Today, Local Natives release a reimagining of the single “NYE” featuring singer-songwriter Suki Waterhouse. The original version of the song premiered on BBC Radio 6 Music and comes off their fifth studio LP Time Will Wait For No One which arrived earlier this month via Loma Vista. The latest version of “NYE” is dreamy, romantic and stripped-down, with Suki’s vocals adding a contemplative bend - turning a song fit for a house party in the hills into a sunset drive to the beach. The release is accompanied by a performance video directed by Joseph Wasilewski that sees the band in the studio with Suki, watch it HERE.
Suki Waterhouse says, “I’ve been a massive fan of Local Natives for a long time and it was such a fun experience to be in the studio with them. I’m so thrilled that I got to sing on this record with them.”
WATCH LOCAL NATIVES AND SUKI PERFORM “NYE” AT THE FORD LA HERE
Time Will Wait For No One showcases the band’s seminal SoCal harmonies and was recorded across historic LA recording studios with Grammy award winning producer John Congleton (Angel Olsen, Death Cab For Cutie, St. Vincent, Sharon Van Etten), Michael Harris (Lana Del Rey, Feist), and Danny Reisch (Sun June, Other Lives).
Following two hometown nights at the Ford Theater in LA to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the band’s sophomore LP Hummingbird, the band will embark on the Time Will Wait For No One Tour. The 25-city nationwide tour kicks off in Minneapolis on August 18 and criss-crosses the US all summer, including performances at NYC’s Pier 17 on August 29, two nights at DC’s 9:30 Club on August 24 and 25 and Austin’s Stubbs on September 16.
Today, CHAI — the adored Japanese four-piece composed of identical twins MANA (vocals/keys) and KANA (guitar), drummer YUNA, and bassist/lyricist YUUKI — present their new single/video, “NEO KAWAII, K?,” from their forthcoming self-titled album out September 22nd on Sub Pop. Since the band’s inception in 2011, CHAI has espoused a philosophy they call Neo Kawaii, in reference to the Japanese word for cute, a label typically bestowed upon women who maintain societally prescribed beauty standards. As young women, CHAI felt that any deviation from what culture considered kawaii was discouraged, and so Neo Kawaii emerged as a rallying cry against those oppressive standards. “Neo Kawaii is about reclaiming self-esteem,” MANA says. On the ESG-inspired single “NEO KAWAII, K?” MANA sings: “This is just my body, not a trendy body/ Gonna be loved, baby!/ Just as I am.”
Of “NEO KAWAII, K?,” Mana continues: “Everyone is NEO KAWAII! This is CHAI’s answer, this is a fact in this world! We can finally say what it really means to us♡ Everyone’s a bit weird. Everyone’s different. Everyone’s awkward, almost to a point that it’s hard to relate. But that’s what’s interesting! That’s what makes it beautiful. To everyone who’s pushed around by these notions, we want to tell you this! We, and all of our lives, are NEO KAWAII! NEO KAWAII is not just plain KAWAII (cute)- it’s cool, it’s strong, it’s kind, it’s warm! Don’t get it mixed up♡ Hey! NEO KAWAII people!
NEO KAWAII needs no preparation. We just want to say that you’re NEO KAWAII too, K? ♡?”
CHAI — unlike previous albums — was written on the road, with the band finding time to record in the days between shows at Stones Throw Studio in LA, Ometusco Sound Machine in Mexico City, and Grand Street in New York. Working in studios with vast collections of gear allowed them to experiment with aesthetics as-yet-unheard on a CHAI album. “It was actually a chill and relaxed process, because we were playing shows every day and were really in the music,” MANA says.
Unlike their acclaimed 2021 album WINK, this self-titled collection of songs finds CHAI returning to their roots, drawing inspiration from their Japanese cultural heritage and the music that raised them. Realizing that message applied to people outside of fans in Japan (who screamed in delight when MANA shouted “NEO KAWAII!” into the mic) made CHAI consider what other facets of their upbringing might resonate with audiences outside of their home country. Each CHAI album borrows aesthetic inspiration from specific musical movements, and on CHAI, the quartet wanted to make direct comparisons to city pop, a Tokyo-born sound popularized in the ‘70s and ‘80s. City pop was a Japanese take on Western lounge music, borrowing from jazz, boogie, funk, and yacht rock to create a sound that straddled two cultures; but for CHAI, city pop was just the music of childhood.
