“Together, they’ve produced eerie, mesmerizing soundscapes —an alluring tease at what they’re capable of.”— Cool Hunting
“Over whisking wind and a krautrock pulse infested by rattlesnakes, Cross and Meiburg dreamily intone a story about escaping from a sealed room. [‘Relay Runner’ is] truly lovely.” — Stereogum
“Immediately engrossing” – GoldFlakePaint
“Sounds like three musicians wildly in love.” – Monster Children
“A manifestation of brilliant musical minds in organic workspaces” – The Line of Best Fit
Loma, the new project comprised of Jonathan Meiburg, best known as the singer of Shearwater, and Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record, will release their self-titled debut album on February 16th via Sub Pop. The band just extended their first North American tour into May (find dates below).
A product of a joint pilgrimage around the globe by fellow touring musicians, Loma is a beautifully detailed and emotionally rich album “full of mystery and wonder” (NPR Music). After presenting the lead single, “Black Willow,” Loma now shared “Relay Runner” and have now followed up with the video, directed by Allison Beondé and Cross.
As Cross describes it, “This song is about transitioning from one state to another… specifically from the feeling of being boxed in and trapped to the feeling of freedom and liberation. It is about the ongoing drive to attain that movement. I think of the ‘relay’ as the endless series of versions of yourself that each hand off to the next version of yourself. Beyond that, I wanted to express unbridled joy–for being alive, for moving my body, for being able to build myself a human dog agility course from supplies I bought at the Home Depot.”
In creating Loma, the trio convened in a house in the Texas hill country over a few months during a strangely charged time. When they began recording, Cross and Duszynski were a married couple, but their relationship ended during the sessions—an atmosphere Meiburg found both challenging and inspiring—and the isolated house became the album’s muse. Except for Cross’s translucent voice in the foreground, there were no assigned roles on the album; each member of the trio played every instrument as needed. This feeling of freedom let buried energies find expression. Cross wrung catharsis from Meiburg’s lyrics and melodies, while Duszynski immersed himself in the engineering and mixing.
Loma is available for preorder from Sub Pop right here. North American preorders of the limited Loser edition from megamart.subpop.com will be available on clear vinyl with red and black swirlies (while supplies last). A new T-shirt design will also be available.
Honky-tonk rocker “Exile Rag” is the new single from Kyle Craft’s Full Circle Nightmare, his forthcoming second album which will be available in stores February 2nd, 2018.
While working on a weed farm in Northern California, Craft coined the term “Exile Rag” for the tunes he’d pick out on the guitar while everyone slept. Back in Portland, he developed feelings for a woman, that in the end weren’t reciprocated. He’d sit alone in the farm’s workroom, dreaming of his life back in the city and asking himself, “What if?”
When he belts out the line “By the time that her door’s closing, and you feel like you’re imposing on that brand new boyfriend she has, she’ll be rolling in new love and you’ll be singing on the Exile Rag,” the song’s feeling of unrequited love is captured perfectly.
The Line of Best Fit had this to say: “A charming bluegrass number full to the brim with twangs, slides and that famous Southern charm. It is much like it’s creator; cheery, self-assured, a bit bizarre, slightly comedic, and utterly genius (see premiere January 9th).”
Kyle Craft has also scheduled headlining tour dates for the spring of 2018 in support of Full Circle Nightmare. The tour dates span March 5th in San Francisco at Cafe Du Nord through April 4th in Chicago at Schubas. The tour will have stops in Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin (SXSW), Shreveport, Nashville, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Allston, Burlington, Toronto, and Columbus.
Preceding the tour, Craft has scheduled two Pacific Northwest week of release shows including Seattle’s Tractor Tavern on February 1st and Portland’s Doug Fir on February 2nd. Feb. 01 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern Feb. 02 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Mar. 05 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe Du Nord Mar. 07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Morroccan Lounge Mar. 08 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah Mar. 12 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 13 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 14 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 15 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 16 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 17 - Shreveport, LA - Red River District Mar. 21 - Nashville, TN - The Basement Mar. 22 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
Mar. 23 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle Mar. 24 - Washington, DC - Pearl Street Warehouse Mar. 26 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle Mar. 27 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right Mar. 28 - Allston, MA - Great Scott Mar. 30 - South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Showcase Lounge Apr. 02 - Toronto, ON - Smiling Buddha Apr. 03 - Columbus, OH - The Basement Apr. 04 - Chicago, Il - Schubas
Full Circle Nightmare was produced by Chris Funk (of the Decemberists), with mixing by Trevor Spencer (Father John Misty) and Benjamin Weikel and Brandon Summers (of The Helio Sequence). The album is the follow up to Dolls of Highland, his acclaimed debut.
