Born in the tiny coastal hamlet of Plaplaya on Honduras’ Caribbean coast, Aurelio Martinez, 39, may be one of the last generations to grow up steeped in Garifuna tradition. These traditions encompass the African and Caribbean Indian roots of his ancestors, a group of shipwrecked slaves who intermarried with local natives on the island of St. Vincent, only to be deported to the Central American coast in the late eighteenth century.
At the heart of every song on Laru Beya beats a traditional Garifuna rhythm. However, beyond the beauties of Garifuna tradition and Aurelio’s striking interpretations lie the true guiding force behind the album: the loss of his late friend and mentor, Garifuna musical icon, Andy Palacio. Palacio, won regional popularity as the powerhouse behind punta rock, a Garifuna-rock synthesis that broke onto the Central American scene in the 1990s. International acclaim followed with an award-winning album in 2007 that truly put Garifuna music on the map.
A mere month after Andy’s death, Aurelio and producer Ivan Duran headed for a small fishing village, where they set up a studio in a beachfront house. Recording and living by the sea for several weeks, they were still in grief and shock, yet they knew they had to do something amazing to honor Palacio’s life and work. Aurelio was able to explore the Garifuna connection to Africa when Senegalese Afropop legend Youssou N’Dour selected him as his protege in 2008. N’Dour encouraged Martinez to channel his virtuosity, to balance his evanescent stage presence with reserve until just the right moment. N’Dour also contributed his unique vocal abilities to several songs on Laru Beya.
The album is the second release on Next Ambiance, an imprint founded by Jon Kertzer host of KEXP’s Best Ambiance radio show and Sub Pop co-founder Jonathan Poneman. The label’s first release was I Speak Fula (Feb. 2010) by Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni ba. I Speak Fula was also recently nominated for a Grammy award for “Best Traditional World Music Album.” SPIN: “I Speak Fula effortlessly mixes the rapid-fire pluck of bluegrass, the doleful churn of the blues, the joyous pulse of Afropop, and (in a makeover from his gentler 2007 debut) the caffeinated whirl of high-velocity rock.” Laru Beya is not only Next Ambiance’s second release, but Aurelio’s as well. Garifuna Soul, his 2005 album on Stonetree Records, was described by Songlines Magazine with, “It really is like nothing you’ve ever heard before.”
Released: January 18, 2011
Mogwai / The Hawk is Howling - 4089599
Mogwai’s sixth full-length CD The Hawk Is Howling contains all the extremity and dynamics you know and love, but with a more curious array of rhythms and melodies, hinting a bit more than previous records at both their electronic and metal influences. Additionally, with only two songs under the five-minute mark, this is maybe their most “cinematic”-sounding record to date (which is saying something).
Released: November 16, 2010
Kelley Stoltz / To Dreamers - SP890
Kelley Stoltz, now a veritable godfather to the burgeoning San Francisco under/over-ground (folks like Thee Oh Sees, Sonny & the Sunsets, The Fresh & Onlys), has blazed a path since the late ‘90s as a home-recording guru and multi-instrumentalist. And, while Stoltz’s nigh-religious reverence for all things Beatles, Beach Boys and Kinks has been at the fore on recent albums Below the Branches, Sub Pop) and Circular Sounds, Sub Pop), his new album, To Dreamers, blends a bit more post-punk abandon into its layered everyman pop. This new album maintains the kaleidoscopic core of sounds heard on Kelley’s previous records, while making inroads into new sonic terrains.
No slouch on the live front, he was asked to open the Raconteurs first US tour in 2006, toured the USA and Europe with the Dirtbombs in 2008, and through a twist of volcano ash-cloud karma, was the support act to childhood heroes Echo and the Bunnymen, in 2010.
It’s not unreasonable to suggest that the entire reason behind music itself is to dream. From the young kid strumming a tennis racket along with the Ramones, to the box seats at the opera, the goal is the same. What music does and should do is allow us to lose ourselves and be transported, to find the mystical land where milk and honey meets Xanadu. See where you go with this new Kelley Stoltz record—an album of tunes oddly familiar and yet surprising, like a dream itself.
