News from 9/2020

NEWS : WED, SEP 2, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Watch Shabazz Palaces’ official video for “Bad Bitch Walking (feat. Stas THEE Boss),” directed by Amhalise Morgan

The Don of Diamond Dreams is available now, worldwide from Sub Pop.

Shabazz Palaces have delivered an official video for “Bad Bitch Walking (feat. Stas THEE Boss),” a standout from his acclaimed The Don of Diamond Dreams. The visual, which stars Ishmael Butler, Stas THEE Boss, model Shernita Anderson, and dancer-choreographer Tanisha Scott, was filmed in isolation in four cities across North America: Toronto, Seattle, Ontario, and Brooklyn.

Director Amhalise Morgan offers this of the video, “What drew me to this song was how visual the song sounds to me. I reached out to Ishmael and asked if he had a video yet and asked if I could write for it. He wanted me to have “complete autonomy” which was very empowering. The song is simple and sensual so I decided to focus on tight shots to really have the intimacy take center stage and the focus be the women and the performers. We are living in such precarious times and beautiful Black imagery is very necessary and needed. At times it feels like we can’t change the violence in this country nor the victims and the perpetrators but what we CAN do is contribute imagery that is beautiful, strong, yet soft NOT brutalized, marginalized, and disposable. I wanted all those in front of the camera to be timeless and regal so I gave both Ishmael and Stas the direction to wear white. It was also important for me that Shernita and Tanisha, be the personification of beauty that was void of objectification.”

PopMatters says of the video, “A sultry, locomotive shuffle of hip-hop and blue funk, “Bad Bitch Walking” features Butler as a susurrating lover whose languid gaze of a woman is slowly supplanted by the erotic ellipses of female motion. Morgan frames the images through an Afrosensualist eye, which proudly demonstrates the various colors and movements of Black beauty. At times, her camera inverts the male gaze so that Butler is often the desired object in view. “Bad Bitch Walking” also features a rhyme by Stas Thee Boss that further explores the use of the word “bitch” in hip-hop lexicon (see premiere September 2nd, 2020).”

The Don of Diamond Dreams is available worldwide from Sub Pop, and includes the aforementioned “Bad Bitch Walking (ft. Stas THEE Boss),”  “Fast Learner (ft. Purple Tape Nate), Chocolate Souffle, “Wet,” features contributions from singer/keyboardist Darrius Willrich, percussionist Carlos Niño, Knife Knights collaborator OCnotes, saxophonist Carlos Overall, and bassist Evan Flory-Barnes.

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.

[Photo Credit: Patrick O’Brien Smith]

This past weekend, Ishmael Butler hosted BBC World Service’s “Music Life” podcast, an enlightening conversation with guests IAMDDB, KeiyaA, and Bishop Nehru (listen here). And recently, Iggy Pop, on his Friday night BBC 6 Music shows played The Don of Diamond Dreams tracks “Reg Walks By The Looking Glass” (“I love this track,” says Iggy) and “Money Yoga.”

