News from 2021

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


Sub Pop Records is extremely proud to announce the return (for our 15th year!) of the Sub Pop Loser Scholarship. Further details on the scholarship are below, and even further below is some clarification on what we mean by “Loser.”
Sub Pop Records is offering a grand total of $15,000 in college scholarship money to three eligible high school seniors. There are three scholarships—one for $7,000, one for $5,000 and one for $3,000. As longtime, proud losers ourselves, we’re exceedingly happy to be able, in some small way, to help further the education of art-enthused misfits from the NW. Individuals from all cultures and communities are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be residents of Washington or Oregon, and graduating seniors on the way to full-time enrollment at an accredited university or college. We are looking for applicants who are involved and/or interested in music and/or the creative media and arts in some way. However, you do not need to be pursuing an education in the arts.

To apply you must submit an essay, one page or less, using any combination of the following questions as a guide (or write something completely your own, be inspired and creative!). Please list the school you are graduating from and the school you plan to attend in the fall at the top of your essay along with your contact information.

- What are you doing in the arts/music field in your community?
- What does being a Sub Pop ‘Loser’ mean to you?
- What are your influences and/or who inspired you to become involved in the arts?
- Describe your biggest failure and explain how it has brought you closer to your goal(s).
- Discuss a special attribute or accomplishment that sets you apart.
- How has your family or community background affected the way you see the world?
- Why should you be the Loser winner?
Applicants are strongly (!) encouraged to send digital links and/or provide hard copies of their artwork, photos of community involvement, radio show links, videos, etc. along with their essay (we have never had a winner who submitted only an essay w/no extras). However, please be aware that Sub Pop will not return any of this material, so please don’t send originals. Sub Pop will give equal opportunity to all applicants who fit the criteria outlined above.
The deadline for applications is Wednesday, March 24th, 2021.
Please send all submissions and attachments to by Wednesday, March 24th. We will announce the scholarship winners during the first week of April.

What we talk about when we talk about “Loser.”
Here at Sub Pop Records, we use the word “loser” a lot. You may have noticed. We’ve printed it on things we sell (hats, shirts, stickers, mugs, and more!), we call the first, colored-vinyl, limited-edition pressings of the records we release the “Loser Edition,” and every year since 2007ish we’ve awarded tuition money to college-bound NW high school students through the “Sub Pop Loser Scholarship.” And, it’s possible we take for granted that you guys catch our drift and understand what we mean when we’re all “loser this,” and “loser that.” So! The following…
Sub Pop’s use of the word “loser” goes back to the foundation of the label and is meant as a celebration of unabashedly being ourselves without conforming to any preconceived ideas of “normal.” To be a loser is central to the very idea of underground art and culture - all of it happening and thriving outside of the mainstream, and not necessarily looking for a way in. Bruce Pavitt’s “New Pop Manifesto” in the 1st issue of Subterranean Pop included, “The important thing to remember is this: the most intense music, the most original ideas… are coming out of scenes you don’t even know exist… Only by supporting new ideas by local artists, bands, and record labels can the U.S. expect any kind of dynamic social/cultural change…” And, since 2007 or so, with the Loser Scholarship, we’ve been adding students to that list, and putting our (or, our co-founder, big boss and biggest loser ever, Jonathan Poneman’s…) money where our mouth is. Sub Pop Records strives to bring attention to music and art from the fringes that might otherwise remain marginalized. And, in that same spirit, through our annual Loser Scholarship, we’re looking for art-enthused misfits in NW high schools, losers like us, to help them pay for college. We stand proudly with and support the misfits, weirdos and losers, because we believe that when we’re able to proudly be nothing other than our true selves, we have the ability to make the world stronger, smarter and better.
So, good luck, Losers! And, again, please send all submissions and attachments to by Wednesday, March 24th

Posted by Andrew Sullivan

NEWS : TUE, FEB 16, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Winter shredding comes alive in METZ’s new video for “Sugar Pill”

The new METZ video for “Sugar Pill,” from their acclaimed 2020 release, Atlas Vending, is out now.  Shot in Thunder Bay, Ontario, the video is an homage to the unstoppable spirit of skateboarding and a testament to the inspiring drive to ride in any condition and any environment. Director Shayne Ehman says of the video: “Skateboarding feels great. We love to skate. The birds need to sing, we need to skate. I hope the winter skateboarding footage carries with it some of the love we have for skateboarding. I hope it contains a spirit of perseverance and the will to make it happen. Come wind, ice, or stormy weather, we shovel snow, we torch frost, we skate.”  Watch the video now. 
Atlas Vending, the most dynamic, dimensional, and compelling album of METZ’s career, is available now worldwide from Sub Pop.”Sugar Pill” is the 7th(!) video from the new album.

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 : WED, FEB 17, 2021 at 12:00 PM

Sub Pop Is Hiring a DSP Account Manager

Based in/around Los Angeles, CA

Sub Pop Records (with headquarters in Seattle, WA)  is currently searching for an organized, self-motivated, experienced individual to become our full-time DSP Account Manager. The DSP Account Manager position will be based in LA, working remotely and, eventually, from our LA office. When in-person business resumes, this position will lead up our interactions and presentations with LA offices of Spotify, Apple, YouTube and others.

