NPR Music’s Rodney Carmichael says in the …Born On A Gangster Star review, “In thermodynamics, black bodies are both perfect absorbers and emitters of radiant energy. That seeming contradiction would not be lost on one Palaceer Lazaro, better known as Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces, who continues to find far-out ways to reflect and refract the sound and fury of popular culture and contemporary blackness.”
And in the accompanying …vs The Jealous Machines review, Carmichael offers this, “Shifting the paradigm isn’t Palaceer Lazaro’s point. Rather, it’s the pervading pointlessness that Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines and accompanying album Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star put on blast. When the self-proclaimed aliens begin to rule the industry, it’s natural for anyone with an original voice to feel a true sense of alienation. And therein is where the irony — and Shabazz Palaces’ genius — lies.”
Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines and Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star will be released on July 14th on CD / LP / DL / CS and are now available for preorder from Sub Pop here. LP pre-orders for each album from megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers, will receive the limited “Loser” edition on colored vinyl (…Jealous Machines on mashed-up purple; …Born on a Gangster Star on aluminum). Both albums can be purchased together as a special bundle, and there are also fresh new T-shirt designs associated with each release (one for …Born on a Gangster Star and two for …vs. The Jealous Machines) (read more at Sub Pop).
“The ‘Quazarz’ suite is an unequivocal triumph.” [9/10] -Loud & Quiet
Shabazz Palaces will support both Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines with international tour dates that span July 13th-16th at Cascadia Festival in Granite Falls, Washington through November 9th-12th at Le Guess Who? Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands.
Jul. 13-16 - Granite Falls, WA - Cascadia Festival Aug. 16 - Portland, OR - The Star Theater* Aug. 18 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall* Aug. 19 - Los Angeles, CA - The Regent Theatre* Aug. 20 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom* Aug. 21 - El Paso, TX - Lowbrow* Aug. 23 - Austin, TX - Mohawk (Outdoor Stage)* Aug. 24 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada* Aug. 25 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon* Aug. 26 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West* Aug. 27 - Charleston, SC - Music Farm* Aug. 28 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle* Aug. 30 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups* Aug. 31 - Detroit, MI - El Club* Sep. 01 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace* Sep. 02 - Montreal, QC - Theatre Fairmount* Sep. 03 - Quebec City, QC - Le Cercle Sep. 05 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair* Sep. 06 - Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw* Sep. 07 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer* Sep. 08 - Washington, DC - Black Cat* Sep. 09 - Baltimore, DC - Ottobar* Sep. 11 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall Sep. 15 - 17 - Chicago, IL - Riot Fest at Douglas Park Nov. 09-12 - Utrecht, NL - Le Guess Who? Festival *w/ Porter Ray
Light Information will be available in Canada from Flemish Eye and the rest of the world from Sub Pop on September 8th.
In Chad VanGaalen’s new animated video for “Pine and Clover”, a shapeshifter is born with the inability to form memories. It transforms into whatever creature or object it senses to be closest to it in the moment, but cannot remember what it was previously. It seems to have no sense of self, whatsoever. Or as VanGaalen humorously theorizes it: “This is what humans will end up being, or possibly have been.”
Created by VanGaalen, the “Pine and Clover” video is a combination of hand drawn drawn animation (cell animation), claymation, and paperless 2D animation. As the singer describes it: “The style and economy of the animation is governed by my ability to sit in a chair and draw for as long as I possibly can without being distracted by my beautiful vegetable garden. Because of the garden and its beauty, I have been inspired to make most of the environments similar to what I see in the garden, so needless to say there is a lot of lettuce.”
Chad VanGaalen’s “Pine and Clover” is one of the highlights from Light Information, the creative polymath’s sixth album.
In other fantastical (but also very factual) news: on September 8th, Sub Pop will repress VanGaalen’s Infiniheart, his beloved and long out of print (on vinyl) 2005 debut on 2xLP and Turquoise vinyl. And now at long last, Chad VanGaalen’s discography (Shrink Dust, Infiniheart, Skelliconnection, Soft Airplane, and Diaper Island) is available for the first time time ever on Bandcamp.
Light Information is available for preorder now on CD / LP / DL / CS from Sub Pop and Flemish Eye. LP pre orders of the album from megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on crystal clear vinyl (while supplies last). There will also be a new T-shirt design available for your bundling pleasure.