If you pre-order To Dreamers by October 12th, you’ll receive a limited edition CDR featuring 5 new Kelley Stoltz songs currently unavailable anywhere else!
Released: October 12, 2010
No Age / Everything in Between - SP892
Recorded in Los Angeles from the end of 2009 and into 2010, Everything in Between is the new album from No Age, the duo of Dean Spunt and Randy Randall. They emerged from former band Wives in 2005, to become No Age, worldwide glowing talismans for the DIY art-punk scene in LA, now famously known as having its epicenter at The Smell, a clubhouse where art-life/music-life welded and inspired a creative movement and attitude which has fertilized a purple patch of likeminded punkers and artists around the globe. Since the release of Weirdo Rippers, their 2007 debut album (on FatCat Records), through Nouns, the band’s 2008 follow-up on Sub Pop, and beyond, No Age has earned enthusiastic notice from an incredibly wide array of sources; from Pitchfork to The New Yorker (“Let It Rip,” Nov. 19, 2007), and found themselves unlikely Grammy nominees (for Best Recording Packaging in 2008). No Age have risen from sweaty basement shows and art galleries to having their songs blast off the walls of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), to performing at unconventional spaces both close to home and abroad.
And Everything in Between is a bold step in their creative evolution. It is a culmination of reflecting upon life’s ruptures and triumphs; the process of moving through these moments banged and bruised, yet better off for the wear and tear. They’ve pushed themselves in challenging and different directions, deconstructing their weird-out pop songs while still maintaining their original aesthetic and intent. Everything in Between sees No Age expand on the emotional force at the core of their catchy song-writing through tone, structure, noise, and samples. And, it’s their best record yet.
Released: September 28, 2010
The Vaselines / Sex with an X - SP889
Formed in Glasgow in 1987, The Vaselines released two singles and one album (Dum Dum on the 53rd and 3rd label) and then split up in 1989 (in the same week their album was released). They might have faded into obscurity but for the intervention of a certain band from Seattle. Nirvana covered three Vaselines songs, helping to fuel a growing after-the-fact appreciation of their seedy, two-and-a-half chord, garage pop manifesto. Founding members Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee remained musically active between then and now: the former with Captain America aka Eugenius and finally as a solo artist; McKee with Painkillers and Suckle. Eugene and Frances also collaborated intermittently in the intervening years and, in 2008, toured America (including a stand-out appearance at Sub Pop’s 20th anniversary festival, SP20), Brazil and Japan and played some UK festivals. The Vaselines “re-connected” with wildly appreciative audiences who had blinked and missed them the first time round. Buoyed by the success of their live return, the two punk rock chums decided to go back into the studio.
The new Vaselines album, Sex with an X, was recorded outside Manchester at the Analogue Catalogue studio in Mossley with Julie McLarnon engineering and produced by Jamie Watson (who also produced that first album Dum Dum). The Vaselines ca. 2010 is Eugene and Frances with guest musicians Stevie Jackson and Bob Kildea from Belle & Sebastian on guitar and bass, and Michael McGaughrin from the 1990s on drums. It may have taken The Vaselines 20 years to get round to making this baby, but it was worth the wait—bringing their solo careers to a climax. The irony has not been lost. Who says indie music can’t be fun? No hand-wringing on these tracks—just good clean smut with a twist of bitter. The Vaselines will tour the US in October, 2010.
If you are among the first 200 people to pre-order Sex with an X by September 14th, you’ll receive a bonus 7" featuring “White Chapel” b/w “Picked a Cherry”, demos both recorded by Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub)—the latter not available on the new record.
Released: September 14, 2010
Michael Yonkers / Lovely Gold - 4050897
Unreleased Michael Yonkers tunes from 1977.
