The Sub Pop Singles Club is back for yet another year! Subscribe to the Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 7 to get twelve exclusive, limited-edition, colored-vinyl 7” records that you will, undoubtedly, love and adore and absolutely not sell on the internet for a lot of money in a few years!
We have, yet again, convinced some of the top musicians of the day to allow us to put their songs out: Vol. 7 of the series will include L7, Bartees Strange, Party Dozen, Matthew “Doc” Dunn, The William Loveday Intention (feat. Billy Childish!), The Shadracks (feat. the son of Billy Childish!), Sidney Gish, and six more TBA artistic geniuses.
Subscribers will be mailed two singles at a time, every other month, starting April 2022 and ending February 2023. And they’ll get digital versions of the songs via their Sub Pop Mega Mart account. Only 1,000 subscriptions are available. Subscribe now to avoid a life of regret!
While we have you, we’re down to the very last few sets of Vol. 6. Snag one of the last available subscriptions here. The final single – by awesome Seattle rock group The Black Tones – is out in February!
The critically acclaimed new Low album HEY WHAT and producer BJ Burton have been nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of “Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical).” This is the band’s first-ever nomination in their 28-year career. HEY WHAT has also earned placement on “Best of 2021” year-end lists from the likes of MOJO (#4), Uncut (#4), Rolling Stone (#16), The New Yorker (#8), The Wire (#4), New York Times (#8 /Critic: Lindsey Zoladz), PASTE (#12 Album of the Year and #20 Songs of the Year), Pitchfork (#3 Best Songs of 2021, #5 Best 50 Albums of 2021 and Best Rock Album), Nothern Transmissions (#2), NPR (#21), The Guardian (#31), Vulture (Best Albums of 2021, So Far), Esquire (Best Albums of 2021, So Far), Gorilla vs. Bear (#39), Treble Zine (#1 Best 50 Albums of 2021), EXCLAIM! (#18), The Quietus (#98), The Skinny ( #3), PASTE (#12), as well as Rough Trade UK’s Top 100 Albums of 2021.
A new video, directed by illy killy for their song “Hey” is now available. You can watch the video by clicking here.
Low’s previously announced international headline dates in support of HEY WHAT begin February 16th, 2022. For a full list of shows click here.
Best Albums of 2021 lists include The New York Times, The Guardian, MOJO, The New Yorker, NPR Music, Rolling Stone, and Uncut
8.4/10, “Best New Music,”Pitchfork “Album of the Week” Stereogum “This is Low’s victory.” ★★★★Rolling Stone “The people behind HEY WHAT are redefining how a rock band can sound.” [“Album of the Week”] ★★★★The Guardian ”HEY WHAT is a transformative experience. Listening to it changes you…” [“Album of the Week”] Stereogum “…staggering and unprecedented…” The New Yorker [“Best Music of 2021,” #8]
Low HEY WHAT
Tracklisting: 1. White Horses 2. I Can Wait 3. All Night 4. Disappearing 5. Hey 6. Days Like These 7. There’s a Comma After Still 8. Don’t Walk Away 9. More 10. The Price You Pay (It Must Be Wearing Off)
“To those who have experienced the magic of Dina, she is a reason to live. To those who have not, she is nearly impossible to explain.”- The Stranger
“A Sensation!” - New York Magazine
“Offbeat and inimitable!” - The New York Times
“Dina Martina goes way beyond drag into some new kind of twisted art.” -John Waters
“Dina Martina is hilarious like no one else I know!” - Graham Norton
“Performance art never looked so good!” - Whoopi Goldberg
Gift (pron. “Jift”) parades! Lost Bryman Nursing School commercials! Phoebe (pron. “FOH-EBBIE”)!
Welcome to the world of Dina Martina, the tragic singer, horrible dancer and surreal raconteur who has now signed with Sub Pop Records to release new material sometime in the near(ish) future! Today we’re celebrating this puzzling news by releasing a limited-edition jigsaw rendering of Dina’s face area (aka a puzzle).
Dina says of the announcement, “I cannot express how excited I am about this new endeavor with Sub Pop Records & Tapes. And the PUZZLE! Talk about WOW! For me, this puzzle represents so many things - which, again, I cannot express. This puzzle reminds me of my life: in pieces. But unlike life, all of the puzzle pieces are there. Thnak you.”
The Seattle-based Dina Martina has been in our orbit for some time, having originally released material through Sub Pop-affiliated Up Records, and making us laugh with her various holiday shows over the years. We’re longtime fans and thrilled to release her music (and novelty items). Please give us a warm hand in welcoming her to the label!
