Walt Wagner’s Reworks – an album of renditions popularized by the likes of Band of Horses, DJ Shadow, My Bloody Valentine, Prince, Fleet Foxes, Phoenix, and more – is available now on CD / LP / DL worldwide from Sub Pop. The veteran pianist recorded the songs live on October 9th, 2016 at the famed Canlis Restaurant in Seattle, Washington [purchase here].
Charles Darwin said it best: adapt or die. Okay, maybe that’s not an exact quote, but the great English scientist was definitely on to something. Organisms that respond over time to the ever-changing environment are more likely to survive and thrive.
While you may not find this crazy idea in Junior’s textbooks these days, it’s audible in every facet of Walt Wagner’s Reworks. With its distinctive renditions of songs popularized by DJ Shadow, My Bloody Valentine, Fleet Foxes, and more, this live recording of the beloved pianist’s farewell performance shows how three Seattle institutions – Wagner, Canlis restaurant, and Sub Pop Records – have evolved over the years.
When veteran pianist Wagner first landed at Canlis in 1996, the Emerald City’s premiere destination for fine dining was in the midst of significant changes: a new chef, new uniforms, modifications to its iconic building overlooking Lake Union. That required a fresh approach to dinner music, too. “I knew what the status quo was, but the owners wanted new energy,” recalls Wagner.
Although he started out with a set heavy on the Great American Songbook and the occasional pop tune, that gradually gave way to more adaptations of modern fare. “Increasingly I kept working in more new, edgier music. In the beginning my sets were 90 percent standards. In the last few years, I was mostly playing very contemporary music.”
As young staff members recommended new artists and songs, Wagner’s repertoire grew deeper and more varied – especially after the next generation of the Canlis family took over in 2003. Yet whether the source material was Pink Floyd, Prince, Metallica, or the Weeknd, the challenge remained the same: “To distill the vibe on a record, the very essence of a song, into solo piano playing.” Performances as memorable yet tasteful as the cuisine, interiors, and views of Canlis [read more at Sub Pop].
1. Building Steam With a Grain of Salt (DJ Shadow) 2. I Only Said (My Bloody Valentine) 3. Desiree (The Left Banke) 4. Mykonos (Fleet Foxes) 5. 1901 (Phoenix) 6. Bondye (Goat) 7. No One’s Gonna Love You (Band of Horses) 8. Purple Rain (Prince) 9. The Funeral (Band of Horses) 10. Ever Fallen In Love (Buzzcocks)
Loma, the new project comprised of Jonathan Meiburg, best known as the singer of Shearwater, and Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record, will release their self-titled debut album on February 16th via Sub Pop. A product of a joint pilgrimage around the globe by fellow touring musicians, it’s a beautifully detailed and emotionally rich album that reveals a band obsessed with songs as sound. Today, the trio presents the video for the album’s final song and lead single, “Black Willow.”
[Photo Credit: Bryan C. Parker]
Meiburg, Duszynski and Cross became friends when Cross Record, on their first-ever tour, supported Shearwater throughout America and Europe in 2016. “I couldn’t believe all that sound was coming out of two people,” he says. “They were mesmerizing.” In the van or at soundchecks, they shared their musical knowledge and love of nature and animals, and after an especially memorable show in Belgium, Meiburg approached Cross and Duszynski about working together. “I fell in love with their music,” he admits, “and I wanted to know how they did it.”
The trio convened in a house in the Texas hill country to see what would happen, and quickly realized an album was imminent. “There was something powerful about the combination of the three of us,” Meiburg says, “and very different from either of our bands. But I think we were afraid to say so out loud, for fear of jinxing it.” For the next few months, Loma met for two weeks at a time, shaping and revising new songs and casting others away.
