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Palm

Nick And Grazzes

    To confuse parts for the whole is inevitable with Palm. Drummer Hugo Stanley, bassist Gerasimos Livitsanos and guitarists/vocalists/high school sweethearts Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt started making music together as teenagers, and spent much of their twenties in the kind of proximity unusual for adults, outside of touring bands and the International Space Station. For a number of years the band consumed the lives of its members to a point of exhaustion: “To be honest I think we got a little burnt out. There were times where it wasn’t clear if we’d make another record,” says Alpert. It was only after multiple freak injuries followed by a pandemic, forced a pause - from touring but also from writing, rehearsing, even seeing each other- that the four were able to regroup and see a way forward again.

    On their latest effort, Nicks and Grazes, Palm embrace discordance to dazzling effect. “We wanted to reconcile two potentially opposing aesthetics,” Kurt says. “To capture the spontaneous, free energy of our live shows while integrating elements from the traditionally gridded palette of electronic music.” In order to avoid what Kurt refers to as “Palm goes electro,” the musicians spent years educating themselves on the ins and outs of production by learning Ableton while also experimenting with “the percussive, textural, and gestural potential” of their instruments. To this end, the band continued the age-old tradition of instrument-preparation, augmenting guitars with drumsticks, metal rods and, at the suggestion of Charles Bullen (This Heat, Lifetones), coiling rubber-coated gardening wire around the strings. The unruliness of the prepared guitar on songs like “Mirror Mirror” and “Eager Copy” contrasts with the steadfast reproducibility of the album’s electronic elements.

    While Palm cite Japanese pop music, dub, and footwork as influences on this album’s sonic palette, they found themselves returning time and again to the artists who inspired them to start the group over a decade ago. “When we were first starting out as a band, we bonded over an appreciation of heavy, aggressive, noisy music,” Alpert reflects. “We wrote parts that were just straight-up metal.” Kurt adds, “I found myself rediscovering and re–falling in love with the visceral, jagged quality of guitars in the music of Glenn Branca, The Fall, Beefheart, and Sonic Youth, all important early Palm influences.” Returning to the fundamentals gave Palm a strong foundation upon which they could experiment freely, resulting in their most ambitious and revelatory album to date.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Touch And Go
    2. Feathers
    3. Parable Lickers
    4. Eager Copy
    5. Brill
    6. On The Sly
    7. And Chairs
    8. Away Kit
    9. Suffer Dragon
    10. Mirror Mirror
    11. Glen Beige
    12. Tumbleboy
    13. Nicks And Grazes

    DISQ

    Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet

      Though initially formed as an extension of the lifelong friendship between guitarist Isaac DeBroux-Slone and bassist Raina Bock, Disq has evolved into a far more egalitarian organization, as Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet nds guitarists Logan Severson and Shannon Conor splitting singing and songwriting duties with Debroux-Slone and Bock. Such an approach could have easily fallen into the trap of “satisfying everyone, pleasing no one,” but happily, the opposite is true. Disq has emerged a stronger band, more daring and more deant, ready to nish the job.

      Wrangling a melange of styles such as this is no simple task, but Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet is held together by the powerful yet nimble rhythm section of Bock and drummer Stu Manley, whose muscular and hyperactive playing alternately keeps these adventurous compositions tethered rmly to the Earth and sends them soaring into stratosphere. Producer Matt Schuessler rarely lets a verse or chorus go by without adding some new sonic sparkle, keeping the arrangements an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of textures and moods. If there is a record in 2022 which squeezes more ideas into 41 minutes, then that record could surely only be the unlistenable mess that Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet avoids becoming so deftly.

      Pushing play on Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet, it is easy to imagine that it is the year 1998, and your cool older sister has returned from her freshman year at college only to hand you the sort of mind-altering mixtape out of which lifelong rock fanatics are born. Though, things being how they are in the world today, the idea of nding “someplace quiet” feels like an increasingly remote possibility, and the act of imagining such a place does, indeed, feel more and more desperate. With Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet, Disq take a valiant stand against the temptation of complacency. As for that “someplace quiet?” It will have to wait... it's about to get loud in here. 

      TRACK LISTING

      01. Civilization Four
      02. Prize Contest Life
      03. Cujo Kiddies
      04. This Time
      05. The Curtain
      06. The Hardest Part
      07. If Only
      08. Charley Chimp
      09. Tightrope
      10. (With Respect To) Loyal Serfs
      11. Meant To Be
      11. Hitting A Nail With A BB Gun

      Desaparecidos

      Read Music / Speak Spanish (Remastered)

        “Oberst and company have effectively crafted a searing punk fueled half-hour funeral march for both small-town life and the days when you were more likely to hear the words mom and pop than multinational corporation. At the record's core, there is a sense of great disillusionment with watching the cold, calculated displacement of human interaction and community while the world tries to fill the void with money and chain stores.” - Tiny Mix Tapes

        “Desaparecidos is like finding gold when you're looking for silver.” - Exclaim!


        2022 finds us releasing the 20th Anniversary Edition of Desaparecidos' Read Music/Speak Spanish into a world in which the dread and disenfranchisement detailed throughout the album feel as pertinent today as they did then. The characters and settings may have changed, but the startling narrative has not.

        In late 2001, Conor Oberst, Denver Dalley, Landon Hedges, Ian McElroy, and Matt Baum spent a week at Presto! Recording Studio in Lincoln, NE recording a punk album. That debut album, released in the post-9/11 fog of early 2002, screamed out observational commentary on urban development, the sacrifice of human value for the dollar bill, and the new American Dream in a way that felt distinctly out of sync with the hyper-patriotic atmosphere of peak G.W. Bush-era America.

        The band toured, got a bit of attention, and then went their separate ways for a long spell. In the ensuing years, Read Music/Speak Spanish gained cult status and became one of the most beloved and meaningful documents of the era, capturing the alienation that those who had seen through the fog of war for $$$$ experienced at the time.

        20 years on, those feelings are just as, if not more, relevant than they were in that moment. America has mutated into a new confused version of itself, in many ways unimaginable two decades ago. Yet, the fear and disgust voiced on Read Music/Speak Spanish now sound more prophetic than paranoid, making the album’s message as necessary as ever.


        TRACK LISTING

        01. Man And Wife, The Former (Financial Planning)
        02. Mañana
        03. Greater Omaha
        04. Man And Wife, The Latter (Damaged Goods)
        05. Mall Of America
        06. The Happiest Place On Earth
        07. Survival Of The Fittest / It's A Jungle Out There
        08. $$$$
        09. Hole In One

        Tomberlin

        I Don't Know Who Needs To Hear This....

          Tomberlin is Sarah Beth Tomberlin, a pastor’s kid born in Florida, raised in rural Illinois. She wrote the majority of her debut, At Weddings (2018), while living at home. For a while after leaving home and church, she lived in Louisville, Kentucky. She worked a day job and kept writing songs. She posted some of these songs to Bandcamp, which led to her signing a record deal with Saddle Creek. It all happened fast: Less than a year after her first live show, she performed on Jimmy Kimmel and she ended up moving to L.A. which is where she wrote Projections (2020), her EP followup to At Weddings.

          During the pandemic, Sarah Beth was all over the place, physically and mentally. Louisville. Los Angeles. Back home in Illinois for a bit. Brooklyn, where she’s now settled, she says. Brooklyn is also where her new album i don’t know who needs to hear this… was recorded, at Figure 8 studios over the course of two weeks, with producer and engineer Phil Weinrobe (who played a variety of instruments on the collection), and later mastered by Josh Bonati, also in Brooklyn.

          “The theme of the record,” she explains, “is to examine, hold space, make an altar for the feelings.” Hold space: Tomberlin’s songs do it literally, making it heard space. Her full-length debut, At Weddings, was widely praised for the sparsity and delicacy of its instrumentation, especially in contrast with the emotional heft of her lyrics.

          Here, the space feels larger and holier, built to echo. Pedal steel. Old acoustic guitars, freshly plucked. A drifting synthesizer. Chill, brushy percussion. Ambient, expansive clarinet and saxophone. Aleatory piano trills, a lot of piddling with the occasional splash. The looseness and wideness of the arrangements conveys a tender regard for their parts, as though each arpeggio, loop, scratch is a found shell or feather in the hand. Then there is the instrument of her voice, which has the endearing quality of being perfectly tuned but reluctantly played. “I’m not a singer,” she sings on “idkwntht.” “I’m just someone who’s guilty.

          TRACK LISTING

          01. Easy
          02. Born Again Runner
          03. Tap
          04. Memory
          05. Unsaid
          06. Sunstruck
          07. Collect Caller
          08. Stoned
          09. Happy Accident
          10. Possessed
          11. Idkwntht

          Lonely Pirate Committee

          He Was In The Father / ODE

            In an age of never-ending genre caveats, there’s something refreshing in a band simply referring to themselves as a rock band, plain and simple. Lonely Pirate Committee define themselves in such a way, and while their music encompasses a number of different strands and influences, they like the openness of that descriptor, the space it leaves for exploration and experimentation.