Dina Martina debuted at Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art in 1989, instantly gleaning reviews that dubbed her “magically warped,” “hilariously unfortunate” and “utter genius.” Since then, she’s packed venues in New York, Los Angeles, London, Toronto, and San Francisco and shared bills with a wide array of acts such as Margaret Cho, Alan Cumming, Chita Rivera, and Nina Hagen.
Absolutely packed with ludicrous songs, horrifying stories and overburdened costumes, Dina Martina’s shows are impossible to adequately describe, other than that they’ve become synonymous with jaw-dropping pathos and mind-blowing comedy. Dina Martina has been hailed as “divinely funny” (Time Out London), “painfully funny and demented” (Seattle Times) and “the most original drag performer working in America today” (Village Voice). What a Dina Martina show is, quite simply put, is a smart and hilarious evening of entertainment that you will never forget.
Dina Martina’s shows in the U.S. and abroad have wowed the likes of John Waters, Bette Midler, Graham Norton, Kim Gordon, Whoopi Goldberg, Matt Stone, Jennifer Coolidge, and many others. Martina has received The Stranger’s Genius Award for Theater, three Seattle Times Footlight Awards, as well as nominations for the Alpert Award in Theater, a SPIT Award for Best Solo Show, and two GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Off-Off Broadway Theater. She did not win those.
2021 Performances Live Tue. Dec. 14 - London, UK - Soho Theatre Wed. Dec. 15 - London, UK - Soho Theatre Thu. Dec. 16 - London, UK - Soho Theatre Fri. Dec 17 - London, UK - Soho Theatre Sat. Dec. 18 - London, UK - Soho Theatre Mon. Dec. 20 - London, UK - Soho Theatre Tue. Dec. 21 - London, UK - Soho Theatre Wed. Dec. 22 - London, UK - Soho Theatre Thu. Dec. 23 - London, UK - Soho Theatre Tue. Dec. 28 - London, UK - Soho Theatre Wed. Dec. 29 - London, UK - Soho Theatre Thu. Dec. 30 - London, UK - Soho Theatre All Dates: The Dina Martina Christmas Show
Virtual Fri. Dec. 10 - Mon. Dec. 31 - Dina’s Christmas Special That So Many Missed in 2020 - Encore Presentation
2022 Performances Live Tue. Jan. 11 - San Francisco, CA - Oasis Wed. Jan. 12 - San Francisco, CA - Oasis Thu. Jan. 13 - San Francisco, CA - Oasis Sat. Jan. 22 - Stowe, VT - Winter Rendezvous (Festival Appearance) Fri. Jan. 28 - Los Angeles, CA - Cavern Club Theater/Casita Del Campo Sat. Jan. 29 - Los Angeles, CA - Cavern Club Theater/Casita Del Campo Sun. Jan. 30 - Los Angeles, CA - Cavern Club Theater/Casita Del Campo Mon. Jan. 31 - Los Angeles, CA - Cavern Club Theater/Casita Del Campo Tue. Feb. 01 - Los Angeles, CA - Cavern Club Theater/Casita Del Campo Wed. Feb. 02 - Los Angeles, CA - Cavern Club Theater/Casita Del Campo Thu. Feb. 03 - Los Angeles, CA - Cavern Club Theater/Casita Del Campo Fri. Feb. 04 - Los Angeles, CA - Cavern Club Theater/Casita Del Campo Sat. Feb. 05 - Los Angeles, CA - Cavern Club Theater/Casita Del Campo Sun. Feb. 06 - Los Angeles, CA - Cavern Club Theater/Casita Del Campo Sat. Feb. 12 - San Diego, CA - Martini’s Fri. Mar. 11 - New York, NY - Sony Hall Thu. Apr. 14 - Minneapolis, MN - Muse Event Center All shows Chariots of Failure, unless noted. For updated ticketing information on all Dina Martina shows, please visit dinamartina.com.
You can now hear new Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 6 contributions from Kim Gordon and J Mascis (“Abstract Blues” b/w “Slow Boy”), and BNH Deluxe (“Earth is Somewhere Out There” b/w “Turntable”), out today worldwide on all DSPs from Sub Pop.
Although Kim Gordon and J Mascis have been friends for decades and have performed live together a handful of times, they’ve never released music together. “Abstract Blues” marks the first recorded collaboration as a duo, and was originally written and performed in 2020 for SMooCH, a benefit for Seattle Children’s Hospital. In the video for the song, Fred Armisen plays bass, and Mascis’s son Rory plays drums (J played the drums on the recording). “Abstract Blues” is also being released in celebration of Mascis’s birthday today.
