News from 7/2016

NEWS : MON, JUL 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM

No Fly List: Notes from Sub Pop’s Airport Store (July 2016)

As the days get warmer, and the airport gets busier, I can’t help but think about all of the Sub Pop bands tearing it up on tour and crushing the summer music festival circuit. While many great festivals have already occurred this year, such as Coachella, Sasquatch, and Bonnaroo, there are still plenty more to discover, some in your own backyard, others in far-off locales. You might be saying to yourself, “Sure, I want to get my fest-vibes on this summer, but how do I distinguish between all of these authentically-curated music festivals?” Well, I have taken it upon myself to synthesize some of the information located at and compile a list of 10 music festivals worth attending this summer. For each festival, I’ve included information on current and former Sub Pop recording artists on the bill, other notable musicians to see, and a unique Festi Fun Fact™. Starting with two festivals right here in Seattle, followed by eight others around the world, let’s dig in!


Capitol Hill Block Party

July 22 - 24

Seattle, WA

Sub Pop Bands to See: Washed Out, Porter Ray

Other Artists I’d Check Out: Clams Casino, DoNormaal, Dude York, Nail Polish, Mommy Long Legs

Festi Fun Fact™: This three day music festival takes place in Seattle’s funky and hip Capitol Hill neighborhood. (If you want to talk like a local when you visit, be sure to call it ‘Cap Hill.’) MTV’s The Real World is currently filming its newest season in Cap Hill, and locals are excited at the prospect of even more people filling up their bars and restaurants every weekend, hoping to see the cast members in-action.  


September 2 - 4

Seattle, WA

Sub Pop Bands to See: So Pitted, Father John Misty

Other Artists I’d Check Out: Tame Impala, Run the Jewels, Kamasi Washington, Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals, Chastity Belt

Festi Fun Fact™: This annual Labor Day weekend festival has been running in Seattle Center every year since 1971. The word ‘Bumbershoot’ is a dated and humorous term for an umbrella, and the festival gets its name from the large wooden effigy of a bumbershoot that is constructed every year, and then burned to the ground, in a ritualistic sacrifice to the rain gods.  


Mo Pop Festival

July 23 and 24

Detroit, MI

Sub Pop Bands to See: Father John Misty (solo set), the Head and the Heart

Other Artists I’d Check Out: M83, Twin Peaks, Mac DeMarco

Festi Fun Fact™: With this year’s special solo performance by Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman), Mo Pop continues its legacy of hosting talented male performers, as previous festivals have seen the likes of Brandon Flowers, Andrew Bird, and J Roddy Walston grace the West Riverfront Park stage. 

Osheaga Festival

July 29 - 31

Montreal, Canada

Sub Pop Bands to See: Wolf Parade, Foals

Other Artists I’d Check Out: Grimes, Kurt Vile, Vince Staples, Radiohead

Festi Fun Fact™: While many famous musicians have called Montreal, Canada, home, members of the indie-rock band Of Montreal are not, in fact, from there. They are proud Americans from the city of Montreal, Wisconsin

Outside Lands

August 5 - 7

San Francisco, CA

Sub Pop Bands to See: Heron Oblivion, Beach House, Rogue Wave, Foals

Other Artists I’d Check Out: Chance the Rapper, Lana Del Rey, Third Eye Blind, Radiohead again. 

Festi Fun Fact™: With their top-billing at this year’s Outside Lands festival, local San Fran band Third Eye Blind will be celebrating their 20th anniversary of opening for Oasis at the Frisco Civic Auditorium, by playing an identical song-for-song setlist. 


August 5 - 7

Happy Valley, OR

Sub Pop Bands to See: Beach House, Wolf Parade, Fruit Bats

Other Artists I’d Check Out: Julia Holter, Thee Oh Sees, BADBADNOTGOOD, La Luz, Protomartyr

Festi Fun Fact™: La Luz and Protomartyr have both released albums on Hardly Art, everyone’s favorite scrappy upstart record label in Seattle, who will soon celebrate 10 years of being a scrappy upstart record label in Seattle. 

