This year, CHAI made their Sub Pop debut with WINK, securing their position as “a professional purveyor of whimsy” (The New York Times). Today, the band announces their forthcoming WINK TOGETHER EP, a reimagination of songs from their beloved record, and reveals “END” (Confidence Man Remix). For WINK TOGETHER, CHAI tapped their favorite artists from around the world for what they call their “most powerful album yet.” Collaborators include Korea’s Beenzino, Japan’s ZAZEN BOYS and STUTS, as well as Australia’s Confidence Man. “CHAI and ConMan are a match made in party heaven,” Confidence Man explains. “When we heard their track ‘END,’ we just knew we had to put our hands all over it. Make the girls the 90’s hip hop stars they truly are. And if we do say so ourselves, it’s truly turned into the collab of our dreams.”
Today’s remix is a small taste of what CHAI have in store with WINK TOGETHER, as well as what they will bring to their 2022 North American tour of the same name. The WINK TOGETHER tour will see CHAI bookending their run of dates supporting Mitski, including stops in Chicago, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles.
WINK TOGETHER Tracklist
END (Confidence Man Remix)
ACTION (with ZAZEN BOYS)
Miracle (Scoobert Doobert Remix)
PING PONG! (Busy P Remix)
Nobody Knows We Are Fun (STUTS Remix)
Donuts Mind If I Do (with Beenzino)
CHAI TOUR DATES
Fri. Feb. 4 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Sat. Feb. 5 - Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
Sun. Feb. 6 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Wed. Feb. 9 - Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
Fri. Feb. 11 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Sat. Feb. 12 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry
Sun. Feb. 13 - Washington, DC @ Union Stage
Tue. Feb. 15 - Brooklyn NY @ Elsewhere
Thu. Feb. 17 - Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel * - SOLD OUT
Fri. Feb. 18 - Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz * - SOLD OUT
Sat. Feb. 19 - Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern * - SOLD OUT
Mon. Feb. 21 - Birmingham, AL @ Iron City * - SOLD OUT
Tue. Feb. 22 - New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theatre * - SOLD OUT
Thu. Feb. 24 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Outside Lawn) * - SOLD OUT
Fri. Feb. 25 - Dallas, TX @ The Bomb Factory * - SOLD OUT
Sat. Feb. 26 - Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater * - SOLD OUT
Mon. Feb. 28 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren * - SOLD OUT
Wed. March 2 - Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Expo Hall * - SOLD OUT
Thu. March 3 - Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Expo Hall * - SOLD OUT
Fri. March 4 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater * - SOLD OUT
Sat. March 5 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater * - SOLD OUT
Mon. March 7 - Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall * - SOLD OUT
Wed. March 9 - Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre * - SOLD OUT
Thu. March 10 - Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre * - SOLD OUT
Sat. March 12 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
Sun. March 13 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Tue. March 15 - San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo’s 365 Club
Thu. March 17 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
Sub Pop has signed the London-based artist Naima Bock for the world and beyond, and in celebration of this news, we are sharing “30 Degrees,” her first single available today worldwide on all DSPs.
Naima spent her early childhood in Sao Paulo Brazil to a Greek/English mother and a Brazilian father. She was exposed to a diverse range of music from an early age. Artists like Baden Powell, Chico Buarque, Geraldo Vandre, Cartola were constantly playing in her house and on long drives, she and her family would take to the beach. Naima and her family moved to South London when she was seven. As a teenager, Naima began attending shows, mostly at the Windmill Brixton. At the tender age of 15, she and a group of friends decided to start making music which would eventually turn into her first band Goat Girl. After six years of touring the world and playing bass in the band, Naima felt like it was the right time to leave, mostly due to a desire for a change in musical direction. This change has led Naima to her debut offering “30 Degrees.”
The song was written by Naima and with production and arrangements with long-time collaborator Joel Burton. Naima met Burton (of the band Viewfinder, which she was a fan of) three years ago and, needing someone to play with, began booking shows as a duo. In recording, Naima leads with the structure, chords, and melody for a song whilst Joel oversees key parts including piano, string, and horn arrangements.
Naima shares of the song: “This song came out of the adolescent duality of fear and freedom and deals primarily with goodbyes. The small ones, which feel so big, ‘some final word’ (goodbye to a long-term friendship) and the big ones, ‘the final sigh’ which can feel so small amidst the clutter of surviving day-to-day.”