We are accepting resumes through the position closing date of Mar. 10, 2021.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Kara Mattaini at

The DSP Account Manager manages the pitching and support of all Sub Pop and Hardly Art releases at digital music accounts, and works with Sub Pop’s social media team to support music and video offerings at social accounts that have revenue-generating programs.  They also work with the Digital Operations team to coordinate digital assets and set-up for all releases, and to gather assets that may be required for on-platform advertising or marketing. They also handle the hybrid sales/marketing/social YouTube account, managing Sub Pop’s YouTube presence, strategy, and analysis.


  • Coordinate with Director of Sales on strategy for DSP pitching conversations for all Sub Pop and Hardly Art releases. For key releases, send long lead music and email with key marketing points to initiate account marketing plan.
  • Manage digital pitching assets, including Apple priority sheets, Spotify Pitch tool, YouTube pitch tool, etc. 
  • Send weekly update emails to Spotify, Apple and Pandora with upcoming Sub Pop and Hardly Art track releases for the following 2 weeks.
  • Follow up with accounts later in the week with updates on marketing drivers from track releases (press coverage, radio, etc.).
  • Send advance digital promo mailings to DSP contacts for upcoming releases via PromoJukebox 
  • Participate in standing meetings with DSP reps (Spotify, Apple, Pandora).
  • Coordinate with artist/mgmt. teams to maintain upkeep of artist profiles on DSPs making sure photos, bio, etc. are current.
  • Send US playlist placement updates to Sub Pop Marketing Staff. 


  • Determine YouTube strategy for all Sub Pop and Hardly Art releases, including channel for video hosting, video publication strategy, etc.
  • Strategize to build subscription base for Sub Pop channel.
  • Work with artists/managers to gain channel manager access to artist channels when necessary
  • Upload official videos and lyric videos to relevant YouTube channel. Update video description, video tags, video title, upload subtitle files, upload thumbnails etc.
  • Provide Sub Pop’s Digital Operations Dept. with YouTube links at least 24 hours prior to video publication for video claiming.
  • Once video is properly claimed, provide link to marketing staff as well as artist teams prior to video publication.
  • Manually publish all videos.
  • Maintain and update Sub Pop’s YouTube presence (update playlists, share videos on community tab, etc.)
  • Maintain relationships with YouTube reps to pitch artists for YouTube Marketing opportunities.
  • Obtain YouTube certifications through online training resources.
  • Coach artists on use of YouTube community pages.
  • Submit artist channels for Official Artist Channel verification.

Social Music Accounts

  • Develop contacts with label relations teams at TikTok, Facebook Music, Instagram Music, Snap, and Triller, and with new similar accounts as they come online.
  • Work with MERLIN counterparts to understand and maximize Sub Pop’s opportunities at these accounts.
  • Pitch tracks for features/surfacing using available tools direct with accounts or through MERLIN.
  • Manage advertising funds available for certain accounts through MERLIN deals.  Coordinate with social and sales teams to identify targets for these programs.
  • Work with Sub Pop, MERLIN analytics team to monitor key metrics for these accounts and share info with Sub Pop’s marketing team.


  • Gather and update retail and DSP links for Smartlinks around album launches and releases. Manage regional links for ex-US territories where applicable.


DSPs/YouTube: Director of Sales

Social Music Accounts: joint supervision by Director of Sales and Director of Social Marketing + Community Engagement

Sub Pop Records is an equal opportunity employer. All employment decisions are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family or parental status, national origin, veteran or disability status. Sub Pop Records will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Kara Mattaini at no later than March 10, 2021.

Thanks, and good luck!

Posted by Chris Jacobs

NEWS : TUE, FEB 23, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Chad VanGaalen shares new single “Nightwaves”

On March 19th, multimedia auteur Chad VanGaalen will release his latest offering, World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener, available worldwide through Sub Pop and in Canada from Flemish Eye. The thirteen-track effort, which features the previously released track, “Samurai Sword” and singles “Starlight,” “Where Is It All Going?,” and latest single “Nightwaves,” was written, performed, recorded, and mixed by VanGaalen at his Yoko Eno Studio in Calgary, Alberta, and mastered by Ryan Morey in Montreal, Quebec.
Of “Nightwaves” VanGaalen shares that it “is about the endless news feed. Giving in to your digital calendar, when all that’s on your to-do list is checking the online updates. Like a William Gibson waking nightmare, boring marketed as sexy.” You can listen to this digital reminder here.
On April 8th, VanGaalen will perform a live stream from his Yoko Eno studio via NoonChorus. The show will be available for viewing in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia at 7 PM local time. Ticket holders will be able to stream the performance for 5 days following and will also be able to buy merch. You can purchase tickets for this event here. 
World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener is now available for preorder through Sub Pop. LPs purchased through megamart.subpop.comFlemish Eye (Canada)select independent retailers in North Americain the U.K. and in Europe will receive the album on orange gold vinyl with blue/red trails (while supplies last). There is also a new T-shirt design available.

