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Young Jesus

The Fool

    John Rossiter (Young Jesus) had quit music to study permaculture and to work in landscapes and gardens. His last album, 'Shepherd Head', was too much time spent on the computer. Working with soil and plants gave him some life back. He said, “You know, when gardening, the right decision to make for the landscape is usually the one that is already happening. It just takes time to read what that is."

    So, John left the orchard to meet Shahzad Ismaily (Feist, Lou Reed, Arooj Aftab) for lunch. They instantly bonded, talking about improvisation, rhythm, the heart. On a lark, Shahzad invited John to New York.

    Songs started to form, songs about shame and grief, love and redemption. They came fast, a song a day for two weeks. It was different from past albums, which felt like years of hammering out lyrics and ideas. This one came in the wake of a long illness, where tunes came in a rush, as if they were physical, as if the body couldn’t heal without them. An almost involuntary outpouring, overrunning his usual self-consciousness.

    Rossiter had to sit and transcribe without judgment: let the ideas grow on their own. Shahzad was in LA one day when John sat down at the piano and played them for him. They decided to record them at Shahzad's Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn – these songs would blossom into Young Jesus’ album, 'The Fool'.

    Inner landscaping requires presence and bravery. It can get pretty dark and strange the deeper you walk into that jungle. And it’s from the absolute pits of that inner landscape that the truest music rises from.

    At the end of the last session, Rossiter and Alex Lappin sat down and drew tarot cards. John drew The Fool.


    TRACK LISTING

    1. Brenda & Diane
    2. Two Brothers
    3. Rabbit
    4. Rich
    5. Moonlight
    6. MOTY
    7. The Weasel
    8. Am I The Only One?
    9. Sunrise
    10. Dancer
    11. God's Plan

    Land Of Talk

    Performances

      Lizzie Powell has always been a risk-taker. As the creative force behind the influential Canadian outfit Land of Talk, the Montreal-based songwriter has over the past 15 years amassed a catalog of four unimpeachable albums that stretch the boundaries of indie rock. But Performances, their fifth LP, feels like a total reinvention: an unflinching statement from an artist who’s not afraid to say how they feel. Though it trades muscular guitar rock for understated piano, it’s still the most urgent, cathartic, and personal release of Powell’s career so far. “It's the weirdest, mightiest little record I've made since I used to write music on my four-track when I was 14,” says Powell. “I needed to make a love letter to my teenage self by being more vulnerable and doing all the production myself.” Here, they doggedly value their own intuition over anything else to make their most rewarding album yet. 

      Performances is a defiant and resonant blow against expectations and outside pressure. It’s an LP showcasing an artist without constraints and allowing themself to be radically honest. “The album title is very literal,” says Powell. “I'm performing what's in my brain but I'm tired of performing femininity for the music industry, femininity in my life, respectability, and vulnerability. I'm trying to grow out of these and break out of these roles in my life.” Powell’s fearlessness as a songwriter has already led to Land of Talk boasting an unmistakably essential discography but with this album, they find the perfect opportunity to give themself the grace to truly double down on their own vital sensibilities. They usher the songs every step of the way from demoing to producing, imbuing each track with immense care and unfiltered feeling. 

      “This is me reclaiming Land of Talk as it always has been,” says Powell. “Every record we've made has just been one step closer to me figuring out how I want to make a record myself. I might not ever make an album like this again, but I just felt like I owed it to myself to try.” 

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Intro (high Bright High)
      2. Your Beautiful Self
      3. Fluorescent Blood
      4. Marry It
      5. Rainbow Protection
      6. Clarinet Dance Jam
      7. Sitcom
      8. Semi-Precious
      9. August 13
      10. Pwintiques 

      Adrianne Lenker & Buck Meek

      A Sides And B Sides - 2023 Reissue

        The summer after graduating from Berklee College of Music, Adrianne Lenker moved to New York City. She met Buck Meek the day she moved there, at a corner market called Mr. Kiwi (although, technically they had already played a show together in Boston, so they recognized each other but weren’t sure from where). The two explored the city by bicycle and eventually began to play songs together. "It was one of those friendships that developed extremely fast where suddenly you're each other's best friend," Lenker says. "We hung out every day from the moment we met.”

