says is his most hopeful song, has a personal message. “It’s about taking time to care for yourself—even when things are all weird and fucked up.” Meanwhile, the immersive, pummeling “Offering” evokes those twin pillars of 1988 rock: My Bloody Valentine’s Isn’t Anythingand Pixies’ Surfer Rosa. “I just really enjoy that droning line of guitar feedback,” Salas says. “We use a lot of feedback on our songs, but I think that’s one of the more deliberately musical uses we’ve found for it. It’s sort of a fantastical song about traveling through a mystical portal to stop an encroaching force of evil, and the feedback is like the whirring sound the portal makes.”
A limited edition 40th anniversary version of Unknown Pleasures will be released on June 14th, almost forty years to the day after it was originally released. The LP will be pressed on 180g ruby red vinyl with an alternative white sleeve resembling the original design idea.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of our last ever show in Brussels in November 1994 we are reforming this autumn in our original line up, and then promptly splitting up again 3 days later.
Piotr: “When we originally split up in 1994 it was because of dwindling sales, press indifference and a label that didn’t want us anymore. 25 years on, we’re planning on going out on a high – to play some shows that are a celebration of our time together, and exit this time on our own terms!”
Radiant Dawn‘s nine tracks meld raw analog hardware with frontman Dan Boeckner‘s distinctive voice to create an immersive cinematic sound. Interspersed between the tracks are instrumental inter-titles that amplify the album’s 1970s sci-fi dystopian feel.
For fans of Boeckner’s catalogue (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits) Radiant Dawn feels like the next logical step in the artist’s two decade career, while maintaining a completely fresh energy.
Ride return with the 6th studio album of their career and their second since reforming in 2014 and signing to Wichita.
As with their previous album, Weather Diaries, Erol Alkan was in the producer’s chair, and Alan Moulder (with Caesar Edmunds) took care of the mixing (making this the fourth Ride album he has worked on).
Gathering influences from sources such as the Jean Michel Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican, and the post punk sound of The Fall and Sonic Youth, Ride have made an album which contains echoes of their earliest days as a band, while bringing these elements into 2019.
Both musically and lyrically, this is clearly an album made by a band who love being back together and who are at the very top of their game.
Double LP on limited edition green/blue vinyl (1000 copies) or black, includes a download code for album MP3s. This 2LP is released on Friday 16th August.
Since the 2015 release of Drab Majesty’s debut “Careless”, and the release of the acclaimed sophomore album “The Demonstration”the following year, artist Deb Demure and collaborator Mona D. have firmly established themselves amongst the pantheon of dark synth-pop greats, establishing a devoted fan base worldwide with their singular hypnotic sound and mysterious, constantly-evolving presence.
Following intense and extensive touring in support of the first two albums, Drab Majesty escaped to the inspirational landscapes of Athens, Greece to channel the songs for their most ambitious album creation yet: Modern Mirror.
Blowing the dust off the antiquarian myth of Ovid’s “Narcissus”, Drab Majesty uses its premise as groundwork for a modern reinterpretation. Each song tells a piece of the story, in which the listener’s own self-identity has become warped and dissociated through rapidly expanding technology, losing touch with the origins of their own personalities. Setting the stage as a romantic saga of antiquity, “A Dialogue” asks the listener if they are truly in love amid a building wash of guitars and reverb. Elements of classic tragedy weigh heavily in the reflection of Modern Mirror in songs like “The Other Side”, possessing a fundamental sound that is energetic, luminous and hopeful. Fusing the sonic aesthetics of predecessors like New Order and The Cure within the cautious instruction of Greek mythology and modern science fiction, Drab Majesty has birthed a hybrid of dreamy malaise, captured for a future moment.
The first single, “Ellipsis”, romantically plays up the distorted concept of courting through modern technology in a world that has yet to adapt, while on “Long Division”, Deb’s resounding guitar cascades around the chorus shared with No Joy frontwoman Jasamine White-Gluz, wistfully warning us against our vanity and self-obsession. Even when hope for everlasting love peeks through in “Oxytocin”, a sparkling and stoic track sung by Mona D., we are firmly reminded our fleeting existence.
Modern Mirror is a journey of self-reflection, nostalgia, love, beauty, and heartbreak told across eight addictive and emotional synth pop anthems – a seemingly classic tale delivered unblinkingly through the frame of the modern world.
Produced by Josh Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv) and mastered by Dave Cooley, with appearances by Jasamine White-Gluz (No Joy) and Justin Meldal-Johnson (NIN, Beck, M83, Air). Packaging and design by Juan Mendez of Jealous God/Silent Servant. Photography by Nedda Afsari (Muted Fawn).
First edition pressing on 45 RPM hi-fi double LP, packaged in 24pt sturdy wide spine reverse board jacket with two reverse board euro sleeve lyric inserts. CD comes packaged in classic clear jewelcase inside a spined reverse board slip-case with lyric booklet.
Mercury-nominated Northampton composer/producer Maps is set to release his fourth album ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’ on the 10th May 2019 through Mute, and today shares a new track from the album called ‘Just Reflecting’.