What ‘The People’ are saying about Shabazz Palaces The Don of Diamond Dreams:
“[Shabazz Palaces’] spontaneity and irreverence for rap conventions feel particularly urgent; these experiments are malleable and resistant to form at a time when declarative statements on the current era seem futile. Instead, the group continues bludgeoning musical complacency with songs as equivocal as inkblot tests. “This is high art / I tear the form apart,” Butler raps on “Chocolate Souffle.” He engages in a conversation—albeit an ambiguous one—with contemporary hip-hop on “Wet,” and dives headlong into a puddle of free jazz on “Reg Walks by the Looking Glass.” But the surprise is the uncharacteristically concrete “Thanking the Girls”—an ode to Butler’s daughters that unfolds over a static-filled, beautifully off-kilter.” - The New Yorker
“For years now, Shabazz Palaces have oozed a kind of creative wisdom, the type that can only come with age and years of lived experience, but The Don of Diamond Dreams demonstrates a sign of even deeper wisdom: living an entire life of your own, and realizing that there’s still value in learning and listening from the youth.” - Pitchfork
“Through this long journey through different states of consciousness and emotion, Shabazz Palaces continue to serve as the intrepid explorers through the eternal form known as music. The don of diamond dreams and gold stitched jeans continues to shine his light on the path for all of us to follow.” - KEXP
The Don of Diamond Dreams finds Butler’s effects-treated voice rippling through a prism of mutated funk and R&B that feels simultaneously sumptuous and deeply unconventional.” [8/10] UNCUT
“How many acts release five albums and how many out of that are still as current and relevant as on their debut? Not many. Shabazz Palaces have now joined a rare breed of artists. The Don Of Diamond Dreams is a glorious album that yields more and more with each listen. And listen you need to, because if you don’t you might miss something.” [8/10] - CLASH
The Don of Diamond Dreams is the most fully realized Shabazz Palaces LP yet—from Butler’s new confidence in his own poetic authority to the way he and multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire create hip-hop songs that never stop experimenting.”  [“Album of the Day”] - Bandcamp
“Through this long journey through different states of consciousness and emotion, Shabazz Palaces continue to serve as the intrepid explorers through the eternal form known as music. The don of diamond dreams and gold stitched jeans continues to shine his light on the path for all of us to follow.” - KEXP
The Don of Diamond Dreams is a brilliant, buoyant work of provocation and invocation from the rapper-writer-producer. Holy, wise, abstract, and contagious, Don is intergalactic hip-hop that burrows as deep down as it does fly high.” - FLOOD Magazine
The Don of Diamond Dreams prove Shabazz Palaces to be such a fascinating and exciting project in the age of algorithms and formulae.” [“Album of the Week”] The Guardian
“One of contemporary hip hop’s original outsiders” [★★★★] - Q
The Don of Diamond Dreams…feels warmer and more optimistic…[It] feels imbued with a sense that alternative realities – different ways of telling stories, different mythologies to reflect our true nature – are always within our reach, if only we’re able to fully embrace our own imaginations.” - The Quietus
“Shabazz Palaces have created another exquisite album”  - DJ Mag
“Expanding beyond their already broadened horizons, Shabazz Palaces are seemingly unstoppable.” [8/10] - The Line of Best Fit
“On the 10 track project, the Seattle artists continue to showcase their technologically - intertwined take on the experimental realms of rap and hip-hop, spicing up their Afrofuturist aesthetic with melty basslines, eclectic percussion, psychedelic synth pads, and more.” - Hypebeast
“The 10-track project is another futuristic ride through Butler’s otherworldly mind.” - HipHopDX
“Shabazz are at their best when they channel all their ambition into a more tightly-packed album like this one.” [Notable Releases of the Week] - Brooklyn Vegan
“[Shabazz Palaces] remain immersed in surrealism, but their atmospheric oddity ends up a splendid fit for today’s hip-hop landscape.” -  RIFF Magazine
“The Don’s way of pulling you in is to hypnotize you with far-out jazz pageantry and devotion before cutting you loose to wander through the brilliant, idiosyncratic landscapes they created – and they make it look effortless while doing it.” [★★★★] - Spectrum Culture
Diamond Dreams is immersive and solidifies Shabazz Palaces’ stature as one of the few hip-hop projects to emerge in the 2010s and create a wholly distinctive genre unto itself. Its intergalactic textures don’t resemble earth, but that’s a welcome escape at a historic moment when earth doesn’t feel particularly inhabitable for humans.” [The Don of Diamond Dreams]  - PASTE
“[Shabazz Palaces] have managed to continue Butler’s relentless desire to reimagine what hip hop should and could sound like while boldly proving that they’re the heirs to the astral imaginations of Sun Ra, George Clinton, Octavia Butler and Alice Coltrane.” - Joy of Violent Movement

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : THU, SEP 3, 2020 at 6:58 AM

Watch Hot Snakes’ hallucinatory new video for “Not in Time” + Purchase the track on Bandcamp Friday

In December of  2019 Hot Snakes self-released a very limited-edition 7”, which they sold only at shows on their UK tour that month. The a-side to this single is the excellent track “Checkmate” (which was digitally released on all DSPs by Sub Pop last year). “Not in Time,” the exclusive b-side to that single has been unavailable anywhere but that very rare 7” UNTIL NOW!

