Sub Pop

News from 2014

NEWS : WED, FEB 5, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Shearwater Are On Tour! Download a new track now!

Shearwater have been a prolific bunch while on Sub Pop. Their label debut, Animal Joy, was followed quickly with the wonderful covers record, Fellow Travelers, a couple of 7” singles thrown in for good measure, and here we are today offering you a FREE download of the track ”Black Is The Color”, which was recorded at WNYC for the “Colors” episode for the truly enlightening radio show, Radiolab (if you’re not already into this show, do your brain a favor and get into them here).

In other Shearwater news, the band will be offering an exclusive, special limited release album throughout their current tour: Missing Islands is a 20-track collection of demos and outtakes from the sessions for RookThe Golden Archipelago, and Animal Joy, spanning the years from 2007 to 2012. Most of these recordings, which range from solo acoustic home recordings to full-band explorations, have never been released in any form, and they catch the songs halfway between sleeping and waking. It also features some songs that never made it out of the incubator, some memorable studio moments, and the sound of Thor fighting a mighty (but deceased) oak tree (he won). You can read some liner notes JM wrote about the release right now.

Shearwater Tour Dates

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : WED, FEB 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Sub Pop Makes Record Store Day 2014 Worth Living

Rsd blog

Record Store Day 2014 is a mere 51 days away according to the official countdown over at, and with the popularity of vinyl ever increasing, there are more Record Store Day exclusives in 2014 to sift through than ever before. This means one or two of the following things: 1) You are going to spend MUCH MORE money than last year; and/or 2) It’s going to be tough to stick out in crowded record bins full of limited-edition, Record Store Day-only releases. Well, we here at Sub Pop HQ read the tea leaves, studied the data points, and decided early on that we were going to have to do something really special to stand out this year. We went to work, trimmed the fat, and got our release list to the four most exciting, collectable, sonically pleasing, limited-edition Sub Pop Record Store Day Releases ever. To get a full appreciation of what I’m bullshitting so eloquently about, see below. We’ll see you at your local independent record retailer at four in the morning on April 19th. You bring the coffee. And the donuts.

Mudhoney On Top:  KEXP Presents Mudhoney Live on Top of the Space Needle LP: In 2013 both Mudhoney and Sub Pop turned 25, and, in celebration of this milestone, the band performed on the actual roof of Seattle’s iconic and also very tall Space Needle. Due to space limitations up on top, and the obvious safety issues involved, only about 13 people were able to bear witness to this performance (and you can hear each of them, clapping individually between songs). Our friends at KEXP recorded and broadcast this monumentally historic event, and this limited-edition vinyl LP preserves it for eternity. Limited to 2,700 copies worldwide.

Pissed Jeans The Very Best of Sub Pop 2009-2013: Live at the BBC 12” EP: Here are four live-in-the-studio tracks that (finally!) give meaning and validation to Sub Pop’s existence. This historic platter is limited to 3,000 copies worldwide, and these versions of the tracks are exclusive to this release.

Chad VanGaalen “I Want You Back” 7” Single: This single features four new tracks from the Calgary artist’s vault of unheard music. Exactly none of these tracks appear on Chad’s forthcoming album, Shrink Dust (out 4/29 on Sub Pop!). The dare-we-say incredible cover art is by Chad himself. Limited to 2,300 copies worldwide.

The Notwist “Run Run Run” 12” Single: “Run Run Run” is from the band’s just-released album, Close to the Glass, and this single also includes three more, unreleased tracks: one new song, and two exclusive remixes of “Run Run Run.” Both sides of the record feature a special double groove, with each parallel groove containing a different song. Limited to 1,900 copies worldwide.

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : TUE, MAR 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Sub Pop At the Katowice, Poland OFF Festival!

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Sub Pop is very pleased to announce our involvement with this year’s OFF Festival, to be held August 1st-3rd in Katowice, Poland.  Now in its 8th year, the lineup features the likes of Belle & Sebastian, Neutral Milk Hotel, Deafheaven, Glenn Branca, Fuck Buttons, Loop, Earth, Dean Wareham, Dirty Beaches, Chelsea Wolfe, Perfume Genius, Perfect Pussy and more to be announced.

On Friday, August 1st Sub Pop will curate the Experimental Stage, with a lineup that includes artists from the labels roster, past and present, our sister label Hardly Art, and a few Polish bands. Artists performing include: Wolf Eyes, Rose Windows, clipping., Lyla Foy, Protomartyr, Kaseciarz (Krakow, PL) and Wild Books (Warszawa, PL).   

Please find additional information about each of the performers below.

