News from 3/2015

NEWS : TUE, MAR 10, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Sub Pop, Record Store Day 2015, and You

We here at Sub Pop Records love few things more than Record Store Day. On Saturday, April 18th, 2015 aka Record Store Day, we will release two very limited (and potentially, for you) anticipated efforts: The self-titled LP from the Alan Bishop-led Koes Barat and a heart-shaped single from Father John Misty.     
Father John Misty’s “I Loved You, Honeybee” 7” Single:
Father John Misty presents a lovely, alternate version of the title track of his latest album, I Love You, Honeybear, along with a new, exclusive B-side, truthfully-entitled “I’ve Never Been a Woman,” on a red-colored, heart-shaped 7” in a 10” sleeve. This release is exclusive to Record Store Day, and it is limited to 5,700 copies worldwide.
Koes Barat Koes Barat LP:
In 2010, Sun City Girls legend Alan Bishop asserted his fandom of Indonesian ‘60s/’70s pop legends Koes Bersaudara (aka Koes Plus) with two archival releases on his and Hisham Mayet’s Sublime Frequencies label. But that wasn’t enough. Feeling an overwhelming urge to interpret Koes tunes, Bishop recorded Koes Barat in less than a week of sessions with some of his favorite musicians and producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Marisa Nadler). The result is the most immediate, fun collection that the prolific Bishop has ever led. This album is a Record Store Day exclusive, limited to 3,800 worldwide.
Father John Misty
“I Loved You, Honeybee” 7” (includes download code)
A. “I Loved You, Honeybee”
B. “I’ve Never Been a Woman”
Koes Barat
Koes Barat
LP (includes download code)
1. Kelelewar
2. Kisah Sedih di Hari Minggu
3. Pent Juri Hati
4. Mister Time
5. Hidup Yang Sepi
6. And to the so-called “The Guilties”
7. Tjintamu Telah Berlalu
8. Poor Clown
9. Land of Evergreen
10. Rahasia Hatiku
11. Tiba Tiba Ku Menangis
More About Record Store Day:
This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store—the staff, the customers, and the artists—to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, djs spinning records and on and on. Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco on April 19, 2008 and Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday every April.

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : THU, MAR 12, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Daughn Gibson’s ‘Carnation’ Out June 2 - Hear “Shatter You Through” Now

Daughn Gibson’s Carnation will be available on CD / LP / DL June 1st in Europe, June 2nd in North America and June 8th in the UK from Sub Pop. The album, featuring the highlights “Shatter You Through,” “Bled to Death,” “It Wants Everything,” was co-produced by Gibson and Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))), Tim Hecker), recorded at Avast Studios in Seattle, Washington and mastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering. The album features guest appearances from composer/violinist to Eyvind Kang (string arrangements), renowned studio drummer Matt Chamberlain, as well as Gibson’s long-standing musical conspirator, Jim Elkington. Additional contributions include: Steve Moore (Piano, Trombone, Keyboards and Synths); Milky Burgess, Paul Wegman, and Jer Rouse (Guitars); Skerik (Saxophone); and Jay Kardong (Pedal Steel). Carnation is the follow up to Me Moan, his Sub Pop debut.  Please find a complete tracklisting below.
You can now listen to the lead single, “Shatter You Through” via Stereogum, who says of the track: “As odd as anything he’s committed to tape, but it’s also his most instantly appealing single”
 (see premiere March 12th).”
Pre-orders of Carnation are available through Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon and Bandcamp. Fans who purchase the album from will receive the Loser Edition on white, black and blue swirl colored vinyl (while supplies last).  There will also be new T-shirt design, available individually and as part of a bundle with purchase of Carnation.
About Daughn Gibson’s Carnation:
Daughn Gibson of Carlisle, PA is a singer, songwriter and musician possessed of a singular and strange vision. Carnation is the latest exhilarating and dark embodiment of that vision. It’s also his third album. It’s an album that’s more elegant and sophisticated than anything he’s done to date, and which sees the elements of country music, more prominent on his past records (the 2012 release All Hell on the White Denim label and Sub Pop’s 2013 release of Me Moan), undone by ambient textures and sounds to extraordinary effect.

Shot through with a deep sensuality, Carnation is a high-wire balancing act, at times sexual, emotionally intense and comforting. The album features Daughn’s strongest songwriting yet, with lyrical subject matter that shares a kinship with writers Raymond Carver and Donald Ray Pollack. The music here combines with those lyrics to widescreen effect, and Carnation feels filmic in its execution: It evokes, and in many ways pays homage to, the works of Tim Burton, Pier Paulo Pasolini, and John Waters.
Carnation’s most pervasive theme might best be described as the chaos of circumstance and the 11 tracks here tell related stories. In “Bled to Death,” Daughn passes away and laments the cruel hand dragging him back to earth.  On “Daddy I Cut My Hair,” a young man recently released from a mental health facility desperately searches for sexual intimacy. “A Rope Ain’t Enough” follows the story of an ambivalent man suddenly awaking to the disease of masculinity, and formulating a plan to eradicate it. “It Wants Everything” is written from the point of view of a drunk and belligerent “jester of circumstance”. Then there’s the addictive lead single, “Shatter You Through,” which happens to detail a moment of peaceful sleep broken by the alarm clock toll of dread and sadness, but proves to be one hell of an earworm (read more at Sub Pop).