Full Circle Nightmare is available for preorder now from Sub Pop (and select independent retailers) right over here. Customers who pre-order the LP version of Full Circle Nightmare from megamart.subpop.comwill receive the album on Loser Edition Maroon w/Black Swirl colored vinyl, while supplies last.
“When Kyle Craft’s heart breaks, it shoots glitter and confetti—by the time he hits the chorus, the song has erupted into a tempest of sassy brass, swirling organs, and hip-swiveling boogie.” [“Heartbreak Junky”] - Pitchfork
To celebrate 30 years of releasing somewhat well-regarded records, CDs and tapes, Sub Pop Records is hosting an entirely FREE event we’ve taken to calling SPF30. Sub Pop’s 30th Anniversary Party (with entertainment), will be held Saturday, August 11th, 2018 along incredibly scenic Alki Ave. in the Alki Beach neighborhood of West Seattle (see West Seattle Blog January 12th).
Seattle’s Alki Beach boasts some of the most awesome territorial (city/water/mountain) views the city has to offer, along with the occasional whale sighting, a somewhat diminutive replica of the Statue of Liberty, and some of the best local businesses to boot. We are stoked (and not a little surprised) that the city cleared the permits.
SPF30 is altogether FREE and will have… Bands! A record fair-type event! A host of local nonprofit organizations! Food! Booze! (The food and beer and wine and soda or whatever, you will have to pay for! These parts are not free!) Good times and opportunities to embarrass yourself and those who’d always hoped for better for you! Plus, bands!
Sub Pop’s 30th Anniversary Party (with entertainment) at Alki Beach
On March 30th, New York four-piece Frankie Cosmos will release their Sub Pop debut, Vessel. This 18-track opus finds bandleader Greta Kline’s distinctive songwriting voice enriched by the musical sensibilities of her bandmates– bassist/vocalist David Maine, keyboardist/vocalist Lauren Martin and drummer Luke Pyenson, who each played a role shaping the sound of the new record.
On the album’s first single “Jesse,” Kline works through feeling out of place, and trying to be more psychically in touch with herself. [Stop-motion animated visuals for this first track were expertly made by Ariel Noltimier Strauss.] One of the early songs from Vessel that the band arranged, “Jesse” was tied together musically by the melodic and agile lead guitar playing of Alex Bailey, who later joined Frankie Cosmos full-time on bass.
To record Vessel, Frankie Cosmos traveled back up to Binghamton, New York to work with Hunter Davidsohn, the producer and studio engineer who helped craft the sound for Zentropy and Next Thing, at his studio Business District Recording. The band spent 3 days upstate live-tracking drums, bass, and guitars, as well as vocals, favoring the spontaneity of reel-to-reel tape over the meticulous perfectionism caused by recording digitally. Several songs are instrumental first or second-takes, highlighting a newfound collective energy felt by the band’s four members after months of touring, practicing, and arranging together.
For the next phase, Davidsohn joined the band in Brooklyn to record harmonies, keyboards, and other overdubs with Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader of Ava Luna at their studio, Gravesend Recordings. As Frankie Cosmos started testing out new songs for Vessel on the road, the band invited members from their fellow touring bands to join them on stage to sing or play parts on tracks like “Being Alive” and “Jesse.” Once in the studio, the band decided to invite those same friends and more to contribute parts to the final recorded versions: Alex Bailey (formerly of Warehouse, who has replaced David Maine as a permanent member of the live band), Vishal Narang (of Airhead DC), and singer/songwriter Anna McClellan. After a total of 6 days of recording followed by group mixing sessions, Davidsohn put the finishing touches on the album back upstate and eventually sent the completed album to Josh Bonati to be mastered.
Pre-orders for Vessel are available now through Sub Pop right over here. LP pre-orders through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on blue vinyl (while supplies last).
