The Big Exercise, which features the singles “I Celebrate My Fantasy,” the aforementioned “Male Bonding,” “Kaïn,” and the title track, was produced by The Homesick at Schenk Studio in Amsterdam, mixed by Casper van der Lans, and mastered by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring).
The Big Exercise is available for preorder on CD/LP/DL from Sub Pop. Preorders of the album through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on bright yellow vinyl (while supplies last). Meanwhile, preorders in the UK and Europe from select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on opaque yellow vinyl (while supplies last).
The Homesick’s international tour schedule in support of The Big Exercise resumes February 21st, 2020 at Groningen at Vera and ends March 7th, 2020 in Utecht at Ekko. Additional live dates to be announced soon.
Feb. 21 - Groningen, NL - Vera Feb. 28 - Nijmegen, NL - Merleyn Mar. 05 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Mar. 06 - Rotterdam, NL - WORM Mar. 07 - Utrecht, NL - EKKO
About The Homesick’s The Big Exercise: If their debut Youth Hunt marked The Homesick’s tryst with faith and pastoral life, the band’s upcoming second album The Big Exercise brings them to more grounded, tangible pastures. With its title ripped from a passage in the Scott Walker-biography Deep Shade Of Blue, the record is a concentrated effort by Jaap van der Velde, Erik Woudwijk and Elias Elgersma to explore the physicality of their music in fresh ways (read more at Sub Pop).
Apple Music today announced masked country crooner Orville Peck will kick off the new year
as the latest Up Next artist to join Apple Music’s monthly artist initiative
geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising talent. Peck
embodies the program’s rising star status as a modern alt-country artist for
the Instagram age, a burgeoning fashion and cultural icon who is breaking
boundaries in the country music tradition.
“I’m thrilled to
have been chosen as Apple’s newest Up Next artist,” said Peck. “They have been
so supportive of me and it feels real nice to be able to bring y’all a little
closer to who I am as a country musician and an artist.”
“Orville Peck is an
enigma alright: a glorious mix of differing qualities that, on paper, really
shouldn’t work,” said Apple Music host Matt Wilkinson. “Yet when you listen to
his music, and hear his story, and watch how he connects with people on stages
all over the world, there can be no denying that he’s hit upon something very
special indeed. At his London show last October I saw stetson-wearing country
old-timers stood shoulder-to-shoulder with drag queens, hipsters, indie kids,
members of the fashion elite and sweet couples out on date night - all
completely connected thanks to the music of one man who says he’s spent his
entire life feeling disconnected. The irony of that!”
Peck’s Up Next short shot on iPhone 11 comes to Apple Music
exclusively today and is available to watch HERE.
In the film, Peck speaks to his trademark fringed mask, and tells Apple Music,
“The point is combining ultra-sincerity with a heightened version of who you
are at your core.”
On January 29th, Peck will perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live! as part of Apple
Music’s Up Next program.
Moaning, the musical effort from vocalist/guitarist Sean Solomon, bassist/keyboardist Pascal Stevenson and drummer Andrew MacKelvie, will follow-up their 2018 self-titled debut with Uneasy Laughter on Sub Pop Records this March 20th, 2020. What happens when an abrasive rock trio trades guitars for synths, cranks up the beats and leans into the everyday anxieties of simply being a functioning human in the 21st century? The answer is Uneasy Laughter, the sensational second Sub Pop release from Los Angeles-based Moaning. Pre-order Uneasy LaughterHERE.
Uneasy Laughter is a collaborative breakthrough which significantly brightens Moaning’s once claustrophobic sound, again abetted by producer/engineer Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, Bloc Party, Melvins). The trio points to first single “Ego,” released today, which features a costume-heavy video directed by Ambar Navarro (Soccer Mommy, Oberhoffer, Anna Burch), as an embodiment of this evolution.
“The lyrics are about letting go of your own bullshit to help other people. Wanting to love yourself to love others. The ego can make you feel like you’re the greatest person in the world or the worst.” stated vocalist Sean Solomon. It makes you think your problems are abnormally different which is isolating and rarely true. The song is a reminder that listening to other perspectives is important and beneficial to both parties involved.”