Eaux Claires

August 12 and 13

Eau Claire, WI

Sub Pop Bands to See: Shabazz Palaces, Beach House, Melvins

Other Artists I’d Check Out: Bon Iver, Erykah Badu, James Blake, Jenny Lewis, William Tyler

Festi Fun Fact™: If you go to the Eaux Claires festival by yourself, one way to make a lot of friends would be to walk around the grounds saying, to no one and everyone in particular, “For an éclairs festival, I thought there’d be more pastries haha.” Repeat as necessary until people start recognizing you as the really funny éclair guy. 

F.Y.F Fest

August 27 and 28

Los Angeles, CA

Sub Pop Bands to See: Beach House, Father John Misty, Wolf Parade

Other Artists I’d Check Out: Kendrick Lamar, Sheer Mag, AIR, Anohni, Charles Bradley

Festi Fun Fact™: Despite repeated excavations at the historic Los Angeles Sports Arena and Exposition Park, in Los Angeles, California, F.Y.F Fest organizers have failed to recover the original tableaus that contain the translation, and meaning, of the initials “F.Y.F.” This year, it was decided that festival goers would vote for a new original backronym, and “Family friendlY Fun” was recently declared the top vote getter. 

End of the Road Festival

September 1 - 4

Wiltshire, England

Sub Pop Bands to See: Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop, GOAT, the Shins, Kelley Stoltz

Other Artists I’d Check Out: Animal Collective, Cat Power, Broken Social Scene, Savages

Festi Fun Fact™: If you are from the U.S. and plan on going to the festival, be mindful that many attendees from the surrounding area might be sensitive about the recent ‘Brexit.’ It would be unwise to ask the nearest person with an unfamiliar accent about their thoughts on the U.K. leaving the European Union, but if you still want to be informed, be sure to stop by the End of the Road official ‘Brexit Information Tent presented by Tesco’ where volunteers are eager to fill you in on this unprecedented development in global politics. 

Music Tastes Good Festival

Sept 23 - 25

Long Beach, CA

Sub Pop Bands to See: METZ, Iron and Wine, Melvins

Other Artists I’d Check Out: The Specials, Sylvan Esso, Living Colour, De La Soul, Warpaint

Festi Fun Fact™: Synesthesia is defined as “a sensation produced in one modality when a stimulus is applied to another modality, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces the visualization of a certain color.” Studies have shown that 86% of people who claim to regularly experience synesthesia are liars. 

Posted by Jackson Hathorn

NEWS : THU, JUL 14, 2016 at 2:00 PM

T-minus 2 Days Until Sub Pop Rides The STP To Benefit the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation

Donation Page 

This Saturday and Sunday (7/16-17) Team Sub Pop starts biking from Seattle to Portland in support of the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation, and we need YOUR help!

Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in January of 2013, our Co-Founder and fearless leader Jonathan Poneman has done everything he can to show others that there is life beyond Parkinson’s. In a 2013 Seattle Times article, he states, “I accept that I have this disease, but that doesn’t give me the right to be passive.” He actually explains it as sort of a blessing. Parkinson’s has allowed him to “recalibrate” important values. “As ironic as it sounds, I am truly grateful to the disease,” and he explains further that, “My love of life and its precious elements became more vivid at the thought of seeing them fade away.” You can read more from Jonathan Poneman here, as he describes a very personal side to his Parkinson’s story.

In support of the many individuals and families affected by PD every year, Sub Pop Records employees will be raising money for the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation (NWPF) by undertaking the fabled 204-mile Seattle to Portland (STP) Bicycle Classic. We hope you’ll take a moment to donate, and to spread the word about our fundraising efforts.

Donate to our team and we will enter you in a drawing for a hand-picked selection of Sub Pop greatest hits and rarities. From Nirvana’s Bleach to Band of Horses Everything All The Time to rare colored vinyl editionsSub Pop fans are in for a treat. And, this week only, we will be throwing in mega-rare test pressings of Let’s Be Still by The Head and the Heart!

Your donation will benefit the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation, which does great work on behalf of people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Please take a moment to visit our Sub Pop Team page and make a donation. Under ‘Honour Roll Options’ please select ‘Other (Custom)’ and enter “Sub Pop Giveaway (7/15/16)” in the note field. Winners will be notified shortly after 7/18. 

