Do your ears a favor and click on over to Noisey where you can hear Mass Gothic’s self-titled album (in its entirety!) a full seven days before release. Mass Gothiccomes out next Friday, February 5th, and the band’s previously announced 2016 headlining tour in support of the album begins Thursday, February 4th in Philadelphia at Johnny Brenda’s and currently ends March 19th in Austin at SXSW. (See dates below.)
Noisey says of the album, “Don’t let the name Mass Gothic trick you into thinking the record is a spiral into sadsackism. Each song carries its own weight unreliant and wholly different from the track that came before it, creating a collection of different modes of music and feeling. Songs like “Nice Night” carry an unwavering heaviness and compliment the reflective nature of the lyrics, while the track “Territory” creates a variety of different electronic textures that all stay dancy and catchy. The record is a trip into a variety of different vibes and reasons to listen to music, forming into a wholly memorable and engaging listen. It warps what you think pop, rock, and punk can do when bleeding into each other, one song to the next (see album premiere January 29th-February 5th).”
Mass Gothic also recently shared an official video for “Every Night You’ve Got To Save Me”, the iridescent lead single. This exuberant visual, directed by Addison Post (Colleen Green, Solvey), follows group members Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri on a night out in Manhattan.
Village Voice had this to say about the video: “The four-minute clip follows Heroux as he wanders Chinatown, the East Village, and SoHo, karaoke mic in hand, lip-syncing to the track and going nowhere in particular. Along for the ride are his bandmate (and wife) Jessica Zambri, some random passerby, a few cab drivers, and Sub Pop co-founder Jonathan Poneman…The laid-back feel of the video matches the content (if not the upbeat sound) of the song, which covers Heroux’s feelings of alienation and depression when he was making music that didn’t resonate within. Mass Gothic is an honest record, and its lead single needed an honest video where Heroux could exhale and act naturally”. Watch the video here.
Mass Gothic was also named one of Vulture’s “20 Artists You Need To Know in 2016” and said: “Noel Heroux started off working alone on a four-track, and after nine years and mild success with his old band, dance-rockers Hooray for Earth, he’s gone back to the way he used to do things. This became a necessity, really — a way of dealing with his depression — but the results capture something quintessential about the emotional experience at hand: There are definite highs, and there are definite lows on his self-titled debut as Mass Gothic for Sub Pop. Sometimes Heroux, who’s accompanied at turns by his wife Jessica Zambri, sounds like he’s trying to kick down the doors of his own brain with the sheer force of distorted riffs and heavy echoes and sharp turns. Other times, he’s just trying to shake off the bad stuff with a dance party where the playlist’s almost exclusively synth-pop.”
Meanwhile Q Magazine had this to offer: “Tracks such as the exhilarating “Nice Night” - layered stinging distortion - offer a cathartic energy that’s it’s hard not to be pulled in by. Other highlights include the crisp modern doo-wop of “Every Night You’ve Got To Save Me” an the pulsating digital clatter of “Want To Bad”. The sound of a man finding freedom, it’s an impressive reincarnation.”
[Photo Credit :: Shawn Brackbill]
Mass Gothic will be available on CD / LP / CASS / DL worldwide February 5th through Sub Pop. The self-produced effort was mixed Chris Coady (Beach House, TV on the Radio) and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Preorder is available now from Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, and Google Play. LP preorders from megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited “Loser” edition on banana yellow while supplies last (and they’re going fast!).