It was also a strangely charged time. When the album began, Cross and Duszynski were a married couple, but their relationship ended during the sessions—an atmosphere Meiburg found both challenging and inspiring—and the isolated house became the album’s muse. Dogs wander by the microphones; the sounds of birds and wind in junipers and live oaks hover at the borders of the songs, and a close listen reveals cicadas and frogs from a nearby stream. Except for Cross’s translucent voice in the foreground, there were no assigned roles on the album; each member of the trio played every instrument as needed.
This feeling of freedom let buried energies find expression. Cross wrung catharsis from Meiburg’s lyrics and melodies, while Duszynski immersed himself in the sonic details of engineering and mixing. In the end, the record became a document of an urgent and ephemeral place and time, and the strength that comes with letting go of something precious. It closes, fittingly, with the subtly defiant marching anthem of “Black Willow,” in which Cross’s voice, backed by a hypnotic bass and drums, offers a lesson in survival. “When I walk,” she sings, “I carry a diamond blade.” She means it.
Loma is now available for preorder from Sub Pop and select independent retailers right here. North American preorders of the limited Loser edition will be available on clear vinyl with red and black swirlies (while supplies last), and a lovely new t-shirt design will also be available.
1. Who Is Speaking? 2. Dark Oscillations 3. Joy 4. I Don’t Want Children 5. Relay Runner 6. White Glass 7. Sundogs 8. Jornada 9. Shadow Relief 10. Black Willow
Dinner Party Download performance at The Moore Theatre in Seattle on Thursday, November 16th
Kyle Craft’s Full Circle Nightmare [preorder here], his highly anticipated second album, will be released worldwide on February 2nd, 2018 from Sub Pop. The 10-track album was produced by Chris Funk (of the Decemberists), with mixing by Trevor Spencer and the Helio Sequence’s Benjamin Weikel and Brandon Summers. Full Circle Nightmare is the follow up to Dolls of Highland, his acclaimed debut.
Album highlight “Heartbreak Junky” is the first offering (and cinematic lyric video) from Full Circle Nightmare. Directed by the One Hundred/Swanson Studio team, the visual brings an already vivid album cover to life.
The Full Circle Nightmare front and inside gatefold images were shot by brothers Peter and Laki Karavias. The cover art concept was born from an idea Craft had that incorporated imagery from the lyricism found throughout the album. “Once everyone all piled into the room, it took a different turn,’ Craft says. “Some of the lyrical elements stuck around on the cover and on the inside fold, but for the most part it just turned into a small party and my pals Peter and Laki caught some perfect moments.”
The Louisiana-bred, Portland, Oregon-based Craft has earned notices for his observational storytelling talents, his incredible stage performances, and his uniquely compelling voice. Since the release of Dolls of Highland, he and his band have toured the US multiple times, both as headliners and supporting the likes of Fruit Bats and Drive-By Truckers, and Kyle has made repeat guest appearances at Newport Folk Fest.
Between the extensive touring and working on Full Circle Nightmare, he’s delivered both new material (the politically-charged “Before the Wall”) and beautifully earnest covers (the recently-released Girl Crazy covers series; Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel No. 2”).
Full Circle Nightmare is a straight-up, rollicking rock’n’roll album; it traverses all the different nuances of the genre; it’s a timeless piece that could exist in any of the past five decades. All the songs were written over a year, and eventually, Craft took them into a studio run by Chris Funk. It was the first time he worked with a proper set-up. He was used to making all his music in his room with the aid of a laptop. “I always wanted to go to a legitimate studio and do what my all my old heroes did,” Craft says. “We did it live with the band.” The joy of the experience is palpable. It evokes a never-ending night out in a sweaty saloon bar: bottomless rounds, endless packs of cigarettes and hours dancing to the jukebox (read full bio at Sub Pop).
Full Circle Nightmare is now available for preorder from Sub Pop and select independent retailers [see here], and will be available in the following formats:
LP gatefold jacket with custom dust sleeve
CD digipack with poster insert
North American preorders of the limited Loser edition will be available on maroon vinyl with a black swirl (while supplies last), and we also have a new T-shirt design with this release.
