The legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band will re-release So It Is and That’s It! on CD / LP worldwide June 28th through Sub Pop. You can preorder both albums now through Sub Pop Mega Mart and select independent retailers in North America, UK and Europe. Both albums are also available digitally now from Sub Pop.
So It Is was originally released in 2017, and finds the classic Preservation Hall Jazz Band sound invigorated by a number of fresh influences, not least among them the band’s 2015 life-changing trip to Cuba. A visit to the island, so integral to the evolution of jazz and New Orleans culture in general, had long been in the works when President Obama’s diplomatic opening suddenly allowed for a more extensive journey than had originally seemed possible. Producer David Sitek, a founder of art rock innovators TV on the Radio who has helmed projects by Kelis, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Santigold among others, offered both a keen modern perspective and a profound respect for the band’s storied history.
So It Is Tracklisting
1. So It Is 2. Santiago 3. Innocence 4. La Malanga 5. Convergence 6. One Hundred Fires 7. Mad
Released in 2013, That’s It! is an eclectic album that draws on the collective experience of players nurtured in the New Orleans tradition but determined to build something fresh and exciting on that foundation. It marks an important milestone in PHJB Creative Director Ben Jaffe’s crusade to carry forward the Hall’s original mission while making it relevant to today’s audiences. For his part, co-producer Jim James is convinced that the PHJB has a future as vibrant as its past: “The music will speak forever,” he says. “Will people stop listening to Beethoven? Will people stop listening to Bob Dylan? Will people stop listening to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band?”
That’s It! Tracklisting
1. That’s It! 2. Dear Lord (Give Me The Strength) 3. Come With Me 4. Sugar Plum 5. Rattlin’ Bones 6. I Think I Love You 7. August Nights 8. Halfway Right 9. Halfway Wrong 10. Yellow Moon 11. The Darker It Gets 12. Emmalena’s Lullaby
Preservation Hall Jazz Band Tour Dates
Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s touring schedule for 2019 resumes May 16th in New Orleans at the Fillmore and currently ends with a three-night stand November 29th-December 1st in Baltimore at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
May 16 - New Orleans, LA - The Fillmore ^ Jul. 05 - Elkhorn, WI - Alpine Valley Music Theatre* Jul. 06 - Elkhorn, WI - Alpine Valley Music Theatre* Jul. 28 - Newport, RI - Newport Folk Festival Aug. 02 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon Aug. 03 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon Aug. 05 - Folsom, CA - Harris Center For The Arts Aug. 06 - Folsom, CA - Harris Center For The Arts Aug. 08 - San Francisco, CA - SFJAZZ Aug. 09 - San Francisco, CA - SFJAZZ Aug. 10 - San Francisco, CA - SFJAZZ (7:00PM) Aug. 10 - San Francisco, CA - SFJAZZ (9:30PM) Aug. 11 -San Francisco, CA - SF Jazz Center - Miner Auditorium Aug. 15 - Philadelphia, PA - Old Pool Farm Aug. 16 - Philadelphia, PA - Old Pool Farm Aug. 17 - Philadelphia, PA - Old Pool Farm Aug. 18 - Philadelphia, PA - Old Pool Farm Aug. 24 - Arrington, VA - Lockn’ Music Festival Sep. 20 - Louisville, KY - Bourbon & Beyond Festival Sep. 21 - Franklin, TN - Pilgrimage Music Festival Sep. 22 - Franklin, TN - Pilgrimage Music Festival Nov. 29 - Baltimore, MD - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall Nov. 30 - Baltimore, MD - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall Dec. 01 - Baltimore, MD - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall *with Dave Matthews Band ^with Foo Fighters
Recently, Preservation Hall Jazz Band released “Kreyol,” a spirited tune from “A Tuba To Cuba,” the forthcoming soundtrack to the critically acclaimed documentary directed by T.G. Herrington and Danny Clinch. The song is available now worldwide on all DSPs from Sub Pop.