Feb. 04 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s* Feb. 05 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop* Feb. 06 - Chicago, IL - Schuba’s Tavern* Feb. 08 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry* Feb. 11 - Boise, ID – Neurolux* Feb. 12 - Seattle, WA - Columbia City Theatre* Feb. 13 - Portland, OR - Bunk Bar* Feb. 14- San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop* Feb. 16 - Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg* Feb. 18 - Denver, CO - Lost Lake* Feb. 19 - Kansas City, MO - Riot Room* Feb. 21 - Louisville, KY – Zanzabar* Feb. 22 - Cincinnati, OH - MOTR Pub* Feb. 23 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Café* Feb. 25 - Allston, MA - Great Scott* Feb. 26 - Providence, RI - Columbus Theatre* Feb. 27 - Brooklyn, NY – Palisades* Mar. 10 - Washington, DC - Black Cat Mar. 12 - Savannah, GA - Savannah Stopover Mar. 16 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 17 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 18 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 19 - Austin, TX – SXSW *w/ Mazed
What is the Sub Pop Podcast and why did we make it? Furthermore, you may be asking yourself, “What is this ‘Sub’ ‘Pop’ the narrator of this press release keeps throwing at me?!?” You have questions, we have answers. We also have questions. (But we asked ours to the guests of the Sub Pop Podcast. That’s where you and we differ.)
Firstly: Sub Pop Records is the premier medium-sized, Seattle-based record label, and has been (in existence) since 1988. This is what people refer to as “pre-Internet.”
And then secondly: We are herewith launching The Sub Pop Podcast, where you can hear the stories from inside, outside, and adjacent to Sub Pop, straight from the source. You’ll get conversations with our artists, people who work at/with/around Sub Pop, and anyone else willing or gullible enough to talk to us. And don’t forget our sibling label Hardly Art. They get props, too.
Here’s why a podcast. It’s time to tell the Sub Pop story in our own way. But we realize the Sub Pop story is a fractally diverging, untamed thing that can’t properly be approached from just one viewpoint or in a strictly linear fashion. Everyone we’ve ever been involved with has their own “Sub Pop story,” and that’s how we’re choosing to tell it: through the people in our past, present, and maybe even future. The podcast is the perfect vehicle to try to contain this sprawl in a (we think) entertaining way. And just like Sub Pop itself, the podcast will certainly change as it grows(“certainly”because, on the 1 to 10 “we know what we’re doing” scale, we’re currently registering at about 2, *maybe* 2.5).
And let’s get this straight: When we say “we” are making a podcast (and we’ve been saying that a lot), we mean actual real people who really actually work at Sub Pop Records are making it. It’s produced and hosted by Alissa Atkins (long-time and indispensable Sub Pop employee) and Arwen Nicks (recently hired, no less indispensable). We even constructed a “studio” in a broom closet out of discarded blankets, secondhand burlap, and maybe a microphone or two. So you know we’re serious.
Here are the key facts on the ground: we’re releasing the first TWO episodes today, and until around the beginning of April 2016 we’re releasing a new episode every Wednesday. Once that process is finished we’re going to get a second season together and start this whole process over again.
we have loved and lost before. Who among us hasn’t? And when it comes to that
rare, fine sort of love reserved for major music industry awards like the
Grammys, we have loved really, really hard. With the exception of that one time
in 2008, when The Flight of the Conchordssomewhat miraculously won for Best
we have also, regularly, lost. In fact, we have lost TWICE over the years just
to “Weird Al” Yankovic alone. One would imagine that we would, at some point,
learn from these experiences.
be clear here, when I use “we” throughout the preceding and following, I am,
it’s worth admitting, attempting to associate Sub Pop Records with the
accomplishments of people, groups or artists who have worked with or for us,
thereby taking some largely undeserved credit for their accomplishments…]
hope (and our desire for just this sort of prominent music industry
recognition) blooms springs eternal! Which is why, this year, with the nomination of
our own Sasha Barr (one of Sub Pop’s Art Directors, and a member of our
profoundly talented and surprisingly sensitive Art Department) in the category
of “Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition
Package,” we are ready to love again. We are, it turns out, SO ready to love
again that we have asked Sasha, and he has reluctantly agreed, to document his
experience this weekend and through Monday’s awards presentation in photos. In
turn, we will be foisting the favorites of these on you through our various and
powerful social media channels (likely: Instagram and Twitter, both @subpop). You
can, and we very much hope you will, follow along with our Mr. Barr on his
journey as a Grammy nominee from the comfort (or other conditions) of your own
home or mobile device! It should be fun and will, undoubtedly, be at least a
Nominated for his art direction of the Deluxe Edition of
Father John Misty’s 2015 album I Love You, Honeybear, we are exceedingly
proud of Sasha, and Father John Misty, and the amazing illustration work by
Stacey Rozich featured
throughout the album’s art. So much so that win or lose (as unimaginable as
that latter thing may be), we have every intention of very thoroughly
celebrating Sasha on his return. If he does not bring home the Grammy he
deserves, we will present him with our own, less official and recognizable,
though no less merited and certainly way more homemade, award. It will probably
be called a Grumpy or something.