Then on Tuesday, December 7th, you will be able to stream Naima’s cover of the classic Brazilian song “Berimbau.” A full-length release will follow in 2022 via Sub Pop.
Naima has also announced a handful of UK dates for November and December 2021, and January 2022. Additional live shows to be announced soon.
2021 Thu. Nov. 24 - London, UK - Village Underground * Fri. Nov. 25 - London, UK - Ivy House Sat. Nov. 26 - Nottingham, UK - Bodega * Sun. Nov. 27 - Glasgow, UK - Mono * Mon. Nov. 28 - Edinburgh, UK - Mash House * Wed. Nov. 30 - London, UK - Servant Jazz Quarters $ Thu. Dec. 02 - Liverpool, UK - District *
2022 Mon. Jan. 17 - London, UK - The Lexington (Five Day Forecast) Fri. Jan. 28 - London, UK - Moth Club
* w/ Porridge Radio $ w/ Bingo Fury % w/ The Goon Sax
The song is the result of a collaboration between Nordstrom and Sub Pop that expands support for local and emerging musicians and the nonprofit community organizations that inspire them and help them thrive.
In its inaugural year, this partnership showcases Seattle-based musician Shaina Shepherd who covers the song “Never Be Another You” by Lee Fields and The Expressions. The song is prominently featured in Nordstrom’s 2021 holiday campaign and can be seen and heard here. Shaina Shepherd is slated to perform this and other songs live on KEXP’s Sessions at 9:30 am on November 22.
Sub Pop CEO, Megan Jasper describes the song, “Shaina’s rendition of this song is perfectly attuned to the season and year, and I think it’s emblematic of what it feels like to be seen and celebrated both for our uniqueness and our connection to others.” Jasper adds, “What a thrill to join forces with Nordstrom to champion the amazing local artists and organizations that lift up our community.”
Nordstrom President and Chief Brand Officer, Pete Nordstrom adds, “We are thrilled with how the song turned out and how it’s the perfect fit for Nordstrom’s Closer To You campaign. Shaina and this group of fantastic Seattle musicians really came together in the spirit of art, and community. Seattle has a very rich musical legacy and we are excited we were able to engage the talent in our own community to give the song an authentic feel. It became a very-Seattle community moment when Megan and the fine folks at Sub Pop decided they wanted to release it as a single.”
Shaina Shepherd describes the project from her perspective, “I am so deeply honored to be part of this project highlighting not only the incredibly supportive and influential Seattle music community but the power of music to inspire togetherness and global impact. Seattle is my home and the Central District is my village. As I have grown and evolved as a person and an artist, it is the commitment of organizers and community activists that have shaped and inspired my art. It feels like a full circle to have my voice contribute to the collaboration between one of Seattle’s most influential companies, Seattle’s most historic record label and a Seattle organization dedicated to retaining the unique cultural landscape that has helped foster my music. This song fully captures the spirit of giving and the power of the human spirit that when activated can help people utilize their own joy to change the world around them.”
Proceeds from the sale of the digital single will benefit Seattle-based Africatown Community Land Trust, a non-profit organization selected by Shaina. The people of Africatown Community Land Trust are working toward community ownership of land in Seattle’s Central District to support the cultural and economic thriving of people who are part of the African diaspora in the Greater Seattle region.
K. Wyking Garrett, President and CEO of Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT), describes the importance of donations to the organization, “ACLT is working to not only create affordable and livable spaces for Seattle residents but to also maintain space for artists to live and create. We are thrilled that Shaina chose our organization to benefit from the proceeds of her collaboration with Nordstrom and Sup Pop. These funds will go towards further elevating our work to build a future that honors Seattle’s Black cultural legacy.“
Shaina’s cover of “Never Be Another You” came to be when Pete Nordstrom (Nordstrom President and Chief Brand Officer, ) asked Ben London (Executive Director of Black Fret, a non-profit that supports the creation and performance of new music in Seattle and Austin) to assist him in identifying and recording a signature song as part of a Nordstrom sonic branding effort.