Vessel Tracklisting: 1. Caramelize 2. Apathy 3. As Often as I Can 4. This Stuff 5. Jesse 6. Duet 7. Accommodate 8. I’m Fried 9. Hereby 10. Ballad of R & J 11. Ur Up 12. Being Alive 13. Bus Bus Train Train 14. My Phone 15. Cafeteria 16. The End 17. Same Thing 18. Vessel
Frankie Cosmos Tour Dates
The band will embark on a US tour in support of Vessel on April 5th in Boulder, CO with stops in Santa Fe, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Berkeley, Seattle and Portland. Support on these shows will come from Lomelda, Ian Sweet and SOAR. Additional dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tour Dates: Apr. 05 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theater * Apr. 06 - Colorado Springs, CO - Black Sheep * Apr. 07 - Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf * Apr. 09 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom * Apr. 10 - San Diego, CA - Quartyard % Apr. 11 - Los Angeles, CA - Regent Theatre % Apr. 12 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room % Apr. 13 - Fresno, CA - Strummers % Apr. 14 - Berkeley, CA - UC Theatre % Apr. 17 - Seattle, WA - Neumos % Apr. 18 - Olympia, WA - Capitol Theater % Apr. 20 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom %
New York native songwriter and composer Greta Kline has shared a bounty of her innermost thoughts and experiences from the past six years through the almost inconceivable number of songs she has released since 2011. Like many of her peers, Kline’s prolific creative output was initially born out of an era where bedroom recording and self-releasing became more possible than ever through the advent of the internet. But as she’s grown as a writer and performer, playing to larger audiences and devising more complex albums, Kline has shifted from an artist who’s made strides despite limitations, to an artist whose impact can be seen across modern independent music. Her newest record, Vessel, which will be out spring 2018 through Sub Pop Records, is the 52nd release from Kline and the third studio album by her indie-pop outfit Frankie Cosmos. On it, Kline explores all of the changes that have come in her life as a result of the music she has shared with the world for the past half-decade, as well as the parts of her life that have remained irrevocable.
Frankie Cosmos has taken several different shapes since their first full band album, Zentropy, erupted in New York’s DIY music scene in 2014. For Vessel the band’s line up comprises of guitarist/singer Greta Kline, bassist/vocalist David Maine, keyboardist/vocalist Lauren Martin, and drummer Luke Pyenson, who each contributed their own musical sensibilities to help shape the sound of the new record, both on their principal instruments and others. In between tours supporting their last album, Next Thing, Kline brought new songs to the band’s rehearsals, and together the members collectively participated in turning them into full-band arrangements. As a result, the album’s staggering 18 tracks implement a range of instrumentations and recording methods unheard of on the albums preceding it, while still maintaining the succinctly sincere nature of Kline’s songwriting.
The album’s opening track, “Caramelize,” serves as the thematic overture for Vessel, alluding to topics like dependency, growth, and love which reoccur throughout the record. The song strings together a scope of musical motifs and showcases the intense dynamics in both Kline’s lyrics and the band’s performance that continue on the tracks that follow. Although many of the scenarios and personalities written about on Vessel are familiar territory for Frankie Cosmos, what’s really changed on the new record is Kline’s nuanced point of view and her desire to constantly question the latent meaning of her experiences. In the album’s first single “Jesse,” Kline grapples with the startling personal epiphanies in life that stem from dreams and subconscious realizations. On another single, “Apathy,” Kline confronts her own insecurities around personal change and feeling distant from the people she once had a close relationship with. Then later on the album “Accommodate,” deals with the complexity of being in a community that would rather turn its nose to a problem than hold its members accountable. “Being Alive” stands out as one of the few old Bandcamp-era Frankie Cosmos songs the band reworked for Vessel, and shows the rhythm section quickly shifting between fast and slow tempos as Kline ponders the minutia of existence. Kline’s dissonant lyrics are paired with the band’s driving, jangly grooves creating several moments on the album where the bandmates’ chemistry playing together is brought to the forefront.
Vessel’s run time is exactly double the length of Frankie Cosmos’ breakout record, Zentropy, and serves as enormous leap forward in the band’s catalog. But ultimately, the album’s unique sensibility, esoteric narratives, and reveling energy, allow it to exist as just another distinctive chapter in Kline’s ongoing musical autobiography. Through Vessel, Kline provides the listener with a spectrum of disparate anecdotes, observations, and affirmations and then tasks them with arranging the pieces in a way that they can make their own sense of. Typically albums by artists at a similar stage in their career are written with the weight of knowing that someone is on the other end listening. Yet, despite bringing attention to her audience in direct references, Kline and the rest of Frankie Cosmos have passionately written Vessel with a clarity not muddled by the fear of meeting anyone’s expectation.
