Today, June 14th, marks the release of Foam, the debut EP from Stockholm-based artist waterbaby, available on all DSPs worldwide from Sub Pop.
The five-song collection which features the gorgeous new single “Wishing well,” along with the acclaimed standouts “Airforce blue” and “911,” were written by waterbaby and Marcus White, executive produced and mixed by White, and mastered by Johan Åkerström at Cosmos Mastering, all in Stockholm, Sweden.
waterbaby’s hypnotic and evocative technopastoral songs has led to international acclaim, including the cover of Sweden’s music magazine GAFFA, along with the New York Times, The Guardian, NME, Stereogum, The FADER, Brooklyn Vegan, PASTE, The FACE, and CLASH, and major radio support in Sweden from P3 and in the UK from BBC Radio 1.
What people are saying about waterbaby: “The emergency number in Stockholm, the home of the songwriter who calls herself waterbaby, is 112. But in this drowsily understated bedroom-pop song, she clearly has an eye on an American audience: “Call me when you need someone/I could be your 911,” she sings, adding “we-ooh, we-ooh” like a two-note emergency siren. It’s a tentative, guarded offer of affection — “Maybe we could go somewhere/Maybe we could be something” — sung breathily and hesitantly, trying to keep expectations modest.” “The Playlist” - THE NEW YORK TIMES
“Under the gaze of auto-tuned vocals and alt-rock textures, waterbaby has forged something wholly original and swing.” [“911”] - PASTE
“I was a big fan of ‘Airforce blue,’ the indie-pop-ish, R&B-ish Stockholm singer waterbaby’s first single for Sub Pop. I’m an even bigger fan of the next one. “911,” out today, heralds the impending arrival of waterbaby’s Foam EP. It’s a low-key love song built around a cozy little acoustic guitar figure that plays as a nest for waterbaby’s soft, digitally affected vocals.” - STEREOGUM
“The intoxicating meeting point of Beabadoobee, SZA, and Outkast, Stockholm-based Sub-Pop signee Waterbaby has made an impressive introduction as an artist of subtle flourishes, capturing the quiet intensity of love and heartbreak through lead single ‘Airforce Blue’, and now, ‘911’” “45’s of the Week” - THE FORTY-FIVE
“Airforce blue” flips waterbaby’s indie R&B into an electrified, auto-tuned collage with an easy intimacy.” - BROOKLYN VEGAN
“An unguarded DIY R&B moment coming out of the Swedish capital. (“Airforce blue”)” - THE FADER
“‘Airforce blue,’ waterbaby’s first single for Sub Pop, wouldn’t sound out of place on SZA’s genre-jumping S.O.S., but like many SZA songs it doesn’t really scan as R&B. It’s like a more lo-fi, chillwavey cousin to Post Malone’s soft-rocking ‘Circles,’ as if filtered through Clairo’s bedroom indie-pop, with a trace of hyperpop in her Auto-Tuned voice. The result is something slightly uncanny yet tender and personal. Good song.” - STEREOGUM
“Bedroom pop at a cosmic scale: documenting the aftermath of a breakup, the Stockholm artist’s Sub Pop debut has the offbeat and genre-warped charm of Frank Ocean and SZA.” “Playlist” - THE GUARDIAN
“‘Airforce blue’ flips waterbaby’s indie R&B into an electrified, auto-tuned collage with an easy intimacy.” - BROOKLYN VEGAN
”[‘Airforce blue’] is a real jewel, a thrilling and evocative slice of future-facing pop.” “Track of the Day” - CLASH
waterbaby Foam EP
Tracklisting: 1. Airforce blue 2. My luv 3. 911 4. Born too late 5. Wishing well
Today, CHAI announce their dazzling new, self-titled album out September 22nd on Sub Pop / Sony Music, announce a Fall US tour in support of the new record, and present the album’s lead single, “PARA PARA.” 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. “Everything reflected in the lyrics expresses our experience as Japanese women,” vocalist/keyboardist MANA says, explaining why they chose to self-title this album. CHAI’s ethos is one of inclusion, and the previously shared “We The Female!” — recorded live off the floor to honor the band’s riotous performances — is “energetic and bright” (Stereogum), beckoning all listeners into the mission.