Thanks for being a part of our team!

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : MON, JUL 11, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Mass Gothic Shares “Nice Night” Official Video via Stereogum + East Coast Tour Dates w/Kyle Craft

Mass Gothic’s official video for “Nice Night” - a standout track from their acclaimed self-titled album - premiered this morning via the fine folks at Stereogum. The stark new visual stars band members Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri, and was shot in a single take over an evening in June by returning director Addison Post (“Every Night You’ve Got To Save Me”).

Stereogum had this to say, “The self-titled release is a delightfully genre-hopping collection of songs that range from Kraftwerk-esque synth meditations (“Territory”) to exuberantly bright indie-pop (“Every Night You’ve Got To Save Me“). Lead single “Nice Night,” however, always felt like the most fitting of Heroux’s stylistic costumes — a simultaneously sludgy-yet-shimmering reflection that finds him first singing, then later shouting about depression as an avalanche of distortion arrives to bury him. In the new Addison Post-directed video for “Nice Night”…Heroux sits in the center of a white backdrop dispassionately mouthing along to his song as Zambri accompanies him on the bass. Post also helmed the clip for “Every Night You’ve Got To Save Me,” which captured too the pair’s innate chemistry, one that’s immediately apparent here even as they rarely catch one another’s eye. It’s a simple visual, but it’s one that lets the power of Heroux’s words come across undistracted (see premiere July 11th).”

Mass Gothic’s summer tour schedule begins later this week, with a show at San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences on July 14th. The group will also hit the road with labelmate Kyle Craft for a short east coast tour, which begins August 9th in Montreal at La Vitrola and ends August 13th in Philadelphia at Boot & Saddle. (Complete tour dates below.)

Mass Gothic is available now, everywhere fine musical recordings are sold [buy link]. 

Tour Dates

Jul. 14 - San Francisco, CA - California Academy of Sciences

Aug. 09 - Montreal, QC - La Vitrola*

Aug. 10 - Allston, MA - Great Scott*

Aug. 11 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge*

Aug. 12 - Washington, DC - DC9*

Aug. 13 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle*

* w/ Kyle Craft

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : WED, JUL 13, 2016 at 7:00 AM

LVL UP Signs to SUB PP! New Album ‘Return To Love’ Out September 23

We’re thrilled to announce the signing of Nor’Eastern upstarts LVL UP to what has been best described as a seemingly endless and punishing recording contract. Welcome to the family, fellas! 

Lead-off track ”Pain” is a lo-fi indie rock jammer from their forthcoming Sub Pop debut (LVL UP’s third album), Return To Love. The Mike Ditrio-produced record showcases LVL UP’s ability to write incredibly understated indie-pop classics. Pitchfork says of LVL UP: “Homespun, 1990s-indebted indie pop… A uniquely vulnerable songwriting voice makes LVL UP distinct.” 

The band is based out of New York, and members’ roots run deep into the DIY scene.  (Their Evie Nagy-penned bio is below for your perusal.)

Return To Love is available for pre-order now, and LP pre-orders through Sub Pop Mega Mart and independent retailers near you will receive the limited Loser Edition on orange creamsicle swirl vinyl (while supplies last).

LVL UP have also announced a Fall tour, that includes dates with Bear vs Shark, Alex G and Eskimeaux. Details below.

[photo credit: Shawn Brackbill]


More about LVL UP, by Evie Nagy:
“Hidden Driver,” the opening track of LVL UP’s third album and Sub Pop debut Return to Love, never stops moving. What starts with unassuming guitars and vocals adds new lines, depths, and intensity, until its unrestrained, triumphant finish. “God is peeking, softly speaking,” repeats the chorus, working through the relationship between spirituality and creative inspiration, and introducing a band that is always pushing further.

LVL UP – guitarists Mike Caridi and Dave Benton, bassist Nick Corbo, and drummer Greg Rutkin – is a true collaboration, a band that takes the stylistically distinct ideas of four members and brings them together into something new. Caridi, Benton, and Corbo write and sing equally, bringing their work to the group to be fully realized, resulting in an album built on different perspectives but a common drive.