        Meek’s off-kilter, piercing guitar licks and solos are the perfect juxtaposition to bring Lenker’s melodic and stirring vocals and lyrics to fruition. "I guess what struck me as a songwriter then was that her songs all seemed to be really human, and really emotional, and really honest — vulnerable — but at the same time they all somehow had this ineffable quality," Meek says. "Like, all of that human content was serving as a medium for something beyond.”

        Soon they picked up a white conversion van, named her Bonnie, and made touring their whole lives. In 2014, songs crafted on the road were captured on two EPs released under the Buck and Anne moniker: one called a-sides and one called b-sides. Both warm, acoustic affairs.

        In the ensuing years, Adrianne and Buck joined with Max Oleartchik and James Krivchenia to form Big Thief, one of the most beloved bands in music today. a-sides and b-sides provide an early glimpse at what was soon to come, while standing on their own as documents of a deeply meaningful time in the creative lives of Lenker and Meek.


        TRACK LISTING

        01. Jonathan 2:09
        02. Money 3:57
        03. Kerina 2:51
        04. Miss Misty 2:48
        05. Indiana 2:37
        06. Yuki Onna 3:04
        07. I Still Hear You 3:26
        08. Angels 4:08
        09. A Better Time To Meet 3:09
        10. Carolina 2:30
        11. New York City 3:49
        12. Ringing Bells 3:49
        13. Row 1:51
        14. Wallet 3:42

        Feeble Little Horse

        Girl With Fish

          Pittsburgh, PA’s feeble little horse makes thrilling and wildly unpredictable songs that are a reflection of the joys that come with making music with your best friends. The band’s sophomore album was made focusing on intuition over intention: letting the magic of collaboration come first. “Anything that makes us laugh or puts a smile on our faces, we usually end up keeping in the songs,” explains drummer Jake Kelley. Across 11 self-recorded and self-produced tracks, the band careens from blissed-out pop to harsh noise, glitchy programmed drum beats, and off-kilter indie rock—sometimes all in one song. As a follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2021 debut Hayday, Girl with Fish, with its overwhelmingly inviting and emotionally resonant tracklist, is a document of four people trusting their instincts and most importantly each other.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Freak
          2. Tin Man
          3. Steamroller
          4. Heaven
          5. Paces
          6. Sweet
          7. Slide
          8. Healing
          9. Pocket
          10. Station
          11. Heavy Water 

          Indigo De Souza

          All Of This Will End

            Indigo De Souza announces her new album All of This Will End, the anticipated follow-up to her acclaimed 2021 breakthrough album Any Shape You Take. All of This Will End marks a warmer and unmistakably audacious era for her. It’s a statement about fearlessly moving forward from the past into a gratitude-filled present, feeling it all every step of the way, and choosing to embody loving awareness.

            Across 11 songs, the album is a raw and radically optimistic work that grapples with mortality, the rejuvenation that community brings, and the importance of centering yourself now. These tracks come from the most resonant moments of her life: childhood memories, collecting herself in parking lots, the ecstatic trips spent wandering the Appalachian mountains and southern swamps with friends, and the times she had to stand up for herself. “All of This Will End feels more true to me than anything ever has,” she says.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Time Back
            2. You Can Be Mean
            3. Losing
            4. Wasting Your Time
            5. Parking Lot
            6. All Of This Will End
            7. Smog
            8. The Water
            9. Always
            10. Not My Body
            11. Younger And Dumber

            Black Belt Eagle Scout

            The Land. The Water, The Sky

              This land runs through Katherine Paul’s blood. And it called to her. In dreams she saw the river, her ancestors, and her home. When the land calls, you listen. And KP found herself far from her ancestral lands during a time of collective trauma, when the world was wounded and in need of healing. In 2020 she made the journey from Portland back to the Skagit River, back to the cedar trees that stand tall and shrouded in fog, back to the tide flats and the mountains, back to Swinomish.