“A Tuba To Cuba” follows Ben Jaffe of New Orleans’ famed Preservation Hall Jazz Band as he seeks to fulfill his late father’s dream of retracing their musical roots to the shores of Cuba in search of the indigenous music that gave birth to New Orleans jazz. “A Tuba To Cuba” celebrates the triumph of the human spirit expressed through the universal language of music and challenges us to resolve to build bridges, not walls. The film is available through Amazon Video, iTunes, DirecTV, Google Play, YouTube Movies and more. Check your local service provider for additional listings.
The New York Times says of the film, “This joyous, wide-ranging account of a New Orleans jazz band’s 2015 visit to Cuba is crammed with fascinating facts and toe-tickling tunes.” And the LA Times offers this, “Jaunty, at times poetic chats and drop-ins with many Big Easy and Cuban jazz artists, discussion of their music’s African lineage (the Atlantic slave trade factored in), stirring examples of native instrumentation, and pulsating performances combine with colorful, travelogue-type shots (love those old Cuban theaters) and vivid archival footage to create a vibrant and joyous portrait.”
‘Showboat Honey’ out July 12th worldwide on Sub Pop
Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey have delivered an official video for “Broken Mirror Pose,” a highlight from Showboat Honey, the group’s forthcoming album, out July 12th worldwide from Sub Pop. The performance-based visual was directed by the band.
Craft had this to say of the visual, “We shot “Broken Mirror Pose” at Moonbase Studios, which is where we tracked the entire record ourselves! This one was 95% DIY, much like the album. I built out a room inside of the main studio room and my pal, Bryson Cone, showed me how to edit afterward, letting me take the wheel once I had a little know how.”
Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey Tour Dates
Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey are also announcing new headlining dates for 2019 in support of the album, which begin July 11th in Portland at Mississippi Studios and currently end on August 24th in San Francisco at Cafe Du Nord.
Jul. 11 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios Jul. 13 - Seattle, WA - Ballard Seafood Fest Jul. 14 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett Jul. 15 - Billings, MT - Pub Station Taproom Jul. 17 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club Jul. 18 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle Jul. 19 - Louisville, KY - Jimmy Can’t Dance Jul. 20 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop Jul. 22 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern Jul. 23 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Jul. 24 - Allston, MA - Great Scott Jul. 30 - Woodstock, NY - Colony Aug. 01 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right Aug. 02 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle Aug. 04 - Washington, DC - Pearl Street Warehouse Aug. 05 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle Aug. 06 - Athens, GA - Georgia Theater Rooftop Aug. 07 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl Aug. 08 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn Aug. 09 - Nashville, TN - The Basement Aug. 10 - Oxford, MS - Proud Larry’s Aug. 11 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks Aug. 14 - Shreveport, LA - Minicine Aug. 15 - Dallas, TX - Three Links Aug. 16 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk Aug. 18 - Phoenix, AZ - The Valley Bar Aug. 19 - Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole Aug. 22 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar Aug. 23 - Los Angeles, CA - The Moroccan Aug. 24 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe Du Nord
Showboat Honey was recorded and produced by Kyle Craft, Kevin Clark, and Billy Slater at their own Moonbase Studios in Portland over 2018. The album was mixed by Trevor Spencer and mastered by April Golden at Golden Mastering.
Showboat Honey is now available for preorder through Sub Pop Mega Mart. Preorders of the LP through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America, the UK and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on a clear blue translucent mix with spots red hi-melt (while supplies last). There will also be a new T-shirt design available.
METZ will be on tour in May, June and July of this year.
METZ, our own widely-adored and delightfully noisy 3-piece punk band from Toronto, released their Sub Pop self-titled debut in 2012 and, in the time since, have cemented their reputation as one of the planet’s most exhilarating live acts and trusted providers of bombastic outsider rock. The band is made up of Alex Edkins, Hayden Menzies, and Chris Slorach. Automat is a collection of METZ non-album singles, B-sides, and rarities dating back to 2009, available here on LP for the first time, and including the band’s long out-of-print early (pre-Sub Pop) recordings. A chronological trip through the lesser known material of METZ, Automat will be released worldwide on Sub Pop July 12, 2019.
The band’s Alex Edkins shares, “The idea to release Automat came after realizing our early 7” singles were being sold online for upwards of $60 bucks a pop. We wanted to make those songs available and affordable to anyone who might want them in the physical format. What started as reissuing a couple of 45s, quickly morphed into an entire LP, compiling rarities, demos and alternate takes from over the years.”
