News

NEWS : MON, JAN 25, 2021 at 9:00 AM

Announcing Sub Pop on 7th, the new retail store from Sub Pop Records in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood

Striking while the iron is ice-cold and at least 6 ft away and most definitely masked-up, Sub Pop Records is expanding our retail empire, from one to two locations, with a new space! 

The recently-opened Sub Pop on 7th is a tightly-curated (some might say tiny) new store located at 2130 7th Ave., in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. The store collects the cream of the crap from Sub Pop and Hardly Art, including t-shirts, hats, hoodies, various knick-knacks, trinkets, and objets d’art conspicuously emblazoned with the words “Sub Pop,” as well as actual vinyl LP copies (aka “records”) of every Hardly Art and Sub Pop release currently in print. Within the limits of Covid safety measures, Sub Pop on 7th is open now. And (unlike the practically world-famous Sub Pop Airport Store…) you don’t risk a cavity search to get in!

“This is Sub Pop’s flagship store. It’s long on goodies and short on hours, so beat the rush,” says the label’s co-founder/president Jonathan Poneman.

To celebrate the opening of Sub Pop on 7th, visitors can enter to win a $50 gift card good towards any of the aforementioned goodies in the new shop.  Visit us in store and simply sign up for the Sub Pop Mega Mart email list for a chance to win. No purchase is necessary to enter. We will select two #subpopon7th gift card winners per week through February 28th, 2021. We will, of course, remind you often through one or, more likely, all of the following altogether official Sub Pop channels:  Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Sub Pop on 7th looks forward to joining our unsuspecting new neighbors including retail outlets Amazon 4-star and South Lake Union Bouquet, food and beverage establishments Casco Antiguo and Joe & The Juice, and the Bright Horizons early education & preschool center. As the adage goes, “Variety is the spice of South Lake Union.”

About Sub Pop

Founded by Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman in 1988, Sub Pop Records is a medium-sized independent record label based in Seattle, WA.

With early releases by Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, and TAD, the label is often associated with something called “the grunge movement.” Exploitation of this association has frequently proven financially fruitful. Later years saw record album releases from such moderately-to-somewhat-well-known artists as: The Shins, Iron and Wine, The Postal Service, Band of Horses, Flight of the Conchords, Fleet Foxes, Sleater-Kinney, Beach House, Washed Out, Shabazz Palaces, The Head and the Heart, Orville Peck, Weyes Blood, and Father John Misty, among many other very talented and deserving artists whose managers will be contacting us shortly about inclusion in the preceding list. Not content to rest on our laurels with that deeply impressive roster of talent, Sub Pop has also boldly stumbled into the realm of fully intentional comedy with releases by David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Flight of the Conchords, Eugene Mirman, Jon Benjamin, Sarah Silverman, and soundtracks from Bob’s Burgers, and Rick and Morty.

At Sub Pop Records, it is our intent to market and sell the recorded music (and related merchandise) of artists which some shifting definition of “we” really and truly love. We mean to represent these artists as faithfully and diligently as possible and hold out hope that this is enough for us to remain solvent in the face of the well-documented collapse of the music industry at large. We also enjoy laughter, good times and the company of friends.

LOCATION / STORE HOURS / CONTACT INFO
2130 7th Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
(Free parking with validation at 2121 8th Ave. and 2021 7th Ave.)

Monday through Friday,11am-3pm

(206) 695-2161


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : FRI, JAN 22, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Hear Kiwi Jr.’s sophomore album, ‘Cooler Returns’, out now!

Toronto’s Kiwi Jr. Cooler Returns, the follow up to their acclaimed debut Football Money, is available now on CD/LP/CD/DSPs worldwide through Sub Pop, with the exception of Canada through the band’s Kiwi Club imprint.


