Toronto’s Kiwi Jr. will release Cooler Returns the group’s new album and the follow up to their acclaimed debut Football Money, on CD/LP/CD/DSPs January 22nd, 2021 worldwide through Sub Pop, with the exception of Canada through the band’s Kiwi Club imprint.
Today the band is sharing the official video for “Cooler Returns,” the album’s title track and new single, which was directed by Sean Egerton Foreman (who directed Kiwi Jr’s “Gimme More” in January 2020). Singer Jeremy Gaudet comments on the video: “No one is able to play live shows, so using the latest technology we have replicated the most accurate version possible of what Kiwi Jr. shows once looked like.
Buildings burning in every direction; macabre unknowns in your friendly neighbor’s basement; undecided voters sharpening their pencils: under pressure we could call Kiwi Jr.’s Cooler Returns“timely.” But what year is it, again? On their sophomoric smash-up released world-wide by Sub Pop Records, Kiwi Jr. cycle through the recent zigs & looming zags of the new decade, squinting anew at New Year’s parties forgotten and under-investigated small town diner fires, piecing together low-stakes conspiracy theories on what’s coming down the pike in 2021. Put together like a thousand-piece puzzle, assembled in flow state through the first dull stretch of quarantine, sanitized singer shuffling to sanitized studio by streetcar, masked like it’s the kind of work where getting recognized means getting killed, Cooler Returnsmaterializes as a sprawling survey from the first few bites of the terrible twenties, an investigative exposé of recent history buried under the headlines & ancient kings buried under parking lots.
[Photo credit: Warren Calbeck]
Not so long since their debut Football Money in archaeological time, unending gray eons later in the dog years of quaran-time, spiritually antipodean Canadians Kiwi Jr. return to disseminate this year’s annual report to the shareholders, burying the incriminating numbers in the endless appendices of a longform narrative record, a 3,000 word tract for stakeholders to pore over.
Cooler Returns - memories of Augusts past, unrepressed & transcribed fast - go down easier thanks to meaningful changes enacted in 2019’s KiwiCares Pledge: delivering on a promise to transition from Crunchy to Smooth by 2021, the caveman chug of Football Money has been steamed & pressed with the purifying air of a saloon piano - operated with bow-tie untied - and a spring green side-salad of tentatively up-tempo organ taps & freshly fluted harmonica.
A chronically detuned spin of the dial through swivel-chair distractions & WFH daydreams, an immersive ctrl-tab deluge cycling through popular listicle distractions like the unentombing of Richard III, or the deja vu destruction of the Glasgow School of Art, Kiwi Jr. sing this song to an indoor audience, crisscrossing canceled, every other prestige distraction source wrung dry, only songwriting remaining to deliver engrossing tales to the populace, just how I imagine it worked in the old days. Fixing loose ingredients into a sturdy whip, Kiwi Jr. beam in live from the 9-5, striding into 2021 with a mastered brainwave that comes equally from the back room of the record store as the penalty box. And how do we, left holding this box of deliberate entanglements, sign off to those as yet uninitiated, undecided, uncertain, unseen, absent return coordinates - Best Wishes, Warm Regards, Good Luck? Cooler Returns, Cooler Returns, C o o l e r R e t u r n s !
There is an additional limited edition version of Cooler Returns from participating Dinked retailers in the UK that will be available on yellow colored vinyl with a signed print and a sequentially numbered obi strip (while supplies last).
Kiwi Jr. Cooler Returns Tracklisting 1. Tyler 2. Undecided Voters 3. Maid Marian’s Toast 4. Highlights of 100 5. Only Here for a Haircut 6. Cooler Returns 7. Guilty Party 8. Omaha 9. Domino 10. Nashville Wedding 11. Dodger 12. Norma Jean’s Jacket 13. Waiting in Line
On Oct. 9th, METZ released Atlas Vending, the band’s most dynamic, dimensional, and compelling work of their career. After the stunning video for “A Boat to Drown In” that plays more like a short film, the gorgeous black & white cinematic clip for “Hail Taxi”, the ulterior universe created in the video for “Blind Youth Industrial Park”, and the quirky and light-hearted video for “No Ceiling.” METZ have now unveiled a Sisyphean sci-fi Saga for their song, “Pulse,” just in time for Halloween.