“‘Pure Auto’ is METZ at our most tongue in cheek,” says Edkins. “There are many winks and many nods (autonomy, me, me, me, me, me, for example) but ultimately it’s about being a control freak; fighting the urge to constantly steer the ship. Originally released as the B-side to the ‘Eraser’ 7” it has never been played live, but for some reason still manages to be one of our collective favorites. It was written and recorded very quickly after completing the II album sessions and came out of a surge of creativity/excitement/relief following a particularly intense and time-consuming album. You can watch the new video for “Pure Auto” by Montreal’s Scorpion Dagger by clicking here and also here.”
Consumers of the vinyl format of Automat will be rewarded with a bonus single that includes three additional tracks: a cover of Sparklehorse’s “Pig,” from a very limited 2012 Record Store Day split single originally released by Toronto’s Sonic Boom record shop; “I’m a Bug,” a cover of The Urinals’ art-punk classic, originally released on YouTube (not an actual record label) in 2014; and METZ’s previously unreleased rendition of Gary Numan’s “M.E.”
METZ are currently hard at work on their 4th full-length LP which will be released on Sub Pop when we are all damn good and ready.
All tracks on Automat have been lovingly remastered by Matthew Barnhart at Chicago Mastering Service.
1. Soft Whiteout 2. Lump Sums 3. Dry Up 4. Ripped on the Fence 5. Negative Space (7 inch version) 6. Automat 7. Wet Blanket (demo) 8. Dirty Shirt 9. Leave Me Out 10. Can’t Understand 11. Pure Auto 12. Eraser
METZ are playing May 25th in Minneapolis and May 26th in Chicago with labelmates Mudhoney and heading overseas on June 23rd, to begin a 14-date EU run with performances at Loose Ends Festival in Amsterdam, Lars Rock Festival in Chiusi Scalo in Italy, Pointu Festival in Island Gaou, France, and ending July 14th in Montmartin-sur-Mer, France.
Tour Dates May 25 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Cafe* May 26 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall # May 27 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club Jun. 23 - Amsterdam, NL- Loose Ends Festival Jun. 25 - Bristol, UK - Fleece Jun. 26 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club Jun. 27 - Manchester, UK - YES Jun. 28 - London, UK - Studio 9294 Jun. 29 - Eindhoven, NL - Effenaar Jul. 02 - Zurich, CH - Bogen F Jul. 03 - Lyon, FR - Ninkasi Gerland / Kao Jul. 05 - Chiusi Scalo, IT - Lars Rock Festival Jul. 07 - Ile du Gaou, FR - Pointu Festival Jul. 09 - Düdingen, CH - Bad Bonn Jul. 10 - Luxembourg-Bonnevoie, LU - Rotondes Jul. 11 - Bremen, DE - TOWER Musikclub Jul. 13 - Paris, FR- La Station, Gare Des Mines for Garage MU Festival Jul. 14 - Montmartin-sur-Mer, FR - Chauffer Dans La Noirceur
Support dates with Mikal Cronin from Nov. 08- Dec. 01.
[Photo Credit: Denee Segall]
Thrilled to announce that Sub Pop has signed a worldwide recording deal with transcendent folk-pop artist Shannon Lay. Pitchfork described her 2017 release Living Water as “a work of plainspoken mysticism that goes to the small, bright truth of things, showcasing her unusual songwriting and quietly commanding voice.”
To celebrate this union, Lay has shared a cover of the classic Karen Dalton song “Something On Your Mind.” “This song means a lot to me,” says Lay. “The version that Karen Dalton does is a gorgeous piece of wisdom. I wanted to cover it because I believe in the message with all my heart. Life is going to knock you down and lift you up and you’ll never experience any of it unless you try. I love the idea of spreading that spirit further. If there’s something on your mind, let it out. Try even if there’s a possibility you’ll fail, you might learn something amazing about yourself.” You can listen to Shannon Lay’s cover of “Something On Your Mind” here.