              It is a powerful thing to return to our ancestral lands and often times the journey is not easy. Like the salmon through the currents, like the tide as it crawls to shore this is a story of return. It is the call and response. It is the outstretched arms of the people who came before, welcoming her home. The Land, The Water, The Sky is a celebration of lineage and strength. Even in its deepest moments of loneliness and grief, of frustration over a world wrought with colonial violence and pain, the songs remind us that if we slow down, if we listen to the waves and the wind through the trees, we will remember to breathe.

              There is a throughline of story in every song, a remembrance of knowledge and teachings, a gratitude of wisdom passed down and carried. There is a reimagining of Sedna who was offered to the sea, and a beautiful rumination on sacrifice and humanity, and what it means to hold the stories that work to teach us something.

              Chord progressions born out of moments of sadness and solitude transform into the islands that sit blue along the horizon. The Salish Sea curves along her homelands, and when the singer is close to this water she is reminded of her grandmother, how she looked out at these same islands, and she’s held by spirit and memory.

              The Land, The Water, The Sky rises and falls, in darkness and in light, but even in its most melancholy moments it is never despairing. That is the beauty of returning home. When you stand on ancestral lands it is impossible to be alone. You feel the arms and hands that hold you up, unwilling to let you fall into sorrow or abandonment. In her songs Katherine Paul has channeled that feeling of being held. In every note she has written a love letter to indigenous strength and healing.

              There is a joy present here, a fierce blissfulness that comes with walking the trails along the river, feeling the sand and th stones beneath her feet. It is the pride and the certainty that comes with knowing her ancestors walked along the same land, dipped their hands into the water, and ran their fingertips along the same bark of cedar trees.

              This is a story of hope, as it details the joy of returning. Katherine Paul’s journey home wasn’t made alone, and the songs are crowded with loved ones and relatives, like a really good party. And as the songs walk us through the land it is important we hover over the images and the beauty, the moments that mark this album as site specific. The power of this land is woven throughout, telling the story of narrow waterways, brush strokes, salmon stinta, and above all healing.

              Let it take you. Move through the story and see the land through her eyes, because it is a gift, a welcomed sʔabadəb.*

              *The word “gift” in Lushootseed, the language of the Coast Salish people“ 


              TRACK LISTING

              1. My Blood Runs Through This Land
              2. Sedna
              3. Salmon Stinta
              4. Blue
              5. On The River
              6. Nobody
              7. Fancy Dance
              8. Sčičudᶻ (a Narrow Place)
              9. Tree Line
              10. Understanding
              11. Spaces
              12. Don’t Give Up 

              Feeble Little Horse

              Hayday

                Pittsburgh’s feeble little horse is a 4-piece band that writes intricately catchy, digitized noise pop songs. Formed by Sebastian Kinsler (guitar, production, vocals, bass) and Ryan Walchonski (guitar, vocals) in Ryan’s student apartment in South Oakland, PA in February 2021, the duo soon added Ryan’s roommate Jake Kelley on drums, and, inspired by a wave of creativity, the trio released their first EP – modern tourism, in May 2021, with artwork contributed by future member Lydia Slocum (vocals, bass).

                After officially joining the band in June of that year as bassist and vocalist, Lydia added her own sweet vocals, rich melodies, and punchy lyrics to the band’s heady mix. From summer to fall of that year, the quartet played their first shows at DIY establishments across Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, gaining a word-of-mouth reputation as one of the most exciting new bands on the scene.

                In October 2021 feeble little horse released their first full-length album, Hayday, via Julia’s War Recordings. Full of dense textures and exhilarating tension, the album’s eleven songs bristle with pent-up energy, the mood flipping between sweet noise-pop elements and more visceral discharges, the whole thing balanced on a knife-edge between the light and dark, the earnest and unhinged.

                The band continues to expand and evolve in 2022, with new music on the horizon that looks set to redefine the band’s sound once again. Before that, however, comes a reissue of Hayday, in conjunction with Unstable – a record label started by the band. Available on vinyl for the first time, this reissue also features two bonus tracks: the previously unreleased "Dog Song 2" and a remix of "Termites" by Full Body 2. 

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Worth It (Intro)
                2. Termites
                3. Chores
                4. Tricks
                5. Too Much
                6. Sherman's Last Ride
                7. Picture
                8. You Got It Babe
                9. Kennedy
                10. Drama Queen
                11. Grace (Outro)
                12. Dog Song 2*
                13. Termites*

                *Bonus Track 

                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 finds 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 finish 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 firmly 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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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.

