Today, Flock of Dimes (aka Jenn Wasner) is sharing “Price of Blue,” an unearthly new video filmed in black and white, co-directed by Wasner with Graham Tolbert. “Price of Blue” is a standout from Wasner’s second solo LP, Head of Roses, an album that showcases her ability to embrace new levels of vulnerability, honesty and openness, combined with the self-assuredness that comes with a decade-plus career as a songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and prolific collaborator.
Of today’s release, Wasner says “This song is about trying, and failing, to connect. It’s about the ways in which, despite our best efforts, we misunderstand each other, and become so attached to stories that we’re unable to see the truth that’s right in front of us. And it’s about the invisible mark that another person can leave on your body, heart and mind long after their absence. It can be difficult to make sense of the memory of your experience when the reality on the surface is always shifting—when the story you’re telling, or the story you’ve been told, unravels, leaving you with a handful of pieces and no idea how they used to fit together.”
Flock of Dimes’ Head of Roses, which features “Two,” and “Price of Blue,” along with “Hard Way,” and “One More Hour,” will be available on CD/CS/DSPs on April 2nd, 2021, and on LP April 30th, 2021. The album was produced by Nick Sanborn (Sylvan Esso) and Wasner at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC, engineered by Bella Blasko with additional engineering by Sanborn, mixed by Ari Picker and Blasko, and mastered by Huntley Miller. The album features appearances from guitarist Meg Duffy, Bon Iver’s Matt McCaughan, Wye Oak’s Andy Stack, and Landlady’s Adam Schatz. Head of Roses follows the release of Like So Much Desire, her acclaimed digital EP released June 2020 on Sub Pop.
What people are saying about Flock of Dimes: “‘Can I be one? Can we be two?’ Jenn Wasner asks on her stirring new single ‘Two.’ The song — and its colorful, playfully choreographed video — is an exploration of the simultaneous needs for individuality and intimacy within a romantic relationship, but it also reflects the multiplicity of Wasner’s musical output. ‘Two’ is driven by an irregular beat (Wasner recently joked on Twitter about her penchant for ‘odd time signatures’), as if to mirror the hesitant questioning of its lyrics. Even when she’s being somber or ruminative, Wasner has a touch of gallows humor, as when she muses memorably, ‘We’re all just wearing bodies like a costume til we die.’” [“Two”] - New York Times
“Her solo album out in April is superb. This sweetly shuffling first cut is so rich in charm.” [“Two”] - The Guardian
“A bright, gauzy song awash in clarity and the desire for connection” [“Two”] - Indy Week
“Wasner sounds stunning here as she sways between swaths of keys and bursts of tone.” [“Two”] - Closed Captioned
“She has constructed a framework of blocky synths, whispering guitar and pattering drums, leaving plenty of space for her pontifications. She moves through vocal melodies with such natural ease that you don’t at first register how impressive it is, but as ‘Two’ builds into a luscious chorus full of wonderful tones, her voice still leads the way in all its rich finesse. Wasner’s the kind of voice you could listen to forever, which is what ‘Two’ demands, as it’s not only a sonic delight, but a lyrical treasure trove full of personal truths that strike a universal chord.” [“Two”] - Beats Per Minute
Flock of Dimes Head of Roses
Tracklisting: 1. 2 Heads 2. Price of Blue 3. Two 4. Hard Way 5. Walking 6. Lightning 7. One More Hour 8. No Question 9. Awake for the Sunrise 10. Head of Roses
Japanese quartet CHAI present a new single/video, “Maybe Chocolate Chips” (Feat. Ric Wilson), from their forthcoming album, WINK, due May 21st on Sub Pop. CHAI’s past albums have been filled with playful references, in the lyrics, to food, and WINK’s intimate single “Maybe Chocolate Chips” offers an evolution of this motif. Bassist/lyricist YUUKI wanted to write a self-love song about her moles: “Things that we want to hold on to, things that we wished went away. A lot of things happen as we age and with that for me, is new moles! But I love them! My moles are like the chocolate chips on a cookie, the more you have, the happier you become! and before you know it, you’re an original♡” Chicago rapper Ric Wilson, who they initially connected with at the 2019 Pitchfork Music Festival, brings smooth vocals over a laidback beat and whirring, dreamy synth. A community activist and artist based on the Southside of Chicago, he got his start with the legendary Young Chicago Authors, the Chicago-based storytelling and poetry organization which helped launch the likes of Noname, Saba, Jamila Woods, Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Mick Jenkins, and many others. He’s also featured in the accompanying video, directed by Callum Scott-Dyson, which is made of fun collages and video clips in classic CHAI style.