good luck, Sasha! We’ll all be watching, very closely!
do, in fact, want what we haven’t got (more than that one time).
We couldn’t be more pleased to announce that singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kyle Craftwill release his label debut, Dolls of Highland, worldwide April 29th on Sub Pop Records. The twelve track album features singles “Lady of the Ark,” “Eye of the Hurricane,” “Future Midcity Massacre,” and “Black Mary”.
You can listen to lead track “Lady of the Ark” right here, right now.
Billboard says of Kyle Craft and “Lady of the Ark”: “Craft admits his voice sounds a good deal like Bob Dylan’s, and that his muse has come to him many, many times. Still, “Lady of the Ark” hints that Craft’s music is so full of its own weird singularity that he’s on to something far beyond idol worship (see news story Thursday, February 4th).”
Kyle Craft has scheduled a hometown show on Sunday, February 7th at Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon. There will be additional tour dates announced shortly.
The album was written, recorded and produced by Craft, mixed by Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel of The Helio Sequence at the Old Jantzen Building in Portland, and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.
Dolls of Highland Tracklisting 1. Eye of a Hurricane 2. Balmorhea 3. Berlin 4. Lady of the Ark 5. Gloom Girl 6. Trinidad Beach (Before I Ride) 7. Future Midcity Massacre 8. Black Mary 9. Pentecost 10. Dolls of Highland 11. Jane Beat the Reaper 12. Three Candles
About Kyle Craft: Kyle Craft grew up in a tiny Louisiana town on the banks of the Mississippi, where he spent most of his time catching alligators and rattlesnakes instead of playing football or picking up the guitar. He’s not the born product of a musical family, and bands never came through town–it was only a chance trip to K-Mart that gave him his first album, a David Bowie hits compilation that helped inspire him eventually to channel his innate feral energy into songwriting and rock and roll.
That self-made talent drives every note of Dolls of Highland, Craft’s exhilarating, fearless solo debut. “This album is the dark corner of a bar,” he says. “It’s that feeling at the end of the night when you’re confronted with ‘now what?’”
Craft knows the feeling well–Dolls began to take shape when everything he took for granted was suddenly over, including an eight-year relationship. “All of a sudden I was left with just me for the first time in my adult life,” he says. He decided to get himself and the music he’d been working on far away from the ghosts of his home in Shreveport, Louisiana, to make a new life for himself in Portland, Oregon, living under a friend’s pool table while he demoed new songs and started to tackle his own question about what came next.
Dolls of Highland crashes open with “Eye of a Hurricane,” a whirlwind of ragtime piano and Craft’s dynamic, enthralling vocals. He calls it a “jealous song,” stirred up by the memories of an ill-fated crush and a drama of “weird little connections, a spider web of what the fuck?”
The swinging, resonant “Lady of the Ark” is also tied up in that web, “a very incestuous song,” says Craft. “It’s about these messed up relationships, maybe involving me, maybe revolving around me.” Most of the characters and atmospheres on the album come from in and around Shreveport, where Craft briefly returned while recording the album for an intensely productive reckoning with his past. He stayed in a friend’s laundry room in the Highland neighborhood, where he recorded the whole album in two months on a home studio rig. “I dedicated the album to Shreveport and called it Dolls of Highland for all the girls and ghosts in town who influenced it so strongly.”