Maps (James Chapman) had this to say about the new release:
“I wanted to push everything to the limit with this record, and explore new territory for Maps. The orchestral instrumentation and addition of other musicians and singers played a huge part in finding the purer and more human emotion I was searching for. I learnt the violin as I was growing up, so I’m glad it finally came in useful!”
In only one week, Bob Mould returns with an entirely new catalogue of music on his full-length album Sunshine Rock, available February 8th via Merge Records. The record features the recently released tracks ‘What Do You Want Me To Do‘ and title-track ‘Sunshine Rock‘. Today, Mould shares his latest single ‘Lost Faith‘: a socially conscious song that sheds light on the mental friction caused from a mixture of facts, fiction, and biased opinions dispersed in the media.
Mould explains of the ‘Lost Faith’ concept:
“The video follows the protagonist who is trying to find solace and anonymity in an increasingly corrupt world filled with paranoia and misinformation. We see him being questioned about his real intent, apprehended by a fictitious yet familiar looking border security, then interrogated about the life he left behind.
Shot in Berlin, the video switches into dream sequences filled with chases, captures, and escapes. There’s a mosh pit of half-naked dancers, an accordionist in a church square, and the climax being a wild pursuit through the surrealistic ruins of a decommissioned CIA listening station.”
PledgeMusic has always been committed to serving artist and fan communities. It was established by artists and was born of a need to change the way in which the traditional music industry operated. It was designed to help artists and their teams at every level.
That said, we deeply regret that recently we have not lived up to the high standards to which PledgeMusic has always held itself. We acknowledge that many artists have and continue to experience payment delays. These delays to artists are unacceptable–not only to them but to us.
While the company has made progress, we still haven’t reached our goals. PledgeMusic has been in discussions with several strategic players in the industry who have an interest in the PledgeMusic platform. We are evaluating a number of transactions with those potential partners, and we plan to announce details of this in the next 60 days. It is our expectation that payments will be brought current within the next 90 days.
As of now, we are working through the backlog of correspondence with artists and teams to clarify their payment plans and your patience is appreciated as we complete this task. Furthermore, we are also working to address the fulfillment issues that some of our consumers have experienced in turn, often as a direct result of artist payment issues. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, the passionate inquiries and messages of support on social media from fans are appreciated, acknowledged and understood.
We are deeply sorry that we have not lived up to the high standards to which PledgeMusic always held itself. We are committed as a company of passionate music lovers to get things back on track as quickly as possible.
The first priority for the company is to sort the back payments issue as every penny that is owed to artists needs to get to them in the fastest possible time. A more detailed plan will be shared with the community shortly.
Secondly all funds coming into the company from now on will be managed by an independent third party (to be named soon) so as to ensure that all campaigns that launch going forward, will be paid upon their campaign milestones being reached. The specifics of this will be detailed in the aforementioned forthcoming announcement.
Thirdly I will work with the team to ensure that there is a go forward plan that includes and listens to the incredible community of artists and fans that we created. Once we are through our first two priorities we will work on the third.
Oxford indie/math rock band Foals have announced a new 2-part album called Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost. Part 1 is available for now here.
Part 1 will be released on March 8th. Part 2 will be released Autumn 2019.
The announcement states:
We couldn’t be more excited for you to hear all the work we’ve poured ourselves into over the past 18 months. The albums which will be coming out are two halves of the same locket. They can be listened to and appreciated individually, but fundamentally, they are companion pieces.
Musically, we pushed ourselves to the furthest limit. Lyrically, the songs resonate with what’s going on in the world at the moment. These songs are white flags, or mirrors, or attempts to work through the confusing times we live in… each in a different way.
They are offering a special Collector’s Edition which includes the following:
24 page hardcover book
Album on 12” violet coloured 180g vinyl
Exits 7” vinyl single – exclusive to this set
FLAC + MP3 download card of the album
2 exclusive art prints, 1 of which will be individually numbered and signed by a member of the band
Foals 2019 tour dates
3/16 – Mexico City, Mexico – Vive Latino 2019 3/18 – Vancouver, BC – Orpheum Theater 3/19 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater 3/20 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre 3/22 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater 3/23 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park 3/24 – Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Auditorium 3/27 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl 3/30 – Buenos Aires, Argentina – Lollapalooza 2019 3/31 – Santiago, Chile – Lollapalooza 2019 4/2 – Santiago, Chile – Lollapalooza Sideshow @ Teatro La Cúpula 4/5 – Sao Paulo, Brazil – Lollapalooza 2019 4/13 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel 4/16 – Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club 4/19 – Boston, MA – House of Blues 4/20 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore 4/22 – Toronto, Ontario – Rebel 4/24 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant 4/26 – Detroit, MI – Saint Andrews Hall 4/27 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre 4/28 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave 4/30 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue 5/3-5 – Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival 2019 5/12 – Brussels, Belgium – Ancienne Belgique 5/13 – Paris, France – Bataclan 5/15 – Lausanne, Switzerland – Les Docks 5/16 – Milan, Italy – Fabrique 5/17 – Luxembourg, Luxembourg – Den Atelier 5/19 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso 5/20 – Berlin, Germany – Huxleys 5/24 – Newcastle, England – This Is Tomorrow 2019 6/5 – Hamburg, Germany – Grosse Freiheit 6/6 – Aaarhus, Denmark – Northside Festival 6/7-9 – Nürburg, Germany – Rock Am Ring 2019 6/11 – Manchester, England – O2 Victoria Warehouse 6/14 – Tunbridge Wells, England – Bedgebury Pinetum 6/15 – Birmingham, England – Digbeth Arena 6/18 – Glasgow, Scotland – SWG3 Galvanizers Yard 6/20 – Thetford, England – Thetford Forest 6/21 – London, England – Alexandra Palace 6/24-26 – Zagreb, Croatia – Inmusic Festival 6/26 – Bournemouth, England – International Centre 7/2 – Dublin, Ireland – Trinity College 7/5 – Barcelona, Spain – Festival Cruïlla 2019 7/5-7 – Ewijk, Netherlands – Down The Rabbit Hole 7/26-28 – Benidorm, Spain – Low Festival 2019 8/1-3 – Lustenau, Austria – Szene Open Air
Presale begins tomorrow, 22 January at 10 AM local.