“We have very different inspirations across the board,” says Benton, noting his own admiration for the writer and documentarian Astra Taylor, Corbo’s interest in the mystical and the occult, and Caridi’s attention to personal storytelling. The music itself grows from a shared melodic and experimental sensibility, as well as a nod to iconic influences like Neutral Milk Hotel and Mount Eerie. But each songwriter has a different vision every step of the way, and there isn’t always alignment–it shouldn’t make sense, but in the end it does.

LVL UP was formed in 2011 at SUNY Purchase as a recording project between Caridi, Benton, and their friend Ben Smith, with the original intention of releasing a split cassette with Corbo’s then-solo material. They instead released that album, Space Brothers, as one band, and Rutkin joined shortly afterwards for the group’s first show. Smith left the band for personal reasons just before the release of second album Hoodwink’d, a joint release on Caridi and Benton’s label Double Double Whammy and Exploding in Sound. DDW also put out records from other artists in the tight-knit community that launched the band.

“There’s not really a town associated with the school, so there’s no bar or club that you could go play in easily,” says Corbo. “But there was a student center on campus that was all student run. That was a great place to play, and also take care of a lot of practical issues like a place to put your stuff and a place to practice weekly. It was almost like an incubator situation for us and a lot of other bands – it gave us a little bit of experience and confidence, so it wasn’t as scary when we decided to go on tour for the first time.”

Also part of that university community was Return to Love’s producer Mike Ditrio, who mixed LVL UP’s previous records and “was basically a fifth member of the band,” says Corbo. “He played a huge role in developing the sound, without butting in too much. He also navigated our personal dynamic really nicely.”

That sound is marked by reverb, harmony and tape distortion, with a keen balance of pop and experimentation. From the fast yet flowing lines of “Blur” to the all-consuming wall of guitar in “The Closing Door,” each song pushes and pulls in compelling, unexpected ways. There’s deliberation as well as spontaneity – the latter developed with the help of a song-a-day project, which pushed Caridi and Corbo to write and record full songs in a single day. Some of that material, including “Naked in the River with the Creator,” made it onto the album.

“I ultimately made this half-drone, half-really loud guitar song, because it was an idea I had floating around in my head but never got around to doing until I had to write a song in a day,” says Corbo. “The thing that pulled me through was grasping onto words and images, but instead of pulling from an infinite sea of all the images that you could pull from, it’s easier to constrict yourself a little bit.”

Tour Dates:
9/9 - Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5
9/10 - Raleigh, NC @Hopscotch Festival
9/11 - Washington, DC @ DC9
9/20 - Boston, MA @ Great Scott
9/21 - Montreal, QC @ Pop Montreal (Bar Le “Ritz” PDB) ~
9/22 - Burlington, VT @ Arts Riot ~
9/23 - Durham, NH @ University of New Hampshire
9/24 - New York, NY @ Market Hotel %
9/25 - Philadelphia, PA @ Philamoca
9/28 - New Haven, CT @ Bar
9/29 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom ^
9/30 - Kingston, NY @ BSP
10/16 - Olympia, WA @ Track House
10/17 - Seattle, WA @ The Black Lodge
10/18 - Portland, OR @ Analog Cafe
10/20 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill ^
10/21 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill ^ 
10/22 - Pomona, CA @ VLHS
10/23 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex ^
10/29 - Gambier, OH @ Kenyon College
10/30 - Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar *
11/1 - Nashville, TN @ The High Watt *
11/2 - Birmingham @ The Syndicate Lounge *
11/3 - New Orleans, LA @ Siberia *
11/6 - Dallas, TX @ Three Links *
11/9 - Omaha, NE @ Milk Run *
11/10 - Madison, WI @ The Frequency *
11/11 - Chicago, IL @ Subterranean *
11/12 - Lansing, MI @ The Blind Pig *

~ w/ Eskimeaux
% Record Release Show w/ Ovlov and Vagabon
^ w/ Bear Vs Shark
* w/ Alex G and Brandon Can’t Dance

Ticket links reside here.

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : THU, JUL 14, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Listen To New Track “The System of 1000 Lies” Off Morgan Delt’s Upcoming Release ‘Phase Zero’

Coming to you direct-ish from his Topanga Canyon studio, Morgan Delt just shared “The System of 1000 Lies,” another kaleidoscopic track from Phase Zero, his forthcoming Sub Pop debut.

