Sub Pop has signed Flock of Dimes, the solo outlet for songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jenn Wasner, to release her music throughout the world. We are also announcing today the release of Like So Much Desire, her excellent five-song effort and label debut (and first new Flock of Dimes material since 2016’s If You See Me, Say Yes), which is available now through all DSPs.
Like So Much Desire, the new EP from Jenn Wasner’s Flock of Dimes, is about the inseparable nature of desire and grief. It’s a collection of songs about finding peace amidst personal hardships, an offering of both comfort and personal reflection, reaching out across the unknown in search of connection. Moving and strikingly intimate, Like So Much Desire is Wasner’s most personal work yet.
Also of note: Flock of Dimes has scheduled a live concert stream via NoonChorus on Tuesday, June 30th at 7 pm ET.
Flock of Dimes Like So Much Desire Tracklisting: 1. Spring in Water 2. Like So Much Desire 3. Again (For the First Time) 4. When the Body Does Not 5. Thank You Friends and Strangers
Like So Much Desire, which includes standouts like the slow-burn title track, “Spring In Winter” and “Again (For the First Time),” was written and produced by Wasner, mixed by Ari Picker and mastered by Ryan Pickett.
The EP’s title track is a masterclass in slow burn, a song that deals directly with how you have to lose to gain, an acoustic beginning growing into a tangle of whirring gadgetry. The subdued, mellow prettiness of “Again (For the First Time)” offers reassurance, the sonic equivalent of leaning on someone’s shoulder. The piano-based “Spring in Winter” sounds near-hymnal, warmed by strings, dealing with the fleeting beauty of North Carolina’s unexpected springtime popping up in the cold, while “Thank You Friends and Strangers” opens on chirping birds and outside sounds – the sounds of nature and normalcy. Like So Much Desire blends all of these worlds seamlessly.
In many ways, Like So Much Desire feels like postcards sent from a strange new world. And fittingly, the work came together at a distance. The bulk of the songs were recorded by Wasner in her home in isolation, with other pieces coming from across the country; drummer JT Bates recorded his parts from Minneapolis, while the subtly-cinematic, swelling strings came via New York’s Paul Wiancko, Michi Wiancko, and Ayane Kozasa. The final product balances sparseness and fullness. Strange, glitchy synths flit in and out, an echo of distant playfulness, but the main instrument is the depth of Wasner’s voice and how she uses space around it.
As a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Wasner has been a longtime omnipresent force in modern music. As half of beloved duo Wye Oak she’s worked with everyone from Metropolis Ensemble to the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and more recently she’s been a member of both Bon Iver and Sylvan Esso. But for all her collaborative expertise, it’s Wasner’s solo work as Flock of Dimes that is most salient, her songwriting at the forefront, strange, beautiful, and dazzling at the same time.
For Wasner, the making of this EP had to do with rediscovering the powerful, healing connection of making music, the peace it offers, the way it makes it possible to bridge a gap – and as such, Like So Much Desire strives to offer comfort during upheaval and uncertainty. Both sorrow and joy all at once, it looks at halves of a whole, the broken-up spectrum of human experience distilled into just five tracks.
Now is the perfect time to follow Flock of Dimes in all the places:
Following on from the release of their critically acclaimed second album, Sideways To New Italy, earlier this month on Sub Pop, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever return today with the video for recent single ‘Cameo.’ One of the record’s anthemic high points, ‘Cameo’ begins with open guitar strums and Fran Keaney’s lone voice before building to a swirling roar, showcasing a band at the peak of their powers both instrumentally and lyrically.
“This is a love song. It’s about reaching through time portals,” says Keaney. “The lyrics were pieced together over about a year like a little puzzle. I found the first pieces in Rushworth, and the last pieces in Darwin.”
The accompanying video - directed by Nick Mckk - finds the band in a particularly playful mood as they perform in a dimly lit club, sporting turtlenecks in the glare of spotlights and bursting through walls on office chairs. Look beyond the hi-jinx, however, and there’s romance afoot here, perfectly in keeping with the glistening love song at ‘Cameo”s core.
“We made this video with Nick Mckk, who shares our vision for the earnest and the absurd,” explains Keaney. “This is our first video to feature skivvies, a wall of cardboard boxes and a human-powered rotating stage.”
“Fran had the idea to separate each body part playing, disembodied like the famous Queen artwork,” says Mckk. “I think it was Tom who really wanted to dress like Molloy, the cat burglar from The Simpsons. White sneakers, black pants and a turtleneck. I was very for this.
