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Homeshake

Fresh Air - 5th Anniversary Edition

    Born in the bleak isolation of the secluded prairie city of Edmonton, Canada, Homeshake’s Peter Sagar worked with friends in a number of local bands be-fore picking up and moving to Montreal in 2011 to begin recording under the Homeshake moniker. Following two self- released cassettes (The Homeshake Tapes and Dynamic Meditation) and two acclaimed full lengths (In The Shower and Midnight Snack), Sagar cracks a window open with his third album for Sinderlyn – Fresh Air.

    Started immediately following the recording of Midnight Snack, Fresh Air continues Sagar’s exploration of dreamy, downtempo bedroom R&B and draws inspiration from such disparate artists like Sade, The Band, Broadcast, Prince, and Angelo Badalamenti. As the title Fresh Air suggests, Sagar’s songs were created to clear his listeners’ minds of negativity. Full of smokey, laid back love songs and airy productions, Sagar’s decidedly stoned sound is a breath of fresh air.

    TRACK LISTING

    1 Hello Welcome
    2 Call Me Up
    3 Not U
    4 Every Single Thing
    5 Wrapping Up
    6 Getting Down, Pt. II (He's Cooling Down)
    7 Timing
    8 TV Volume
    9 Khmlwugh
    10 Fresh Air
    11 Serious
    12 So She
    13 This Way
    14 Signing Off

    TATYANA

    Treat Me Right

      Co-produced with Metronomy’s Joseph Mount, electro-pop artist TATYANA’s debut album is a careful fusion of her classical harp training with her keen sense for pop production and song writing. Inspired by late-2000s indie pop and Swedish pop auteurs, Treat Me Right is a sparkling, catchy collection of ‘80s synths and futuristic auto-tuned vocals.

      TATYANA has lived in Holland, Russia, Singapore, and Boston – where she attended Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship – before settling back in her hometown of London in 2018. The transient nature of her upbringing has certainly informed her music: from underground raves to viral YouTube covers to playing harp on tour with Neneh Cherry, there seems to be no scene that she doesn’t thrive in.

      Last year, she released her thrilling debut EP Shadow On The Wall via Sinderlyn. The self-produced collection was met with praise from tastemaker outlets like NYLON, FADER, Office, Bandcamp, Line of Best Fit, and Crack, as well as an exclusive vinyl pressing with Vinyl Me, Please’s Rising program. Treat Me Right is the irresistible product of these impressive first steps, the kind of precisely produced, impossibly catchy pop that takes other artists their entire careers to nail.


      TRACK LISTING

      1. Kiss Me Right Now
      2. Right Places
      3. On My Mind
      4. Lover, You Don’t Know Me
      5. Runaway
      6. Introduction
      7. Treat Me Right
      8. Between The Lines
      9. Make Amends
      10. End Of The Galaxy

      Homeshake

      Under The Weather

        Peter Sagar — also known as Homeshake wrote the majority of his fifth studio album, Under the Weather, in 2019, when he was going through a long, unrelenting period of sadness. “I was in a deep, deep depression,” he recalls of that time period now. Sagar and his partner were living in Montreal, and while everyone was out being social, he was inside listening to ambient music, binging Star Trek, and writing songs. (Sound familiar?) “It was a bit of a dark pit,” he says. “That’s kind of what the whole album is about.”

        Under the Weather is hazy and moody, the pace slow as syrup, and from beginning to end, a fog falls over every synth and guitar line. “Oftentimes when you’re in a dark place, you’re supposed to journal and that helps release the pressure,” Sagar says. “For me, it always found its way into the music.”

        Capturing the cloudy sound of a depressive funk was no simple feat, especially in the headspace Sagar was in for over a year. For that reason, he decided to enlist his friend, Jerry Paper ’s Lucas Nathan, to help with production on the record. Having Nathan contribute helped Sagar dial back some of the “dry, pristine digital sound” that defined his fourth studio album, Helium , and add back personal analog touches that drew people to the HOMESHAKE project in the first place.

