News from 3/2021

NEWS : WED, MAR 17, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Hannah Jadagu shares the official video for “What Is Going On?,” the title track from her forthcoming EP

On April 23rd, 2021, Sub Pop will digitally release What Is Going On? the five-song debut EP of bedroom pop from singer, songwriter, and producer Hannah Jadagu (pron. juh-dah-goo). Today, she is sharing the official video for the EP’s title track, directed by Cameron Livesey (who directed her video for the single “Think Too Much”).

Hannah says of the video, “For the ‘Think Too Much’ video I collaborated with my friends to create a juxtaposition between the message of the song, in which I sing about anxieties and societal pressures, and the music video, which depicts my friends and I just enjoying New York. When thinking of ideas for the ‘What Is Going On?’ video, I was certain that I wanted to take a different approach. Originally, I just had a loose vision of a rooftop band scene and worked hard to make that happen. However, during the editing process, Cameron and I felt we were missing something. That something was a storyline. So, I decided to bring in actors Sarah Tie and Joseph McCain. Through their work, we were able to really bring the lyrics to life.”

Last month, Hannah released her single “Think Too Much,” which was warmly received by outlets like Jezebel who raved,  “An immediate charmer—dreamy melodies emboldened by a neurotic interiority—and maybe the greatest song about fearing turning 23 since Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” Meanwhile, Alternative Press noted it for “dreamy synths and beats” and Brooklyn Vegan called it “A catchy dose of indie/dream pop that makes good on the promise of Hannah’s Soundcloud singles.”
Hailing from Mesquite, Texas and now residing in New York, the incredibly resourceful 18 year-old records and produces her music all through her iPhone 7. Using Garageband iOS, an iRig, microphone, and guitar, Hannah has found a process that has served her well so far in her young recording career. The songs on What Is Going On? encapsulate the thoughts, hopes, and fears of growing up as a young Black woman in the U.S. with themes of empowerment and a wise-beyond-her-years worldview weaved throughout.
“My Bones,” the powerful opening statement from What Is Going On?, holds great meaning for Hannah. “With the influx of media coverage of Black women going missing, being murdered, and the lack of care there is for Black women in general, both within this country and the world, I wanted to dedicate a song to it,” she says. “I kept the lyric brief, writing ‘You could take my bones and place them home, they won’t find out’ because I felt those words spoke enough to the situation.”
“Sundown” was the first song that helped Hannah realize that music could be a way to express what she was otherwise unable to articulate.“‘Sundown’ takes place when I was a junior in high school and I decided to write a song about how I was feeling at the time,” she says. “I was exhausted from schoolwork, extracurricular activities, college-prep, and overall life of being a pre-college teen. ‘Sundown’ was a way for me to express thoughts I’d kept to myself.” She continues, “Sonically, this song is layered with many different background vocals, uses of reverb, chorus and pitch shift. It’s very telling of the music I was consuming at the moment.”
“‘Think Too Much’ is the only song that I’d written with the intent of putting it on an EP,” Hannah says. “I was challenging myself to make a song that was high energy, fun, and a ‘bop.’ At the time, I remember listening to a lot of Dayglow, Jean Dawson, and Winnetka Bowling League, and thinking to myself, ‘These people are making such catchy and fun songs without even trying.’ Then I thought to myself, ‘You’re overthinking this.’ I asked all my friends what they thought about ‘too much,’ compiled their responses, chose some fun chords and rhythms inspired by Snail Mail and Phoenix, and went to work.”
The title track “What Is Going On?” was a rewrite of a past demo she had originally posted to Soundcloud. The song talks about the sort of confusion that comes with the infatuation you can have for someone. “It’s very much my only attempt at an anthem for teenage love,’’ laughs Hannah. “When I had originally posted the demo, people really loved it. However, there wasn’t much of a story to tell. So eventually I took it down until I had an experience that inspired me. I FaceTimed my sister about it, and she encouraged me to practically rewrite the whole song. In terms of the production side, I wanted to tap into the rockstar in me, heavily influenced by Clairo/Rostam, Deb Never, and Beabadoobee. This song was definitely my favorite to produce.”

“Bleep Bloop” was written during Hannah’s first semester of senior year. “I couldn’t seem to sleep one night, so I just grabbed my guitar and started singing/playing what came to mind. Most of the lyrics blossomed out of a singular freestyle without much premeditation,” she says. “The song both acknowledges and battles with the idea that we as young people are often expected to just ‘deal with it,’ and the lack of awareness for our mental health. While I feel that I am very privileged, I still think it’s okay to not feel good, and be able to talk about it. The production on this track is sort of an homage to Dijon’s ‘Nico’s Red Truck,’ a song I was super obsessed with at the time. I was also listening to a lot of SZA’s ‘20 Something’ and Frank Ocean.”
Hannah concludes, “What Is Going On? will always be special to me. It represents my first project, and it’s full of my thoughts and emotions during my own personal experiences, and also what was happening in the world. It truly is like seeing through my exterior, and getting to know me over the past few years, in just a matter of 30 minutes.”
What Is Going On? strikes us as pretty special, too. Same with Hannah. And all that is plainly obvious in just a matter of 30 minutes.

