News from 2/2020

NEWS : TUE, FEB 18, 2020 at 7:00 AM

Weyes Blood to Support Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds on their North American tour September 19th-October 14th, 2020

Weyes Blood will be the lone support act on the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds tour, beginning September 19th in Chicago at UIC Credit Union Arena and ending on October 14th in Seattle at the WaMu Theatre. Presales for the fall tour begin Wednesday, February 19th at 10 am (local), with tickets on sale to the general public (all territories) this Friday, February 21st at 10 am (local). Please visit for more info.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds with Weyes Blood
September/October 2020
Sep. 19 - Chicago, IL - UIC Credit Union Arena
Sep. 21 - Detroit, MI - Masonic Temple
Sep. 23 - Philadelphia, PA - Skyline Stage at the Mann
Sep. 25 - Boston, MA - Agganis Arena
Oct. 10 - Los Angeles, CA - Staples Center
Oct. 12 - San Francisco, CA - Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Oct. 14 - Seattle, WA - WaMu Theater
Weyes Blood also added new, headlining shows to her previously announced “A Lot Has Changed Tour” which includes stops in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The tour spans February 23rd in Perth, AU as part of Perth Festival and runs through August 14th in Nashville, TN at The Basement East.  New dates include May 15th in Phoenix, AZ at The Crescent Ballroom, May 16th in San Diego at the Music Box and May 17th in Pomona, CA at The Glass House. Support for these shows will come from SPELLLING (May 1st - May 17th) and Ana Roxanne (July 31st-August 14th).
A Lot Has Changed Tour
Australia/New Zealand 2020 / Winter
Feb. 23 - Perth, AU - Perth Festival
Feb. 25 - Brisbane, AU - The Zoo
Feb. 26 - Melbourne, AU - Melbourne Recital Hall [SOLD OUT]
Feb. 28 - Melbourne, AU - Melbourne Zoo Twilights ** [SOLD OUT]
Feb. 29 - Wollongong, AU - Farmer & The Owl Festival
Mar. 03 - Sydney, AU - The Factory Theatre [SOLD OUT]
Mar. 04 - Hobart, AU - Odeon Theatre
Mar. 05 - Adelaide, AU - Adelaide Festival
Mar. 07 - Castlemaine, AU - Theatre Royal
Mar. 08 - Victoria, AU - Golden Plains Festival
Mar. 09 - Melbourne, AU - The Corner Hotel
Mar. 13 - Wellington, NZ - New Zealand Festival of the Arts / Michael Fowler Centre *
Mar. 14 - Auckland, NZ - Auckland Town Hall *
Mar. 15 - Christchurch, NZ - Christchurch Town Hall *
* w/ Aldous Harding
** w/ Julia Jacklin
US 2020 / Spring
Apr. 11 - Indio, CA - Coachella
Apr. 18 - Indio, CA - Coachella
May 01 - Felton, CA - Felton Music Hall*
May 02 - San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom*
May 04 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge*
May 05 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater*
May 08 - Dallas, TX - Trees*
May 10 - Austin, TX - Scoot Inn*
May 11 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall (Downstairs)*
May 12 - San Antonio, TX - Paper Tiger*
May 14 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad*
May 15 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom*
May 16 - San Diego, CA - Music Box*
May 17 - Pomona, CA - The Glass House*

Europe 2020 / Spring
Jun. 06 - Barcelona, ES - Primavera Sound
Jun. 06-07 - Paris, FR - We Love Green Festival
Jun. 08 - Tourcoing, FR - Le Grand Mix
Jun. 10 - London, UK - O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Jun. 12 - Porto, PT - NOS Primavera Sound

Jun. 14 - Hilvarenbeek, NL - Best Kept Secret Festival
Jun. 16 - Cork, IE - Cork Midsummer Festival
Jun. 17 - Dublin, IE - Vicar Street
Jun. 19 - Istanbul, TU - Zorlu PAC Jazz Festival

US 2020 / Summer
Jul. 31 - Louisville, KY - Headliners Music Hall ^
Aug. 01 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater ^
Aug. 04 - Columbus, OH - Skully’s Music Diner ^
Aug. 05 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of The Living Arts ^
Aug. 07 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club ^
Aug. 08 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle ^
Aug. 10 - Charlotte, NC - The Underground ^
Aug. 12 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel ^
Aug. 13 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse ^
Aug. 14 - Nashville, TN - The Basement East ^
^ w/ Ana Roxanne

Weyes Blood’s critically acclaimed Titanic Rising is available everywhere from Sub Pop.

