News from 12/2020

NEWS : SUN, DEC 6, 2020 at 10:58 PM

Hear new Sub Pop Singles Club, Vol. 5 tracks from TEKE::TEKE and Sumac - Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 6 is now open for subscriptions!

[Photo credits: TEKE::TEKE by Andi State; Sumac by Faith Coloccia]

Montreal’s TEKE::TEKE and Pacific Northwest band SUMAC’s contributions to the Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 5 are available now for the first time at all the digital music places.

[TEKE::TEKE - “Kodomo No Kuni” b/w “Onigami” (7” Edit)]

Listen here:

TEKE::TEKE is a unique beast; a seven-piece band featuring traditional Japanese instruments, flute and trombone alongside raging guitars and a pulsing rhythm section, creating a sound reminiscent of 1960’s and 70’s-era psychedelic Japanese soundtracks, with a frenetic, modern twist. Formed in 2018 for what was to be a one-off instrumental tribute show to Japanese instrumental guitar hero, Takeshi Terauchi, featuring covers of his like “Chidori,” which the band has since released, TEKE::TEKE quickly found their original sound with the addition of the charismatic actress, visual artist and vocalist Maya Kuroki. Kuroki is accompanied by guitarists Serge Nakauchi Pelletier & Hidetaka Yoneyama, bass player Mishka Stein, drummer Ian Lettre, flutist Yuki Isami, and trombone player Etienne Lebel. “Kodomo No Kuni” is a tightly wound, funk-infused psychedelic fuzz-guitar romp, with Kuroki’s vocals providing a fittingly haunting vibe. B-side “Onigami” is a heavier rave-up, laden with pulsing rhythmic tension and wild howls of wind and guitar instruments. Their debut full-length is out in the spring of 2021 on Kill Rock Stars.

[SUMAC - “Two Beasts”] 

Listen here:

Pacific Northwest abstract-expressionist metallurgists SUMAC are known for their knotty, long-form explorations of the territory between chaos and cohesion. They vacillate between the visceral power of bottom-feeder metal, the instinctive spontaneity of free jazz, and the tactile pleasures of experimental music in a mélange of tightly wound riffage and aural deconstructions. One can’t help but wonder how their protracted dirges and drones could possibly be contained within the format of a 7”, but with their Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 5 contribution we’re all set to find out.
“Two Beasts (excerpt)” spans both sides of the vinyl edition, and even then we’re only catching a glimpse of a longer composition. It may seem like a loss to learn that a third of the run-time for “Two Beasts” didn’t make it on the 7”, but SUMAC’s songs have always felt like snapshot of a fleeting moment where order arises out of entropy, so on the vinyl version we are merely experiencing that genesis and decay within a tighter timeframe. We can hear the entire 18+ minutes of “Two Beasts” on digital music platforms, where it lives as a single unedited song. “Two Beasts” is a fitting continuation of the sonic rise-and-fall documented on their latest album May You Be Held.

Also today, the Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 6 is now open for subscriptions! The Singles Club Vol. 6 continues Sub Pop’s intermittent-yet-legendary series of limited-edition, subscription-only 7” singles by artists that we, and hopefully you, like. These 7”s will be limited to a mere 1,000 copies, and once they are gone, they are gone forever. This round will feature exclusive tracks from the king of filth himself, John Waters; Lids (feat. members of METZ, Holy Fuck, Constantines); Sheltered Workshop Singers and lots more TBA! Vol. 6 subscriptions are now available at the Sub Pop Mega Mart, and singles will ship bimonthly starting in April of 2021.