CHAI elaborates: “This music video is the perfect visual for ‘Maybe Chocolate Chips.’ It was our first time working with Callum and the result (animation, etc.) was something we’d never tried before! Callum actually reached out to us for this but we loved how his work featured grotesque but cute components and tons of fantasy so our vision for this was in line. ♡⭐️^o^♡ Your mole is actually a Chocolate Chip! But you knew that already right?!♡⭐️♡”
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, 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. They 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.
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 Ric Wilson. This impulse towards connection with others 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.”
On March 19th, multimedia auteur Chad VanGaalen will release his latest offering, World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener, available worldwide through Sub Pop and in Canada from Flemish Eye. The thirteen-track effort, which features the previously released track, “Samurai Sword” and singles “Starlight,” “Where Is It All Going?,” and latest single “Nightwaves,” was written, performed, recorded, and mixed by VanGaalen at his Yoko Eno Studio in Calgary, Alberta, and mastered by Ryan Morey in Montreal, Quebec.
Of “Nightwaves” VanGaalen shares that it “is about the endless news feed. Giving in to your digital calendar, when all that’s on your to-do list is checking the online updates. Like a William Gibson waking nightmare, boring marketed as sexy.” You can listen to this digital reminder here.
On April 8th, VanGaalen will perform a live stream from his Yoko Eno studio via NoonChorus. The show will be available for viewing in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia at 7 PM local time. Ticket holders will be able to stream the performance for 5 days following and will also be able to buy merch. You can purchase tickets for this event here.
Tracklisting: 1. Spider Milk 2. Flute Peace 3. Starlight 4. Where Is It All Going? 5. Earth From a Distance 6. Nightwaves 7. Plant Music 8. Nothing Is Strange 9. Inner Fire 10. Golden Pear 11. Nightmare Scenario 12. Samurai Sword 13. Water Brother
Neale says: “‘Acquainted With Night’ is another homemade video that explores my complex relationship with technology. I am drawn to archaic machines, but that doesn’t mean I want to slip backwards into some idealized past. I’m more interested in stepping out of time entirely.”
Acquainted With Night features ten tracks, and includes the previously released standouts “Blue Vein,” “Every Star Shivers in the Dark,” “For No One For Now,” and the aforementioned title track. The album was composed and arranged by Neale, produced and mixed by Guy Blakeslee, and mastered by Chris Coady.
Acquainted With Night has seen international praise from the likes of MOJO, who in its 4-star review, raved, “Who knew the world was lacking a country-folk version of Broadcast until now?” France’s Télérama said, “Stripped of frills, young Lael Neale sings the starry nights of her native Virginia. With grace and grit. And the soul of an old bluesman. Lael Neale confirms her talent with an intense second album.” Meanwhile Uncut in its feature on Acquainted With Night, offered this, “A thing of shimmering beauty, led by Neale’s otherworldly voice with its shades of Vashti Bunyan and Julia Holter.”
Neale and producer Blakeslee, recently performed songs for FLOODMagazine’s “Neighborhood Sessions,” who says, “The pair took turns filming each other perform their new tracks—appropriately shot with grainy, camcorder-esque quality—on a farm in the area where Neale grew up. The back-to-back solo guitar performances of Neale’s “Blue Vein” and Blakeslee’s album opener “Sometimes” prove just how much musical chemistry the two share (see FLOOD February 16th, 2021).”