The Twilight Sad’s James Graham will appear on Reddit’s IndieHeads page today to answer questions.
Also of note is they announced another US tour for May, with a couple Canadian dates sprinkled in.
May 2019: 10 – Philadelphia, PA – The Foundry 11 – Brooklyn, NY – Elsewhere 12 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall 14 – Boston, MA – Sonia 16 – Toronto, ON – Velvet Underground 17 – Detroit, MI – El Club 18 – Chicago, IL – Sleeping Village 21 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge 22 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge 24 – Vancouver, BC – The Wise Hall & Lounge 26 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile 27 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge 29 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent 30 – Los Angeles, CA – The Teragram Ballroom
On Friday, February 1, Bandcamp will open a record shop and performance space in the great city of Oakland, California. We’ll feature a selection of records that showcase the diversity and design of the more than five million albums available on Bandcamp, and we’ll soon host free, all-ages shows as part of an upcoming video series.
Alternapop favs The Twilight Sad are releasing their new album, the band’s 5th full-length, It Won’t Be Like This All The Time, on January 19th. It was announced last fall and they’ve been slowly releasing tracks from the upcoming album.
This will be their first album on Mogwai’s Rock Action Records out of Glasgow.
Guitarist Andy MacFarlane stated, via an NME interview, “It all came together really well. To me, it’s like a different band almost. I did a stupid thing of writing loads of music, then giving it to James to write stuff over, then I deleted all the music. So then I wrote another album under it… I think we just needed to shake up the routine. One of our mates bought us those Brian Eno Oblique Strategy cards. I picked one out and it was like ‘delete everything, must try harder, don’t tell James’. The aim was to try and do stuff that we’d enjoy playing live, to make it more interesting for ourselves as well as everyone else.”
Singer James Graham says, “It’s all pretty full on but there’s some lighter shades and some hope on there. The first song that we’re going to come back with epitomizes the record. It’s got really noisy guitars but it’s pretty melodic. I think it’s the next stage of who we’re meant to be.”
The album is a welcome progression. It’s definitely a TSS album but they obviously experiment enough to keep it fresh. It’s a little more keyboard heavy than previous albums while maintaining a rock feel. Andy utilizes an E-Bow (electronic string driver) which moves the sound a bit away from the shoegaze sound of prior albums and the result, along with the overall production, is likely a somewhat more accessible sound.
The album’s strong computer generated, fractured artwork is “to represent fractured memories”, per Graham.
The have consistently been one of our more favorite bands to see live due to their genuine passion and appreciation for both music and their fans.
1. [10 Good Reasons for Modern Drugs] 2. Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting 3. The Arbor 4. VTr 5. Sunday Day13 6. I/m Not Here [missing face] 7. Auge_Maschine 8. Keep It All to Myself 9. Girl Chewing Gum 10. Let/s Get Lost 11. Videograms
Around 1991 an old friend made a mixtape for me to introduce me to new music. This tape contained songs from bands from The Pixies to the Lemonheads, and many others.
It contained this tune called ‘Downtime’ from the Blake Babies which I became quite fond of. I still have this mixtape in my car that still has a cassette player and 6-disc changer. (Both hardly ever get used now that I installed a bluetooth adapter.)
The Blake Babies were a 3-piece with Juliana Hatfield, John Strohm, and Freda Love.
THE BLAKE BABIES "DOWNTIME"
This leads me to the announcement from American Laundromat Records that they are re-issuing the Blake Babies compilation, Innocence And Experience, on vinyl.
It’s up for pre-order now. There are several color choices and you can also get a test pressing. It’s been remastered by Sean Glonek.
It contains other great Blake Babies tunes such as Lament, Cesspool, and Girl In A Box.