With a career spanning nearly four decades, Kim Gordon is one of the most prolific and visionary artists working today. A co-founder of the legendary Sonic Youth, Gordon has performed all over the world, collaborating with many of music’s most exciting figures including Tony Conrad, Ikue Mori, Julie Cafritz and Stephen Malkmus. Most recently, Gordon has been hitting the road with Body/Head, her spellbinding partnership with artist and musician Bill Nace. Despite the exhaustive nature of her résumé, the most reliable aspect of Gordon’s music may be its resistance to formula. Songs discover themselves as they unspool, each one performing a test of the medium’s possibilities and limits. Her command is astonishing, but Gordon’s artistic curiosity remains the guiding force behind her music.
Near the end of Reagan’s first term, the Western Massachusetts hardcore scene coughed up an insanely shaped chunk called Dinosaur. Comprised of WMHC vets, the trio was a miasmic tornado of guitar noise, bad attitude and near-subliminal pop-based-shape-shifting. The contours of their sound ebbed and flowed and mutated for 13 years - with the one constant being the scalp-fryingly loud guitar and deeply buried vocals of J Mascis - before the name was retired. Near the end of the band’s reign, J began releasing solo material, starting with the live, acoustic album Martin + Me. His solo work allowed the bones of J’s songs to be totally visible for the first time, surprising fans with how melodically elegant his compositions were, even if J still seemed interested in swallowing some of the words that most folks would have sung. While Dinosaur Jr reactivated in 2005, J maintained a concurrent focus on his solo work, resulting in four additional albums presented with a minimum of bombast and a surfeit of cool.
John Stephen RePass, professionally known as BNH Deluxe, is an American singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He began producing ambient music/lo-fi hip-hop with nothing but a tablet and a headset, and over time his sound has expanded heavily, incorporating and experimenting with elements of alternative rock, indie pop, heavy metal, lofi, hip-hop, and avant-garde music.
Repass says of his Sub Pop single, “All I can say is that deep places within my heart and mind were the birthplaces of these two songs. I have grown, learned and have flipped many pages of my life since writing these, these songs hold immense value and memories to me. I’m so happy that this single is all of yours’ now. I recommend you listen with your mind wide open, and I recommend you feel along to it.”
The Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 6 series includes twelve subscription-only 7” singles by an exciting array of artists, including John Waters, Jeff Tweedy, Duma, LIDS, Washed Out, Hand Habits, Porridge Radio, Sheltered Workshop Singers, TV Priest, and more. Only 1,000 subscriptions are available, and the series is nearly sold out. Hear music from the series via the Singles Club playlist, and subscribe here!
Kim Gordon and J Mascis “Abstract Blues” b/w “Slow Boy”
BNH Deluxe “Earth is Somewhere Out There” b/w “Turntable”
The new project from Kevin Whelan of The Wrens releases Observatory, the group’s debut record, today worldwide on December 10th, 2021. The 10-track album came together carefully for Whelan, over the course of 14 years, specifically, as clusters of demos and sketches. These were eventually assembled and recorded largely by Whelan himself, with assistance from Wrens’ bandmates Jerry MacDonald and Greg Whelan, as well as Tom Beaujour in his Union City recording space. Additionally, his wife Mary Ann provided backup vocals.
About Observatory: Aeon Station’s Observatory is an epic statement more than a decade in the making, with miles of timeless melodies and the kind of overpowering songwriting that will reaffirm your belief in life itself. Longtime Wrens member Kevin Whelan’s first solo album draws heavily from the perseverance of the soul, resulting in rock music possessing an infectious and inspiring sonic uplift. If you’re familiar with Whelan’s past work, these ten tracks bear a certain and unmistakable familiarity—but they also mark an exciting new chapter in Whelan’s musical career, as he steps out with more vulnerability than ever before.
Observatory came together carefully for Whelan—over the course of 14 years, specifically, as clusters of demos and sketches were eventually assembled and recorded largely by Whelan himself, with assistance from Wrens’ bandmate Jerry MacDonald and Greg Whelan as well as Tom Beaujour in his Union City recording space. Additionally, his wife Mary Ann provided backup vocals. “It’s the best I’ve done and may ever do frankly,” Whelan states. “It’s written over such a long period of my life. Music I did in the past was tinged with expectations or presumptions, but this time, it was just for me.”