Released: July 26, 2010
Featuring 13 rare and unreleased cuts, Out Takes collects unheard songs, demo recordings, and alternate mixes. Handpicked by Greg Sage, the songs date from 1979-1983, the same years as their landmark first three LPs. Side one focuses on the era of their debut LP, Is This Real?, a desperate, energetic masterpiece, considered by Kurt Cobain as the blueprint for grunge. Included are raw, sparsely arranged 4-track demos, two unreleased songs from 1979, and the forceful, youthful track “Rebel With a Cause” which was cut from the LP.
The second half of the LP presents a live recording of “Mistaken Identity,” originally intended for the Wipers’ third LP, Over the Edge, a rare B-side, and alternate mixes of songs from Youth of America. Out Takes is an incredible new window into the career of one of the greatest American punk bands.
1. Let’s Go Away
3. Is This Real?
6. Rebel With a Cause
7. Born With a Curse
8. Mistaken Identity
9. No Solution
10. Scared Stiff
11. Youth of America
12. Pushing the Extreme
Release Date: June 22, 2010 on Jackpot Records.
Catalog # JPR82804
Released: July 26, 2010
Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni ba / I Speak Fula (vinyl) - 4000499
Initial pressing of I Speak Fula on Outhere Records. Featuring different cover art than the Sub Pop/Next Ambiance release of the same record.
For the CD and MP3 version go here.
Released: February 10, 2010
Jaill / That's How We Burn - SP891
Vincent Kircher, Austin Dutmer, Andrew Harris and Ryan Adams are a somewhat sneaky, rarely sleazy group of guys from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Together, they are Jaill, a self-described psych-pop combo who play with undeniable guts. Kircher and Dutmer started the band back in 2002 and in early 2009, the band released There’s No Sky (Oh My My), a 12-song LP (at just over 30 minutes) that is irresistibly catchy, moving, dirty, sarcastic, and new. Recorded nervously in the leaky basement of an old funeral home, with overdubs finished over a year’s time at home, There’s No Sky caught the attention of Sub Pop, with stand-out tracks like “Always Wrong” and “Beggar Sincere.” Recalling the glory of 90s lo-fi pop, these songs possess a sinewy tension honed from years of basement shows and a palpable, gritty rock sense born of enduring cold, cold Midwest winter months. Recorded at his Mystery Room studio with Justin Perkins, this new Jaill album, That’s How We Burn, finds the band wrapping its head and arms more solidly around a sound they’ve been building up for nearly a decade. Their ‘Sconnie sensibilities lend to a laid-back but creatively effortless brand of pop: bright guitars and amped-up energy skipping like a stone over Kircher’s dense lyrics, only to sink into momentary mellow moments. That’s How We Burn is sure to make the girls freak, the guys geek, and all the lovers weak in the knees.
If you pre-order That’s How We Burn by July 27th, you’ll receive a free Jaill patch handmade by the same glorious hands who made this unquestionably buyable record.
Released: July 27, 2010
Damien Jurado / Rehearsals for Departure - SP440
Rehearsals for Departure is Damien Jurado’s second album on Sub Pop. And it’s a stunner.
If you were to take the promising moments from Damien Jurado’s first album, Waters Ave. S., and factor in a few years’ worth of maturity, it still wouldn’t add up to this spectacular achievement. The Evergreen State’s self-tagged “urban folksinger” has sharpened his songwriting skills and streamlined his musical attack. Simple, finger-picked acoustic guitar graces most of the tracks and when matched with Jurado’s nasal whine (which shares a few adenoids with Freedy Johnston) creates a genuine emotional intensity. “Ohio” is the perfectly shaped tale of a girl abducted from her mother and made to live with her father in a faraway city. The lament is perfectly underpinned by the harmonica of Richard Smokovich, who also adds an extra-rough ferocity to the complete-band numbers (“Honey Baby,” “Letters & Drawings”). The Posies’ Ken Stringfellow produces and adds a full complement of instruments, ranging from guitar, organ, and piano to mellotron and concertina. One of the year’s best, for sure.—Rob O’Connor
Released: March 9, 1999
Wolf Parade / EXPO 86 - SP870
Recorded and mixed at Hotel2Tango, with Howard Bilerman, in late February and early March of 2010, EXPO 86 is the name of the new and third album by Montreal’s Wolf Parade. EXPO 86 follows the band’s 2008 album At Mount Zoomer, which itself followed their 2005 debut, Apologies to the Queen Mary. Read the full bio for EXPO 86 here.