Chad VanGaalen’s previously announced fall 2017 international tour dates in support of Light Information span October 15th in Utrecht, Netherlands at EKKO through December 8th in Montreal, Quebec at The Fairmount.
Europe Oct. 15 - Utrecht, NL - EKKO Oct. 16 - Rotterdam, NL - Rotown Oct. 17 - London, UK - Oslo Oct. 18 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club Oct. 20 - Hamburg, DE - Molotow (Sky Bar) Oct. 21 - Copenhagen, DK - Stengade Oct. 22 - Berlin, DE - Kantine am Berghain Oct. 24 - Düdingen, CH - Bad Bonn Oct. 25 - Lyon, FR - Le Sonic Oct. 26 - Amiens, FR - La Lune des Pirates Oct. 27 - Paris, FR - Point Ephemere Oct. 28 - Nantes, FR - SOY Festival Oct. 29 - Tourcoing, FR - Le Grand Mix Oct. 30 - Luxemburg, LU - Rotondes Oct. 31 - Gent, BE - NEST
North America Nov. 09 - Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore Cabaret Nov. 10 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern * Nov. 12 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir * Nov. 14 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel * Nov. 15 - Los Angeles, CA - Satellite Club * Nov. 16 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar * Nov. 17 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar * Nov. 19 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive * Nov. 20 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court Nov. 30 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace Dec. 01 - Detroit, MI - El Club ** Dec. 02 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle ** Dec. 03 - Indianapolis, IN - The Hi Fi ** Dec. 05 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe ** Dec. 06 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade NYC ** Dec. 07 - Allston, MA - Great Scott ** Dec. 08 - Montreal QC - Fairmont** *w/ NE-HI **w/ Un Blonde
Join US. Trust US. WE know what is best. Sleep more. Watch more. Eat gristle. Drink pop. Do Less.
JoinUS. Trust US. WE know what is best. Sleep more. Watch more. Eat gristle. Drink pop. Do Less.
JoinUS. Trust US. WE know what is best. Sleep more. Watch more. Eat gristle. Drink pop. Do Less. ——————— An interruption of the Guild’s proliferation of porcinepoliculapropogandai. A notification of service:
We received the beams and mixed them for the youth of ourterra so that they might know that they were not alone, that the revolution of resolution was still well underway.
We saw shattered fragments of the ritual dance that sustained them even in the midst of thetechno tyranny. It’s form was fitting as they like us were shards of what was Once.
They needed To know that theQuazarian fight mirrored their own and that there was hope in both the old ways and the new.
The guild doesn’t want you to see-hear-feelthi…
JoinUS. Trust US. WE know what is best. Sleep more. Watch more. Eat gristle. Drink pop. Do Less
JoinUS. Trust US. WE know what is best. Sleep more. Watch more. Eat gristle. Drink pop. Do Less
JoinUS. Trust US. WE know what is best. Sleep more. Watch more. Eat gristle. Drink pop. Do Less
Published in Quazarian Con-Guild leaflet The Proper Gander circa right now “Release Day” by Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes
Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines are available for purchase now from Sub Pop right here. LP orders for each album from megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers will continue to receive the limited “Loser” edition on colored vinyl (…Jealous Machines on mashed-up purple; …Born on a Gangster Star on aluminum) while supplies last. Both albums can be purchased together from Sub Pop as a special bundle, and there are also new T-shirt designs associated with each release (one for …Born on a Gangster Star and two for …vs. The Jealous Machines).
Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star, which includes tracks “Shine A Light” (feat. Thaddillac), “Since Caya,” “When Cats Claw” and Moon Whip Quäz (feat. Darrius),” was produced by Knife Knights (aka Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood) and recorded and mixed by Blood at Protect and Exalt Labs: A Black Space in Seattle.
Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines, which includes tracks “30 Clip Extension” “Effeminence” and “Julian’s Dream (Ode to a Bad)” was produced by the Palaceer Lazaro and Sunny Levine, recorded in Seattle at Protect and Exalt Labs: A Black Space and in Marina Del Rey at Dror Lord Studios, and mixed by Levine and Kamal Humphrey at Kamal’s House Studio.
Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines will also be available as a special-edition illustrated album: illustrated by cartoonist Joshua Ray Stephens this full-color, hand-numbered, 32-page book includes a download code for the full album. Joshua Ray Stephens worked directly with Shabazz Palaces to interpret the album track-by-track, creating a cohesive whole that synchronizes music and image. Printed in a large 11” x 17” format, with saddle-stitch binding, this limited-edition art piece further expands the ambitious universe of Quazarz and Shabazz Palaces. The illustrated album version of Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines will be released in collaboration with Fantagraphics Books on Friday, August 18th.
Shabazz Palaces have extended their 2017 tour schedule in support both Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines with international dates that begin July 13th-16th at Cascadia Festival in Granite Falls, Washington run and through November 9th-12th at Le Guess Who? Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands. The European leg of the tour will visit 23 cities including Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Istanbul, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Geneva, Paris, Dublin, London, Glasgow, and Brussels.
Jul. 13-16 - Granite Falls, WA - Cascadia Festival Aug. 16 - Portland, OR - The Star Theater* Aug. 18 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall* Aug. 19 - Los Angeles, CA - The Regent Theatre* Aug. 20 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom* Aug. 21 - El Paso - TX - The Lowbrow * Aug. 21 - El Paso, TX - Lowbrow* Aug. 23 - Austin, TX - Mohawk (Outdoor Stage)* Aug. 24 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada* Aug. 25 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon* Aug. 26 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West* Aug. 27 - Charleston, SC - Music Farm* Aug. 28 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle* Aug. 30 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups* Aug. 31 - Detroit, MI - El Club* Sep. 01 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace* Sep. 02 - Montreal, QC - Theatre Fairmount* Sep. 03 - Quebec City, QC - Le Cercle Sep. 05 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair* Sep. 06 - Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw* Sep. 07 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer* Sep. 08 - Washington, DC - Black Cat* Sep. 09 - Baltimore, DC - Ottobar* Sep. 11 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall * Sep. 12 - Nashville, TN - Exit In * Sep. 13 - St. Louis - MO - Ready Room * Sep. 16 - Chicago, IL - Riot Fest at Douglas Park Oct. 06 - Copenhagen, DK - Jazz House Oct. 07 - Stockholm, SE - Debaser Strand Oct. 08 - Oslo, NO - Parkteateret Oct. 09 - Gotheburg, SE - Pustervik Oct. 11 - Helsinki, FI - Kuudes Linja Oct. 12 - Tallin, Estonia - Sinilind Oct. 13 - Riga, LV - Skaņu Mežs festival Oct. 17 - Bratislava, SK - A4 Zero Space Oct. 19 - Ljubljana, SI - Kino Siska Oct. 20 - Istanbul, TR - Garajstanbul Oct. 21 - Vienna, AT - Arena Oct. 22 - Prague, CZ - Struny Podzimu Festival Oct. 23 - Berlin, DE - Gretchen Oct. 26 - Dudingen, CH - Bad Bonn Oct. 27 - Zurich, CH - Rote Fabrik Oct. 28 - Geneva, CH - La Graviere Oct. 30 - Paris, FR - Batofar Nov. 03 - Dublin, IE - Sugar Club Nov. 06 - London, UK - Oval Space Nov. 07 - Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute Nov. 08 - Glasgow, UK - Art School Nov. 10 - Brussels, BE - AB Nov. 09-12 - Utrecht, NL - Le Guess Who? Festival (Curated by Shabazz Palaces)
Strange Peace will be available in Canada from Royal Mountain Records and throughout the rest of the world from Sub Pop Records.
On September 22nd, METZ will release Strange Peace, an emphatic but artful hammer swing to the status quo and their highly-anticipated third full-length album. Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), Hayden Menzies (drums), and Chris Slorach (bass) recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago, live off the floor to tape with Steve Albini. The result is a distinct artistic maturation into new and alarming territory, frantically pushing past where the band has gone before, while capturing the notorious intensity of their live show. The trio continued to assemble the album (including home recordings, additional instrumentation) back at home in Toronto, adding the finishing touches with longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer, Graham Walsh. “The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty,” Edkins explains. “They’re about recognizing that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears. They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”
And “Cellophane,” the first song to be released from the new album, is available now. Read the full bio for Strange Peace below.
Strange Peace is available for pre-order now from both Sub Pop and Royal Mountain Records. LP pre-orders of the album from megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser Edition on clear vinyl with red and green swirls (while supplies last).