            Moving through various iterations over the years, Lonely Pirate Committee remains in 2021 as the musical project of childhood friends Pearce Gronek and Fletcher Barton. Together, the pair has guided the band’s studio work, before bringing varying members to flesh out LPC’s high-volume and high-intensity live performances that juxtapose the more mellow and laid-back sound that mostly defines their recordings to date, save for the band’s occasional moments of skewed eccentricity. 

            Formed in Cleveland, the pair work both together and apart, splitting the band’s songwriting down the middle, working on their ideas at home before bringing them together under one defined vision. In early 2020 LPC released their second album, Everyday Ordinary, and it showcased a more refined version of the band than what had come before, the pair’s songwriting drifting into creative and hazy new textures across the album’s ten songs.

            In early 2022, Lonely Pirate Committee release their first new work since those album sessions in the form of a brand new 7” single for Saddle Creek’s Document series. Formed of two new tracks, both recorded in late 2020, the release is led by “He Was in the Father”, a song which should be seen as a caricature of Middle-American suburbia; a white picket fence daydream through a shadowy lens. The track began simply as a sonic experiment but soon evolved into the full song we hear today – albeit one shaped by AI. “The track is partially written using AI music generation technology, in direct collaboration with the human composer,” the band explain. "We recorded a brief performance of banjo and guitar, then fed it into an AI algorithm that then attempted to continue the recording. This resulted in the outro sequence of the song.” 

            It’s backed by “ODE”, a surreal and somewhat twisted celebration of the American dream. "It went through many iterations over the year and was almost scrapped multiple times,” the band say of the track. “The chaotic, bouncy harmony drove us both to the brink of insanity during the recording process, but ultimately led to further sonic exploration.” 

            TRACK LISTING

            1. He Was In The Father
            2. ODE 

            Spirit Of The Beehive

            The Door

              Six months on from the release of their critically-acclaimed fourth album, Entertainment, Death, Philadelphia trio Spirit Of The Beehive closeout 2021 with brand new 7” The Door, comprising two previously-heard but never physically released songs in “The Door Is Open” and “The Door Is Closing”.

              A special and limited release, 500 copies of the single have been pressed on cloudy teal vinyl. The 7” is led by “The Door Is Open”, a 2020 single that marked a new chapter for the band ahead of the release of Entertainment, Death. The song “continues to defy definition”, Stereogum said upon its initial release, before adding: “It’s amazing that they made such a short track feel like such a dreamy journey.”

              It’s backed by “The Door Is Closing”, a bright and skewed gem of a track that was originally released earlier this year via Through The Soil, a charity compilation that benefited the NAMI COVID-19 Mental Health Support Fund.

              Whether opened or closed, The Door is a bold reminder of Spirit Of The Beehive’s many layered and colourful ideas. It also ribbon-ties a brilliant 2021 for the band, one which saw Entertainment, Death labelled as “an intensely beautiful, intensely difficult record” by Pitchfork, a “sprawling odyssey of haunting dissonance and blissful euphoria” by Flood Magazine, and a "storm of sound with a deep humanity coming through” by Fader.

              Big Thief

              Mythological Beauty

                “Big Thief’s quiet power propels songs of the flesh and soul. These are timeless songs, memorable and momentous.” - NPR Music’s Bob Boilen

                "their new album is a huge leap forward in just about every possible way, a record made with enormous confidence and intuition and empathy.” – Stereogum

                “Adrianne Lenker is a romantic folk-rock poet of the first order.” – Rolling Stone

                Big Thief ’s debut album, Masterpiece, met wide critical acclaim, landing spots on countless “Best of 2016” lists. Their music, rooted in the songs of Adrianne Lenker, paints in vivid tones “the process of harnessing pain, loss, and love, while simultaneously letting go, looking into your own eyes through someone else’s, and being okay with the inevitability of death,” says Adrianne. “Mythological Beauty” was the first track released from the band’s 2017 album, Capacity.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Mythological Beauty 5:07
                2. Breathe In My Lungs 2:52 

                Hand Habits

                Fun House

                  There is a moment halfway through Hand Habits’ Fun Houseat which musician Meg Duffy asks the question, “How many times must I rewind the tape?”It’s a fitting question planted squarely in the middle of a sonically adventurous record concerned largely with making sense and taking stock. How much time must we spend examining our own past in order to fully understand it? How can we safely acknowledge pain in order to release it and fully actualize who we are supposed to be? Buffeted by strings, synths, and a gently-shook tambourine, the aptly-titled track, “The Answer,” highlights the emotional engine at the heart of the record. “I know the answer,”Duffy sings, “Here’s what I hope to find - it’s always mine.”

                  Fun Houseis Duffy’s most ambitious Hand Habits album to date. Produced by Sasami Ashworth (SASAMI) and engineered by Kyle Thomas (King Tuff), the record was not intended as a reaction to the pandemic, but it was very much the result of taking a difficult, if much-needed, moment of pause. “When the pandemic happened, everything stopped,” recalls Duffy. “I had been touring consistently for five years, both on my own and playing in other people’s bands, so I wasn’t really writing a lot in between. It had been full pedal to the metal in terms of traveling and scheduling, which meant I really didn’t have a lot of time to think about how I felt or really check in with myself. Then, when the world basically stopped, it turned out to be the longest I’ve been alone in my entire life — without being in a relationship, without being on the road, without working myself to exhaustion — and the result was really like, holy shit. I slammed on the brakes and everything psychologically that I’d been pushing down and ignoring for the past few years suddenly flew to the foreground.”

                  What started out as a very personal reckoning eventually blossomed into a fruitful and convenient means of making new music. Grounded in LA and sharing a house with Ashworth and Thomas, who also runs a studio space in the building, Duffy began to flesh out the songs that would eventually become Fun House. Embold-ened by going into therapy and coaxed by Ashworth to push the songs into unexpected new shapes, the resulting music was more acutely personal and stylistically adventurous than anything they had attempted before. The new songs also became a prism through which Duffy could begin to self-actualize in a new way.

                  While Fun Houseshares some of the same hallmarks as previous Hand Habits releases —a kind of outré queer sensibility, a gentle sense of vulnerability — the record is a marked sonic departure from the often muted tones of 2019’s Placeholder and 2017’s Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void). Instead, the tracks on Fun Housesparkle, moving in unexpected directions and eschewing any specific genre. Tracks like “Aquamarine” and “More than Love” package narratives about loss, romantic longing, and childhood trauma inside polished synth pop (“Suicide / Lost a life / Well then who am I? / Why can’t you talk about it?”) while “Gold Rust” and “Concrete and Feathers” have a ragged, Neil Young quality. Friend and collaborator Mike Hadreas (of Perfume Genius) contributes vocals on “No Difference” and “Just to Hear You,” making for one of the record’s most sanguine moments, his voice providing a perfect counterpoint to Duffy. The push/pull of styles, paired with songs that move deftly between the present and past, give the record a wildly diverse, hall of mirrors quality that befits its name. Where previous Hand Habits records could be fairly insular affairs, both in their creation and their execution, Fun Housefeels ebullient, lush, a fully-realized conversation.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  01. More Than Love 4:02
                  02. Aquamarine 4:15
                  03. Just To Hear You (feat. Perfume Genius) 2:53
                  04. No Difference 2:51
                  05. The Answer 2:04
                  06. Gold/Rust 3:58
                  07. Clean Air 3:08
                  08. Control 3:40
                  09. Concrete & Feathers 3:38
                  10. False Start 4:06
                  11. Graves 3:13

                  Ada Lea

                  One Hand On The Steering Wheel The Other Sewing A Garden

                    one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden is the name of the second album by Canadian songwriter Alexandra Levy, publicly known by the moniker Ada Lea. On one hand, it’s a collection of walking-paced, cathartic pop/folk songs, on the other it’s a book of heart-twisting, rear-view stories of city life. Ada Lea has followed up the creative, indie-rock songcraft of her debut what we say in private with surprising arrangements and new perspectives. The album is set in Montreal and each song exists as a dot on a personal history map of the city where Levy grew up. Due on September 24th from Saddle Creek and Next Door Records in Canada, the physical record will be released alongside a map of song locations and a songbook with chords and lyrics, inspired by Levy’s love of real book standards.

