Sub Pop

News from 2011

FRI, JUN 24, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Still Corners Announce debut full-length Creatures of an Hour out October 11

Still Corners debut full-length, Creatures of an Hour is hitting shelves on October 11, but we have tunes off the band’s forthcoming debut & 7" to share with you now. Insert your email in the widget above to hear the track “Cuckoo.” Like what you hear? You can purchase said 7" by clicking here.

Read on for more information on Still Corners:

Many bands lay claim to the adjective “cinematic.” But how many can claim a truly cinema-worthy moment as part of their inception? It was a dark and foggy night when Still Corners songwriter Greg Hughes first laid eyes on vocalist Tessa Murray. “It sounds stupid but it’s completely true,” he recounts. “I was on a train that was going to London Bridge. But for some reason it went to this other stop. And I got out, and this other person got out. It was Tessa.”

It was a fitting moment for the American musician who came to London to pursue a career in music. A devoted cinephile—whose first release Remember Pepper recalls both the youthful tone of French New Wave and the unease of Italian horror—Hughes sees film as a major influence, from the projections (created by band member Leon Dufficy) that feature heavily in their live performances (“It’s nice to have something lovely to look at”), to the free-floating grace of debut full-length, Creatures of an Hour. “There’re just certain things in certain movies, like older horror movies and other foreign films, that you see sometimes. They just have a certain vibe and atmosphere,” says Hughes. “You’ll see a girl walking towards a train, it’s very atmospheric. There’s a great vibe in that—all these little bits, these tiny moments. That’s what I was trying to go back to. To bottle that up and put it into a song.”

Recorded at Hughes’ own studio in Greenwich, the devil is truly in the details of Creatures of an Hour. Fusing whispered intimacy to the emotional expansiveness of composer Ennio Morricone, Hughes crafts deceptively simple songs that linger like half-remembered dreams. Lead single “Cuckoo” shines in its simplicity, a single drumbeat, ghostly guitar, and distant organ highlighting Murray’s haunting soprano as she asks, “I’d like to read your mind/can you read mine?” “It’s about confusion,” explains Hughes. “It’s about being confused. Am I going crazy? Does this person like me? What’s happening? That’s the vibe of the whole record really.”

Elsewhere, the tone isn’t so much one of emotional conflict as it is pure atmosphere. Like a world-class art director, Hughes fills the set of “Endless Summer” with walls of reverb and splashes of longing, echoing a very real conflict in his own life—the pursuit of the illusive London sun. “It’s about wishing and chasing after the fleeting sun of England and wishing for an endless summer—or at least that the summer would go on a bit longer,” he says with a laugh. “It only seems to last about a week here!”

For the time being, Hughes is happy to maintain Still Corners’ musical mystery as—like many artists—he’s discovered less is more. “I don’t like to talk too much on decoding the songs. It takes the mystery away,” he says, cagily. “I like when people listen and then come up with their own kind of thing.”

Still Corners (now filled out to a 4-piece by Leon Dufficy and Luke Jarvis) are releasing their debut LP Creatures Of An Hour on October 11th. Tour dates to be announced soon.

So grab some popcorn and stick around, for Still Corners this is just act one.

Posted by Bekah Zietz

TUE, JUN 28, 2011 at 2:45 AM

Out Today, new releases from Handsome Furs, Shabazz Palaces, Still Corners and Avi Buffalo

Handsome Furs Sound Kapital, Shabazz Palaces Black Up, Still Corners Cuckoo 7" and Avi Buffalo How Come 7" are officially available for your purchasing pleasure today, June 28. Happy Release Day to all. Read on for some exciting updates for all 4 artists.

Handsome Furs
Handsome Furs new record is hot, noisy, over-stimulated… and ready to take on the world. The band are currently touring North American in support of their new release. Click here for a full list of dates.

Shabazz Palaces
Seattle friends, Shabazz Palaces will be preforming on KEXP live today at 12:00 PM PDT, with a performance tonight at Easy Street Records in Queen Anne. The group also have 2 upcoming CD release shows in Seattle, WA on Thursday June 30th & Friday July 1st, with a performance at this year Pitchfork Music Festival. For more information on these shows click here. You can also stream Black Up via You Tube. Click here to watch and listen.

