Today, August 1st, Greek artist Σtella (pronounced Stella) has shared a new standalone single entitled “Girl Supreme.” This song was recorded at Havabanana Studio in Athens, Greece, and produced by Σtella with mixing and additional production work by Edmund Irwin-Singer from the band Glass Animals.
Σtella says of this infectious new bop: “Learning how to use ‘on’ and ‘in’ and ‘at’ got me chasing after ‘Girl Supreme.’ And prepositions got me thinking about propositions – when a casual encounter becomes a fateful affair.”
“Girl Supreme” follows the 2022 release of her Sub Pop debut, Up and Away. An album where the Athens-based painter, visual artist, and performer updated authentic Greek pop - using traditional folk melodies and instruments like the bouzouki and kanun - fed through synths, 80s pop, laid-back psychedelia, and dusty mid-century 45s. Up and Away garnered International support from Paste, Gorilla vs. Bear, Brooklyn Vegan, Mojo, Uncut, Loud & Quiet, and The Line of Best Fit, who said, “Σtella’s honey-rich vocals overlie a crisp, no-frills backing that has echoes of classic ’60s pop.”
Σtella has confirmed a 5-date EU/UK run in August. This string of dates begins on Aug. 14th in Winterthur, Switzerland, with additional club dates in Germany & the UK, ending on Aug. 18th at the Green Man Festival in Brecon Beacons. See below for a complete list of shows.
Mon. Aug. 14 - Winterthur, CH - Winterthurer Musikfestwochen Tue. Aug. 15 - Nuremberg, DE - Z-Bau Wed. Aug. 16 - Frankfurt, DE - Tanzhaus West Thu. Aug. 17 - London, UK - Moth Club Fri. Aug. 18 - Brecon Beacons, UK - Green Man Festival
What people have also said about Σtella:
“Σtella hooks up with London producer Redinho here to conjure an elegant and sophisticated union of vintage Greek music…and sleek modern pop.” - [“Up and Away”] Gorilla vs Bear
“It’s a blending of classic songwriting, aligned with familiar instrumentation, and fueled with modern vocals and strangely somber ambiance. The bass and guitar riffs are captivating and keep the ears plastered for more. Her somber vocals sway into a soft gale that transports the listener to a ruminating landscape.” - [“Charmed”] Impose
“This is the pop we need; considered, vital, comforting, spiritual.” - The Quietus
“Future-retro pop perfection” - DJ
“simply irresistible” - Electronic Sound
“seductively melodic blend of Hellenic pop and hazy, shimmering Eastern Mediterranean vibes” - Shindig
“…gorgeous fourth album.” - (4/5) MOJO
“…Infectious disco-infused art-pop.” - I-D
“Bold, streamlined pop” - PASTE
“Intoxicating Greek pop.” - UNCUT
“There is an enchantingly vintage pop sparkle to Σtella’s music, epitomised by the new album’s superlative title track, its spritely, 1960s chanson airiness evoking the spirit of France Gall or Francoise Hardy, while the bouzouki-led backing arrangement lends the unmistakable flavour of Σtella’s home country ” - LOUD & QUIET
A few weeks ago, Rick Froberg from Hot Snakes and Obits (and Drive Like Jehu, and Pitchfork) unexpectedly, shockingly died. We’re so grateful to have had the privilege to work with and know him. And, if possible, we’d like to help people remember or revisit (or visit for the first time - man, I envy you…) some of the music he (and his bandmates) made. It’s really unrivaled. So, we asked a few friends, folks who work here, and some of the other artists we work with to give us their picks, tell us why they chose the songs they did. It’s an incomplete list. We’ll try to add to it, or find other excuses to tell you about this stuff. We’ve only just started and we really miss him.
“I know that a mouthful of spit and germs
Is all I got to share with you
But I need your love” - Hot Snakes “Light Up the Stars”
What follows here are some of the picks and “why”s we received. The actual playlists include a lot more songs, because there are a lot more incredible songs in Rick’s catalog, certainly more even than we included.