Craft eventually returned to Portland where Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel of The Helio Sequence helped refine and mix the album to move it from its DIY beginnings to a more fully realized work. Craft played most of the instruments on the album, but the recorded songs transmit the power of his live performance. “It’s just letting go,” says Craft. “I think it’s just all about feeling it in your chest.”
And then there’s Craft’s unforgettable voice–”I’m fully aware that I have a very abrasive, very loud voice, but Bob Dylan is the one that taught me to embrace that,” says Craft. “I stray away from him from time to time, but always come back. I don’t want to come off as antique, but I also don’t want to be afraid of paying homage to the stuff I’ve always loved.” With those influences as inspiration, Craft’s talent and singular creativity move the conversation into new and unpredictable places.
And no question, this album is very much about moving forward. “After everything fell apart, it didn’t take very long for me to learn who I was and what I should be doing,” says Craft, who is walking out on the other side with Dolls of Highland.
Dangerous Minds had this to say of the track: “Completely badass…If you’re in for this sort of thing (and since you’re still reading, I think it’s fair to assume that skillet-meets-face sludge rock is more or less your zone), the album was worth the wait (see premiere February 25th)”
Mike and The Melvins is a collaboration between Mike Kunka (godheadSilo, Enemymine) and the Melvins.
The group will release Three Men and a Baby on CD/LP/DL/CASS on April 1, 2016 worldwide through Sub Pop. The 12-song album features the highlights “Chicken ‘n’ Dump” and “Limited Teeth.” Most of Three Men and a Baby was recorded in 1999 at Louder Studios by Tim Green (The Fucking Champs), and it was finished in 2015 at Sound of Sirens by Toshi Kasai.
Three Men and a Baby is now available for preorder through the Sub Pop Mega Mart, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp. LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited Loser edition, housed in a custom dust sleeve and on white vinyl (while supplies last), AND there’s a new T-shirt available for your bundling pleasure.
About Mike and The Melvins:
Three Men and a Baby is the new album by Mike and the Melvins. It was supposed to come out sixteen years ago.
These are the facts we can be sure of: in 1998, around the time his band godheadSilo went on hiatus, bassist/vocalist Mike Kunka busied himself by tagging along on a tour with his friends the Melvins. Somewhere along the way, Mike and the Melvins – King Buzzo (guitar/bass/vocals), Dale Crover (drums/vocals), and Kevin Rutmanis (bass/vocals), at the time – decided to make a record together, and gave the project the imaginative moniker Mike and the Melvins. Sub Pop, ever on the hunt for music’s Next Big Thing, enthusiastically agreed to fund and release the super-group’s debut, and recording commenced sometime in 1999.
It’s at this point that things get hazy. Apparently, one or more of the following happened:
Some “junior-high level bullshit.”
A house was built, a barn was raised, children were born.
Typical record-label skullduggery.
A scorching case of whooping cough.
Surgery. Lots of surgery.
Shocking and poorly-timed gear theft.
Some other stuff, probably, or maybe not.
Whatever the reasons, the incomplete recording languished on a shelf from 1999 until 2015, when, much to everyone’s surprise, the involved parties reconvened, finished the damn thing, and delivered it post-haste to Sub Pop International Headquarters, where it was promptly scheduled for the coveted April 1st, 2016 release date. What a story, right?
So, about the record: It’s real good! Mike’s signature bass crunch and vocals are all over it, and the Melvins are in fine form. It has everything from hefty noise-rock churn to a Public Image Ltd. song to cough-syrup blues to deconstructed black metal. Neither Melvins nor godheadSilo fans will be disappointed, nor will detractors of either; to paraphrase Mike, if you don’t like it, it probably wasn’t meant for you (read more at Sub Pop).
Three Men and a Baby
1. Chicken ‘n’ Dump 2. Limited Teeth 3. Bummer Conversation 4. Annalisa 5. A Dead Pile of Worthless Junk 6. Read the Label (It’s Chili) 7. Dead Canaries 8. Pound the Giants 9. A Friend in Need is a Friend You Don’t Need 10. Lifestyle Hammer 11. Gravel 12. Art School Fight Song