Of the album, Mana says: “This is CHAI! With our self-titled album CHAI, CHAI declare that we live proudly as Japanese women♡ We hope this album gives everyone a little more confidence in living how they want to live. That is our ideal. If this album becomes that existence for anyone, that is the right answer in our eyes⭐ Listen, feel. We give you our evolution, inside and out! Now come onnn, NEO-KAWAII BABIES. If you can’t catch up with us, you’ll never feel the NEO KAWAII♡”
This fall, CHAI will bring their acclaimed live set stateside for a North American tour, beginning September 23rd at Flipside Festival and stretching through Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington, DC and more. Full dates, including UK and EU shows, are listed below and tickets are on sale now.
Today, August 1st, Greek artist Σtella (pronounced Stella) has shared a new standalone single entitled “Girl Supreme.” This song was recorded at Havabanana Studio in Athens, Greece, and produced by Σtella with mixing and additional production work by Edmund Irwin-Singer from the band Glass Animals.
Σtella says of this infectious new bop: “Learning how to use ‘on’ and ‘in’ and ‘at’ got me chasing after ‘Girl Supreme.’ And prepositions got me thinking about propositions – when a casual encounter becomes a fateful affair.”
“Girl Supreme” follows the 2022 release of her Sub Pop debut, Up and Away. An album where the Athens-based painter, visual artist, and performer updated authentic Greek pop - using traditional folk melodies and instruments like the bouzouki and kanun - fed through synths, 80s pop, laid-back psychedelia, and dusty mid-century 45s. Up and Away garnered International support from Paste, Gorilla vs. Bear, Brooklyn Vegan, Mojo, Uncut, Loud & Quiet, and The Line of Best Fit, who said, “Σtella’s honey-rich vocals overlie a crisp, no-frills backing that has echoes of classic ’60s pop.”
Σtella has confirmed a 5-date EU/UK run in August. This string of dates begins on Aug. 14th in Winterthur, Switzerland, with additional club dates in Germany & the UK, ending on Aug. 18th at the Green Man Festival in Brecon Beacons. See below for a complete list of shows.
Mon. Aug. 14 - Winterthur, CH - Winterthurer Musikfestwochen Tue. Aug. 15 - Nuremberg, DE - Z-Bau Wed. Aug. 16 - Frankfurt, DE - Tanzhaus West Thu. Aug. 17 - London, UK - Moth Club Fri. Aug. 18 - Brecon Beacons, UK - Green Man Festival
What people have also said about Σtella:
“Σtella hooks up with London producer Redinho here to conjure an elegant and sophisticated union of vintage Greek music…and sleek modern pop.” - [“Up and Away”] Gorilla vs Bear
“It’s a blending of classic songwriting, aligned with familiar instrumentation, and fueled with modern vocals and strangely somber ambiance. The bass and guitar riffs are captivating and keep the ears plastered for more. Her somber vocals sway into a soft gale that transports the listener to a ruminating landscape.” - [“Charmed”] Impose
“This is the pop we need; considered, vital, comforting, spiritual.” - The Quietus
“Future-retro pop perfection” - DJ
“simply irresistible” - Electronic Sound
“seductively melodic blend of Hellenic pop and hazy, shimmering Eastern Mediterranean vibes” - Shindig
“…gorgeous fourth album.” - (4/5) MOJO
“…Infectious disco-infused art-pop.” - I-D
“Bold, streamlined pop” - PASTE
“Intoxicating Greek pop.” - UNCUT
“There is an enchantingly vintage pop sparkle to Σtella’s music, epitomised by the new album’s superlative title track, its spritely, 1960s chanson airiness evoking the spirit of France Gall or Francoise Hardy, while the bouzouki-led backing arrangement lends the unmistakable flavour of Σtella’s home country ” - LOUD & QUIET
A few weeks ago, Rick Froberg from Hot Snakes and Obits (and Drive Like Jehu, and Pitchfork) unexpectedly, shockingly died. We’re so grateful to have had the privilege to work with and know him. And, if possible, we’d like to help people remember or revisit (or visit for the first time - man, I envy you…) some of the music he (and his bandmates) made. It’s really unrivaled. So, we asked a few friends, folks who work here, and some of the other artists we work with to give us their picks, tell us why they chose the songs they did. It’s an incomplete list. We’ll try to add to it, or find other excuses to tell you about this stuff. We’ve only just started and we really miss him.
“I know that a mouthful of spit and germs
Is all I got to share with you
But I need your love” - Hot Snakes “Light Up the Stars”
What follows here are some of the picks and “why”s we received. The actual playlists include a lot more songs, because there are a lot more incredible songs in Rick’s catalog, certainly more even than we included.