THE BAND WILL PLAY COACHELLA, SHAKY KNEES, LANEWAY FESTIVALS AND MORE IN 2018
Today, Melbourne outfit Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever share a new song, their first new material at the top of what will surely be a big year for the five-piece. “Mainland” boasts the same urgency as tracks like “Clean Slate” and “Sick Bug” that helped bring the band to the attention of punters and won them critical acclaim. Inspired by a 2017 trip to his grandparents’ birthplace of the Aeolian Islands off Sicily, singer/songwriter/guitarist Tom Russo describes how the track came together. “I was reading about a refugee crisis unfolding not far away in the Mediterranean Sea,” says Russo. “The song is about longing, disillusionment, privilege and holding on to love as a kind of shield.”
Recorded in a secluded house in Australia’s Northern NSW wilderness, “Mainland” marks the first taste of new music from the band since the release of their lauded 2017 EP “The French Press” (Sub Pop). The EP landed on many “Best Of 2017” lists, including The Guardian, Paste, and more.
Also, as announced earlier this month, Rolling Blackouts C.F. will be playing Coachella and Shaky Knees festivals in the states, as well as Laneway overseas. The band will tour North America, the UK and Europe around the festival dates as well.
SINGAPORE / NEW ZEALAND/ AUSTRALIA
Sat. Jan. 27 - Singapore @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Jan 29 - Auckland, NZ @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Feb 2 - Adelaide, AUS @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Feb 3 - Melbourne, AUS @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Feb 4 - Sydney, AUS @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Feb 10 - Brisbane, AUS @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Feb 11 - Fremantle, AUS @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Fri. Apr. 13 - Sun. Apr. 15 - Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
Fri. Apr. 20 - Sun. Apr. 22 - Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
Tue. Apr. 24 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Wed. Apr. 25 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
Fri. Apr. 27 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Sat. Apr. 28 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
Mon. Apr. 30 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Wed. May 2 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
Thu. May 3 - Nashville, TN @ The Basement
Fri. May 4 - Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees Festival
Sat. May 5 - Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
Sun. May 6 - Washington, DC @ DC9
Tue. May 8 - Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
Thu. May 10 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Fri. May 11 - Allston, MA @ Great Scott
Sat. May 12 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
UK & EUROPE
Sat. May 19 - Nottingham, UK @ The Bodega
Sun. May 20 - Glasgow, UK @ CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts
Friday, March 16th, 2018 will mark the worldwide release of Hot Snakes’ Jericho Sirens, the long-awaited fourth album (and first in 14 years!!!) from the San Diego-based punk rock recidivists. The album was produced by the band and recorded in Philadelphia and San Diego throughout 2017.
Earlier this month, Hot Snakes whet fan appetites by unleashing a trailer featuring :60 (of a total :78) seconds of the monster Jericho Sirens track “Why Don’t It Sink In?” And late yesterday afternoon, Jenny Eliscu premiered the tumultuous new single “Six Wave Hold-Down” on her Sirius XMU show.
Jericho Sirens is now available for preorder from Sub Pop over here and will come in the following formats:
Standard LP on clear vinyl
The limited Loser edition LP on black vinyl (while supplies last!)
Hot Snakes previously announced UK tour in support of Jericho Sirens runs January 25th-February 3rd, 2018. The band will then play a hometown release show in San Diego at the Casbah on March 7th, which is then followed immediately by a midwestern U.S. tour March 10th-16th. Tour dates below.
Jan. 25 - Manchester, UK - Gorilla Jan. 26 - Glasgow, UK - Broadcast [Sold Out] Jan. 27 - Newcastle, UK - The Cluny Jan. 28 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club Jan. 30 - Nottingham, UK - Rescue Rooms Jan. 31 - Cambridge, UK - The Portland Feb. 01 - Brighton, UK - Sticky Mikes Feb. 02 - London, UK - The Dome [Sold Out] Feb. 03 - Bristol, UK - Thekla (Early Show) Mar. 07 - San Diego, CA - Casbah [Sold Out] Mar. 09 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall Mar. 10 - Detroit, MI - El Club Mar. 11 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop Mar. 13 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge Mar. 14 - St. Louis, MO - Blueberry Hill Mar. 15 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club [Sold Out] Mar. 16 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
More About Hot Snakes Jericho Sirens: Swami John Reis and Rick Froberg have been making noises together since high school. In 1986 it was the post-hardcore chime of Pitchfork. In 1991 it was the sprawling, multi-faceted arrangements of Drive Like Jehu. In 1999 it was the lean, mean swagger of Hot Snakes. Reis and Froberg are responsible for some of the most turbulent rock and roll of their, or any, generation.