The long gestation of Observatory means that a lot of lived experience went into making this album. As time passed, Whelan got married, started a family, and moved to the Asia Pacific region for a period of time; at 15 months old, his son (now eight) was also diagnosed with autism, and the title of Observatory itself is inspired by Whelan’s own relationship with his son. “The moment you’re told your child is not ‘neurotypical,’ your whole world expands in ways you never imagined,” he explains. “Even though he doesn’t speak much at all, or look at anyone directly, you can see him observing everything around him. The album title reflects upon the stories within the songs — each one observing a certain situation or feeling.”
Whelan’s scope of musical vision on Observatory is wide open and free with possibilities—at once recalling the reflective wisdom of Bruce Springsteen, Broken Social Scene’s huge anthemic burn, and the Wrens’ own pulsing-with-life take on rock music. Above all, this is music not only for dreamers but for those who realize and appreciate the enormity of every moment. “It’s about never letting go about those dreams and your passion,” he states. “The album starts from a place of realizing that everything is temporary, what we love eventually changes or leaves us, and regardless we continue to search and find our way back home.”
The pounding “Queens” builds to a truly thrilling climax of huge guitars and frantic drumming, while the steady build of “Leaves” is accompanied by Whelan’s reflections on “Being lost and then found”: “It musically captures the album as it starts small and intimate, crescendos into a peak both musically and lyrically, and then settles down into a repeating mode of a hopeful but uncertain mantra about the future,” he explains while discussing the song’s themes and creation.
Then there’s the gleaming harmonies of “Fade,” a song about breaking past your own insecurities to discover what’s on the other side. “Whether you limit yourself because of your own fears and insecurities, or because what others think and say,” Whelan says, “The song is about when you stop waiting and start believing deeper in your own path.” Observatory ends with the hushed and lush “Alpine Drive,” with Whelan’s voice lit by pinwheel plucked piano strings—a tender moment that packs as much power as the nine songs that come before it.
“I hope people feel a sense of strength when they hear this album,” he states while discussing his artistic aims as a whole. “Most importantly, I hope that it connects to them in some personal way.” And if you’ve ever caught air in your lungs or felt your heart beating in your chest, there’s no doubt that you’ll find some level of connection with Observatory’s open-hearted, instantly classic-sounding rock.
Tracklisting: 1. Hold On 2. Leaves 3. Fade 4. Everything at Once 5. Move 6. Queens 7. Empty Rooms 8. Air 9. Better Love 10. Alpine Drive
Tomorrow, December 10th marks the physical release of Cuntry Covers Vol. 1, the debut from Toronto-based band Bria. This six-song EP of country classics features the standout covers “Green Rocky Road” (Karen Dalton), “Dreaming My Dreams With You” (Waylon Jennings) and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” (The Walker Brothers.) To celebrate the physical release, the band has shared a new video for the famed Lucinda Williams song “Fruits of My Labour.” You can watch the official video by clicking here.
Bria just returned from a two-week US tour, performing with UK band Wolf Alice, and playing iconic venues such as The Vic in Chicago, Paradise Club in Boston, Bowery Ballroom in NYC, and Terminal West in Atlanta. They will be headlining the Paradise Theater on December 17th in Toronto. Click here for the most up-to-date shows.
What people are saying about Bria: “It’s an other-worldly take on the Karen Dalton standard…” [“Green Rocky Road”] - Clash
“Where Dalton’s original is quite lo-fi and scratchy, Bria have added some fidelity and warmth to it through golden-strummed guitars and a lackadaisical but precise beat.” [“Green Rocky Road”] - Beats Per Minute
“Salmena’s raspy tinged voice provides a depth of longing and fractured tenderness on her cover of Karen Dalton’s track, “Green Rocky Road.’” [“Green Rocky Road”] - Ears to Feed
“The band’s version should will win over any Jennings fans, or fans of old country.” [“Dreaming My Dreams Of You”] - Northern Transmissions
“Cuntry Covers Vol. 1 seamlessly drifts between classic country references and a new perspective of reimagining what country could sound like” - Tonitruale
Bria Cuntry Covers Vol. 1
Tracklisting 1. Green Rocky Road (Karen Dalton) 2. Dreaming My Dreams With You (Waylon Jennings) 3. Buffalo Ballet (John Cale) 4. Fruits of My Labour (Lucinda Williams) 5. The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore (The Walker Brothers) 6. I Don’t Wanna Love Ya Now (Mistress Mary)