“Musically, the song was started by repurposing a drum beat made for a different demo and putting it on top of a new synth loop. It was a digital collage where we passed Ableton files back and forth,” added bassist/keyboardist Pascal Stevenson. “We purposely avoided the impulse to add guitars to everything, letting the melodies of the synth and vocals be the focus. We wanted to embrace the songs ability to slip between genre lines.”
Solomon, Stevenson and MacKelvie have been friends and co-conspirators amid the fertile L.A. DIY scene for more than a decade. They are also immersed in other mediums and creative pursuits — Solomon is a noted illustrator , art director and animator, while Stevenson and MacKelvie have played or worked behind the boards with acts such as Cherry Glazerr, Sasami and Surf Curse. On Uneasy Laughter, they’ve tackled challenges both personal and universal the only way they know how: by talking about how they’re feeling and channeling those emotions directly into their music.
“We’ve known each other forever and we’re really comfortable trying to express where we’re at. A lot of bands aren’t so close,” says MacKelvie. Adds Solomon, who celebrated a year of sobriety during the Uneasy Laughter sessions, “Men are conditioned not to be vulnerable or admit they’re wrong. But I wanted to talk openly about my feelings and mistakes I’ve made.”
Stevenson’s initial demo was slower and in what he calls “a strange time signature,” which stymied Solomon’s attempts to write vocal melodies. Borrowing a MacKelvie drumbeat from the demo of a different song, Stevenson found that it fit perfectly. The track was fleshed out further in practices and through passing demos back and forth, with the result “perfectly capturing every idea we wanted to play with,” says MacKelvie.
“I don’t think we would have been able to approach writing a song that way before,” adds Stevenson.
Several of the songs originated on acoustic guitar, and guitar can be heard in at least some form on nearly every album track. But the willingness to experiment with synths and loops greatly expanded Moaning’s sonic palette, particularly on the guitar-less album closer “Say Something.”
Recalls Solomon, “I wrote it as a folk song. When I brought it in, I told the guys, ‘I kind of hate this, but I like the melody and lyrics, so how do we turn it into a Moaning song?’” The answer turned out to be by stripping out guitar entirely and turning it into “a complete digital creation. It’s super weird and clubby. Now we just need to figure out how to play it live,” he says with a laugh. “When you hear Nirvana cover the Vaselines, it’s still the same song but it sounds completely different. Song structure can transcend style and genre. I wanted to write things I felt confident were good songs, regardless of whether it was on acoustic guitar or synths.”
“Guitars always sound like guitars, whereas with keyboards you have the ability to thin them out or thicken them up more dramatically, and then mold them to fit into whatever spot you need them to fit into,” says Stevenson. Flecked by patterns of neon synths and a rush of guitar, “Fall in Love” is both metronomic and completely human. “I would never play a bass line on an actual bass that’s so on the grid,” Stevenson offers. “But it does something major for the feel of the song.”
Elsewhere, distortion reverberates atop the pounding drums and earworm melody of “Make It Stop,” while “Saving Face” contrasts Solomon’s gauzy vocals with an undulating synth bass line, creating an off-kilter bliss. The restrained atmospherics and synth loops on “Connect the Dots” belie a tense revelation responsible for the new album’s title. “A lot of these songs wouldn’t have been this different and awesome without Pascal’s expertise with synths,” MacKelvie enthuses.
Solomon admits Uneasy Laughter could have gone in quite another direction had he not gotten sober and educated himself on such core subjects as gender and mental health. “I did a lot of reading in the tour van — ‘All About Love’ and ‘Ain’t I A Woman’ by bell hooks, ‘Capitalist Realism’ by Mark Fisher and ‘How Proust Can Change Your Life’ by Alain de Botton. I don’t want to be the guy who influences young people to go get high and become cliched tragic artists,” he says. “What I’d rather convey to people is that they’re not alone in what they think and how they feel.”
“We want to be part of a community,” he adds. “I wrote online about being sober for a year, and I had kids from all over writing and asking for advice. One of them said, ‘For the first time I can remember, I didn’t drink last night.’ I thought, for once, maybe we did something besides sell a record. That’s a win. That’s incredibly exciting.”
