On April 30th, 2021, Sub Pop will release Indian Yard, the debut record from Sitka, Alaska project Ya Tseen. Indian Yard is an intense illumination of feeling and interconnectedness. Following the group’s debut offerings, “Close the Distance”, and “Knives” (feat. John Baldwin Gourley of Portugal. The Man), comes their latest single “Synthetic Gods.” Hinging on verses from Shabazz Palaces and Stas THEE Boss, “Synthetic Gods” is sonically seductive, a tense reflection on crisis that summons the pressure needed to ensure Indigenous sovereignty and power to the people.
Ya Tseen’s Nicholas Galanin is one of the most vital voices in contemporary art. His work spans sculpture, video, installation, photography, jewelry, and music; advocating for Indigenous sovereignty, racial, social, and environmental justice, for present, and future generations. For Galanin, memory and land are inevitably entwined. His most recent installation for Desert X 2021, on view through May 16, 2021, entitled Never Forget has garnered international media acclaim including from outlets such as The New York Times, TheLos Angeles Times, The Desert Sun, Galerie Magazine, and Time Out. The 45-foot letters of Never Forget reference the Hollywood sign, which initially spelled out HOLLYWOODLAND and was erected to promote a whites-only development. Its timing coincided with a development in Palm Springs that also connected to the film industry: Studio contracts limited actors’ travel, contributing to the city’s rise as a playground and refuge of the stars. Meanwhile, the white settler mythology of America as the land of the free, home of the brave was promoted in the West, and the landscape was cinematized through the same lens. Never Forget asks settler landowners to participate in the work by transferring land titles and management to local Indigenous communities. The work is a call to action and a reminder that land acknowledgments become only performative when they do not explicitly support the land back movement. Not only does the work transmit a shockwave of historical correction, but also promises to do so globally through social media. In connection with this installation, Galanin has organized a Go Fund Me account to benefit the Native American Land Conservancy (NALC.) You can contribute here.
The North American deluxe edition on clear vinyl is now available for preorder. The deluxe packaging will include a 24-page hardcover LP-sized book with covers featuring a sci-fi landscape populated by a toddler-wearing artist Merritt Johnson’s sculpture Mindset, a VR headset woven from sweetgrass. The interior art was designed by Galanin. This deluxe edition will be available while supplies last.
Tracklisting: 1. Knives (feat. Portugal. The Man) 2. Light the Torch 3. Born into Rain (feat. rum.gold and tunia) 4. At Tugáni 5. Get Yourself Together 6. Close the Distance 7. We Just Sit and Smile Here in Silence 8. A Feeling Undefined (feat. Nick Hakim and Iska Dhaaf) 9. Synthetic Gods (feat. Shabazz Palaces and Stas THEE Boss) 10. Gently to the Sun (feat. Tay Sean) 11. Back in That Time (feat. Qacung)
On May 7th, 2021, Sub Pop will release Tallahassee; Archive Series Volume no. 5, the lost-in-time debut album from Iron & Wine. A collection of songs recorded over a two-year (1998-99) window during which Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam attended Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts. Three years later, Iron & Wine would issue The Creek Drank the Cradle and begin a run of records widely praised as being part of a new blueprint in the singer-songwriter genre.
Tallahassee doesn’t attempt to re-write history but instead aims to document the very first steps in Beam’s journey to becoming one of America’s most original and distinctive artists.
The eleven-song collection was culled from a number of recordings that had been (mostly) forgotten by Beam himself but had been preserved by former roommate and one-time Iron & Wine member, EJ Holowicki. Holowicki, whom went on to work as a sound designer at Skywalker Sound, was a catalyst in making sure Beam documented these songs while the two were roommates in a house on St. Augustine St. near campus. In addition to serving as both engineer and bassist, Holowicki also worked as an archival producer in preparing the tracks for official release.
Tallahassee, with its sparse instrumental canvas and live-in one-room takes, is very much akin to early Iron & Wine releases, TheCreek Drank the Cradle, The Sea & The Rhythm, and In the Reins. From the wandering country-esque tempo of “Calm on the Valley” to the more mid-tempo Harvest-era vibe of “This Solemn Day”, the seeds of the portrait of an artist as a young man are all present. While still in its formative stages, the lyrical imagery and intimate musical nature that has become a trademark of the Iron & Wine “sound” is present and represented throughout Tallahassee.