On “PARA PARA,” CHAI memorialize the bafflingly popular two-step dance trend that overtook Japan in the 1990s. “There’s not a deep meaning to that song, it’s really just about the dance,” says Mana. “As long as you can feel the two-step, any dance is possible! Let your body just move to your dancing heart ♡ When your body moves to the beat of your heart, you’ll realize that the world is smaller than you think, and all your problems are easier than they seem. ‘Cause two-step and music is the best way to communicate in this world ♡ Let it START! CHAI’s two-step dance music ☆☆”
The accompanying “PARA PARA”video, directed by Jennifer Juniper Stadford, premieres tonight at 9pm ET and honors the past, present, and future of art-rock and J-pop. Drawing influence from Yellow Magic Orchestra, Talking Heads and Devo, the “PARA PARA” video creates a new, fresh world where CHAI’s neo-kawaii movement takes center stage and inspires a strong future for everyone.
CHAI cast a spell on the world in 2017 when they released their debut album, PINK, a collection of songs that introduced listeners to their singular brand of playful pop. The jubilant and enthusiastically feminist follow-up, PUNK, raked in accolades from the music press and fellow artists alike. That led to WINK, which CHAI made via remote Zoom sessions, a limitation that became a strength since it allowed the quartet — twin sisters MANA (lead vocals and keys) and KANA (guitar), YUNA (drums), and YUUKI (bassist-lyricist) — to collaborate with artists abroad. On WINK, CHAI looked beyond their immediate surroundings, and the confines of home, to create a work that found catharsis in their international community.
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. Only recently has city pop become a pop culture phenomenon in the U.S. — thanks in part to TikTok and YouTube exhuming songs by artists like Tatsuro Yamashita — but for CHAI, city pop was just the music of childhood.
A nostalgic look backward was, in part, circumstantial. When pandemic restrictions were lifted, CHAI returned to the road, bringing their exuberant live show to new cities, where the experience of performing for enormous crowds in cities like Santiago, Buenos Aires, and São Paulo made them realize they had truly unlocked a global audience. Realizing that their messages applied to people outside of Japan made CHAI consider what other facets of their upbringing might resonate with audiences outside of their home country.
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.
In writing sessions, the members of CHAI listed words immediately associated with Japan, resulting in songs with titles like “MATCHA” and “KARAOKE.” Some terms are less immediate, but no less authentic to the country’s cultural heritage. They tapped previous collaborator Ryu Takahashi to produce, who shared their love of city pop and eurobeat, as well as the melodies of J-pop artists like Maria Takeuchi, which also contributed to the CHAI moodboard. “They wanted to dig into their Japanese identity, not in a traditional sense, but in this filtered Western way,” Takahashi says.
CHAI highlight “GAME” might be the perfect distillation of CHAI’s ethic, though, as it urges listeners to keep moving through this life with joy and passion. Per MANA: “It’s not about winning or losing as competition, but about what you need to do, personally, to feel you’ve won.”
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♡”
CHAI US TOUR DATES
Sat. Sept. 23 - Boise, ID @ Flipside Festival
Sun. Sept. 24 - Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
Mon. Sept. 25 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Wed. Sept. 27 - San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Fri. Sept. 29 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
Today, June 13th, marks the release of “Every Day’s a Lesson in Humility,” a new collaboration from Suki Waterhouse and Belle and Sebastian, available now on all DSPs and as a limited-edition vinyl 7”.
The sweet and summery “Every Day’s a Lesson in Humility” was written by Suki Waterhouse and Belle and Sebastian, produced by Belle and Sebastian, mixed by Kevin Burleigh at Gorbals Sound Recording Studios in Glasgow, and mastered by Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road Studios in London.
“Every Day’s a Lesson in Humility” is the B-side to Suki Waterhouse’s “To Love” 7” single, being released as part of the very limited Sub Pop Singles Club, Vol. 8, which can be had only by subscribing at the Sub Pop Mega Mart.
In 2022, Suki Waterhouse released her debut album, I Can’t Let Go, and her follow-up EP of earlier material, Milk Teeth, released later that year. The latter features her single “Good Looking,” which went viral on TikTok and peaked at #1 on Spotify’s Viral USA Chart. The song amassed more than 170 million streams and led to 5 million monthly listeners at Spotify, to date.
Suki wrapped the “Coolest Place in the World Tour,” her sold-out, North American headline run earlier this year. She also supported Father John Misty on his 2022 North American tour, which included stops at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater, Los Angeles’ Hollywood Forever Cemetery, New York’s Radio City Music Hall, and more. Recently, she also starred as Karen Sirko in “Daisy Jones & The Six,” the hit Amazon television miniseries based on the popular book by Taylor Jenkins Reid. For 2023, Suki is currently in the midst of a summer and fall US festival run which includes appearances at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Ohana Festivals.