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : WED, FEB 19, 2020 at 6:57 AM

Sub Pop signs Man Man to release ‘Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between,’ worldwide on May 1st, 2020.

Sub Pop has signed Man Man to a worldwide deal and will release Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between on CD/2xLP/CS/DL worldwide on May 1st, 2020.  You can now watch the new lyric video for “Cloud Nein,” the album’s ebullient first offering, which is available now at all DSPs. Honus Honus, who directed the visual, says of the track, “Life is short. Dance, be merry.”

The 17-track effort also features “Future Peg,” “On the Mend” “Sheela,” and “Animal Attraction,” was produced by Cyrus Ghahremani, mixed by S. Husky Höskulds (Tom Waits, Solomon Burke, Bettye LaVette, Allen Toussaint), and mastered by Dave Cooley (Blood Orange, M83, DIIV, Paramore, Snail Mail, clipping). Dream Hunting…also includes guest vocals from Steady Holiday’s Dre Babinski on “Future Peg” and “If Only,” and Rebecca Black (singer of the viral pop hit, “Friday”) on “On The Mend” and “Lonely Beuys.” The album follows the release of “Beached” and “Witch,“ Man Man’s contributions to Vol. 4 of the Sub Pop Singles Club in 2019.

Man Man will tour extensively in 2020 in support of Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between. Live dates will be announced soon. 
Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between is now available for preorder from Sub Pop.

[Album art credit: Petecia Le Fawnhawk]

Man Man
Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between

1. Dreamers
2. Cloud Nein
3. On the Mend
4. Lonely Beuys
5. Future Peg
6. Goat
7. Inner Iggy
8. Hunters
9. Oyster Point
10. The Prettiest Song in the World
11. Animal Attraction
12. Sheela
13. Unsweet Meat
14. Swan
15. Powder My Wig
16. If Only
17. In the Valley of the In-Between

LP purchases through and select independent retailers in North America will received the limited Loser edition on white vinyl with a pinkish swirl (while supplies last). Meanwhile, preorders through select independent retailers in the U.K. and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on pink vinyl (also, while supplies last). There will also be a new T-shirt design available.

[Photo credit: Dan Monick]

About Man Man’s Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between:
Honus Honus (aka Ryan Kattner) has devoted his career to exploring the uncertainty between life’s extremes: beauty and ugliness, order and chaos. The songs on Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between, Man Man’s first album in over six years and his Sub Pop debut, are as intimate, soulful, and timeless as they are audaciously inventive and daring.

At the end of 2015, Man Man went on an unexpected and unforeseen hiatus, and thus began a period of creative reinvention for Honus. He worked in music supervision and on scores (The Exorcist, Superdeluxe, Do You Want to See a Dead Body?). He acted in the indie film Woe (“I played a park ranger, a nice guy in a sad movie.”), So It Goes, a short musical film with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and starred in the award-winning tour documentary Use Your Delusion. He also developed an animated series, wrote film scripts, a graphic novel, a neo-noir TV pilot, and briefly penned a music column for The Talkhouse all while continuing to work on new music, such as an unreleased kids’ record, another Mister Heavenly album, a self-released Honus Honus record, and a conceptual art/noise project Mega Naturals. He was sleeping 2.5 hours per day.

In the midst of this Man Man sabbatical, Honus began piecing together what would become Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between. He recruited longtime-creative collaborator Ghahremani to help him produce. Written in a friend’s LA “guesthouse” (more shack than chic) that had “an old upright piano, a thrift store lamp, and nothing else,” it was an arduous, three-and-a-half-year process, “I had chord progression notes that looked like chicken scratch and lyrics on pieces of paper stuck all over the walls. It looked like I was about to break the big case, catch the killer,” he says, laughing. “One of the best things about this time, in these ‘lost in the wilderness/surreal exile from my own band’ years, was that I finally found players who believed in me, trusted my vision, respected my songwriting. It was rejuvenating.”

Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between opens with “Dreamers,” an ethereal instrumental that soon takes a dark turn into the 20 seconds of cacophony that introduces “Cloud Nein.” An exercise in orchestral-pop storytelling tinted by wry cynicism, it features lyrics such as, “All your dreams crash and burn, and fall to the ground. When they’re made of sweet nothings ’cause nothing sticks around.” Says Honus: “I was writing a song about someone else, but also myself, in a sense. You have to keep changing, evolving in order to survive, appreciate what you have while you have it because there are no guarantees it’ll stick around forever. AKA, life.”

He would find inspiration everywhere. “If Only,” featuring feather-light vocals from Steady Holiday’s Dre Babinski, came to him in a dream. “I first heard ‘If Only’ sung in an R&B Jackie Wilson kind of way,” he says of the haunting piano lullaby. The glitched-out fever dream “Oyster Point” opens with a recording of 8-year-old Honus singing to his newborn brother and named after the town where the frontman and his bandmates met someone who tried to sell them a broken bass clarinet. An ex, bitten by a goat and worried she’d contracted salmonella (true story!), inspired the off-kilter jazz narrative “Goat.” (Spoiler alert: It doesn’t end well!) In the opening seconds of “Goat” you can actually hear the first time Honus presented the song to his band —an iPhone recording of his drummer playfully teasing, in classic 80s movie tone, “Don’t fuck this up. This is a big gig,” before launching seamlessly into the studio version. “I was taking songs out under the guise of my solo band,” he explains, “so we could test the waters, see what worked live, what didn’t, and then I’d adjust accordingly. When it came time to finally record, we did everything at Cy’s studio but after a year or so of tracking, I didn’t like how ‘in the box’ and stiff everything felt so we booked out a short tour with the sole intention of rolling back and recutting everything together live in a larger studio space. In two frantic tracking days. It was crucial to me that this album feels like a band playing together in a room, communicating with each other, breathing, organic, slithery, alive.”

This lust for life, gloriously unhinged at times, beats strongly throughoutThe “Inner Iggy,” all staccato Pinocchio Pleasure Island vibes, pays obeisance to the punk singer as a one-man tsunami. Joseph Beuys, the conceptual artist famous for cohabitating with a coyote at a gallery, stands at the center of the full-throated “Lonely Beuys.” Meanwhile, “Sheela,” a pop-fuzz update on doo-wop, is a love song to the cult attaché at the center of Wild Wild Country. “I watched that documentary, and she terrified me,” he says. “But weeks later, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I loved how strong and powerful and determined a person she was.” The devil is in the details, which is why they affected coyote howls to honor the hell-raiser.

“I started Man Man because I saw Holy Mountain when I was 22. It blew my mind. I had never been in a band or played music before, but I knew I needed to make songs that sounded like that movie felt,” he says. “When I was hunkering down to write, there was a lot of self-doubt, fighting the urge to throw in the towel. It was unavoidable but I had to dive headlong into these fears and twist them into something that wasn’t dominated by them. I’m not gonna lie, it fucking sucked, but it definitely forced the best album of my career out of me. Sometimes you have to tear it all down to build it back up the right way.”

Kattner caught the killer. He is currently sleeping 3.5 hours per day. Hope reigns.

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : MON, FEB 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Orville Peck Shares “Queen of the Rodeo” Music Video

The official music video for Orville Peck’s “Queen of the Rodeo” is premiering today. Directed by Austin Peters (Haim, Chvrches, Bastille), the video also features a special interlude version of Peck’s song “Roses Are Falling.” 

Both songs come from Peck’s critically acclaimed debut album Pony, out now on Sub Pop Records. In celebration of the album, Peck will continue his extensive U.S. tour this spring including stops at Seattle’s Showbox, San Francisco’s The Independent, Las Vegas’ Brooklyn Bowl, San Diego’s Humphrey’s and New Orleans’ Music Box Theatre among several others. Peck will also perform at both Coachella and Stagecoach festivals this spring, one of the select few artists performing at both events. Tickets for these shows are on-sale now via

Posted by Jason Baxter

NEWS : FRI, FEB 21, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Announcing Night Flight and Sub Pop Streaming Partnership

Sub Pop is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Night Flight Plus streaming service. Night Flight Plus members can now watch fifty Sub Pop videos with new introductions by the show’s original host Pat Prescott. Featured artists include Weyes Blood, Mudhoney, Sleater-Kinney, Orville Peck, and more.