                    Levy penned and demoed this batch of songs in an artist residency in Banff, Alberta. After sorting and editing she made her way to Los Angeles to record with producer/engineer Marshall Vore (Phoebe Bridgers) who had previously worked on 2020’s woman, here E.P. After a long walk to the studio each morning, Levy spent her session days diving into the arrangements, playfully letting everything fall in place with complete trust for her collaborators. She notes “Marshall’s expertise and experience with drumming and songwriting was the perfect blend for what the songs needed. He was able to support me in a harmonic, lyrical, and rhythmic sense.” Other contributors that left a notable fingerprint on the soundscape include drummer Tasy Hudson, guitarist Harrison Whitford (of Phoebe Bridgers band), and mixing engineer Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett). Many songs came together with a blend of studio tracks and elements from the pre-recorded demos.

                    The resulting sounds range from classic, soft-rock beauty to intimate finger-picked folk passages and night-drive art-pop. And the textures are frequently surprising due to the collage of lo-fi and hi-fi sounds that tastefully decorate the album without ever clouding the heart-center of the song. Tracks like “damn” and “oranges” feel timeless with their AM gold groove and 70’s studio sheen, while songs like “my love 4 u is real '', “salt spring” and “can’t stop me from dying” sound completely modern in their use of electronics, sound effects, and pitched vocals. In their subtle, sonic variety, all of the album’s songs flow together with ease into one big, romantic dream for Levy’s silken vocals to float above.

                    Inspired by personal experience, daydreams, and Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, the lyrics of one hand... center storytelling on a bigger scale. The experience and emotions of a year are communicated through Levy’s vignettes of city life. Her prose is centered in its setting of the St Denis area of Montreal as it draws up memories from local haunts like Fameux, La Rockette, and Quai des Brumes in rearview reverie. Levy creates a balance through the album’s year by splitting her songs evenly into four seasons. Opening track “damn”, as a song of winter, kicks off the narrative with the events of a cursed New Year’s Eve party. Immediately this timeline becomes jumbled into a Proustian haziness. The listener is then led through the heat-stricken, brain fog of Summer song, “can’t stop me from dying” and then into the autumnal romanticism of “oranges” before returning back to New Year’s on “partner,” which Levy describes as “a woozy late-night taxi blues reflection on moments when timing can be so right, yet so wrong…”. These collected stories as a whole chart the unavoidable growth that comes with experience. “All is forgiven in time. All is forgotten in time. And when the music stopped, I heard an answer” (from “my love 4 u is real”).

                    Whether to consider these songs fiction or memoir remains unknown. On one hand, Levy says “Why would I try to write a story that’s not my own? What good would that do?” but on the other hand, she is quick to note the ways that language fails to describe reality, and how difficult this makes it to tell an actually true story. The poetic misuse of the word “sewing” in the album’s title serves as a nod to the limitations words provide. What does it mean to sew the garden? And how can we appreciate its carefully knit blooms when the rearview mirror is so full of car exhaust?

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Barry says: Ada Lea's new album is a wonderful mix of honest, hearfelt lyricism and psychedelic instrumentation, ranging from subtly swaying indie-pop to jagged punky drive. It's a beguiling and beautiful outing, and one that deserves to be heard.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    01. Damn 4:21
                    02. Can't Stop Me From Dying 3:09
                    03. Oranges 4:54
                    04. Partner 3:45
                    05. Saltspring 4:23
                    06. And My Newness Spoke To Your Newness And It Was A Thing Of Endless 0:56
                    07. My Love 4 U Is Real 4:31
                    08. Backyard 2:56
                    09. Writer In Ny 3:19
                    10. Violence 4:26
                    11. Hurt 3:31

                    “Everything has to be said.” This is the conviction guiding Indigo De Souza’s sophomore album, Any Shape You Take. This dynamic record successfully creates a container for the full spectrum—pushing through and againstevery emotion: “I wanted this album to give a feeling of shifting with and embracing change. These songs camefrom a turbulent time when I was coming to self-love through many existential crises and shifts in perspective.”

                    Faithful to its name, Any Shape You Take changes form to match the tenor of each story it tells. “The album titleis a nod to the many shapes I take musically. I don’t feel that I fully embody any particular genre—all of themusic just comes from the universe that is my ever-shifting brain/heart/world,” says Indigo. This sonic range isunified by Indigo’s strikingly confessional and effortless approach to songwriting, a signature first introduced inher debut, self-released LP, I Love My Mom. Written in quick succession, Indigo sees these two records ascompanion pieces, both distinct but in communion with each other: “Many of the songs on these two recordscame from the same season in my life and a certain version of myself which I feel much further from now.”

                    Throughout Any Shape You Take, Indigo reflects on her relationships as she reckons with a deeper need toredefine how to fully inhabit spaces of love and connection.“It feels so important for me to see people throughchange. To accept people for the many shapes they take, whether those shapes fit into your life or not. Thisalbum is a reflection of that. I have undergone so much change in my life and I am so deeply grateful to thepeople who have seen me through it without judgment and without attachment to skins I’m shifting out of.”

                    Growing up in a conservative small town in the mountains of North Carolina, Indigo started playing guitar when she was nine years old. “Music was a natural occurrence in my life. My dad is a bossa nova guitarist andsinger from Brazil and so I think I just had it in my blood from birth.” It wasn’t until moving to Asheville, NC that Indigo began to move into her current sound, developing a writing practice that feeds from the currents thatsurround her: “Sometimes it feels like I am soaking up the energies of people around me and making art from aspace that is more a collective body than just my own.”

                    “I feel very much like a shape-shifter with my music, I’m always trying to embody a balance between the existential weight and the overflowing sense of love I feel in the world.” It is exactly this balance that Indigostrikes in her Saddle Creek debut, Any Shape You Take. A listening experience that gives back, as you shed andshape-shift along with her.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    01. 17
                    02. Darker Than Death
                    03. Die/Cry
                    04. Pretty Pictures
                    05. Real Pain
                    06. Bad Dream
                    07. Late Night Crawler
                    08. Hold U
                    09. Way Out
                    10. Kill Me

                    Indigo De Souza

                    I Love My Mom

                      Almost all records are a snapshot, a musical ribbon bow that documents a very specific moment in time or simply ties-off everything up to that point. Indigo De Souza’s I Love My Mom, her debut LP initially released in 2018, was the latter; a collection of the best songs she’d written in the few years that preceded it, recorded quickly and breathlessly and thrown out into the world.

                      Consisting of ten songs, I Love My Mom feels both raw and unabashed. Indigo pulled a band together for the first time, and was quickly encouraged to commit her songs to tape. Recorded at her friend’s house, they played almost everything live in just a few days, and released the record naturally, with little fanfare. That the record quickly took on a life of its own, deeply resonating with those who heard it, is a testament to Indigo’s songwriting which took inspiration from the unique worlds created by Arthur Russel, Sparklehorse, The Microphones, as well as contemporaries such as LVL UP and Happyness.

                      Two of the songs have racked up more than a million streams each on Spotify: “Take O Ur Pants” and “How I Get Myself Killed.” The former balances an often breezy lead vocal with gnarly undercurrents of guitar before the whole thing lets rip in its punchy chorus, while the latter, the album’s opening track, finds a different mood entirely, a slacker rock gem that repeats its chorus as a chest-beating mantra. Elsewhere, “Good Heart” furthers the dichotomy which sits at the record’s core, each moment of quiet introspection soon met by a cacophonous burst of energy.

                      Indigo called the record I Love My Mom as a way of acknowledging the one person who’d believed in her work the most. Growing up in a conservative small town in North Carolina, Indigo struggled with bullying and being an outcast from a very early age, resulting in a crippling shyness that lasted throughout her teens. When her mom noticed her channeling these experiences into songwriting she encouraged the endeavor wholeheartedly, buying her a guitar and arranging lessons. By the age of 11 Indigo was writing her own songs. “Over time I realized that she had pushed me out of my shell completely, and performing became a thing that I naturally wanted to do,” Indigo says. “I couldn't have gotten to that point without her. It became one of the things that made me feel seen and safe.”

                      At the age of 16, Indigo moved to Asheville and found it to be a place where unique qualities weren’t scorned but celebrated. “I was always different, and I was very aware of it. It was very difficult because I felt like people just didn’t want me there and I didn’t know why,” Indigo says of her childhood. “When I moved to Asheville I found that actually a lot of people were like me, and there are places that are so much more diverse. I realized that it was okay to be different.”

                      In the sanctity of this exciting new town, Indigo leapt into her songwriting and began an empowering journey which would eventually lead her to the writing, recording, and self-releasing of her debut album - complete with its striking cover art which was painted by her mom; a nod to the person who played such a pivotal role in those preceding years.

                      The album was released to immediate excitement in the local scene leading to repeated sold-out shows at the beloved Asheville venue The Mothlight. Indigo also began touring with her band, supporting the likes of Alex G and Beach Bunny. It was at one of these shows where Saddle Creek first witnessed her. The label signed Indigo soon after and will give I Love My Mom the full release it deserves - with the album pressed to vinyl for the first time in the summer of 2021 - ahead of a brand new LP a little further down the road.


