Today, February 15th, 2019, marks the debut release of Cast from Polish artist, Perfect Son (aka Tobiasz Biliński). The 10-track album features the previously released lead singles “It’s For Life,” “Lust,” and the latest video offering, “Promises.” Inspired by the legend of Golem and the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, “Promises” depicts an unusual love story, in an undetermined time. Isolated in an old house away from people, lives SHE. Unable to coexist with others, SHE creates a partner, a humanoid. You can unravel this love story, directed by Jarek Tokarski here.
Cast was co-produced by Biliński and Marcin Buźniak at Axis Audio in Warsaw, with additional production from Jeff Zeigler at Uniform Recording in Philadelphia, and mixed/mastered by Buźniak.
The band has announced a string of Polish shows beginning on March 20th in Warszawa, with additional dates beginning on April 4th in Torun. Perfect Son will also appear at this years OFF Festival in Katowice this coming August. Additional European dates to follow.
Mar. 20 - Warszawa, Poland - Hydrozagadka Apr. 04 - Torun, Poland - NRD Apr. 05 - Gdansk, Poland - Zak (PL) Apr. 11 - Poznan, Poland - Meskalina Apr. 12 - Łódź, Poland - Radio Lódź, Apr. 13 - Lublin, Poland - Dom Kultury Apr. 14 - Kraków, Poland - Zet Pe Te Apr. 17 - Wrocław, Poland - Stary Klasztor Apr. 18 - Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland - Magnet Off On, Aug. 02 - Katowice, Poland - Off Festival (Poland) Aug. 03 - Katowice, Poland - Off Festival (Poland) Aug. 04 - Katowice, Poland - Off Festival (Poland)
Sub Pop is over the moon to announce that we’ve signed Seattle band Tacocat (!) and are set to release their new full-length album This Mess Is a Place on LP/CD/Digital and Cassette on Friday, May 3rd. The sparkly new album is their first for Sub Pop, and heralds a more pop-driven and ebullient direction in their sound. Today, NPR music premiered the official music video for lead-off single “Grains of Salt,” which features a variety of Seattle’s finest drag performers. Watch the official video here. The band has also announced a North American summer tour. Pre-orders are available now from our Megamart, with limited LOSER editions on jade green vinyl.
Tacocat also announced a run of 2019 North American tour dates. All tickets go on sale Friday, February 15th at 10 am local time.
May 09 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club May 10 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club May 11 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall May 12 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Pyramid Scheme May 13 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe May 15 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair May 17 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg May 18 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle May 19 - Washington, D.C. - U Street Music Hall May 21 - Durham, NC - The Pinhook May 22 - Atlanta, GA - The Drunken Unicorn May 23 - Nashville, TN - The High Watt May 24 - St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway May 25 - Kansas City, MO - The Record Bar June 08 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox at the Market June 12 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett June 13 - Boise, ID - Neurolux June 14 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court June 15 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge June 17 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada June 18 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall June 19 - Austin, TX - Barracuda June 21 - Sante Fe, NM - Meow Wolf June 22 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar June 23 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah June 25 - Los Angeles, CA - The Bootleg Theater June 26 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel June 28 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater
This Mess Is a Place Tracklisting:
1. Hologram 2. New World 3. Grains of Salt 4. The Joke of Life 5. Little Friend 6. Rose-Colored Sky 7. The Problem 8. Crystal Ball 9. Meet Me at La Palma 10. Miles and Miles
About Tacocat’s This Mess Is a Place:
When Seattle band Tacocat—vocalist Emily Nokes, bassist Bree McKenna, guitarist Eric Randall, and drummer Lelah Maupin—first started in 2007, the world they were responding to was vastly different from the current Seattle scene of diverse voices they’ve helped foster. It was a world of house shows, booking DIY tours on MySpace, and writing funny, deliriously catchy feminist pop-punk songs when feminism was the quickest way to alienate yourself from the then-en vogue garage-rock bros. Their lyrical honesty, humor, and hit-making sensibilities have built the band a fiercely devoted fanbase over the years, one that has followed them from basements to dive bars to sold-out shows at the Showbox. Every step along the way has been a seamless progression—from silly songs about Tonya Harding and psychic cats to calling out catcallers and poking fun at entitled weekend-warrior tech jerks on their last two records on Hardly Art, 2014’s NVM and 2016’s Lost Time.