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : TUE, MAR 24, 2015 at 12:00 AM

A Beginner’s Guide to Iron & Wine

While it’s been almost 8 years since Sub Pop released The Shepherd’s Dog, the last record that we worked with Iron & Wine on, we remain huge admirers of the work of Sam Beam. With the release of Archive Series Vol. No. 1, we decided to compile a playlist that we’re calling “A Beginner’s Guide to Iron & Wine” to introduce/reacquaint fans to the evocative and beautiful sound of I&W.

Listen to “A Beginner’s Guide to Iron & Wine”

Archive Series Volume No. 1 features 16 home recordings from the same period as his stunning 2002 debut album The Creek Drank the Cradle

The album was digitally transferred from the original cassettes. It comes packaged in gatefold artwork featuring the Bird of Paradise quilt housed in the American Folk Art Museum. 

Order Archive Series Vol. No.1 here.

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : MON, MAR 2, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Sub Pop’s 2015 Loser Scholarship Details!

Hey there!

Sub Pop Records in Seattle, WA is offering a grand total of $15,000 worth of college scholarship money to three eligible high school seniors. There are three scholarships—one for $7,000, one for $5,000 and one for $3,000. To apply for these scholarships you must be a resident of Washington or Oregon, and a graduating senior on your way to full-time enrollment at an accredited university or college. We are looking for an applicant who is involved and/or interested in music and/or the creative arts in some way.

To apply for these scholarships we would like you to submit an essay, no longer than one page, letting us know about one or more of the following topics:

What are you doing in the arts/music field in your community?

How and/or why did you become interested in artistic outlets?

How would this scholarship money help you to progress in your chosen field?

What are your influences and/or who inspires you? Who are some of your favorite bands or artists?

Applicants are strongly encouraged to send digital links and/or provide hard copies of their artwork along with their essay (we have never had a winner who submitted only an essay). However, please be aware that Sub Pop will not return any of this material, so please don’t send originals. Sub Pop will give equal opportunity to all applicants who fit the criteria outlined above. The deadline for applications is April 2nd.

Please send all submissions and attachments to by April 2nd, 2015. We will announce the scholarship winners on April 15th.

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : MON, MAR 2, 2015 at 12:00 AM

The Helio Sequence Set to Release Their Self-Titled Sixth Record May 19th

The Helio Sequence are set to release their self-titled 6th album on CD/LP/DL May 18th & 19th worldwide via Sub Pop. The Helio Sequence, featuring the highlights “Stoic Resemblance,” “Upward Mobility,” and “Battle Lines,” was produced & mixed by the band at The Old Jantzen Building in Portland, OR and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.

You can now hear the lead-off track, “Stoic Resemblance” through an animated visual (Not-the-video) directed by multimedia artist Emanuele Kabu. Stereogum premiered the track and says it “matches harmonious psychedelic chorus with a brisk krautrock pulse (see track post March 2nd).”

The Helio Sequence will tour extensively in 2015 to support the release. Preceding that tour, the band have scheduled an acoustic performance on March 31st in Seattle at The Triple Door. For up to date information on live dates & tickets, please visit

Preorders for The Helio Sequence are available through Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon and Bandcamp. All customers who pre-order the LP version of the album from will receive the limited “Loser Edition” on yellow-colored vinyl. Additionally, CD and LP versions of The Helio Sequence will also receive The Sunrise Demos, a CD comprised of 11 demos recorded during the making of the album (while supplies last).  Additionally, there will be a new T-shirt design available as stand-alone item or as part of a bundle with purchases of The Helio Sequence.

About The Helio Sequence:
The self-titled sixth album by The Helio Sequence began with a friendly competition. Several of the duo’s friends within the Portland, Oregon music scene had been playing “The 20-Song Game.” The rules were simple, playful and ambitious: Songwriters would arrive in their studios at prearranged times and spend all day recording 20 complete songs. When they were finished, they’d have a party, listen to the results and talk about the process—of taking the good with the bad, of letting creativity push past constraint, of simply making music in the moment. Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel took the spirit of the “The 20-Song Game” to heart, and forged ahead writing a new record.

In May of 2014, inspired by the “20-Song Game”, they began arriving each morning in their Portland space—housed in the cafeteria and break room of an old warehouse— with the mission of making as much music as possible in one month. They began exploring and capturing, recording guitar riffs and keyboard loops, drum patterns and bass lines. One piece documented, they quickly advanced to the next idea. Summers and Weikel didn’t discuss what they were making or the reference points that informed it, though such discussions had once been central to The Helio Sequence’s more self-conscious process. They just played. Created. In time, they returned to each fragment, broadcasting it over the studio PA, jamming and recording the results. Mistakes didn’t matter, and second chances didn’t exist. After two weeks, Summers and Weikel began cutting those loose takes into rough shapes, steadily building songs from their cavalier sketches. 