                      TRACK LISTING

                      01. How I Get Myself Killed
                      02. Take O Ur Pants
                      03. Good Heart
                      04. Smoke
                      05. Sick In The Head
                      06. What Are We Gonna Do Now
                      07. Home Team
                      08. Ghost
                      09. The Sun Is Bad
                      10. I Had To Get Out

                      Spirit Of The Beehive

                      Entertainment, Death

                        Ever since Spirit Of The Beehive released their self-titled debut in 2014, they’ve developed a reputation for being your favourite band’s favourite band. Theirs is the music of immersion, of confrontation, the kind that makes a listener stop and wonder, “How are they even doing that?” And as the years wear on, that sense of bafflement has made room for Spirit Of The Beehive to quietly but steadily ascend, with their most recent album, 2018’s Hypnic Jerks, leaving them poised on the precipice of wider recognition.

                        Spirit Of The Beehive now release their fourth album and Saddle Creek debut, Entertainment, Death. The album signals new chapters for the band on multiple fronts, being the first to feature their new three-piece lineup, as well as the first to be entirely self-recorded and produced. Guitarist/vocalist Zack Schwartz and bassist/vocalist Rivka Ravede are now joined by new member Corey Wichlin, a multi-instrumentalist who relocated from Chicago to the band’s home territory of Philadelphia last year. In the spring of 2020, the trio began to write their new album at a distance by emailing les back and forth. “The process of making this album was basically the exact opposite of our experience creating Hypnic Jerks,” Schwartz explains. “We had to record that in seven days, because that was the studio time we had, whereas Entertainment, Death was made over the course of three, four months.”

                        An abundance of time wasn’t the only difference. Recording remotely offered the band an incentive to experiment with new possibilities for their sound, resulting in an album that is unlike any Spirit Of The Beehive has released before. Once the band finished recording and mixing the album digitally, they mastered it to tape, lending the collection a textured, dimensional quality. “We knew we wanted to use some new instrumental elements on this album,” Wichlin says. “We're not going fully electronic,” Schwartz adds, “But guitar, bass, drums just get kind of monotonous.” Though Entertainment, Death doesn’t cohere in a single, unifying theme, the band samples old obscure commercials throughout, many of which guided the process of writing a song instead of serving as an appendage. Schwartz describes his songwriting process as a stream-of-consciousness, while Ravede asserts that she doesn’t typically write vocal parts with any specific intention in mind. “When I write, the narrative usually doesn’t present itself until after the song is done. And even then, it depends on how the listener interprets the words,” she reflects. Regardless of how dreamlike Entertainment, Death’s lyrics can be, reality rears its head throughout Entertainment, Death. The album isn’t a metamorphosis, it’s simply the newest iteration of a longstanding project. “There’s a line in the Bee Gees documentary that I think applies to us. I’ll paraphrase: ‘We may not have always connected, but we always stuck around,’” Ravede says. Schwartz jumps in, “Entertainment, Death: we’re still here.”

                        TRACK LISTING

                        01. Entertainment
                        02. There’s Nothing You Can Do
                        03. Wrong Circle
                        04. Bad Son
                        05. Give Up Your Life
                        06. Rapid & Complete Recovery
                        07. The Server Is Immersed
                        08. It Might Take Some Time
                        09. Wake Up (In Rotation)
                        10. I Suck The Devil’s Cock
                        11. Death

                        Quarter-Life Crisis

                        Quarter Life Crisis

                          The genesis of Ryan Hemsworth’s new project, Quarter-Life Crisis, can be traced all the way back to his childhood bedroom in Nova Scotia, where the producer spent the bulk of his high school years listening to emerging indie acts and playing guitar. Not loving the sound of his own voice and without a band, he eventually started making music on his laptop, which earned him accolades as he stepped out into electronic and club music scenes. His prolic output, paired with a voracious appetite for a wide range of genres and creation of his own label Secret Songs, has made Hemsworth a xture since he released his debut solo album, Guilt Trips, in 2013.

                          But now, Hemsworth’s trying his hand at something unexpected that is nonetheless close to his heart and origin story as a musician. Quarter-Life Crisis is a collaboration with various artists who’ve come to prominence over the past couple of years , many of whom got their start playing scrappy DIY shows. “This project has me in the process of going back to when I was a kid when I’d sit down and play guitar for hours and come up with melodies and chords by just messing around,” Hemsworth says. “It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for ages.”

                          The self-titled debut EP features contributions from Frances Quinlan (Hop Along), Meg Duy (Hand Habits), Charlie Martin (Hovvdy), Yohuna, and Claud. It showcases Hemsworth in a new phase of his career, one that is perhaps a bit less indebted to the nightclub dance oor. “It’s always been a goal to mix, like, 25% electronic sounds and 75% live indie rock sounds,” he says. Collaboration is paramount to Hemsworth’s process, and though he produced all of the instrumentation on the album, he left the lyrics and intention of the song up to the contributors. The resulting collection shapeshifts from track-to-track, taking on new personalities as it moves between. “I think of my music-making process as ‘sneaking in as a fan,’” Hemsworth says. “Quarter-Life Crisis is just another way for me to work with artists whose music I really enjoy and listen to all the time .”

                          Though Hemsworth has been a working musician for a decade now, Quarter-Life Crisis has felt like a wholly new experience. He recorded the tracks using live instruments, which he doesn’t typically do, and for many of his collaborators the shift to performing without a band, or even an instrument in their hands, was unfamiliar. For Quinlan, who sings on the arresting “Postcard from Spain,” this was one of the only times she’s made music with someone outside of her circles. “Recording with Ryan ended up being a really freeing experience to focus solely on vocal melody, to play with where I could take what was already there, already strong on its own,” she said.

                          Quinlan’s experience overlapped with that of the other contributors. Going into the studio almost as a session artist gave Duy the opportunity to alter their voice in a way they might not have considered with a Hand Habits song. “Meg asked me to make them sound like Travis Scott,” Hemsworth remembers, laughing. The hypnotic track, “Comfortable,” made Duy think about “AI and cyborgs” and “souls disassociating from bodies.” “I kind of just freestyled until a theme started to swim up,” they said. For Hovvdy’s Martin, this was his rst time ever writing lyrics to accompany another artist’s work. “It was really exciting to hear [Ryan] meet me in the middle style-wise. There are many hidden gems in the production of ‘Waterfall,’” Martin muses. “Lyrically the song explores a parallel I’ve been feeling lately: the diculty of understanding and being understood and how sometimes that struggle almost mirrors the state of the planet. It’s like a downward spiraling feedback loop where any optimism feels like a triumph.”

                          Working with musicians who largely fall into the category of “indie” gave Hemsworth the opportunity to revisit some of the artists who inspired him to become a musician in the rst place. He cites bands like the Cardigans, Grandaddy, Bright Eyes, and Sparklehorse as being foundational to his writing process this time around. Quarter-Life Crisis a sharp turn away from his last project, 2019’s CIRCUS CIRCUS, which he made alongside the Japanese rap duo Yurufuwa Gang, but for Hemsworth, working in a wide array of genres and modes keeps him on his toes, and ultimately, keeps his career interesting. “Getting out of my comfort zone and bringing others into that process has always led to something really unique,” Hemsworth says. “As a producer, I really respond to other people’s ideas and whatever they can bring to a song. Being in a room with someone with a dierent outlook, or working remotely with them, I hopefully help facilitate something that feels new and exciting for both of us.”


                          TRACK LISTING

                          1. Waterfall (feat. Charlie Martin Of Hovvdy)
                          2. Comfortable (feat. Hand Habits)
                          3. Postcard From Spain (feat. Frances Quinlan)
                          4. You & Me (feat. Claud)
                          5. Fatigue
                          6. Stars (feat. Yohuna)

                          Mal Blum

                          Nobody Waits B/w San Cristobal

                            Once dubbed “punk’s greatest hidden treasure” by Stereogum, Mal Blum writes cleverly craftedsongs that are as self-eacing as they are viscerally relatable. Following on from 2019’s Pity BoyLP, a brand new 7”, to be released via Saddle Creek’s Document Series*, is the last thing they recorded with their band before hunkering down to wait out the pandemic.

                            Recorded in drummer Ricardo Lagomasino’s basement in Maine, months before coronavirus wasa word in our collective periphery, these two new songs are embellished by the band’s time there. In between takes, Barrett padded the hardwood in his slippers. Audrey xed herself lunch in the kitchen. Ricardo’s wife, Meg, was pregnant at the time but she said she didn’t mind thenoise that drifted up to the living room. The house felt brimming with possibility.