Supports Sudan Archives March 3rd-13th, 2020 (select dates)
South Indian rap group Cartel Madras have just announced their first-ever U.S. shows in support of the Age of the Goonda EP, their Sub Pop debut, available now on all DSPs. The duo will support Stones Throw recording artist Sudan Archives beginning March 3rd in Minneapolis at 7th Street Entry and ending March 13th in Philadelphia at Johnny Brenda’s (select dates). Preceding the tour Cartel Madras will also headline Barboza in Seattle on January 16th. For updated information on tickets and live performances, please visit subpop.com/artists/cartel_madras/tours.
Jan. 16 - Seattle, WA - Barboza Mar. 03 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry * Mar. 04 - Chicago, IL - Sleeping Village * Mar. 05 - Detroit, MI - Deluxx Fluxx * Mar. 06 - Toronto, ON - Longboat Hall * Mar. 07 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz Mar. 09 - Allston, MA - Great Scott * Mar. 11 - Washington, DC - Union Stage * Mar. 12 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom * Mar. 13 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s *
* w/ Sudan Archives
Cartel Madras’ Age of the Goonda EP, featuring the singles “Goonda Gold” and “Lil’ Pump Type Beat,” is available now worldwide through all DSPs from Sub Pop (with the exception of Canada through Royal Mountain Records).
What people are saying about Cartel Madras’ Age of the Goonda: “They’ve got an absolutely wicked flow — think M.I.A. meets Cardi B. Hints of traditional Tamil music are sprinkled throughout.” [“Goonda Gold”] - Stereogum
“Age of the Goonda is an invigorating five-track blast…More, please.” - The Wire
“At its core, Age of the Goonda is trap music: it’s brash, it’s rowdy and it’s fun. But laced throughout are nods to South Asian culture, Hinduism, race and queer identity that speak specifically to people who see themselves in one or more of those spaces.” - Exclaim!
“Comprised of six tracks, the EP possesses layered bass lines pumped with adrenaline, a range of Indian classical instruments weaved in and hooks that stay in your brain for days.” [Age of the Goonda] - NME
“Age of the Goonda provides an electrifying burst of the duo’s live show energy in concentrated form.” - Loud & Quiet
“There’s a lot more to come from the duo, with Eboshi and Contra firing together trap and their South Indian heritage with an almost punk-like relish for DIY. New EP Age Of The Goonda..is an explosion that should resonate in all corners of the globe. The EP is led by fiery new hymn ‘Goonda Gold’ and it emphasizes their pan-continent mosaic of sound - ‘goonda’ means thug, a word used across India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.” [“Goonda Gold”] - CLASH
“In pop analogy, this hip-hop duo comprising Calgary-bred, Chennai-born siblings Bhagya and Priya Ramesh is somewhat like a Tamil Pulp Fiction-meets-MIA. With a carousel of bad-ass, no-fucks-given, brown girl anthems, Cartel Madras is brought to life by two sisters who don’t shy of braggadocio (you can’t miss their stack of gold jewelry) as they spout songs about feminism, empowerment and inclusivity.” [“12 New Musicians Set to Breakthrough in 2020”] - Vogue India
Wolf Parade is sharing “Julia Take Your Man Home,” a new single from Thin Mind, the group’s forthcoming fifth album. Featuring Spencer Krug on lead vocals, the song is like a caricature of male stupidity. “I’m singing about some other, worse version of myself. It’s not actually me.” Krug says. “I’ve never carved shapes that look like dicks into anything.”
Wolf Parade’s international headlining touring schedule in support of Thin Mind begins January 27th in Portland, Oregon at Crystal Ballroom and runs through March 15th in Dublin, Ireland at The Button Factory. Support for these shows will come from Land of Talk (January 27th-February 11th), and Sub Pop/Royal Mountain label mates Jo Passed (February 12th-24th.Tickets for these shows are on sale now. For more information on tickets, please visit WolfParade.com.
LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in the U.S. will receive the limited Loser edition on clear vinyl with red and green swirls (while supplies last). Meanwhile, LP preorders in the UK and Europe through select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on yellow vinyl (while supplies last). There will also be a new T-shirt design available.
Thin Mindwill be available CD/LP/DL/CS January 24th worldwide through Sub Pop, with the exception of Canada through Royal Mountain Records. The ten-track album, which features the singles “Forest Green,” the aforementioned “Julia Take Your Man Home,” and “Against the Day,” was produced by John Goodmanson at Risque Disque on Vancouver Island, BC, mixed by Goodmanson at Bogroll Studios in Seattle, and mastered by Noah Mintz at Lacquer Channel Mastering in Toronto.
