Greetings, Friends, Fans and Curious On-Lookers of Sub Pop! As we all do our best to keep safe and healthy in these strange and trying times, there are things we can do to stay connected and supportive. We have received numerous requests for information on how to help Sub Pop and Hardly Art artists whose tours have been directly affected by COVID-19 and worldwide social distancing mandates. And so! Right here we will do our level best to keep a current list of those artists, complete with links to ways you can support them while they are unable to tour…
We also made a playlist of the many Sub Pop and Hardly Art artists who’ve had to cancel or postpone their 2020 tour dates. Please to enjoy them here while they’re unable to come to you -> smarturl.it/spbandsathome.
Also, please note that another perfectly acceptable (if not straight-up DELIGHTFUL) way to support any/all of the artists on Sub Pop and Hardly Art is by shopping at the Sub Pop Mega Mart, the Hardly Art Shop, and our struggling friends at the many, fine independent record stores across the country (many of whom are serving you via online orders and/or in-person delivery!) who need your patronage now too.
We’ve also found a number of resources offering some hope + relief + opportunity to lend a hand:
On Friday, March 20th, Sub Pop and Hardly Art will be passing through 100% of revenue from digital sales on Bandcamp to our current artists!
As you are all undoubtedly well aware, working/touring artists are one of the many groups of people currently being hit especially hard by the social distancing requirements of 2020 pandemic reality. In an effort to direct some support their way, Sub Pop and Hardly Art are joining with Bandcamp (and a ton of other labels) to send additional, needed revenue directly to artists.
Today, LA’s Moaning share the video for “Connect The Dots,” the latest single from their highly anticipated sophomore album, Uneasy Laughter. “Connect The Dots” was directed by Campbell Logan.
Of the track, Sean Solomon says: “The song is about realizing you need help and being brave enough to ask for it. It’s a misconception that asking for help is a sign of weakness. In reality it’s one of the hardest things you can do.” “Connect The Dots” was directed by Campbell Logan who notes “I created this video with the intention of inspiring self-forgiveness, something I think we should all practice. Making it gave me the opportunity to practice an approach that I like to call Filmmaking Simulation, which is a process of doing film production using virtual cinematography, set design and performance. The result is photorealistic and mimics live action. We had an extremely quick turnaround on the video, but were able to complete it in a little over a month, and despite these hurdles I’m so proud of it!”
To celebrate the release of Uneasy Laughter, Moaning will be streaming a virtual listening party via Youtube on Friday, March 20th at 11am PST / 2pm EST. WATCH HERE.
For more than 30 years now, we at Sub Pop Records have strived to be a dependable source of excellent, exciting and important music and also, sometimes, when it all comes together, cultural change. It’s true what they say: we like to party. And our ability to participate in any of that is reliant upon a giant, interwoven community of artists and the people and organizations that support them. Right now, many of the people and communities in our world are being hit hard by the spread of, and wholly necessary response to, COVID-19.
You have seen this happening, we know. Artists are forced to cancel tours, venues can’t have shows, festivals are canceled or postponed. Musicians, record stores, production companies, tour crews, venue staff, booking agents, and so many other people working in our industry are losing jobs and opportunities, and there’s no telling what will happen next.
In an effort to keep our customers and staff safe and healthy, we decided to temporarily close the Sub Pop Airport Store at Sea-Tac, starting now. It will remain closed through at least the end of March. We’ll reassess after that. And please trust that we’ll be back at it as soon as we’re able. As of now, we are still shipping records, t-shirts and the like from our Seattle warehouse to mail order customers and record stores.
The world feels completely upside-down right now. More than ever, and right in the face of that, we remain dedicated to all of the artists on Sub Pop and Hardly Art whom we are so profoundly fortunate to work with. And, it seems absolutely vital to recognize that the music these artists create has the power to hold us upright and together, especially during unsteady, isolating times like these. This is important.
We may not be able to come together in a way that feels normal or familiar, but we are always connected to each other through music and art. Lean on that, hard! And do what you can to support the community of artists/musicians/beautiful losers/misfits/etc to which you belong. Please be safe, please help each other, and let’s all celebrate in person, together, when we get through this.
On the star-drenched streets of the Quartz City, the Dancer and the Don float the red beamer towards the diamondest dreams ever known in Shabazz Palaces new video for “Fast Learner (ft. Purple Tape Nate),” the lead single from his forthcoming album, The Don of Diamond Dreams. The visual from director Stephan Gray (“Dawn In Luxor,” “Deesse Du Sang”) stars Ishmael Butler and Umaara Elliott, a New York-based professional dancer and an activist (a co-organizer of “Millions March NYC”).
Released earlier this month, the “Fast Learner” single saw praise from the likes of Hip Hop DX, who called the track “another futuristic trip.” The FADER concurred, offering this, “It’s a psychedelic groove, chopped and screwed in the fifth dimension.” Meanwhile, Hypebeast had this to say, “a perfect reintroduction to the duo’s Afrofuturistic groove — hazy lo-fi electronica mashes alongside funky instrumentation, allowing for both Ishmael and Nate to rap out their lyrical abstractions.” And Stereogum says, “A woozy and echo-laden lurch that the group recorded with the excellently named Purple Tape Nate…It’s a cool piece of music, a starry-eyed vibe-out, and it’s a strong indicator for how the rest of the album might sound…The track draws stylistic connections between rumbling ’80s electro, broken-up Brainfeeder beat music, and circa-now astral Auto-Tuned drug rap.”