With a legacy spanning three decades, Belle and Sebastian have truly earned their place in music history. The unique, unpredictable, and fiercely loved band have a plethora of accolades and plaudits to their name including winning the “Best Newcomers” BRIT in 1999, selling out the Hollywood Bowl, and contributing to the soundtrack for an array of films (Juno, The Power of Nightmares).
In 2019, Belle and Sebastian hosted a 4-day festival at sea, The Boaty Weekender, twenty years on from their pioneering holiday-camp-held festival, The Bowlie Weekender, featuring friends and contemporaries including Mogwai, Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub, Camera Obscura, Django Django, and many others.
Belle and Sebastian’s most recent output, 2022s A Bit Of Previous, and its surprise follow-up, Late Developers, in early 2023, saw the band continuing to reinvent itself while remaining true to its independent spirit. They will support both albums with a series of UK, and EU dates this summer.
Suki Waterhouse Tour Dates Thu. Jun. 15 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Festival Thu. Aug. 03 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue Sat. Aug. 05 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza Sat. Sep. 30 - Columbia, MD - All Things Go Festival Sun. Oct. 01 - Dana Point, CA - Ohana Festival
Belle and Sebastian Tour Dates Sun. Jun. 25 - Antwerp, BE - Middenvijver Linkeroever Sun. Jul. 02 - Dublin, IE - 3Olympia Theatre Mon. Jul. 03 - Belfast, UK - The Limelight 1 Wed. Jul. 05 - Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK - O2 City Hall, Newcastle Thu. Jul. 06 - Hull, UK - Asylum, Hull University Union Sat. Jul. 08 - Liverpool, UK - Olympia Sun. Jul. 09 - Edinburgh, UK - Usher Hall Mon. Jul. 10 - Aberdeen, UK - Beach Ballroom Wed. Jul. 12 - Sheffield, UK - O2 Academy Sheffield Thu. Jul. 13 - Oxford, UK - O2 Academy Oxford Fri. Jul. 14 - Birmingham, UK - O2 Academy Birmingham Sat. Jul. 15 - Cardiff, UK - Great Hall, Cardiff University Students’ Union Mon. Jul. 17 - London, UK - The Roundhouse Tue. Jul. 18 - London, UK - The Roundhouse Wed. Jul. 19 - Brighton, UK - Brighton Dome Fri. Jul. 21 - Manchester, UK - Manchester Academy Sat. Jul. 22 - Cambridge, UK - Corn Exchange Fri. Aug. 18 - Trondheim, NO - Marinen Sat. Aug. 26 - Portsmouth, UK - Victorious Festival Fri. Sep. 01 - Lisbon, PT - Parque da Bela Vista Sat. Sep. 02 - Mijas, ES - La Cala de Mijas
Subscribe to the Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 8 now to get twelve super-limited 7” vinyl records featuring exclusive music by today’s finest musicians! It’s limited to a mere 835 subscriptions, because it’s volume 8, and 2023 is Sub Pop’s 35th birthday! You’ll get 7”s by Thrash Palace, Gaye Su Akyol, Jessica Winter & Jonathan Snipes, Margarita Podridas, Brontez Purnell, Vanishing Twin, Suki Waterhouse, and more. And, to top it all off, you’ll get a lavish storage box, with art by @oldsweaty, to keep the records together.
You will get two singles in the mail roughly every other month, starting though February 2024. Computer users: fear not! You will also get digital downloads of the tracks through your Sub Pop Mega Mart account. Hear music from the series via the Singles Club playlist, and subscribe here.
Sub Pop is currently accepting resumes from energetic, responsible, detail-oriented, and dependable candidates for a part-time (nights and weekends) Sales Clerk position at our terribly impressive store at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. This guy.
• Greeting and assisting customers in a friendly manner. • Full compliance with Sea-Tac operation rules and strict TSA regulations and restrictions. • Efficient handling of cash and credit card transactions. • Ability to work collaboratively and communicate effectively. • Availability to work nights, weekends, and holidays. • Assisting in organizing and restocking the store. • Maintaining the general appearance of the store. • Contributing to the team retail effort by accomplishing related tasks as needed.
Qualified candidates will have:
• Previous experience in the retail environment. • Knowledge of the Sub Pop catalog, Pacific Northwest music, the Seattle music community, and the City of Seattle. • A friendly and enthusiastic disposition with customers and staff. • Strong and clear communication skills. • A general understanding of retail Point of Sale systems. • Flexibility in schedule and willingness to work early or late hours.
The Sub Pop Airport Store at Sea-Tac is open from 7am-7pm, 365 days a year.