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
METZ on the road in 2021: 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
Sub Pop has signed the UK band TV Priest and will release Uppers, their full-length debut on CD/LP/CS/DSPs worldwide February 5th, 2021. In celebration of this news, we’re sharing the official video for “Decoration,” the album’s lead single, directed by Joe Wheatley.
The FADER says of the “Decoration” video ““Gnarly British post-punk band TV Priest blow a breeze through life’s trinkets and accoutrements on “Decoration,” the beating heart of their forthcoming Sub Pop debut Uppers. Among the items frontman Charlie Drinkwater rails against over a jagged groove are feature walls, smashed avocado, junk food, and “the TV adaptation of the latest book craze (see premiere October 28th).”
Sub Pop became fans of TV Priest’s politically urgent, mechanical, subtly humorous (and self-deprecating) post-punk following the release of their standalone singles “House of York” and “Runner Up” as well as the Uppers early preview tracks “This Island” and “Slideshow” (Uppers was originally set to be released through UK label Hand in Hive this fall, but will now be available worldwide in February through Sub Pop).
(Photo Credit: Dan Kendall)
About TV Priest’s Uppers:
It’s tempting to think that you have all the answers, screaming your gospel every day with certainty and anger. Life isn’t quite like that though, and the debut album from London four-piece TV Priest instead embraces the beautiful and terrifying unknowns that exist personally, politically and culturally.
Posing as many questions as it answers, Uppers is a thunderous opening statement that continues the UK’s recent resurgence of grubby, furious post-punk music. It says something very different though – something completely its own.
Four childhood friends who made music together as teenagers before drifting apart and then, somewhat inevitably, back together late in 2019, TV Priest was born out of a need to create together once again, and brings with it a wealth of experience and exhaustion picked up in the band’s years of pursuing “real life” and “real jobs,” something those teenagers never had.
In November 2019, the band – vocalist Charlie Drinkwater, guitarist Alex Sprogis, bass and keys player Nic Bueth, and drummer Ed Kelland – played their first show, to a smattering of friends in what they describe as an “industrial freezer” in the warehouse district of Hackney Wick. “It was like the pub in Peep Show with a washing machine just in the middle…” Charlie laughs, remembering how they dodged Star Wars memorabilia and deep fat fryers while making their first statement as a band.
Unsurprisingly, there isn’t a precedent for introducing an album during a global pandemic, but among the general sense of anxiety and unease pervading everything at the moment, TV Priest’s entrance in April with the release of debut single “House of York” - a searing examination of the Monarchy - served as a breath of fresh air among the chaos, its anger and confusion making some kind of twisted sense to the nation’s fried brains.
It’s the same continued global sense of anxiety that will greet the release of Uppers, and it’s an album that has a lot to say right now. Taking musical cues from The Fall and Protomartyr as well as the mechanical, pulsating grooves of Kosmische Musik, it’s a record that moves with an untamed energy. Over the top of this rumbling musical machine is vocalist Charlie, a cuttingly funny, angry, confused, real frontman.
“Decoration,” Uppers’ centerpiece, has a streamlined groove soundtracking Charlie’s lyrical vignettes that captures the absurdity and mundanity of life. Its opening and closing line (“I’ve never seen a dog do what that dog does”) is a misremembered quote by Simon Cowell about a performing dog on Britain’s Got Talent. Charlie says, “We often said it in the studio as a kind of in-joke when someone did something good or unexpected. Having already toyed around with the ‘Through to the next round’ line,’ this seemed too good to leave out.” And the chorus “It’s all just decoration” is credited to the 2-year old niece of Alex’s fiancé, who reassured him after he pretended to be scared by Halloween decorations.
“Press Gang” is inspired by Charlie’s grandfather’s life’s work as a photojournalist and war correspondent on the UK’s Fleet Street from the 1950s to the early 1980s. The song is about the shifting role in the dissemination of information and ideas, and how the prevailing narrative that the “Death of Print Media” has contributed to a “post truth” world.
Album closer “Saintless” is the most personal and raw moment on Uppers. Charlie wrote a note to his son after his birth, following a difficult period his wife had faced during and after the pregnancy. The song is about how as parents we’re fallible and human, and while the world can be a difficult place at times the one thing that gets you through is giving your love to those that need and appreciate it. “Saintless” rides a motorik beat, with guitars, bass and synths building layers of intensity and emotion that replicate and swell with the message of the track.
