“Valley Clouds” is the official video from Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop’s forthcoming duets record, Love Letter for Fire. The charming new visual tells the story of two outlaws of the karaoke circuit, who deliver an over the top yet vulnerable performance of the song in a Chicago bar. Directed by Erin Elders, the “Valley Clouds” video takes its inspiration from German and Scandinavian cinema of the 60s and 70s, contrasting light-hearted humor with visually intense vignettes (see Pitchfork video premiere March 10th).
Sam and Jesca recently released a short film on the making of Love Letter for Fire. The two discuss the process of how their collaborative album came to fruition and how two people not in love wrote an entire album of love songs. The clip also features exclusive performances of the two in a stripped down and intimate setting [watch here].
Love Letter for Firewill be available on CD / LP / DL / CASS worldwide April 15th through Sub Pop/Black Crickett Recording Co. The album is now available for preorder at Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Bandcamp. LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited Loser edition on Smoke-colored vinyl (while supplies last).
Love Letter for Fire features Beam and Hoop on vocals and guitar along with Robert Burger (keys), Eyvind Kang (violin, viola), Glenn Kotche (drums, percussion), Sebastian Steinberg (bass) and Edward Rankin-Parker (cello).
[Photo credit: Josh Wool]
Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop previously announced North American tour in support Love Letter for Fire begins Tuesday, May 17th in Ann Arbor, MI at The Ark and ends Saturday, June 11th in Chicago, IL at Thalia Hall. The tour will feature support from Dead Oceans recording artist Marlon Williams.
Tour Dates May 17 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark* May 18 - Toronto, ON - The Danforth Music Hall* May 20 - New York, NY - The Town Hall* May 21 - Washington, DC - The Lincoln Theatre* May 22 - Boston, MA - The Wilbur Theatre* May 24 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer* May 26 - Atlanta, GA - The Buckhead Theatre* May 27 - New Orleans, LA - The Civic Theatre* May 28 - Dallas, TX - The Kessler Theater* May 30 - Tucson, AZ - The Rialto Theatre* May 31 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre* Jun. 02 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall* Jun. 03 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater* Jun. 04 - Seattle, WA - Neptune Theatre* Jun. 05 - Boise, ID - The Egyptian Theatre* Jun. 07 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater* Jun. 08 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown* Jun. 09 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater* Jun. 10 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom* Jun. 11 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall* * w/ Marlon Williams
LNTV had this to say of “feed me”: “[Drummer/vocalist Liam] Downey stars as a tour guide of sorts, leading us around Seattle by the neon glow of corporate signs and skyscrapers. The uneasy clip…is a not-so-subtle nod to Seattle’s rapid, irreversible growth.
“Downey roams Seattle’s streets and meets a lot of people, casually defiling things as he goes. When he briefly rejoins his bandmates in a barren lobby, it’s clear that fierce and apocalyptic apathy is the their preferred form of communication (see premiere March 9th).”
So Pitted is in the midst their first European tour, which resumes tonight, March 9th in Brighton,UK at Green Door Store and ends March 12th in Berlin, DE at West Germany. The band will then return to the U.S., for a series of shows in Austin, Texas for SXSW 2016 (March 18 - 20) and the remainder of their March tour. Highlights include:She Shreds Day Party at Studium (March 18th /1pm); Sub Pop Showcase at Blackheart Bar (March 18th / 11pm); FLOOD Day Party at Cedar Street Courtyard (March 19th / 1pm). (current tour dates below.)
neo has garnered praise from the likes of Pitchfork, FLOOD, Consequence of Sound, The Stranger, Seattle Weekly, Seattle Times, DIY, The Guardian, Uncut, Drowned in Sound, Brooklyn Vegan, Impose, Loud & Quiet, The Skinny, CLASH and more.