Early music file-sharers have long claimed ownership of a number of early Iron & Wine recordings, many that still have yet to be officially released. While this record will not quite correct all the wrongs of the early days of the internet, it will fill in many of the blanks for long-time fans.
Tallahassee is part of the official Iron and Wine Archive Series. It will be released on LP/CD/CS/DSPs and is now available for preorder from Sub Pop. LP preorders from megamart.subpop.com, Iron & Wine’s official website, select independent retailers in North America, the U.K. and EU will receive the limited Loser edition on yellow-splattered vinyl (while supplies last).
Iron & Wine Archive Series Volume No.5: Tallahassee
Tracklisting: 1. Why Hate the Winter 2. This Solemn Day 3. Loaning Me Secrets 4. John’s Glass Eye 5. Calm on the Valley 6. Ex-Lover Lucy Jones 7. Elizabeth 8. Show Him the Ground 9. Straight and Tall 10. Cold Town 11. Valentine
Beginning on July 31st in Columbus, OH, Bully will embark on a 10 date North American run with shows in, Nashville, Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, and Seattle, ending on September 11th at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. These dates are in support of the band’s critically acclaimed 2020 release, SUGAREGG.
To celebrate their impending tour dates, you can now watch a full-band performance of the lead single “Where to Start” filmed at Drkmttr in Nashville, TN. SUGAREGG was one of the best-reviewed albums of 2020, receiving accolades from the likes of The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, CLASH, DIY, Alternative Press, Nashville Scene, Spin, Stereogum (“Album of the Week”), and Bandcamp (“Album of the Day”).
At radio, SUGAREGG peaked at #1 on the NACC 200 college radio for three weeks. The album also reached #1 on the SubModern commercial specialty chart. Support at radio is coming from many big stations including Sirius’s “ALT NATION” and “XMU,” Music Choice, The Current and GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, KEXP in Seattle, Radio Milwaukee, and many more!
SUGAREGG was produced and mixed by John Congleton and Bully’s Alicia Bognanno, with additional production and mixing by Graham Walsh, recorded at Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, and Palace Sound in Toronto, Ontario, and mastered by Heba Kadry.
SUGAREGG is available worldwide from Sub Pop.
Tour Dates: Jul. 31 - Columbus, OH - Skully’s Music Diner Aug. 14 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge Aug. 20 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn Aug. 21 - Atlanta, GA - The EARL Aug. 26 - St Louis, MO - Off Broadway Aug. 28 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle Aug. 30 - Milwaukee, WI - Back Room at Colectivo Aug. 31 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Hall Sep. 04 - Seattle, WA - Neumos Sep. 11 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theatre
What people are saying about SUGAREGG: “Bognanno may be continuing a great tradition, but it provides a framework for catharsis that is deeply personal and candour that feels truly progressive.” ★★★★ - The Guardian
“SUGAREGG is confident and assured.” ★★★★ -NME
“The record flows, hitting knee-skinning highs like “Stuck in Your Head” (“I just wanted to pick up the tempo!” Bognanno sing-songs as the band counts off), barn-burners like “You” (about, it seems, an absent parent) and the hauntingly discordant “Hours and Hours.” Whatever the subject matter, whatever the tempo, each track finds Bognanno full-throated, wild and free…their most self-assured album yet.” ★★★½ -RollingStone
“SUGAREGG shows a musician at the top of their game, unafraid to take themselves a little less seriously than before.” ★★★★½ -The Forty Five
“When push comes to shove, SUGAREGG goes far to ease and maintain the cool in encountering happy sentiments and combine them with a fuck-it-all attitude. It is the blistering irresistibility of what is achieved at that point, which makes this record striking and inescapable.”[8/10] -CLASH
“This is joyous bubblegum grunge…Alicia Bognanno’s voice is as mesmeric and feral as ever, and her band sound simply, effortlessly, gigantic…you’re going to be rotting your teeth on SUGAREGG for weeks.” ★★★★ - NARC
“It’s a product full of joy, not maddening, but genuinely uplifting and encouraging. It’s also the best thing Bognanno has written. As the public is becoming increasingly accustomed to performances composed of lies and consistent sleight of hand, it’s rewarding to see someone go in the opposite direction and peel back the layers, revealing a freer and more transparent artistic self. It clearly hasn’t been easy, but on this basis, it certainly seems worth it.” - The Line Of Best Fit
“The most explosive collection of songs from Bognanno’s discography.” - Under the Radar
“…The songs on SUGAREGG feel like the singer, songwriter, guitarist, engineer and producer has reached a new level of comfort in her relationship with herself.” - Nashville Scene
Tracklisting: 1. Add It On 2. Every Tradition 3. Where to Start 4. Prism 5. You 6. Let You 7. Like Fire 8. Stuck in Your Head 9. Come Down 10. Not Ashamed 11. Hours and Hours 12. What I Wanted
Flock of Dimes’ Head of Roses, which features “Two,” “Price of Blue,” “Hard Way,” and “One More Hour,” is available today worldwude on CD/CS/DSPs and on LP April 30th, 2021. The album was produced by Nick Sanborn (Sylvan Esso) and Wasner at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC, engineered by Bella Blasko with additional engineering by Sanborn, mixed by Ari Picker and Blasko, and mastered by Huntley Miller. The album features appearances from guitarist Meg Duffy, Bon Iver’s Matt McCaughan, Wye Oak’s Andy Stack, and Landlady’s Adam Schatz. Head of Roses follows the release of Like So Much Desire, her acclaimed digital EP released June 2020 on Sub Pop.
