Earlier this year, CHAI released WINK, their Sub Pop debut that “maintain[s] the unwavering commitment to self-love and community that makes their music so endearing” (Pitchfork). This embracement of community is often found in their electric live shows, and today, CHAI announce their WINK TOGETHER NORTH AMERICA TOUR, plus a sold-out west coast run supporting Mitski. Tickets for their headline dates are on sale this Friday at 10am local time here. For a preview of what to expect at one of CHAI’s fun, aesthetic driven shows, watch the tour trailer below.
CHAI TOUR DATES (NEW HEADLINE DATES)
Fri. Feb. 4 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Sat. Feb. 5 - Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
Sun. Feb. 6 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Wed. Feb. 9 - Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
Fri. Feb. 11 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Sat. Feb. 12 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry
Sun. Feb. 13 - Washington, DC @ Union Stage
Tue. Feb. 15 - Brooklyn NY @ Elsewhere
Thu. Feb. 17 - Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel * - SOLD OUT
Fri. Feb. 18 - Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz * - SOLD OUT
Sat. Feb. 19 - Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern * - SOLD OUT
Mon. Feb. 21 - Birmingham, AL @ Iron City * - SOLD OUT
Tue. Feb. 22 - New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theatre * - SOLD OUT
Thu. Feb. 24 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Outside Lawn) * - SOLD OUT
Fri. Feb. 25 - Dallas, TX @ The Bomb Factory * - SOLD OUT
Sat. Feb. 26 - Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater * - SOLD OUT
Mon. Feb. 28 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren * - SOLD OUT
Wed. March 2 - Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Expo Hall * - SOLD OUT
Thu. March 3 - Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Expo Hall * - SOLD OUT
Fri. March 4 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater * - SOLD OUT
Sat. March 5 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater * - SOLD OUT
Mon. March 7 - Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall * - SOLD OUT
Wed. March 9 - Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre * - SOLD OUT
Thu. March 10 - Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre * - SOLD OUT
Sat. March 12 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
Sun. March 13 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Tue. March 15 - San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo’s 365 Club
Thu. March 17 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
*= supporting Mitski
PRAISE FOR WINK
“Chai is a professional purveyor of whimsy.” - New York Times
“[CHAI] have reimagined their songcraft for cozy dance music. With their creative process reduced to Zoom and phone calls, they traded in their maximalist pop for a more groove-friendly sound, inverting the CHAI formula to great effect.” - New Yorker
“challenging your expectations is a key tenet of this band.” - NPR Music
“Inspired by the varied genres they were listening to at home, WINK injects the effervescent energy of their past dance-punk work into funk, chiptune, and more.”
“This is the year CHAI breaks through like never before.” - Complex
“WINK looks to possess a glitzy, glossy appeal all its own, incorporating EDM and R&B in gleefully idiosyncratic ways.” - AV Club
“Whelan is as equally expressive and in command on the minimalist piano ballads as on the full-blown rockers… the best music Whelan has ever made.” – New York Times
“This is exciting, dynamic, hooky indie rock and if it’s not quite a Wrens song, that doesn’t make it any less great.” – Brooklyn Vegan “… a heartening return to form from Whelan.” – Consequence of Sound
Following his return to music after more than a decade, Kevin Whelan of AEON STATION is offering another look into his upcoming debut album Observatory(release date: December 10, 2021 via Sub Pop) with the release of the second single “Leaves”. Premiering today on Pitchfork, the track is a very special piece for one of the main songwriters of iconic indie rock band The Wrens. “‘Leaves’ is about finding the courage to leave negative people or situations behind. It is not about giving up or feeling defeated. It’s about learning self-love, finding your voice, and setting on a path for a chance at something better.”
After roughly 18 years since The Wrens’ Meadowlands (2003) left the indie rock world in a daze, Whelan surprised last month with the release of “Queens,” the first single from Observatory. Pitchfork points out that its “reliable Pixies-indebted soft-loud dynamic roars to life in thrilling distorted guitar riffs that remind me of old Weezer B-sides, and just as the song comes to a close, Whelan bursts into a barroom acoustic strummer that slowly fades.” UPROXX added, “The five-minute single starts off slowly but locks into place with crashing percussion and hard-driving guitar. From a sonic perspective, it’s quite the ‘we’re back’ proclamation.” Stereogum called the track “exhilarating” while MXDWN lauded it as “a hypnotic rock song that features an explosive chorus, ripping guitars and ethereal vocal lines creating a mesmerizing wall of sound.”
