Day Parties 2018/Performing Artists
Single LP on black vinyl in gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeve. Includes coupon for full download.
After the shocking, and for many, demoralizing result of the 2016 election, “I didn’t buy the silver lining some were promoting that ‘well, at least art and music will be great now!’,” says Superchunk co-founder and frontman Mac McCaughan. “Obviously, any sane person would gladly trade four to eight years of terrible music for not having our country dismantled to satisfy the whims of a vengeful child and his enablers.”
That said, good music and art still have a lot to say, and the urgency of current events gave Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon the momentum to make something new sooner than later. “It would be strange to be in a band, at least our band, and make a record that completely ignored the surrounding circumstances that we live in and that our kids are going to grow up in.” Enter What a Time to Be Alive, Superchunk’s first album in over four years, out February 16, 2018, on Merge Records. It’s a record, says Mac, “about a pretty dire and depressing situation but hopefully not a record that is dire and depressing to listen to.”
Its been over two years since Hinds released their breakout debut album Leave Me Alone, and today the Madrid-based band announce their long-awaited sophomore record. I Dont Run will be out April 6 via Mom + Pop, and shows a bigger, better, faster, funnier, more dexterous Hinds. Co-produced by Hinds and Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, Regina Spektor), and engineered by Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Perfume Genius, The War On Drugs, John Legend), I Dont Run is the product of a band fighting for their place, a band unwilling to rely upon their successes, a band who have just begun to prove themselves, and a band who plays hard but works even harder. With this second LP they continue their quest to own their narrative one of sisters doing it for themselves. Their debut album, Leave Me Alone has received major praise from NPR, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, as well as appearances on Late Night with Stephen Colbert.
Son Little, the singer and songwriter born Aaron Livingston, is the easygoing musical alchemist of our time. He is a conjurer, and much like those of his heroes Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix, his songs are deconstructions of the diaspora of American R&B. Deftly he weaves different eras of the sound—blues, soul, gospel, rock and roll—through his own unique vision, never forced, always smooth, each note a tributary on the flowing river of rhythm and blues. And now, with his second full-length album, New Magic, he has delivered a profound statement, a cohesive creation that captures the diverse spirit of American music in a fresh and modern way. The song that serves as the album’s true centerpiece is “Blue Magic,” a Philly Soul inspired number deconstructed almost like a rap song or the best of production savants like J Dilla or Madlib, complete with chiming glockenspiel bells and old school female backing vocals. The song has the appeal of an instant classic. On the heels of his 2015 self-titled debut and the 5-song EP, Songs I Forgot, that came before it, Son Little found his reach steadily growing. His song “Lay Down” had been streamed over seven million times, he had toured the world with artists as diverse as Leon Bridges, Kelis, Mumford & Sons, Portual. The Man and Shakey Graves in addition to his own headlining runs, and also became a Grammy Award winning producer, earning a 2016 Best Roots Performance award for his work on Mavis Staples.
Single LP on black vinyl in gatefold sleeve with matte finish. Includes 12” x 12” printed insert. Includes coupon for full download.
On Room Inside the World—Ought’s third album and their first for Merge—growing up doesn’t mean mellowing out so much as it means learning to pay attention, listening carefully and openly, staying somewhere long enough to really understand where you are. Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Silver Jews), Room Inside the World explores themes that have always concerned the band—identity, connection, survival in a precarious world—but with a bolder, more nuanced sound palette. Vibraphone, justly intonated synthesizers, drum machines, and a 70-piece choir suffuse the precise post-punk breakdowns that spangled Ought’s first two albums, giving rise to an emotional complexity that pushes their characteristically taut sound to greater depths.
A couple of years ago, A Place to Bury Strangers were in search of a new drummer. Lia Simone Braswell, an L.A. native, had recently moved to New York, and was playing drums in shows around Brooklyn "just to keep her chops up." As it turned out, APTBS bassist Dion Lunadon caught one of those shows and, after seeing her play, was moved to ask her if she'd want to come to a band practice sometime. For well over a decade now, A Place to Bury Strangers-Lunadon, founding guitarist/singer Oliver Ackermann, and, officially, Lia Braswell-have become well known for their unwavering commitment to unpredictable, often bewildering live shows, and total, some might say dangerous volume. This April marks the release of Pinned, their fifth full-length and an album that finds them converting difficult moments into some of their most urgent work to date. It's their first since the 2016 election, and their first since the 2014 closing of Death By Audio, the beloved Brooklyn DIY space where Ackermann lived, worked, and created with complete freedom. There are searing meditations on truth and government-led conspiracies ("Execution"), as well as haunting, harmonized responses to the tensions of our current political climate ("There's Only One of Us"). It all opens with "Never Coming Back," a frightening crescendo of group vocals, vertiginous guitar work, and Lunadon's unrelenting bass. It's a clear and honest statement of intent, not just for everything that follows, but for this band as a whole.