On Friday, September 4th, “Not in Time” will be available to purchase from the Hot Snakes Bandcamp page at Pay-Whatever-the-Hell-You-Want pricing for that one day only (as part of Bandcamp’s ongoing monthly fundraisers to generate needed funds for artists currently unable to tour). And, to really make a whole, big THING out of the special, limited-time-only release of this digital single, we’re proud to present a new video for the track, which was directed by Jessica Kourkounis (who, pssssst, is Hot Snakes’ own Jason Kourkounis’ sister!).

“This video started with a basic idea I had, which was, wouldn’t it be funny to see a bunch of skater dudes try and shred with extra-long arms” says Kourkounis. “I have a bit of an obsession with homemade-looking costumes. So I hit up my friend Brian Emig to see if he would help me find the guys and film them. The rest happened pretty organically. We just went out and did it mostly. I also wanted to somehow include a visual of the band so I asked Rick to draw their heads so I could print them on blotter paper to help move the story forward. To great relief, it all worked out.” To further great relief, you can watch this video now by clicking here.

[Not in Time track art by Hot Snakes’ own Rick Froberg]

What “The People” are saying about Hot Snakes and Jericho Sirens:
“It’s got all the traits that make Hot Snakes the unique band they always were: the fury of hardcore, the dissonant riffs of noise rock, the fuzz-drenched party of garage rock. They’ve got no fat on this thing — it’s over and done with in 30 minutes and replay value is very high — and the songs aren’t just rippers but catchy too.”  - Brooklyn Vegan
“Hot Snakes’ caustic, erudite commentary is more welcome than ever (★★★★).MOJO
“Teeming with revved-up riffs and apocalyptic imagery, the post-hardcore group’s first album since 2005 reasserts their status as the most merciless band in their scene” - Pitchfork
“Comebacks are complicated, for bands and fans too, but this is one for the ages. Hot Snakes have returned, reminding those of us who’ve paid attention that they are definitively one of the greatest rock bands we’ve ever known (9/10).” - Exclaim!
“It’s exactly what you want out of a Hot Snakes jam, with a riff that snarls and swaggers like a hot rod, its wild hair of a melody built into the stylish chrome. [“Six Wave Hold-Down”]”- NPR Music
Jericho Sirens is an incredible turn, and proof to the other half-hearted post-hardcore comebacks of the last years (looking at you At the Drive-In, Refused and more) that it is possible to still be high-quality and relevant. In fact, in places Hot Snakes’ fourth album is so good, it even puts newer bands who have come up in the meantime to shame. ★★★★★” - The Skinny
“The very definition of kickass. ★★★★”- The Guardian

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : MON, SEP 14, 2020 at 6:58 AM

Hear Eddie Vedder’s “Cartography” b/w “Cartography (Nick Zinner RFK remix),” his contribution to Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 5, available now at all DSPs

Proceeds will support Fair Fight’s efforts to ensure a free, fair, and secure election in 2020.

Eddie Vedder’s new single, “Cartography” b/w “Cartography (Nick Zinner RFK remix)” is out today on all digital music platforms, and it is accompanied by a moving videodirected by Julian Gross, for the B side remix. The single is part of the Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 5, and proceeds will support Fair Fight’s efforts to ensure a free, fair, and secure election in 2020. This release follows the announcement of Pearl Jam’s PJ Votes campaign to encourage voting in the upcoming election. 

“Cartography” is an instrumental track Eddie Vedder made for the soundtrack to Eric Becker’s 2018 documentary film Return to Mount Kennedy (now available on streaming video services).

Eddie Vedder offers this about the single, “Listening to the speech delivered by Bobby Kennedy in regards to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago, you are reminded that once again we are at a moment in time when our society can and must do better. Voting is our most powerful form of nonviolent protest. And those whom we vote for must be made deeply aware that the issues of equality and justice in America are of the utmost importance and need to be not only restored but taken to the next level. NOW.”