What people have said about So Pitted: “Minimalist force is what Seattle punk band So Pitted does. They excel at it. On neo, their debut, the trio sound like the proverbial (mechanical) bull in a china shop—except that bull is intentionally there to fuck up some fine dinnerware and is determined to have a hell of a time doing it.” - Pitchfork
“Catharsis and candor are embedded in these explosive tracks. So Pitted tap into the void that the likes of Black Flag and Nirvana looked into and saw themselves in.” - Consequence of Sound
“It’s grimy and tormented all right, but intent on subverting the many adolescent cliches and connotations that come with grunge.” - The Guardian
“Maddeningly loud, loosely formed, disgusting like a romantic weekend trip down the local sewers.” - DIY
“Their primal, scrappy rock and roll scrapes all optimism from your soul until you just don’t care about anything anymore.” [8/10] -Drowned In Sound
“…A barbed tarpit of sound.” - Loud & Quiet
“Snotty, snarling and belligerent.” - Uncut
“neo is part debut-album, part audio assault.” [4/5] - Upset
“It’s early in the year to make this sort of claim, but we can say with confidence that in ten months’ time you’ll be looking back on neo as one of 2016’s best debuts, by some distance.” - The Skinny
“…A raucous, inspiring noise, the buzzsaw melody is matched to wailing feedback - imagine Bikini Kill set against early Mary Chain and you’d probably be in the same ballpark.” - CLASH
“Quite simply, neo is noise rock like nothing else.” - London In Stereo
“…Making a name for themselves with a sneery, warped, post-apocalyptic punk sound and wild stage show.” - Brooklyn Vegan
“…Buzzing with nausea and excitement. [rot in hell] burns with the urgency of the music you need to make or you’ll crumple, music you’d be making whether other people heard it or not.” - Impose
“So Pitted are poised to start a riot that’s very much their own.” -Record Collector
“The triad has haunted Seattle’s DIY underground since 2010, sometimes playing three shows a week (seemingly re-dying their hair a different color for each), honing an incredibly loud, atonal style of neo-grunge, equal parts confusing and enthralling. Koewler plays her guitar through a bass amp to achieve the band’s defining metallic low-end scuzz. Rodriguez, plucking out chaotic leads on his heavily effected guitar, barks unintelligibly feral screeds into a microphone so hard that his veins often look as though they’ll pop. Downey usually performs with self-fashioned pipe-cleaner antennae sticking out from his head. He occasionally switches places with Rodriguez to mumble his own strange songs, a left-field take on ’80s New Wave filtered through a filthy meat grinder.” - Seattle Weekly
“Boldly going where no rock band has gone before—and fucking around a bit, too.” [“Breaking” feature] - FLOOD
Tour Dates Europe Mar. 09 - Brighton, UK - Green Door Store Mar. 10 - Lille, UK - La Peniche Mar. 11 -Brussells, BE - Homeplugged Mar. 12 - Berlin, DE - West Germany
SXSW / Austin, TX Mar. 18 - She Shreds Day Party @Studium / 2108 Rosewood Ave. (1pm) Mar. 18 - House Show / 9402 Rowlands Sayle Rd (4:30pm) Mar. 18 - Sub Pop Showcase @ Blackheart / 86 Rainey St. (11pm) Mar. 19 - FLOOD Showcase @ Cedar Street Courtyard / 208 W 4th St (1pm) Mar. 19 - Beeswax Booking & Hive Mind PR Day Party @ Wonderland / 1104 E 6th St (2:30pm) Mar. 20 - Beerland / 711 Red River St (9pm)
Northwestern US Mar. 23 - 27 - Boise, ID - Treefort Music Fest Mar. 26 - Missoula, MT - The Palace** Mar. 27 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett** ** w/ Diarrhea Planet
Yeah, it’s us! Sub Pop will release Wolf Parade’s Apologies to the Queen Mary: Deluxe Edition, a reissue of the group’s acclaimed first album, worldwide on 3xLP/DL May 13th. The reissue features the original album, now as a double LP, along with the band’s pre-Sub Pop, self-titled EPs (released in 2003 and 2004), both of which are making their vinyl debut. The package features new artwork and includes the previously unreleased track “Snakes on the Ladder” from the Apologies… sessions. (There will also be a cassette version of the remastered original album (without bonus tracks) available on May 13th.) The album was remastered for this release by the band’s longtime associate Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering. The reissue of Apologies to the Queen Mary: Deluxe Edition comes on the heels of Wolf Parade’s recently-announced 2016 reunion.
Wolf Parade’s late spring-summer touring kicks-off with a series of residency shows in New York (May 17th-21st; Sold Out), Toronto (May 24th-28th; Sold Out), and London (June 14th-15th). They’ve also scheduled the following international headlining club and festival appearances: Tavaista in Helsinki (June 10th); Best Keep Secret in Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands (June 17th-19th); Gridlock Festival in Halifax (July 10th); Ottawa Bluesfest (July 16th); WayHome Music and Arts Festival in Oro-Medonte, Ontario (July 22nd-24th); Montreal’s Osheaga Festival (July 29th - 31st) and aftershow at The Corona Theatre (July 29th); Pickathon in Happy Valley, Oregon (August 4th-6th); Seattle’s Neptune Theatre (August 7th). (complete tour dates are below.)
Wolf Parade – Spencer Krug, Dan Boeckner, Arlen Thompson, and Dante DeCaro – formed in Montreal in 2003. After the aforementioned self-titled EPs, the group released Apologies to the Queen Mary to much acclaim in September 2005, on Sub Pop. The album was recorded by Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock and engineer Chris Chandler at Audible Alchemy in Portland, Oregon. The album was an entirely collaborative effort, barreling headfirst and breathlessly through songs written during Wolf Parade’s early years together as a band. The album has sold over 100,000 in the U.S. alone.