If you pre-order EXPO 86 by June 29th and are among the first 600 people to do so, you will receive a free limited edition set of two magnets featuring artwork from the new album. We’re talking top quality, strikingly handsome magnets—your fridge is gonna be stoked!
Released: June 29, 2010
Foals / Total Life Forever - SP875
In April of 2008, we at Sub Pop Records had the good fortune to release the US version of Antidotes, the debut album by Oxford, UK quintet Foals. Antidotes was a special album. Two years on from that impressive introduction, a choice has been made–-rather than contort Antidotes’ lithesome guitars into ever more elaborate patterns, Total Life Forever is the sound of a band settling into and surveying the decay of old protocols. With this new album, Foals strip their sound back and turn themselves inside out searching for that invisible human thing. The result is an album as persuasive emotionally as Antidotes was physically. Whereas that album constantly reinforced its own presence by filling the air with yelping and polyrhythm, tracks on Total Life Forever such as disarming opener “Blue Blood,” “2 Trees” and the astonishing “Black Gold” are happier to leave gaps for the listener to explore in mind’s ear and eye. Written primarily in the basement of their Oxford HQ (“The House of Supreme Mathematics”) and recorded in Gothenburg with former Clor man Luke Smith, Total Life Forever finds Foals singing rather than shouting, emotional as well as functional. The band’s soul-search reveals new antidotes found in infinite, internal spaces rather than carved violently upon the air–-Total Life Forever feels more the work of artists than artisans. It’s a triumph that they’ve managed to remain a band of progress and propulsion while investigating that vast, dark space lurking inside themselves-–that gap between ribs where “nature, or god or whatever you wanna call it, will come in.”
Black vinyl is the only color still available for this release.
Released: June 15, 2010
Unnatural Helpers / Cracked Love & Other Drugs - SBL-73013
The Unnatural Helpers have been banging around Seattle for a few years now as the perennial hobbyhorse of singer / drummer / songwriter / sole consistent member Dean Whitmore, who has also spent time with such Seattle outfits as the Intelligence, Welcome and Dipers. Despite the myriad lineup changes over the years, the band has managed to retain and expand on its original sound in a steady and cohesive way—anyone who has witnessed the live show over the years will be well familiar with the band’s taut, muscular guitar-rock, driven by Whitmore’s whip-tight drumming and usually caustic, often self-deprecating vocals. Oh, and the songs are always short. Very short.
Released: April 27, 2010
David Cross / Bigger and Blackerer - SP882
The new David Cross album and DVD Bigger and Blackerer was taped during two shows, back-to-back on the same evening at Boston’s Wilbur Theatre. As will be obvious by the packaging (and maybe some of the words here), this title applies to both a CD and a DVD; separate releases in separate formats with the same name. Though both media are housed on a shiny, silver five-inch disc, each is an entity unto itself. And while there is some overlap, each is full of material that appears solely on one or the other. Only by watching the DVD will you learn of Cross’ unique relationship with the deaf community, share his canny insights into the editorial machinations behind the Bible, and marvel at how well a bald, middle-aged white guy can fill out a pair of jeans. Yet one must listen to the CD in order to hear about gastro-intestinal misadventures with his dog Ollie Red Sox, or sing along with “The Sultan’s Revenge,” the swinging, Vegas-style opening number composed by Cross and his good friend Mark Rivers (author of the theme to Mr. Show).
