Sub Pop has signed Dutch band The Homesick and will release The Big Exercise, the group’s label debut, worldwide February 7th, 2020. The album, which features the singles “I Celebrate My Fantasy,” “Kaïn,” “Male Bonding,” and the title track, was produced by the band at Schenck Studio in Amsterdam, mixed by Casper van der Lans, and mastered by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring). Listen to “I Celebrate My Fantasy” now here and also on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp.
The Guardian called The Homesick “An eccentric Dutch trio bringing a sense of humor – and some unusual transportation – to their scratchy, eclectic post-punk (‘Ones to Watch’).”
The Big Exercise is now available for preorder on CD/LP/DL from Sub Pop. Preorders of the album through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on bright yellow vinyl (while supplies last). Meanwhile, preorders in the UK and Europe from select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on opaque yellow vinyl (while supplies last).
[Pictured: North American limited Loser Edition vinyl]
The Homesick The Big Exercise
Tracklisting: 1. What’s In Store 2. Children’s Day 3. Pawing 4. I Celebrate My Fantasy 5. Leap Year 6. The Small Exercise 7. The Big Exercise 8. Focus On The Beach 9. Kaïn 10. Male Bonding
The Homesick Tour Dates
The Homesick’s current international tour schedule spans November 9th, 2019 through March 7th, 2020. Highlights for this timeframe include Taiwan’s Luc Fest on November 9th; Explore the North Festival in Leeuwarden, Netherlands on November 22nd; and a tour of the Netherlands February 21st-March 7th, 2020. Additional live dates will be announced in the new year.
November-December 2019 Nov. 09 - Taiwan, TW - LUC Fest Nov. 22 - Leeuwarden, NL - Explore the North Festival Nov. 23 - Dusseldorf, DE - Weltkunstzimmer Dec. 04 - Trier, DE - VillaWuller
February-March 2020 Feb. 21 - Groningen, NL - Vera Feb. 28 - Nijmegen, NL - Merleyn Mar. 05 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Mar. 06 - Rotterdam, NL - WORM Mar. 07 - Utrecht, NL - EKKO
[Photo Credit: Sarah Cass]
About The Homesick and The Big Exercise: If their debut Youth Hunt marked The Homesick’s tryst with faith and pastoral life, the band’s upcoming second album The Big Exercise brings them to more grounded, tangible pastures. With its title ripped from a passage in the Scott Walker-biography Deep Shade Of Blue, the record is a concentrated effort by Jaap van der Velde, Erik Woudwijk and Elias Elgersma to explore the physicality of their music in fresh ways.
“When we were on tour in 2018, I bought Meredith Monk’s Dolmen Music in Switzerland,” Van der Velde recalls, “Elias and I have been completely immersed in her music ever since. But also the work of Joan La Barbara for example, who also did things with extended vocal techniques, that was also quite vital to us. We discovered that the human voice offers so many beautiful elements that can still feel very physical and intrusive.”
During those formative years, the Dutch trio was often typecast as your resident tricksters. Hailing from the backwater Frisian municipality of Dokkum, Van der Velde, Woudwijk and Elgersma shrewdly courted spirituality under their own nonconformist whims, even if that wasn’t immediately obvious to outsiders. For those on the outside looking in, it was hard to tell whether the band was taking the piss or genuinely unraveling themselves as starry-eyed romantics.
The Homesick relished and thrived in that very schism on Youth Hunt. When not ruminating on their environment under the guise of Dark Age Christianity, they wrapped their ambivalence into sure-fire pop earworms. Even the album’s production values were undeniably quixotic: the exuberant vocal retorts of Elgersma and Van der Velde drenched in reverb, as warped synths and distorted guitars launched skyward with the glee of a firework spectacle.
As an inverse to that mindset, The Big Exercise finds the band keenly second-guessing their core chemistry as a live unit, imbuing their angular post-punk workouts with baroque elements such as piano, acoustic guitar, percussion, and even clarinet.“It’s the opposite of trying to translate recorded music to the stage,” Elgersma comments. “We were already playing these songs live for quite some time, so for this album, we wanted to unlock the potential of these songs further in the studio.”