Wolf Eyes
“Choking Flys” (From No Answer - Lower Floors / Destijl)

Some say Rock N Roll will never reach the same primitive raw vein hit of Bo Diddley at his more subhuman lurch, or that no unit could ever scramble the marbles left of what brain-boiling suburban electronic punk outsiders did in the mid-’70s: Whatever you think, there is no denying the homemade nuclear war Wolf Eyes has declared on music. Wolf Eyes was birthed in the shadows of late-’90s Michigan. However, Wolf Eyes has grown beyond a band into a collective mutant ensemble, an art abstraction unit: musicians, print makers, photographers and more, all sharing a primal vision of decoding the wilderness of the humanoid soul using their deep audio arsenals. 

“Work Work” feat. Cocc Pistol Cree (From CLPPNG / Sub Pop)

Before the release of clipping.’s debut, 2013’s Midcity, the trio of rapper Daveed Diggs and producers Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson did not expect to find an audience for their abrasive brand of rap music. But since the formation of clipping. and the release of their debut album, the field of commercial music enlarged ever so slightly, making room again for noisier, more adventurous elements in electronic production. Examples of this have been incremental, mere baby steps, so far. And despite clipping.’s insistence that they’re really just making rap— not noise-rap, industrial-rap, or any other mashup genre— their music might be more sonically challenging than that of the punkish rap rockers, lo-fi bedroom producers, and street goth hybridist’s they’ve been lumped with so far. The band will release their Sub Pop debut, CLPPNG, this June.

Lyla Foy
“Feather Tongue” (From Mirrors the Sky / Sub Pop)

Lyla Foy (formerly known as WALL) released Mirrors the Sky, her Sub Pop debut in March. The London singer and producer specializes in intimate vocals effortlessly intertwined with delicate, emotive instrumentation. The production is an integral part of her writing process, capturing not only the intended notes but also the incidental and accidental sounds that bring the recordings to life and provide endless intrigue. While the patter of keyboards, guitars and pulsing bass lines create a beguiling backdrop, it’s Foy’s sense of melody and turn of phrase that takes centre stage. Subtle nods to classic refrains, mingled with her own inflection, suggest a writer who draws from many different eras, resulting in a sound that is both timeless yet modern.

“Scum Rise” (from Under Color of Official Right / Hardly Art)

Protomartyr’s taut, austere rock was incubated in a freezing Detroit warehouse littered with beer cans and cigarette butts and warmed, feebly, by space heaters. Despite the cold, Protomartyr emerged with a sound that is idiosyncratic but relatable, hooky but off-kilter. Protomartyr’s economical rock elicits comparisons to possible antecedents like Pere Ubu or The Fall as well as local contemporaries like Frustrations or Tyvek (whose frontman Kevin Boyer played bass in an early iteration of Protomartyr). Singer Joe Casey’s dry declarative snarl serves as a reliable anchor, granting his bandmates — guitarist Greg Ahee, drummer Alex Leonard and bassist Scott Davidson — the opportunity to explore textures and reinforce the rhythm section. This is never more apparent than on the band’s sophomore LP and Hardly Art debut, Under Color of Official Right.

Rose Windows
“Heavenly Days” (From The Sun Dogs / Sub Pop)

Rose Windows began in late 2010 in Seattle. On their debut album, The Sun Dogs, the band incorporates elements of The Band, The Doors’ organ-driven psychedelia, and Black Sabbath’s dirges, along with Persian, Indian, and Eastern European music.  Rose Windows have toured the West Coast several times, fluidly sharing the stage with underground art-metal bands one night and popular indie Americana acts the next. The Sun Dogs was recorded and produced by Randall Dunn (SunnO))), Boris, Earth) at Avast! in Seattle.

Wild Books
“Oranges & Lemons” (from Wild Books / Instant Classic)

Who said you could only play rootsy, dirty, sunburned rock in Texas or Tennessee? The duo Wild Books proves that you set out from a Polish garage to follow in the footsteps of Jack White and The Black Keys. Wild Books’ self-titled 2014 debut record showcases retro-rock in its whole ass-kicking glory.

“Dance” (from 
Motörcycle Rock and Roll / Instant Classic)

Three years ago, this guy proved you could be a surfer in southern Poland. This year he’s back with Motörcycle Rock and Roll, a mix of psychedelia, garage, and surf, or as he likes to call it, “garbage rock.” Fortunately the sound quality is inversely proportional to its aesthetic value. Maciej Nowacki’s music will blow your socks off, even though he himself admits that the only reason he got into music in the first place was to prove he was in the arts at parties.

