News for Cullen Omori

NEWS : TUE, MAR 15, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Sub Pop vs SXSW 2016

Sxsw2016 subpo316 boorr

This Friday, March 18th, the highly-trained music industry professionals from Sub Pop Records will host “Back by Zero Demand,” our 2016 SXSW showcase at The Blackheart in Austin. Featuring performances from Mass GothicCullen OmoriSo PittedArbor Labor UnionPorter Ray, and Strange Wilds. This showcase is 21+/doors at 7:30pm.

FRIDAY MARCH 18TH
SUB POP SHOWCASE AT BLACKHEART
86 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701
 
1am: Mass Gothic
12am: Cullen Omori
11pm:  So Pitted
10pm: Arbor Labor Union
9pm:  Porter Ray
8pm: Strange Wilds
 
You can also find our entire artist schedule (which includes Arbor Labor Union, Cullen Omori, Kristin Kontrol, Mass Gothic, No Age, So Pitted, and Strange Wilds) below:
 
Tuesday March 15th
Kristin Kontrol
6pm  - 7:35pm
SXSW Official Opening Party (DJ set)
Maggie Maes @ 323 E. 6th St.
 
So Pitted
8:15pm
DOJO Fest
Long Branch Inn @ 1133 E. 11th St.


Wednesday March 16th
Cullen Omori
4pm-4:45pm
Waterloo Day Party
Waterloo Records @ 600A N. Lamar Blvd.
 
Mass Gothic
7:30pm
Under the Radar Evening Showcase
Central Presbyterian Church @ 200 E. 8th St.
 
Kristin Kontrol
10pm -11:15 pm
Jansport x  Noisey Bonfire Series (DJ Set)
Cheer Up Charlies  @ 900 Red River St.

 
Thursday March 17th
Kristin Kontrol
11 am-12:30pm
SESAC Brunch (DJ Set)
The Driskill Hotel @ 604 Brazos St.
 
Mass Gothic
1:30pm
KROX Live
Buffalo Billiards (Front room) @ 201 E. 6th St.
 
Cullen Omori
1:35pm
Under the Radar Day Party
Flamingo Cantina @ 515 E. 6th St.
 
So Pitted
7pm-10pm (Time TBD)
ANON Magazine Party
Diverse Arts @ 1106 E. 11th St.
 
Kristin Kontrol
10:30pm-11pm + 12:30am-1am
Hype Hotel x Gorilla vs. Bear (DJ Set)
Hype Hotel (aka Fair Market Bldg.) @ 1100 E. 5th St (at Waller St)
 
Cullen Omori
12am-12:50am
Paradigm Showcase
The Parish @ 214 E. 6th St.

 
Friday March 18th
Arbor Labor Union
12pm-12:45pm
Urban Outfitters Day Party
Space 24 Twenty (behind store) @ 2406 Guadalupe St.
 
Cullen Omori
3pm
Cameo Gallery X Hotel Vegas Unofficial Showcase
Hotel Vegas Annex @ 1504 E. 6th St.
 
So Pitted
1pm
She Shreds Day Party
Studium @ 2108 Rosewood Ave.
 
Mass Gothic
3pm - 3:45pm
Waterloo Records Day Party
Waterloo Records @ 600A N. Lamar Blvd.
 
So Pitted
4:30pm
House Show
9402 Rowlands Sayle Rd.
 
Sub Pop “Back by Zero Demand” Showcase
(Strange Wilds, Arbor Labor Union, Porter Ray, So Pitted, Cullen Omori, Mass Gothic)
7:30pm - 2am
Blackheart Bar @ 86 Rainey St.
 

Saturday March 19th
So Pitted
1pm
FLOOD Magazine Day Party
Cedar Street Courtyard @ 208 W 4th St
 
So Pitted
3pm
Beeswax Booking & Hive Mind PR Day Party
Wonderland @ 1104 E 6th St.
 
Cullen Omori
4pm-4:45pm
Urban Outfitters Day Party
Space 24 Twenty (behind store) @ 2406 Guadalupe St.
 