During his illustrious career, David Cross has played recurring roles on the TV programs Arrested Development and The Colbert Report, and won an Emmy Award for his contributions to The Ben Stiller Show. He has also starred in such films as Waiting for Guffman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the Bob Dylan fantasy I’m Not There (in which he portrayed Allen Ginsberg), and Kung Fu Panda. Bigger and Blackerer is both David Cross’ third album and second DVD on Sub Pop Records, preceded by the albums It’s Not Funny (2004) and Shut Up, You Fucking Baby! (2002), and the 2003 DVD tour documentary Let America Laugh. He is currently living in exile in the UK, working on the show The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (to be broadcast on IFC in the USA this fall).
We’re also offering a discounted combo-pack of both the Bigger and Blackerer CD AND DVD right here!
The deluxe, double LP version of Bigger and Blackerer comes packaged with the Bigger and Blackerer DVD! That’s genius comedy for 2 of your senses! Also, this very DVD-accompanying LP comes with a luxurious black velvet sleeve that is printed with gold leaf!*
*Not actual gold leaf, but, you know, gold ink.
Released: May 25, 2010
Blitzen Trapper / Destroyer of the Void - SP825
Blitzen Trapper is based in Portland, OR. There are six of them in the band and they’ve been together since 2000. Over the course of their four full-length albums to date, including their revelatory 2008 Sub Pop release Furr, front man Eric Earley’s considerable poetic talents and his band’s hard-earned chops have gained them a growing international audience. The band’s continuing exploration of American music that spans from the ‘60s folk movement to the country sounds of the ’70s, to the pop balladry and prog rock of the ’80s has earned it notice ranging from Rolling Stone magazine to late-night network television to Yo Gabba Gabba, among a great many others. In January 2009 and again in January 2010, Earley and a few of his bandmates entered the attic studio of lauded Portland musician and studio engineer Mike Coykendall (Bright Eyes, M Ward, She & Him) to work on what would become Destroyer of the Void. And the resulting new album takes Blitzen Trapper further than ever before, building on the band’s seamless marriage of the familiar and the fantastic to, literally, create an otherworldly experience.
Released: June 8, 2010
CocoRosie / Grey Oceans - SP880
CocoRosie are two American-born sisters, Sierra and Bianca, who started making music together in Paris in 2003. Their first album, La Maison de Mon Rêve, was released in 2004 and their second album, Noah’s Ark, followed in 2005. Their third and, to now, most recent album, The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn, came out in 2007. All three of these albums were released worldwide on Touch and Go Records and earned positive critical acclaim both overseas and at home.
The nomadic duo (currently and temporarily residing in New Mexico) spent much of 2008 writing and recording in Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Berlin, New York, and Paris, finding amazing and diverse musicians to collaborate along the way. The result is their 11-song Sub Pop debut, Grey Oceans, due out May 11th, 2010.
The cover art for the vinyl LP version of Grey Oceans is different from that of the CD version. You can see the Grey Oceans LP cover art here!
Released: May 11, 2010
Male Bonding / Nothing Hurts - SP854
Emerging from the fertile D.I.Y. rock scene in Dalston, a gentrification-proof London neighborhood with ample “lo-fi” bands and Turkish restaurants, noise-pop trio Male Bonding plays fast. Nothing Hurts, the band’s first full-length, gets it done in half an hour, and most songs clock in at around two minutes. But, there’s much more to Male Bonding than high-speed, high-impact punk. If you will know their velocity, you will remember their melodies. Every song on Nothing Hurts, whether a clipped, snarling rock anthem (“All Things This Way,” “Crooked Scene,” “Pumpkin”) or something more foggy and contemplative (“Franklin,” “Worse to Come”), carries a hook that’s immediate and permanent. Nothing Hurts was recorded in the fall of 2009 in New York and mixed and mastered by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic Sound.
Released: May 11, 2010
David Cross / Shut Up, You Fucking Baby! - SP590
Shut Up, You Fucking Baby! is Sub Pop’s first-ever intentional comedy release. This 2-CD set was recorded during a sold-out spring/summer 2002 national tour (of rock clubs, with opening bands, as opposed to our nation’s sad network of comedy clubs). Cross is sharp, incisive and extremely funny. David Cross was one half of the Mr. Show dynasty and during his illustrious career, hs has played recurring roles on the TV programs Arrested Development and The Colbert Report, and won an Emmy Award for his contributions to The Ben Stiller Show. He has also starred in such films as Waiting for Guffman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the Bob Dylan fantasy I’m Not There (in which he portrayed Allen Ginsberg), and Kung Fu Panda.