LP 1 A1. You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son A2. Modern World A3. Grounds For Divorce A4. We Built Another World B5. Fancy Claps B6. Same Ghost Every Night B7. Shine A Light B8. Dear Sons And Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts
LP 2 C9. I’ll Believe In Anything C10. It’s A Curse D11. Dinner Bells D12. This Heart’s On Fire
LP 3 A1. Disco Sheets A2. Lousy Pictures A3. Modern World A4. Wits or a Dagger A5.Secret Knives A6. Dinner Bells B7. Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts B8. We Built Another World B9. Grounds for Divorce B10. It’s a Curse B11. The National People’s Scare B12. Killing Armies B13. Snakes on a Ladder
May 17 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom [Sold Out] May 18 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom [Sold Out] May 19 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom [Sold Out] May 20 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom [Sold Out] May 21 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom [Sold Out] May 24 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace [Sold Out] May 25 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace [Sold Out] May 26 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace [Sold Out] May 27 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace [Sold Out] May 28 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace [Sold Out] Jun. 14 - London, UK - Scala Jun. 15 - London, UK - Scala Jun. 16 - Helsinki, FN - Tavaista Jun 17-19 - Hilvarenbeek, NL - Best Kept Secret Fest Jul. 10 - Halifax, NS - Gridlock Festival Jul. 16 - Ottawa, ON - Ottawa Bluesfest Jul. 22 - 24 - Oro-Medonte, ON - WayHome Music and Arts Festival Jul. 29 - 31 Montreal, QC - Osheaga Festival Jul. 29 - Montreal, QC - The Corona Theatre (Osheaga Festival Aftershow) Aug. 04 - 07 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon Aug. 07 - Seattle, WA - The Neptune
On Saturday, April 16th, 2016, aka Record Store Day, Sub Pop will release two very limited split singles: Low and S. Carey’s “Not A Word” / “ I Won’t Let You Fall” 10” and METZ and Mission of Burma’s “Good, Not Great” / “Get Off” 7”. Check ‘em out:
METZ and Mission of Burma “Good, Not Great” / “Get Off” 7” single: Toronto noise-rock behemoths METZ team up with Boston post-punk legends Mission of Burma on this split single for Record Store Day 2016. METZ contribute a cover of “Good, Not Great,” a track from Mission of Burma’s 2006 album The Obliterati, while Mission of Burma cover METZ’s 2012 anthem, “Get Off.” This single is a Record Store Day 2016 exclusive, and it is limited to 4,000 copies worldwide. All copies are on starburst purple and green vinyl.
Tracklisting: 1. Good, Not Great (METZ) 2. Get Off (Mission of Burma)
Low / S. Carey “Not A Word” / “I Won’t Let You Fall” 10” single: This 10” single on special translucent white vinyl features two 7-minute collaborations between Duluth group Low and Wisconsin’s S. Carey, aka Sean Carey, best known as the drummer and supporting vocalist for Bon Iver. The idea for this release came from producer BJ Burton. “Not a Word” was an unfinished Low track that BJ worked with S. Carey to complete, while “I Won’t Let You Fall” was an unfinished S. Carey song that BJ worked with Low to complete. This unique partnership between Low, S. Carey and BJ Burton (and Sub Pop and Jagjaguwar) is exclusive to Record Store Day 2016, and it is limited to 4,000 copies worldwide.
Tracklisting: 2. I Won’t Let You Fall (S. Carey) 1. Not a Word (Low)
More About Record Store Day: Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally. The first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008. Today there are Record Store Day participating stores on every continent except Antarctica.
This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store—the staff, the customers, and the artists—to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, DJs spinning records, and on and on. In 2008 a small list of titles was released on Record Store Day and that list has grown to include artists and labels both large and small, in every genre and price point. In 2015, 60% of the Record Store Day Official Release List came from independent labels and distributors. The list continues to include a wide range of artists, covering the diverse taste of record stores and their customers. http://www.recordstoreday.com/Home
Kyle Craft’s “Pentecost” is the latest offering from Dolls of Highland, his forthcoming Sub Pop debut.
NPR Music’s “All Songs Considered” had this to say of the track, “Pentecost” sees Kyle Craft…return to his hometown in Louisiana, haunted by the ghost of a friend who took his own life. Paired with his knack for great melodies, it demonstrates Craft’s emotional power as a songwriter (see premiere via “New Mix” March 1st).”
NPR Music also discussed Craft’s ‘Lady of the Ark” for its “Songs We Love” feature this week. They said of the track, “Like many artists from the South, Craft has a conflicted relationship with the region’s cultural duality, a topic he tackles on “Lady Of The Ark.” Shrouded in guitars and organ, he caustically wails, “Swing low, low sweet heathen / Swing for the wretch and the rock and roll kid,” a line he says he wrote in response to the “shame, shame thing that ‘church folk’ tend to do so often,” and which doesn’t sit well with Craft. “Roam this earth repeat it / All this sin until this wicked world makes sense in time,” he defiantly growls near the song’s end. Craft’s roaming days may be done for now, but “Lady Of The Ark” shows his music as wild-eyed and restless (“Songs We Love” feature March 2nd).”