Kyle Craft has scheduled his first appearance in support of Full Circle Nightmare at the Dinner Party Download’s live event at Seattle’s Moore Theatre on Thursday, November 16th, 2017. For more information on tickets, please visit STG Presents website [link here]. Craft has also scheduled two Pacific Northwest week of release shows for 2018: Seattle’s Tractor Tavern on February 1st and Portland’s Doug Fir on February 2nd.
Nov. 16 - Seattle, WA - The Moore Theatre Feb. 01 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern Feb. 02 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
What “The People” have said about Kyle Craft: “Sounds like: A swamp bar jukebox loaded with British glitter and Seventies Southern rock; a crawfish boil aboard ELO’s spacecraft…it’s Craft’s vocal intensity that outlasts all else” - Rolling Stone
“His voice carries southern cadences, and his songs revolve around distinct characters and situations that could only be from that town by the Mississippi. But you also hear the influences of David Bowie, under whose spell Craft fell at a young age, and of Craft’s adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon.” - World Cafe
“…Craft’s music is so full of its own weird singularity that he’s onto something far beyond idol worship. “- Billboard
“His songs illustrate how the intense religiosity and voodoo-infused mythology of the South make it fertile turf for the sort of colorful characterization and freak-scenery on which glam rock was founded.” - Pitchfork
Craft displays the full prowess of his vocal range, hitting high notes that hark back to glam rock vocals of the ’70s” - American Songwriter
“…a head-turning mix, a sort of pop-art take on Southern gothic, and highly infectious.” - Uncut
“One of the most distinctive new voices in rock.” - SPIN
+ European Tour Begins This Friday November 10th in Groningen, NL.
2017 was an incredible year for Jesca Hoop. She released the stunning Memories Are Now, her Sub Pop debut and best reviewed album to date.Hoop released videos for the beautifully stark “The Lost Sky” and the album’s ebullient title track. She’s embarked on wildly successful US and European tours, and appeared on the Prairie Home Companion and Charlie Rose.
To close out the year, Jesca has shared her new video for “Pegasi” which was directed by Rachel Blumberg. Love is written in the stars and sky, in this delicately crafted multi-plane video which is comprised of cut paper and illustrated stop motion footage.
Jesca Hoop Tour Dates + Ticket Links
Jesca Hoop and bandmates’ European tour begins Friday, November 10th in Groningen, NL at Lutherse Kerk and currently ends December 9th in Leeds, UK at Brudenell Social Club. The European tour will include stops in Germany, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, and multiple cities throughout the Netherlands, Sweden, France and U.K. (including London’s Union Chapel on December 1st). Please visit jescahoop.com/tour for updates.
Nov. 10 - Groningen, NL - Lutherse Kerk Nov. 11 - Utrecht, NL - Le Guess Who? Festival (Theater Kikker) Nov. 12 - Ghent, BE - Minard Nov. 13 - Haldern, DE - Haldern Pop Bar Nov. 15 - Lund, SE - Mejeriet Nov. 16 - Oslo, NO - John Dee Nov. 18 - Gothenburg, SE - Pustervik Nov. 21 - Angers, FR - Joker’s Pub Nov. 22 - Pau, FR - La Ferronnerie Nov. 23 - Paris, FR - Chorus Festival Nov. 26 - Guildford, UK - Boileroom Nov. 27 - Birmingham, UK - Hare & Hounds Nov. 28 - Manchester, UK - The Stoller Hall Nov. 30 - Bristol, UK - Thekla Dec. 01 - London, UK - Union Chapel Dec. 02 - Brighton, UK - The Haunt Dec. 03 - Milton Keynes, UK - The Stables Dec. 06 - Dublin, IE - The Workmans Club Dec. 07 - Belfast, UK - The Strand Arts Centre Dec. 08 - Glasgow, UK - King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut Dec. 09 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
Memories Are Now, featuring the highlights “The Lost Sky” [link here], the aforementioned “Pegasi” and the title track [link here], was recorded at NRG Studios, produced by Blake Mills (Alabama Shakes), engineered by Eric Caudieux, mixed by Greg Koller and mastered by Ian Sefchick at Capitol Mastering. Memories Are Now is available on CD / LP / DL / CS worldwide from Sub Pop [link].