Uppers sees TV Priest explicitly and outwardly trying to avoid narrowmindedness. Uppers sees TV Priest taking musical and personal risks, reaching outside of themselves and trying to make sense of this increasingly messy world. It’s a band and a record that couldn’t arrive at a more perfect time.
Visions of Bodies Being Burned, their critically acclaimed new album is out now.
“Like the films of Jordan Peele or Bong Joon Ho, Clipping uses speculative fiction to reflect the cruelty of contemporary reality.” - New York Times
Clipping have shared “Visions of Bodies Being Burned: Enlacing & Pain Everyday” a stunning new visual which features the two standout singles from Visions of Bodies Being Burned, their acclaimed new album out today on Sub Pop.
The gorgeously shot video stars the group’s frontman Daveed Diggs and was directed by C Prinz (Clipping’s “All In Your Head Video;” Chloe and Halle’s VMA-nominated “Do It”) who says of the video: “This piece explores bodies and impact and gravity and sensation in a way that aims to overwhelm you as viscerally as our current world reality does mentally, but through the lens of the embodied experience. We are surrounded by surface level, fake realities through social media and politics. I just wanted to create a piece that serves as a momentary break from the superficial culture we live in and fantasize on a more genuine, honest reality in the effort it takes to survive right now.”
[Full Video Credits below.]
Visions of Bodies Being Burned is the second album of the “Body & Blood” socio-political horrorcore diptych (the first, the equally acclaimed companion record There Existed an Addiction to Blood, is also available now on Sub Pop).
Visions…which includes the standouts “Say the Name,”“’96 Neve Campbell,” and the aforementioned “Pain Everyday (feat. Michael Esposito),” and “Enlacing,” was produced by Clipping, mixed by Steve Kaplan, and mastered by Rashad Becker. The album also features guest appearances from Ho99o9 (“ Looking Like Meat”), Jeff Parker & Ted Byrnes (“Eaten Alive”), Sickness (“Body for the Pile”) and Greg Stuart (“Invocation (Interlude)”). The final track, “Secret Piece,” is a performance of a Yoko Ono text score from 1953 that instructs the players to “Decide on one note that you want to play/Play it with the following accompaniment: the woods from 5am to 8am in summer,” and features nearly all of the musicians who appeared on both albums.
9/10 Loud & Quiet 9/10 Exclaim! 8.5/10 Under the Radar 8/10 CLASH 8/10 Northern Transmissions
★★★★ MOJO ★★★★ DIY ★★★★ All Music ★★★★ The Forty Five “Album of the Week” Treble
Visions of Bodies Being Burned is available to purchase from Sub Pop Mega Mart. The limited Loser edition on mixed red/orange/yellow colored vinyl is now sold out at Mega Mart, but is still available select independent retailers in North America and Bandcamp (while supplies last). Meanwhile, LP preorders of Visions of Bodies Being Burned throughout the UK and Europe from select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on gold vinyl (also, while supplies last).
Clipping’s “Chapter 319,” the group’s standalone single released earlier this year is also now available on all DSPs through Sub Pop.
[Photo Credit: Cristina Bercovitz]
“Enlacing & Pain Everyday” video - CAST / CREW CREDITS
Directed by C Prinz
A Psycho Films Production
Starring: Daveed Diggs
Dancers: Rebecah Goldstone, Jobel Medina, Montay Romero, Matthew Gibbs, Johnny ‘The Fox’ McThirsty
Stream the album in full here starting tomorrow, Friday, October 23rd, and watch the band’s Don’t Shy Away Sessions live performances October 23rd-29th.
★★★★ MOJO 8/10 Uncut 8/10 Exclaim! “Gorgeous, otherworldly music” Stereogum “Album of the Day” BBC 6 Music
Loma’s Don’t Shy Away, their incredible and absorbing second album, will be available on CD/LP/CS/DL tomorrow, Friday, October 23rd worldwide through Sub Pop. The eleven-track effort, which features lyric videos for “Homing” and “Ocotillo” and official videos for “Half Silences,” “Don’t Shy Away,” “I Fix My Gaze,” and “Elliptical Days,” was produced and recorded by the band at Dandysounds in Dripping Strings, Texas—except for “Homing” (featured above!), which was produced by Brian Eno.