No Age
5:45pm-6:30pm
House of Vans Day Party
The Mohawk @ 912 Red River St.

 
Sunday March 20th
So Pitted
9pm
Beerland @ 711 Red River St.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : FRI, MAR 11, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Listen To Cullen Omori’s Debut Album ‘New Misery’ A Week Early via Stereogum

Cullenomori 2015 photo 04 alexalopez 900 72

Cullen Omori’s debut album New Misery comes out next Friday, March 18th, but you can listen to the album in it’s entirety right now via Stereogum.

Stereogum says of the album, “With its romantic melodies, delicate lyrics, and dreamy sounds, New Misery radiates the warmth of a spring day and the enamored freshness of a new love…In songs like “And Yet The World Still Turns” and “Synthetic Romance,” Omori’s pristine voice shimmers over elaborate synths and profound keys, capturing his developed pop sound. Meanwhile, songs like “LOM” and “No Big Deal” feature a danceable guitar that bleeds and blends, creating impressive, twinkling rhythms (see album premiere March 11th).”

Earlier this week, Cullen Omori also shared “Synthetic Romance” from New Misery.  i-D says of the track, “The enigmatic frontman’s taste for bubblegum pop (and just regular bubble gum) has resulted in a standout clutch of solo tracks that he can truly call his own (see track premiere March 8th).”


Omori began working on solo material in early 2014 which has now fully materialized as New Misery, a collection of 11 songs building upon his own musical past while reaching towards the future of what guitar rock could be. His songs marry dark yet blissful pop with vocal melodies and hooks that are at once immediate yet demand to be heard again and again.

Cullen Omori’s previously announce spring tour schedule in support of New Misery resumes March 14th in Columbia, MO at Rose Hall and currently ends April 24th in Toronto, ON at Horseshoe Tavern.He’s also appear at the 2016 edition of SXSW in Austin, Texas (March 16t-19th).  Complete tour dates are below.


New Misery will be available on CD / LP / DL / CASS worldwide next Friday, March 18th, and you can pre-order it now through Sub Pop Mega MartiTunesGoogle PlayAmazon and Bandcamp. LP pre-orders though megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited “Loser” edition on clear vinyl with black, white and gold swirls (while supplies last).


More on Cullen Omori:
“I had this overwhelming feeling that perhaps the apex of my life both as a musician and as an individual would be relegated to five years in my late teens/early 20s,” says Cullen Omori, who was launched into the music industry when the Smith Westerns, who started in high school in Chicago, became fast-rising indie stars. “This fear really forced me to work hard as to not see the Smith Westerns as an end but as a point along a bigger trajectory.”

While New Misery grew out of a difficult personal and professional time for Omori, he says the title reflects “not so much the distress that comes with failure, but the troubles and complexities that come with any type of success. No matter what you get you’re going to want more, you’re going to want something different. That’s the catch.”

The title track is a dreamy, resonant reflection on these feelings, but is also a guidepost for Omori’s musical evolution. “The song starts slow and then builds with two solos,” he says. “There’s the guitar solo which is very much a Smith Westerns thing. The next solo is on the keyboard, which is a shift to a lot of what I’m trying to do.” Synths play a much larger role in Omori’s new music than in the Smith Westerns’ guitar-fueled rock, as do a wide range of influences including Roxy Music, INXS, Spiritualized, Wilco, Garbage, Hall & Oates, Kate Bush, U2, and Sparks. There’s also a more deliberate pop streak, inspired by the top-40 radio that would play while Omori worked at a medical supply company cleaning stretchers and wheelchairs (read more at Sub Pop).”