Hot Snakes streamlined Jehu’s complex compositions and emerged as bona fide downstroke warlords. They made 3 studio albums of high-velocity, slash-your-face, piss-punk: 2000’s Automatic Midnight, 2002’s Suicide Invoice and 2004’s Audit in Progress. The band ceased activity in 2005 but reunited for a triumphant world tour in 2011, planting the seeds for what has cum.
Now, after a 14-year hiatus from the studio, Hot Snakes have kicked down the door back into our lives with their new album, Jericho Sirens, due out March 16 from Sub Pop. Fresh, warm piss, bottled and sold as lube.
“I considered stopping playing guitar on a social media poll after I completely mastered the instrument,” Reis says. “But so many people kept sending me letters and voicemail messages, asking me at the dry cleaners, or the butcher shop to bring back Hot Snakes. They were missing rock and roll music. I’ve always considered Hot Snakes to be more in the vein of the proto-Vog movement of the early ‘70s. But to these people, this is their rock ‘n’ roll. I understand that. I totally understand people’s desire to be controlled and humiliated by my guitar. Anyone can play the stupid guitar. What they want is for me to use it as a branding iron.”
The new album blasts out of the speakers with the furious “I Need a Doctor,” inspired by Froberg’s experience needing a doctor’s note in order to miss an important work function. “Yeah, I had to be quick on my feet,” says Rick. “Luckily a friend had a stack of stationary from Planned Parenthood and I used that to forge a note relieving me of my obligation to go to a really lame Christmas party at a karaoke joint.”
Throughout Jericho Sirens, Froberg commiserates with the frustration and torrential apathy that seems to be a fixture in our daily lives, while also reminding us that we have no fucking clue. “Songs like ‘Death Camp Fantasy’ and ‘Jericho Sirens’ are about that,” he says. “No matter where you look, there’re always people saying the world’s about to end. Every movie is a disaster movie. I’m super fascinated by it. It is hysterical, and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It snowballs, like feedback, or my balls on the windshield.”
Musically, the album incorporates the most extreme fringes of the Hot Snakes sound (the vein-bulging, 78-second “Why Don’t It Sink In?” the manic, Asian Blues on speed of “Having Another?”), while staying true to longstanding influences such as the Wipers, Dead Moon, Michael Jackson, and Suicide on propulsive tracks such as “Six Wave Hold-Down,” one of the first songs written for the project during a Mummer Parade 2017 session in Philadelphia. Other moments like the choruses of “Jericho Sirens” and “Psychoactive” nod to Status Quo and AC/DC with Froberg admitting, “I still flip bird and ride my BMX on top of cop cars.”
“My muse was love. It sounds like panic and chaos,” Reis says. “Restlessness and unease. That’s a sound that I would ask for. I want that record. The inspiration would be simple, maybe even kind of straightforward. Very early rock ‘n’ roll DNA with lots of rules. I would find some note or rhythm in it that captivated me and I dwelled on it and bent it. That’s where I found dissonance. Bending and rubbing against each other uncomfortably. Marinate and refine. A lot of the other Hot Snakes records always had tension and release, but this one is mainly just tension.”
Jericho Sirens was recorded in short bursts over the past year, mostly in San Diego and Philadelphia with longtime bassist Gar Wood, Jason Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba, both of whom drummed on prior Hot Snakes releases but never on the same one. For Reis, reactivating his creative partnership with Froberg was one of the most rewarding aspects of the process: “Our perspectives are similar. Our tastes are similar. He is my family. And what more is there to say? My favorite part of making this record was hearing him find his voice and direction for this record. I came hard.”
In tandem with a full back catalog reissue series and the new album, Hot Snakes will return to the road in 2018 to incinerate the villages, and they’re already looking ahead to more music. Says Gar Wood, “There’re already 2 more records written and recorded. We wanted to come out with this one using the more mainstream sounding stuff to give people a chance to catch up.”