                            “Since then, my associations of home have changed,” Mal says. “In recent months, in quarantine, I only write and record songs by myself. Listening back, this seven-inch feels like a relic. An old photograph of a weekend spent idly with my bandmates years ago, though it was only a few months. Spending the weekend together felt like a reprieve. Home is a respite. It doesn’t have to be yours.”

                            Lead track “Nobody Waits” is a song about patience, rejection, loneliness, love, depression, andacceptance. The possibility that we may never meet somebody who is willing to embrace everypart of us. The song posits that being loved is an impossible, Sisyphean task, akin to leaving something burning in the oven in a house where there is no entry way.“San Cristobal” is a song that was written almost a decade ago. It’s about escapism, traveling, andgoing long distances to try to leave yourself behind, only to nd another impossible task. This new version was re-recorded with a band arrangement.

                            “My voice had just begun changing from testosterone,” Mal says of the new version. “I had to relearn how to sing it. By the time this comesout, more will have changed, be changing, still.”


                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Nobody Waits
                            2. San Cristóbal (Full Band Version)

                            Crake

                            Enough Salt (For All Dogs) / Gef

                              Crake are an alt-folk four piece from the city of Leeds in northern England who write melodic and (sometimes) hopeful songs about ora, fauna, anxiety and the tough stu. Formed on the cusp of 2016/17 after a New Year’s Eve pact, Crake spent their rst couple of years playing locally with loose-line-up changes, self-releasing two EPs - 2017’s By the Slimemould and 2018’s The Politics of Lonely.

                              Led by singer/guitarist Rowan Sandle, Crake blend shimmering alt-folk and indie-rock, featuring an increasing density of guitars, tape-loops and synth blankets. Their songs provide a more sonically reassuring but equally intimate bed for Sandle’s poetic lyrics.

                              In late 2018 the band supported Big Thief ’s Buck Meek on the Leeds date of his solo tour, impressing the guitarist so much that he invited them along for Big Thief ’s forthcoming tour across the UK and Europe. Those three weeks spent travelling and playing with their musical heroes saw Crake go from a small, beloved act who’d barely left their hometown, to finding themselves with a legitimate fanbase of their own. Their third 3-track EP Dear Natalie was subsequently released in 2019, also marked by the addition of lead guitarist Russell Searle, joining Rob Slater on drums and Sarah Statham on bass. The EP was the sound of Crake nding their feet on a larger stage, both literally and guratively, with opening track ‘Glycerin’ shining a spotlight on Sandle’s ever-confessional words.

                              Since the Big Thief tour and the Dear Natalie EP the band have focused solely on writing and demoing new music, assembling in garages, practice rooms and the beloved Greenmount Studios in Leeds (The Cribs, Pulled Apart By Horses) where drummer Rob Slater works. The results of this focused time away can be heard on Enough Salt (For All Dogs) b/w Gef, a brand new, two-track single which will be released on 7” vinyl via Saddle Creek’s ongoing Document Series.*  Exploring the depths of their sound while staying rooted in Rowan Sandle’s brilliant songwriting and captivating lyrics.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Enough Salt (For All Dogs) 2:09
                              2. Gef 3:12

                              The Big Net

                              Big Moon / Rufus

                                Taking inspiration from the original concept behind the founding of Saddle Creek, as an attempt to highlight our home city through music and art, we began the Document Series in 2017. Each release featured in the Document Series is comprised of an exclusive record featuring unreleased music from artists outside of the label's roster, along with a specially curated zine created by the artist. The tenth installment in the series comes from New York based The Big Net.

                                An exercise in simplicity, The Big Net is the musical project of Kevin Copeland (guitar, vocals) Andrew Emge (drums) and Logan Miley (bass). Attempting to maximize the emotive power of the trio, the band’s style drives down the highway somewhere between drone and country, folk and rock. With Corey Rubin on bass and secondary vocals, their first self-titled record explored more of those rock roots: recorded live in two days with minimal overdubs, trying to capture the freewheeling magnetism that can come alive in a room.

                                Released as part of Saddle Creek’s Document Series, the band’s two new songs - "Big Moon" and “Rufus" - were recorded that same weekend. The idea of The Big Net is and has always been immediacy, letting that tangible thing in the air be itself and tuning into “song” at its most genuine. Both songs make good on those aspirations. “Big Moon” is quite literal. Written during a particularly lonely period in Copeland’s life, he would sing so that he could fall asleep and from that process the song seemed to “float in all at once.” “Sometimes all you have is yourself, and the moon, or a guitar, or a bed, or the ground under your feet, and that's ok. Those things will always hold you,” Kevin says of the song.

                                Suitably, "Rufus" was tuned into to the same kind of frequency, pulled from the ether as if it had somehow always existed. “When our friend Corey was playing bass with us, most rehearsals before everyone’s gear was even set up; someone was off and everyone else would catch up,” Copeland says. “Somewhere in that soup, an idea would come through. I remember latching onto what became the verse of “Rufus” and, when Andrew and Corey were out getting some air, I just played it over and over and that melody seemed to float right in.”

                                The band have just finished recording a new, more exploratory LP, again captured in a single room over two days. With Copeland as the primary songwriter, the group continues to interpret earnest emotion in song through their hypnotic and dynamic sensibilities. For now, though, we have this new 7” single; an exercise in vulnerability, in trusting your impulses, in the magic that can be found within.


                                TRACK LISTING

                                A1. Big Moon
                                B1. Rufus 

                                Frances Quinlan

                                Likewise

                                  “We should try again to talk,” Frances Quinlan writes. It not just a lyric—it’s a suggestion, a warning, a plea, a wish. This request is woven throughout Likewise, her forthcoming solo album, amidst dramatically shifting motifs. Some are jubilant, some are dreamy and abstract, and a few are sinister, but within each dark void that Quinlan explores, there is a light peering back at her.

                                  Frances Quinlan has built an identity for herself over the past decade as the lead songwriter and front-woman of the Philadelphia-based band Hop Along, and her distinct voice is among the most recognizable and inimitable in music. While the band began as Quinlan's solo project (originally titled Hop Along, Queen Ansleis), Likewise (out January 31st on Saddle Creek) is Quinlan's debut under her own name. To make the record, she enlisted the virtuosic skills of her bandmate Joe Reinhart, and together they produced the album at his studio, The Headroom, recording in stints over the course of a year.

                                  With a renewed openness to explore different sounds, Quinlan supplements her typical guitar-based instrumentation with synthesizers, digital beats, harps, strings, and a wide variety of keyboards. The shifting and exploratory nature of these musical arrangements allow her lyrics and vocals—which have always been at the forefront of her music—to reach emotional depths like never before. Her vocal tones beckon a kaleidoscopic range of emotions across all nine songs on the album, from soft and ruminative to enraged and commanding; from conveying powerful messages to highlighting small, yet poignant, moments.

                                  Quinlan is a voyaging songwriter. Throughout Likewise, she confronts what confounds her in the hopes that she will come out on the other side with a better sense of what it is to be human. She presents listeners with a complicated, albeit spirited vision of what it could mean to truly engage with another person, to give a small piece of oneself over to someone else without expectation. Although such is likely to be a lifelong effort, these songs prove evident that light can still permeate from unsettling depths.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  1. Piltdown Man
                                  2. Your Reply
                                  3. Rare Thing
                                  4. Detroit Lake
                                  5. A Secret
                                  6. Went To LA
                                  7. Lean
                                  8. Now That I'm Back
                                  9. Carry The Zero

                                  Treadles

                                  Cold / Iron

                                    Taking inspiration from the original concept behind the founding of Saddle Creek, as an attempt to highlight our home city through music and art, we began the Document Series in 2017. Each release featured in the Document Series is comprised of an exclusive record featuring unreleased music from artists outside of the label's roster, along with a specially curated zine created by the artist. The eighth installment in the series is Cold b/w Iron from New Orleans, LA based Treadles.

                                    In the winter of 2016, KC Stafford started working on new material with collaborator Rick Maguire in an attempt to shift gears after the sudden break up of their former band, Woozy. From this collaboration came the songs "Cold" and "Iron" (based on an original by Maguire known as "Blood”), which will be released as the eighth installment of Saddle Creek’s Document Series.

                                    "Iron," at its core, is about longing. It explores the feelings of loss and frustration that the harder one tries to hang on to a fading love or a sudden inspiration the faster those things slip away. The refrain "I want to feel its love all the time" is taken directly from Maguire's song "Blood" though it changes the original refrain of "I want to see its blood all the time" to "love" and builds an entirely new song around this premise.

                                    "Cold" was inspired by a winter sunrise at a gas station in Oklahoma. The cold, weak sunlight and endless-seeming flat plains stretching in every direction inspired an intense feeling of loneliness and desolation that the song tries to capture. It's also a reaction to the terrible end of the band Woozy, repeating a desperate refrain of "try not to think about it" in increasing fervor til the sudden end.