Chad VanGaalen
World’s Most Stressed Out Gardener

1. Spider Milk
2. Flute Peace
3. Starlight
4. Where Is It All Going?
5. Earth From a Distance
6. Nightwaves
7. Plant Music
8. Nothing Is Strange
9. Inner Fire
10. Golden Pear
11. Nightmare Scenario
12. Samurai Sword
13. Water Brother

Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : FRI, MAR 19, 2021 at 9:00 AM

Hear Sheltered Workshop Singers “My Life” (with Bill Frisell) b/w “Dan I Am” + “Bad Memories” available now

Sub Pop is pleased to announce the new single by Sheltered Workshop Singers, “My Life” (Featuring Bill Frisell) b/w “Dan I Am” and “Bad Memories,” available today worldwide through all digital music services. The release coincides with World Down Syndrome Day, Sunday, March 21st, 2021. The 7” version of the single will be released later this year as part of the subscription-only Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 6.

Grammy-winning music producer and author Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Zomba Prison Project, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott) grew up in the Bay Area with his older sister, Jane, who has Down syndrome. Just prior to the COVID outbreak, he returned home to visit Jane’s weekday program, where dozens of adults with varying cognitive and ambulatory abilities occupy their weekday hours at a sheltered workshop.

At the workshop, a diverse group of over twenty individuals participated in the musical project that birthed this single. Participants ranged in age from early-twenties to sixties (with the life expectancy of their population still stubbornly flatlining at a mere sixty-years-old). Over half were women. Many were also consigned to wheelchairs or utilized crutches, canes, and braces to walk. None had sung into a microphone before or held a stringed instrument.

The recordings were set up in a narrow, plasterboard-walled room with throbbing Technicolor lights and a disco ball, a place designed to have a paradoxically calming effect on some of the residents.

Brennan believes that there are few more expressive singers than those that are non-verbal. Possessing a limited vocabulary dams up feelings, particularly when what few words are belaboredly uttered are not understood due to a speech impediment. In Brennan’s words:  “Whether traveling to more remote places like South Sudan or Cambodia or exploring voices close to home, our goal is not to find the ‘exotic,’ but to de-exoticize and find the emotional common ground throughout the world.”

Possibly Brennan’s most personal work ever, the recordings were made with the involvement of his and Jane’s father, who was in the final stages of his battle with cancer, and who sadly passed just two months later.

Jazz great Bill Frisell (13-time DownBeat Magazine “Guitarist of the Year ” winner) guests on “My  Life,” adding an elegiac and gentle layer to vocalist Grace’s intricate melodies and epic emotional investment. Brennan states, “Frisell is such an empathic musician. I can’t think of a more perfect fit for the Sheltered Workshop Singers.”

All 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. 6.

Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : THU, FEB 25, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Watch Flock of Dimes’ hypnotic official video for “Price of Blue” from Head of Roses, her forthcoming new album

Today, Flock of Dimes (aka Jenn Wasner) is sharing “Price of Blue,” an unearthly new video filmed in black and white, co-directed by Wasner with Graham Tolbert. “Price of Blue” is a standout from Wasner’s second solo LP, Head of Roses, 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.
Of today’s release, Wasner says “This song is about trying, and failing, to connect. It’s about the ways in which, despite our best efforts, we misunderstand each other, and become so attached to stories that we’re unable to see the truth that’s right in front of us. And it’s about the invisible mark that another person can leave on your body, heart and mind long after their absence. It can be difficult to make sense of the memory of your experience when the reality on the surface is always shifting—when the story you’re telling, or the story you’ve been told, unravels, leaving you with a handful of pieces and no idea how they used to fit together.”

Flock of Dimes’ Head of Roses, which features “Two,” and “Price of Blue,” along with “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 now 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).

What people are saying about Flock of Dimes:
“‘Can I be one? Can we be two?’ Jenn Wasner asks on her stirring new single ‘Two.’ The song — and its colorful, playfully choreographed video — is an exploration of the simultaneous needs for individuality and intimacy within a romantic relationship, but it also reflects the multiplicity of Wasner’s musical output. ‘Two’ is driven by an irregular beat (Wasner recently joked on Twitter about her penchant for ‘odd time signatures’), 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.’” [“Two”] - New York Times
“Her solo album out in April is superb. This sweetly shuffling first cut is so rich in charm.” [“Two”] - The Guardian

“Stirring, widescreen pop” [“Two”]  - Brooklyn Vegan
“A bright, gauzy song awash in clarity and the desire for connection” [“Two”] -  Indy Week

“Wasner sounds stunning here as she sways between swaths of keys and bursts of tone.”  [“Two”]  - Closed Captioned
“She has constructed a framework of blocky synths, whispering guitar and pattering drums, leaving plenty of space for her pontifications. She moves through vocal melodies with such natural ease that you don’t at first register how impressive it is, but as ‘Two’ builds into a luscious chorus full of wonderful tones, her voice still leads the way in all its rich finesse. Wasner’s the kind of voice you could listen to forever, which is what ‘Two’ demands, as it’s not only a sonic delight, but a lyrical treasure trove full of personal truths that strike a universal chord.” [“Two”]  - Beats Per Minute

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