Shannon Lay will join as a member of Ty Segall’s Freedom Band for his upcoming Full album residencies in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London, Berlin, and Haarlem. SeePitchfork’s news story from April 24th. Following these shows, Shannon will start an 18-date North American run opening for Mikal Cronin. These shows will have the bands performing in Portland, Vancouver, Seattle, St. Paul, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Durham, Atlanta, and New Orleans, ending on December 1st in San Diego. See below for a full list of shows and stay tuned for more information on impending music from Shannon Lay.
Weyes Blood is extending her international tour schedule in support of Titanic Rising, her critically acclaimed new album, available now from Sub Pop. The “Something to Believe Tour” begins August 7th in San Diego at The Irenic and ends November 17th in Oslo at Parkteatret.
Fan presales begin Wednesday, May 22nd at 10 am (local) and run through Thursday, May 23rd at 10 pm (Local). Tickets for the general public go on sale Friday, May 24th at 10 am (Local). For more up to date ticket information please visit WeyesBlood.com.
Weyes Blood will also support Kacey Musgraves on her headlining tour September 11th through September 21st.
Weyes Blood’s current “True Love Is Making A Comeback” late spring tour is underway with a show tomorrow night, May 21st in St. Paul (Minneapolis) at the Turf Club and wraps up on June 13th in Los Angeles at the Troubadour.
And Weyes Blood’s festival appearances for 2019 include Roskilde in Denmark on July 5th, Outside Lands in San Francisco on August 11th and Austin City Limits October 4th-6th.
Spring/Summer 2019 May 21 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club [Sold Out] May 22 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall [Sold Out] May 24 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern [Sold Out] May 25 - Montreal, QC - Petit Campus [Sold Out] May 26 - Portland, ME - SPACE Gallery May 28 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair May 29 - New York, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg [Sold Out] May 31 - Washington, DC - U Street Music Hall Jun. 01 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s [Sold Out] Jun. 03 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl [Sold Out] Jun. 04 - Nashville, TN - The High Watt [Sold Out] Jun. 06 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada Jun. 07 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall (upstairs) Jun. 08 - Austin, TX - Antone’s [Sold Out] Jun. 10 - El Paso, TX - Lowbrow Palace Jun. 11 - Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf Jun. 12 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar Jun. 13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour [Sold Out] Jul. 05 - Roskilde, DK - Roskilde
Something to Believe Tour North America Aug. 07 - San Diego, CA - The Irenic Aug. 08 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre Aug. 10 - San Luis Obispo, CA - SLO Brewing Company Aug. 11 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands Aug. 14 - Vancouver, BC - Imperial Aug. 17 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom Sep. 05 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street Sep. 06 - New Haven, CT - Space Ballroom Sep. 07 - New York, NY - Webster Hall Sep. 09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Rex Theater Sep. 11 - Philadelphia, PA - The Met* Sep. 12 - Boston, MA - Rockland Trust Bank Pavillion* Sep. 13 - Charlottesville, VA - Sprint Pavillion* Sep. 14 - Cary, NC - Koka Booth Amphitheatre* Sep. 16 - Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium* Sep. 17 - Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium* Sep. 19 - Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre* Sep. 20 - Charleston, SC - Volvo Car Stadium* Sep. 21 - St. Augustine, FL - Sing Out Loud Festival at St. Augustine Amphitheatre Sep. 23 - Athens, GA- 40 Watt Sep. 24 - Richmond, VA - Broadberry Sep. 25 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar Sep. 28 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre Sep. 30 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall Oct. 01 - St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway Oct. 02 - Lawrence, KS - The Bottleneck Oct. 04 - Austin, TX- Austin City Limits Oct. 05 - Austin, TX- Austin City Limits Oct. 06 - Austin, TX- Austin City Limits
Europe Oct. 26 - Dublin, IE - Button Factory Oct. 28 - Glasgow, UK - The Art School Oct. 29 - Manchester, UK - Club Academy Oct. 30 - London, UK - Electric Brixton Nov. 03 - Bordeaux, FR - IBOAT Nov. 05 - Braga, PT - gnration Nov. 06 - Lisbon, PT - ZDB @ B.Leza Nov. 07 - Madrid, ES - Sala 0 - Palacio de Prensa Nov. 10 - Vevey, CH - Rocking Chair Nov. 11 - Zürich, CH - Bogen F Nov. 13 - Berlin, DE - Bi Nuu Nov. 14 - Copenhagen, DK - DR Koncerthuset Studie 2 Nov. 15 - Stockholm, SE - Slaktkyrkan Nov. 16 - Gothenburg, SE - Oceanen Nov. 17 - Oslo, NO - Parkteatret
Titanic Rising is in stores now, and also available from Sub Pop.