Shabazz Palaces The Don of Diamond Dreams will be available April 17th, 2020 worldwide on Sub Pop. The 10-track album includes the highlights features “Chocolate Souffle,” “Bad Bitch Walking (ft. Stas THEE Boss),” “Thanking The Girls,” and the aforementioned “Fast Learner,” with additional 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 is now available for preorder from Sub Pop. Preorders of the LP through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on clear vinyl with a silver swirl (while supplies last). All LP preorders through the Sub Pop Mega Mart will also receive The Mushroom, a 90-page, 8x8 inch zine from the elusive author TTT, inspired by The Don of Diamond Dreams (the book will also be available for purchase at Shabazz Palaces live shows). Meanwhile, LP preorders through select independent retailers in the U.K. and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on sky blue vinyl (also, while supplies last). There will also be a new T-shirt design available.
The 20-city international tour, which will include stops in the U.K., The Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, the U.S., and Canada, begins April 16th in London and currently ends May 22nd in Chicago at Bottom Lounge. Festival highlights include an appearance at Ableton Loop 2020 in Berlin, DE April 24th-26th, Motel Mazique Festival in Rotterdam, NL on April 18th, and Donaufestival in Krems, DE on May 2nd. Additionally, support for the North American tour dates (May 7th-22nd) will come from Sub Pop labelmates Cartel Madras.
A special fan presale for the North American shows begin Wednesday, March 11th at 10 am (local), with tickets on sale to the general public Friday, March 13th at 10 am (local). The U.K./European shows are on sale now. For up to date information on tickets, please visit Clipping’s official website.
Apr. 16 - London, UK - Islington Assembly Hall Apr. 17 - Brighton, UK - The Arch Apr. 18 - Rotterdam, NL - Motel Mazique Festival Apr. 20 - Lille, FR - L’Aeronoef Apr. 21 - Paris, FR - Badaboum Apr. 22 - Brussels, BE - Beursshouwburg Apr. 24 - Berlin, DE - Ableton Loop 2020 Apr. 25 - Berlin, DE - Ableton Loop 2020 Apr. 26 - Berlin, DE - Ableton Loop 2020 Apr. 28 - Hamburg, DE - Hafenklang Apr. 29 - Wiesbaden, DE - Schlachtnof May 01 - Munich, DE - Rote Sonne May 02 - Krems, DE - Donaufestival May 07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echoplex * May 08 - Berkeley, CA - Cornerstone * May 10 - Portland, OR - Star Theatre * May 11 - Seattle, WA - Neumos * May 15 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz * May 16 - Toronto, ON - Adelaide Hall * May 17 - Philadelphia, PA - Underground Arts * May 19 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg * May 20 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall * May 22 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge *
* w/ Cartel Madras
Clipping’s There Existed an Addiction to Blood earned placement on “Best Albums of 2019” lists from the likes of The Wire, The Needledrop, Passion of the Weiss, PopMatters (albums + best hip-hop), Treble Zine, The Line of Best Fit, Loud & Quiet, Genius, RIFF Magazine, Sputnikmusic, and more. Pop Matters says of the record, “Apocalyptic, claustrophobic, with danger in the air (“Nothing Is Safe”); in other words, reminiscent of our current moment in US history. Horror movie themes float amidst the background, but this is hip-hop, riddled with allusions to classics of the past while living in a now setting of vampires, zombies, and ghosts. (#7, “The 20 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2019”). Meanwhile, Treble Zine offers this, “There Existed an Addiction to Blood turns to horror as its conduit for dealing out home truths. Daveed Diggs remains in the highest tier of contemporary MCs in America, taking obvious joy from spinning between frisky, tongue-in-cheek junk culture references and cold, compact sucker punches of truth (#18 / “50 Best Albums of the Year”).”
There Existed an Addiction to Blood, which features the singles “Nothing Is Safe,”“La Mala Ordina,”“All in Your Head,” and “Blood of the Fang,” was produced by Clipping, mixed by Steve Kaplan, and mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysium Masters in Los Angeles. The album also features appearances from Ed Balloon, Benny the Butcher, Elcamino, La Chat, The Rita, and Pedestrian Deposit, and a composition from Andrea Lockwood.
On Record Store Day (April 18th), Clipping will also release Double Live, a collaboration with composer Christopher Fleeger, available in a stunning industrial double-picture-disc package. This is not a standard live album. All the audio was recorded during Clipping’s 2017 tour, but the microphones weren’t pointed at the band. Instead they were in toilets, taped to ceiling pipes, tied to trees, worn by roadies—hidden all over venues. The results were then synchronized and edited over more than a year. Double Live is an impossible performance heard by hundreds of disembodied ears—part live album, part tour document, part musique concrète piece.