You can (and should) listen to these playlists here:
Jon Strickland (Sub Pop) - Pitchfork - “Thin Ice” from the Saturn Outhouse 7”/EP: Bought the Saturn Outhouse 45 when I worked at Leopold’s in Berkeley, must have been 1990, mainly cos the mysterious cover art (by Froberg) reminded me of R. Crumb. Being a Norcal snob, thinking of San Diego in terms of Chandler – “one of the most beautiful harbors in the world with nothing in it but navy and a few fishing boats” – I was amazed to find a great Amerindie band from there, who sounded like all my favorite SST bands. First few notes of “Thin Ice” sealed the deal; the acoustic breakdown at the end still gets me.
Jeremy Devine (Temporary Residence) - Drive Like Jehu – “Caress” from Drive Like Jehu (https://youtu.be/cnSkGoHEmOo): My friends who had introduced me to Drive Like Jehu in late ’91 were obsessive Pitchfork fans, but I’d missed them entirely, so this was the first time I ever heard Rick’s voice. I’ve probably played this album – and this song in particular – well over 500 times in my life. There is still something so singular and magical about the first Drive Like Jehu record that I’ve never really heard or felt since. I remember years later when I first met Rick in person, I had a hard time looking at him without thinking, “You’re the guy who made THAT. That’s YOUR voice that’s been rattling around in my brain all these years.” What a gift.
Nabil Ayers (Beggars Group) - Drive Like Jehu - “If It Kills You” from Drive Like Jehu: From the moment I first heard it, “If It Kills You” by Drive Like Jehu has remained etched in my brain as Rick’s magnum opus. Clocking in at just over seven minutes, this masterpiece plows through distinctly different musical movements, seamlessly blending together and peaking each time Rick’s blood-curdling voice screams the chorus. And despite its craziness, everything about the song—from the repetitive bass riff to the percussive guitar clicks—is somehow super catchy.
Bekah Z Flynn (Sub Pop) - Drive Like Jehu - “Here Come the Rome Plows” from Yank Crime: …one of my all-time favorite album openers. It’s loud, abrasive, and raw, pulsating a lyrical immediacy. Yank Crime is about as perfect as an album gets, and Rick changed the way I listened to and consumed music. He was a musical hero, a true OG, and I’m grateful we were buds. May it always rain Bialys on you, friend.
Gabe Carter (Sub Pop) - Drive Like Jehu - “Do You Compute” from Yank Crime: It’s got that searing triumphant ostinato part that I think Rick plays and then the rest of the band sidles in behind him. That song got us through so many long tour drives.
AND: Hot Snakes - “10th Planet” from Automatic Midnight...
Megan Jasper (Sub Pop) - Drive Like Jehu - “Do You Compute” from Yank Crime: There are so many great songs to choose from but I’m picking “Do You Compute” because it’s just a perfect song. I love its hypnotic opening and build. I don’t really enjoy being screamed at by anybody but I’ll always love being screamed at by Rick.
Randall Huth (Pissed Jeans) - Hot Snakes - “10th Planet” from Automatic Midnight: Up until around the year 2000, I was really only interested in fast hardcore from the early ‘80s. Automatic Midnight really hit at the perfect time for me. The playing on this record is really fantastic. The way the guitars work with one another is beautiful. So many fantastic, unique melodies. It gave me a totally different perspective of what punk is, what it could be.
Alex Edkins (METZ and Weird Nightmare) - Hot Snakes - “No Hands” from Automatic Midnight: This one gets me every time. When I think of Hot Snakes, this is the song I think of. This is sheer rock n’ roll power. The opening guitar riff paired with Rick’s perfect vocal is just untouchable. When I was living in Ottawa, before METZ existed, roughly half of the Ottawa punk scene drove down to Montreal to see the Snakes at La Sala Rosa. That venue seemed huge to me at the time (couple hundred people) and it was packed. That show is burned into my brain. It was, to this day, one of the best rock shows I’ve ever seen. John and Rick didn’t say a word, they didn’t stop once between songs, not once. It was a seamless onslaught of perfect song after perfect song at breakneck speed. The place went absolutely nuts. We left the venue covered in sweat (unavoidable even if you weren’t dancing) and smiling ear to ear. We started hugging each other, even strangers. Everyone was in disbelief of what they had just witnessed. I know this sounds like hyperbole but I swear to you it’s true. We were cheering and hugging like our favourite sports team had just won the championship, I’ve never experienced anything like it since.
Chris Jacobs (Sub Pop) - Hot Snakes - “Light Up the Stars” from Automatic Midnight: “Turn on the waterworks right now, I ain’t laughing.”