Dolls of Highland was written, recorded and produced by Craft, mixed by Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel of The Helio Sequence at the Old Jantzen Building in Portland, and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.
About Kyle Craft:
Kyle Craft grew up in a tiny Louisiana town on the banks of the Mississippi, where he spent most of his time catching alligators and rattlesnakes instead of playing football or picking up the guitar. He’s not the born product of a musical family, and bands never came through town–it was only a chance trip to K-Mart that gave him his first album, a David Bowie hits compilation that helped inspire him eventually to channel his innate feral energy into songwriting and rock and roll.
That self-made talent drives every note of Dolls of Highland, Craft’s exhilarating, fearless solo debut. “This album is the dark corner of a bar,” he says. “It’s that feeling at the end of the night when you’re confronted with ‘now what?’”
Craft knows the feeling well–Dolls began to take shape when everything he took for granted was suddenly over, including an eight-year relationship. “All of a sudden I was left with just me for the first time in my adult life,” he says. He decided to get himself and the music he’d been working on far away from the ghosts of his home in Shreveport, Louisiana, to make a new life for himself in Portland, Oregon, living under a friend’s pool table while he demoed new songs and started to tackle his own question about what came next.
Dolls of Highland crashes open with “Eye of a Hurricane,” a whirlwind of ragtime piano and Craft’s dynamic, enthralling vocals. He calls it a “jealous song,” stirred up by the memories of an ill-fated crush and a drama of “weird little connections, a spider web of what the fuck?”
The swinging, resonant “Lady of the Ark” is also tied up in that web, “a very incestuous song,” says Craft. “It’s about these messed up relationships, maybe involving me, maybe revolving around me.” Most of the characters and atmospheres on the album come from in and around Shreveport, where Craft briefly returned while recording the album for an intensely productive reckoning with his past. He stayed in a friend’s laundry room in the Highland neighborhood, where he recorded the whole album in two months on a home studio rig. “I dedicated the album to Shreveport and called it Dolls of Highland for all the girls and ghosts in town who influenced it so strongly.”
Craft eventually returned to Portland where Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel of The Helio Sequence helped refine and mix the album to move it from its DIY beginnings to a more fully realized work. Craft played most of the instruments on the album, but the recorded songs transmit the power of his live performance. “It’s just letting go,” says Craft. “I think it’s just all about feeling it in your chest.”
And then there’s Craft’s unforgettable voice–”I’m fully aware that I have a very abrasive, very loud voice, but Bob Dylan is the one that taught me to embrace that,” says Craft. “I stray away from him from time to time, but always come back. I don’t want to come off as antique, but I also don’t want to be afraid of paying homage to the stuff I’ve always loved.” With those influences as inspiration, Craft’s talent and singular creativity move the conversation into new and unpredictable places.
And no question, this album is very much about moving forward. “After everything fell apart, it didn’t take very long for me to learn who I was and what I should be doing,” says Craft, who is walking out on the other side with Dolls of Highland.
What ‘The People’ have said about Kyle Craft:
“Craft admits his voice sounds a good deal like Bob Dylan’s, and that his muse has come to him many, many times. Still, “Lady of the Ark” hints that Craft’s music is so full of its own weird singularity that he’s on to something far beyond idol worship.” - Billboard
“With inviting, yet imperfect vocals and a jangly guitar melody, “Lady of the Ark” is a sweeping goodbye to a long-term relationship. It’s somehow warm, melodic, and rough at the same time.” [The Weeks Best Tracks”] - FLOOD
“It’s thrilling. It’s the sort of music that can only come from a somewhat unique musical outlook, a track that instantly sounds like nobody other than Kyle Craft. The huge sound of pounding drums, the almost mariachi handclaps, the frankly bizarre fairground-organ interlude, the lyrics than hint at a complex incestuous web of lives and lies, and all that before you even get to the voice…he has said that listening to Bob Dylan inspired him to embrace his voice and make the most of it. Kyle has suggested he shares a tone with Bob, but to our ears it’s more like the love child of Withered Hand and Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum, and that’s a very good, if slightly divisive, place to be.” - For The Rabbits
“Hard to believe given the innate sense of pop heritage that blossoms from every ounce of his fruitful, endearingly scorched lead vocal but it wasn’t until Craft stumbled upon a David Bowie that he began to take an interest in music. Lucky for us that he did – debut track ‘Lady Of The Ark’ is a stormy, rugged gem, led by one of the most distinctly impressive new voices in the game. A mighty fine introduction.” - Gold Flake Paint