MOJO says of Don’t Shy Away, “Loma’s music unspools in vivid panoramas - sometimes downbeat and rainy, sometimes splashy and urgent, reminiscent of the mid-‘90s school of Bowery Electric post-rock. Yet the trio ensure all the glitches and layers (clarinet, brass, guitar) add bright pin-sharp accents not blurry textural flab, Cross’s voice glinting through ‘Blue Rainbow’s’ electro-cabaret judder or the Morphine-like rumble of ‘Ocotillo’ (4/5).” Exclaim! says: “Don’t Shy Away is ultimately as gratifying as it is ambitious. Brian Eno was right: Loma are the real deal (8/10).”
Uncut praises the album’s’ “Atmospheric melodies” and how “Cross’ otherworldly vocals blend to absorbing effect (8/10,” while Secret Meeting raves, “Bigger in scope than the three piece’s self titled debut, Don’t Shy Away is on a whole other sonic level. It encourages us to not just exist in the spaces that we inhabit, but to find every possibility they could offer. As second records go, they don’t come much more mesmerically splendorous than this.” And Stereogum, in a glowing track review of “Elliptical Days,” says “Loma are making some gorgeous, otherworldly music.”
And today, BBC’s “6 Music” has made Don’t Shy Away its “Album of the Day.”
[Photo Credit: Bryan C. Parker]
In celebration of the album’s release, Loma is presenting the Don’t Shy Away Sessions, a week-long series of live performances of songs from the album (and an interview with the band). The sessions kick off tomorrow, October 23rd via IGTV and Loma’s YouTube channel and were recorded in June 2020 in Dripping Springs, Texas.
The performances run daily from October 23rd to October 29th and will be public every day at Noon PT / 7 pm GMT, and were all shot by the band’s friend and photographer, Bryan C. Parker. The schedule is as follows:
October 23: “Ocotillo” October 24: “Half Silences” October 25: “I Fix My Gaze” October 26: Loma Interview October 27: “Don’t Shy Away” October 28: “Elliptical Days” October 29: “Homing”
Loma’s Jonathan Meiburg has also announced the publication date of his first book, A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life and Epic Journey of the World’s Smartest Birds of Prey. It’s a wild and entertaining romp through our world’s deep history in the company of the caracaras—intelligent, crow-like South American falcons whose sharp minds and mischievous habits baffled and amused Darwin. The book will be published on March 30, 2021 by Knopf Doubleday in the US and The Bodley Head in the UK,and is available for pre-order now at jonathanmeiburg.com.
Sub Pop has signed musician Lael Neale [pron. l-ai-l n-EE-l] to release her songs into the world in 2021. In celebration of the announcement, we are pleased to share the video for her first single “Every Star Shivers in the Dark,” which features Lael’s crystalline voice poised above a drum machine and hypnotic church organ, with production by Guy Blakeslee and mastering by Chris Coady.
Lael says of the song: “This is my ode to Los Angeles, which always felt to me like the outskirts of Eden. I would walk a lot in the city, go from Dodgers Stadium into Downtown - along Alameda. Up in the hills, I’d look out at the vast sprawl and feel daunted. But Los Angeles is not as it appears. Even in moments of isolation, I have looked for communion with strangers and, almost always, found it. These were the scenes and feelings swirling around when I was challenging myself to write a song using only two chords.”
“In directing the video, I was aiming to reflect both the light and the shade I experienced in the city at the time I was writing the song. It was a nod to some of my favorite 60s films that marry the bright with the heavy, dark humor with dispassion.”
Lael grew up on a farm in Virginia among acres of clouds, fields, and woods. It was writing and writers close to nature - Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Steinbeck, and Mary Oliver - that she most connected with. In 2009, she moved to California with a rising devotion to music.
She continues, “As songs began to emerge, I spent years honing my writing, enjoying the solitude and the internal process. Performing frightened me, but I took it as an opportunity to face fear and put an end to its rule over other areas of my life.”
In early 2019, in the midst of a major transition, Lael discovered the Omnichord and in the span of 3 months wrote a torrent of songs, including “Every Star Shivers in the Dark.” She offers this: “In a liminal space between ending and beginning, I started recording these songs. Guy, who had been an advocate for years facilitated the process. He set up the 4-track in my bedroom and provided empathic guidance, subtle but deep accompaniment, and engineering prowess. Normally I’m a morning person, however, I made most of the recordings in the early darkening evening.”
Lael Neale ”Every Star Shivers in the Dark” Single Artwork (Photo credit: Jessa Hill)