Strange Peace Tracklisting: 1. Mess of Wires 2. Drained Lake 3. Cellophane 4. Caterpillar 5. Lost in the Blank City 6. Mr. Plague 7. Sink 8. Common Trash 9. Escalator Teeth 10. Dig a Hole 11. Raw Materials
METZ have scheduled international tour dates in support of Strange Peace from September 25th at Chicago’s Thalia Hall, through to December 16th in Houston at Studio at Warehouse Live, with more to follow. This first tour will visit over 34 cities including Toronto (two shows), Boston, New York, Philadelphia, DC, Prague, London, Warsaw, Berlin, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Paris, Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Austin.
Sep. 05 - Atlanta, GA - 529 Sep. 07- Raleigh, NC - Hopscotch Festival Sep. 25 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall Sep. 29 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace * Sep. 30 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace * Oct. 02 - Boston, MA - Sinclair # Oct. 03 - Philadelphia, PA - The First Unitarian Church # Oct. 04 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg # Oct. 05 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom # Oct. 06 - Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel # Oct. 08 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rosa Nov. 02 - Prague, Czech Republic - Futurum ! Nov. 03 - Wroclaw, Poland - Klub Firlej ! Nov. 04 - Warsaw, Poland - Klub Hydrozagadka ! Nov. 06 - Berlin, Germany - Bi Nuu ! Nov. 07 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen ! Nov. 08 - Hamburg, Germany - Knust ! Nov. 09 - Zwolle, Netherlands - Poppodium Hedon ^ Nov. 10 - Kortrijk, Belgium - De Kruen (Sonic City Festival) Nov. 12 - Le Havre, France - Le Tetris % Nov. 14 - Nimes, France - La Paloma % Nov. 15 - Bordeaux, France - Theatre Barbey % Nov. 16 - Toulouse, France - Club Metronum % Nov. 17 - Barcelona, Spain - La (2) De Apolo % Nov. 18 - Madrid, Spain - Moby Dick % Nov. 20 - Nantes, France - Pole Etudiant % Nov. 21 - Paris, France - Le Trabendo % Nov. 22 - London, UK - The Garage % Nov. 23 - Bristol, UK - The Fleece % Nov. 24 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club % Nov. 25 - Brighton, UK - The Haunt % Dec. 07 - Seattle, WA - Neumos Dec. 08 - Vancouver, BC - Cobalt Dec. 09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Dec. 11 - San Francisco, CA - Independent Dec. 12 - Los Angeles, CA - Teragram Dec. 13 - San Diego, CA - Casbah Dec. 15 - Austin, TX - Mohawk & Dec. 16 - Houston, TX - Studio @ Warehouse Live
* with SUUNS # with Uniform ! with Protomartyr ^ with Brian Case % with Drahla & with Cherubs
More on METZ’s Strange Peace Since releasing their self-titled debut record in 2012, which The New Yorker called, “One of the year’s best albums…a punishing, noisy, exhilarating thing,” the Toronto-based 3-piece METZ have garnered international acclaim as one of the most electrifying and forceful live acts, touring widely and extensively, playing hundreds of shows each year around the world.
Now, Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), along with Hayden Menzies (drums), and Chris Slorach (bass) are set to unleash their highly-anticipated third full-length album, Strange Peace, an emphatic but artful hammer swing to the status quo.
“The best punk isn’t an assault as much as it’s a challenge — to what’s normal, to what’s comfortable, or simply to what’s expected. Teetering on the edge of perpetual implosion,” NPR wrote in their glowing review of METZ’s 2015 second album, II.
Strange Peace was recorded in Chicago, live off the floor to tape with Steve Albini. The result is a distinct artistic maturation into new and alarming territory, frantically pushing past where the band has gone before, while capturing the notorious intensity of their live show.
“Recording in Chicago was a blast. We tracked fourteen songs in four days. It was the first time we felt confident enough to just play live and roll tape,” Edkins said of the recording process. “Strange Peace is much more diverse and varied than anything we’ve done before, which was exhilarating, but terrifying, too. We took the tapes home to Toronto feeling like we’d made the record we wanted to make.”
The trio continued to assemble the album (including home recordings, additional instrumentation) back in their hometown, adding the finishing touches with longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer, Graham Walsh.