Check out Night Flight’s official Sub Pop playlist here on Spotify.

Remembered by millions, Night Flight aired on the USA network from 11 PM–4 AM and is credited with breaking numerous alternative and avant-garde musicians and directors to TV audiences around the country. (Night Flight premiered four months before MTV). As DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh recalls, “Night Flight was one of the cool shows to be seen on, and it was a big deal to us to get the opportunity.”
The brand relaunched in 2016 as an on-demand streaming service offering exclusive access to the original 1980s episodes as well as an eclectic collection of cult films, music documentaries, and concerts. The new Sub Pop partnership allows users to stream current and legacy Sub Pop music videos adapted to the show’s original format.

Night Flight’s pioneering “Take Off” format featured artists and genres in “blocks” which helped cultivate the high cultural literacy Night Flight is now most known for today. An essential platform for discovery, Night Flight is honored to expose its loyal following to the music and video art of both new and legacy Sub Pop artists. 
Stuart S. Shapiro, Night Flight Creator, and CEO said: “Sub Pop is the quintessential independent label and Night Flight has always been dedicated to the discovery and support of emerging and alternative music artists. We are thrilled that Sub Pop is our first label featured on NF Plus and expect to make a big push to all the others.”
Night Flight Plus is available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and online. Subscription info is over here

Follow Night Flight on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : MON, FEB 24, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Sub Pop Singles Club News: Vol 4 tracks from Kikagaku Moyo and Terry now in DSPs - New artists announced for upcoming Vol 5 Series

Redd Kross, Julia Jacklin, Guerilla Toss added to the upcoming Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 5 series, now open for subscriptions over here.

Two new singles from the Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 4 are now available on all digital music services. 

Japanese psychedelic rock group Kikagaku Moyo present a stunning, hypnotic cover of the traditional folk song “Gypsy Davey,” as arranged by Sandy Denny’s band Fotheringay in 1970, backed with a new, original song called “Mushi No Uta.” Both tracks were recorded in 2019 at Wilton Way Studio in London, and the single features cover art by Portland, OR artist Hailee Va

About Kikagaku Moyo:
Kikagaku Moyo started in the summer of 2012 busking on the streets of Tokyo. Though the band started as a free music collective, it quickly evolved into a tight group of multi-instrumentalists. Kikagaku Moyo call their sound psychedelic because it encompasses a broad spectrum of influence. Their music incorporates elements of classical Indian music, Krautrock, Traditional Folk, and 70s Rock. Most importantly their music is about freedom of the mind and body and building a bridge between the supernatural and the present. Improvisation is a key element to their sound. Go & Tomo run their own record label Guruguru Brain currently based in Amsterdam. Guruguru Brain has released about 10 artists from Asia including Kikagaku Moyo since 2014.


Australian post-punk/pop quartet Terry – featuring members of Total Control, Constant Mongrel, Primo, and more – present two new originals: the catchy-as-hell A side “Take the Cellphone,” recorded by Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Total Control), and the self-recorded instrumental B side “Debt and Deficit Disaster.” The vinyl versions of both bands’ singles were limited to 1000 copies, and were only available to subscribers of the Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 4.

About Terry:
Terry is a band from Australia. Divide Terry in half and you split the genders, into quarters and you get Amy Hill (also of Constant Mongrel, School Of Radiant Living, Primo), Xanthe Waite (Primo), Zephyr Pavey (Eastlink, Total Control, Russell St Bombings) and Al Montfort (UV Race, Dick Diver, Total Control). Guitars, bass, drums, all four sing. Terry are busy people and Terry is a particularly active project too, having released three EPs, three albums and conducted three European tours with the help of London’s Upset! The Rhythm before having a crack at the American market with this spiffy single for Sub Pop subscribers.