What people are saying about Hannah Jadagu:
“She does a great job of expressing a sense of being trapped in a loop of negative thoughts (“why does it feel like I’m digging a hole?”) while keeping the music light and breezy.” [“Think Too Much” / “20 Best Rock Songs Right Now”] - The FADER
“Jadagu’s songs have an inherently chill quality that feel almost effortless.” - Dallas Observer
“A colorful dose of sweet, soaring psych and folk seems to coalesce into its own new genre… “Think Too Much” is intimate, but feels like it was always meant to be shared not with a diary, but a full audience: Jadagu’s dazzling performance is underscored by haunting lyrics that delve into one’s inner demons, uncertainties, and self-doubts – and an ethereal, catchy chorus all about overcoming these obstacles.” - Atwood Magazine
“Will delight your ears and …will warm your heart.” [“Think Too Much”] - Closed Captioned
“The track spans just under 3 minutes long and it captures a rosy, youthful wonder. Jadagu’s dreamy vocals paired with the lo-fi instrumentation gives “Think Too Much” a light bedroom pop haze. There’s a feelgood nature to the track, especially with its jangly guitars and upbeat bounce.” [“Think Too Much”] - Abduction Radiation
“Invitingly-vernal and open-hearted…” [“Think Too Much”] - The Autumn Roses
“The near 3-minute track begins with melodic guitar strumming before light drums kick in and give the song the feeling of a great summer pop tune. As Jadagu’s soft, gorgeous voice swears “It’s all in your head,” backing vocals from a group falsetto choir bring the song’s energy to life even more. The video for “Think Too Much” was directed Cameron Livesey and features Jadagu and a group of friends wander through a city-scape of bridges, trains and streets, singing along to the positive tune.”  [“Think Too Much”] - MXDWN
“[A] brilliant letter of introduction…” [“Think Too Much”] -  Binaural

Hannah Jadagu
What Is Going On?

1. My Bones
2. Sundown
3. Think Too Much
4. What Is Going On?
5. Bleep Bloop

Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : TUE, MAR 30, 2021 at 9:00 AM

Watch Flock of Dimes’ official video for “One More Hour,” from Head of Roses, out this Friday worldwide from Sub Pop

Today, Flock of Dimes (aka Jenn Wasner) is sharing the official video for “One More Hour,” co-directed by Urzulka and Jenni Kaye.
“One More Hour” is the final prerelease offering and highlight from Wasner’s second solo LP, Head of Roses, out this Friday, April 2nd worldwide on Sub Pop. It’s an album that showcases her ability to embrace new levels of vulnerability, honesty and openness, combined with the self-assuredness that comes with a decade-plus career as a songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and prolific collaborator.
Shot in Austin, TX, the “One More Hour” video is an ode to internal conflict when reevaluating a relationship. Says Wasner, “This song is about getting lost in a fantasy– of another life, of someone else, or of a different version of yourself. And it’s about the ways in which a combination of nostalgia and longing can make imagining the past or dreaming about the future so much more appealing than whatever present reality we happen to be inhabiting.   
“It’s in our nature to make myths and tell stories about the events of our lives, and in doing so create a deeper meaning out of the most seemingly mundane events. But so often this interior projection can act as a distraction from presence—standing in the way of our ability to be awake to the fullness of our experience as it unfolds, making it difficult to see and appreciate the entire world of experience and sensation that’s right in front of our eyes. I’m paying attention now.

Head of Roses, and singles “Two” and “Price of Blue,” have seen praise from outlets like The Guardian, who say, “Her solo album out in April is superb. This sweetly shuffling [“Two”] is so rich in charm.” Uncut offers this, “An album that is as deeply introspective as it is creatively bold and ambitious (8/10).” The New York Times had this to say, ‘Can I be one? Can we be two?’ Jenn Wasner asks on her stirring new single…‘Two’ is driven by an irregular beat, as if to mirror the hesitant questioning of its lyrics. Even when she’s being somber or ruminative, Wasner has a touch of gallows humor, as when she muses memorably, ‘We’re all just wearing bodies like a costume til we die.’” Stereogum says, “Between the restrained LIke So Much Desire EP last year and the bubbly, infectious ‘Two,’ the lead single from her forthcoming album Head of Roses, it’s become clear that Flock Of Dimes has room for whatever songs Wasner wants to write and whatever stories she wants to tell. So that brings us to “Price of Blue,” a breakup reckoning that finds Wasner tapping into the autumnal, reflective rock sound that’s always been such a mesmerizing side of her songwriting.” Meanwhile, PASTE calls “Price of Blue” a “six-minute masterpiece of psychedelic guitar riffs and haunting vocal…,” and Guitar World raves, “Jenn Wasner is a bewitching guitarist… Head of Roses will find Wasner elevating her already otherworldly playing to new heights.”
Flock of Dimes’ Head of Roses, which features “Two,” “Price of Blue,” “Hard Way,” and “One More Hour,” will be available on CD/CS/DSPs on April 2nd, 2021, and on LP April 30th, 2021. The album was produced by Nick Sanborn (Sylvan Esso) and Wasner at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC, engineered by Bella Blasko with additional engineering by Sanborn, mixed by Ari Picker and Blasko, and mastered by Huntley Miller. The album features appearances from guitarist Meg Duffy, Bon Iver’s Matt McCaughan, Wye Oak’s Andy Stack, and Landlady’s Adam Schatz. Head of Roses follows the release of Like So Much Desire, her acclaimed digital EP released June 2020 on Sub Pop.