Opening track “What’s In Store” was in part inspired by Van der Velde’s unprompted deep dive into the world of National Anthems, making his own attempt to conjure a similarly timeless melody. The song seamlessly bleeds into the chivalrous prance of “Children’s Day” and the fragmented “Pawing,” righteously encouraging Erik Woudwijk’s nimble, cerebral drumming to become the band’s driving force.
The headstrong wanderlust of The Big Exercise is very fitting, given The Homesick’s exodus as a small-town Dutch band ready to trot the world. Contrary to Youth Hunt’s quest for belonging, roots, and provenance, however, the band’s creative trajectory is now dictated by a sense of otherness and imagination. The sharp contrasts are nevertheless ever-present; the music’s new sonorous depth is underpinned by wry meditations on family ties, alternate realities, and commonplace encounters. As the band’s chief lyricists, Elgersma and Van der Velde deliberately keep each other in the dark, allowing the syntax of words and music to entangle in surprising – sometimes delightfully absurd – ways.
“I Celebrate My Fantasy,” for example, summons a mirage of creeping pianos, sylvan clarinet flourishes and cartoonish sprawls with mock-paranoia, as Elgersma documents a macabre vision he had during a mild case of sleep paralysis. True to the band’s method of holding the more mundane, fleeting moments under a magnifying glass, capricious closing track “Male Bonding” pulls a wide range of movements out of the top hat: the album’s rare heavy burst is promptly mediated by almost medieval-sounding prog rock-flirtations.
With aplomb, The Homesick made a record impregnated with impressions which – when superimposed – still fit neatly under the pop umbrella. That obvious nod to Scott Walker isn’t an aberration either: straddling pop sonority and the cacophonous fringes is something well worth aspiring.
“That’s also a phenomenal aspect of the position we’re now in as a band,” Van der Velde enthuses. “I consider The Homesick a pop band first and foremost. If you’d introduce a late-era Scott Walker-record to a layman, it would likely fall on flat ears. But put it in the right scene of a good movie, and that person may finally understand its potential. The Homesick is allowed to play around in that pop framework, and the goal is to explore what’s possible within it. You can do super radical and weird things, and at the same time convey it all as straightforward pop music. With this album, I hope people will hear things anew after multiple listens.”
You can now hear Clipping’s “Aquacode Databreaks” (feat. Shabazz Palaces), a new track from the group’s forthcoming single “The Deep,” available on DL/12” vinyl worldwide on Friday, November 29th through Sub Pop. Listen via YouTube - Spotify - Apple Music - Bandcamp
Both the vinyl and digital versions include two unreleased extra tracks (the aforementioned “Aquacode Databreaks,” and “Drownt”), while the vinyl edition also includes instrumental versions of all three tracks.
Clipping’s “The Deep” is a dark sci-fi tale about the underwater-dwelling descendants of African women thrown off slave ships and based on the mythology of Detroit electronic group Drexciya.
The song was originally commissioned for a This American Life episode about Afrofuturism in 2017. “The Deep” also earned Clipping a nomination for a 2018 Hugo award, and the band constructed a sound installation based on “The Deep” at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
The 12” single comes on the heels of the November 5th release of The Deep, a novella by the two-time Astounding (formerly John W. Campbell) Award-nominated author Rivers Solomon (with Clipping credited as co-authors) inspired by the title track and published by Saga Press.
Clipping “The Deep” 12” single
Tracklisting: 1. The Deep 2. Aquacode Databreaks (feat. Shabazz Palaces) 3. Drownt 4. The Deep (Instrumental)* 5. Aquacode Databreaks (Instrumental)* 6. Drownt (Instrumental)* *vinyl-only
In further exciting news, Clipping also graces the cover of the forthcoming December issue of The Wire.