This Mess is a Place, Tacocat’s fourth full-length and first on Sub Pop,finds the band waking up the morning after the 2016 election and figuring out how to respond to a new reality where evil isn’t hiding under the surface at all—it’s front and center, with new tragedies and civil rights assaults filling up the scroll of the newsfeed every day. “What a time to be barely alive,” laments “Crystal Ball,” a gem that examines the more intimate side of responding emotionally to the news cycle. How do you keep fighting when all you want to do is stay in bed all day? “Stupid computer stupor/Oh my kingdom for some better ads,” Nokes sings, throwing in some classic Tacocat snark, “Truth spread so thin/It stops existing.”
Despite current realities being depressing enough to make anyone want to crawl under the covers and sleep for a thousand years, Tacocat are doing what they’ve always done so well: mingling brightness, energy, and hope with political critique. This Mess is a Place is charged with a hopefulness that stands in stark contrast to music that celebrates apathy, despair, and numbness. Tacocat feels it all and cares, a lot, whether they’re singing odes to the magical connections we feel with our pets (“Little Friend”), imagining what a better earth might look like (“New World”), or trying to find humor in a wholly unfunny world (“The Joke of Life”).
Throughout the album, Tacocat questions power structures and the way we interact with them, recalling the feminist sci-fi of Ursula K. Le Guin in pop-music form. “Rose-Colored Sky” examines the privilege of people who have been able to skate through life without ever experiencing systemic disadvantage: “For all the years spent/Hot lava shaping me/For all the arguments/I wonder who else would I be?” Nokes sings. “If I wasn’t on the battleground/I bet I could’ve gone to space by now.” “Hologram” reminds us to step outside ourselves and try to see beyond imaginary structures that trap us: “Just close your eyes and think about the Milky Way/Just remember if you can, power is a hologram.”
The record is full of beautiful details, finding plastic beaded curtains catching light amidst feelings of despair. This Mess is A Place explores politics with more nuance than the topical songs of Tacocat’s past, inviting listeners in for more complicated exchanges and leaving space for introspection. “Grains of Salt” finds the band at the best they’ve ever sounded: Maupin’s spirited drums, McKenna’s bouncy walking bass, Randall’s catchy guitar and Nokes’ soaring melody combine to create a bonafide roller-rink hit that reminds us that it just takes some time, we’re in the middle of the ride, and to live for what matters to you. It’s a delightfully cathartic moment and the cornerstone of the record when they exclaim: “Don’t forget to remember who the fuck you are!”
Producer Erik Blood (who also produced Lost Time) brings the band into their full pop potential but still preserves what makes Tacocat so special: they’re four friends who met as young punks and have grown together into a truly collaborative band. Says Nokes: “We can examine some hard stuff, make fun of some evil stuff, feel some soft feelings, feel some rage feelings, feel some bitter-ass feelings, sift through memories, feel wavy-existential, and still go get a banana daiquiri at the end.”
Live in London was taped before a live audience at the Eventim Apollo. The album features the Conchords performing new songs from the sold-out UK and Ireland edition of “Flight of the Conchords Sing Flight of the Conchords Tour.”
You can now hear Flight of the Conchords’ live version of fan favorite “Carol Brown” from Live in London, their forthcoming album. The song first appeared in the “Unnatural Love” episode of their hit HBO series and is also available in its original form on I Told You I Was Freaky, the duo’s second studio album on Sub Pop.
[Album Art Photo credit: Colin Hutton/HBO]
Live in London will be available on 2xCD/3xLP/DL/CS worldwide via Sub Pop on March 8th, 2019. This past October and ten years after the launch of their hit HBO series, musical comedians Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement returned to the network for an all-new comedy special.
Additionally, LP preorders of Live in London in Europe and the UK from select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on clear vinyl (while supplies last).