From the ferocious opening track, “Mess of Wires,” we’re met by the sheer force and fierce musicianship we’ve come to expect from METZ. With the unhinged, post-punk fragments of “Drained Lake,” and the whirling, acerbic pop features of “Cellophane,” the band’s hectic progression becomes clear. But Strange Peace isn’t merely a collection of eleven uninhibited and urgent songs. It’s also a kind of sonic venting, a truculent social commentary that bludgeons and provokes, excites and unsettles.
“The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty,” Edkins explains. “They’re about recognizing that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears. They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”
With all the pleasurable tension and anxiety of a fever dream, Strange Peace is equal parts challenging and accessible. It is this implausible balancing act, moving from one end of the musical spectrum to the other, that only a band of METZ’s power and capacity can maintain: discordant and melodic, powerful and controlled, meticulous and instinctive, subtle and complex, precise and reckless, wholehearted and merciless, brutal and optimistic, terrifying and fun.
“Their whiplash of distortion is made with precision, a contained chaos. But you would never talk about them like that. Because METZ are not something you study or analyze,” wrote Liisa Ladouceur in Exclaim! “They are something you feel: a transfer of energy, pure and simple.”
In other words: to feel something, fiercely and intensely, but together, not alone.
2017 tour dates include Capitol Hill Block Party (July 21st) and direct support for Arcade Fire this September
We have news! News of new music, that is.
Wolf Parade have announced that Cry Cry Cry, the band’s first new album in seven years (and fourth full-length overall), will be released worldwide (pre-order here) on Friday, October 6th, 2017. The album will also be available in Canada from Universal Music.
The soaring choruses, rousing anthems, sprawling guitars and chaotic keys that make up Wolf Parade are proudly on display over the course of Cry Cry Cry. These elements are captured on the album’s anthemic lead single “Valley Boy” and additional standouts “You’re Dreaming,” “Artificial Life” and “King of Piss and Paper.” Cry Cry Cry was produced by John Goodmanson at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound in New York.
[Photo Credit: Shane McCauley]
Wolf Parade announced its return to the live stage in early 2016, after a five-year hiatus, scheduling multi-night residencies that May in New York, London, and Toronto to support of Apologies to the Queen Mary, the reissue of its classic, Sub Pop debut. Tickets sold out within a matter of hours. As the May shows neared, Wolf Parade surprised fans again, with a self-titled-and-released EP’s-worth of new material. The excitement surrounding the band’s return led to marquee festival appearances and late night TV performances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan and Last Call with Carson Daly.
Tour Dates + Ticket Links
Wolf Parade’s previously announced tour schedule for 2017 resumes later this week, with a performance at Seattle’s Capitol Hill Block Party on Friday, July 21st. In August, the band will also appear at Ponderosa Music & Arts Festival in Rock Creek, BC on August 18th-20th. Then from September 5th through September 28th, Wolf Parade will act as direct support for The Arcade Fire (select dates). There will be additional live dates announced soon.
Jul. 21 - Seattle, WA - Capitol Hill Block Party Aug. 18-20 - Rock Creek, BC - Ponderosa Music & Arts Festival Sep. 05 - Quebec City, QC - Videotron Center* Sep. 06 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre* Sep. 09 - Ottawa, ON - Canadian Tire Center* Sep. 21 - Duluth, GA - Infinite Energy Arena* Sep. 22 - Tampa, FL - USF Sun Dome* Sep. 23 - Coral Gables, FL - Watsco Center* Sep. 24 - St. Augustine, FL - St. Augustine, FL Amphitheatre* Sep. 26 - New Orleans, LA - UNO Lakefront Arena* Sep. 27 - Austin, TX - Frank Erwin Center* Sep. 28 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center* *w/ Arcade Fire
Cry Cry Cry is now available for pre-order on CD / 2xLP / DL / CS, worldwide from Sub Pop right over here and in Canada from Universal Records here. LP pre-orders through megamart.subpop.comand select independent retailers in the U.S. will receive the limited loser edition on creme colored vinyl (while supplies last). A new t-shirt design will also be available.
Cry Cry Cry Tracklisting
1. Lazarus Online 2. You’re Dreaming 3. Valley Boy 4. Incantation 5. Files on the Sun 6. Baby Blue 7. Weaponized 8. Who Are Ya 9. Am I an Alien Here 10. Artificial Life 11. King of Piss and Paper
About Wolf Parade’s Cry Cry Cry: The soaring choruses, rousing anthems, sprawling guitars and chaotic keys that make up Wolf Parade are on proud display over the course of Cry Cry Cry, the band’s thunderous first album in seven years.