        As Sagar readies for the album’s release this September, the record he wrote about feeling isolated, alone, and despondent has begun to seem eerily prescient. “I’ve been writing about feeling isolated my whole life,” he says — but with age, he has come to understand them better. “I had a fairly clear idea what the album was going to be like based on where I was emotionally at the time,” he says about Under the Weather . “I just try to make music that is honest about how I’m feeling.”

        TRACK LISTING

        01. Wake Up!
        02. Feel Better
        03. Vacuum
        04. I Know I Know I Know
        05. Inaminit
        06. Careful
        07. Mindless
        08. Spend It
        09. Half Asleep After The Movies
        10. Passenger Seat
        11. Tenterhooks
        12. Reboot!

        Cults

        Offering B Sides & Remixes

          Cults are back with Offering B Sides & Remixes - a companion release to their 2017 LP Offering. Upon returning from tour in 2018, Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion - the duo force behind Cults - went back into the studio with a handful of instrumental recordings left over from the Offering sessions. They emerged with 3 brand new B sides, each buzzing with Cults’ signature electricity and shimmering melodies. This limited edition 12” collects these three new B sides as well as three fantastic Offering remixes from Mike Simonetti, Etienne de Crecy, and John Fryer.


          TRACK LISTING

          01. Not Impossible
          02. Hope You Found What You’ve Been Missing
          03. An Echo
          04. Offering (Mike Simonetti Remix)
          05. I Took Your Picture (Etienne De Crecy Remix)
          06. Recovery (John Fryer Remix)

          When you walk alone, you’re never lost. At least, that’s the operating principle behind Homeshake, the recording project of Peter Sagar. Over his first three albums, Sagar followed his own idiosyncratic vision, a journey that’s taken him from sturdy guitar-based indie-pop to, on 2017’s Fresh Air, a blearyeyed take on lo-fi R&B. Now, with Helium, Sagar is putting down roots in aesthetic territory all his own. Landscape that he once viewed from a distance now forms the bedrock of his sound, and from here, he looks back out at the world as if through a light fog, composing songs that feel grounded and intimate, even as they explore a dispersed feeling of isolation.

          It’s a feeling that comes through not only in the gauziness of the production, but also in the vulnerability of the songs themselves. Sagar began writing Helium shortly after completing Fresh Air, and in the middle of what he calls a “binge” reading of Haruki Murakami. It’s not hard to picture the narrator of these songs as a distinctly Murakamian character: He moves through time by himself, bemused by and insulated from a world he doesn’t quite seem to have been made for. Everyone Sagar encounters here — including himself — seems to be a step removed from present reality, whether by technology (“Anything At All”), solitude (“Just Like My”), or sweet fantasy (“Like Mariah”). The record is stitched together by a series of instrumental interludes, synthesizer explorations whose haziness adds to the suspicion that this is all an uncanny dream.

          Which isn’t to say that Sagar is unmoored in his own world. In fact, much of Helium is the result of what he calls “a much clearer mental state” than the one he’d experienced shortly following Fresh Air’s completion. “I had a better idea of the sound that was working for this record and what it was turning into as I was writing the songs,” he says. That’s owing in part to the album’s genesis. Where his previous three records were recorded directly to one-inch tape in a local studio, Helium was recorded and mixed by Sagar alone in his apartment in Montreal’s Little Italy neighborhood between April and June of this year. Freed of the rigid editing process he’d endured before, he was able to lose himself in pursuit of tone and texture. “I didn’t have to book time, compete for good hours, wait on availability. I did a lot of it at home in the middle of the night,” he says. “It made me get more obsessive about details.”

          A budding interest in ambient and experimental music — particularly Visible Cloaks, DJs Paypal and Rashad, and Jlin — pushed him to tinker with the micro-sounds that surround the songs here. It’s a process he found creatively invigorating; even the tinkling boom-bap of Young Thug informs “All Night Long.” It’s a far cry from the chorus-laden guitars of his earlier work. “Ever since I started introducing synthesizers into my music, I’ve gotten more interested in texture,” he says. “I’d hit a creative dead end [with guitars], so synths took over.” The warm chords of a Roland Juno 60 form the album’s base, and gave him a clean palette with which to work. “No tape hiss, no humming power outlets and shitty mixing boards,” as he puts it. “Everything just came out nice and pure.”