The Live in London album features 7 new songs including the “Iain and Deanna,”“Father and Son,”“Summer of 1353,” “Stana,” “Seagull,” “Back on the Road,” and “Bus Driver.” The album also features performances of fan favorites “Inner City Pressure,” “Bowie,” “Foux du Fafa,” “Mutha’uckas - Hurt Feelings,” “Robots,” and “The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)’ (the latter two bonus tracks edited out of the broadcast due to time constraints).
Also Announcing 2019 “True Love Is Making a Comeback” Tour.
Weyes Blood (pronounced wizebluhd) will release Titanic Rising, her fourth album and Sub Pop Records debut, worldwide on CD/LP/DL/CS April 5th, 2019. The album features the lead single “Everyday,” and the previously released “Andromeda,” along with highlights “Movies,” “Wild Time,” and “Something to Believe.” The cover for Titanic Rising was shot in a bedroom submerged fully underwater (zero CGI).
The new single, “Everyday,” chronicles the chaos of modern love and dating - short attention spans, restlessness, and the continuous crusade (and carnage) to find some kind of all-encompassing soul mate. Watch the official video, in all its bloody terror, directed by Weyes Blood here.
[Cover Art Photo Credit: Brett Stanley]
Titanic Rising, written and recorded during the first half of 2018, is the culmination of three albums and many years of touring: stronger chops and ballsier decisions. It’s an achievement in transcendent vocals and levitating arrangements, conversational lyrics and thoughtful commentary on the modern condition of our souls. Like the Kinks meet WWII (or is it Bob Seger meets Enya?) Titanic Rising manages to ride that line between classic songwriting and post-apocalyptic futurism.
Titanic Rising is now available for pre-order from Sub Pop. LP pre-orders in North America through weyesblood.com, megamart.subpop.com, and select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on maroon colored vinyl (while supplies last). LP pre-orders of Titanic Rising in the UK and Europe from select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on red vinyl (while supplies last). There is also a new T-shirt design available now.
Titanic Rising Tracklisting
1. A Lot’s Gonna Change 2. Andromeda 3. Everyday 4. Something to Believe 5. Titanic Rising 6. Movies 7. Mirror Forever 8. Wild Time 9. Picture Me Better 10. Nearer to Thee
Weyes Blood has also scheduled an intergalactic headlining tour for the spring of 2019 in support of Titanic Rising, which begins on April 22nd in Brighton, UK at the Haunt and currently ends June 13th at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Weyes Blood and her band will visit the UK, mainland Europe, Canada, and the US for these dates. These dates will be preceded by a run of California shows, which run April 1st-April 5th, 2019. More 2019 dates to come.
Tickets for the newly announced shows go on sale Friday, February 15th at 10 am PST.
True Love Is Making a Comeback Tour 2019
California Apr. 01 - Fresno, CA - Strummers Apr. 02 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Atrium at The Catalyst Apr. 03 - Santa Barbara, CA - Velvet Jones Apr. 04 - Los Angeles, CA - Masonic Lodge [Sold Out]
UK/Europe Apr. 22 - Brighton, UK - The Haunt Apr. 23 - Bristol, UK - The Exchange Apr. 24 - Manchester, UK - YES (The Pink Room) Apr. 25 - London, UK - Islington Assembly Hall Apr. 27 - Berlin, DE - Kantine am Berghain Apr. 28 - Hamburg, DE - Turmzimmer Apr. 29 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Upstairs Apr. 30 - Dunkerque, FR - 4Ecluses May 02 - Paris, FR - La Maroquinerie May 03 - Orleans, FR - Astrolabe May 04 - Brussels, BE - Le Nuits Botanique (Venue: Rotonde)
North America May 14 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent May 16 - Seattle, WA - The Tractor Tavern May 17 - Vancouver, BC - St. James Hall May 18 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir May 21 - Minneapolis, MN - Turf Club May 22 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall May 24 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern May 25 - Montreal, QC - Petit Campus May 26 - Portland, ME - SPACE Gallery May 28 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair May 29 - New York, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg May 31 - Washington, DC - U Street Music Hall Jun. 01 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s Jun. 03 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl Jun. 04 - Nashville, TN - The High Watt Jun. 06 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada Jun. 07 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall (upstairs) Jun. 08 - Austin, TX - Antone’s Jun. 11 - Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf Jun. 12 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar Jun. 13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour
Weyes Blood recently released “Andromeda,” a stellar offering also found on Titanic Rising. The track plays on a few themes (mythology, astronomy, technology), and is ultimately a love song about finding something long-lasting in an ever-changing world full of distractions, unrealistic expectations (“looking up to the sky for, something I may never find”) and past disappointments.