London explains, “We were about a year into the pandemic at that point and the music industry was decimated. It was also an incredibly turbulent time on many fronts. Pete was looking ahead to a moment when people could connect and celebrate again and he wanted a song that sounded like how that might feel. After a few months of creative back and forth, the song ‘Never Be Another You’ was selected and I suggested they hire Seattle-based musician Shaina Shepherd – a 2020 Black Fret grant recipient – to cover it.” The song was recorded with a host of other Seattle-area musicians shortly thereafter at ExEx Studio and Avast Recording Co in Seattle.
Pete Nordstrom shared the recording with friend and SmooCH benefit collaborator, Megan Jasper, CEO of Sub Pop Records who suggested they release it as a digital single with proceeds going to a non-profit of Shaina’s choice. The two then worked together to combine their collective resources to shine-a-light on Shaina in support of her musical goals and the project evolved from there.
Shaina Shepherd Bio Shaina is a Seattle-based musician and vocalist whose dynamic range features the raw power of rock, the richness of soul, and the tender introspection of American folk. Shaina grew up around gospel music and not much else. She would watch her mother sing with the church choir and emulate the steady richness of her tone. Her passion for vocal technique led her to both opera and musical theater which she later studied at New York University. After graduation, she was immersed as an administrator in the symphony world where she worked closely with classical musicians before eventually finding her own sound as a singer-songwriter in Seattle. In 2017, Shaina added piano to her repertoire.
Shaina has participated in numerous collaborations over the past year with a host of legendary Seattle icons including Nancy Wilson of Heart, Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden + Pearl Jam, and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam.
When she’s not performing, Shaina finds fulfillment in her work as a choir director, vocal coach and event producer in the Seattle music scene. She previously served as frontwoman to soul-grunge act BearAxe.
For more information on Shaina Shepherd, follow her at @shainashepherdmusic and sign-up on her website for alerts on performances and new music.
“Pain Without a Touch” is the first new music from Sweeping Promises, after the 2020 release of their astonishing, acclaimed debut album Hunger for a Way Out, and their first release for Sub Pop Records. Sub Pop and Feel It Records (who released Hunger for a Way Out, and shepherded the LP through its nine pressings to date) are partnering on the urgent new single, out digitally today from Feel It in North America and Sub Pop for the rest of the world.
The band, led by Lira Mondal and Caufield Schnug with live touring drummer Spenser Gralia, are also sharing new, European tour dates for 2022 which begin May 18th in Antwerp, BE at Het Bos and currently end June 11th in Mannheim, DE at Maifeld Derby.
There are a few US performances preceding the UK/EU tour including Wednesday, February 23rd in Nashville at Third Man Records (Blue Room) and Thursday, February 24th in Bloomington, IN at The Bishop. All headline shows on sale Friday, November 19th at 10 am (local). Full tour dates are as follows…
Wed. Feb. 23 - Nashville, TN - Third Man Records (Blue Room) Thu. Feb. 24 - Bloomington, IN - The Bishop Wed. May 18 - Antwerp, BE - Het Bos Thu. May 19 - Liege, BE - KulturA Fri. May 20 - Amsterdam, NL - London Calling Sat. May 21 - Groningen, NL - Vera Tue. May 24 - Brighton, UK - Hope & Ruin Wed. May 25 - Bristol, UK - The Exchange Thu. May 26 - Glasgow, UK - Huge&Pint Fri. May 27 - Leeds, UK - Hyde Park Book Club Sun. May 29 - Manchester, UK - YES (Basement) Mon. May 30 - Birmingham, UK - The Hare and Hounds Tue. May 31 - Portsmouth, UK - Wedgewood Rooms Wed. Jun. 01 - Lille, FR - La Bulle Café Thu. Jun. 02 - Luxembourg, LX - Rotondes Fri. Jun. 03 - Kreuzlingen, CH - Horst Mon. Jun. 06 - Caen, FR - Portobello Rock Club Tue. Jun. 07 - Paris, FR - Supersonic Thu. Jun. 09 - Cologne, DE - Bumann & Sohn Fri. Jun. 10 - Berlin, DE - Urban Spree Sat. Jun. 11 - Mannheim, DE - Maifeld Derby
NPR Music says of Sweeping Promises’ debut Hunger for a Way Out, “Sometimes the best pop songs stick to the basics: no muss, no fuss. With the Sweeping Promises, they add some fuzz. The same way the Pixies wrote pop songs with a nasty sheen, this Boston post-punk band dirties up earwormy melodies with a lo-fi charm. You can play spot the influence all over this debut: Young Marble Giants here, Kleenex/LiLiPUT there, some B-52s and Blondie for good measure. Lira Mondal has a voice that leaps and bounds with the enthusiasm of a bedroom performance, hairbrush in hand. But mostly you can hear a band dream out loud, and, as the album title suggests, Hunger for a Way Out.”