What people are saying about Cullen Omori:
“Shimmering beauty” [“Cinnamon”/ “New Music of the Day”] - NME

“It’s bittersweet, blissful pop with an ’80s hue - vocal melodies and hooks that are at once immediate yet demand to be heard again and again. Job well done, Cullen.” [“Cinnamon”] - The 405

“Sour Silk” is the combination of sounds you weren’t sure could be mixed, blended into a song that sounds both effortless and endlessly faceted.” [“Sour Silk”] - Stereogum

“His songs marry dark yet blissful pop with vocal melodies and hooks that are at once immediate yet demand to be heard again and again.” [“Sour Silk”] - Northern Transmissions

“Led by dreamy, glimmering guitars, it takes Smith Westerns’ knack for a poppy hook to the next level.” [“Cinnamon”] - Consequence of Sound


Tour Dates
Mar. 14 - Columbia, MO - Rose Hall
Mar. 15 - Norman, OK - Opolis
Mar. 16 - Austin, TX - SXSW - Waterloo Records Day Party (4pm)
Mar. 17 - Austin, TX - SXSW - Under The Radar Day Party / Flamingo Cantina (1:35pm)
Mar. 17 - Austin, TX - SXSW - Paradigm Showcase / The Parish (midnight)
Mar. 18 - Austin, TX - SXSW - Sub Pop Showcase / Blackheart Bar (midnight)
Mar. 19- Austin, TX - SXSW - Urban Outfitters Day Party (4pm)
Mar. 24 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall*
Mar. 25 - Madison, WI - High Noon*
Mar. 26 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry*
Mar. 28 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge*
Mar. 29 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge*
Mar. 30 - Boise, ID - Neurolux*
Apr. 01 - Seattle, WA - Barboza*
Apr. 02 - Vancouver, BC - Fortune Sound Club*
Apr. 03 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir*
Apr. 05 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent*
Apr. 07 - Los Angeles, CA - Teragram Ballroom*
Apr. 08 - San Diego, CA - Casbah*
Apr. 09 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar*
Apr. 11 - Austin, TX - Stubb’s Jr*
Apr. 12 - Dallas, TX - Prophet Bar*
Apr. 13 - Houston, TX - Raven Tower*
Apr. 15 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl*
Apr. 16 - Nashville, TN - High Watt*
Apr. 17 - Columbus, OH - The Basement*
Apr. 18 - Washington, DC - DC9*
Apr. 19 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle*
Apr. 21 - Allston, MA - Great Scott*
Apr. 22 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom*
Apr. 23 - Montreal, QC - Le Divan Orange*
Apr. 24 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern*
*w/ Living Hour

Tour ticket links are here.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : THU, MAR 3, 2016 at 9:00 AM

“Back By Zero Demand” : Sub Pop’s 2016 SXSW Showcase and Evening of Entertainment

Sxsw2016 crop

On Friday, March 18th the highly-trained music industry professionals from Sub Pop Records will host “Back by Zero Demand,” our 2016 SXSW showcase. The event, held at The Blackheart in Austin, will feature performances from Mass Gothic, Cullen Omori, So Pitted, Arbor Labor Union, Porter Ray, and Strange Wilds. The showcase is 21 and over, and doors are at 7:30pm.

BACK BY ZERO DEMAND:
Sub Pop’s SXSW 2016 Showcase
At The Blackheart/Austin

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1756142247943004/

1:00 AM Mass Gothic
12:00 AM Cullen Omori
11:00 PM So Pitted
10:00 PM Arbor Labor Union
9:00 PM Porter Ray
8:00 PM Strange Wilds

Address: 86 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701
Doors 7:30pm / 21+


 



Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : FRI, FEB 26, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Sub Pop and Alaska Airlines: Together At Last!

Ak air in flight 712a9195 crop

From the altogether official press release, courtesy of our new friends at Alaska Airlines

- - - - -

Twitter exchange sparks new in-flight partnership with Sub Pop Records

BY KEEGAN PROSSER for Alaska Airlines

Looking for something fresh and exciting to do during your next flight? Then Alaska has some good news for you. Beginning this month, the airline is partnering with Seattle’s Sub Pop Records to bring some of the label’s best music onboard – for free. 

Launched with Beach House’s latest album Thank Your Lucky Stars on February 1, the new program offers fliers the chance to listen to one complimentary featured Sub Pop title per month on Alaska Beyond Entertainment, Alaska’s direct-to-your-device inflight entertainment service, and two albums per quarter on the rentable tablets. 