[Photo credit: Warren Calbeck]

Buildings burning in every direction; macabre unknowns in your friendly neighbor’s basement; undecided voters sharpening their pencils: under pressure we could call Kiwi Jr.’s Cooler Returns “timely.” But what year is it, again? On their sophomoric smash-up released world-wide by Sub Pop RecordsKiwi Jr. cycle through the recent zigs & looming zags of the new decade, squinting anew at New Year’s parties forgotten and under-investigated small town diner fires, piecing together low-stakes conspiracy theories on what’s coming down the pike in 2021. Put together like a thousand-piece puzzle, assembled in flow state through the first dull stretch of quarantine, sanitized singer shuffling to sanitized studio by streetcar, masked like it’s the kind of work where getting recognized means getting killed, Cooler Returns materializes as a sprawling survey from the first few bites of the terrible twenties, an investigative exposé of recent history buried under the headlines & ancient kings buried under parking lots.

Not so long since their debut Football Money in archaeological time, unending gray eons later in the dog years of quaran-time, spiritually antipodean Canadians Kiwi Jr. return to disseminate this year’s annual report to the shareholders, burying the incriminating numbers in the endless appendices of a longform narrative record, a 3,000 word tract for stakeholders to pore over.

Cooler Returns - memories of Augusts past, unrepressed & transcribed fast - go down easier thanks to meaningful changes enacted in 2019’s KiwiCares Pledge: delivering on a promise to transition from Crunchy to Smooth by 2021, the caveman chug of Football Money has been steamed & pressed with the purifying air of a saloon piano - operated with bow-tie untied - and a spring green side-salad of tentatively up-tempo organ taps & freshly fluted harmonica.

A chronically detuned spin of the dial through swivel-chair distractions & WFH daydreams, an immersive ctrl-tab deluge cycling through popular listicle distractions like the unentombing of Richard III, or the deja vu destruction of the Glasgow School of Art, Kiwi Jr. sing this song to an indoor audience, crisscrossing canceled, every other prestige distraction source wrung dry, only songwriting remaining to deliver engrossing tales to the populace, just how I imagine it worked in the old days. Fixing loose ingredients into a sturdy whip, Kiwi Jr. beam in live from the 9-5, striding into 2021 with a mastered brainwave that comes equally from the back room of the record store as the penalty box. And how do we, left holding this box of deliberate entanglements, sign off to those as yet uninitiated, undecided, uncertain, unseen, absent return coordinates -  Best Wishes, Warm Regards, Good Luck? Cooler Returns, Cooler Returns, C o o l e r  R e t u r n s !

Kiwi Jr. Cooler Returns has seen praise from the likes of MOJO, who in its four-star review, raves, “sustaining momentum near-flawlessly across 13 songs…proves Kiwi Jr. have the skills to match their smarts.” Uncut says, “Canadian absurdists’ return is a lyrical delight”, DIY offers this, “The band rattle through a seemingly inexhaustible supply of hooks and melodies (4/5).”, and NARC proclaims, “Cooler Returns is a bloody good album full of vivid charm (4/5).”
 
More on Kiwi Jr.:
“A scratchy post-punk jam with some seriously funny lyrics.” [“Cooler Returns”] - Stereogum
 
“The latest glimpse into their 2021 debut album, “Undecided Voters” is an upbeat indie rock song filled with layers of social commentary woven under the seemingly random surface of the lyrics.” - PASTE
 
“Very catchy and very timely” [“Undecided Voters”] - Brooklyn Vegan


Dinked Edition:


Kiwi Jr.

Cooler Returns

Tracklisting
1. Tyler
2. Undecided Voters
3. Maid Marian’s Toast
4. Highlights of 100
5. Only Here for a Haircut
6. Cooler Returns
7. Guilty Party
8. Omaha
9. Domino
10. Nashville Wedding
11. Dodger
12. Norma Jean’s Jacket
13. Waiting in Line

Cooler Returns is now available for preorder through Sub Pop. LP preorders from megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in the US will receive the limited Loser edition on translucent gold colored vinyl (while supplies last). Preorders through select independent retailers in the UK and Europe will receive the Loser on white colored vinyl (while supplies last).