Wolf Parade’s unique combination of sounds and influences, spearheaded by electric co-frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner—is a complex yet relatable, energetic brew of glam, prog, synth-rock, and satisfying discomfort—helped define 2000s indie rock with three critically celebrated albums, and propelled a growing Wolf Parade fandom even after the band went on a then-indefinite hiatus in 2010.
Cry Cry Cry is their first album to be produced by Pacific Northwest legend John Goodmanson (Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Unwound) at Robert Lang Studios outside of Seattle, and is accompanied by a renewed focus and the creativity of a band that took their time getting exactly where they needed to be. It’s also a homecoming to Sub Pop, which released all three of the band’s previous albums.
“The band itself is almost a fifth member of the band, something more or at least different than the sum of its parts,” says Spencer Krug. “We don’t know who or what is responsible for our sound, it’s just something that naturally and consistently comes from this particular combo of musicians.”
“Once we got back together, I was playing guitar, writing and singing in a way that I only do while I’m in Wolf Parade,” says Dan Boeckner, who shares primary lyrical and singing duties with Spencer. “It’s just something that I can’t access without the other three people in the room.”
In the time apart, the band scattered geographically and focused on family and other work–Spencer on his solo project Moonface, Dan on his bands Handsome Furs, Operators, and Divine Fits (with Spoon’s Britt Daniel), and Dante De Caro on records with Carey Mercer’s Frog Eyes and Blackout Beach. And that time allowed for an even stronger, tighter band to emerge.
Eventually, Spencer, Dante, and Arlen found themselves all back living on remote Vancouver Island, accompanied by a population density less than that of Alaska, and the tranquility that leads to creative emanations like a government-sponsored bathtub race. With Dan on the same coast in Northern California, discussions began about picking things up where they left off.
“All of our albums are always a reaction to our last one,” says Arlen. “Expo 86 (2010) was about as sparse as we get, which is usually still pretty dense, and this time we wanted to make the palette a little larger.” Adds Dante, “Expo was a real rock record. We just sort of banged it out, which was kind of the point.” Cry Cry Cry, on the other hand, is more deliberate in its arrangements and embrace of the studio process. “If a part was going on for too long it would get lopped, you know?” says Dan. “That being said, there are two very long songs on the record and I don’t think it would be a Wolf Parade record if it didn’t have some kind of prog epic.”
“I think we’re actually a better band than we were when we stopped playing music together,” says Arlen. “A little bit more life experience for everybody, and people having made a bunch of records on their own.”
The result of this new consciousness is songs like “Valley Boy,” a Bowie-inflected anthem for which Spencer wrote lyrics after Leonard Cohen died the day before the 2016 election (“The radio’s been playing all your songs, talking about the way you slipped away up the stairs, did you know that it was all gonna go wrong?”). “You’re Dreaming,” also influenced by the election and the spinning shock that followed, is driving, urgent power pop that draws from artists like Tom Petty and what Dan calls one of his “default languages” for writing music. The swirly, synth-heavy crescendo of “Artificial Life” takes on the struggle of artists and at-risk communities (“If the flood should ever come, we’ll be last in the lifeboat”).
The album carries a sense of uprising that is not unrelated to Wolf Parade’s renewed determination to drive the band forward in uncertain times. Welcome to Cry Cry Cry.
Talk Tight is Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s first release, which originally came out on CD in March of 2016 on Ivy League Records in the band’s home country of Australia. This is the first time Talk Tight will been available in the US, and the first time it is available on vinyl anywhere.
One might consider Talk Tight a mini-album, or extended EP, if you will. Whatever you call it, this thing garnered the band critical acclaim in their home country and in the US, where Pitchfork gave the record an 8.0 (!) and described it like so:
“Seven rip-roaring tracks that move by their own logic, any one of which could be a single and all of which leave you wanting more in the best way possible… Listening to these seven tunes, you can easily trace a national lineage: the relentlessness of Radio Birdman, the pop literacy of the Go-Betweens, the rambunctious energy of the Easybeats, and the belief—shared with Courtney Barnett—that guitars are not just crucial to the message but might very well be the message themselves.”
The band released their Sub Pop debut, The French Press EP, in March of 2017, and they are currently working on their first full-length album.