Clipping’s There Existed an Addiction to Blood, the group’s acclaimed new album, is out now on CD, 2xLP, cassette, and a 2xLP Deluxe Limited “Lamestain” Edition from Sub Pop. The blood-splattered “Lamestain” edition is sold out online, and will only be available at select independent record stores, and via the band’s merch table at shows (while supplies last). Clipping will perform at the Adult Swim Festival on November 16th in Los Angeles. Additional live dates to be announced soon.
Please join us in celebrating the release of Atlanta band Omni’s debut full-length for Sub Pop. Networker is out today on LP, CD, digital, and cassette and available worldwide. You can purchase your copy today from our Mega Mart. Limited blue vinyl Loser editions are available while supplies last.
If inquiring minds would like to know more about Networker, the band will be doing an AMA on the r/indieheads subreddit today at 9 AM PT. Omni is currently in the midst of a worldwide tour in support of the new record. See below for a full list of dates.
Nov. 1 - Philadelphia, PA - Jerry’s on Front Nov. 2 - Washington, DC - Pie Shop Bar Nov. 3 - CourRaliegh, NC - Kings Raleigh Nov. 4 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl Nov. 10 - Kortrijk, BE - Sonic City Festival Nov. 11 - Hamburg, DE - Molotov (Sky Bar) Nov. 12 - Copenhagen, DK - Loppen Nov. 13 - Berlin, DE - BERGHAIN KANTINE Nov. 14 - Utrecht, NL - Ekko Nov. 15 - Le Havre, FR - Mc Daids Nov. 18 - Paris, FR - La Boule Noire Nov. 19 - Lille, FR - La Bulle Nov. 20 - Brussels, BE - Le Botanique Nov. 21 - Colmar, FR - Le Grillen Nov. 22 - St. Gallen, CH Palace St. Gallen Nov. 23 - Lyon, FR - Sonic Nov. 25 - Brighton, UK - The Hope & Ruin Nov. 26 - Bristol, UK - Rough Trade Bristol Nov. 27 - Manchester, UK - YES Nov. 28 - Glasgow, UK - Mono (Glasgow) Nov. 29 - Leeds, UK - The Brudenell Social Club Nov. 30 - London, UK - Oslo Dec. 03 - New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa Dec. 04 - Austin, TX - Barracuda Dec. 05 - El Paso, TX - The Monarch Dec. 06 - Tucson, AZ - Hotel Congress Dec. 08 - Boise, ID - Neurolux Dec. 09 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern Dec. 10 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios Dec. 11 - Arcata, CA - The Miniplex Dec. 12 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Catalyst Dec. 13 - Sacramento, CA - The Blue Dec. 14 - San Fransisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop Dec. 15 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar Dec. 16 - Los Angeles, CA - Lodge Room
1. The powerful juxtaposition of a Western term aimed at ghettoizing other cultures and the English colonial name foisted on Chennai, India; 2. A queer, female, Desi act igniting a revolution because they’re sick of this bullshit
“We really want people who come to our shows to feel like they’ve been punched in the face,” says Contra, one-half of rap provocateurs Cartel Madras, of their FOMO-inducing live shows. “It’s like a riot just passed you, and you’re like, ‘What was that? What did I just experience?’” But also, “‘How do I do that again?’”
Cartel Madras also includes Contra’s sibling, Eboshi—both born in Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and raised in Calgary, Canada. Like their upbringing, their music is a cultural syncretism, a heady mix of trap with punk, house, and South Indian aesthetics that they’ve anointed “goonda rap.” Their second EP is Age of the Goonda, (out November 1st, 2019 on Sub Pop Records), a sonically expansive successor to their first EP, Trapistan, which boasted the party-down hit “Pork & Leek. A manifesto for the times, Age of the Goonda is an in-your-face call to arms for—immigrants, women of color, the LGBTQ+ community, Desis (a.k.a. Westernized Indians)—those who must resist being treated as underdogs.