What people are saying about Lael Neale: “With her Omnichord, the singer/songwriter exposes the nerve endings of her songs.” - ★★★★★ - Musikexpress
“This album reminds listeners that life is full of beauty not in spite of, but because of, the ordinary details of every day.” - 8/10, Loud & Quiet
“Stripped of frills, young Lael Neale sings the starry nights of her native Virginia. With grace and grit. And the soul of an old bluesman. Lael Neale confirms her talent with an intense second album.” - ffff, Télérama
“With a celestial voice stripped of any artifice, Lael Neale skillfully blends romance and the banality of life with brilliant songs of drama and humor.” - Les Inrocks
“…Like Mazzy Star with an Omnichord.” [“Every Star…”] - Uncut
“…an intimate, lo-fi set of songs that seem unearthed from the dusty vaults of time.” - ★★★★ The Forty Five
“…stunning album…Neale is an extraordinary, precise and original writer, with a distinct voice in every sense. Get acquainted.” - Shindig!
“…There is a raw, unvarnished energy screaming throughout these 10 tunes.” - 8/10,Northern Transmissions
“Lael Neale’s second album weaves intimacy with dreamy, Omnichordal magic.” - Secret Meeting
“Why We’re Excited: A little serendipity never hurt anyone, and it seems to be the very thing songwriter Lael Neale needed. In this case, that stroke of fortune was a friend loaning Neale an omnichord. That loan led the recent Sub Pop signee to tap into a wellspring of inspiration that directly led to her upcoming album, Acquainted with Night. With three singles, including the gorgeous “Blue Vein”, to judge from, we can only hope that Neale’s friend let her keep that omnichord. They’re a perfect match.” [40 Most Anticipated Albums of 2021] - Consequence of Sound
“The grandeur of the organ tones, joined by a tinny drum machine, give it a similar feel to Beach House’s more recent albums.” [“Every Star Shivers in the Dark”] - Brooklyn Vegan
“Against a beat and organ based tones, Neale belts the vocals out like she’s singing to anyone who will listen. Her voice echoes like a ringing bell or alarm, the simplicity of the song’s structure works with her voice as the catalyst.” [“Every Star Shivers in the Dark”] - Closed Captioned
“…Lael taps into something universal, city or country, that we all long for, connection…and if you find the time to listen to Lael’s music, you’ll find plenty to love as well.”[ “Every Star Shivers in the Dark”/“Five Things We Liked This Week”] - For the Rabbits
“An absorbing two-chord hymnal” [“Every Star Shivers in the Dark”] - Joyzine
“‘Every Star Shivers in the Dark’ is far more reflective in its delivery, there is an undeniably optimistic undertone and a dreaminess liberally sprinkled throughout. It brings a crescendo of twinkling key changes at the end of the track which linger long in the mind like the last rays of sunshine on the perfect Summer day.” - Still Listening
“Neale impressed us with ‘Every Star Shivers In The Dark,’…she’s back with another new track, the entrancing “For No One For Now.’ Like Neale’s prior single, this one is minimal and reflective while maintaining a strong backbeat. But rather than build to a cathartic breakthrough, ‘For No One For Now’ lingers in the unresolved tension, less a song than an atmosphere to exist inside.” - Stereogum
“‘For No One For Now’ was inspired by Joan Didion’s imagery of the San Fernando Valley, but recrafted beautifully through Neale’s poetic songwriting and Omnichord instrumental.” - PASTE
“‘For No One For Now’ is deceptively simple and strangely haunting and hypnotic.” [#1/ “Song of the Week”] - Under the Radar
Tracklisting: 1. Blue Vein 2. Every Star Shivers in the Dark 3. Acquainted with Night 4. White Wings 5. How Far Is It to the Grave 6. For No One For Now 7. Sliding Doors & Warm Summer Roses 8. Third Floor Window 9. Let Me Live by the Side of the Road 10. Some Sunny Day
Sub Pop Records (with headquarters in Seattle, WA) is currently searching for an organized, self-motivated, experienced individual to become our full-time DSP Account Manager. The DSP Account Manager position will be based in LA, working remotely and, eventually, from our LA office. When in-person business resumes, this position will lead up our interactions and presentations with LA offices of Spotify, Apple, YouTube and others.