You can (and should) listen to these playlists here:
Jon Strickland (Sub Pop) - Pitchfork - “Thin Ice” from the Saturn Outhouse 7”/EP: Bought the Saturn Outhouse 45 when I worked at Leopold’s in Berkeley, must have been 1990, mainly cos the mysterious cover art (by Froberg) reminded me of R. Crumb. Being a Norcal snob, thinking of San Diego in terms of Chandler – “one of the most beautiful harbors in the world with nothing in it but navy and a few fishing boats” – I was amazed to find a great Amerindie band from there, who sounded like all my favorite SST bands. First few notes of “Thin Ice” sealed the deal; the acoustic breakdown at the end still gets me.
Jeremy Devine (Temporary Residence) - Drive Like Jehu – “Caress” from Drive Like Jehu (https://youtu.be/cnSkGoHEmOo): My friends who had introduced me to Drive Like Jehu in late ’91 were obsessive Pitchfork fans, but I’d missed them entirely, so this was the first time I ever heard Rick’s voice. I’ve probably played this album – and this song in particular – well over 500 times in my life. There is still something so singular and magical about the first Drive Like Jehu record that I’ve never really heard or felt since. I remember years later when I first met Rick in person, I had a hard time looking at him without thinking, “You’re the guy who made THAT. That’s YOUR voice that’s been rattling around in my brain all these years.” What a gift.
Nabil Ayers (Beggars Group) - Drive Like Jehu - “If It Kills You” from Drive Like Jehu: From the moment I first heard it, “If It Kills You” by Drive Like Jehu has remained etched in my brain as Rick’s magnum opus. Clocking in at just over seven minutes, this masterpiece plows through distinctly different musical movements, seamlessly blending together and peaking each time Rick’s blood-curdling voice screams the chorus. And despite its craziness, everything about the song—from the repetitive bass riff to the percussive guitar clicks—is somehow super catchy.
Bekah Z Flynn (Sub Pop) - Drive Like Jehu - “Here Come the Rome Plows” from Yank Crime: …one of my all-time favorite album openers. It’s loud, abrasive, and raw, pulsating a lyrical immediacy. Yank Crime is about as perfect as an album gets, and Rick changed the way I listened to and consumed music. He was a musical hero, a true OG, and I’m grateful we were buds. May it always rain Bialys on you, friend.
Gabe Carter (Sub Pop) - Drive Like Jehu - “Do You Compute” from Yank Crime: It’s got that searing triumphant ostinato part that I think Rick plays and then the rest of the band sidles in behind him. That song got us through so many long tour drives.
AND: Hot Snakes - “10th Planet” from Automatic Midnight...
Megan Jasper (Sub Pop) - Drive Like Jehu - “Do You Compute” from Yank Crime: There are so many great songs to choose from but I’m picking “Do You Compute” because it’s just a perfect song. I love its hypnotic opening and build. I don’t really enjoy being screamed at by anybody but I’ll always love being screamed at by Rick.
Randall Huth (Pissed Jeans) - Hot Snakes - “10th Planet” from Automatic Midnight: Up until around the year 2000, I was really only interested in fast hardcore from the early ‘80s. Automatic Midnight really hit at the perfect time for me. The playing on this record is really fantastic. The way the guitars work with one another is beautiful. So many fantastic, unique melodies. It gave me a totally different perspective of what punk is, what it could be.