Rock provocateur Marika Hackmanwill release her highly anticipated new album Any Human Friendon 9th August via Sub Pop in North and South America and AMF Records for the rest of the world. Marika also unveils her slap-in-the-face, Will Hooper-directed (IDLES, APRE) video for current single“i’m not where you are.”
The FADER had this to say of the video, “Hackman is preparing to release Any Human Friend, the follow up to I’m Not Your Man and, if its lead single “i’m not where you are” is anything to go by, a record just as brazen as its predecessor. “i’m not where you are” is one of Hackman’s most darkly-toned tracks yet: an ode to emotional unavailability delivered with Hackman’s typically smooth hypnotic, vocals. “I’ve been trying to find the point in human contact,” Hackman sings over crunchy guitars and bright synths, before shrugging the whole thing off entirely: “I get bored like that.” (see video premiere May 21st).”
Marika Hackman Tour Dates
Marika Hackman international tour schedule in support of Any Human Friend begins for 2019 spans September 21st in Bristol, UK at Thekla and ends November 6th in West Hollywood, CA at The Roxy Theatre. Preceding the headlining fall dates are two UK festival appearances: June 1st at London’s All Points East and August 15th at Green Man Festival.
Jun. 01 - London, UK - All Points East Aug.15 - Beacon Breacons, UK - Green Man Festival Sep. 21 - Bristol, UK - Thekla Sep. 23 - Glasgow, UK - Oran Mor Sep. 24 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club Sep. 25 - Manchester, UK - Band On The Wall Sep. 26 - London, UK - Islington Assembly Hall Oct. 11 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl Oct. 12 - Durham, NC - The Pinhook Oct. 13 - Washington, DC - U Street Music Hall Oct. 14 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle Oct. 15 - Brooklyn, NY - Elsewhere Oct. 18 - Allston, MA - Great Scott Oct. 19 - Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall Oct. 20 - Montréal, QC - Bar Le ‘Ritz’ P.D.B. Oct. 21 - Toronto, ON - The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern Oct. 23 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups Oct. 24 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig Oct. 25 - Chicago, IL - Sleeping Village Oct. 26 - Milwaukee, WI - Back Room at Colectivo Coffee Oct. 28 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry Nov. 01 - Seattle, WA - Neumos Nov. 04 - Oakland, CA - Starline Social Club Nov. 06 - West Hollywood, CA - The Roxy Theatre
Any Human Friend
Any Human Friendwas co-produced by David Wrench(Frank Ocean, The xx, Let’s Eat Grandma) and Marika herself, and shows off a sharper and more liberated sound than ever before. Now available for preorder from Sub Pop: LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on Salmon-colored vinyl (while supplies last). There will also be a new t-shirt design available.
1. wanderlust 2. the one 3. all night 4. blow 5. i’m not where you are 6. send my love 7. hand solo 8. conventional ride 9. come undone 10. hold on 11. any human friend
More on Marika Hackman’s Any Human Friend: “hand solo,” “blow,” “conventional ride”—these are just a few of the cheeky offerings off Any Human Friend, the new album from rock provocateur Marika Hackman. “This whole record is me diving into myself and peeling back the skin further and further, exposing myself in quite a big way. It can be quite sexual,” Hackman says. “It’s blunt, but not offensive. It’s mischievous.” There’s also depth to her carnal knowledge: Any Human Friend (August 9th from Sub Pop Records in North and South America and AMF for the rest of the world) is ultimately about how, as she puts it, “We all have this lightness and darkness in us.”