          Still, for all the growth it demonstrates, Helium is at its core a singer-songwriter’s record made by someone who doesn’t feel beholden to any particular set of sounds, textures, or instruments to get his point across. In that sense, it feels closer to the bone, at once assured of its vision and remarkably vulnerable. It’s perhaps our purest view yet of Homeshake’s home country.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Low-key funky basses and woozy keys, smoothly rolling along underneath Sagar's perfectly ethereal vocals. Pieces like 'All Night Long' are at once wistful and dynamic, smoothly segueing between longing odes and syncopated, rhythmic lo-fi indie. Just as comfortable playing at home as in a darkened lounge-bar with a whiskey in hand, and a half-composed text message hanging in the balance.

          TRACK LISTING

          01 Early
          02 Anything At All
          03 Like Mariah
          04 Heartburn
          05 All Night Long
          06 Trudi And Lou
          07 Just Like My
          08 Nothing Could Be Better
          09 Other Than
          10 Salu Says Hi
          11 Another Thing
          12 Couch Cushion
          13 (Secret Track)

          Fresh & Onlys

          Wolf Lie Down

            Three long years of anticipation have preceded San Francisco’s psych-blasted, starry-eyed weirdos The Fresh & Onlys’ return with Wolf Lie Down. The opening title track is a searing return to form with chugging full speed rhythms, snotty Wipers wall-of-sound guitar gristle, and the unmistakable midnight croon of singer Tim Cohen.

            Their 6th LP and debut for Sinderlyn Records finds the band equally at home with anthemic garage rock burners like “Impossible Man” and “One Of A Kind,” and the brooding western twang of “Walking Blues” or “Black Widow”. While Cohen and guitarist/producer Wymond Miles are not the new kids on the scene (both are fathers of two now), Wolf Lie Down strips back the layered feel of the last few records to reveal themselves full of passion, imbued with an uplifting romanticism, and their trademark (if often overlooked) wry sense of humor. Recorded mostly at Miles’ home studio, the songs’ foundation came to life in the studios of Bay Area analog garage/ psych veterans Kelley Stoltz (Electric Duck) and Greg Ashley (Creamery).

            Wolf Lie Down builds on the band’s literate guitar-pop arcana, seamlessly incorporating their pastoral desert-noir sensibility into Cohen and Miles’ dueling damaged art-punk songcraft. While the record is driven and performed predominately by the duo of Miles and Cohen, former members Shayde Sartin and Kyle Gibson lay down their classic rhythmic chug on a few tunes. They also enlisted original drummer James Kim, as well as touring companion James Barone (Beach House) on drums and some mixing duties. This new chapter in the elusive world of The Fresh & Onlys is a triumphant return to form as underground jangle titans. Wolf Lie Down also wears the haunted pastoral vividness of their most recent work.

            Perhaps ironically, their latest LP in a vast canon of work may be the best introduction to this unapologetic multi-faceted rock ‘n’ roll band. “Play It Strange is suffused with a deep, widescreen ambience that assumes an almost physical presence. Between its psychedelic flip-outs, winsome hooks, shaky tempos, and Ennio Morricone atmospherics, the album sounds like Nuggets emanating from a vividly hip space station.” SPIN // “Even if Long Slow Dance ... were not loaded with excellent songs, it would be worthy of affection because it is so unabashedly imbued with this lost sense of romanticism.

            TRACK LISTING

            01 Wolf Lie Down
            02 One Of A Kind
            03 Qualm Of Innocence
            04 Walking Blues
            05 Dancing Chair
            06. Impossible Man
            07. Becomings
            08 Black Widow

            On UK quartet Novella's sophomore album Change of State, the plasticity behind the meaning of the title was no fortuitous afterthought. Rather, it is very idea on which the album was built. Following the band's debut, Land, released in 2015, the band has toured, traveling from one country to the next, and they have watched their home country of Britain change dramatically in social and political terms.