There is an additional limited edition version of Cooler Returns from participating Dinked retailers in the UK that will be available on yellow colored vinyl with a signed print and a sequentially numbered obi strip (while supplies last).


 
“A jaunty rocker that immediately aligns them with Australian favourites (and now label-mates) Rolling Blackouts CF, “Undecided Voters” takes precisely 0.5 listens to get under your skin, being as it is so packed with vibrant guitars, propulsive percussion and ever-appearing earworm melodies…” - Beats Per Minute
 
“If their debut Football Money, which so gratifyingly warmed the sceptics within us with their comfortably layered hooks and dry sardonic perception of the metropolitan dream, was their run for local town mayor  – ‘Undecided Voters’ is their big money shot at the senatorship.” - So Young
 
“As we prepare for perhaps the most theatrical and gladiatorial political debate in history, ‘Undecided Voters’ is simultaneously extremely funny and painfully prescient.” The Line of Best Fit
 
“The track channels a breezy 90s sort of indie rock anthem of sorts, that feels part slacker anthem and something much grander and anthemic at the very same time.” [“Cooler Returns”] - We All Want Someone To Shout For

“The four-piece’s refined pop sensibilities haven’t entirely escaped them in light of those cracks coming completely unglued early on in the track. If anything, they sound like a vehicle headed downhill without any brakes, momentum balling up, and a shit-eating grin worn on each of their faces approaching collision.” [“Cooler Returns”] - Recommended Listen
 
“On paper, the lyrics of Kiwi Jr.’s ‘Cooler Returns’ reads like a mildly anxious stream-of-consciousness that careens from an uncomfortable Super Bowl Sunday to being “strung out on the back of your ATV / throwing dead birds into the air”. But the song’s also a jangly, indie rock earworm that’ll lodge itself in that part of your brain that loves Pavement.” [“Cooler Returns”] - NME
 
“Having heard the new album, Cooler Returns…we can attest that they have lost exactly none of the naïvety of style that had them create such infectious tunes the first time around.” - Louder Than War


Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : TUE, JAN 19, 2021 at 6:00 AM

CHAI Announce New Album, WINK, out May 21st on Sub Pop, Watch the Video for “ACTION”

Today, Japanese quartet CHAI are thrilled to announce their new album, WINK, out May 21st on Sub Pop. Ahead of its release, they present lead single/video “ACTION.” Their third full-length and first for Sub Pop, WINK contains CHAI’s mellowest and most minimal music, and also their most affecting and exciting songwriting by far. WINK is a fitting title then: a subtle but bold gesture. A wink is an unselfconscious act of conviction, or as CHAI puts it: “A person who winks is a person with a pure heart, who lives with flexibility, who does what they want. A person who winks is a person who is free.” YUUKI noted that “With this album, we’re winking at you. We’re living freely and we hope that when you listen, you can wink and live freely, too.”


WINK is now available to preorder from Sub Pop. LPs purchased through megamart.subpop.com, and select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on colored vinyl (while supplies last). 

CHAI is made up of identical twins MANA (lead vocals and keys) and KANA (guitar), drummer YUNA, and bassist-lyricist YUUKI. Following the release of 2019’s PUNK, CHAI’s adventures took them around the world, playing their high-energy and buoyant shows at  music festivals like Primavera Sound and Pitchfork Music Festival, and touring with indie-rock mainstays like Whitney and Mac DeMarco. Like all musicians, CHAI spent 2020 forced to rethink the fabric of their work and lives. But CHAI took this as an opportunity to shake up their process and bring their music somewhere thrillingly new. Having previously used their maximalist recordings to capture the exuberance of their live shows, with the audiences’ reactions in mind, CHAI instead focused on crafting the slightly-subtler and more introspective kinds of songs they enjoy listening to at home—where, for the first time, they recorded all of the music. Amidst the global shutdown, CHAI worked on Garageband and traded their song ideas—which they had more time than ever to consider—over Zoom and phone calls, turning their limitations into a strength.