The track is accompanied by a remix by Nick Zinner (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), who added a haunting, poignant effect by weaving in audio of Robert F. Kennedy responding to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Both tracks are available now on all digital music services. Fans can get the limited-edition 7” single and many other excellent records by subscribing to the Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 5. Subscribe now - Vol. 5 is nearly sold out!

Eddie Vedder
“Cartography” b/w “Cartography (Nick Zinner RFK remix)”

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, SEP 15, 2020 at 6:58 AM

Marika Hackman to release new album ‘Covers’ worldwide November 13th. Now listen to “Realiti” (Grimes cover)

Covers features interpretations of songs by Air, Alvvays, Beyonce, Edith Frost, Grimes, Elliott Smith, Muna, Radiohead, The Shins, and Sharon Van Etten.

Listen here  |  Preorder + get discount tix to her livestream release day show here

[Photo Credit: Luka Booth]

Marika Hackman returns with Covers, a darkly beautiful, self-produced new album which showcases a more vulnerable side, available on LP/DSPs November 13th, 2020 in the Americas through Sub Pop and the rest of the world from Transgressive Records. Accompanying the news, Marika has shared her version of Grimes’ single “Realiti” plus details of a NoonChorus live stream with her full band that will take place on album release day. Tickets for the show will be available when fans pre-order the album.

During the extended stay-at-home order of the last few months, Marika felt that creating a covers record was a way of exploring new sound ideas and expressing herself without having the pressure of the blank page. She recorded and produced Covers between home and her parents’ house, then got the legendary David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, Let’s Eat Grandma) to mix it. David also co-produced her excellent 2019 record Any Human Friend. In contrast to her last two albums (including 2017’s I’m Not Your Man), this collection of songs is more akin in tone and feel to her debut We Slept At Last, with a darker and more introspective sound. On Covers, we hear Marika’s emotive voice set against sparse arrangements of guitars and strings with the occasional synth or scattered drum groove.

Breathing new life into the songs she’s chosen, Marika reimagines work by some of the world’s most beloved artists such as Radiohead, Grimes and Elliott Smith. It’s a suitably varied collection, but Marika’s intimate delivery and soft, nuanced and atmospheric touch to production, thread them all together effortlessly.

Marika explains how she came to choose the material: “When it comes to covers, I like to pick songs which I have been listening to obsessively for a while. It gives me a natural understanding of the music, and lets me be more innovative with how I transform it.”

First single “Realiti” is a stripped back piano and guitar based version of the Grimes classic from her most celebrated album Art Angels. Marika’s take is a total reinvention and yet it feels wholly her own. Muna’s “Pink Light” from their 2019 record Saves The World is a slice of dark pop, reminiscent of The Cure. In Marika’s hands, it’s a remarkably seamless switch-up to convert these into slower, brooding soft jams.

Marika’s version of Air’s “Playground Love” is one of the highlights, taken from the soundtrack the group composed for Sofia Coppola’s coming of age The Virgin Suicides, the result being a moodier, disorientating reworking of a classic modern moment.

Final track “All Night” sees Marika tackling one of the standouts from Beyonce’s Grammy-nominated Lemonade. Again, Marika flips the song on its head. Joined by a choir of stacked vocal harmonies, Marika’s voice transcends to conjure a deep emotional resonance.

Adventurous and versatile, Covers continues Marika’s lineage in turning each body of work into a new take and perspective on her creative vision. She twists and turns, always surprises, and is never afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve. It remains anyone’s guess to imagine where she will head next.

Covers is now available for preorder through Sub Pop (the Americas), Marika Hackman’s official website, and Transgressive Records (ROW). Preorders of the LP will be available as a limited edition Navy Blue/Purple colored vinyl.