We are accepting resumes through the position closing date of Mar. 10, 2021.
To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Kara Mattaini at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DSP Account Manager manages the pitching and support of all Sub Pop and Hardly Art releases at digital music accounts, and works with Sub Pop’s social media team to support music and video offerings at social accounts that have revenue-generating programs. They also work with the Digital Operations team to coordinate digital assets and set-up for all releases, and to gather assets that may be required for on-platform advertising or marketing. They also handle the hybrid sales/marketing/social YouTube account, managing Sub Pop’s YouTube presence, strategy, and analysis.
Coordinate with Director of Sales on strategy for DSP pitching conversations for all Sub Pop and Hardly Art releases. For key releases, send long lead music and email with key marketing points to initiate account marketing plan.
Manage digital pitching assets, including Apple priority sheets, Spotify Pitch tool, YouTube pitch tool, etc.
Send weekly update emails to Spotify, Apple and Pandora with upcoming Sub Pop and Hardly Art track releases for the following 2 weeks.
Follow up with accounts later in the week with updates on marketing drivers from track releases (press coverage, radio, etc.).
Send advance digital promo mailings to DSP contacts for upcoming releases via PromoJukebox
Participate in standing meetings with DSP reps (Spotify, Apple, Pandora).
Coordinate with artist/mgmt. teams to maintain upkeep of artist profiles on DSPs making sure photos, bio, etc. are current.
Send US playlist placement updates to Sub Pop Marketing Staff.
Determine YouTube strategy for all Sub Pop and Hardly Art releases, including channel for video hosting, video publication strategy, etc.
Strategize to build subscription base for Sub Pop channel.
Work with artists/managers to gain channel manager access to artist channels when necessary
Upload official videos and lyric videos to relevant YouTube channel. Update video description, video tags, video title, upload subtitle files, upload thumbnails etc.
Provide Sub Pop’s Digital Operations Dept. with YouTube links at least 24 hours prior to video publication for video claiming.
Once video is properly claimed, provide link to marketing staff as well as artist teams prior to video publication.
Manually publish all videos.
Maintain and update Sub Pop’s YouTube presence (update playlists, share videos on community tab, etc.)
Maintain relationships with YouTube reps to pitch artists for YouTube Marketing opportunities.
Obtain YouTube certifications through online training resources.
Coach artists on use of YouTube community pages.
Submit artist channels for Official Artist Channel verification.
Social Music Accounts
Develop contacts with label relations teams at TikTok, Facebook Music, Instagram Music, Snap, and Triller, and with new similar accounts as they come online.
Work with MERLIN counterparts to understand and maximize Sub Pop’s opportunities at these accounts.
Pitch tracks for features/surfacing using available tools direct with accounts or through MERLIN.
Manage advertising funds available for certain accounts through MERLIN deals. Coordinate with social and sales teams to identify targets for these programs.
Work with Sub Pop, MERLIN analytics team to monitor key metrics for these accounts and share info with Sub Pop’s marketing team.
Gather and update retail and DSP links for Smartlinks around album launches and releases. Manage regional links for ex-US territories where applicable.
DSPs/YouTube: Director of Sales
Social Music Accounts: joint supervision by Director of Sales and Director of Social Media + Community Engagement
Sub Pop Records is an equal opportunity employer. All employment decisions are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family or parental status, national origin, veteran or disability status. Sub Pop Records will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics.
To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Kara Mattaini at email@example.com no later than March 10, 2021.