“We didn’t have inflight entertainment on most of our flights until about a year and a half ago,” says David Scotland, manager of inflight entertainment and connectivity for the airline, adding that one of Alaska’s priorities is to ensure that customers aren’t receiving “plain vanilla anything” aboard its flights. “We have our own unique way of designing every experience of travel – from locally sourced food to space-enhancing seats and now music,” he continues, noting that the record label takes a similar approach in curating its artists. “And Sub Pop is a way for us to do that in the music and entertainment space.”


The partnership itself came about when a former Sub Pop employee was on an Alaska flight and tweeted to ask why the two companies weren’t working together. Soon after, the Twitter conversation turned into a real plan of action.

“There’s definitely a big appeal for doing something specifically with Alaska,” notes Chris Jacobs, General Manager of Sub Pop Records. “Because Sub Pop is so overtly and proudly associated with the region, and so is Alaska, it makes sense.” According to Jacobs, albums selected for the streaming and tablet platforms are based on timeliness and appeal to a variety of listeners, with March’s featured album set to be Shearwater’s latest release Jet Plane and Oxbow. “The music we put out can range pretty widely, from relatively accessible to relatively not,” Jacobs says of the label. “So we are trying to focus on bands at the more accessible end.”


In that spirit, Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiberg sees the inflight entertainment platform as a great way to gain new fans. “My hope is that the record feels accessible and friendly on first listen but has enough depth and detail that you’ll want to play it again,” he explains of the project, which pairs dreamy indie rock with punchy ‘80s synths. “We spent many weeks laboring over the texture and colors of the sounds.” He also sees it as a great alternative for his music to be consumed. “I’m just glad for the chance to reach people who might never hear our music otherwise.”


And fellow Sub Pop artist Cullen Omori, whose solo debut New Misery will be featured on Alaska flights in April, shares the sentiment. “There’s no better audience,” says the former Smith Westerns vocalist, whose collection of genre-bending pop rock cuts hits stores March 18. “You have a captive audience that’s stuck on a plane for X amount of hours. And so, there’s no better time to pitch them some music to listen to.”


As Scotland points out, teaming up with local brands such as Sub Pop, the Seattle International Film Festival, fashion designer Luly Yang and Tom Douglas restaurants enables Alaska to deepen the relationship it’s built with core customers and provide them with a piece of home. “One of the things that our customers from the Seattle area tell us very often is that they feel like they’re already home when they get on the plane, and there’s a comfort there.” But it also leaves a lasting impression with customers who may be flying in the region for the first time. “There is something cool and unique about the PNW,” he continues. “We do march to the beat of our own drum. We’re not like the rest of the country. And being an airline, we get to introduce a lot of people to some of the best parts of the Pacific Northwest.”

- - - - -

Guest Writer Keegan Prosser is a full-time pop culture junkie and part-time freelance music journalist who is based in Seattle and has contributed to Seattle Weekly and RollingStone.com. When she’s not writing about Justin Bieber for radio prep service ReelWorld.com, Keegan flies Alaska to cities with good food, great people and exceptional live music.

[Originally published February 26th on alaskaair.com]


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, FEB 2, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cullen Omori shares “Sour Silk” a new track from ‘New Misery’ (out March 18)

Sour Silk” is the newest standout track from New Misery, Cullen Omori’s forthcoming Sub Pop debut coming out on March 18th.

Stereogum had this to say of the track, “Though Omori’s vocals prevail in the forefront of this single, perhaps its most impressive aspect is a backdrop where every component is defined yet bleeds into each other seamlessly. Throughout the entire song, a number of ever-varying guitar parts pan across the plain of his composition, each with its own unique but cohesive sound. Omori constantly adds and subtracts sounds, maintaining his hook without allowing it to go stale. And as soon as you think you’ve pegged his song as smooth and almost psychedelic, Omori adds crunchier, rock-inspired guitar tones plus a goddamn trumpet.

