We suggest that you click on over and listen to “Your Hollows”, the new track from Heron Oblivion’s self-titled debut, premiering today (please and thanks).
Loud & Quietsays of the track, “‘Your Hollows’ is a six-minute snake of a song culminating in a hurricane of distortion. Baird’s delicate voice still, somehow, manages to rise above it all. It’s impressive stuff (see track premiere Monday, February 1st).”
Heron Oblivion’s previously announced U.S. tour schedule spans February 7th-May 1st. Shows include: February 7th in Portland at Sabertooth Music Festival (with Built to Spill and Mikal Cronin); an album release show on March 3rd in Oakland at Starline Social Club; March 5th in Los Angeles at Resident (with labelmate Morgan Delt); And March 6th in San Diego at ‘Til Two. Additionally, Heron Oblivion will appear at Marfa Myths in Marfa, Texas on March 11th and Austin’s Levitation Festival April 29th-May 1st. (complete dates below.)
The album, which features the highlights ”Oriar”, “Beneath Fields”, ”Your Hollows” and “Sudden Lament”, was produced and mixed by the band in San Francisco at The Mansion.
More on Heron Oblivion from WFMU’s Brian Turner: Pastoral pummel. Listening to Heron Oblivion’s album feels like sitting in a lovely meadow in the shadow of a dam that’s gonna heave-ho’ any minute. Members of this new San Francisco combo have put in time in both raging and relatively tranquil psychedelic sound units—this is the premise and the synergy behind this very unique and special new album (read more at Sub Pop).
Tour Dates: Feb. 07 - Portland, OR - Sabertooth Music Festival (Crystal Ballroom)* Mar. 03 - Oakland, CA - Starline Social Club Mar. 05 - Los Angeles, CA - Resident** Mar. 06 - San Diego, CA - ‘Til Two Mar. 11 - Marfa, TX - Marfa Myths Apr. 29 - May 01 - Austin, TX - Levitation Festival * w/ Built to Spill, Mikal Cronin, Snakes ** w/ Morgan Delt
Low has delivered a new video for “Into You,” a standout from Ones and Sixes, their acclaimed 2015 album. The visual was directed by Jim Burns and Beth Chalmers, and filmed while on location in Glasgow, Scotland.
The directors had this to say of the video: “Inspired by the hypnotic reflections of the River Clyde on the archways beneath Glasgow’s city bridges, this film draws parallels between the power of a single beam of sunlight and the deeply affecting personal experience one feels during Low’s live performance. Despite being part of a crowd, Low’s music invokes within you a profound and unique individual perspective.”
Low’s 2016 tour schedule in support of Ones and Sixes is underway with a show tonight, February 1st in Philadelphia, PA at Johnny Brenda’s and runs through June 11th in Kværndrup, DK at Heartland Festival. New tour highlights include a tour of Australia and New Zealand from April 1st-9th. (see dates below.)
Low’s Ones and Sixes is available for purchase from the Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp. Now completely sold-out through megamart.subpop.com, the limited “Loser Edition” of the double-LP on yellow vinyl and packaged in a variant slipcase cover is available from select independent stores and from the band themselves at upcoming tour dates, while supplies last. There are also two new T-shirt designs available at megamart.subpop.com, both as individual items and as part of CD and LP bundles.
Ones and Sixes garnered year-end praise from the likes of NPR Music (50 Best Albums and “Readers Poll”), Music OMH (#10), MOJO (#13), Drowned in Sound (#16), Under The Radar (#24), The Skinny (#28), Uncut (#37), and Village Voice “Pazz & Jop” (#46). It also earned the group’s first-ever U.K. Top 40 album spot, coming in at #35 on the official albums chart, and entered at #68 here in the U.S. on SoundScan’s Top Current Albums charts. Ones and Sixes also peaked at #7 on the CMJ Top 200 chart.