                                    Treadles began in the summer of 2011 as the solo project of KC. It was a lo-fi, folksy, bedroom pop experiment with their father, who was learning to record music as they were learning to play guitar. From this collaboration, Treadles grew into a live band, performing in backyards and at acoustic events and featuring a rotating cast of players from projects such as Sun Hotel, Caddywhompus, Donovan Wolfington, Shark's Teeth, and Museyroom. After a break to focus on life and other projects, Treadles reformed in the fall of 2016, now a loud, dynamic, grunge-pop project with a more permanent line up including members Rustle Pants, Emily Hafner, and Ian Paine-Jesam. 2019 sees the addition of guitarist Sedef Switch. Members play in a variety of other projects including Little Death, Shark's Teeth, Dowsing, Ratboys, and Thou. Previous releases include a 6 song EP out on Community Records entitled Bees Are Thieves Too.


                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. Cold
                                    2. Iron

                                    Outer Space

                                    Teapot #1

                                      Taking inspiration from the original concept behind the founding of Saddle Creek, as an attempt to highlight our home city through music and art, we began the Document Series in 2017. Each release featured in the Document Series is comprised of an exclusive record featuring unreleased music from artists outside of the label's roster, along with a specially curated zine created by the artist.

                                      Baltimore, MD's Outer Spaces is the name of the electric guitar based indie singer/songwriter project of Cara Beth Satalino.

                                      Formerly making music both under her own name and in the short-lived punk power trio Witches, Satalino began recording the first Outer Spaces material herself at her home in Athens, GA. 2013 saw the release of a vinyl 7” on Matador records as part of their Single Going Home Alone subscription series. The following year, they released the Garbage Beach EP on Salinas Records. Outer Spaces full length debut, A Shedding Snake, arrived via Don Giovanni Records in 2016, citing Murmur-era R.E.M. as an influence.

                                      After touring with acts such as Ted Leo, Waxahatchee, Palehound, Radiator Hospital and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in 2016 and 2017, Outer Spaces has returned with new material for the Teapot #1 b/w Children Love to Run 7” to be released on Saddle Creek May 3rd as part of their Document Series.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1. Teapot #1 3:30
                                      2. Children Love To Run 4:02

                                      Adrianne Lenker

                                      Abysskiss

                                        Adrianne Lenker has been writing songs since she was 10 years old. Her "back story" has been well documented in various interviews and profiles for Big Thief over the last 3 years. Despite, or more likely because of the constant touring and studio work, the last few years have been some of the most prolific for Lenker as a writer. Songs pop out at soundcheck. They pop out on late night drives between cities. They pop out in green rooms, hotel stairwells, gardens, and kitchens around the world.

                                        In the hands of Lenker song writing is not an old dead craft. It is alive. It is vital. With little regard for standard album cycle practice or the idea of resting at all, Lenker set out to make a document. Songs can be slippery and following a 2+ years on the road with Big Thief, Lenker felt a growing need to document this time in her life in an intimate, immediate way. The result is her new album, Abysskiss.

                                        "I want to archive the songs in their original forms every few years,” explains Lenker. "My first solo record I made was Hours Were the Birds. I had just turned 21 and moved to New York City where I was sleeping in a warehouse, working in a restaurant and photographing pigeons. Now five years later, another skin is being shed."

                                        Following a two-week road trip through the southwestern United States, Lenker headed into the studio with long-time friend Luke Temple. Temple put on his loosely fitting, bright orange, 100% wool producer hat and for one week they made music. The songs chosen for this collection were the songs that felt the most alive in the room. These are not castaways or B-sides. Some of these songs have been alive for years while some were written just days before the session. Some will appear in different future forms, some will not. The thread that connects these songs is not something that can easily be put down in words. Intuition connects these songs. They are a record of a time.

                                        With this collection, Lenker further illuminates to the listening public what those close to her already know; here we have a songwriter of the highest order, following her voice and the greater Voices that pass through her with an unflinching openness and clarity of translation.


                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        01. Terminal Paradise
                                        02. From
                                        03. Womb
                                        04. Out Of Your Mind
                                        05. Cradle
                                        06. Symbol
                                        07. Blue And Red Horses
                                        08. Abyss Kiss
                                        09. What Can You Say
                                        10. 10 Miles 

                                        Sam Evian

                                        You, Forever

                                          As it has been said: no matter where you go, there you are. With his new album You, Forever, Sam Evian, the project of New York-based musician, songwriter, and producer Sam Owens, is here to add some eternity to that sentiment.

                                          “This is you, forever,” he says. “It’s about accepting that you are responsible for you, that you’re in charge of your actions. Everything you do affects others and yourself, so, no matter what you choose to do, be there and learn from it.”

                                          It’s a mantra that powers self-starter Owens, a producer and sound engineer by trade who entered the scene with his debut Sam Evian full-length, Premium, in the fall of 2016. The notion takes on a dual meaning that is echoed across You,Forever.

                                          “There’s a ton of romance on the record,” he says. “Maybe it’s all romance.”

                                          You, Foreveris Owens’s first foray into a more soul-baring sensibility and places the artist directly in the sightlines and heartlines of his listeners. The album (as well as 2017’s “Need You,” a collaboration with the multi-hyphenate musician Chris Cohen) was written on the heels of his experience touring Premiumwith his band and was recorded across the latter half of last year. The tours—which included opening shows for bands like Whitney, Teenage Fanclub, Luna, Nick Hakim and Lucius—taught him much about feel and interaction. Further fueled by a desire to escape from the glow of screens and to embrace a sense of limitation, he quickly developed a new set of instrumental songs written for a band rather than just himself and recorded them on a Tascam four-track cassette recorder in his parents’ house in North Carolina.

                                          “Just like most people, my recording studio day job had me staring at a computer eight hours a day,” he says. “I just needed to get away from the glowing rectangle. The only way to do that was to work on tape. The four-track is so limiting; you’re forced to get only the bones of the song down. You can’t do any overdubs, so it was fun to work on that with the experience of the live band behind me. And something about playing my family’s instruments in the garage where I grew up spurred a set of songs that became the new record.”

                                          Inspired by these limiting techniques, Owens borrowed an eight-track reel-to-reel tape recorder from a friend, rented a house in upstate New York, and took his band – Brian Betancourt (bass), Austin Vaughn (drums), Adam Brisbin (guitar), and Hannah Cohen (backup vocals) – there to record the new album in July of 2017. Focusing on instrumental grooves and the vibe he had achieved on the original four-track recordings, Owens found the process so enlightening he decided to up the ante yet again by banning tuning pedals from the house.

                                          “Tuning pedals make it so easy to sound good together, so when you eliminate them it takes everything back to the ’60s, which is when all my favorite records were born,” he says. “It makes everything more questionable, weird, and unruly in a really simple way.”

                                          Dreamy album opener “IDGAF” explores the notion of embracing one’s passions and pursuing one’s goals no matter the impositions in their path. On one hand a subtle stand against the current political climate and on another a call to be responsible, Owens calls it a romantic song that embodies his act of self-mixing his record: “I had to put myself aside and let the music happen.”

                                          “Health Machine” is a crunchy, slow-burning but deliberate stomper glowing with warm electric guitar noodling, saxophone wailing, and Owens’s reverb-laden lyrics that he says detail an abstract version of how he relates to his own physical form. “It’s about the unattainable health that I would like to imagine for myself on tour. The line ‘We slither out on a Tuesday feeling tired and hopeless’ is such a hilarious picture: four people in a minivan slithering out of Atlanta, Georgia, stopping at a CVS and getting a bunch of Zicam. Health is your job if you’re touring as a musician, although it’s a job I don’t do so well.”

                                          “Country” is a fleet, nimble driving song written after Owens and his girlfriend (Hannah Cohen, who also sings throughout the album) took a cross-country road trip and encountered what they perceived to be a dust storm in rural Nevada. “For a hundred miles we didn’t see a person or even a tree, then all of a sudden this giant dust cloud appeared which turned out to be ten cowboys on horses lassoing cows. It was the most real thing I’ve ever seen.” In fact, Owens wrote every song on the album with the act of driving-while-listening in mind, and says many of the lyrics came together following that life-changing road trip—the only time he has ever driven across America without anyone waiting on him to show up for a soundcheck. But despite the allure of the transient life, his heart belongs to one place.

                                          “The record is about romance, and about my love for living in New York and trying to separate myself from any idea I had previously of living in New York,” he says. “I’ve kind of designed my own world there.”