More than a decade in the making, Observatory is an album about the perseverance of the soul, not scared of vulnerability but not backing down to adversity either. The album pushes Whelan forward from his previous band’s sound, highlighting the gorgeous music pastiches he layered into those songs and amplifies them to soaring heights. With help on assorted tracks from his Wrens bandmates Jerry MacDonald (drums) and Greg Whelan (guitar) and producer/guitarist Tom Beaujour, this collection of tracks shines a bright light on his songwriting. “It’s the best I’ve done and may ever do frankly,” Whelan states. “It’s written over such a long period of my life. Music I did in the past was tinged with expectations or presumptions, but this time, it was just for me.”
About Observatory: Aeon Station’s Observatory is an epic statement more than a decade in the making, with miles of timeless melodies and the kind of overpowering songwriting that will reaffirm your belief in life itself. Longtime Wrens member Kevin Whelan’s first solo album draws heavily from the perseverance of the soul, resulting in rock music possessing an infectious and inspiring sonic uplift. If you’re familiar with Whelan’s past work, these ten tracks bear a certain and unmistakable familiarity—but they also mark an exciting new chapter in Whelan’s musical career, as he steps out with more vulnerability than ever before.
Observatory came together carefully for Whelan—over the course of 14 years, specifically, as clusters of demos and sketches were eventually assembled and recorded largely by Whelan himself, with assistance from Wrens’ bandmate Jerry MacDonald and Greg Whelan as well as Tom Beaujour in his Union City recording space. Additionally, his wife Mary Ann provided backup vocals. “It’s the best I’ve done and may ever do frankly,” Whelan states. “It’s written over such a long period of my life. Music I did in the past was tinged with expectations or presumptions, but this time, it was just for me.”
The long gestation of Observatory means that a lot of lived experience went into making this album. As time passed, Whelan got married, started a family, and moved to the Asia Pacific region for a period of time; at 15 months old, his son (now eight) was also diagnosed with autism, and the title of Observatory itself is inspired by Whelan’s own relationship with his son. “The moment you’re told your child is not ‘neurotypical,’ your whole world expands in ways you never imagined,” he explains. “Even though he doesn’t speak much at all, or look at anyone directly, you can see him observing everything around him. The album title reflects upon the stories within the songs — each one observing a certain situation or feeling.”
Whelan’s scope of musical vision on Observatory is wide open and free with possibilities—at once recalling the reflective wisdom of Bruce Springsteen, Broken Social Scene’s huge anthemic burn, and the Wrens’ own pulsing-with-life take on rock music. Above all, this is music not only for dreamers but for those who realize and appreciate the enormity of every moment. “It’s about never letting go about those dreams and your passion,” he states. “The album starts from a place of realizing that everything is temporary, what we love eventually changes or leaves us, and regardless we continue to search and find our way back home.”
The pounding “Queens” builds to a truly thrilling climax of huge guitars and frantic drumming, while the steady build of “Leaves” is accompanied by Whelan’s reflections on “Being lost and then found”: “It musically captures the album as it starts small and intimate, crescendos into a peak both musically and lyrically, and then settles down into a repeating mode of a hopeful but uncertain mantra about the future,” he explains while discussing the song’s themes and creation.
Then there’s the gleaming harmonies of “Fade,” a song about breaking past your own insecurities to discover what’s on the other side. “Whether you limit yourself because of your own fears and insecurities, or because what others think and say,” Whelan says, “The song is about when you stop waiting and start believing deeper in your own path.” Observatory ends with the hushed and lush “Alpine Drive,” with Whelan’s voice lit by pinwheel plucked piano strings—a tender moment that packs as much power as the nine songs that come before it.
“I hope people feel a sense of strength when they hear this album,” he states while discussing his artistic aims as a whole. “Most importantly, I hope that it connects to them in some personal way.” And if you’ve ever caught air in your lungs or felt your heart beating in your chest, there’s no doubt that you’ll find some level of connection with Observatory’s open-hearted, instantly classic-sounding rock.
Aeon Station - Observatory
Tracklisting: 1. Hold On 2. Leaves 3. Fade 4. Everything at Once 5. Move 6. Queens 7. Empty Rooms 8. Air 9. Better Love 10. Alpine Drive
Lael Neale’s “For No One For Now,” which Under the Radar calls “strangely haunting and hypnotic,” is a standout from Acquainted With Night, her acclaimed Sub Pop debut from earlier this year. Today, we’re sharing a remix of the song by experimental pop act U.S. Girls, which amplifies Lael’s vocal and recreates the song’s backbeat with finger snaps, percussive and electronic elements into a minimal glitched out, bassy track.
Lael Neale is also sharing new, European and UK dates for 2022 in support of Acquainted With Night which begin Saturday, January 29th in Aalborg, Denmark at Northern Winterbeat Festival and ending on Saturday, February in Manchester, UK at Gullivers. Tickets for these shows are on sale now.