What have “The People” been saying about Memories Are Now? Well, since you asked… “Hoop has been a free spirit, but with Memories Are Now, she understands exactly when to use the bridle and bit on these wild, wise songs.” [4/5] – MOJO
“Her most complete and refined statement yet, a boisterously declarative album that’s urgent and at times seditious.” - Pitchfork
“One of her best albums to date. Stunning.” - The Sunday Times
“This project has an air of rebirth to it. Hoop and her producer, Blake Mills, have worked to minimize her trademark lush arrangements to make Memories more reminiscent of a live setting. The spare “Animal Kingdom Chaotic” is built around fingerpicked string-work and typewriter clicks. Its Americana-leaning follow-up, “Simon Says,” relies only on a lightly distorted six-string, an upright bass and Hoop’s layered harmonies.” - PASTE
“In both content and construction, Jesca Hoop’s songs practically burst with ideas: They’re as strange and smart and heartfelt as they are gorgeous, and that’s saying something.” [Memories Are Now, “First Listen”] - NPR Music
“…A raw representation of Hoop’s formidable songwriting talents.” [Memories Are Now] - MAGNET
“Memories Are Now is built on stacked voices, sparse rhythm and twisted folk shapes, but the execution varies pleasingly, from the Native American blues of “Cut Connection” to the autumnal bucolia of “Songs Of Old.” [Memories Are Now, 8/10] - Uncut
“Past, present, and future rest patiently before Hoop, and she’s weaved them all into her most endearing album yet.” [Memories Are Now, 10/10] - Drowned in Sound
“Memories Are Now is a gorgeously delivered elegy to heartbreak and loss; powerful, perfectly executed songs to bring comfort and strength to the weary, broken and scorned.” [Memories Are Now, 5/5] - The Skinny
“There is something compellingly unique and hard to pigeonhole here.” - [Memories Are Now, 4/5 ‘Album of the Week’] - The Guardian
Listen: “So We Did” [from “Buyer’s Remorse” Oct. 17] Spotify / Apple
Listen: “Brokenomics” [from “The Filibuster” Oct. 10] Spotify / Apple
Listen: “Right Here” [from “Pilot” Oct. 3rd] Spotify / Apple
New episode airs tonight at 9:30/8:30c on ABC, and new songs will be available every Friday preceding each new episode… through Apple Music and Spotify
Sub Pop is releasing music from The Mayor, the new hit TV show starring Brandon Micheal Hall, Lea Michele, and Yvette Nicole Brown, created Jeremy Bronson and executive produced by Daveed Diggs (of Sub Pop’s own, Clipping.).
The Mayor airs Tuesdays at 9:30pm | 8:30pm CT on ABC. Songs will be available every Friday, preceding each Tuesday night episode, throughout the season.
Songs from The Mayor soundtrack are performed by Brandon Micheal Hall (aka Courtney Rose) and members of the cast, and written by Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes (of the group Clipping).
About The Mayor:
Young rapper Courtney Rose needs his big break. For years, he’s toiled away in a small inner-city apartment, making music in his junk-filled bedroom closet. Tired of waiting for opportunity to knock, Courtney cooks up the publicity stunt of the century – running for mayor of his California hometown, Fort Grey, to generate buzz for his music career. But his master plan goes wildly awry, ending in the most terrifying of outcomes: an election victory.
The series stars Brandon Micheal Hall as Courtney Rose, Lea Michele as Valentina Barella, Bernard David Jones as Jermaine Leforge, Marcel Spears as T.K. Clifton and Yvette Nicole Brown as Dina Rose.
Executive producers of the series are Daveed Diggs, Jeremy Bronson, Jamie Tarses and James Griffiths. “The Mayor” is produced by ABC Studios.