Vol. 5 of the Sub Pop Singles Club, which runs April, 2020 through February, 2021, is currently open for subscriptions, and we are excited to announce that acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter Julian Jacklin, glam/punk/pop/psych-rock legends Redd Kross, and art-rockers Guerilla Toss will be included in the series alongside previously announced artists Father John MistyOhmmeSumacY La BambaClarke and the HimselfsL.O.T.I.O.N. Multinational CorporationTEKE::TEKE, and more TBA. Subscribers to Vol. 5 will also get a sharp-looking box in which they can store their singles. We strongly advise interested parties to subscribe now before we sell out (of subscriptions; the other kind of selling out happened long ago).
About the Sub Pop Singles Club
Intermittently, since 1988, Sub Pop has roped artists into letting us release a couple of their songs on the 7” vinyl format, resulting in releases by Nirvana, Soundgarden, L7, The White Stripes, Bright Eyes, and a ton more. We then shipped these singles to people who had the forethought to subscribe, in advance, to the Singles Club. Many of these singles have since become very rare and sought-after. (Ok, so a few haven’t, but who’s counting?) Most recently, we somehow pulled off the Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 4, running from April 2019-February 2020 (and totally closed for subscriptions since February, so don’t ask!). You can hear many of the past Singles Club releases via the Sub Pop Singles Club Playlist.
The Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 5 will keep this fine tradition of excellent new music and logistical headaches going for yet another year. These singles are one-time, limited pressings with exclusive tracks by each artist. Subscribe now or assuredly regret later!
What do you get with a subscription?
How much? This much:
$130 for the U.S.
$170 for Canada
$185 for Mexico
$195 for the rest of the world.
Shipping is included in each of those prices.

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : WED, FEB 26, 2020 at 6:57 AM

New Shabazz Palaces ‘The Don of Diamond Dreams’ available worldwide April 17th - Stream lead track “Fast Learner (Ft. Purple Tape Nate)”

Shabazz Palaces new full-length The Don of Diamond Dreams will be available April 17th, 2020 worldwide on Sub Pop. The 10-track album includes the highlights “Fast Learner (ft. Purple Tape Nate),” “Chocolate Souffle,” “Bad Bitch Walking (ft. Stas THEE Boss),” and “Thanking The Girls,” with additional contributions from singer/keyboardist Darrius Willrich, percussionist Carlos Niño, Knife Knights collaborator OCnotes, saxophonist Carlos Overall, and bassist Evan Flory-Barnes.

Stream the lead track “Fast Learner (ft. Purple Tape Nate)” here now.

Shabazz Palaces will tour extensively in 2020 in support of The Don of Diamond Dreams. Live dates will be announced soon.

The Don of Diamond Dreams was recorded throughout 2019 and produced by Shabazz Palaces at Protect and Exalt: A Black Space in Seattle, mixed and engineered by Erik Blood with mixing assistance from Andy Kravitz at Studio 4 Labs in Venice, California, and mastered by Scott Sedillo at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles.

The Don of Diamond Dreams is now available for preorder from Sub Pop.
Preorders of the LP through and select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on clear vinyl with a silver swirl (while supplies last). All LP preorders through the Sub Pop Mega Mart will also receive The Mushroom, a 90-page, 8x8 inch zine from the elusive author TTT, inspired by The Don of Diamond Dreams (the book will also be available for purchase at Shabazz Palaces live shows).

[Pictured above: The Mushroom zine]

Meanwhile, LP preorders through select independent retailers in the U.K. and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on sky blue vinyl (also, while supplies last).  There will also be a new T-shirt design available.

Shabazz Palaces
The Don of Diamond Dreams
1. Portal North: Panthera
2. Ad Ventures
3. Fast Learner (ft. Purple Tape Nate)
4. Wet
5. Chocolate Souffle
6. Portal South: Micah
7. Bad Bitch Walking (ft. Stas THEE Boss)
8. Money Yoga (ft. Darrius)
9. Thanking The Girls
10. Reg Walks By The Looking Glass (ft. Carlos Overall)

[Photo Credit: Patrick O’Brien-Smith]