In case you haven’t heard, Morgan Delt’s live show is a psychedelic smorgasbord for the ears and eyes; his international tour schedule for 2016 in support of Phase Zero resumes August 4th in Luxembourg-Bonnevoie at Rotondesbeen, and dates have now been extended through September 24th, with a show at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn.  Delt and his band will tour both Europe (August 4th-20th) and North America (September 14th-24th) during this time. (Current schedule below.)

Phase Zero is available to preorder now (please do), and LP pre-orders through Sub Pop Mega Mart/independent retailers near you will receive the limited Loser Edition on red vinyl (while supplies last).

Tour Dates

Aug. 04 - Luxembourg-Bonnevoie, LX -Rotondes
Aug. 05 - Liege, BE - Micro Festival
Aug. 06 - Yverdon-
les-Bains, CH - Club Paradis
Aug. 08 - Berlin, DE - Berghain
Aug. 09 - Copenhagen, DK - KB18
Aug. 10 - Oslo, NO - Oya Festival
Aug. 11 - Göteborg, SE - Way Out West Festival
Aug. 12 - Hamburg, DE - ÜBEL&GEFÄHRLICH
Aug. 13 - Amsterdam, NL -  Paradiso
Aug. 14 - Saint-Malo, FR - La Route du Rock Festival
Aug. 15 - London, UK - Moth Club
Aug. 16 - Manchester, UK - Soup Kitchen
Aug. 17 - Leeds, UK - A Nation of Shopkeepers
Aug. 18 - Brighton, UK - Prince Albert
Aug. 19 - Paris, FR - Le Point Ephemere
Aug. 20 - Stein Am Rhein, CH - Klingen Openair Festival
Sep. 14 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
Sep. 15 - Detroit, MI - UFO Factory
Sep. 16 - Toronto, ON - The Silver Dollar
Sep. 17 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz
Sep. 20 - Washington, DC - DC9
Sep. 21 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
Sep. 23 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East
Sep. 24 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right 

Ticket links here.

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, JUL 19, 2016 at 6:00 AM

Listen To Brand New Track “Try My Robe” off GOAT’s Upcoming Album ‘Requiem’

Sub Pop is pleased to announce the release of Requiem by Swedish psych-rock collective GOAT. Requiem is the band’s third full-length and their second for Sub Pop, and the 13-track album features the songs “Try My Robe,” “Alarms,” and “Union of Sun and Moon.” Requiem finds GOAT focusing more on their subdued, bucolic ritualism than psilocybin freakouts, with a pronounced folk-rock influence pervading the album.  But Goat hasn’t foregone their fiery charms—tracks like “All-Seeing Eye” and “Goatfuzz” conjure the sultry pulsations that ensnared us on 2012’s World Music and 2014’s Commune.

Requiem is available to preorder now, and LP pre-orders through the Sub Pop Mega Mart and independent retailers near you will receive the limited Loser Edition on translucent red vinyl with black streaks (while supplies last).

GOAT have also announced upcoming European shows, as follows:

Tour Dates

Jul. 22 - Barcelos, Portugal - Milhoes de Festa

Jul. 23 - Barcelos, Portugal - Milhoes de Festa

Jul. 24 - Barcelos, Portugal - Milhoes de Festa

Sep. 03 - Wiltshire, United Kingdom - End of the Road Festival

Oct. 07 - Malmö, SE - Babel

Oct. 08 -  Köpenhamn, DK - Den grå hal

Oct. 10 - Köln, DE - Stadtgarten 

Oct. 11 - München, DE - Ampere

Oct. 12 - Berlin, DE  - Berghain

Oct. 13 - Heidelberg, DE - Karlstorbahnhof EnjoyJazz

Oct. 14 - Paris, FR - Cabaret Sauvage

Oct. 17 - Brighton, UK - All Saints Church

Oct. 18 - London, UK - Coronet

Oct. 19 - Bristol, UK - SWX 

Oct. 21 - Glasgow, UK - 02 ABC 

Oct. 22 - Manchester, UK - Albert Hall

Ticket links are here.

Posted by Rachel White