Head of Roses, and singles “Two” and “Price of Blue,” have seen praise from outlets like The Guardian, who say, “Her solo album out in April is superb. This sweetly shuffling [“Two”] is so rich in charm.” Uncut offers this, “An album that is as deeply introspective as it is creatively bold and ambitious (8/10).” The New York Times had this to say, ‘Can I be one? Can we be two?’ Jenn Wasner asks on her stirring new single…‘Two’ is driven by an irregular beat, as if to mirror the hesitant questioning of its lyrics. Even when she’s being somber or ruminative, Wasner has a touch of gallows humor, as when she muses memorably, ‘We’re all just wearing bodies like a costume til we die.’” Stereogum says, “Between the restrained LIke So Much Desire EP last year and the bubbly, infectious ‘Two,’ the lead single from her forthcoming album Head of Roses, it’s become clear that Flock Of Dimes has room for whatever songs Wasner wants to write and whatever stories she wants to tell. So that brings us to “Price of Blue,” a breakup reckoning that finds Wasner tapping into the autumnal, reflective rock sound that’s always been such a mesmerizing side of her songwriting.” Meanwhile, PASTE calls “Price of Blue” a “six-minute masterpiece of psychedelic guitar riffs and haunting vocal…,” and Guitar World raves, “Jenn Wasner is a bewitching guitarist… Head of Roses will find Wasner elevating her already otherworldly playing to new heights.”
Flock of Dimes’ Head of Roses, which features “Two,” “Price of Blue,” “Hard Way,” and “One More Hour,” will be available on CD/CS/DSPs on April 2nd, 2021, and on LP April 30th, 2021. The album was produced by Nick Sanborn (Sylvan Esso) and Wasner at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC, engineered by Bella Blasko with additional engineering by Sanborn, mixed by Ari Picker and Blasko, and mastered by Huntley Miller. The album features appearances from guitarist Meg Duffy, Bon Iver’s Matt McCaughan, Wye Oak’s Andy Stack, and Landlady’s Adam Schatz. Head of Roses follows the release of Like So Much Desire, her acclaimed digital EP released June 2020 on Sub Pop.