                          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

                            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)

                                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

                                  Disq

                                  Collector

                                    Disq have assembled a razor-sharp, teetering-on-the-edge-of-chaos melange of sounds, experiences, memories, and influences. Collector ought to be taken literally—it is a place to explore and catalogue the Madison, Wisconsin band’s relationships to themselves, their pasts, and the world beyond the American Midwest as they careen from their teens into their 20s. This turbulence is backdropped by gnarled power pop, anxious post-punk, warm psych-folk, and hectic, formless, tongue-in-cheek indie rock.

                                    Collector, like the band itself, is defined and tightly-contoured by the ties between the five members. Raina Bock (bass/vocals) and Isaac deBroux-Slone (guitar/vocals) have known each other from infancy, growing up and into music together. Through gigging around Madison, they met and befriended Shannon Connor (guitar/keys/vocals), Logan Severson (guitar/vocals), and Brendan Manley (drums)—three equally dedicated and adventurous musicians committed to coaxing genre boundaries.

                                    Produced by Rob Schnapf, Collector is a set of songs largely pulled from each of the five members’ demo piles over the years. They’re organic representations of each moment in time, gathered together to tell a mixtape-story of growing up in 21st century America. The songs are marked by urgency, introspection, tongue-in-cheek nihilism, and a shrewd understanding of pop and rock structures and their corollaries—as well as a keen desire to dialogue with and upset them.


                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: While Disq have the gnarled, rough edges of a band who've been through the ringer, this brilliantly collated collection of post-grunge, snarling punk and grooving distortion, mixed with more subtle, measured acousticry is in fact their first release! Channeling the long history of US rock into a brilliantly modern, and undeniably addictive suite of stormers.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    01. Daily Routine
                                    02. Konichiwa Internet
                                    03. I’m Really Trying
                                    04. D19
                                    05. Loneliness
                                    06. Fun Song 4
                                    07. Gentle
                                    08. Trash
                                    09. I Wanna Die
                                    10. Drum In

                                    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

                                        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

                                              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

                                                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 Thermals

                                                We Disappear

                                                  Produced by Chris Walla (formerly of Death Cab For Cutie), with whom the band has worked frequently, We Disappear was recorded in Portland at Kung Fu Bakery (The Shins, Tegan and Sara) and in Seattle, WA at The Hall of Justice (Nirvana, Mudhoney). The album – which will arrive ahead of the 10th anniversary of their acclaimed third LP The Body, The Blood, The Machine– is an authentic, dark, and deeply personal album couched in The Thermals’ trademark catchy and boundless pop/rock. The band examines technology, love, and death throughout: how separation in humanity can come through any of these avenues; how people try to outrun the demise of lives and relationships; how technology can isolate us and impact our relationships even as we completely – and willingly – assimilate ourselves into it (or go “Into The Code,” as the opening track suggests); and how we’ve begun to forego privacy for a feeling of immortality in order to not be ignored or forgotten.

                                                  Harris explains, “Technology, love and death are the three obsessions of the record. Our privacy used to be so important to us and now everything has changed - we freely off¬er once private information about relationships and reveal everything about our day-to-day lives. We’re trying to preserve our life digitally so when we’re gone people won’t forget us. We’re using technology to become immortal. You can even set up Facebook and Twitter accounts to continue updating after you die! We Disappear is about how humans fight the inevitable.

                                                  ”Harris’s heartfelt lyrics – which draw heavily from his own recent experiences in contrast to his earlier, mostly fictitious tales – are both complimented and contrasted by the music. The galloping anthem “Hey You” depicts a paranoid fantasy of fleeing from the Grim Reaper as he calls after you; the poppy, sing-along sadness of “My Heart Went Cold” plays on the double metaphor of the loss of love/life; and the surprisingly uplifting, soaring “Thinking Of You” is both a straight-forward love song and relationship eulogy. We Disappear is a walk through modern life and love, and despite its dark themes, The Thermals here deliver one of their most spirited, anthemic, and rousing releases to date.

                                                  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

                                                    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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