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SUICIDE SQUEEZE RECORDS

Kurt Vile / Courtney Barnett

This Time Of Night / Different Now

    Suicide Squeeze celebrates Chastity Belt with the latest in its split 7" single series–a pair of covers by Friends of the Band and tourmates Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett. For this release, Kurt and Courtney each recorded a song from the band's third album, 2017's I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone, in their signature styles. Side K is Kurt's version of "This Time of Night," on which he lovingly recreates the anxious interplay of Julia Shapiro and Lydia Lund's guitars, stretching each note of the song's fraught vocal melody to its breaking point. Flip the record to Side C for Courtney's take on "Different Now," where she pulls the song from its Pacific Northwest haze, leaves it out to dry in the middle of the desert, and wrings something almost joyous from the original's ambiguity. 

    Lync

    These Are Not Fall Colors

      When the grunge explosion of the early ‘90s elevated Seattle’s flannel-clad misfits out of the divey clubs of downtown and into the mainstream, a new generation of restless artists filled the void left in the Pacific Northwest’s underground music scene. The under-21 crowd making music in the wake of Nevermind seemed even less enamored with the slick production values, classic rock nods, and testosterone-fueled moshing culture that came with the Zeitgeist, favoring their own kind of Revolution Summer-style pivot away from the popular sounds of the era towards a more emotionally nuanced, melodic, and inclusive style of punk. The Puget Sound trio Lync perfectly captured the spirit of that era, blending the passionate chaos of the DC and San Diego scenes with the rough-hewn DIY pop sensibilities of Olympia’s thriving indie community into one unified sound. Though they were only a band for two years, they helped define the next era of the Northwest underground, inspiring countless other artists and instigating the creation of beloved records from the region. After being out of print for over a decade, the band’s sole LP These Are Not Fall Colors has been remastered and expanded into a 2xLP with the inclusion of “Can’t Tie Yet” a compilation track from the album’s recording session into a deluxe edition available courtesy of Suicide Squeeze Records.

      Originally released on K Records in the summer of ’94 just a few months before the band called it quits, These Are Not Fall Colors is a boisterous collection of scrappy basement-show anthems played on duct-taped-together gear. Led by the off-kilter melodies of late singer/guitarist Sam Jayne and hammered into place by the driving bass of James Bertram and drum battery of David Schneider, the album’s eleven songs channel that undefinable sound of the early ‘90s before descriptors like “post-hardcore” and “emo” became pejorative terms. Sure, you get a sense of the more sophisticated mid-tempo punk approach on songs like “B” and “Silverspoon Glasses,” and maybe catch wind of wistful songwriting on “Pennies to Save” and “Cue Cards,” but Lync seemed to cull their ideas from whatever bits of inspiration they could find in the gray gloom and geographic isolation of western Washington, absorbing it all and churning it together into a style uniquely their

      own.

      Despite Lync’s short existence, modest aspirations, and DIY approach, their work had a ripple effect. Jayne would go on to make music under the moniker of Love As Laughter. Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch was so enamored by the album that he enlisted Bertram and Schneider to serve as his rhythm section on the There’s Nothing Wrong with Love tour. These Are Not Fall Colors engineer Phil Ek would go on to help record and produce records by Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, and The Shins. Early bassist Isaac Brock and These Are Not Fall Colors album art contributor Jeremiah Green would go on to form Modest Mouse. Bertram and Green would also go on to form the revered indie rock group Red Stars Theory. At times it feels like you could pick any major Northwest indie rock group from the ‘90s and ‘00s and trace their DNA back to Lync.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. B
      2. Perfect Shot
      3. Silverspoon Glasses
      4. Pennies To Save
      5. Clay Fighter
      6. Cue Cards
      7. Angelfood Fodder & Vitamins
      8. Heroes & Heroines
      9. Turtle
      10. Uberrima Fides
      11. Can’t Tie Yet

      Death Valley Girls

      Islands In The Sky

        For the better part of a decade, LA’s scrappy rock n’ roll mystics Death Valley Girls have used their music as a means of tapping into a communal cosmic energy. On albums like Glow In The Dark (2016), Darkness Rains (2018), and Under the Spell of Joy (2020) the band challenged the soul-crushing banality of modern society and celebrated “true magical in­nite potential” through a collage of scorching proto-punk riffs, earworm melodies, far-out lyrics, and lysergic auxiliary instrumentation. But on their latest album Islands in the Sky, Death Valley Girls’ songwriting mastermind Bonnie Bloomgarden uses the band’s anthemic revelries as a guidebook to spiritual healing and a roadmap for future incarnations of the self. And while these may be the loftiest aims of Death Valley Girls to date, the resulting music is also by far their most infectious and celebratory.