Carly Starr (Sub Pop) - Hot Snakes - “Plenty for All” from Audit in Progress
Bradley Fry (Pissed Jeans) - Hot Snakes - “Plenty for All” from Audit in Progress: I feel so very fortunate to have been able to meet Rick, talk with him and play shows with Hot Snakes. For me, the song that sticks out is “Plenty for All,” because it’s my absolute favorite Hot Snakes song and probably one of my top 10 songs ever. I don’t even know what to describe about it besides it being perfect. Every chord change, every word, just outstanding. In February 2020, we were fortunate to play the Empty Bottle in Chicago with Hot Snakes. I still have a video on my old phone that I took of them playing “Plenty for All” and it’s just so powerful. It makes me wonder if he knew how amazing and captivating he was to watch perform. A few weeks later, the world shutdown for Covid and there was a long time where I thought that was gonna be my last show. But how could anyone be upset if the last live band they got to see was Hot Snakes. That show in Chicago is even more special to me now.
Chris Stealy (Sub Pop) - Hot Snakes - “Braintrust” and “US Mint” from Thunder Down Under
Josh Machniak (Sub Pop) - Obits - “Milk Cow Blues” from I Blame You: When I first moved to Seattle in 2008, one of my first shows I saw here was Obits in some unnamed art loft/workspace, I think it was off Alaskan Way near Pioneer Square. It was the only show I saw there. I distinctly recall a local band called Coconut Coolouts opened, one of the drummers would later become a co-worker of mine. I also recall seeing Mark Arm at this show. There being no stage really, I stood behind/aside Rick’s small combo amp the entire performance. I’m pretty certain they closed with a semi-extended version of “Milk Cow Blues.” I really love the Jehu-esque off-time stress in the choruses, amidst a classic sped-up blues style progression over the entirety of the song. Afterwards, I casually thanked Rick, as he was breaking down his gear, for their performance and he was very kind, thanking me for being there.
Steve Turner (Mudhoney) - Obits - “Let Me Dream If I Want To” b/w “The City Is Dead” 7”: I’m going with The Obits 7” of “Let Me Dream If I Want To” b/w “The City Is Dead.” Both are covers, NYC’s Mink DeVille on the A side, and Belgium’s legendary The Kids on the flip, because the songs someone chooses to cover can say a lot about their point of view and aesthetic. Willie DeVille had that gritty NYC street poet vibe and was just COOL, while The Kids had such a youthful exuberance for punk rock and were an awful lot of fun. Definitely two of Rick’s many sides.
Vish Khanna (Kreative Kontrol) - Obits - “Two-Headed Coin” from I Blame You: Most of the times I interviewed Rick, we were on the telephone and usually when I asked him about his clever lyrics, I could kinda hear him rolling his eyes at me. The truth is, Rick was one of the best songwriters to ever do it. His narrative gifts and knack for picking up on compelling bits of history and human behaviour for cool song fodder were uncanny. He also had a voice that could convey rage and bemusement at once (among other things) and “Two-Headed Coin” has always been one of my favourite performances. A conspiratorial tale about what is likely nothing more than a U.S. mint mistake, and yet, the fuck-up might pass through a million pockets, like a metallic virus. What an idea! Rick’s voice is way up in the mix, there’s so much venomous soul in every line delivery, and the phrasing choices fucking rule too. Meanwhile, this song is also amazingly incredulous comedy; it’s so angry but the wit of it makes me laugh. Rick was just the best singer and writer—it’s bonkers.
Guy Maddison and Dan Peters (Mudhoney - same picks) - Obits - “I Can’t Lose” b/w “Military Madness” 7”: “I Can’t Lose” is one of the best and most unusual pop punk songs there is IMO. The subject matter is nicely juxtaposed with its flipside “Military Madness” (a Graham Nash cover). Rick’s voice is so great on both tracks. I asked him once about “I Can’t Lose” and he said it was a very tough song to sing. (GM)
Nick Duncan (Sub Pop) - Obits - “Taste the Diff” from Bed & Bugs: I was an intern at Sub Pop when Obits released Bed & Bugs, and “Taste the Diff” was the first time I had ever heard Rick Froberg’s inimitable howl. Rick’s voice ran me over like a combine, all grinding gears and churned-up dirt. The way that opening line grabs you by the hair makes it an all-time favorite album opener for me.
On Friday, September 8, Deeper will release Careful!, its new full-length album worldwide on CD/LP/CS/DSPs through Sub Pop. Careful! was recorded at Palisade Studios in Chicago with help from producer/engineer Dave Vettraino (Makaya McCraven, Lala Lala), and this thirteen-track collection of new songs finds the band reshaping facades, splashing color, and sonically testing their limits.