[Photo Credit :: Zoran Orlic]
What ‘the people’ are saying about Low’s Ones and Sixes:
“It’s one thing for Low to have made a rewarding career of spare, dramatic, glacially paced music…It’s another to make those ingredients sound so incredibly dynamic; to spend 20-plus years making a dozen albums that each feel distinct, and that each introduce new ideas, twists and ways to wring drama out of the space between notes…Throughout Ones and Sixes, the Minnesota trio somehow gives weight to airiness as comfort and discord orbit each other like a binary star. But every time the portent threatens to become overbearing — just as the mix of prettiness and heaviness tips a little too far out of alignment — Low punctures it with a burst of cleansing aggression or some pristine, exquisite surprise. Anything to keep us off balance.” [“First Listen”] - NPR Music
“The band’s strengths are here in abundance, but they are reimagined, twisted into new shapes and given a visceral intensity that is utterly irresistible.” [9/10] - CLASH
“…Striking a balance between their majestic, slow-moving melancholy and harsher experimental noise.” [4/5] - The Guardian
“One of the most impressive albums of their career” [4/5] - MOJO
“‘What Part of Me,’ with its upbeat percussion, fuzzy guitar textures andsweet harmonized lyrics about relationship boundaries (‘What part of me don’t you own?’), feels like a sideways response to the post-1989 maximalism of today’s Top 40; “Into You” is a gospel-inflected, subtly sexy slow jam; and “The Innocents” sets accusatory vocals over a crunching electro-industrial beat, all to excellent effect. Elsewhere, on the gentle, pained duet “Lies,” Low remind us they’re still masters of doing a lot with a little.” - Rolling Stone
”Ones and Sixes is all at once beautiful, ugly, tense, warm, inviting and repellent. It’s an emotional and sonic juggling act where even the slightest bum-note would draw attention to itself. As always with Low, the beauty is all about the details” - Pitchfork
‘Ones and Sixes is an ear-pricking listen.’ [Album of the Week] - The Observer
“Ones and Sixes finds them producing some of their best work in years” - The Quietus
“It’sanothersubtly heart-rending effort from a band that remains one of the very finest in the world. If you needed a reminder of why Low are an institution then this is it.” [8/10] - Drowned in Sound
“Somehow, with each new release (and they come regularly, every two or three years), Low manage to find new ways of protracting their deceptively beautiful melodies.” [4.5/5] - Music OMH
“Ones and Sixes hinges on tension that courses throughout these 12 songs. The drums land with a thud, as if transferred from modern R&B and hip-hop. They anchor songs that crackle with bits of distortion and chiming guitars that somehow feel disembodied from everything surrounding them. Then, in keeping with a signature Low move, there is the spectral spark created by Parker and Sparhawk singing together; their alchemy is otherworldly and downright intoxicating.” - Boston Globe
“With Ones and Sixes they’ve pulled together many of their disparate sides in a masterful survey of what makes them one of the great rock bands of their era.” - Dusted
“Ones and Sixes sees Low churning out some of their most accessible work, with “What Part of Me” having the potential to be an unlikely hit. As ever, strong stuff in every way.” [4/5] - Record Collector
“Low’s always been good at making records where it sounds like every note and beat contains some degree of pain and hope you’ve felt.Sohopefully it’s compelling when this one stands out even more as one of their best.” [8.1 /10] - PASTE
“Low remain as vital as ever” - DIY
“After two decades, a band that could easily feel part of the wallpaper remain hungry to show that you never know what lies beneath” [8/10] - Uncut
“Comfortably ahead of the pop pack” - TheSunday Times
“Masters of transforming emptiness into swelling, sweeping orchestrations of musical and mental noise, Low are truly intense and joyful on their newest exhibition of off-kilter, subterranean pop.” [4/5] -NOW
Feb. 01 - Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s Feb. 02 - Baltimore, MD - Creative Alliance (Seated) Feb. 03 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle Feb. 04 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl Feb. 05 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn Feb. 06 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks Feb. 08 - Houston, TX - Walter’s Downtown Feb. 09 - Austin, TX - The Parish Feb. 10 - Dallas, TX - The Kessler Theatre Feb. 11 - Hot Springs, AR - Low Key Arts Feb. 12 - Nashville, TN - City Winery Feb. 13 - St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway Mar. 12 - Mexico City, MX - Festival NRML Apr. 01 - Wellington, NZ - Bodega Apr. 02 - Auckland, NZ - King’s Arms Apr. 04 - Southbank, AU - Melbourne Recital Centre Apr. 05 - North Fremantle, AU - Mojos Fremantle Apr. 07 - Fortitude Valley, AU - Black Bear Lodge Apr. 08 - Sydney, AU - Oxford Art Factory Apr. 09 - Hobart, AU - Eros & Thanatos (at the Museum of Old and New Art) Jun. 11 - Kværndrup, DK - Heartland Festival * w/ Andy Shauf
Do your ears a favor and click on over to Noisey where you can hear Mass Gothic’s self-titled album (in its entirety!) a full seven days before release. Mass Gothiccomes out next Friday, February 5th, and the band’s previously announced 2016 headlining tour in support of the album begins Thursday, February 4th in Philadelphia at Johnny Brenda’s and currently ends March 19th in Austin at SXSW. (See dates below.)
Noisey says of the album, “Don’t let the name Mass Gothic trick you into thinking the record is a spiral into sadsackism. Each song carries its own weight unreliant and wholly different from the track that came before it, creating a collection of different modes of music and feeling. Songs like “Nice Night” carry an unwavering heaviness and compliment the reflective nature of the lyrics, while the track “Territory” creates a variety of different electronic textures that all stay dancy and catchy. The record is a trip into a variety of different vibes and reasons to listen to music, forming into a wholly memorable and engaging listen. It warps what you think pop, rock, and punk can do when bleeding into each other, one song to the next (see album premiere January 29th-February 5th).”
Mass Gothic also recently shared an official video for “Every Night You’ve Got To Save Me”, the iridescent lead single. This exuberant visual, directed by Addison Post (Colleen Green, Solvey), follows group members Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri on a night out in Manhattan.
Village Voice had this to say about the video: “The four-minute clip follows Heroux as he wanders Chinatown, the East Village, and SoHo, karaoke mic in hand, lip-syncing to the track and going nowhere in particular. Along for the ride are his bandmate (and wife) Jessica Zambri, some random passerby, a few cab drivers, and Sub Pop co-founder Jonathan Poneman…The laid-back feel of the video matches the content (if not the upbeat sound) of the song, which covers Heroux’s feelings of alienation and depression when he was making music that didn’t resonate within. Mass Gothic is an honest record, and its lead single needed an honest video where Heroux could exhale and act naturally”. Watch the video here.