“Goonda Gold” is the EP’s central pulse, its anthem. “When you hear it, it feels big like you’re watching this crazy-ass gangsta movie,” says Contra. “And it does borrow from certain vintage South Indian filminess.” Rapid-fire in delivery—“Gold on my neck I’m a goonda / Got guns in the air like a junta”—and hastened along by shimmery beats from D.C. Desi upstart SkinnyLocal, it pointedly shows off the duo’s legit rapping skills.
Tacocat know there’s more to October 31st, 2019 than costumes and glitter (so, so much glitter). In recognition of today’s kickoff to the next season of Mercury Retrograde, the band is sharing the astrology-themed new song “Retrograde,” which is out now in all the places you consume digital music such as YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp.
“…a joyous power pop collection of instantly accessible tunes, with a humorous socially conscious slant.” - Louder Than War
“…the band’s most polished record to date.” - The Seattle Times
“…This Mess is a Place anchors itself in moments of hope and brightness.” - NPR
“…This Mess Is a Place is exactly the kind of album we need in 2019. It sounds like rainbow sherbert and friendship bracelets. It eschews irony and defeatism. It calls us all to build a brave, colorful new world together—and have one hell of a good time doing it.” - Paste
This Mess Is a Place, Tacocat’s fourth album and first for Sub Pop, is out now and can be purchased from u.subpop.com/thismess.
Atlanta band Omni will kick off a 40 date world tour, beginning tonight at the Basement in Nashville, TN. These dates will find the group touring through Chicago, Brooklyn, DC, and Raleigh, ending in their home city on Nov. 4th before heading overseas on Nov. 10th in Kortrijk, Belgium with shows in Hamburg, Copenhagen, Berlin, Paris, Lille, Brighton, Glasgow, and London. They will then continue their North American run on Dec. 03rd in New Orleans, with shows in Austin, Tucson, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. See below for a full list of shows. Networker is available for preorder from Sub Pop and features the singles and videos for “Sincerely Yours”, ”Courtesy Call” and ”Skeleton Key”. LP preorders of the album through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America, UK, and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on opaque blue while supplies last.
Oct. 23 - Nashville, TN - The Basement Oct. 24 - Lexington, KY - The Green Lantern Oct. 25 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle Oct. 27 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison Oct. 28 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz Oct. 29 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right Oct. 30 - Brooklyn, NY - Sultan Room Nov. 1 - Philadelphia, PA - Jerry’s on Front Nov. 2 - Washington, DC - Pie Shop Bar Nov. 3 - CourRaliegh, NC - Kings Raleigh Nov. 4 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl Nov. 10 - Kortrijk, BE - Sonic City Festival Nov. 11 - Hamburg, DE - Molotov (Sky Bar) Nov. 12 - Copenhagen, DK - Loppen Nov. 13 - Berlin, DE - BERGHAIN KANTINE Nov. 14 - Utrecht, NL - Ekko Nov. 15 - Le Havre, FR - Mc Daids Nov. 18 - Paris, FR - La Boule Noire Nov. 19 - Lille, FR - La Bulle Nov. 20 - Brussels, BE - Le Botanique Nov. 21 - Colmar, FR - Le Grillen Nov. 22 - St. Gallen, CH Palace St. Gallen Nov. 23 - Lyon, FR - Sonic Nov. 25 - Brighton, UK - The Hope & Ruin Nov. 26 - Bristol, UK - Rough Trade Bristol Nov. 27 - Manchester, UK - YES Nov. 28 - Glasgow, UK - Mono (Glasgow) Nov. 29 - Leeds, UK - The Brudenell Social Club Nov. 30 - London, UK - Oslo Dec. 03 - New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa Dec. 04 - Austin, TX - Barracuda Dec. 05 - El Paso, TX - The Monarch Dec. 06 - Tucson, AZ - Hotel Congress Dec. 08 - Boise, ID - Neurolux Dec. 09 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern Dec. 10 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios Dec. 11 - Arcata, CA - The Miniplex Dec. 12 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Catalyst Dec. 13 - Sacramento, CA - The Blue Dec. 14 - San Fransisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop Dec. 15 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar Dec. 16 - Los Angeles, CA - Lodge Room