“Because I’m a fool and I don’t know how to work a gimbal (stabiliser), I ended up shooting a lot of the clip on rollerblades, which let me zoom around the spinning stage. Set Designer Grace Goodwin and I created the big bricks that the band could smash through, representing the disintegration of memory and the rebuilding of recollection. I mean, it was that for me, I can’t speak for the band!”
Earlier this month, the band announced a big run of UK and Ireland tour dates for March 2021, including their biggest ever headline UK show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on March 5th. Main support on all dates [excluding Dublin] comes from the hotly-tipped Dutch quartet Pip Blom.
UK/IE Tour Dates:
Mar 4th | Brighton, UK - Concorde 2* Mar 5th | London, UK - O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire* Mar 6th | Birmingham, UK - O2 Institute* Mar 7th | Oxford, UK - O2 Academy Oxford* Mar 9th | Bristol, UK - SWX* Mar 10th | Leeds, UK - Leeds Irish Centre* Mar 11th | Manchester, UK - O2 Ritz Manchester* Mar 12th | Edinburgh, UK - The Liquid Room* Mar 13th | Glasgow, UK - Queen Margaret Union (QMU)* Mar 15th | Dublin, IE - Vicar Street Mar 17th | Cardiff, UK - Tramshed* Mar 18th | Nottingham, UK - The Level* Mar 19th | Sheffield, UK - The Foundry*
This exclusive limited edition T-shirt was designed by Seattle artist, Arel Watson. All net proceeds from the sale of this shirt will benefit The Seattle Artist Relief Fund organized by Ijeoma Oluo and LANGSTON, and will be directed specifically to Black artists who have applied for relief. If you’d like to learn more about the fund or make an additional donation please contact LANGSTON directly or visitwww.gofundme.com/f/for-artists.
This shirt will only be available for purchase via Bandcamp and Sub Pop Mega Mart through July 3rd and will not start printing until the sale has concluded. We expect to start shipping roughly July 22nd.
While this donation will be specifically directed to Black artists, this fund is generally aimed at helping those artists in the greater Seattle arts community who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19.
Where your funds go: 100% of these funds will go to Black artists who have lost income due to cancellations and work stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is emergency funding to help artists in need with rent, food, utilities, and medical needs.
Clarke and the Himselfs and Guerilla Toss’s contributions to the Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 5 are available now for the first time at all DSPs.
NYC (via Boston) band Guerilla Toss present “Human Girl” and “Own Zone,” two new, exclusive tracks that perfectly capture the exuberant, danceable fusion of post-punk, funk, and experimental rock that Guerilla Toss have been serving up since 2012.
LA’s Clarke and the Himselfs has been releasing compelling, catchy, heart-warming rock and roll since starting as a solo project in Boise in 2011. “Mary Rae Says” and “Crystal Blue” are new, exclusive tracks produced by Don Bolles (Germs, 45 Grave), who also contributed drums, bass, and vocals to “Crystal Blue.”
Both singles will also be released as limited-edition 7”s only available to Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 5 subscribers. The series will also include singles by Father John Misty, Moor Mother, Ohmme, Julia Jacklin, Sumac, TEKE::TEKE, Redd Kross, and more. Subscribe to Single Club Vol. 5 right here.
Yes indeed, you read that headline right. Bully will release SUGAREGG, her third album, worldwide on August 21st through Sub Pop. The 12-track effort 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. You can now watch the official video for the cathartic lead single “Where to Start” right here. The visual is directed by Alan Del Rio Ortiz and Bognanno.
Rolling Stone had this to say of the single, “’Where to Start’ boasts Bully’s characteristic high-energy snarl, as growling guitars lead into Bognanno’s raspy-throated condemnation: “I don’t know where to start/I don’t know where to start with you.” Decidedly more jangly guitars then usher us all the way into the guts of the song — a mixture of sweet and sour, soft and frustrated (see video premiere June 11th, 2020).”
Preorders of SUGAREGG are now available from Sub Pop. LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on a translucent blue w/white “smoke” colored vinyl. Meanwhile, preorders in the U.K. and Europe through select independent retailers will receive the Loser edition on transparent red vinyl. There will also be a new t-shirt design available.
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
About Bully’s SUGAREGG A very old saying goes that no one saves us but ourselves. Recognizing and breaking free from the patterns impeding our forward progress can be transformative — just ask Bully’s Alicia Bognanno. Indeed, the third Bully album, SUGAREGG, may not ever have come to fruition had Bognanno not navigated every kind of upheaval imaginable and completely overhauled her working process along the way.