        “Death Valley Girls are a gift to the world.” - Iggy Pop

        “Harnessing the allure of the occult and the power of self-help, the Los Angeles garage rockers break free from their roots and ascend to the realm of spiritual psych-jazz rockestra.” - Pitchfork

        “(Death Valley Girls) taps out of traditional songwriting and tune into a new spiritual consciousness…” - Spin

        “An insistent Banshees like boom and groove.” - MOJO

        TRACK LISTING

        1. California Mountain Shake
        2. Magic Powers
        3. Islands In The Sky
        4. Sunday
        5. What Are The Odds
        6. Journey To Dog Star
        7. Say It Too
        8. Watch The Sky
        9. When I'm Free
        10. All That Is Not Of Me
        11. It's All Really Kind Of Amazing

        Abraxas

        Monte Carlo

          Carolina Faruolo (ex-Los Bitchos) and Danny Lee Blackwell (Night Beats) had been friends and mutual admirers of each other’s musical projects for years, though with Faruolo residing in the UK and Blackwell residing in Texas, their interactions were limited. Yet as was so often the case for many of us during the shelter-in-place stretches of 2020, geographic proximity wound up being a non-issue as our socializations became almost exclusively online endeavors. In this era of isolation and uncertainty, Faruolo and Blackwell invented their own private escape to Latin rhythms, colorful vistas, and smoky revelries under the project name of Abraxas. Combining their shared love of Wendy Renee, Los Destellos, doo-wop and R&B, they crafted their debut album Monte Carlo by bouncing ideas across the Atlantic.

          “Planet Abraxas is a world filled with jungles, mist-covered rivers, panthers lurking in the night, desolate shopping malls, Neolithic citadels and sand-worn walls,” Blackwell says of the muse behind Monte Carlo. “The nights are usually dense with fog and the air is filled with the sounds of cicadas and faraway drumming.” This visual manifestation of their sound stands in stark contrast to the environment in which the songs were written. “I remember the feeling I got the first time Danny added vocals to one of my tracks,” Faruolo recalls. “I was sitting on my sofa in rainy Manchester in the middle of winter. I pressed play and the song just made my heart jump. It instantly felt special and, more importantly, it felt like a perfect portrait of both of us.”

          Uruguayan-born Faruolo grew up with the tropical beats of cumbia and the psychedelic flavor of classic chicha artists, and it became her mission to infuse those sunny influences in her work as a UK musician. Blackwell’s work under the Night Beats handle involves the fusion of outlaw soul and R&B with a resourceful DIY spirit. Despite the apparent contrast in their styles, the two musicians bonded over their reverence for Selena and Sade, exemplars of the humid pulse and sultry spirit of their respective approaches. As Abraxas, their distinctive musical perspectives created a sound that encompassed the tropicalia of Os Mutantes, the scrappy songwriting of Cleaners From Venus, and the trippy production of Lee “Scratch” Perry, though the duo is quick to assert that they were finding their own distinctive voices rather than adhering to pre-existing stylistic codes and constraints. And indeed, Monte Carlo feels rooted in tradition but blossoms into its own unique timbres and vibrations.

          Monte Carlo opens with “Sunrise State (of Mind),” where a hypnotic cumbia beat serves as the bedrock for cosmic guitar leads, hazy choral melodies, and Blackwell’s seductive vocals. From there, the album continues its steady Latin pulse on “Mañana,” a perfect soundtrack to feverish nights in dancehalls, sipping on caipirinhas and sharing cigarettes with strangers on the dancefloor. Across its twelve tracks, Monte Carlo unfurls a myriad of exotic influences, from the Eastern melodies and guitar trills on “Sultan,” through the dub-inflected stomp and scorching fuzz of “La Estampida,” and on to the Anatolian psych-funk of album closer “Göbekli Tepe.”

          Blackwell recorded his contributions with the assistance of engineer Chris Maciel at his studio the 22nd Dimension in Pomona, California and Faruolo recorded her parts in Manchester, England at Brunswick Mill. While Abraxas conceived their material in bedrooms and studios six timezones apart, the music on Monte Carlo sounds like a live band in the throes of an ecstatic performance. And Abraxas plans to make the live incarnation of the band a reality when conditions allow for it. Until then, listeners can bask in the invented world of Abraxas and all its exotic and enticing splendor across the twelve tracks of Monte Carlo. Suicide Squeeze Records is proud to present Monte Carlo to the world later in 2022 on digital and vinyl formats.

          TRACK LISTING

          Side A
          1. Sunrise State (Of Mind)
          2. Mañana
          3. Sultan
          4. Monte Carlo
          5. La Estampida
          6. Hourglass
          Side B
          1. Prismatic
          2. Yes
          3. Golden
          4. Fuji
          5. Shapeshifter
          6. Göbekli Tepe

          Le Butcherettes / Death Valley Girls

          The Universe / When I'm Free

            Is there a better pairing of kindred spirits than a split seven-inch single featuring Le Butcherettes and Death Valley Girls? We're hard pressed to think of one. Sure, the interaction is fleeting, but damn is it satisfying.

            We've got Le Butcherettes on side A taking on one of Death Valley Girls' most cosmic numbers, the kaleidoscopic centerpiece off Under the Spell of Joy album, "The Universe." Le Butcherettes' fearless and charismatic mastermind Teri Gender Bender takes the tune into even trippier territories, replicating the original song's sonic tapestry of synth, sax, and guitars with layer upon layer of vocals. Only the sparse accompaniment of acoustic guitar and modest percussion keeps the song from being fully a capella. It's a perfect interpretation of Death Valley Girls' communal and choral aims.