New store hours 7am-9pm Everyday (new store hours starting April 1st)
Salary range: $19.06-$20.00 an hour
Benefits: Competitive pay, flexible scheduling, paid time off, holiday pay, store discount, growth opportunities, and more!
Today, June 8th, Sub Pop will release Divorce +, an eight-track digital EP from the newly signed Australian band Girl and Girl. On the heels of the previously released single “All I See” comes the undeniably catchy track “Dance Now.”
Girl and Girl’s frontperson, Kai James, says about the single and video: “Shooting this clip was probably one of the best days I’ve had in months. I’ve felt lots of pressure with my art and creating lately, so I wanted to step away from that and create something totally unhinged and fun. For the shoot, Rose, our leading chook, just emanated pure joy, and that’s exactly what I wanted to capture, a chicken lady so in love with life, and her chicken form, whose deepest desire is just to feel the wind in her wings.”
Girl and Girl have also shared a 6-minute punk-umentary directed by friend Alexandros Kalas. This video features live and behind-the-scenes performance footage of the band, as well as an interview with frontperson Kai James. You can watch it here.
Girl and Girl just returned from a fifteen-date run in the EU and the UK, which included performances at The Great Escape and London’s Wide Awake Festival, as well as support dates with Partisan Records act Blondshell.
Girl and Girl Divorce + EP Artwork
Tracklisting: 1. Divorce 1 2. Dance Now 3. Strangers 4. Garden Son 5. I See a Man 6. Divorce 2 7. All I See
Girl and Girl are currently working on new music for their Sub Pop debut, with additional Australian, UK, and EU touring in the Fall.
Fri. Jun. 23 - Fortitude Valley, AU - Black Bear Lodge Sat. Jun. 24 - Byron Bay, AU - The Northern Fri. Jun. 30 - Sydney, AU - The Lansdowne Sat. Jul. 01 - Melbourne, AU - The Curtin Wed. Nov. 11 - Paris, FR - Pitchfork Music Festival
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 single “Sub” comes “Build a Bridge.” Using a prickly guitar line to launch into big, smeary art-pop, its emotional palette is clear, well-defined, and easy to latch onto.
Deeper say about the single and video: “‘Build a Bridge’ was the first song written remotely in a new format that would come to define the writing process of Careful!. In the early days of the band, we would throw shit at the wall in our practice space and see what stuck. Being forced to stay in our apartments during lockdown allowed us to apply more intention to a song and really dissect it piece by piece.
“We worked with Austin Vesely (Chance the Rapper, Whitney) on the video in which the band is hooked up to a machine, taking turns controlling alternate versions of ourselves in a different dimension. The sequence keeps repeating with each of us failing, but each attempt equips us with more knowledge from these prior failures to eventually succeed in vanquishing the spirit.”
Deeper is fresh off a fifteen-date opening slot with Future Islands, and the band’s next performance will be a hometown show at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival on Friday, July 21st.
Deeper have also announced headline and festival dates in support of Careful!, with North American dates from September 21st-October 22nd, and European and UK shows from October 31-November 14th. Tickets for these new shows go on sale Friday, June 9th.
Fri. Jul. 21 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival (Union Park) Thu. Sep. 21 - Indianapolis, IN - Healer # Fri. Sep. 22 - Detroit, MI - El Club # Sat. Sep. 23 - Toronto, ON - Baby G # Sun. Sep. 24 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz # Mon. Sep. 25 - Boston, MA - Crystal Ballroom # Wed. Sep. 27 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Made # Thu. Sep. 28 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s # Fri. Sep. 29 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar # Sat. Sep. 30 - Durham, NC - The Pinhook # Mon. Oct. 02 - Nashville, TN - Third Man Records # Tue. Oct. 03 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl # Wed. Oct. 04 - New Orleans, LA - Santos # Thu. Oct. 05 - Houston, TX - Black Magic # Fri. Oct. 06 - Austin, TX - Mohawk (inside) $ Sat. Oct. 07 - San Antonio, TX - Paper Tiger $ Tue. Oct. 10 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar $ Wed. Oct. 11 - San Diego, CA - Casbah $ Fri. Oct. 13 - Los Angeles, CA - Lodge Room $ Sat. Oct. 14 Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst Atrium $ Sun. Oct. 15 San Francisco, CA - The Independent $ Tue. Oct. 17 Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios $ Wed. Oct. 18 Seattle, WA - Madame Lou’s $ Sat. Oct. 21 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge ^ Sun. Oct. 22 - Denver, CO - Skylark ^ Tue. Oct. 31 - Berlin, DE - Urban Spree Wed. Nov. 01 - Copenhagen, DK - Vega Ideal Bar Thu. Nov. 02 - Hamburg, DE - Molotow Fri, Nov. 03 - Brussels, BE - Botanique Sat. Nov. 04. Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Sun. Nov. 05 - Paris, FR - La Boule Noire Tue. Nov. 07 - Leeds, UK - Headrow House Wed. Nov. 08 - Glasgow, UK - Broadcast Thu. Nov. 09 - Manchester, UK - Yes Fri. Nov. 10 - Bristol, UK - Dareshack Sat. Nov. 11 - London, UK- Pitchfork Music Festival Sun. Nov. 12 - Kortrijk, BE - Sonic City Festival Tue. Nov. 14 - Cologne, DE - Bumann & Sohn