About Shabazz Palaces The Don of Diamond Dreams:
Cruise the city in a night ship, dressed to kill in the Seville. Float down waterfalls and fountains, reclined on some pimp shit. The time zone ghost returns to paint a picture that echoes through infinity. The sun is put to rest, the soliloquy is killer bee. A diamond purpose lying beneath the surface. Nothing is ever what it seems, but forever is the theme. It’s time. Shabazz Palaces are back with yet another classic of divine mathematics design. More dazzling Afrofuturist sutras to illuminate distant constellations with sacred abstractions. Enter The Don of Diamond Dreams, raw and uncut, but glowing with 10,000 karat shine.
If you adhere to the corporeal limitations of space and chronology, it’s been roughly a decade since Shabazz Palaces first shook the ramparts with their debut stylistic revolution, Black Up – which Pitchfork named as one of the Best of the 2010s, hailing it as an “album of impossible vision.” But the project masterminded by vocalist and producer Ishmael Butler has never conformed to gravitational consideration or terrestrial measurement. They are heirs to the astral imagination of Sun Ra and George Clinton, Octavia Butler and Alice Coltrane. If they technically claim residence in Seattle, their sound emanates much closer to Alpha Centauri than Alki Beach.
In his unstinting drive to reimagine hip-hop, Butler remains one of the preeminent visionaries of the last quarter-century. His first album with Digable Planets, Reachin (A New Refutation of Time and Space), nodded at Miles Davis in the first half of its title, but 27 years later, he has become one of the most vaunted inheritors of the trumpet deity’s rarefied legacy – still innovating as he enters his fourth decade as a working musician – splintering, rebuilding, and expanding the possibilities of sound. He has collaborated with like-minded visionaries Flying Lotus and Thundercat, Battles and Animal Collective. While all-timers like Radiohead and Lauryn Hill have invited him to join them on tour.
It remains impossible to accurately describe a Shabazz Palaces album without lapsing into cosmic tropes. Yet sometimes clichés are stand-ins for eternal truths. Therein, The Don of Diamond Dreams embodies a futuristic manifestation of ancient myth, full of robotic vocoder and warped auto-tune, Funkadelic refracted into different dimensions, weird portals and warm nocturnal joy rides alongside the coast (a reflection of it being mixed near the beach in California). The synthesizers are alien but the drums speak a universal language. It is hip-hop, dub, jazz, R&B, soul, funk, African, experimental, and occasionally even pop. But over the course of five albums, Shabazz Palaces have conceived the fluid boundaries of their own one-band genre.
Even though the construction of the album is meticulous, it’s a startling masterpiece of improvisation and instinct. It’s both cerebral and automatic, with Butler jotting down phrases and ideas in his phone and eventually shaping them into amorphous abstract expressionist canvasses. If anything, their latest illustrates Butler’s gift for being a conduit of sounds and experience. It’s partially shaped by his own reflection on being a parent and watching his son, Jazz, become internationally renowned as the artist, Lil Tracy. If you listen closely, you can hear the interplay between father and son, as Butler does what is impossible for most veteran artists: he absorbs the sounds of today’s youth, but filters it through his own fractured lens, spitting back convex poems with wild cadences, freestyling with the wisdom of age and the frenetic passion of someone still trying to show and prove. It’s confident and suffused with the thing that defines almost all great art: the willingness to risk attempting something new.
There is “Ad Ventures,” a shout out to Butler’s crew, The Black Constellation. The beat operates like a melodic free jazz hymn, with Ish boasting about Ethiopian carats and watching lakes from a theological terrace. It’s an imagistic rendering of their tours through Europe in sprinter vans, blitzing from place to place and absorbing every detail. Featuring Purple Tape Nate, “Fast Learner” offers odd splendor, spoken word reveries and flexes that wriggle through a wrinkle in time. The synthesizers sound like New Age from the 37th century crossed with 90s R&B, the drums are slow and seething. On top of that, Butler laid a guitar line down and auto-tune harmonies that instantiate the feeling of driving along PCH at night.
“Wet” is a freestyle of sorts with Ish offering his own twist on contemporary rap cadences but making it sound like an underwater Atlantis symphony. There are Based God shoutouts and fuzzy guitars that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Ariel Pink album. “Chocolate Souffle” is some god-level shit-talking in the way that only Butler could do: replete with Maurice Chevalier allusions and admissions of being an “elitist at the zenith of slick demeanor.” While “Thanking the Girls” might be the most poignant song in the Shabazz catalog, a song that acknowledges the myriad positive ways in which women have shaped Butler’s life. The second verse is dedicated to his two daughters and the pride which they engender. Of course, this is a Shabazz Palaces song so the beat sounds like a riff on Panda Bear distilled through a bent futuristic boom-bap prism.
In some respects, it’s difficult to consider the possibility that this might be the best Shabazz Palaces album yet. Very few musicians have ever peaked in their fifth decade on earth, but whoever said they were actually from earth? It’s wrong to say that Shabazz Palaces have gone beyond the looking glass. This time they’ve shattered it entirely and created a brilliant new universe in each one of the shards.

Posted by Rachel White