Released: 2002-11-05 (2xCD), 2003-08-18 (LP), 2002-11-05 (MP3s)
Avi Buffalo / Avi Buffalo - SP865
Avi Buffalo is the adopted name of Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, an 18 year-old singer/songwriter and guitarist from Long Beach, CA. Avi Buffalo is also the name of the band he formed with friends and like-minded collaborators Sheridan Riley (drums), Arin Fazio (bass) and Rebecca Coleman (keyboards and vocals). It (Avi Buffalo) is also the name of his/their debut full-length album, which we are just ridiculously puffed-up about releasing on April 27, 2010.
Note! The version of “What’s In It For?” to be found on the album is the same as the one found on the “What’s In It For?” 7" single that we released back in December (avail. here). The version of “Jessica” on the album is altogether different from the version that is the b-side of that same single.
If you pre-order Avi Buffalo by April 27th, you will, for free, receive a totally limited CDR featuring four non-album tracks! So don’t delay, after April 27th, they are gone.
Released: April 27, 2010
Golden Triangle / Double Jointer - SBL-73011
Brooklyn’s greatest natural resources are rats, crime and dirt. Out of this ugly and overpriced ex-industrial vermin ranch has risen a band that are so loud and full of life that they not only make it bearable but they almost make the squalor seem charming and full of possibility. Golden Triangle is a band of three girls and three boys who play music that’s loud, spooky, and will make you aroused and ambitious when you experience it live. Their previous three EPs and cassette are all sold out and gone. Their forthcoming debut full length, Double Jointer, is what is happening now. Recorded over a two week period at Key Club Recording Company with producer Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Beach House, Blonde Redhead), Double Jointer has the speed and catchiness of the current garage / weird-punk / lo-fi shit with some profoundly goth under-currents and some no-wave guitar over-currents. The instruments have that good/bad blown out quality and the spectral lady singers are commanding and demanding, all knowing entities. Lead-off track “Cinco de Mayo” starts out with some slow, strummy surf-guitarmanship and gets faster and faster until the dam bursts and in come the siren vocals which sound like the band is howling derisive laughter at you. This is just the beginning, and the feverish tambourine crash-fest continues unabated until the aural house appropriately burns down with a slithering guitar line on epic album closer “Arson Wells.”
Released: March 2, 2010
Happy Birthday / Happy Birthday - SP850
Happy Birthday is Kyle Thomas (aka King Tuff), Chris Weisman, and Ruth Garbus. They formed in November 2008 to play one show at the punk-space “Tinderbox”(RIP), in their hometown Brattleboro, Vermont. Kyle needed a band to play his new pop songs because he was too scared to play by himself. They enjoyed playing with eachother so much that they decided to keep doing it.
Kyle sings and plays lead guitar. The songs are mostly his, but the band arranges and finishes them together. He is also a painter and drawer and loves top 40, shoes, texting, comic books, etc. Ruth Garbus plays drums and sings. She also makes her own music and art. Chris Weisman plays “inverted-tuning” guitar, bass, and sings. He makes 4-track songs, enjoys reading and writing, and is a guitar teacher.
Released: March 16, 2010
Dum Dum Girls / I Will Be - SP840
I Will Be is the debut full-length by the Dum Dum Girls. Produced by Dee Dee and Richard Gottehrer (Strangeloves, Voidoids, Blondie, The Go-Gos and, more recently, The Raveonettes), I Will Be is neither lo-fi nor too polished. Just under thirty minutes with eleven songs, it’s a short tribute to love, fun and the classic pop form of the ’60s girl groups and early punk rockers.