Still Corners
Still Corners create music that is dreamy, dark and alluringly eerie. Built on the siren vocals of Tessa Murray and lush atmospheric songs of Greg Hughes, they create a wash of Lynch-esque inspired love songs. You can listen/download the track “Cuckoo” off the 7" with the same name here and stay tuned for more information on the bands forthcoming Sub Pop debut, Creatures of an Hour out on October 11.

Avi Buffalo
After the release of the band’s critically acclaimed self-titled release, Avi Buffalo is back with a brand spank’n new 7" entitled “How Come.” Insert your email in the widget above to download the a-side off this ripping release. Avi Buffalo is hitting the road in the beginning of July. Click here for a full list of shows.

Posted by Bekah Zietz

FRI, JUN 24, 2011 at 3:23 AM

South Africa’s Spoek Mathambo Signs to Sub Pop

We at Sub Pop are thrilled to announce that South African rapper/DJ and graphic designer/illustrator, Spoek Mathambo, has joined the label family. A new and highly original voice in African music, 25 year-old Spoek Mathambo is hitting the world hard with his take on Afro-futurism. And we were smitten by his 2010 release Mshini Wam. Intent on nurturing a sense of progressiveness while maintaining a pride in culture, Spoek’s unique take on electronic music infuses futurism with a strong sense of pride in where he comes from. This is clearly African music, but not what you might expect from that title.

Insert your email address in the widget above to Download the EP track “Put Some Red On It”.

About Put Some Red On It:
The entire Put Some Red On It EP was produced by Spoek Mathambo in collaboration with Copenhagen-based future-bass artist, Chllngr. They succeeded in creating works that show exciting signs of the maturity that Spoek is reaching in both his songwriting and production work.

The track “Put Some Red On It” is a wildly-performed, sleazy and bass-y take on the usually all-too-macabre story of conflict/blood diamonds. Written and sung with Spoek’s spouse, Ana Rab, the dark duet cleverly articulates the tensions that lie behind the diamond market, while slyly telling a true South African story.

The sonic landscape of “Dog to Bone” perfectly describes a lot of the mood of South Africa, equal parts doom and staggering natural beauty. The song is made up of a number of movements and themes, and features the ever-prolific and daring Zach Hill, as well as guitar work from the exciting young South African guitarist Nicolaas Van Reenen.

On both songs, Spoek reveals his roots in hip-hop, delivering clever rhymes, heartfelt and often angst-ridden, over his futuristic beats. Put Some Red On It will be available as a digital-only release in late July 2011 and a full-length Spoek Mathambo album will be released on Sub Pop at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Put Some Red On It(EP)
1. Intro
2. Put Some Red On It
3. Put Some Red On It (Shabazz Palaces Remix)
4. Put Some Red On It (Machinedrum Remix)
5. Dog To Bone (Telepathe Remix)
6. Dog To Bone (Rashad Remix)
7. Outro

Spoek Mathambo Tour Dates
6/24 VICTORIA & ALBERT Museum – London, UK
6/26 GLASTONBURY Festival, UK
7/7 OPTIMUS ALIVE Festival – Lisbon, PT
8/6 BIG CHILL Festival – UK
8/7 OUT OF DOORS Festival
8/27 NOWA MUZYKA Festival – Katowice, PO

What People are Saying about Spoek Mathambo:

…the Johannasberg native takes listeners on a wild ride through the South African underground, full of heavy tribal percussion, angry political raps, and even a creepy-but-danceable cover of Joy Division’s “Control.”—V Magazine

…putting his own uniquely sly, politicized stamp on cutting-edge electronic dance music.—Spin Magazine

Spoek Mathambo is just that, though, a playful guise for a smart kid to get the word out, an inside joke with deep truth underneath. With a subtle bit of subterfuge, he’ll make you think about things you don’t want to.—Fader

With an eerily distorted vocal and one of those wamp wamp basslines everyone’s using, “Control” maintains the original’s ability to make you want to dance while fully aware that the song itself is best accompanied by a dark depression.—The Guardian

Electro bump ‘n’ grind that blends Prince’s libido-loosening funk with unrestrained eruptions of jittery beat jism.—GQ Magazine

Posted by Bekah Zietz

MON, JUN 20, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Memoryhouse “The Years” out September 13!!!

Memoryhouse, the duo of Evan Abeele (composer) and Denise Nouvion (vocals), hails from Toronto, Canada. Their music blends the contemporary with the forgotten, the traditional and the technological, the visual and the aural, within the sonographic landscape of pop.