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : WED, APR 23, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Sub Pop, Mudhoney, METZ, and Obits Head to Brazil (You Should Join!)

Brazil blog


Brazil’s first-ever Sub Pop Festival, featuring Mudhoney, METZ and Obits will take place in May of 2014. A screening of the Mudhoney documentary film I’m Now, followed by a panel discussion with members of Mudhoney and METZ, and Sub Pop General Manager Chris Jacobs will kick off the event in Brazil. Preceding all of this, Mudhoney and METZ will make Sub Pop Festival stops in both Chile and Argentina. 

Construtora Música e Cultura and Inker Agência Cultural are honored to announce the very first SUB POP FESTIVAL, in Sao Paulo (May 14 and 15) and Goiania (May 16, as part of Festival Bananada), following appearances in Santiago, Chile (May 10), and Buenos Aires, Argentina (May 11).
Founded in 1988 by Bruce Pavitt and  Jonathan Poneman, SUB POP RECORDS set out to bring new independent bands from Washington State to international attention. In less than four years, SUB POP became known around the world, with early releases by Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney, putting Seattle on the global map. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013, the label has gone on to help shape the world of underground rock and make important inroads into popular culture.

Sub Pop Festival organizers worked in close collaboration with the label to bring all three of this year’s artists to South America. For this first edition of the SUB POP FESTIVAL, the bands chosen represent the timeless appeal of the more raucous end of the Sub Pop spectrum: the seminal super-fuzz of Seattle’s Mudhoney, the loud and ecstatic noise-rock of Toronto trio METZ, and the melodic and muscular indie/garage rock of New York’s Obits.

Mudhoney also celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2013 and this will be their sixth time in Brazil. Frequently referenced alongside Nirvana, Sonic  Youth and Pearl Jam (Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard played in Green River with Mark and Steve from Mudhoney some 30 years ago), Mudhoney has more releases on Sub Pop than any other band. Their latest album, 2013’s Vanishing Point, shows them as sharp and fervent as ever.
While Mudhoney are Sub Pop veterans, Toronto power trio METZ are new-comers with teeth. METZ’s 2012 self-titled debut was described by The New Yorker as, “…a punishing, noisy, exhilarating thing, a deeply impolite racket that will only sound better live…” And The Guardian offered, “…a crush collision of Beatles melody and Big Black attack.”
Obits are a 4-piece band from New York who share members with bands such as Hot Snakes, Edsel, Drive Like Jehu, and Girls Against Boys. They have released three full-length records on Sub Pop, the latest of which is the 2013 release Bed & Bugs. They have been described as “…one of America’s mightiest, smartest rock bands playing at peak power” (by Exclaim!). Obits will perform at the two Sub Pop Festival events in Brazil only.

Mudhoney, METZ and Obits will play at Audio Club, São Paulo on May 15th, and also in Goiania, as part of Festival Bananada 2014 on May 16th. Mudhoney will also play in Uberlandia May 13th at Club Lounge for fans in Minas Gerais State.

May 14th fans are invited to a screening of I’m Now: The Story of Mudhoney, the documentary film covering Mudhoney’s journey from beginning to the present day. After the screening at Cine Olido, Mudhoney’s Mark Arm and Steve Turner, Chris Slorach from METZ, and SUB POP’s General Manager Chris Jacobs will discuss music, their experiences in their respective bands, and the label’s past, present and future with those in attendance.


Chris Jacobs by Chris Jacobs:
“Chris is the General Manager for Sub Pop Records, the Seattle record label perhaps most well-known for unintentionally ending the recording careers of such longstanding and excellent bands as Sleater-Kinney, Dead Moon and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Hired at Sub Pop in 1997 as Tour Publicist, during the functional equivalent of a managerial shift-change, Chris has since failed upwards into a wide range of positions, including: Advertising Director, Publicity Director, Marketing Director, Editor-in-Chief, and Senior Director of Special Projects. He also serves or has served as A&R representative for METZ, Beach House, Mudhoney, the Constantines, Grand Archives, Kinski, Low, Obits, The Baptist Generals, and Retribution Gospel Choir. Chris is responsible for such little-known slogans as “Going Out of Business Since 1988,” and “Podfisting Our Way to Your Blog, or Whatever,” as well as the label’s much-ignored 1999 “LP3” initiative. Prior to working at Sub Pop, Chris handled marketing and publicity for the alternative comics publisher Fantagraphics Books.”