While the band leaned into a more personal sound, WINK is also the first CHAI album to feature contributions from outside producers (Mndsgn, YMCK) as well as a feature from Chicago rapper-singer Ric Wilson. CHAI draw R&B and hip-hop into their mix (Mac Miller, the Internet, and Brockhampton were on their minds) of dance-punk and pop-rock, all while remaining undeniably CHAI. Whether in relation to this newfound sense of openness or their at-home ways of composing, the theme of WINK is to challenge yourself.

Lead single “ACTION” was a response to watching the Black Lives Matter protests unfold across America and the world in June of 2020 while the band was in Japan. 

“Seeing how the world came together during the protests really moved me,” said YUUKI. “I wanted to dedicate that song to the year of action.” The band further elaborates: “The world as we know it has changed,  but even with that, it’s still a world where nothing really changes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there more ACTION rooted in happiness? Be the change that you want to see!…I’m going to be the pioneer in seeing the world I want to see, meeting the people I want to meet! We start off by expressing the fun in ACTION with this music video♡ Why don’t you join us?! It’s that type of song♡.”

CHAI came to see WINK—with its home-y feel—as a collection where each song is like a new friend, something comforting to rely on and reach out to, as the album was for them throughout 2020. This impulse towards connection is in WINK’s title, too. After the “i” of PINK and the “u” of PUNK—which represented the band’s act of introducing themselves, and then of centering their audiences—they have come full circle with the “we” of WINK. It signals CHAI’s relationship with the outside world, an embrace of profound togetherness. Through music, as CHAI said, “we are all coming together.” In that act of opening themselves up, CHAI grew into their best work: “This album showed us, we’re ready to do more.”

WATCH THE “PLASTIC LOVE” VIDEO

WATCH THE “DONUTS MIND IF I DO” VIDEO

PRE-ORDER WINK

WINK TRACKLIST

1. Donuts Mind If I Do

2. Maybe Chocolate Chips (feat. Ric Wilson)

3. ACTION

4. END

5. PING PONG! (feat. YMCK)

6. Nobody Knows We Are Fun

7. It’s Vitamin C

8. IN PINK (feat. Mndsgn)

9. KARAAGE

10. Miracle

11. Wish Upon a Star

12. Salty


Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : MON, JAN 18, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Hear Grammy-Nominee Gerald Clayton’s “Theme From MLK/FBI” from MLK/FBI, the award-winning documentary

Gerald Clayton’s “Theme From MLK/FBI” is from the award-winning film MLK/FBI and is now available on all DSPs and on a 7” single along with Preservation Hall’s Jazz Band’s “Lift Every Voice & Sing,” worldwide from Sub Pop.
 
Clayton’s “Theme…” is a gorgeous, affecting, and chilling arrangement that acts as the perfect accompaniment to the film’s tragic and searing storytelling. A two-time Grammy nominee for 2021, Clayton is “a pianist of great touch and soulful exposition,” according to the New York Times. He is also the Musical Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, and has released five acclaimed albums including Two-ShadeLife Forum, Tributary Tales and, most recently, his debut on Blue Note Records, Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard.
 
Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the group’s uplifting version of the black national anthem, was recorded specifically for MLK/FBI. The song was released in December with an official video that features footage from the film, and was co-directed by Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s Ben Jaffe and Kenneth Alexander Campbell.
 
“Theme From MLK/FBI” is the B-side on the aforementioned 7” on single with Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s “Lift Every Voice & Sing” on the A-side, and is available to order now through Sub Pop.
 
MLK/FBI recently won the Critics’ Choice award for “Best Archival Documentary” and IDA awards for “Best Feature” and “Best Director” for director Sam Pollard. The film is earning raves from the likes of The Atlantic, Entertainment Weekly, New York Times and has been covered in interviews with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, The New Yorker Radio Hour’s Jelani Cobb along with today’s segments from Good Morning America and NPR’s Fresh Air.
 