When June arrived, the duo gathered their 26 finished songs and sent them to 31 friends, fans and family members. They asked each person to rank their 10 favorite tracks. By summer’s end, they had arrived at the brisk 10 tracks that shape the breathless and magnetic The Helio Sequence—a record so named because it’s a kind of clean restart for the longtime pair, a revamp of their process and a revitalization of their results.

The Helio Sequence is a renewed push forward for the band: From the cool wallop of “Deuces,” where guitars snarl and harmonies soar, to the stuttering anxiety of “Upward Mobility”, where pianos pound and drums race, this collection depends upon an effortless kinetic energy. Lyrically, “Stoic Resemblance” is a study of existential anxiety, but musically, it’s a beguiling burst of pop, Summers’ vocals rising over and sliding off of Weikel’s big, irrepressible beat. The bittersweet “Leave or Be Yours” evokes the easy twinkle of romance and the smoldering sadness of losing it. Crisscrossing vocals and cross-talking guitars and drums map a broad swirl of emotions.  There’s a delightful candor to The Helio Sequence, an openness that is a rare and special feat for a band about to enter its third decade (read more at Sub Pop).

Posted by Sam Sawyer

NEWS : TUE, MAR 3, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Selective Listening: Notes from the desk of the General Manager… (Mar. 2015)

Gettin’ all up in the business of the music business

It has been suggested in some quarters that it might be interesting for some moderate percentage of the 3-4 people who accidentally read this column to learn what a typical day is like here at Sub Pop, figuratively buried up to our necks in the musty magic of the music industry. And so…

Hello and welcome to another exciting day at Sub Pop Records!

Here in the professional music business, many days kick off with a bracing round of apologies. On the best of these days, this involves simple explanations of the previous night’s not altogether thoroughly considered words and actions (first recalled, on waking, in an experience we in the industry refer to as a “shame spiral”). The likelihood of this scenario increases significantly during music festivals, conferences, conventions, and the like. On the more challenging of these days, the apologies are in response to some real shortcoming like, say, an unforeseeable manufacturing mistake. Happily, we’re an independent record label and so no one seems to really expect us to know what we’re doing, and we’re regularly allowed, or even encouraged, to try again.

Apologies made, we confront the real business end of the music business and read through SoundScan reports, radio charts, relevant media features and reviews, trending hashtags (whatever the hell those are), maybe a little bit of D-Listed or Lefsetz. Then, depending on the results of all that, we either inch closer to or temporarily a little farther away from the great, yawning chasm of irrelevance that surely awaits us all. The kids are forever coming up from behind and that’s, for real, the good news.

Then, we just dick around for 20-40 minutes. No use trying to make that into something it’s not.

At some point during the day, we all listen to music. This is both our great privilege as people with ears and an interest in art and the world around us, and our professional duty as music industry professionals. New music from the exceptionally talented roster of artists currently suffering through long and punishingly unfair recording agreements with Sub Pop is always a source of great and sincere joy. New music from friends, distant relatives, friends of distant relatives, distant relatives of friends, and actual, categorical strangers is sometimes a source of great joy and more often a source of a great need for new ways to say, “It’s not you, it’s us. Please continue to D it right in the Y.”

As with many employed people we too find time to research anagrams and abbreviations specific to our industry: DMA (“designated market area” or “dugong mouth anus”?), I/O (“initial offering” or “irritated orifice”?), SRLP (“suggested retail list price” or “slurp”?). And others, probably. I feel confident there are others.  And, same as you, we look for business opportunities which might correlate with personal travel interests. The 2015 Bananada Festival in Goiania, Brazil will feature both King Tuff and J Mascis! The line-up for the ATP in Iceland in July has clipping., Mudhoney, and a whole bunch of great bands who are not on Sub Pop! We would like to turn these opportunities yes!

There’s also the matter of responding to bulk/spam email, with special attention to those that seem most real or demanding (inclusion in an upcoming edition of Who’s Who;  invitations to exclusive conferences of top, professional industry leaders; good news which requires immediate response regarding small business award presented by extremely vague and heretofore unknown organization (named using the same approach as local medical marijuana dispensaries (ex.: Northwest Medical  Life Improvement Solutions Partners and Chillax-eria)).

And, at some point each day, we spend approximately zero time investigating the appropriate marketing approach to “Millennials.” Conversely, each year we spend significant time reading through and being deeply inspired and encouraged about the future by the Sub Pop Loser Scholarship applications of this same heavily-targeted generation.

There’s also an awful lot of reading and responding to email. There’s a fair amount of meeting together in various groups with the dedicated, talented and hard-working staff here, whose combined creativity and persistent effort on behalf of the artists we represent, and in support of one another, is a consistent and for-fucking-real marvel to me. Alongside the clear and present genius of the bands, comedians and jugglers we’re lucky enough to work with, the improbable longevity of this particular medium-sized record label should be credited to each of them. And I’m grateful to find myself amongst them every goddamned day.

Next time: journey to the center of the suggestion box.

Don’t worry, we’re professionals,



Posted by Chris Jacobs