            On side B, Death Valley Girls offer up a new tune - the deliciously ecstatic "When I'm Free." Like every great Death Valley Girls song, it's a celebration of life bolstered by fiery rock n' roll riffage, spiritual organ, dizzying sax, and Bonnie Bloomgarden's defiant and triumphant vocals. Suicide Squeeze Records is proud to offer up this meeting of mystical minds on vinyl and digital platforms on February 11, 2022.

            Minus The Bear

            Farewell

              Farewell covers a lot of ground across the span of its 26 songs and two-hour run time. Yet every moment is a reminder of why Minus the Bear were such an experiential live band. They were always pushing forward, evolving their sound, and ­nding new ways to balance brainy musicianship, pop worship, meditative sentimentality, and adrenalized fervor into their own signature concoction. Further bolstered by the mix of Matt Bayles and master job by Ed Brooks at Resonant Mastering, the album sounds like a fully immersive live experience.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Drilling - Live
              2. Last Kiss - Live
              3. Lemurs, Man, Lemurs - Live
              4. Absinthe Party At The Fly Honey Warehouse - Live
              5. Thanks For The Killer Game Of Crisco Twister - Live
              6. Diamond Lightning - Live
              7. My Time - Live
              8. Summer Angel - Live
              9. Cold Company - Live
              10. Fair Enough - Live
              11. The Fix - Live
              12. Fine + 2 Its - Live
              13. I’m Totally Not Down With Rob’s Alien - Live
              14. This Ain’t A Sur­n’ Movie - Live
              15. The Game Needed Me - Live
              16. Invisible - Live
              17. Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!! - Live
              18. White Mystery - Live
              19. Spritz!!! Spritz!!! - Live
              20. Knights - Live
              21. Let’s Play Guitar In A Five Guitar Band - Live
              22. Hey, Wanna Throw Up? - Live
              23. Get Me Naked 2: Electric Boogaloo - Live
              24. Into The Mirror - Live
              25. Throwin’ Shapes - Live
              26. Pachuca Sunrise - Live

              Julia Shapiro

              Zorked

                Zorked (adj.) - what happens when you end up thunderbaked, as in extremely stoned or in any situation where you feel not sober. You can feel so tired you’re zorked. In fact, any state, so long as you’re a little out of it, quali­fies. And Julia Shapiro, of Chastity Belt, Childbirth, and Who Is She? much like everyone on this earth with a pulse was zorked on more than one occasion in 2020. In March, she packed up her things and traded Seattle’s late-winter gloom for the perennial sunshine and seemingly endless opportunity of Los Angeles only to be forced into near-total isolation. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, she began working on her second solo album, Zorked. On the resulting batch of songs, we’re given Julia’s vision of Los Angeles: a wasteland melting in slow-motion, a place to commune with ghosts and warped legacies.

                Living within earshot of a man who spent his entire 2020 singing karaoke for over 10 hours a day, Julia could write, record, and play an album’s worth of instruments without fear of noise complaints. Her roommate Melina Duterte (Jay Som) transformed their house into a viable home studio, making it easy to fully realize the sound in her head, even at the height of a global lockdown. Taking things a step further, Melina agreed to co-produce the record, pushing Julia to make these new songs sound less like Perfect Version, her ­rst solo album, or like the songs she performs in Chastity Belt. At the peak of her uncertainty and discomfort, she jumped into the deep end in search of something new and found power in heavy sounds.

                This is evident in the fi­rst few seconds of album opener “Death (XIII).” Taking newfound inspiration from the namesake Tarot card, drone metal, and shoegaze, Julia layers walls of guitars, bass chords, and programmed drums. “Come With Me,” the album’s lead single, takes inspiration from a mushroom trip gone bad. “Take me to awful places now,” she sings, envisioning heat death as her own eyes stare directly into the sun. On “Wrong Time,” shimmering guitars smolder and levitate, yet she fi­nds herself “stuck inside this hole I’ve dug.” That said, these songs aren’t unbearably sad, nor has Julia become any less of a merciless observer of human behavior. By album closer “Hall of Mirrors,” she’s come full circle. Over ­fingerpicked guitar, the sense of lost identity becomes all-encompassing.

                It’s the sound of a life lived in servitude to digital screens and the psychic damage invisibly done along the way.

                Though Julia Shapiro found herself in a near hermit-like existence, writing and recording almost all of the album’s instruments herself and struggling to navigate her place in a city and world rendered nearly comatose, she maintains a sense of humor about all of it. At the very least, “It’s funny to force people to have to say Zorked out loud. Any other title sounded pretentious.”

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Death (XIII)
                2. Come With Me
                3. Wrong Time
                4. Someone
                5. Reptile! Reptile!
                6. Pure Bliss
                7. Hellscape
                8. Do Nothing About It
                9. Zorked
                10. Hall Of Mirrors


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