“More than anything she’s released before, Head of Roses makes room for the multiplicity of Wasner’s artistic voice. None of the singles sound anything alike — not the springy, off-kilter pop of ‘Two’ nor the slow-burning, psych-rock of ‘Price of Blue’ — and none of them quite prepare the listener for the gorgeously subdued second half of the album, which features several of the most stirring ballads Wasner has ever recorded. The common element holding all of these disparate parts together is her luminous, jewel-toned voice.” [Feature] - New York Times
“her second full-length outing, Head of Roses, is a triumphant signifier of professional and personal growth.” ★★★★ - The Independent
“An album that is as deeply introspective as it is creatively bold and ambitious.” [8/10]- Uncut
“[Head of Roses] sees her incorporating her multifarious musical styles into a bright fusion of organic, dreamy rock and electronic pop.” [“22 albums we can’t wait to hear in April”] - The AV Club\
“Head of Roses is no less powerful for its simplicity, as its songs move from hushed to explosive and back again, becoming more than the sum of their parts in the process.” [“The 10 Albums We’re Most Excited About in April”] - PASTE
“The best material from the North Carolina artist’s prolific musical universe in years.” - SF Chronicle
“On Head Of Roses Wasner still manages to deliver an album that feels both highly individual and effective in what it tries to do. It also subtly extends the sense of musical reinvention which has been ongoing since the direction-pivoting Shriek.” ★★★★ - MusicOMH
“Wasner’s sculpting of emotive music through sound and texture rather than key is special, and Head of Roses is by far her most successful rendering of it.” - The Line of Best
“Wasner’s command of grace for herself and others ultimately becomes a source of soothing as Head of Roses unfolds. Layers push aside to reveal a core scented with forgiveness and healing. Flock of Dimes has become the vehicle for Wasner’s most personal reflections, which makes it the one to treasure most.” - Under the Radar
“An empathic singer, whose supple vocal sounds are partly obscured here by loops and electronics or resonant layers of Eno’d guitars, which take the edge off this raw and heart-sore break-up LP.” - MOJO
Flock of Dimes Head of Roses
Tracklisting: 1. 2 Heads 2. Price of Blue 3. Two 4. Hard Way 5. Walking 6. Lightning 7. One More Hour 8. No Question 9. Awake for the Sunrise 10. Head of Roses
Japanese quartet CHAI reveal a new single/video, “Nobody Knows We Are Fun,” from their forthcoming album, WINK, out May 21st on Sub Pop. It’s the third single off of the album released thus far, following “Maybe Chocolate Chips” (Feat. Ric Wilson) and “ACTION.” CHAI are known for their fun, vibrant music videos, and “Nobody Knows We Are Fun” is no exception. Directed by Hideto Hotta, the video is cinematic and polished, showing the band adorned in colorful outfits and settings. The track was inspired by an at-home activity: YUUKI was watching 2019’s Booksmart when she had the idea for the song. (The movie’s whip smart protagonists decide to attend a party before high school graduation after realizing, “Nobody knows we’re fun!”) “I thought, ‘We, CHAI, can really relate to that scene,” YUUKI said of the song, which the band describe as “a mix of screaming our annoyances—why don’t you guys notice us!—while trying to be cute and sexy.” Let’s check in with CHAI and see what they have to say about the song:
“It’s like ‘Nobody Knows We Are Fun,’ right?!”
“Seriously! Not cool!”
“Perhaps they underestimate us? ♡”
“Or maybe they are like ‘don’t be a show off!’”
“Say what you want! What matters is that despite always being ourselves and never changing, we are still the most FUN!”
“It’s that type of song! Take a listen and loosen up♡”
CHAI is MANA (lead vocals and keys) and KANA (guitar), drummer YUNA, and bassist-lyricist YUUKI. Following the release of 2019’s PUNK, CHAI’s adventures took them around the world, playing their high-energy and buoyant shows. Like all musicians, CHAI spent 2020 forced to rethink the fabric of their work and lives. They took this as an opportunity to shake up their process and bring their music somewhere thrillingly new. Rather than having maximalist recordings like in the past, CHAI instead focused on crafting the slightly-subtler and more introspective kinds of songs they enjoy listening to at home—where, for the first time, they recorded all of the music. They draw R&B and hip-hop into their mix (Mac Miller, the Internet, and Brockhampton were on their minds) of dance-punk and pop-rock, all while remaining undeniably CHAI.
WINK is also the first CHAI album to feature contributions from outside producers (Mndsgn, YMCK) as well as Ric Wilson. This impulse towards connection with others is in WINK’s title, too. After the “i” of PINK and the “u” of PUNK—which represented the band’s act of introducing themselves, and then of centering their audiences—they have come full circle with the “we” of WINK. In that act of opening themselves up, CHAI grew into their best work: “This album showed us, we’re ready to do more.”
PRAISE FOR CHAI
“One of CHAI’s greatest strengths is the Japanese band’s ability to weave between different genres, buoyed by their generous sense of humor and vibrantly catchy hooks” - Pitchfork
“This propulsive, retro-sounding bop from Japanese quartet CHAI deserves to soundtrack your next dance break.” - Nylon
“[‘ACTION’ is] so far their biggest earworm in a catalog of songs that can get stuck in your head for weeks.” - Vice
“As demonstrated by its lead single ‘ACTION,’ the band’s heading in a vibier, more laidback direction. Their new track ‘Maybe Chocolate Chips’ is breathy and spacey and it features a guest spot from Chicago rapper Ric Wilson.” - Stereogum
“’Maybe Chocolate Chips’ brings a lo-fi feel to CHAI’s brand of indie rock, with a bass-heavy beat and whirring synth. Rapper Ric Wilson…joins the song halfway through with an eloquent, feel-good verse.” - Paste