Stereogum recently named “Andromeda” one of its songs of the week, and said “There are few contemporary artists who sound like Natalie Mering. Her voice is enchanting, and on this song, she asks listeners to give themselves over to love, as if doing so will allow them to live in her plush, technicolor world a little longer.” And The FADER raves “…Mering, crafts melodies that feel rooted in another space and time.”
About Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising: The phantom zone, the parallax, the upside down—there is a rich cultural history of exploring in-between places. Through her latest,Titanic Rising, Weyes Blood (a.k.a. Natalie Mering) has, too, designed her own universe to soulfully navigate life’s mysteries. Maneuvering through a space-time continuum, she intriguingly plays the role of a melodic, sometimes melancholic, anthropologist.
Tellingly, Mering classifies Titanic Rising as the Kinks meet WWII or Bob Seger meets Enya. The latter captures the album’s willful expansiveness (“You can tell there’s not a guy pulling the strings in Enya’s studio,” she notes, admiringly). The former relays her imperative to connect with listeners. “The clarity of Bob Seger is unmistakable. I’m a big fan of conversational songwriting,” she adds. “I just try to do that in a way that uses abstract imagery as well.”
“An album is like a Rubik’s Cube,” she says. “Sometimes you get all the dimensions—the lyrics, the melody, the production—to line up. I try to be futuristic and ancient at once, which is a difficult alchemy. It’s taken a lot of different tries to get it right.” As concept-album as it may sound, it’s also a devoted exercise in realism, albeit occasionally magical. Here, the throwback-cinema grandeur of “A Lot’s Gonna Change” gracefully coexists with the otherworldly title track, an ominous instrumental.
Titanic Rising, written and recorded during the first half of 2018, is the culmination of three albums and years of touring: stronger chops and ballsier decisions. It’s an achievement in transcendent vocals and levitating arrangements—one she could reach only by flying under the radar for so many years. “I used to want to belong,” says the L.A. based musician. “I realized I had to forge my own path. Nobody was going to do that for me. That was liberating. I became a Joan of Arc solo musician.”
The Weyes Blood frontwoman grew up singing in gospel and madrigal choirs. “Classical and Renaissance music really influenced me,” says Mering, who first picked up a guitar at age 8. (Listen closely to Titanic Rising, and you’ll also hear the jazz of Hoagy Carmichael mingle with the artful mysticism of Alejandro Jodorowsky and the monomyth of scholar Joseph Campbell.) “Something to Believe,” a confessional that makes judicious use of the slide guitar, touches on that cosmological upbringing. “Belief is something all humans need. Shared myths are part of our psychology and survival,” she says. “Now we have a weird mishmash of capitalism and movies and science. There have been moments where I felt very existential and lost.”
As a kid, she filled that void with Titanic. (Yes, the movie.) “It was engineered for little girls and had its own mythology,” she explains. Mering also noticed that the blockbuster romance actually offered a story about loss born of man’s hubris. “It’s so symbolic that the Titanic would crash into an iceberg, and now that iceberg is melting, sinking civilization.” Today, this hubris also extends to the relentless adoption of technology, at the expense of both happiness and attention spans. The track “Movies” marks another Titanic-related epiphany: “that movies had been brainwashing people and their ideas about romantic love.” To that end, Mering has become an expert at deconstructing intimacy. Sweeping and string-laden, “Andromeda” seems engineered to fibrillate hearts. “It’s about losing your interest in trying to be in love,” she says. “Everybody is their own galaxy, their own separate entity. There is a feeling of needing to be saved, and that’s a lot to ask of people.” Its companion track, “Everyday,” “is about the chaos of modern dating,” she says, “the idea of sailing off onto your ships to nowhere to deal with all your baggage.”