Alex Edkins (METZ and Weird Nightmare) - Hot Snakes - “No Hands” from Automatic Midnight: This one gets me every time. When I think of Hot Snakes, this is the song I think of. This is sheer rock n’ roll power. The opening guitar riff paired with Rick’s perfect vocal is just untouchable. When I was living in Ottawa, before METZ existed, roughly half of the Ottawa punk scene drove down to Montreal to see the Snakes at La Sala Rosa. That venue seemed huge to me at the time (couple hundred people) and it was packed. That show is burned into my brain. It was, to this day, one of the best rock shows I’ve ever seen. John and Rick didn’t say a word, they didn’t stop once between songs, not once. It was a seamless onslaught of perfect song after perfect song at breakneck speed. The place went absolutely nuts. We left the venue covered in sweat (unavoidable even if you weren’t dancing) and smiling ear to ear. We started hugging each other, even strangers. Everyone was in disbelief of what they had just witnessed. I know this sounds like hyperbole but I swear to you it’s true. We were cheering and hugging like our favourite sports team had just won the championship, I’ve never experienced anything like it since.
Chris Jacobs (Sub Pop) - Hot Snakes - “Light Up the Stars” from Automatic Midnight: “Turn on the waterworks right now, I ain’t laughing.”
Carly Starr (Sub Pop) - Hot Snakes - “Plenty for All” from Audit in Progress
Bradley Fry (Pissed Jeans) - Hot Snakes - “Plenty for All” from Audit in Progress: I feel so very fortunate to have been able to meet Rick, talk with him and play shows with Hot Snakes. For me, the song that sticks out is “Plenty for All,” because it’s my absolute favorite Hot Snakes song and probably one of my top 10 songs ever. I don’t even know what to describe about it besides it being perfect. Every chord change, every word, just outstanding. In February 2020, we were fortunate to play the Empty Bottle in Chicago with Hot Snakes. I still have a video on my old phone that I took of them playing “Plenty for All” and it’s just so powerful. It makes me wonder if he knew how amazing and captivating he was to watch perform. A few weeks later, the world shutdown for Covid and there was a long time where I thought that was gonna be my last show. But how could anyone be upset if the last live band they got to see was Hot Snakes. That show in Chicago is even more special to me now.
Chris Stealy (Sub Pop) - Hot Snakes - “Braintrust” and “US Mint” from Thunder Down Under
Josh Machniak (Sub Pop) - Obits - “Milk Cow Blues” from I Blame You: When I first moved to Seattle in 2008, one of my first shows I saw here was Obits in some unnamed art loft/workspace, I think it was off Alaskan Way near Pioneer Square. It was the only show I saw there. I distinctly recall a local band called Coconut Coolouts opened, one of the drummers would later become a co-worker of mine. I also recall seeing Mark Arm at this show. There being no stage really, I stood behind/aside Rick’s small combo amp the entire performance. I’m pretty certain they closed with a semi-extended version of “Milk Cow Blues.” I really love the Jehu-esque off-time stress in the choruses, amidst a classic sped-up blues style progression over the entirety of the song. Afterwards, I casually thanked Rick, as he was breaking down his gear, for their performance and he was very kind, thanking me for being there.
Steve Turner (Mudhoney) - Obits - “Let Me Dream If I Want To” b/w “The City Is Dead” 7”: I’m going with The Obits 7” of “Let Me Dream If I Want To” b/w “The City Is Dead.” Both are covers, NYC’s Mink DeVille on the A side, and Belgium’s legendary The Kids on the flip, because the songs someone chooses to cover can say a lot about their point of view and aesthetic. Willie DeVille had that gritty NYC street poet vibe and was just COOL, while The Kids had such a youthful exuberance for punk rock and were an awful lot of fun. Definitely two of Rick’s many sides.
Vish Khanna (Kreative Kontrol) - Obits - “Two-Headed Coin” from I Blame You: Most of the times I interviewed Rick, we were on the telephone and usually when I asked him about his clever lyrics, I could kinda hear him rolling his eyes at me. The truth is, Rick was one of the best songwriters to ever do it. His narrative gifts and knack for picking up on compelling bits of history and human behaviour for cool song fodder were uncanny. He also had a voice that could convey rage and bemusement at once (among other things) and “Two-Headed Coin” has always been one of my favourite performances. A conspiratorial tale about what is likely nothing more than a U.S. mint mistake, and yet, the fuck-up might pass through a million pockets, like a metallic virus. What an idea! Rick’s voice is way up in the mix, there’s so much venomous soul in every line delivery, and the phrasing choices fucking rule too. Meanwhile, this song is also amazingly incredulous comedy; it’s so angry but the wit of it makes me laugh. Rick was just the best singer and writer—it’s bonkers.