            Over the course of ten tracks, Novella take the time and space necessary to let the physical and ideological implications behind a changing state run rampant through themes that linger as much in topical discussion as they do in perennial reflections of human experience. Recorded over the period of a few months in the Victorian bedroom studio of James Hoare (Ultimate Painting, Veronica Falls) on an old 1960’s 8-track, this set up forced Novella to utilize an economy of sound on Change of State. They discovered that there’s beauty in simplicity and restriction as nothing could be gratuitously added or subtracted with the click of a mouse. It lent, what the band call a little Joe Meek magic to the process, and what could have been an added pressure instead gave way to instinct: “The best songs we wrote were written towards the end of the sessions, when we had too little time to think too much about them” Reflective, the songs wash over you as they delve into topics weightier than they seem upon first blush: stand out track “Change of State” references freedom of thought and those who seek to restrict it. Brooding with tinges of psychedelia, “Thun” touches on birth and the freedom of movement, which is mirrored in its almost motorik thrust. With deftly deployed subtlety, the album revolves around themes of conspiracy theories, elections, sound mirrors and the disillusioned texts of Murakami, JG Ballard and Kurt Vonnegut.

            However, in what may in fact be the ultimate comment on our time, it is entirely possible to enjoy all the ethereal swathes of textures, gentle melodies and energetic bursts that Change of State has to offer without ruminating on any of the elements that inspired it. Change of State may be product of its time, but the music is, more than anything, timeless.

            TRACK LISTING

            01. Does The Island Know
            02. Change Of State
            03. Desert
            04. Element
            05. A Thousand Feet
            06. Thun
            07. Come In
            08. Four Colours
            09. Side By Side
            10. Seize The Sun

            Cymbals Eat Guitars

            Pretty Years

            Pretty Years, the wildly ambitious fourth LP for Cymbals Eat Guitars, is easily the band’s most sonically enigmatic and most rewarding album yet. Their trademark cacophonic guitar rock and innate propulsion are still abundant, but they’re buttressed by raucous synth and keyboard lines, and an extemporaneous saxophone performance, which enrich when they could easily clutter these songs. The band also worked more quickly and efficiently than they had in the past, facilitated by years on the road in which they’ve played close to a thousand shows, which rendered them a tight, fully-oiled machine in the studio. Opener “Finally” shimmers with complex beauty, leading into the sweet rush of “Have a Heart,” which finds lead singer and guitarist Joseph D’Agostino singing, “I’m so out of sync / And you’re out of sync with me,” which could well be a mantra for the visceral appeal of this superb record. The entire album is rife with electrified, flashbulb moments—“4th of July, Philadelphia (SANDY)” conveys the madness of life on the road, exhibiting D’Agostino’s uncanny ability to transform minutiae into profundity. This skill is evident in spades on the record’s centerpiece and opus, the disarmingly vulnerable “Dancing Days.” The song also exhibits the contributions of Whipple, and slyly invokes the album’s title in its magisterial chorus, as D’Agostino contritely croons, “Goodbye to my pretty years.” And indeed, Pretty Years is a roller coaster ride, both lyrically and sonically, that encompasses what it’s like to be alive and in the moment. But ultimately, this is an album that keenly captures the magic and loss attendant to living life wide-eyed, and hints that these “pretty years” may portend even prettier ones to come. “On the lead single from this year’s Pretty Years, these young Americans have gone full ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,’ embracing ’70s rock in all its brassy pomp and soulful stomp. When these guys said they wanted to make a more energetic album, they must have meant one you could dance to.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Think hazy summer montage : diving off a rope swing into one of the great lakes, people laughing at outdoor parties, throwing frisbees or spraying their mates with a hose whilst washing their car. This is effervescent and upbeat indie-rock, filmic and feel-good. Jangly guitars and open-closed-open snare hits, topped with demi-punk vocals (slightly snarling, filled with youthful growl and vim). Things take a punkier turn on songs like 'Beam', where 'Close' is a slightly more meditative minor-key affair. Closer 'Shrine' is a natural culmination on this increasing emotive arc, encompassing elements of all of the previous tonal shifts, whilst retaining the sound that really makes them "them". A fulfilling and thrilling ride, and one i'd be happy to take again.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Finally
            2. Have A Heart
            3. Wish
            4. Close
            5. Dancing Days
            6. 4th Of July, Philadelphia (SANDY)
            7. Beam
            8. Mallwalking
            9. WELL
            10. Shrine


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