Hackman lifted the album’s title from a documentary about four-year-olds interacting with dementia patients in senior homes. At one point, two little girls confer about their experience there, with one musing on how it’s great to make “any human friend,” whether old or young. “When she said that it really touched a nerve in me,” says the London-based musician. “It’s that childlike view where we really accept people, are comfortable with their differences.”
Such introspection has earned Hackman her name. Her folkie 2015 debut, We Slept at Last, was heralded for being nuanced and atmospheric. She really found her footing with her last release, I’m Not Your Man—which earned raves from The Guardian, Stereogum, and Pitchfork—and its sybaritic, swaggering hit “Boyfriend,” which boasts of seducing away a straight guy’s girlfriend. “Her tactile lyrics keep the songs melodically strong and full of surprises,” remarkedPitchfork. We’ll say!
“I’m a hopeless romantic,” she explains. “I search for love and sexual experience, but also I’m terrified by it.” Hackman is a Rid of Me-era PJ Harvey for the inclusive generation: unbounded by musical genre, a preternatural lyricist and tunesmith who isn’t afraid to go there. (Even her cover art, which finds Hackman nearly nude while cradling a baby pig, is a nod to Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra’s unfiltered photos of mothers just after they gave birth.) To that end, “hand solo” extorts the virtues of masturbation and features Hackman’s favorite line, “Under patriarchal law, I’m going to die a virgin.” The song “blow” paints a picture of social excess. And “conventional ride” thumbs its nose at heterosexual sex through “the trope a lot of gay women experience: sleeping with someone, then it becomes apparent you’re kind of an experiment.”
With Any Human Friend, boundaries are no longer an issue for her. “I sent ‘all night’ to my parents and they were quite shocked,” she says of the paean to the flesh, dressed as a sweetly harmonic track. “Why does it sound shocking coming out of my mouth? Women have sex with each other, and it seems to me we aren’t as freely allowed to discuss that as men are. But at no point am I disrespecting the women I’m having sex with. It can be fucking sexy without banging people over the head with a frying pan. It’s sexy sex.”
Sharing intimacies with her parents sorta makes sense when you consider she wrote “the one”—a portrait of the artist amid identity crisis—and several other songs in her bedroom at their house, where she crashed after a painful break-up with a longtime girlfriend. “‘send my love’ is a proper breakup song,” she says of the levitating, string-laden track. “I actually wrote that in a moment of grief. It’s a strange take on it because I’m imagining myself as my ex-girlfriend.” She penned its companion track, “i’m not where you are,” a melodic earworm about emotional detachment from relationships, roughly six months later.
“I think because my life was flipped upside down, it was taking me longer to write,” she says. “This was definitely the hardest process I’ve gone through to make a record.” She wrote the album over a year, recording a few songs at a time with co-producer David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx). “I stopped being able to sleep properly,” she says. “I was waking up in the middle of the night to write songs.”
But the longer recording process also meant that Hackman had the time to experiment in the studio, especially with electronic songs. She was inspired by Wrench’s vast synth collection, many of which she used throughout Any Human Friend (“the synths give the album a nice shine”), notably on “hold on,” a deep dive into ennui expressed as ethereal R&B. She also switched up drum rhythms and wrote songs on the bass, such as the upbeat, idiosyncratic “come undone” (working name: “Funky Little Thang”).
Hackman bookends Any Human Friend with some of her most unexpected musical turns. The first song she wrote, “the one” (technically its second track), is “probably the poppiest song I’ve ever written,” she says. “It’s about that weird feeling of starting the process again from scratch.” To that end, it features a riot grrrl Greek chorus hurling such insults at her as, “You’re such an attention whore!” The title track closes out the album and explores how, “when we’re interacting with people, it’s like holding a mirror up to yourself.” It’s a weightless coda that’s jazz-like in its layering of rhythmic sounds as if you’re leisurely sorting through Hackman’s headspace.
“The drive to do all this is all just about trying to work out what the fuck is in my brain,” she says, laughing. The dragon she’s chasing is a rarified peace that materializes after properly tortured herself. “I really did have a good time working on this album,” she says, reassuringly. “It’s just emotionally draining to write music and constantly tap into your psyche. No musician is writing music for themselves to listen to. It’s a dialogue, a conversation, a connection. I’m creating something for people to react to.”