Guy Maddison and Dan Peters (Mudhoney - same picks) - Obits - “I Can’t Lose” b/w “Military Madness” 7”: “I Can’t Lose” is one of the best and most unusual pop punk songs there is IMO. The subject matter is nicely juxtaposed with its flipside “Military Madness” (a Graham Nash cover). Rick’s voice is so great on both tracks. I asked him once about “I Can’t Lose” and he said it was a very tough song to sing. (GM)
Nick Duncan (Sub Pop) - Obits - “Taste the Diff” from Bed & Bugs: I was an intern at Sub Pop when Obits released Bed & Bugs, and “Taste the Diff” was the first time I had ever heard Rick Froberg’s inimitable howl. Rick’s voice ran me over like a combine, all grinding gears and churned-up dirt. The way that opening line grabs you by the hair makes it an all-time favorite album opener for me.
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 singles “Sub” and “Build a Bridge” comes the snapping rhythm and gray-sky synths of “Tele.”
Deeper say about the single and video:” ‘Tele’ is a song without its shield. In past Deeper compositions, we would hide behind jerky guitars and abstract vocals telling a story only we could decipher. With ‘Tele’ we wanted to explore the vulnerability behind our music and give focus to the melody and mood of the song. Replacing guitars with synthesizers and drums with samplers we stumbled upon a new way to approach a Deeper song.
We wanted to make a darker track that people could dance to. Since the foundation is built on a sampler beat, it’s the kind of song we could’ve only created with the limitations of the pandemic. The electronic components left more space for the rhythm, so our engineer Dave started playing with a busier bass line for the verses and laid down the hook on the first pass. At the end we wanted the synth parts to constantly overtake one another and hopefully make the listener feel like they’re being swallowed into the song.”
What people have been saying about Deeper: ” ’Sub’ finds Deeper settling into its most polished sound yet, one that’s finally ready for the indie-rock big leagues. But even when the grit that defined its earlier work is toned down a bit, Deeper’s music can’t be stripped of an angsty zeal.” [“Sub”] NPR
“accurately recalls that stubborn, left-field streak Chicago artists so readily call their own.” - [“Sub”] CLASH
“With a steadfast rhythm guitar swarmed by Televsion-esque riffs, “Build a Bridge” is a majestic, dark and massive rock song.” - [“Build a Bridge”]PASTE
“Pop melodies drive “Build a Bridge,” but they’re undercut with Deeper’s classic pointed, jittery guitars that make the track at once catchy and a little unnerving.” - [“Build a Bridge”]CONSEQUENCE
Sub Pop has released the 30th-anniversary edition of Six Finger Satellite’s The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird, the group’s underground classic and debut full-length from 1993, with a brand new, fully remastered CD and double-LP reissue.
Formed in 1990 in Providence, Rhode Island by J. Ryan (singer/keyboards), John MacLean (guitar), Peter Phillips (guitar), Chris Dixon (bass), and Rick Pelletier (drums), Six Finger Satellite quickly signed to Sub Pop and released the band’s first demo tape as the Weapon EP.
Following Weapon, Dixon left the group and was replaced by Kurt Niemand, and the band quickly jumped into making their debut full-length with Bob Weston (of Shellac, who later named a single The Bird Is the Most Popular Finger in honor of Six Finger Satellite). Released in 1993, The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird was the first release to truly capture the adventurous, biting spirit and sound of Six Finger Satellite.