NME adds, “At a desolate intersection of post-punk and new wave stands Boston-based revivalists Sweeping Promises, with a debut album custom-built for jangly lo-fi apologists with angular discord and indie-pop fizz. Hunger for a Way Out comes into a world in which Debbie Harry is a style icon for the Stranger Things-generation and once-underground Belarusian punks Molchat Doma are on TikTok. There’s a new cross-appeal for this riff-ready rock with eyes in its back, both lo-fi but searingly tight and well-produced, anthemic and experimental.”
More on Sweeping Promises Thirteen years ago, Caufield and Lira began making music in a small town in Arkansas. Over the subsequent decade, having relocated to Boston in 2012, the duo became serial band-starters on the East Coast underground. Their many DIY projects and releases established their thrifty and disciplined songwriting practice, known by few.
Sweeping Promises was born in a disused and reverberant concrete laboratory in Cambridge, MA. Tracked with a self-devised “single-mic technique” and mixed in mono, the band completed their debut Hunger for a Way Out just in time to enter quarantine.
With only a single basement show under their belt, the band received an unexpectedly wide reception, firstly in online punk circles, and eventually stretching beyond. The band owes their circulation to the expert coordination of Sam Richardson, label head of Virginia’s Feel It Records. Sam describes the release: “Angular guitars and sharp synth notes float atop a raw rhythm section, while Lira Mondal’s effervescent vocals truly define Sweeping Promises’ sound.”
As the long-awaited release of Observatory approaches on December 10, 2021 via Sub Pop, the debut album by AEON STATION, Kevin Whelan (one of the main songwriters of iconic indie rock band The Wrens) has offered a third glimpse into the musical world he has created with new single and video“Fade.”
“I wrote this song in part to describe the myriad of emotions I was feeling when making the decision to move to Singapore with my family,” says Kevin. “My wife and I had just bought a house in New Jersey when I was presented with an opportunity from my job to live and work in another country. Once we let go of our fears and embraced the adventure of the unknown, we discovered the experience was better than we could have ever imagined.”
Directed by Laurent Briet (The Strokes “Taken for a Fool”, Beyoncé “1+1”), the dazzling video follows a woman trying to escape her visualized demons. “The song reminds us that we all live with daily fear, disappointment and criticism and it’s up to us to rise above the negative chatter and break through our self-imposed limitations,” he explains. “What the protagonist in the video doesn’t realize is that these negative things… these ‘rocks’… are and will always be around her, no matter how far she runs.” Eventually, she overcomes the anxiety and “learns to love and accept the challenges that will always be around her.”
After roughly 18 years since The Wrens’ Meadowlands (2003) struck the indie rock world with a dizzying wallop, Whelan surprised everyone this Summer with the release of “Queens” which Pitchfork found “thrilling” and Stereogum called “exhilarating.” KEXP crowned it “Song of the Day” saying it’s “so much more than we could’ve expected… a climactic five-minute epic.” The second single “Leaves” was met with equal awe from Brooklyn Vegan (“mournful and cinematic”) and SPIN (“a heart-wrenching ballad of self-enduring trials and defeat”). More than a decade in the making, Observatory shines a bright light on Kevin’s songwriting, receiving help on assorted tracks from his Wrens bandmates Jerry MacDonald (drums) and Greg Whelan (guitar) and producer/guitarist Tom Beaujour.
In SxSW’s initial statement about the 2022 conference on March 11-20, 2022, Aeon Station was highlighted as one of its showcasing artists. In response, Kevin posted a jawdropping selfie on social media with Wrens bandmates Jerry and Greg, building a great deal of anticipation.
Observatory is now available for preorder on CD/LP/DSPs from Sub Pop. LP preorders from megamart.subpop.com.
Tracklisting: 1. Hold On 2. Leaves 3. Fade 4. Everything at Once 5. Move 6. Queens 7. Empty Rooms 8. Air 9. Better Love 10. Alpine Drive