The songs and narrative’s on LONER reflect my life over the last couple years––I joined Tinder, I got my first apartment and painted it teal, I went to parties, I discussed politics, I had a girlfriend, we traveled the country, we broke up. I learned, for better or worse, how to be a member of the modern world. Turns out the modern world is terrifying. Tired of the bottomless pit of sad songs, I decided to put a spin on my greatest songwriting inspirations––misogyny, unplanned pregnancy, Capitalism, anxiety, loneliness and death––and wrap such depressing subject matter in a sprightly, angsty pop burrito…Because it’s hard being serious all the time and sometimes sad songs just need a cocktail. Loner reflects the styles of music I love––pop, folk, punk, electronic, and surf music––all thrown into a blender with a ladle full of cheeky satire. I call it Schizodrift. It sounds like Blondie drunk on mai tais. Loner was co-produced by myself and the wonderful Paul Butler (Devendra Banhart, Michael Kiwanuka, St. Paul & The Broken Bones) and recorded in freezing Northern California, in addition to my parent’s attic and my last apartment. It was mixed by sound guru Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Nick Hakim, Show Me The Body) in Brooklyn, NY. - C.Rose
What do you get when you combine elements of the Cramps, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne and The Runaways? You get STARCRAWLER. STARCRAWLER are a Los Angeles rock band who formed in 2015 when 18-year-old lead vocalist Arrow de Wilde first met guitarist Henri Cash at their Echo Park high school. Shortly thereafter they were joined by the rhythm section of Austin Smith (drums) and Tim Franco (bass). The foursome play with squalling riffs and thundering beats, and their incendiary live shows, fronted by de Wilde’s otherworldly magnetism, are truly captivating. Geoff Travis, founder of Rough Trade, explains the label’s love for the band: “If you thought rock and roll was moribund, had lost its sense of fun and performance and primal power – it just means you haven’t seen Starcrawler yet.” After signing to Rough Trade earlier this year, they quickly released their debut single “Ants”, which caught the ear of Elton John who played the track on his Beats 1 radio show. Soon after, they were on the cover of LA Weekly – their hometown paper. The headline was “With Fake Blood and Frenetic Songs, Starcrawler make rock feel dangerous again”. In the article, Arrow describes that “bands are boring nowadays” and that “there’s no mystery”. That helps explain a little bit of why their shows have become the stuff of legend. They were also hand-picked to play the CalJam Festival in LA by curator Dave Grohl. Their soon-to-be-announced full-length debut album will be released by Rough Trade in early 2018 and was recorded by Ryan Adams on analog tape at his Pax-Am Studio. Ryan’s love for them and his excitement about the forthcoming album has been well documented in his many posts about them from the studio…. “This starcrawler record is gonna peel the paint off your brain”…. “Starcrawler are so fucking insanely good. Soon they will rule this galaxy.” Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance has also fallen in love with the band and turned a ton of his fans onto them. He said “Losing my GD mind over this band Starcrawler. A blend of almost all of my favorite stuff but completely new. Super refreshing to see this mix of 70’s theatricality and Stooges electricity.” The new album sees them perfect their own take on “classic” rock the and 10 songs contained on it prove that yes, they ARE making rock and roll exciting again!
With the release of his highly anticipated debut album Mr. Jukebox via Third Man Records, Joshua Hedley will embrace the role he was born to play: this generation’s classic country champion.
An accomplished fiddle player, Hedley felt inexplicably drawn toward the instrument as a child. He got his hands on his own fiddle at age 8, and by 12, he was playing with middle-aged pickers at the VFW. At 19, he moved from his native Florida to Nashville, where he became an in-demand sideman at Robert’s Western World and other bars, and ultimately, a well-respected frontman. Armed with an easy croon and prodigious fiddle playing, he became known as the Mayor of Lower Broad. He hit the road to perform with artists including Jonny Fritz, Justin Townes Earle, and more, while the 2015 documentary Heartworn Highways Revisited featured Hedley prominently.