The album is a landmark of noisy, distressing post-punk, drawing influence from Gang of Four, The Birthday Party, and Wire while adding a healthy dose of the band’s own, unique sonic antagonism. Amongst the brittle rock tracks, The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird has dashes of ahead-of-their-time keyboard and studio experiments that became more prominent on the band’s later albums, presaging LCD Soundsystem, DFA Records, and much of the early-2000s post-punk revival.
All Music offers this, “This is the band’s rawest record, featuring the least amount of studio gadgetry and manipulation. J. Ryan’s voice bears no effects or bizarrely buried/contorted trickery, sounding hoarse and anxious throughout. Nonetheless, it certainly sets the table for the band’s love of noise and lunacy, combined with a healthy splash of bizarre humor. Hardly any other indie band at the time was doing this.”
In 2008, Pitchfork rightly called The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird “one of the best noise-rock records of the ‘90s,” writing that “the transitions from silly to searing highlight Six Finger Satellite’s unpredictable and caustic approach… this was the first of several examples of them spurning underground trends, and their most exhilaratingly bitter pill to swallow.”
The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird, featuring a new cover design by Dare Matheson, is now available from Sub Pop. LP orders from megamart.subpop.com, select independent retailers in North America, and the UK and EU, will receive the limited Loser edition on Red and Blue vinyl.
Six Finger Satellite The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird
Tracklisting: 1. [Untitled] 2. Home for the Holy Day 3. [Untitled] 4. Laughing Larry 5. [Untitled] 6. Funny Like a Clown 7. [Untitled] 8. Deadpan 9. [Untitled] 10. Hi-Lo Jerk 11. [Untitled] 12. Love (via Satellite) 13.[Untitled] 14. Save the Last Dance for Larry 15. [Untitled] 16. Solitary Hiro 17. [Untitled] 18. Neuro-Harmonic Conspiracy 19. [Untitled] 20. Takes One to Know One 21. [Untitled] 22. [Untitled] 23. Takes One To Know One 24. [Untitled]
Today, Lael Neale is sharing the official video for “White T-Shirt,” a new song available now on all DSPs and recorded during the Star Eaters Delight sessions, her acclaimed album of 2023, released earlier this spring. The song was written and composed by Neale and produced and mixed by Guy Blakeslee.
Blakeslee says of the song, “‘’White T-Shirt’ dates back a number of years to when I used to follow Lael around LA to all of her barely publicized performances. The song never ceased to silence the chatter in the room. There was nothing I could add to this performance, it’s a raw gem that stands alone and cuts through the noise.”
Lael Neale has also extended her international tour schedule for 2023 in support of Star Eaters Delight, which resumes Tuesday, July 11th in Prague, CR at Zluté Lazné and currently runs through Friday, September 29th in Seattle, WA at The Paramount Theatre.
Highlights for the summer and fall run include UK & European dates supporting Ben Howard (July 11th-July 23rd), U.S. Pacific Northwest dates with label mate Weyes Blood (September 27th-29th), and new UK & European headlining shows (September 6th-16th). A current list of dates is below, and tickets for these shows are on sale now.
Tue. Jul. 11 - Prague, CR - Zluté Lazné * Wed. Jul. 12 - Warsaw, PL - Progresja Summer Stage * Fri. Jul. 14 - Berlin, DE - Zitadelle * Sat. Jul. 15 - Hamburg, DE - Stadtpark * Mon. Jul. 17 - Munich, DE - Tonhalle * Tue. Jul. 18 - Zurich, CH - X-Tra Podium * Fri. Jul. 21 - Glasgow, UK - SWG3 Yard * Sat. Jul. 22 - London, UK - Alexandra Palace Park * Sun. Jul. 23 - Cardiff, UK - Cardiff Castle * Wed. Sep. 06 - Rotterdam, NL - Roodkapje Thu. Sep. 07 - Utrecht, NL - Ekko Fri. Sep. 08 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Upstairs Sat. Sep. 09 - Asten-Heusden, NL - Misty Fields Festival Mon. Sep. 11 - Bristol, UK - Crofters Rights Tue. Sep. 12 - Brighton, UK - The Prince Albert Wed. Sep. 13 - London, UK - Moth Club Thu. Sep. 14 - Dublin, IE - The Workman’s Club Sat. Sep. 16 - Leffinge, BE - Leffingeleuren Festival Wed. Sep. 27 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theater ^ Thu. Sep. 28 - Eugene, OR - McDonald Theatre ^ Fri. Sep. 29 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theater ^
* w/ Ben Howard ^ w/ Weyes Blood
The beguiling Star Eaters Delight reveals an expansion of Neale’s sonic collaboration with producer and accompanist Guy Blakeslee and arrives on the heels of her Sub Pop debut Acquainted With Night, which won international acclaim for its crystalline vocals, clever songwriting, and excellent use of Omnichord to build a world of beautiful reveries.