Following the previously released singles “Sub” and “Build a Bridge” comes the snapping rhythm and gray-sky synths of “Tele.”
Deeper say about the single and video:” ‘Tele’ is a song without its shield. In past Deeper compositions, we would hide behind jerky guitars and abstract vocals telling a story only we could decipher. With ‘Tele’ we wanted to explore the vulnerability behind our music and give focus to the melody and mood of the song. Replacing guitars with synthesizers and drums with samplers we stumbled upon a new way to approach a Deeper song.
We wanted to make a darker track that people could dance to. Since the foundation is built on a sampler beat, it’s the kind of song we could’ve only created with the limitations of the pandemic. The electronic components left more space for the rhythm, so our engineer Dave started playing with a busier bass line for the verses and laid down the hook on the first pass. At the end we wanted the synth parts to constantly overtake one another and hopefully make the listener feel like they’re being swallowed into the song.”
What people have been saying about Deeper: ” ’Sub’ finds Deeper settling into its most polished sound yet, one that’s finally ready for the indie-rock big leagues. But even when the grit that defined its earlier work is toned down a bit, Deeper’s music can’t be stripped of an angsty zeal.” [“Sub”] NPR
“accurately recalls that stubborn, left-field streak Chicago artists so readily call their own.” - [“Sub”] CLASH
“With a steadfast rhythm guitar swarmed by Televsion-esque riffs, “Build a Bridge” is a majestic, dark and massive rock song.” - [“Build a Bridge”]PASTE
“Pop melodies drive “Build a Bridge,” but they’re undercut with Deeper’s classic pointed, jittery guitars that make the track at once catchy and a little unnerving.” - [“Build a Bridge”]CONSEQUENCE
Sub Pop has released the 30th-anniversary edition of Six Finger Satellite’s The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird, the group’s underground classic and debut full-length from 1993, with a brand new, fully remastered CD and double-LP reissue.
Formed in 1990 in Providence, Rhode Island by J. Ryan (singer/keyboards), John MacLean (guitar), Peter Phillips (guitar), Chris Dixon (bass), and Rick Pelletier (drums), Six Finger Satellite quickly signed to Sub Pop and released the band’s first demo tape as the Weapon EP.
Following Weapon, Dixon left the group and was replaced by Kurt Niemand, and the band quickly jumped into making their debut full-length with Bob Weston (of Shellac, who later named a single The Bird Is the Most Popular Finger in honor of Six Finger Satellite). Released in 1993, The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird was the first release to truly capture the adventurous, biting spirit and sound of Six Finger Satellite.
The album is a landmark of noisy, distressing post-punk, drawing influence from Gang of Four, The Birthday Party, and Wire while adding a healthy dose of the band’s own, unique sonic antagonism. Amongst the brittle rock tracks, The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird has dashes of ahead-of-their-time keyboard and studio experiments that became more prominent on the band’s later albums, presaging LCD Soundsystem, DFA Records, and much of the early-2000s post-punk revival.
All Music offers this, “This is the band’s rawest record, featuring the least amount of studio gadgetry and manipulation. J. Ryan’s voice bears no effects or bizarrely buried/contorted trickery, sounding hoarse and anxious throughout. Nonetheless, it certainly sets the table for the band’s love of noise and lunacy, combined with a healthy splash of bizarre humor. Hardly any other indie band at the time was doing this.”
In 2008, Pitchfork rightly called The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird “one of the best noise-rock records of the ‘90s,” writing that “the transitions from silly to searing highlight Six Finger Satellite’s unpredictable and caustic approach… this was the first of several examples of them spurning underground trends, and their most exhilaratingly bitter pill to swallow.”
The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird, featuring a new cover design by Dare Matheson, is now available from Sub Pop. LP orders from megamart.subpop.com, select independent retailers in North America, and the UK and EU, will receive the limited Loser edition on Red and Blue vinyl.
Six Finger Satellite The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird
Tracklisting: 1. [Untitled] 2. Home for the Holy Day 3. [Untitled] 4. Laughing Larry 5. [Untitled] 6. Funny Like a Clown 7. [Untitled] 8. Deadpan 9. [Untitled] 10. Hi-Lo Jerk 11. [Untitled] 12. Love (via Satellite) 13.[Untitled] 14. Save the Last Dance for Larry 15. [Untitled] 16. Solitary Hiro 17. [Untitled] 18. Neuro-Harmonic Conspiracy 19. [Untitled] 20. Takes One to Know One 21. [Untitled] 22. [Untitled] 23. Takes One To Know One 24. [Untitled]