14 May / Screening “I’m Now: The Story of Mudhoney” and Talk
Local: Cine Olido – Galeria Olido, Av. São João, 473, Centro.
Próximo das Estações República, Anhangabaú e São Bento
19h00 – Exibição do Documentário “I’m Now: The Story of Mudhoney” (1h42 / Ryan Short & Adam Pease).
20h45 – Bate-Papo com Chris Jacobs (Sub Pop), Mark Arm e Steve Turner (Mudhoney) e Chris Slorach (METZ).
Ingresso: gratuito, retirar ingresso com uma hora de antecedência.
Capacidade: 236 lugares
Censura: 12 anos.
Informações: 3331-8399 / 3397-0171

15 May / Shows
Local: Audio Club - Av. Francisco Matarazzo, 694 – Barra Funda.
21h00 – Abertura da Casa/ DJ Set Steve Turner (Mudhoney)
22h00 – Obits
23h00 – METZ
00h00 – Mudhoney
01h15 – DJ set Adriano Cintra
Ingressos: / R$ 160,00 / 80,00 (meia entrada)
Censura: 18 anos.
Venda de produtos da Sub Pop pela Locomotiva Discos no dia do show.
Ingressos à venda também nas lojas:
Locomotiva Discos
Rua Barão de Itapetininga, 37, lojas 8 e 51 – República
Rua Teodoro Sampaio, 763, loja 3 - Pinheiros
(11) 3257-5938
London Calling
Rua Vinte e Quatro de Maio, 116 - República
(11) 3223-5300

16 May / @ Festival Bananada
With Mudhoney, METZ and Obits

10 May / Teatro La Cúpula
With Mudhoney and METZ
Abertura: Guiso

11 May / Niceto Club

With Mudhoney and METZ

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : THU, MAY 22, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Sub Pop Loser Scholarship Winners Announced!

Loser2014 website
MASSIVE thank yous and good lucks to everyone who applied for the 2014 Sub Pop Loser Scholarship. We received applications from hundreds of extremely worthy PNW-based high school seniors who are involved in the arts, which gave us a feeling of hope for the future of humanity, something we had little of beforehand. Pouring over all of the applicants’ essays and works of art was a colossal undertaking, but ultimately, we have chosen the winners. So without further ado, here are your Losers….

Landyn Pan - 1st Place LOSER
From Bothell, WA

Landyn RULES. He creates political photography and infographics, or in his words “conceptual pieces surrounding topics like women’s reproductive rights, current/contemporary racism, governmental corruption, and body image vs societal expectations.” In addition to creating thought provoking artwork, he is engaged in an array of LGBTQ activism from running his high school’s Gay Straight Alliance to offering up his graphic design skills for the Trans Student Equality Resources non-profit.

Examples of Landyn’s artwork can be found here.

Ryan Mangione-Smith - 2nd Place LOSER
All of us in the Loser Scholarship committee felt like Ryan really got what Sub Pop’s Loser Scholarship is all about. He’s not only a musician in rad band Thee Samedi, but he worked countless hours fostering his community as an intern at Ground Zero, a DIY all ages venue in Bellevue and volunteered many hours to increasing awareness about the LGBTQ community, at Lambert House and various other venues.

Check out Ryan’s band, Thee Samedi.

Claire Wong - 3rd Place LOSER

Claire wowed us with the diversity of her portfolio–from photography to installation work–much of which she has displayed at the Bellevue Arts Museum as well as other galleries. We were also charmed to death by her all-girl punk band, meimei. In addition to being a notably well-rounded and immensely talented artist and musician, she has donated her time to fostering the DIY community on the Eastside (that’s what Seattleites call the land across Lake Washington) as an intern at Ground Zero Teen Center. She also founded the Local Music Club at her high school and booked local bands to perform for the students.

Here’s a link to Claire’s portfolio and one to listen to her band, meimei.

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : FRI, JUN 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM

The Notwist: A Beginner’s Guide Playlist + Tour Dates!

Notwist beginnersguide 1 2

On February 25th, German electro-wizards, The Notwist, released their Sub Pop debut, Close to the Glass, the band’s 8th full-length record. Over the years, the band has also been involved in very notable and sonically awesome side projects like Ms. John Soda and Lali Puna, among others. Between the seven prior Notwist records and the side projects, it’s a lot of material to get through, so for the sake of time, we decided to compile a playlist that we’re call, “The Notwist: A Beginner’s Guide”. We went through all of the band’s work, and picked a bunch of our favorites. So, if you’re new to The Notwist, or you’re an old fan, the Notwist Beginner’s Guide is for you.

Listen to “The Notwist: A Beginner’s Guide”



Beats: On the @SubPop profile page


The Notwist are on tour, and if they happen to be playing near you, do yourself a favor and join them for the night, they’re pretty magical live.

Posted by Sam Sawyer