“Remember the scene in Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off where Eddie pretty much combines his entire kitchen in a blender and ends up with a purple sauce that’s somehow delicious? “Sour Silk” is the combination of sounds you weren’t sure could be mixed, blended into a song that sounds both effortless and endlessly faceted (see premiere Tuesday, February 2nd).”


Omori began working on solo material in early 2014 which has now fully materialized as New Misery, a collection of 11 songs building upon his own musical past while reaching towards the future of what guitar rock could be. His songs marry dark yet blissful pop with vocal melodies and hooks that are at once immediate yet demand to be heard again and again.

Omori’s previously announced 4-week spring tour in support of New Misery starts March 24th in Chicago, IL at Lincoln Hall and currently ends April 24th in Toronto, ON at the Horseshoe Tavern. Preceding the tour is a string of midwestern dates this week, beginning February 3rd in Indianapolis at The Hi Fi through February 5th in Champaign, IL at The Accord. Additionally, Cullen will appear at the 2016 edition of SXSW in Austin, Texas. (See dates below.)


[Photo Credit:  Alexa Lopez]

More on Cullen Omori:

“I had this overwhelming feeling that perhaps the apex of my life both as a musician and as an individual would be relegated to five years in my late teens/early 20s,” says Cullen Omori, who was launched into the music industry when the Smith Westerns, who started in high school in Chicago, became fast-rising indie stars. “This fear really forced me to work hard as to not see the Smith Westerns as an end but as a point along a bigger trajectory.”

While New Misery grew out of a difficult personal and professional time for Omori, he says the title reflects “not so much the distress that comes with failure, but the troubles and complexities that come with any type of success. No matter what you get you’re going to want more, you’re going to want something different. That’s the catch.”

The title track is a dreamy, resonant reflection on these feelings, but is also a guidepost for Omori’s musical evolution. “The song starts slow and then builds with two solos,” he says. “There’s the guitar solo which is very much a Smith Westerns thing. The next solo is on the keyboard, which is a shift to a lot of what I’m trying to do.” Synths play a much larger role in Omori’s new music than in the Smith Westerns’ guitar-fueled rock, as do a wide range of influences including Roxy Music, INXS, Spiritualized, Wilco, Garbage, Hall & Oates, Kate Bush, U2, and Sparks. There’s also a more deliberate pop streak, inspired by the top-40 radio that would play while Omori worked at a medical supply company cleaning stretchers and wheelchairs.

“There is so much dirt in hospitals and fuzz and lint and dried blood on these things. We’d clean them down, which in a way is kind of therapeutic, and listen to the radio. Then we’d go back to Adam’s (Adam Gil, current live band member) house and record demos for what was to become the skeleton of New Misery. I can’t  sit down and say I’m going to write a Sam Smith or an Adele song or whatever. The closest I can get to that is making like this weird hybrid of what I think is a pop song.” The strongest example of this is the new wave-tinged single “Cinnamon,” which Omori describes as “dark pop–it’s poppy, it’s fast, but it also has all the colors and tones that are kind of dark. It’s self-deprecating, which was kind of where I was at emotionally. That, you know, I could have this poppy song or whatever but I don’t think I’m a pop star. I’m closer to thinking I’m a piece of shit than I am a pop star (read more at Sub Pop).


New Misery will be available worldwide on CD / LP / DL/ CASS through Sub Pop Records on March 18th, and is now available for pre-order through Sub Pop Mega MartiTunesGoogle PlayAmazon and Bandcamp. LP pre-orders though megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited “Loser” edition on clear vinyl with black, white and gold swirls (while supplies last).

The album was recorded by Shane Stoneback (Sleigh Bells, Fucked Up, and Vampire Weekend) at the now defunct Treefort Studios, and was mastered by Emily Lazar (Sia, HAIM, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, and Bjork) at The Lodge.