But Weyes Blood isn’t one to stew. Her observations play out in an ethereal saunter: far more meditative than cynical. “I experience reality on a slower, more hypnotic level,” she says. “I’m a more contemplative kind of writer.” To Mering, listening and thinking are concurrent experiences. “There are complicated influences mixed in with more relatable nostalgic melodies,” she says. “In my mind, my music feels so big, a true production. I’m not a huge, popular artist, but I feel like one when I’m in the studio. But it’s never taking away from the music. I’m just making a bigger space for myself.”
Seattle’s Sub Pop Records is extremely proud to announce the return (for our 13th 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. 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 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 20th, 2019.
Please send all submissions and attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, March 20th. 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 2007 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, 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 email@example.com by Wednesday, March 20th.
It’s the first time Dear Hamlyn will be available outside of Australasia. The band’s UK, European, and Ireland tour dates for 2019 begin tomorrow in London.
On March 8th, Luluc’sDear Hamlyn, the duo’s debut album, will be available for the first time worldwide (outside of Australasia) on vinyl and through all DSPs from Sub Pop. This gives fans the first opportunity to discover the minimalist folk sound from which the band grew. A long player in the tradition of Nick Drake, you can see (above) the Lucy Dyson animated video for “The Wealthiest Queen”.
Luluc released Dear Hamlyn in Australia in 2008. After her father passed away, Zoe Randell reevaluated her life and came to the conclusion that it was time to focus her energy on music. What resulted was a starkly simple yet dramatically moving work which slowly but surely began to make waves in Australia and beyond. Early advocates and tours with artists like Lucinda Williams, Fleet Foxes, and José Gonzàlez got the band on their way to cult acclaim.
Dear Hamlyn, over the following years, became cherished by fans who had discovered it upon independent release, some of whom were more marquee names in music: like The National and Aaron Dessner (who would go on to produce Passerby and appear on Sculptor, the bands subsequent albums), Nick Drake producer Joe Boyd and No Depression co-founder Peter Blackstock. “The most beautiful record I have heard in 10 years,” wrote Blackstock, who then put the band in contact with Sub Pop co-founder Jonathan Poneman. Poneman was immediately won over. He arranged a meeting, and signed Luluc.
Dear Hamlyn Tracklisting 1. I Found You 2. Little Suitcase 3. The Wealthiest Queen 4. Black Umbrella 5. Body on the Water 6. Warm One 7. Gillian 8. One Day Soon 9. Abigail & the Whale (The Blue Queen of the Deep) 10. A Whisper 11. My Midnight Special
Luluc Tour Dates
Luluc has scheduled a series of UK, European, and Ireland shows in support of Dear Hamlyn and Sculptor that begin tomorrow, February 5th in London at the Lexington and end February 14th in Dublin at Grand Social.
Feb. 05 - London, UK - Lexington Feb. 06 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Feb. 08 Leffinge, BE - Cafe De Zwerver Feb. 09 - Köln, DE - Die Wohngemeinschaft Feb. 10 - Berlin, DE - Privatclub Feb. 12 - Manchester, UK -Gullivers Feb. 13 - Glasgow, UK - The Hug & Pint Feb. 14 - Dublin, IE - Grand Social
[Photo Credit: Charlotte Demezamat]
Luluc recently shared a new video for “Sculptor,” the title track from their latest album. Directed by Emmy Award winner Katie Mitchell using archival footage, some of which was sourced from NASA. “The clip touches on themes of mortality, memory and our place in the universe”, says Mitchell. And Randell offers this on the collaboration, “We’re in awe of Katie Mitchell as a director and artist. The video she has made for the song “Sculptor” is deep and stunning. As a writer, there is no greater thrill than someone understanding and articulating your work visually like you are of one mind.”