Credit: Pamela Evelyn & Joseph Yarmush
Tour Dates + Ticket Links
Jan. 27 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom * Jan. 29 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore * Jan. 30 - Los Angeles, CA - The Regent Theater * Jan. 31 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern * Feb. 01 - Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole * Feb. 03 - Austin, TX - Mohawk * Feb. 04 - Dallas, TX - Trees * Feb. 05 - Oklahoma City, OK - Tower Theatre * Feb. 07 - Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf * Feb. 08 - Englewood, CO - Gothic Theatre * Feb. 09 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge * Feb. 11 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox * Feb. 12 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore ** Feb. 16 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall ** Feb. 17 - London, ON - London Music Hall ** Feb. 18 - Toronto, ON - Mod Club ** Feb. 21 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer ** Feb. 22 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club ** Feb. 23 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club ** Feb. 24 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Steel ** Mar. 02 - Utrecht, NL - Tivoli Vredenburg Mar. 03 - Hamburg, DE - Knust Mar. 04 - Berlin, DE - Gretchen Mar. 06 - Cologne, DE - Club Volta Mar. 07 - Zurich, CH - Bogen F Mar. 08 - Luxembourg, LX - Rotondes Mar. 09 - Paris, FR - Petit Bain Mar. 10 - Brussels, BE - Orangerie @ Botanique Mar. 11 - London, UK - The Dome Mar. 13 - Bristol, UK - Thekla Mar. 14 - Manchester, UK - YES (Pink Room) Mar. 15 - Dublin, IE - The Button Factory
Performs at Eurosonic Festival on January 17th, 2020 in Groningen, Netherlands.
Perfect Son’s (aka Tobiasz Biliński) Sub Pop debut Castwas released last year to critical acclaim from such places as Brooklyn Vegan, EXCLAIM!, Pop Matters and Big Take Over. The 10-track album features the lead single “It’s For Life,” along with the highlights “Promises,” “Lust” and the latest video offering, “Almost Mine.”
Directed by Evan and Kristina Fellers, “Almost Mine” was shot on land and underwater in Costa Rica, Iceland, Canada, and the United States. The video perfectly encapsulates how energy transitions through the self-realizing universe.
Perfect Son has confirmed an appearance on January 17th, 2020 at Eurosonic Festival in Groningen, the Netherlands. Biliński is also one of 16 nominees for the “Music Moves Europe Award” which Eurosonic co-organizes (winners will be announced on January 17th). Sub Pop co-founder Jonathan Poneman will also appear as the festival’s keynote speaker. The band will then perform the following night, January 18th in Hamburg, Germany at Mucke bei die Fische. Perfect Son has also confirmed a 5 date run throughout the UK with Canadian band The Dears. These shows will begin on April 16th in Bristol and find the band opening shows in London, Glasgow, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester.
Jan. 17 - Groningen, NL - Eurosonic Festival Jan. 18 - Hamburg, DE - Mucke bei die Fische
Mar. 07 - Warsaw, PL - Wolskie Centrum Kultury Apr. 16 - Bristol, UK - Exchange # Apr. 17 - Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute # Apr. 18 - Glasgow, UK - Drygate Theatre # Apr. 19 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club # Apr. 21 - London, UK - The Garage #
# w/ The Dears
Cast is available from Sub Pop Mega Mart right over here. ——— What The People are saying about Perfect Son:
“As Perfect Son, Biliński makes hard, streamlined pop music, building waves of pulsating keyboards up around his impressive, expressive voice.” [“It’s For Life”] - Stereogum
“Typically, in this genre, artists will get dark and deep, but PS create a non-threatening, subdued landscape where Biliński’s vocals tend to float rather than cause confrontation.” [Cast] - The Big Takeover
” An electronic pulse, hip programmed percussion, and grungy guitar lines guide Biliński’s angelically crestfallen harmonies regarding losing and finding his humanity. It’s intense yet serene, with subtle but purposeful modulations in the arrangement that keep it cryptic and enthralling (8/10).” [Cast] - Pop Matters
“Cast nails both style and substance; an exciting debut.” - Exclaim!
“A heavily-layered, beat-driven dose of appealing art-pop.” [“Lust”] -Brooklyn Vegan