Head of Roses is available for preorder through Sub Pop. LP preorders through, and select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on peach swirl vinyl (while supplies last). LP preorders in the U.K. and in Europe will receive the Loser edition on Magenta vinyl (while supplies last).

Flock of Dimes
Head of Roses

1. 2 Heads
2. Price of Blue
3. Two
4. Hard Way
5. Walking
6. Lightning
7. One More Hour
8. No Question
9. Awake for the Sunrise
10. Head of Roses

Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : WED, MAR 31, 2021 at 7:00 AM

CHAI Reveal New Single/Video, “Nobody Knows We Are Fun”, New Album, WINK, Out May 21st

Japanese quartet CHAI reveal a new single/video, “Nobody Knows We Are Fun,” from their forthcoming album, WINK, out May 21st on Sub Pop. It’s the third single off of the album released thus far, following “Maybe Chocolate Chips” (Feat. Ric Wilson) and “ACTION.” CHAI are known for their fun, vibrant music videos, and “Nobody Knows We Are Fun” is no exception. Directed by Hideto Hotta, the video is cinematic and polished, showing the band adorned in colorful outfits and settings. The track was inspired by an at-home activity: YUUKI was watching 2019’s Booksmart when she had the idea for the song. (The movie’s whip smart protagonists decide to attend a party before high school graduation after realizing, “Nobody knows we’re fun!”) “I thought, ‘We, CHAI, can really relate to that scene,” YUUKI said of the song, which the band describe as “a mix of screaming our annoyances—why don’t you guys notice us!—while trying to be cute and sexy.” Let’s check in with CHAI and see what they have to say about the song:

“It’s like ‘Nobody Knows We Are Fun,’ right?!” 

“Seriously! Not cool!”

“Perhaps they underestimate us? ♡”

“Or maybe they are like ‘don’t be a show off!’” 

“Say what you want!  What matters is that despite always being ourselves and never changing, we are still the most FUN!” 

“Totally!! ♡♡”

“It’s that type of song!  Take a listen and loosen up♡”

CHAI is MANA (lead vocals and keys) and KANA (guitar), drummer YUNA, and bassist-lyricist YUUKI. Following the release of 2019’s PUNK, CHAI’s adventures took them around the world, playing their high-energy and buoyant shows. Like all musicians, CHAI spent 2020 forced to rethink the fabric of their work and lives. They took this as an opportunity to shake up their process and bring their music somewhere thrillingly new. Rather than having maximalist recordings like in the past, CHAI instead focused on crafting the slightly-subtler and more introspective kinds of songs they enjoy listening to at home—where, for the first time, they recorded all of the music.  They draw R&B and hip-hop into their mix (Mac Miller, the Internet, and Brockhampton were on their minds) of dance-punk and pop-rock, all while remaining undeniably CHAI. 

WINK is also the first CHAI album to feature contributions from outside producers (Mndsgn, YMCK) as well as Ric Wilson. This impulse towards connection with others is in WINK’s title, too. After the “i” of PINK and the “u” of PUNK—which represented the band’s act of introducing themselves, and then of centering their audiences—they have come full circle with the “we” of WINK.  In that act of opening themselves up, CHAI grew into their best work: “This album showed us, we’re ready to do more.”


“One of CHAI’s greatest strengths is the Japanese band’s ability to weave between different genres, buoyed by their generous sense of humor and vibrantly catchy hooks” - Pitchfork

“This propulsive, retro-sounding bop from Japanese quartet CHAI deserves to soundtrack your next dance break.” - Nylon

“[‘ACTION’ is] so far their biggest earworm in a catalog of songs that can get stuck in your head for weeks.” - Vice

“As demonstrated by its lead single ‘ACTION,’ the band’s heading in a vibier, more laidback direction. Their new track ‘Maybe Chocolate Chips’ is breathy and spacey and it features a guest spot from Chicago rapper Ric Wilson.” - Stereogum

“’Maybe Chocolate Chips’ brings a lo-fi feel to CHAI’s brand of indie rock, with a bass-heavy beat and whirring synth. Rapper Ric Wilson…joins the song halfway through with an eloquent, feel-good verse.” - Paste

Posted by Abbie Gobeli