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, DEC 1, 2020 at 11:01 PM

METZ shares a new video for “Framed by the Comet’s Tail“

METZ has shared a new video for their song “Framed by the Comet’s Tail”, directed by the band’s drummer, Hayden Menzies. The visual companion to a personal favorite track of Menzies’ from Atlas Vending was created within a set of self-imposed limitations; it was all shot by Menzies on his phone, edited at home, with no borrowed content. He says of the video “It’s not a literal interpretation of the song by any means, but a document of random firing synapses of the mind during isolation.” Watch the video now
Atlas Vending is METZ’s most dynamic, dimensional, and compelling work of their career, and is now available worldwide from Sub Pop.
What people are saying about Atlas Vending:
Atlas Vending is the sound of a band fully confident in itself and delivering their biggest and best work yet.” ★★★★ - Upset Magazine 
“The Toronto band maintain a formidable degree of power and velocity throughout their fourth album yet… provide more welcome respites from the ferocious barrage they’re otherwise highly skilled at delivering.” [8/10] - Uncut 
” A record which draws on 35 years of North American alt-rock excellence, while still stamping its creators’ own identity firmly across its grooves.” [4/5] - Kerrang
”By gathering everything the group has done to date and mixing it together Metz manage to create a perfectly potent cocktail, one filled with nostalgia, sadness and grinding euphoria.”  [8/10] - Loud and Quiet 
“The expansiveness of the sonic palette on Atlas Vending just gives the band more room to paint outside the lines.” [8/10] - Under The Radar
“A record that feels both raw and refined, this will shake you to the core”★★★★ - DIY Magazine 
“METZ still cooks and burns with the roar of Jesus Lizard and the pounding noise of Stnnng, but four albums in, the band is discovering new sonic routes to travel” - AV Club
2021 Tour Dates:
Sep. 15 - Bristol, UK - The Fleece
Sep. 16 - Manchester, UK - YES
Sep. 17 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo
Sep. 18 - Blackpool, UK - Bootleg Social
Sep. 19 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
Sep. 21 - Leicester, UK - 02 Academy
Sep. 22 - London, UK - Scala 
Sep. 23 - Brighton, UK - Green Door Store
Sep. 24 - Paris, FR - Petit Bain
Sep. 25 - Dudingen, CH - Bad Bonn
Sep. 26 - Zurich, CH - Bogen F
Sep. 27 - Lausanne, CH -  Le Romandie at Les Docks
Sep. 29 - Berlin, DE - Lido
Sep. 30 - Leipzig, DE - UT Connewitz
Oct. 01 - Hannover, DE - Glocksee
Oct. 02 - Copenhagen, DK - Loppen
Oct. 04 - Hamburg, DE - Hafenklang
Oct. 05 - Cologne, DE - Gebäude 9
Oct. 06 - Utrecht, NL - Tivoli
Oct. 07 - Groningen, NL - Vera
Oct. 08 - Antwerp, BE - Trix

Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : THU, DEC 3, 2020 at 3:00 AM

Watch Marika Hackman’s live performance of Elliott Smith’s “Between the Bars” from her Covers album

Photo Credit: Stolen Sessions

Marika Hackman has delivered a gorgeous live performance of the Elliott Smith classic “Between the Bars”. Her interpretation of the song is from Covers, a darkly beautiful, self-produced album out now via Sub Pop in the Americas and Transgressive for the rest of the world. The “Between the Bars” live performance, which was filmed in an abandoned swimming pool, was directed and shot by Natàlia Pagès Geli and Tom Palliser, produced by Grace Manning, and mixed by Matthew Daly for Stolen Sessions.

Discussing the cover, Hackman offers: “Out of everything on this record, I kept “Between the Bars” closest to the original. On the Any Human Friend tours in 2019, I started playing it in the set - I hope you like this version from the livestream. I just wanted to do a really good performance of it, more like an homage than a cover.”

During the extended stay-at-home orders 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 a blank page. She recorded and produced Covers between her home and her parents’ house, then got David Wrench to mix it. In contrast to her last two albums (2019’s Any Human Friend & 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, Air, Sharon Van Etten and more. 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.”
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 on DSPs through Sub Pop (the Americas), Marika Hackman’s official website, and Transgressive Records (ROW).

What people are saying about Marika Hackman’s Covers:
Covers… It’s a nuanced handling of some of her recent recent song obsessions, which need no theme and are bound together by her voice - irresistibly silken and alluringly forlorn -and and overall, introspective hush (8/10).” - Uncut
“Marika’s ability to truly make each song her own is her biggest strength, giving her selection here a reassuringly even sonic energy.” ★★★★ - DIY
Covers is a magnificent experiment, filled with a mellifluous melancholy, bittersweet on the ears. (8/10).” - Gigwise
“A brilliantly self-produced album conceived and recorded behind doors: a close-quartered and at times uneasy listen, that both speaks to and provides an odd comfort for the current times.” - NME
“The ten track album is a very intimate joy; it’s the sound of an artist retracing their own steps back to the beginning to relocate the catalyst that began the whole endeavour in the first place.” - The Forty Five
“Her ‘All Night’ is distorted, expansive and no less sensual than the original, its lyrics – “Kiss up and rub up and feel up on you” – very much in Hackman’s wheelhouse” - The Independent
“…A back-to-basics approach, keeping arrangements simple and focusing on her unique reworkings of the essential melodies and moods at the heart of these tracks.” - The AV Club
“What I think is really special about it, is that she curates, chooses these covers in a way that is almost like a form of writing…”  - NPR Music
“Hackman gives us a glimpse into her quarantine playlist. And even more impressive, she tangibly shows us why these songs are so special, breaking them down to their core, and letting them speak for themselves.” - Under the Radar

Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : THU, DEC 3, 2020 at 12:00 AM

Watch Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s official video for “Lift Every Voice and Sing” from MLK/FBI, the award-winning documentary

Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing,”  is the legendary group’s rendition of the black national anthem, recorded for MLK/FBI, the forthcoming Critics’ Choice award winner for “Best Archival Documentary” and multiple IDA-award nominee. The official video for the song features footage from the film, and is co-directed by Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s Ben Jaffe and Kenneth Alexander Campbell. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is available now worldwide at all DSPs through Sub Pop.