What people are saying about Cullen Omori:

“Shimmering beauty” [“Cinnamon”/ “New Music of the Day”] - NME
 
“It’s bittersweet, blissful pop 
with an ’80s hue - vocal melodies and hooks that are at once immediate yet demand to be heard again and again. Job well done, Cullen.” [“Cinnamon”] - The 405
 
“Led by dreamy, glimmering guitars, it takes Smith Westerns’ knack for a poppy hook to the next level.” [“Cinnamon”] -Consequence of Sound



Tour Dates

Feb. 03 - Indianapolis, IN - The Hi-Fi
Feb. 04 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club
Feb. 05 - Champaign, IL - The Accord
Mar. 14 - Columbia, MO - Rose Music Hall
Mar. 15 - Norman, OK - Opolis
Mar. 16 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Mar. 17 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Mar. 18 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Mar. 19- Austin, TX - SXSW
Mar. 20 - Austin, TX - SXSW
Mar. 24 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
Mar. 25 - Madison, WI - High Noon
Mar. 26 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry
Mar. 28 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
Mar. 29 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
Mar. 30 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
Apr. 01 - Seattle, WA - Barboza
Apr. 02 - Vancouver, BC - Fortune Sound Club
Apr. 03 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
Apr. 05 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
Apr. 07 - Los Angeles, CA - Teragram Ballroom
Apr. 08 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
Apr. 09 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar
Apr. 11 - Austin, TX - Stubb’s Jr
Apr. 12 - Dallas, TX - Prophet Bar
Apr. 13 - Houston, TX - Raven Tower
Apr. 15 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
Apr. 16 - Nashville, TN - High Watt
Apr. 17 - Columbus, OH - The Basement
Apr. 18 - DC, Washington - DC9
Apr. 19 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
Apr. 21 - Boston, MA - Great Scott
Apr. 22 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
Apr. 23 - Montreal, QC - Le Divan Orange
Apr. 24 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern

For ticket links, click over here.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : THU, JAN 7, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cullen Omori Shares “Cinnamon” and Announces Debut LP ‘New Misery’ + 2016 Tour Dates

On March 18th, former Smith Western frontman Cullen Omori will release his debut LP, New Misery, worldwide on CD / LP / DL via Sub Pop Records. The album, which features the highlights “Cinnamon” and “Sour Silk” was recorded by Shane Stoneback (Sleigh Bells, Fucked Up, and Vampire Weekend) at the now defunct Treefort Studios, and was mastered by Emily Lazar (Sia, HAIM, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, and Bjork) at The Lodge. 

The debut video for “Cinnamon” - directed by Abigail Briley Bean - premiered today (see January 7th Pitchfork News Story).


Omori began working on solo material in early 2014 which has now fully materialized as New Misery, a collection of 11 songs building upon his own musical past while reaching towards the future of what guitar rock could be. His songs marry dark yet blissful pop with vocal melodies and hooks that are at once immediate yet demand to be heard again and again.
 
Cullen and his band have scheduled a 4-week spring tour in support of New Misery, which begins March 24th in Chicago, IL at Lincoln Hall and currently ends April 24th in Toronto, ON at the Horseshoe. Preceding the tour is a string of midwestern dates that run from February 3rd in Indianapolis at The Hi Fi through February 5th in Champaign, IL at The Accord. Additionally, Cullen will appear at the 2016 edition of SXSW in Austin, Texas. (tour details below)


 
You can now pre-order New Misery through Sub Pop Mega Mart,iTunesGoogle PlayAmazon and Bandcamp. LP pre-orders though megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited “Loser” edition on clear vinyl with black, white and gold swirls (while supplies last).


More on Cullen Omori:
Cullen Omori knows it’s a false cliche to say there are no second acts in American lives, but after the 2014 breakup of his acclaimed band the Smith Westerns, living that cliche was his greatest fear. His solo debut New Misery, out March 18 on Sub Pop Records, is a direct challenge to that anxiety: an album that goes beyond the glam punch of the Smith Westerns to new sounds, new sources of inspiration, and greater self-awareness.