More on Deeper’s Careful!: You can’t get Deeper if you’re standing still. That’s intentional, says the Chicago quartet’s Nic Gohl. “Does it feel good when you’re listening to this song? Does your body want to move with it?” These are the questions he asked himself as he and bandmates Shiraz Bhatti, Drew McBride, and Kevin Fairbairn were writing and recording Careful!, their third record and Sub Pop debut. “I wanted these to be interesting songs, but in a way where a two-year-old would vibe out to it,” Gohl adds. “It’s pop music, basically.”
That “basically” qualifier is working pretty hard, as fans of 2020’s Auto-Pain might suppose. Auto-Pain was an album of thick brutalist architecture, full of straight lines and sharp angles, making hard shapes strong enough to carry a heavy thematic burden. On Careful!, they’re reshaping the facades and splashing color, not reimagining their sound so much as testing its limits. There are synth experiments, there are moments of nauseatingly powerful darkwave and coldbeat. There are massive rock’n’roll songs that you can imagine 10,000 people singing along to in some beautiful outdoor setting. There is a remarkably moving love song. Is there pop? There’s some pop, yes, a wiry bit of Cars-esque neon called “Everynight.” Look around the right corners, and you might see some of the old buildings peeking through, too, but in this context—on a song like “Sub,” say, a song that began life as a slow and dark prog jam but is now an elegantly cresting wave of post-punk—they feel more sophisticated, lit up in the cold, bright glow of Television.
Auto-Pain was released in March 2020, which means Deeper wasn’t able to play their new album live for nearly a year and a half. “It was hard living in the vacuum of depending on Spotify numbers to quantify what your music means to other people,” McBride says. Nature abhors a vacuum, though, and the band rushed to fill not only their empty time but the suddenly empty idea of what, exactly, their identity was. “Isolated by ourselves, we were like, ‘What is Deeper?’” Bhatti says. “We’ve always talked about how we didn’t want to stay in one genre as a band,” Gohl says, and absent any audience expectations, they gave themselves the freedom to tinker.
“One vibe I thought about a lot was Bowie’s most coked-out productions,” Gohl says. If you want to, you can hear echoes of Low in the snapping rhythm and gray-sky synths of “Tele,” but you can also hear a bit of Auto-Pain in the nailed-in, stippling lines being spit out by Bhatti’s drum programming and McBride’s synthesizer. “Fame” seems to stumble together and nearly fall apart, the dialed-up noise making the beat feel maniacal and a little invincible, the whole thing a series of short, snipped, autonomous gestures that are by now Deeper’s trademark.
“Build a Bridge” pushes in the opposite direction, using a prickly guitar line to launch into big, smeary art-pop, its emotional palette clear, well-defined, and easy to latch onto. On “Sub,” Gohl sings above and below the melody like Ian McCulloch, bellowing and wondering and ruminating and rounding into swaggering confidence that the band rises to meet. It’s festival headliner music that still feels like it was written in a garage.
The album’s title, exclamation point, and all come from the song “Airplane Air,” and it’s echoed in the album’s final song, “Pressure,” a song Gohl wrote for his wife and longtime partner. “Be safe,” he sings, “I will need you around.” It’s a song that sounds like nothing else in their catalog—ringing harmonics, chiming chords, vocal harmonies—but the sense of interdependence is near the center of Deeper’s music, from the way Gohl and McBride’s guitars jigsaw together and interlock with Bhatti’s drum patterns and Fairbairn’s bass to the lyrical vulnerability at the album’s core. That sense of mutuality makes this restlessly curious, stylistically broad album feel like the most coherent portrait of who Deeper is. Or, as McBride ultimately frames it, “Careful! is about looking out for one another.”