                                          Whether behind the wheel in the dust bowls of America, navigating the bustle of his adopted home, playing festival stages with rock legends, or getting back to basics in his parents’ garage, no matter where Sam Evian goes, there he is…forever.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          1. IDGAF
                                          2. Where Did You Go?
                                          3. Health Machine
                                          4. Anybody
                                          5. Apple
                                          6. Country
                                          7. Next To You
                                          8. Summer Day
                                          9. Now I Feel It
                                          10. You, Forever
                                          11. Katie’s Rhodes

                                          Stef Chura

                                          Messes

                                            Stef Chura’s debut studio album, Messes, is born of her years of experience playing around the Michigan underground, setting up DIY shows in the area, and moving around the state. “Right when it starts to feel like home/It's time to go," she sings on its opening cut, 'Slow Motion', a twisty, dim-lit guitar pop song where she curls and stretches every word. There are worlds of emotion in the ways Chura pronounces phrases with twang and grit, alternatingly full of despair, playfulness, and abandon. Chura calls her music “emotional collage,” eschewing start-to-finish storylines in favour of writing intuitively about feelings, drawing from experiences and references related to a certain sentiment.

                                            Originally from Alpena, Michigan, Chura moved to the Ypsilanti area in 2009, where she began playing shows before ultimately moving to Detroit in 2012. Chura has been home-recording and self-releasing her songs for six years, playing bass in friends’ bands as well. With a trove of demos and 4-track home recordings, some of which she’d released on small runs of cassettes over the years, Chura says she wasn’t sure what to do with her life before heading into the studio. “One of my best friends passed away and I thought, what do I have to do before I die? I have to at least make one record.”

                                            She recorded the entire album with Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good To Me) throughout 2015. Thomas plays bass on most of the record, and a bit of guitar and drums. Drummer Ryan Clancy of Jamaican Queens and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. adds the bulk of the drums. Through intricate guitar work and warm, textured production, Messes finds her trying to make sense of life’s ups and downs. “It’s about emotional mess, not physical mess,” Chura says. “The title track is about knowing that you are going to do something the wrong way, but you’re doing it anyway because you want that experience. I’ve had to do a lot of things the wrong way in order to figure out how to live my life.”

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            01. Slow Motion 2:07
                                            02. You 3:59
                                            03. Thin 2:09
                                            04. Human Being 3:17
                                            05. Faded Heart 2:59
                                            06. Spotted Gold 2:20
                                            07. Time To Go 2:50
                                            08. Messes 3:47
                                            09. On And Off For You 3:39
                                            10. Becoming Shadows 2:31
                                            11. Speeding Ticket 4:25

                                            Palehound

                                            YMCA Pool

                                              The fourth release in the Saddle Creek Document series, where they aim to highlight artists and music scenes from around the world that they’ve fallen in love with, but aren’t necessarily already part of the Saddle Creek family, is the YMCA Pool 7-inch from Boston’s Palehound.

                                              Led by fierce vocalist and prolific creative force Ellen Kempner, Palehound formed in 2014 and has since taken their plainspoken, techniqueheavy indie rock from the basements of Boston to festivals around the world.

                                              Kempner described the origin of the tracks found on YMCA Pool in saying, "I've had these songs laying around forever and could never really find a place for them on a record. After we toured with Bully, Alicia Bognanno offered to record some stuff for me at her house in Nashville, which seemed like a great opportunity. We spent two days hiding from the heat in her house recording... and also at Dave and Buster's. I love Alicia she is truly the best."

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              1. YMCA Pool 2:43
                                              2. Sea Of Blood 2:58 

                                              Young Jesus

                                              Young Jesus

                                                Young Jesus, an indie rock quartet from Los Angeles, looks to communicate the tensions between proximity and distance, chaos and order. On their upcoming record S/T, to be released by Saddle Creek, the band focuses on seemingly small moments in everyday life: phone calls with Mom, landscapes along the highway, crows in a tree. Yet with time these strange intimacies add up to a life. A life full of anxiety, confusion, sadness, joy, boredom, and ultimately wonder.

                                                Young Jesus mixes the emotional intensity of bands like Slint, Pile, and Built To Spill with the quiet contemplation of Yo La Tengo, Mogwai, and Laughing Stock-era Talk Talk. They give themselves to moments of aggression and volume, balanced alongside near-silence.

                                                Influenced by the writings of Donna Haraway, Timothy Morton, Wang An-Shih, Wang Wei, Joy Williams, and Marilynne Robinson, singer/songwriter John Rossiter hopes for a making-do with what we have, a sometimes wide-eyed learning process. Life may be too massive to grasp, but that does not mean we should shy away from it. Rather, Young Jesus tries to look toward the complexity and imperfection. “As ever, the questions Rossiter and co. raise are too big to expect any sort of clear answer, but Young Jesus offer a model of coping, a way to remain hopeful and human within their jaws” (Various Small Flames).

                                                Rossiter states, “the ethos is to push each other to express things that are not common-- like ideas of love and trust within friendships-- through being extremely vulnerable and making mistakes. Hopefully those mistakes become framed as an important and necessary part of process. It's about communication between four people. Hopefully it is the sound of four very good friends who want to let other people into that space.” These may be small things, but observed with thought and care they come to make the world of Young Jesus

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Green 5:46
                                                2. River 3:09
                                                3. Eddy 6:25
                                                4. Under 2:15
                                                5. Desert 6:46
                                                6. Feeling 9:49
                                                7. Storm 12:42

                                                Wilder Maker

                                                New Streets

                                                  Welcome to our new series, Document, where we aim to highlight artists and music scenes from around the world that we’ve fallen in love with, but aren’t necessarily already part of the Saddle Creek family. Our second release in the series is the New Streets 7-inch from Brooklyn’s Wilder Maker. Urban pastorals unfold in the music of Gabriel Birnbaum, the multi-instrumentalist, singer and writer behind the songs of Brooklyn’s Wilder Maker. Wilder Maker’s songs keenly observe landscapes of desire and abandon,_lled with colorful characters and street revelations, in a musical setting as boldly diverse as their NYC home base.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  01. New Streets 3:46
                                                  02. Only Child 4:34

                                                  The trails that Brooklyn’s Big Thief -- Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals), Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums) -- take us down on Capacity, the band’s highly anticipated second record out 6/9 on Saddle Creek, are overgrown with the wilderness of pumping souls. After last year’s stunning Masterpiece, Capacity was recorded in a snowy winter nest in upstate New York at Outlier Studio with producer Andrew Sarlo. The album jumps right into lives marked up and nipped in surprisingly swift fashion. They are peopled and unpeopled, spooked and soothed, regenerating back into a state where they can once again be vulnerable. Lenker’s songs introduce us to a gallery of multifacted women and deal with the complicated matters of identity — at once dangerous and curious, though never unbelievable. Lenker shows us the gentle side of being ripped open. Tricked into love, done in and then witnessing the second act of pulling oneself back together to prepare for it to all happen again, but this time to a sturdier soul, one who is going to take the punches better than ever before and deal some jabs and roundhouses of their own. The album is thick with raw, un-doctored beauty: most of the songs on Capacity were played for the first time in the studio and were recorded the same day. “There is a darker darkness and a lighter light on this album,” Lenker explains. “The songs search for a deeper level of self-acceptance, to embrace the world within and without. I think Masterpiece began that process, as a reaction from inside the pain, whereas I feel Capacity examines the pain from the outside.”

                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  Laura says: Following on from their aptly titled debut "Masterpiece", this Brooklyn four piece once again bring us a stunning collection of heartfelt songs. It's a beautiful album, at times sounding quite stripped back, with gently strummed guitars over crisp drum patterns, but it's the gentle intensity of Adrianne's vocals that really sets it apart.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  01. Pretty Things 3:05
                                                  02. Shark Smile 3:59
                                                  03. Capacity 3:52
                                                  04. Watering 3:22
                                                  05. Coma 3:40
                                                  06. Great White Shark 3:23
                                                  07. Mythological Beauty 5:07
                                                  08. Objects 2:43
                                                  09. Haley 3:33
                                                  10. Mary 5:30
                                                  11. Black Diamonds 3:35

                                                  Premium is the glistening debut album from New York-based Sam Evian. Sam describes the album as; “an analogue dream in a digital world.” Like flowing water, its cool surface entices and refreshes - then reveals hidden emotional depths. The sound of Premium recalls a sunbaked cassette of Pet Sounds or All Things Must Pass, composed with glowing guitar chords, aching pedal steel, Wurlitzers and iconic 20th-century synths. Inspired by the soulful classic sounds of Jackson Browne, Shuggie Otis, Sly and the Family Stone and The Band, as well as contemporary influences such as Cass McCombs, Broadcast, Cate Le Bon, and Chris Cohen, this is music meant for a close-up experience; spacious, dreamy, fun, and disarmingly open and honest.