“There was change that needed to happen and it happened on this record,” she says. “Derailing my ego and insecurities allowed me to give these songs the attention they deserved.”
SUGAREGG roars from the speakers and jumpstarts both heart and mind. Like My Bloody Valentine after three double espressos, opener “Add It On” zooms heavenward within seconds, epitomizing Bognanno’s newfound clarity of purpose, while the bass-driven melodies and propulsive beats of “Where to Start” and “Let You” are the musical equivalents of the sun piercing through a perpetually cloudy sky.
On songs like the strident “Every Tradition” and “Not Ashamed,” Bognanno doesn’t shy away from addressing “how I feel as a human holds up against what society expects or assumes of me as a woman, and what it feels like to naturally challenge those expectations.”
But amongst the more dense topics, there’s also a lightheartedness that was lacking on Bully’s last album, 2017’s Losing. Pointing to “Where to Start,” “You” and “Let You,” Bognanno says “there are more songs about erratic, dysfunctional love in an upbeat way, like, ‘I’m going down and that’s the only way I want to go because the momentary joy is worth it.’”
[Photo Credit: Angelina Castillo]
The artist admits that finding the proper treatment for bipolar 2 disorder radically altered her mindset, freeing her from a cycle of paranoia and insecurity about her work. “Being able to finally navigate that opened the door for me to write about it,” she says, pointing to the sweet, swirly “Like Fire” and slower, more contemplative songs such as “Prism” and “Come Down” as having been born of this new headspace. Even small changes like listening to music instead of the news first thing in the morning “made me want to write and bring that pleasure to other people.”
An unexpected foray into the film world also helped set the table for Sugaregg when Bognanno was asked to write songs for the 2019 movie Her Smell, starring Elisabeth Moss as the frontwoman of the fictional rock band Something She. “It got me motivated to play music again after the last album,” she says. “I loved reading the script and trying to think, what music would the character write? People asked if I’d play those songs with Bully but the whole point was for them to not be Bully songs. It was nice to get my head out of my own ass for a second and work on a project for someone else,” she says with a laugh.
A highly accomplished engineer who ran the boards herself on the first two Bully albums, Bognanno was ready to be free “from the weight of feeling like I had to prove to the world I was capable of engineering a record, and wanted to be content knowing for myself what I can do without needing the approval of others to validate that.”
So for SUGAREGG, she yielded recording and mixing responsibilities to outside collaborators for the first time and trekked to the remote Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minn., an unexpected return to her home state. Behind the console was John Congleton, a Grammy-winner who has worked with everyone from St. Vincent and Sleater-Kinney to The War on Drugs and Modest Mouse. “Naturally, I still had reservations, but John was sensitive to where I was coming from,” Bognanno says. “He was very respectful that I’d never worked with a producer before.”
The studio’s rich history (classics such as Nirvana’s In Utero, PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me and Superchunk’s Foolish were recorded there) and woodsy setting quickly put Bognanno’s mind at ease. Being able to bring her dog Mezzi along for the trip didn’t hurt either. “I had never tracked a record in the summer, so waking up and going outside with her before we started each day was a great way to refresh,” she says.
SUGAREGG features additional contributions from longtime touring drummer Wesley Mitchell and bassist Zach Dawes, renowned for his work on recent albums by Sharon Van Etten and Lana Del Rey. Dawes and Bognanno met at Pachyderm to work on parts just two days before tracking, “but it ended up being so much less stressful than I had expected and I loved it,” she says. “Zach wanted to be there to help and make my vision happen.”
With 14 songs on tape, Bognanno and friends left Pachyderm thinking SUGAREGG was done. But once back home in Nashville, she realized there was more to be written, and spent the next five months doing exactly that. Moving to Palace Studios in Toronto with Graham Walsh (Alvvays, METZ, !!!), Bognanno and Mitchell recorded “Where to Start” and “Let You,” which proved to be two of the new album’s key tracks.
Ultimately, SUGAREGG is a testament that profound change can yield profound results — in this case, the most expressive and powerful music of Bognanno’s career. “This is me longing to see the bigger picture, motivated and eager for contentment in the best way,” she says. “I hope the happy go lucky / fuck-it-all attitude shines through some of these songs because I really did feel like I was reentering a place I hadn’t been to in a while and was excited to be back there.”