Marika Hackman

1. You Never Wash Up After Yourself (Radiohead)
2. Phantom Limb (The Shins)
3. Playground Love (Air)
4. Realiti (Grimes)
5. Jupiter 4 (Sharon Van Etten)
6. Pink Light (Muna)
7. Between The Bars (Elliott Smith)
8. Temporary Loan (Edith Frost)
9. In Undertow (Alvvays)
10. All Night (Beyonce)

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, SEP 15, 2020 at 6:00 PM

#2020SeizeChange - A Campaign for Voter Engagement

There should be little argument that this year has been challenging, painful, and just profoundly lousy in a whole lot of ways so far. One bright bit of good news is that the US general election on November 3 is an opportunity to seize greater control of our collective future beyond the calamitous slog of 2020. This year’s election is our chance to initiate much-needed change, but we need to act quickly and together to clean up the mess.

To seize change in 2020, there are 2 things we must do:

(1) Register to vote (or confirm your info is current and valid if already registered)

(2) Participate by actually fucking voting for all races at all levels is a handy resource to make and execute your 2020 voting plan, including: registering, confirming your registration, locating your polling place, finding out about vote-by-mail eligibility, and learning how to “own your vote” by knowing the important dates, deadlines, and requirements in your particular state.

So! Please do those 2 things! Really! DO THEM! And then also help us encourage others to do them, too! In an effort to make this easier and, we hope, more successful, we’ve created a shared folder that contains: (i) images to post on websites and social media (on the dates indicated below), and (ii) a google sheet that includes state-by-state voter registration and information links. Please share all of this far and wide, and again, encourage others to do so as well. 


To maximize the impact and visibility of this campaign, we suggest that all #2020SeizeChange public engagement, mentions, social media posts, etc. happen on the following days:

  • Wednesday, September 16
  • Wednesday, September 30
  • Wednesday, October 14
  • Wednesday, October 28
  • Monday, November 2 
  • Tuesday, November 3 (Election Day)

Your participation on those days can and should be your own.  In short, we invite you to be part of this campaign, start anytime, be creative, and help mobilize people to register and vote in whatever way feels right to you. 

Your Friends at Sub Pop Records and Hardly Art 



Posted by Chris Jacobs

NEWS : THU, SEP 17, 2020 at 8:30 AM

L7’s Smell the Magic: 30th Anniversary Edition is out tomorrow, September 18th. Now watch Donita Sparks with the Lucha VaVOOM dancers performing “Fast and Frightening”

Plus, Donita’s SiriusXM “Volume West” interview with Lyndsey Parker airs tomorrow 5pmPT.

“power-packed” - SPIN
“this is how your rock should be rolled.” [9/10] - Classic Rock
“After thirty years, this is an album that remains as relevant as ever, and now sounds just as well as it did when it influenced a generation” The Big Takeover
“has only become more potent with age.” - Irish News

On Friday, September 18th, Sub Pop will release L7’s Smell the Magic: 30th Anniversary Edition, the classic second album from these rock and roll grunge pioneers.
This 30th-anniversary edition includes all 9 songs from the seminal record, remastered and together on vinyl for the first time ever! A multitude of rock music scenes populated the expanse of Los Angeles in 1989: hardcore punk, industrial goth, roots rock, and Sunset Strip hair metal, to name a few. L7 fit into none of them, creating their own unique blend of punk and hard, hooky rock loaded with humor and cultural commentary. Originally released in 1990, Smell the Magic is a landmark of ’90s feminist rock.

Earlier this month, L7’s singer and guitarist Donita Sparks recorded brand new vocals for a feisty performance of “Fast and Frightening” as part of KCRW’s Summer Series, 2020. The video stars Donita Sparks and the Lucha VaVOOM dancers who are seen shimmying on the streets of Los Angeles during a pandemic and pandemonium ensues!

Additionally, Sparks sat for an interview with Lyndsey Parker for Sirius XM’s Volume West show, which airs tomorrow, Friday, September 18th at 5pmPT.

Smell the Magic: 30th Anniversary Edition is now available for purchase from Sub Pop. LP purchased through and select retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on clear with high melt orange, blue, and gray vinyl while supplies last. Meanwhile pre-orders  through select retailers in the UK and Europe will receive the Loser edition on neon orange vinyl.

[L7 Photo Credit: Charles Peterson]

Posted by Rachel White