Released: March 30, 2010
The Ruby Suns / Fight Softly - SP863
The prime mover of The Ruby Suns, Ryan McPhun has literally traveled around the world to arrive at Fight Softly, the band’s 2nd album for Sub Pop, and 3rd overall. McPhun possesses (or is possessed by…) a voracious musical mind and this new album is the kind of head-spinning combination of big-picture vision and sumptuous detail that only comes from an artist with an urgent need to express all the stuff he’s seen. And you can dance to it! Fight Softly veers from the path set by its predecessor, the 2008 release Sea Lion. Thematically, it’s not as wide-eyed or lighthearted, picking apart the relationships faced as we pass through the world—-with our surroundings, each other, ourselves. Sonically, it remains as beat-centric, though these beats are deliciously artificial—-stretched and compacted and distorted beyond recognition. Melodies are scuzzy and digital, no guitars strummed or basses plucked. McPhun’s soulful upper-register croon, swallowed into the mix, replaces group chants and full-throated singalongs. Rather than an album of clearly-drawn influences, Fight Softly is a unique, inscrutable synthesis, more itself than anything else.
If you pre-order Fight Softly by March 2nd, you’ll get $2 off the CD or gate-fold LP (that’s a $10 CD or $12 LP)!
Released: March 2, 2010
Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni ba / Segu Blue - 4000498
Bassekou Kouyate’s debut record on Outhere Records.
Released: May 11, 2007
Dear Companion is a collaboration between three Kentucky musicians; the songs were written and performed by Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore, produced by and featuring Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket and Monsters of Folk. Recorded in the first half of 2009 in their home state, Dear Companion explores their ties to the place they love and aims to draw attention to the problem of Mountaintop Removal coal mining (MTR) and its impact on the people and heritage of central Appalachia. A portion of the proceeds from Dear Companion will benefit Appalachian Voices, an organization devoted to ending MTR and finding a better way forward. Ben and Daniel will tour together around the record’s release–dates are still TBD, but will be posted here when they’re available: Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore tour dates. Daniel’s debut album, Stray Age, produced by Joe Chiccarelli, came out in October 2008 on Sub Pop. Ben’s debut album, Learning to Bend, was released in June of 2008 on sonaBlast!
Released: February 16, 2010
Blitzen Trapper / Wild Mountain Nation - 4075598
From outerspace to down at the farm, campfire singalong to dystopic atonal deconstruction, Wild Mountain Nation presents a raucous and varied constellation of favorite souvenirs from the Trapper’s musical adventures. Brought forth in a spasm of creative mania, Nation is rough-hewn but lush, crackling (sometimes audibly) with a weird and lucid energy. The album was recorded and arranged by the band themselves, using a dizzying variety of techniques and media, including a secret process learned from friendly extraterrestrials. As always, though, the group’s trusty four-track was used to capture the “soul”, “essence”, or “kernel” of each song, which was then buried in a rich humus of articulation, embellishment, and attenuation, so that after the summer a nutritious, colorful variety of fresh music was drooping from the vine (so to speak). A rich harvest: dusty bones, sunrise, Philip K Dick, Guernica, barley wine, sycamore or doug fir, snowflake, Sally Mack’s School of Dance, Scooby-Doo, bigfoot.
Released: July 9, 2007
The Album Leaf / A Chorus of Storytellers - SP805
A Chorus of Storytellers was recorded by Ryan Hadlock in the frosty month of February 2009 at Bear Creek Studio just outside of Seattle. It was mixed in the decidedly warmer month of June in Reykjavik, Iceland by Birgir Jon Birgisson. Those paying attention will notice that this is nearly the same way their last album Into the Blue Again was recorded. There is, however, one fundamental difference between this and every other album The Album Leaf has ever recorded. For the first time in five albums, The Album Leaf recorded as a whole band. In the past, almost every instrument was performed by principal songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jimmy LaValle. This time the whole band was invited to participate and the result is their best record yet.
If you pre-order A Chorus of Storytellers, you’ll receive The Enchanted Hill, a 2007 EP/tour Video from The Album Leaf. This is a while supplies last sort of thing, so this deal is limited to the first two hundred orders.
Released: February 2, 2010