[Photo credit: Dru Bui] 

The Preservation Hall musicians who perform on “Lift Every Voice and Sing” include Charlie Gabriel (Tenor Saxophone),  Wendell Brunious (Flugelhorn), Ronell Johnson (Piano, Organ, Trombone), Kyle Roussel (Piano), Ben Jaffe (Upright Bass), and Walter Harris (Drum Set) and are joined friends by Louis Ford (Tenor Saxophone), Walter Harris (Drum Set), Kerry “Fatman” Hunter (Snare Drum), Calvin Johnson (Soprano Saxophone), Kevin Louis (Trumpet), and Stephen Lands (Trumpet).
Sam Pollard, the director of MLK/FBI, is an Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmaker. Pollard says of the song, ”MLK/FBI is a movie experience I am proud to have been a part of. Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s performance of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ is an astounding version of the iconic anthem, and a perfect ending for our film. We are thrilled it will now be given a wider release.”
Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s Jaffe offers this, “It’s always an Honor and Privilege that comes with huge responsibility to perform ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.’  All of us were touched when Ben and Sam reached out to us.  To perform such an important composition, at this moment in time, for MLK/FBI and with this ensemble, makes it all the more personal and relevant.”
MLK/FBI is the first film to uncover the extent of the FBI’s surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Based on newly discovered and declassified files, utilizing a trove of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and unsealed by the National Archives, as well as revelatory restored footage, the documentary explores the government’s history of targeting Black activists, and the contested meaning behind some of our most cherished ideals. Featuring interviews with key cultural figures, including former FBI Director James Comey, MLK/FBI tells this astonishing and tragic story with searing relevance to our current moment. The film is produced by Benjamin Hedin, and written by Hedin and Laura Tomaselli.
MLK/FBI will be released in theatres and video-on-demand services on Friday, January 15th, 2021 through IFC Films.
What the critics are saying about MLK/FBI:
“One of the most urgent films of the year…” - Vanity Fair
“Powerhouse doc. Rewarding. Meticulously damning.” - Los Angeles Times
“Sam Pollard has assembled an engrossing, unsettling documentary…Rigorously focused on the facts of the past, the movie is also as timely as an alarm clock.” [“10 Great Movies at the New York Film Festival”] - New York Times
“Artfully assembled. It may be the best of this year’s very impressive slate. Illuminates the darkest, most insidious corners of American power and racism—past and present.” - Entertainment Weekly
“The film is a sobering watch and a timely reminder that King’s struggle for racial justice wasn’t straightforward, nor is it close to complete.” [“4 Films You Need to Watch This Fall”] - The Atlantic

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : THU, DEC 3, 2020 at 11:00 PM

The Postal Service’s ‘Everything Will Change’ live album is out now

Now Watch/Stream: “Sleeping In (Live)”

The Postal Service’s Everything Will Change live album is now available digitally for the first time today through Sub Pop Records! The beloved band’s 15-track set, which features fan favorites ”Such Great Heights,” “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight,” “Sleeping In” and “Natural Anthem,” along with a cover of Beat Happening’s “Our Secret” and a rare live take on Dntel’s “(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan,” was performed live at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA, during their 2013 reunion tour. 

A collaboration between Benjamin Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie) and Jimmy Tamborello (from Dntel), with Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis, The Postal Service released Give Up, their one and only album, in 2003. That record went on to sell over a million copies and most of the band’s fans never had the chance to see them perform live. In 2013 and in celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Give Up, Sub Pop released an expanded, deluxe version of that album and the band reunited to tour the world.

This 2020 release of Everything Will Change was remixed by Don Gunn and remastered by Dave Cooley earlier this year, from the recordings that were originally released as part of the the 2014 concert film.

Everything Will Change was also released in 2014 as a feature-length documentary concert film directed by Justin Mitchell and includes intimate interviews, backstage footage of the band. The Everything Will Change film and Give Up are also available through Sub Pop.

The Postal Service
Everything Will Change
1. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
2. We Will Become Silhouettes
3. Sleeping In
4. Turn Around
5. Nothing Better
6. Recycled Air
7. Be Still My Heart
8. Clark Gable
9. Our Secret (Beat Happening cover)
10. This Place Is a Prison
11. A Tattered Line of String
12. Such Great Heights
13. Natural Anthem
14. (This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan (Dntel)
15. Brand New Colony

Posted by Rachel White