The duo’s discography consists of two 7" singles, “Lately (Deuxieme)” b/w “Lately (Teengirl Fantasy Natural Mix)” on Inflated Records and the “Caregiver” b/w “Heirloom” single on Suicide Squeeze Records, and a self-released, digital-only EP entitled, The Years which was released in February 2010. The Years earned praise from Stereogum, AOL Spinner, The Line of Best Fit, and Pitchfork, among others. And Pitchfork had this to say about the original release: “…the EP clearly sets Abeele and Nouvion apart from their more amateur peers. The Years may be awash in nostalgia, but far from inviting unfavorable comparisons, it mostly confirms that the past was indeed as good as you remember.”

On September 13, 2011 Sub Pop Records will release a fully re-recorded, remixed and re-mastered version of The Years, adding two new tracks entitled “Modern, Normal” and “Quiet America.” The Years was re-recorded and mixed by Evan Abeele with the help of Daniel Gray in Toronto. While technically an expanded and improved reissue, this version of The Years will be the first time the EP has been made available on CD or LP. This is exciting. Also exciting: with the release of The Years, the band will be touring in the US and will play at the 2011 CMJ Music Marathon festival in October.

Posted by Bekah Zietz

FRI, JUN 10, 2011 at 4:59 AM

Maureen interviews The Palaceer

The countdown has begun to the release of Shabazz Palaces debut record, Black Up out June 28th. The timing seems right to share with you this rare and exclusive interview with budding Wooster, MA journalist Maureen. Click above (or directly on YouTube) to witness an intimate and never before seen look into the life of the Palaceer.

AND! We’ve decided to add a little contest element to this one as well. All you have to do is watch the video and leave a comment under the video on our YouTube or Facebook and you’ll be entered to win a print of the limited edition gold foiled commemorative Shabazz Palaces-signs-to-Sub Pop-poster that Ish points out at 4:12 in the video. We’re gonna pick whatever comment we like best and the winner will be notified on release day, June 28.

There’s another chance to get a little something extra from us around this record though because if you pre-order Black Up from by June 28th, you will receive, for free patch designed by the Palaceer himself! Head over here to get your order in.

Still want more from Shabazz Palaces?
You can sample some music & find out more information on the group, including tour dates and more by checking out their artist page.

Posted by Bekah Zietz

THU, JUN 9, 2011 at 3:57 AM

New Music from Male Bonding!

Oh happy day, we are excited to confirm that Male Bonding’s second full length release, Endless Now, will be released on Sub Pop Records August 30th, 2011. We are offering a track off the upcoming release "Bones via the widget above, check it out!

Endless Now was recorded at Dreamland Recording Studio in Woodstock, NY, the converted 19th century church that birthed such classics as the B-52’s “Love Shack” and Dinosaur Jr.‘s 1993 full-length Where You Been. Male Bonding took special delight in later learning that Dreamland was also where the 1993 single "’74-’75" by North Carolina jangle-pop ensemble the Connells was made. “We used to come onstage to that song, so it was fate,” says drummer Robin Silas Christian. With deep snow everywhere, and sunshine streaming in through the stained glass windows in the morning, the trio worked with producer John Angello (Kurt Vile, Thurston Moore, Dinosaur Jr.) installed behind the altar. After a week in Woodstock they relocated to Headgear Recording in Brooklyn to mix.

The end result is 36 minutes of songs tailor-made to anchor mix tapes and playlists-if you can stand to separate them from the whole album. The enthusiastic “Tame The Sun” heralds the arrival of Endless Now with the first notes its plucky bass line. And “heralds” is the right word: Male Bonding’s music is animated by an infectious, evangelical zeal that reflects their roots in the D.I.Y. indie rock community. “Bones” opens with the giddy rush one associates with classic hardcore or the best of the Wedding Present, then stretches out the same four-chord progression for six minutes and 24 seconds-all the while retaining its succinct air of breathless excitement. With its hazy vocals, hissing cymbals, and just a hint of vintage Beach Boys, the spacey “Can’t Dream” reconciles the Punk and the Hippy in all of us. And then there’s Male Bonding’s take on Phil Spector-style ‘60s pop, "What’s That Scene," which wraps its gritty, grungy center in a sugar-sweet wash of handclaps and wah-ooh backing vocals.

Hear that? You’re singing along already.

Posted by Alissa Gallivan