                                                  The music came together quickly when Sam found himself in what he calls, “a premium set of circumstances.” An engineer and producer as well as in-demand guitarist, Sam befriended the founders of Brooklyn’s Figure 8 Studio, Eli Crews and the enigmatic and inspiring Shahzad Ismaily. After helping them to build and wire the studio, Sam explains how he found himself at the centre of a musical community; “I was surrounded by endlessly talented and fun musicians in a beautiful recording environment that I helped build. I felt confident and happy, so the music came together easily.”

                                                  That musical community included the group that recorded Premium. The album’s nine songs reflect the casual, relaxed atmosphere Sam created for himself at Figure 8, gathering his friends to record in o¬ff hours, capturing moments of o¬ffhand inspiration and laughter. There was Austin Vaughn on drums (Here We Go Magic, Luke Temple), a long-time friend from North Carolina School of the Arts, and Brian Betancourt on bass (Hospitality, Here We Go Magic, Luke Temple). They were joined by Michael Coleman on keys, a prolific player and producer, as well as being Figure 8’s studio manager. Pedal steel was provided by Dan Iead (Cass McCombs), and recorded at New York’s legendary Magic Shop studios in the days just before it closed. The tracks were some of the very last recordings in the room that had witnessed sessions by David Bowie, the Ramones, Blondie, Real Estate, Kurt Vile and generations of others. Other guest performers include vocalists Cassandra Jenkins and Hannah Cohen, Shahzad Ismaily, Eddie Barbash (the saxophonist on the Colbert show) and Steve Marion (aka Delicate Steve)


                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  1. Sleep Easy 4:19
                                                  2. Cactus 3:31
                                                  3. Dark Love 4:47
                                                  4. Big Car 3:30
                                                  5. Carolina 4:03
                                                  6. I Need A Man 3:20
                                                  7. Summer Running 3:24
                                                  8. Golden Skull 2:40
                                                  9. Tear 4:49

                                                  The Mynabirds

                                                  Lovers Know

                                                    After touring the world as a member of the Postal Service in 2013, Laura Burhenn (The Mynabirds) took a year to get lost. She drove across the US twice, toured South Africa solo, made her first appearance in London (also solo), and trekked all over Europe with William Faulkner’s words ringing in her ears: “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” Finally she found herself in Los Angeles with a suitcase of songs to fill a whole new album. Lovers Know, The Mynabirds’ third full-length release, was produced by Bradley Hanan Carter (Black English) and recorded over a yearlong period in Los Angeles, Joshua Tree, Nashville, and Auckland, New Zealand.

                                                    It’s definitely new territory for Burhenn, forging into 80s, 90s and futuristic soundscapes, recalling Kate Bush, Sinead O’Connor, The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and even 90s hip hop and R&B. The album may be loaded with a fresh palette of new sounds (swarms of synths, gauzy electric guitars, and electronic drums), but her brooding, unmistakable voice leads the way. Lyrically this is her most personal and confessional work to date, and also her most accessible. Whereas her last album, GENERALS, watched from a wide angle to understand the world at a distance, Lovers Know pulls in close.

                                                    “There’s something about wandering the world over,” Laura says, “that makes you realize how similar we all are – everyone searching for something, so often the same thing: love. It may sound trite, but it’s true. Love – or the lack of it – is the thing we all have in common. It can destroy us. It can break us open and let the light in. And it’s also the thing that can make us sing.” Burhenn has released two previous albums as The Mynabirds on Saddle Creek, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood (2010) and GENERALS (2012), both of which were produced by Richard Swift and met by critical acclaim.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. All My Heart 4:09
                                                    2. Believer 3:00
                                                    3. Semantics 4:20
                                                    4. Say Something 3:52
                                                    5. Orion 4:57
                                                    6. Velveteen 3:46
                                                    7. Shake Your Head Yes 3:54
                                                    8. Wildfire 3:12
                                                    9. Omaha 5:42
                                                    10. One Foot 3:18
                                                    11. Hanged Man 5:25
                                                    12. Last Time 5:19

                                                    Kludge idiosyncratically captures life as it exists in our weird almost future world of flying robots, cancer from food, cell phone wire taps, metadata, $7.25ish minimum wage and $15.50 an hour endless choice buffets. Yet, the album possesses that inherent sense of timelessness that exists in all great music. Thanks to its combination of addictively fetching rock ‘n’ roll and Daniel Pujol’s lyrical brilliance, the end result proves yet again that Daniel Pujol is, first and foremost, a songwriter.

                                                    Examining well-worn subjects like love, death, authenticity, identity, alienation and society, Pujol applies a filter completely his own and brings these ideas to a place they’ve never existed before. His words examine the world with his signature brand of skepticism, humor, idealism, and an unmistakable earnestness and sincerity. Lead single “Circles” perfectly illustrates this with lines like “Show me that your sacred heart’s the human kindness kind / Show me more than 3D printers drawing skulls and knives / Show me more than kleptocratic demagogue control/Show me that you ain’t a lizard, show you’ve got a soul.”

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Judas Booth
                                                    2. Manufactured Crisis Control
                                                    3. Pitch Black
                                                    4. Circles
                                                    5. Dark Haired Suitor
                                                    6. Post Grad
                                                    7. Sacred Harp BFK
                                                    8. No Words
                                                    9. Spooky Scary
                                                    10. Small World
                                                    11. Youniverse

                                                    Rural Alberta Advantage

                                                    Departing

                                                    After a breakthrough 2009 that saw them earn comparisons to Arcade Fire and Neutral Milk Hotel, capture SXSW buzz playing on a bill with Grizzly Bear, sell out a tour, sign to Saddle Creek, and score a ‘Breaking Out’ featuring in Spin Magazine, The Rural Alberta Advantage are poised to explode in 2011 with the "Departing".

                                                    With The Rural Alberta Advantage’s new album, the band further refines the exuberant guitar work; everything-on-the-table singing; songwriting full of conviction and detail; and majestic, keyboard-sprinkled arrangements that have won them so many fans. "Departing" strings together themes of small towns, Canadian fall and winter, breakup, and redemption and serves as a companion piece to their beloved debut album "Hometowns". Highlights include the affecting "North Star", the stark regret of "Tornado", and the storming, percussive surge of "Stamp", all of which vividly set the scene.

                                                    The group consists of singer/guitarist Nils Edenloff, also the chief writer in the group; Paul Banwatt, whose raucous percussion pushes the songs into overdrive; and multi-instrumental Amy Cole, who provides keys, percussion, and backing vocals. Edenloff grew up in rural Fort McMurray, Alberta, and draws on his experiences there in his songwriting.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Two Lovers
                                                    2. The Breakup
                                                    3. Under The Knife
                                                    4. Muscle Relaxants
                                                    5. North Star
                                                    6. Stamp
                                                    7. Tornado ‘87
                                                    8. Barnes’ Yard
                                                    9. Coldest Days
                                                    10. Good Night

                                                    Rural Alberta Advantage

                                                    Drain The Blood

                                                    “Drain the Blood” is the first single from the band’s album “Hometowns” and includes the B-side cover of “Eye of the Tiger”. The Rural Alberta Advantage was born out of singer/songwriter Nils Edenloff’s exodus from the province that inspired the band’s name and many of the songs from their enthralling debut album, “Hometowns”. To cope with the homesickness and isolation of his move from Edmonton to Toronto, the shy songwriter penned a series of odes to his former home, celebrating the country’s wild rose, the purple skies and the “deathbridge in Lethbridge”.

                                                    Two Gallants

                                                    Two Gallants

                                                      The eagerly anticipated follow up to 2006's "What The Toll Tells" is here. Two Gallants feel that this album so perfectly captures their sound that they could only name it "Two Gallants". Touring schedules that would break many lesser bands have helped the duo refine and hone their sound. Recorded by Alex Newport (At the Drive-In, The Locust) in Two Gallants home town of San Francisco, the bands electric side is in full effect after the well received "Scenery Of Farewell" EP from earlier in 2007.

                                                      Two Gallants

                                                      The Scenery Of Farewell

                                                        Known for their aggressive, electric live shows, Two Gallants have fostered a dual musical personality by occasionally recording and playing songs with a more stripped down sound. Following on from 2006's acclaimed "What The Toll Tells", the duo showcase this different side to their music on "The Scenery Of Farewell", a five track mini-LP. Since the bands extensive touring schedule left little time for proper rehearsals, some of these songs, that were always meant for an album, evolved in such places as sound checks and radio show appearances, where it was more conducive for them to be performed. This release will be followed by a full-length album by Two Gallants in September 2007.

                                                        Bright Eyes

                                                        Noise Floor

                                                          "Noise Floor" collects selected Bright Eyes singles, one-offs, unreleased tracks, collaborations and covers recorded between 1998 and 2005. Variously recorded to cassette four-track, minidisc, reel-to-reel tape machine, ADAT and computer, these songs trace Bright Eyes' evolution from basement project to band of international repute. Many of these gems previously lost to out-of-print obscurity are hereby resurrected.


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