Japanese quartet CHAI present a new single/video, “Maybe Chocolate Chips” (Feat. Ric Wilson), from their forthcoming album, WINK, due May 21st on Sub Pop. CHAI’s past albums have been filled with playful references, in the lyrics, to food, and WINK’s intimate single “Maybe Chocolate Chips” offers an evolution of this motif. Bassist/lyricist YUUKI wanted to write a self-love song about her moles: “Things that we want to hold on to, things that we wished went away. A lot of things happen as we age and with that for me, is new moles! But I love them! My moles are like the chocolate chips on a cookie, the more you have, the happier you become! and before you know it, you’re an original♡” Chicago rapper Ric Wilson, who they initially connected with at the 2019 Pitchfork Music Festival, brings smooth vocals over a laidback beat and whirring, dreamy synth. A community activist and artist based on the Southside of Chicago, he got his start with the legendary Young Chicago Authors, the Chicago-based storytelling and poetry organization which helped launch the likes of Noname, Saba, Jamila Woods, Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Mick Jenkins, and many others. He’s also featured in the accompanying video, directed by Callum Scott-Dyson, which is made of fun collages and video clips in classic CHAI style.
CHAI elaborates: “This music video is the perfect visual for ‘Maybe Chocolate Chips.’ It was our first time working with Callum and the result (animation, etc.) was something we’d never tried before! Callum actually reached out to us for this but we loved how his work featured grotesque but cute components and tons of fantasy so our vision for this was in line. ♡⭐️^o^♡ Your mole is actually a Chocolate Chip! But you knew that already right?!♡⭐️♡”
CHAI is made up of identical twins 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 at music festivals like Primavera Sound and Pitchfork Music Festival, and touring with indie-rock mainstays like Whitney and Mac DeMarco. Like all musicians, CHAI spent 2020 forced to rethink the fabric of their work and lives. But CHAI took this as an opportunity to shake up their process and bring their music somewhere thrillingly new. Having previously used their maximalist recordings to capture the exuberance of their live shows, 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.
While the band leaned into a more personal sound, 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. It signals CHAI’s relationship with the outside world, an embrace of profound togetherness. Through music, as CHAI said, “we are all coming together.” In that act of opening themselves up, CHAI grew into their best work: “This album showed us, we’re ready to do more.”
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.
Tracklisting: 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
Neale says: “‘Acquainted With Night’ is another homemade video that explores my complex relationship with technology. I am drawn to archaic machines, but that doesn’t mean I want to slip backwards into some idealized past. I’m more interested in stepping out of time entirely.”
Acquainted With Night features ten tracks, and includes the previously released standouts “Blue Vein,” “Every Star Shivers in the Dark,” “For No One For Now,” and the aforementioned title track. The album was composed and arranged by Neale, produced and mixed by Guy Blakeslee, and mastered by Chris Coady.
Acquainted With Night has seen international praise from the likes of MOJO, who in its 4-star review, raved, “Who knew the world was lacking a country-folk version of Broadcast until now?” France’s Télérama said, “Stripped of frills, young Lael Neale sings the starry nights of her native Virginia. With grace and grit. And the soul of an old bluesman. Lael Neale confirms her talent with an intense second album.” Meanwhile Uncut in its feature on Acquainted With Night, offered this, “A thing of shimmering beauty, led by Neale’s otherworldly voice with its shades of Vashti Bunyan and Julia Holter.”
Neale and producer Blakeslee, recently performed songs for FLOODMagazine’s “Neighborhood Sessions,” who says, “The pair took turns filming each other perform their new tracks—appropriately shot with grainy, camcorder-esque quality—on a farm in the area where Neale grew up. The back-to-back solo guitar performances of Neale’s “Blue Vein” and Blakeslee’s album opener “Sometimes” prove just how much musical chemistry the two share (see FLOOD February 16th, 2021).”