In April of 2020, Lael moved from Los Angeles back to her family’s farm in rural Virginia. Looking at the world from a distance and getting in tune with her own rhythms, she wrote and recorded steadily for two dreamlike years, driven by a need to make order out of chaos. Forged in isolation, Star Eaters Delight is a vehicle for returning, not just to civilization, but to celebration. She explains: “The unbroken silences on the farm compelled me to break them with sound. This album is louder and more external, calling out to the world.”
Star Eaters Delight was written by Neale, with arrangements and production by Guy Blakeslee. The recordings were made on cassette in Virginia and mastered by Chris Coady in Los Angeles.
What people are saying about Lael Neale’s Star Eaters Delight: “A unique, boldly weird proposition, and one that proudly carries the faint hint of tractor grease. Half of it comes on like cult 70s folk artist Karen Dalton hanging out with the Velvet Underground and Suicide, while the rest offers somewhat more modern balladry, placing her more in the world of Angel Olsen and Cat Power.” - THE GUARDIAN
“Spellbinding” ★★★★★ - SHINDIG!
“There’s something a little haunting about her voice, it helps too that she writes primarily on the Omnichord, which has a little bit of spookiness built into it. But this is kind of an album for Luddites about how to exist in a world that demands too much of your attention and how you can be intentional about the way you move through it. It was recorded on cassette, which I love because it brings a real warmth to it, and a real presence of being in the room, which I think really delivers that message home.” “New Music Friday: The Best Releases Out April 21st” - NPR MUSIC
“…An excellent new album” - STEREOGUM
“Neale has placed her trust in life’s meanders—and in its source—and the result is her best work yet: a golden mean between experimentation and pop, lo-fi and hi-fi, vitality and rest.” - PASTE
“Neale is imaginative, but she’s steeped in songwriting craft and she knows her way round a whopping chorus.” ★★★★ - MOJO
“Star Eater’s Delight…was recorded on cassette, and tape hiss acts like a third band member here. She sings of flowers, rivers, seas, and trees; holy water, perfect deaths; bells of time, patience, and the speed of medicine. Carried by words and rhythm, she’s barreling towards something just beyond the horizon.” - AQUARIUM DRUNKARD
“Neale has put together a tight package of an album with no stray notes but one also brimming with a sly multitude of ideas. Kudos to Neale for not playing it safe and simultaneously doing something wholly different than anyone else out there.” 9/10 - UNDER THE RADAR
“This collection of versatile songs acts as a tour of different neighborhoods in the beautifully smeary nocturnal dream world Neale began building on her last album.” ★★★★ - ALL MUSIC
“A collection of songs with the weight and conviction of hymns. Some have a more spare, lo-fi feel, with Neale’s voice accompanied by vintage instruments, including her signature mellotron, but the real centerpiece is the eight-minute “In Verona,” which brings a real sense of urgency to its invocations of Shakespeare.” “Notable Releases of the Week” - BROOKLYN VEGAN
“An elegantly spare showcase of her radiant voice, a tremulous yodel tinged with gospel and country inflections. Bathed in antique analog acoustics, spine-tingling ballads of romantic yearning....” - UNCUT