Photo credit: Alexa Lopez


“I had this overwhelming feeling that perhaps the apex of my life both as a musician and as an individual would be relegated to five years in my late teens/early 20s
,” says Omori, who was launched into the music industry when the Smith Westerns, who started in high school in Chicago, became fast-rising indie stars. “This fear really forced me to work hard as to not see the Smith Westerns as an end but as a point along a bigger trajectory.”
 
While New Misery grew out of a difficult personal and professional time for Omori, he says the title reflects “not so much the distress that comes with failure, but the troubles and complexities that come with any type of success. No matter what you get you’re going to want more, you’re going to want something different. That’s the catch.”
 
The title track is a dreamy, resonant reflection on these feelings, but is also a guidepost for Omori’s musical evolution. “The song starts slow and then builds with two solos,” he says. “There’s the guitar solo which is very much a Smith Westerns thing. The next solo is on the keyboard, which is a shift to a lot of what I’m trying to do.” Synths play a much larger role in Omori’s new music than in the Smith Westerns’ guitar-fueled rock, as do a wide range of influences including Roxy Music, INXS, Spiritualized, Wilco, Garbage, Hall & Oates, Kate Bush, U2, and Sparks. There’s also a more deliberate pop streak, inspired by the top-40 radio that would play while Omori worked at a medical supply company cleaning stretchers and wheelchairs.
 
“There is so much dirt in hospitals and fuzz and lint and dried blood on these things. We’d clean them down, which in a way is kind of therapeutic, and listen to the radio. Then we’d go back to Adam’s (Adam Gil, current live band member) house and record demos for what was to become the skeleton of New Misery. I can’t  sit down and say I’m going to write a Sam Smith or an Adele song or whatever. The closest I can get to that is making like this weird hybrid of what I think is a pop song.” The strongest example of this is the new wave-tinged single “Cinnamon,” which Omori describes as “dark pop–it’s poppy, it’s fast, but it also has all the colors and tones that are kind of dark. It’s self-deprecating, which was kind of where I was at emotionally. That, you know, I could have this poppy song or whatever but I don’t think I’m a pop star. I’m closer to thinking I’m a piece of shit than I am a pop star.”
 
Along with Omori, New Misery features additional bass and keyboards from Ryan Mattos, drums from Loren Humphrey, and James Richardson on guitar. But unlike with the more distributed roles within the Smith Westerns, Omori wrote, played, and oversaw nearly every part of the new album, beginning a 
true new chapter of his long-term creative growth.
 
“People would be like, ‘Oh man, your band is doing really well. I saw you on the internet.’ But seeing you on the internet isn’t equivalent with making hundreds let alone thousands of dollars or being really successful. When I was younger I believed that happiness came from success and now that I’m older, more seasoned I find myself believing that stability over a long time is also its own type of success. I came out of Smith Westerns at 25 with no real job experience, I only knew how to play music. Writing and recording these songs for myself was cathartic, and I didn’t know my destination or future, but picking up my guitar and playing was the only way I knew I’d get close to figuring it out.
 
Tour Dates
Feb. 03 - Indianapolis, IN - The Hi-Fi
Feb. 04 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club
Feb. 05 - Champaign, IL - The Accord
Mar. 24 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
Mar. 25 - Madison, WI - High Noon
Mar. 26 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry
Mar. 28 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
Mar. 29 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
Mar. 30 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
Apr. 01 - Seattle, WA - Barboza
Apr. 02 - Vancouver, BC - Fortune Sound Club
Apr. 03 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
Apr. 05 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
Apr. 07 - Los Angeles, CA - Telegram Ballroom
Apr. 08 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
Apr. 09 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar
Apr. 11 - Austin, TX - Stubb’s Jr
Apr. 12 - Dallas, TX - Prophet Bar
Apr. 13 - Houston, TX - Raven Tower
Apr. 15 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
Apr. 16 - Nashville, TN - High Watt
Apr. 17 - Columbus, OH - The Basement
Apr. 18 - DC, Washington - DC9
Apr. 19 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
Apr. 21 - Boston, MA - Great Scott
Apr. 22 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
Apr. 24 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern


Posted by Rachel White