Preceding these shows are Lael’s California and European festival shows for 2021, which resume this Saturday, October 16th in Sonoma, CA at Huichica Festival and run through Friday, November 19th in Paris, France at Pitchfork Music Festival Paris.
Fall 2021 Sat. Oct 16 - Sonoma, CA - Huichica Festival Sun. Oct. 17 - Mill Valley, CA - Sweetwater Music Hall Tue. Oct. 19 - Santa Ana, CA - The Constellation Room ^ Wed, Oct. 20 - Los Angeles, CA - The Lodge Room ^ Thu. Oct. 21 - Los Angeles, CA - Zebulon ** Wed. Nov. 10 - Lorient, FR - Les IndisciplinéEs Festival Fri. Nov. 12 - Utrecht, NL - Le Guess Who? Festival Sat. Nov. 13 - Kortrijk, BE - Sonic City Festival Tue. Nov. 16 - Katowice, PL - Ars Cameralis Festival Fri. Nov. 19 - Paris, FR - Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
Winter 2022 Sat. Jan. 29 - Aalborg, DK - Northern Winterbeat Festival Sun. Jan. 30 - Copenhagen, DK - Huset-KBH Tue. Feb. 01 - Hamburg, DE - Aalhaus Wed. Feb. 02 - Berlin, DE - Monarch Thu. Feb. 03 - Munich, DE - Heppel & Ettlich Fri. Feb. 04 - Baden, CH - One of A Million Festival Sat. Feb. 05 - Düdingen, CH - Bad Bonn Mon. Feb. 07 - Luxembourg, LU - Rotondes * Wed. Feb. 09 - Lille, FR - Le Grand Mix * Thu. Feb. 10 - Nantes, FR - Stereolux Fri. Feb. 11 - Orleans, FR - L’Astrolabe * Sat. Feb. 12 - Rouen, FR - Le 106 * Mon. Feb. 14 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Noord (Tuinzaal) Tue. Feb. 15 - Brussels, BE - Le Botanique (Witloof Bar) Thu. Feb. 17 - London, UK - St. Pancras Old Church Sat. Feb. 19 - Manchester, UK - Gullivers
* w/ Anna B Savage ** w/ Entrance Band ^ w/ Wet
Acquainted With Night features ten tracks and includes the standouts “Blue Vein,”“Every Star Shivers in the Dark,” “For No One For Now,” and the title cut. The album was composed and arranged by Neale, produced and mixed by Guy Blakeslee, and mastered by Chris Coady.
Acquainted with Night is available on CD/LP/CS/DSPs through Sub Pop.
What people are saying about Lael Neale Acquainted With Night: “Who knew the world was lacking a country-folk version of Broadcast until now?” - ★★★★ MOJO
“With her Omnichord, the singer/songwriter exposes the nerve endings of her songs.” ★★★★★ - Musikexpress
“This album reminds listeners that life is full of beauty not in spite of, but because of, the ordinary details of every day.” [8/10] - Loud & Quiet
“…an intimate, lo-fi set of songs that seem unearthed from the dusty vaults of time.” ★★★★ - The Forty Five
“The simplicity is part of what makes her record so beautiful; just her voice, her words, her electric guitar, and her omnichord are enough to put the listener in a trance.” - SPIN
“The result is the urgent melodies and unadorned instrumentals on Acquainted With Night, a collection of songs that’s disarmingly poetic in its simplicity.” - The AV Club
“Her lyrics are intuitive, meandering between memory and fantasy. As she ponders the rituals of the mundane – folding sheets, making toast, watching strangers in the street – her old-timey vocals and country-folk melodies make gorgeous, placid trails, gently crackling on the four-track tape.” - The Guardian
“Stripped of frills, young Lael Neale sings the starry nights of her native Virginia. With grace and grit. And the soul of an old bluesman. Lael Neale confirms her talent with an intense second album.” - ffff, Télérama
“With a celestial voice stripped of any artifice, Lael Neale skillfully blends romance and the banality of life with brilliant songs of drama and humor.” - Les Inrocks
“…There is a raw, unvarnished energy screaming throughout these 10 tunes.” [8/10],Northern Transmissions
“Lael Neale’s second album weaves intimacy with dreamy, Omnichordal magic.” - Secret Meeting
“A collection of intimate, powerful, and incredibly relatable songs, Acquainted with Night paints a portrait of solitude that resonates with the current state of the world.“ - Monster Children
“She’s back with another new track, the entrancing “For No One For Now.’ Like Neale’s prior single, this one is minimal and reflective while maintaining a strong backbeat. But rather than build to a cathartic breakthrough, ‘For No One For Now’ lingers in the unresolved tension, less a song than an atmosphere to exist inside.” - Stereogum
“‘For No One For Now’ was inspired by Joan Didion’s imagery of the San Fernando Valley, but recrafted beautifully through Neale’s poetic songwriting and Omnichord instrumental.” - PASTE
Tracklisting: 1. Blue Vein 2. Every Star Shivers in the Dark 3. Acquainted with Night 4. White Wings 5. How Far Is It to the Grave 6. For No One For Now 7. Sliding Doors & Warm Summer Roses 8. Third Floor Window 9. Let Me Live by the Side of the Road 10. Some Sunny Day
Suki Waterhouse has released a brand-new single, “Moves” which comes with a visually stunning video directed by Cameron McCool. The track is the first to be released off her forthcoming full-length album, due out in 2022 via Sub Pop. “Moves” is Executive Produced by Grammy-Nominated Producer & Songwriter Brad Cook (Bon Iver, War On Drugs, Snail Mail, Waxahatchee). “Moves” is accompanied by companion track “My Mind,” a song that shows off Suki’s beautiful, airy vocals.