Mass Gothic was also named one of Vulture’s “20 Artists You Need To Know in 2016” and said: “Noel Heroux started off working alone on a four-track, and after nine years and mild success with his old band, dance-rockers Hooray for Earth, he’s gone back to the way he used to do things. This became a necessity, really — a way of dealing with his depression — but the results capture something quintessential about the emotional experience at hand: There are definite highs, and there are definite lows on his self-titled debut as Mass Gothic for Sub Pop. Sometimes Heroux, who’s accompanied at turns by his wife Jessica Zambri, sounds like he’s trying to kick down the doors of his own brain with the sheer force of distorted riffs and heavy echoes and sharp turns. Other times, he’s just trying to shake off the bad stuff with a dance party where the playlist’s almost exclusively synth-pop.”
Meanwhile Q Magazine had this to offer: “Tracks such as the exhilarating “Nice Night” - layered stinging distortion - offer a cathartic energy that’s it’s hard not to be pulled in by. Other highlights include the crisp modern doo-wop of “Every Night You’ve Got To Save Me” an the pulsating digital clatter of “Want To Bad”. The sound of a man finding freedom, it’s an impressive reincarnation.”
[Photo Credit :: Shawn Brackbill]
Mass Gothic will be available on CD / LP / CASS / DL worldwide February 5th through Sub Pop. The self-produced effort was mixed Chris Coady (Beach House, TV on the Radio) and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Preorder is available now from Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, and Google Play. LP preorders from megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited “Loser” edition on banana yellow while supplies last (and they’re going fast!).
Feb. 04 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s* Feb. 05 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop* Feb. 06 - Chicago, IL - Schuba’s Tavern* Feb. 08 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry* Feb. 11 - Boise, ID – Neurolux* Feb. 12 - Seattle, WA - Columbia City Theatre* Feb. 13 - Portland, OR - Bunk Bar* Feb. 14- San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop* Feb. 16 - Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg* Feb. 18 - Denver, CO - Lost Lake* Feb. 19 - Kansas City, MO - Riot Room* Feb. 21 - Louisville, KY – Zanzabar* Feb. 22 - Cincinnati, OH - MOTR Pub* Feb. 23 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Café* Feb. 25 - Allston, MA - Great Scott* Feb. 26 - Providence, RI - Columbus Theatre* Feb. 27 - Brooklyn, NY – Palisades* Mar. 10 - Washington, DC - Black Cat Mar. 12 - Savannah, GA - Savannah Stopover Mar. 16 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 17 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 18 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 19 - Austin, TX – SXSW *w/ Mazed
Noisey had this to say of ”Chicken ‘n’ Dump”: “Delivers on the promise of the Kunka/Melvins pairing, fixing Mike’s hellacious, chugging low end to Buzz Osborne and the boys’ thick racket, banging out a riff as joyous and as it is punishing (see premiere January 26th).”
Most of Three Men and a Baby was recorded in 1999 at Louder Studios by Tim Green (The Fucking Champs), and it was finished in 2015 at Sound of Sirens by Toshi Kasai.
About Mike and The Melvins: Three Men and a Baby is the new album by Mike and the Melvins. It was supposed to come out sixteen years ago.
These are the facts we can be sure of: in 1998, around the time his band godheadSilo went on hiatus, bassist/vocalist Mike Kunka busied himself by tagging along on a tour with his friends the Melvins. Somewhere along the way, Mike and the Melvins – King Buzzo (guitar/bass/vocals), Dale Crover (drums/vocals), and Kevin Rutmanis (bass/vocals), at the time – decided to make a record together, and gave the project the imaginative moniker Mike and the Melvins. Sub Pop, ever on the hunt for music’s Next Big Thing, enthusiastically agreed to fund and release the super-group’s debut, and recording commenced sometime in 1999.
It’s at this point that things get hazy. Apparently, one or more of the following happened: · Some “junior-high level bullshit.” · A house was built, a barn was raised, children were born. · Typical record-label skullduggery. · A scorching case of whooping cough. · Surgery. Lots of surgery. · Shocking and poorly-timed gear theft. · Some other stuff, probably, or maybe not.
Whatever the reasons, the incomplete recording languished on a shelf from 1999 until 2015, when, much to everyone’s surprise, the involved parties reconvened, finished the damn thing, and delivered it post-haste to Sub Pop International Headquarters, where it was promptly scheduled for the coveted April 1st, 2016 release date. What a story, right?
So, about the record: It’s real good! Mike’s signature bass crunch and vocals are all over it, and the Melvins are in fine form. It has everything from hefty noise-rock churn to a Public Image Ltd. song to cough-syrup blues to deconstructed black metal. Neither Melvins nor godheadSilo fans will be disappointed, nor will detractors of either; to paraphrase Mike, if you don’t like it, it probably wasn’t meant for you (read more at Sub Pop).