MLK/FBI is the first film to uncover the extent of the FBI’s surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Based on newly discovered and declassified files, utilizing a trove of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and unsealed by the National Archives, as well as revelatory restored footage, the documentary explores the government’s history of targeting Black activists, and the contested meaning behind some of our most cherished ideals. The film is produced by Benjamin Hedin, and written by Hedin and Laura Tomaselli.
 
MLK/FBI is now in theatres and available from video-on-demand services and is distributed by IFC Films.
 
What the critics are saying about MLK/FBI:
“One of the most urgent films of the year…” - Vanity Fair
 
“Powerhouse doc. Rewarding. Meticulously damning.” - Los Angeles Times
 
“Sam Pollard has assembled an engrossing, unsettling documentary…Rigorously focused on the facts of the past, the movie is also as timely as an alarm clock.” [“10 Great Movies at the New York Film Festival”] - New York Times
 
“Artfully assembled. It may be the best of this year’s very impressive slate. Illuminates the darkest, most insidious corners of American power and racism—past and present.” - Entertainment Weekly
 
“The film is a sobering watch and a timely reminder that King’s struggle for racial justice wasn’t straightforward, nor is it close to complete.” [“4 Films You Need to Watch This Fall”] - The Atlantic

Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : THU, JAN 14, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cartel Madras direct and star in the official video for “DRIFT,” their new collaboration with Toronto producer Dom Dias

Cartel Madras both direct and star in the new video for “DRIFT,” their lifted, collaborative single with Toronto hip hop producer Dom Dias, available now on DSPs in Canada from Royal Mountain Records and the rest of the world through Sub Pop.




Cartel Madras’s Eboshi and Contra had this to say about “DRIFT,” “We teamed up with Toronto’s Dom Dias to make a sequel of sorts to ‘Goonda Gold’ - something that sounds hype, fun, and sets the tone for the new year and our upcoming new project. ‘DRIFT’ is about BIPOC women enjoying themselves and the fruits of their labor. In our music video, we wanted to show a beautiful group of creatives and artists from various backgrounds dabbling in marijuana. We also wanted to show a group of women owning the means of production. Lyrically, this song exists in the Cartel Madras Universe and follows us doing what we do best; self-referentially discussing high powered, risky, good times. ‘DRIFT’ opens 2021 for Cartel with new energy, big vibes, and ganja fuelled heat.”
 
“DRIFT” is Cartel Madras’s first new music of 2021, and is from their forthcoming project The Serpent and The Tiger, the third installment of the Project Goonda trilogy (which includes 2018’s Trapistan and 2019’s Age of the Goonda) due out later this year on Royal Mountain Records/Sub Pop.


 
What people are saying about Cartel Madras:
“They’ve got an absolutely wicked flow — think M.I.A. meets Cardi B. Hints of traditional Tamil music are sprinkled throughout.” [“Goonda Gold”] - Stereogum
 
Cartel Madras are smashing barrier musically and are sure to blow your mind with their uniqueness.” [Age of the Goonda] - CLASH
 
“Full of raw, powerful, nonchalant energy”  [“Goonda Gold”] - Gal-Dem
 
Age of the Goonda is an invigorating five-track blast…More, please.” - The Wire
 
“Comprised of six tracks, the EP possesses layered bass lines pumped with adrenaline, a range of Indian classical instruments weaved in and hooks that stay in your brain for days.” [Age of the Goonda] - NME
 
Age of the Goonda provides an electrifying burst of the duo’s live show energy in concentrated form.” - Loud & Quiet
 
“In pop analogy, this hip-hop duo comprising Calgary-bred, Chennai-born siblings Bhagya and Priya Ramesh is somewhat like a Tamil Pulp Fiction-meets-MIA. With a carousel of bad-ass, no-fucks-given, brown girl anthems, Cartel Madras is brought to life by two sisters who don’t shy of braggadocio (you can’t miss their stack of gold jewelry) as they spout songs about feminism, empowerment and inclusivity.” [“12 New Musicians Set to Breakthrough in 2020”] - Vogue India


Posted by Abbie Gobeli