What people are saying about Lael Neale: “With her Omnichord, the singer/songwriter exposes the nerve endings of her songs.” - ★★★★★ - Musikexpress
“This album reminds listeners that life is full of beauty not in spite of, but because of, the ordinary details of every day.” - 8/10, Loud & Quiet
“Stripped of frills, young Lael Neale sings the starry nights of her native Virginia. With grace and grit. And the soul of an old bluesman. Lael Neale confirms her talent with an intense second album.” - ffff, Télérama
“With a celestial voice stripped of any artifice, Lael Neale skillfully blends romance and the banality of life with brilliant songs of drama and humor.” - Les Inrocks
“…Like Mazzy Star with an Omnichord.” [“Every Star…”] - Uncut
“…an intimate, lo-fi set of songs that seem unearthed from the dusty vaults of time.” - ★★★★ The Forty Five
“…stunning album…Neale is an extraordinary, precise and original writer, with a distinct voice in every sense. Get acquainted.” - Shindig!
“…There is a raw, unvarnished energy screaming throughout these 10 tunes.” - 8/10,Northern Transmissions
“Lael Neale’s second album weaves intimacy with dreamy, Omnichordal magic.” - Secret Meeting
“Why We’re Excited: A little serendipity never hurt anyone, and it seems to be the very thing songwriter Lael Neale needed. In this case, that stroke of fortune was a friend loaning Neale an omnichord. That loan led the recent Sub Pop signee to tap into a wellspring of inspiration that directly led to her upcoming album, Acquainted with Night. With three singles, including the gorgeous “Blue Vein”, to judge from, we can only hope that Neale’s friend let her keep that omnichord. They’re a perfect match.” [40 Most Anticipated Albums of 2021] - Consequence of Sound
“The grandeur of the organ tones, joined by a tinny drum machine, give it a similar feel to Beach House’s more recent albums.” [“Every Star Shivers in the Dark”] - Brooklyn Vegan
“Against a beat and organ based tones, Neale belts the vocals out like she’s singing to anyone who will listen. Her voice echoes like a ringing bell or alarm, the simplicity of the song’s structure works with her voice as the catalyst.” [“Every Star Shivers in the Dark”] - Closed Captioned
“…Lael taps into something universal, city or country, that we all long for, connection…and if you find the time to listen to Lael’s music, you’ll find plenty to love as well.”[ “Every Star Shivers in the Dark”/“Five Things We Liked This Week”] - For the Rabbits
“An absorbing two-chord hymnal” [“Every Star Shivers in the Dark”] - Joyzine
“‘Every Star Shivers in the Dark’ is far more reflective in its delivery, there is an undeniably optimistic undertone and a dreaminess liberally sprinkled throughout. It brings a crescendo of twinkling key changes at the end of the track which linger long in the mind like the last rays of sunshine on the perfect Summer day.” - Still Listening
“Neale impressed us with ‘Every Star Shivers In The Dark,’…she’s back with another new track, the entrancing “For No One For Now.’ Like Neale’s prior single, this one is minimal and reflective while maintaining a strong backbeat. But rather than build to a cathartic breakthrough, ‘For No One For Now’ lingers in the unresolved tension, less a song than an atmosphere to exist inside.” - Stereogum
“‘For No One For Now’ was inspired by Joan Didion’s imagery of the San Fernando Valley, but recrafted beautifully through Neale’s poetic songwriting and Omnichord instrumental.” - PASTE
“‘For No One For Now’ is deceptively simple and strangely haunting and hypnotic.” [#1/ “Song of the Week”] - Under the Radar
Tracklisting: 1. Blue Vein 2. Every Star Shivers in the Dark 3. Acquainted with Night 4. White Wings 5. How Far Is It to the Grave 6. For No One For Now 7. Sliding Doors & Warm Summer Roses 8. Third Floor Window 9. Let Me Live by the Side of the Road 10. Some Sunny Day
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com no later than March 10, 2021.
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
The deadline for applications is Wednesday, March 24th, 2021. Please send all submissions and attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org 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…
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 email@example.com by Wednesday, March 24th
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