“…songs that linger with you long after they’re over” - NME
“[Moves is] a hazed out, guitar-heavy daydream” – NYLON
Suki Waterhouse catalogs the most intimate, formative, and significant moments of her life through songs. You might recognize her name or her work as a singer, songwriter and actress, but you’ll really get to know the multi-faceted artist through her music. Growing up in London, Suki gravitated towards music’s magnetic pull and always saw the medium as a way of expressing creativity and telling stories. Previous singles “Brutally”, “Good Looking” and “Valentine” drew comparisons to the Paisley Underground sound of Mazzy Star and to the 60s influenced girl group reimagining of bands like Stockholm’s The Concretes and Glasgow’s Camera Obscura.
Megan Jasper, CEO of Sub Pop said, “Suki’s songs are smart, radiant, and incredibly engaging, much like her personality. We knew the minute we heard them that they were important and needed to be out in the world. Sub Pop is over the moon to be working with her!”
“Moves” illuminates the nuances of her sound. With gentle guitar strumming throughout the verses and a rhythmic bass permeating the chorus, Waterhouse warns she might “put some goddamn moves on you” with beautiful, haunting vocals. “Moves” is a song that dreams about the impossibility of, one day, being struck by a person who changes the course of your life.
“Moves” is a song I first started writing one night on the couch, picking up the guitar and seeing what came out,” writes Suki. “It was a moment where I felt the urge to both sever a bond of connection with somebody and yet at the same time pursue and put my trust back in love.”
You can now hear new Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 6 contributions from Jeff Tweedy and TV Priest, out today worldwide on all DSPs from Sub Pop.
“C’mon America” is the A-side to Jeff Tweedy’s single, and is from an unreleased group of songs with mostly sci-fi lyrics. Meanwhile “UR-60 Unsent,” the B-side, is a pitiful tale of an unsent lovesick mixtape, taken from a separate batch of unreleased songs with mostly pitiful lyrics.
As the founding member and leader of the Grammy Award-winning American rock band Wilco, and before that the co-founder of the alt‐country band Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy is one of contemporary music’s most accomplished songwriters, musicians, and performers. He has released three solo albums, written original songs for eleven Wilco albums, and is the author of two New York Times’ Best Sellers, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, etc. and How To Write One Song. Jeff’s most recent solo album, Love Is The King, was released in 2020, and this past year has seen the launch of his Substack Newsletter, Starship Casual. Jeff lives in Chicago with his family. TV Priest’s “All Thing” is the B-side from their contribution to the series, and follows the release of “Lifesize,” the single’s A-side, released last month.
TV Priest’s Charlie Drinkwater says “‘All Thing’ is a subversion of the Anglo Saxon word for parliament or meeting (Althing or Thing). It asks questions about the power of groupthink and ideas of nationhood that have become static, non-inclusive and singular.”
Having played festivals curated by the likes of IDLES and Sports Team, as well as Manchester Psych Fest this summer, TV Priest returns to the stages of the UK and France this October and November, with appearances at Sirens Festival in Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as the Pitchfork Festival in Paris. The band will then share the stage with A Place to Bury Strangers in North America in early 2022. See here for a full listing of dates, with more headline shows and news of their forthcoming record to be announced soon.
The Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 6 series includes twelve subscription-only 7” singles by an exciting array of artists, including John Waters, Duma, LIDS, Washed Out, Hand Habits, BNH Deluxe, Porridge Radio, Sheltered Workshop Singers, and more. Only 1,000 subscriptions are available, and the series is nearly sold out. Hear music from the series via the Singles Club playlist, and subscribe here!