We’re thrilled to announce that Sub Pop will release Love Letter For Fire, a collaborative effort from Sam Beam (of Iron and Wine) and Jesca Hoop, worldwide this coming April 15th. The thirteen-track album features the singles “Every Songbird Says” (listen now via YouTube or Soundcloud) and “Valley Clouds,” and was written throughout 2014. 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).
Love Letter For Fire was produced, recorded and mixed by Tucker Martine (Modest Mouse, Decemberists, Neko Case) at Flora Recording & Playback in Portland, and mastered by Richard Dodd in Nashville. The album also features a cover photo by Sam Beam.
Love Letter For Firewill be available on CD / LP / DL / CASS, and is available for preorder now. LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited Loser edition on Smoke-colored vinyl (while supplies last, so don’t sleep!).
More on Love Letter For Fire:
Love Letter for Fire is the name of the collaborative record from songwriters Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) and Jesca Hoop. A collection of songs steeped in the tradition of the male/female duet where love – in its many forms - takes center stage.
Contemplating a duets album for some time, Beam was never able to find the right voice - until Hoop’s music found its way to his stereo. Diving into her catalog on iTunes one afternoon, specifically the album Kismet, was the spark Sam needed to reach out to Jesca and propose the idea of writing together.
The timing could not have been better for Beam: “I was looking to work with another songwriter because I had never shared the songwriting responsibility with anyone. I really enjoyed her music and it’s different than mine which is what excited me about the project.”
Hoop at the time was finishing her fourth record and had never co-written either. However she notes, “I had the advantage of knowing Sam’s music because it had cleaned my house many times, so I was familiar with his sensibilities and knew the combination could work.” Her memory though of “Sam’s pitch” for making the record occurred once they connected in person and Beam “threw [the idea] under his breath, like ‘If we ever write songs together.’ I think he said ‘Let’s make an EP’ and I said ‘Let’s make an album.’”
The inspiration behind Love Letter For Fire was Sam’s love of classic duets, most of which are ones he grew up hearing on the radio. “Some of my favorite songs are duets, because the narrative is expanded. It’s not just a monologue. It’s a conversation, and so it gets complicated. I had melodies over the years that I’d been compiling that I thought, this sounds like a classic Kenny and Dolly, ‘Islands in the Stream’ kind of thing, or George and Tammy”. While the record itself is not Countrypolitan in nature, the two have carved out something that feels wholly original and should have no trouble appealing to fans of their previous work.
Over the course of thirteen songs Love Letter for Fire brims with a joyful energy, contrasting Beam and Hoop’s songwriting styles yet never feeling forced, nor pandering. Veering from disparate pop (“Every Songbird Says” / “Chalk It Up To Chi”) to introspective folk (“One Way to Pray” / “Soft Place to Land”) to a few things in between (“Welcome to Feeling” / “Midas Tongue”), the record never rests solely on just the two voices but rather showcases the new chapter of songwriting each found in the collaboration. Beam notes: “(Jesca) brought a lot of energy and a lot of heart in places where I would be cerebral, she would bring heart. In places where I would be steady, she would add an exclamation point.”
Recorded in Portland, Oregon with the steady hand of Tucker Martine, the album features a collection of handpicked musicians. The band includes Rob Burger, a frequent Iron & Wine contributor, Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple), Teddy Rankin-Parker (Primus), Eyvind Kang (Decemberists/Tzadik and Ipecac labels) and Glenn Kotche (Wilco). This particular set of musicians had never worked together, but quickly found themselves on equal footing. For Beam it was a bit of a dream team: “It was a really funband, and a lot less guitar than I usually have on my [Iron & Wine] records. Tucker and the band were able to help bring out what’s inside of you that you might not know is there.”
The album’s title comes from the song, “We Two Are A Moon“ and the irony of the title and record of love songs by two folks not in love is not lost on its creators. The idea of love in song and life is a constant and universal denominator that everyone relates to. Hoop describes love and the songs succinctly: “Each song has its own heat, its own trajectory.” The album title represents a kind of “ephemeral love that passes through” and then it’s gone. Beam on the other hand insists the title plays on itself in that “is it a love letter for fire? Or is it a love letter ready to be wasted?” and leaves it up to the listener to come to their own conclusions (read more at Sub Pop).
Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop have scheduled a North American tour in support Love Letter For Fire, which begins Tuesday, May 17th in Ann Arbor, MI at The Ark and ends Saturday, June 11th in Chicago, IL at Thalia Hall. Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, February 19th.
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
While it’s been almost 8 years since Sub Pop released The Shepherd’s Dog, the last record that we worked with Iron & Wine on, we remain huge admirers of the work of Sam Beam. With the release of ArchiveSeries Vol. No. 1, we decided to compile a playlist that we’re calling “A Beginner’s Guide to Iron & Wine” to introduce/reacquaint fans to the evocative and beautiful sound of I&W.
Can you believe it? We certainly can’t, but it’s true, Iron & Wine’s game-changing debut record, The Creek Drank The Cradle, came out ten years ago today, and to celebrate, we’re offering it to you on CD, LP, or MP3 for just $8 for the next two weeks.
IN HONOR OF THISSPECIALDAY, SUBPOPRECORDSWILLRELEASE A MARVELOUSRANGE OF MUSICPRODUCTS, AVAILABLEONLY IN PARTICIPATINGRECORDSTORES
Record Store Day In-Store Performances by Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, No Age, Male Bonding & Dum Dum Girls
Originally conceived in 2007 as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally, the first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008. Now celebrated the third Saturday every April, it’s the one day each year that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists and labels to celebrate the art of music. We at Sub Pop Records have put together a whole raft of releases (seven in all!) to help entice people into record stores to enjoy the many pleasures offered there. Each destined for future collector’s item status, the Sub Pop Record Store Day 2010 series of releases is sure to appeal to the minor OCD tendencies of every true music enthusiast. To find a participating store, go here.
FOR: RECORDSTOREDAY 2010 FROM: SUBPOP, WITHLOVE
Beach House “Zebra” 12” (sp877)
The “Zebra” 12” features 2 new tracks (“The Arrangement” and “Baby”) and 2 alternate takes on songs from the popular 2010 Teen Dream album (a UK radio edit of “Zebra” and the Cough Syrup remix of “10 Mile Stereo”). Available now: Beach House’s Teen Dream SP845, CD+DVD/2xLP+DVD.
1. Zebra (UK Radio Edit)
2. The Arrangement
2. 10 Mile Stereo (Cough Syrup Remix)
The Album Leaf “There Is a Wind” 12” (sp878)
The “There Is a Wind” 12” features 2 new tracks (“Landing in Snow” and “Resonations”) and 2 alternate takes on songs from the popular 2010 A Chorus of Storytellers album (an acoustic version of “There Is a Wind” and the Jamuel Saxon sunburnt remix of “Falling from the Sun”). Also available now: The Album Leaf’s A Chorus of Storytellers SP805, CD/2xLP.
1. There Is a Wind (acoustic)
2. Landing in Snow
2. Falling from the Sun (Jamuel Saxon sunburnt remix)
Dum Dum Girls / Male Bonding 7” (sp876)
Two brand-new and exclusive tracks for Record Store Day 2010, one each from LA’s Dum Dum Girls and London’s Male Bonding. Both bands have debut albums out this spring on Sub Pop. Also available now: Dum Dum Girls’ I Will Be SP840, CD/LP. Available May 11th: Male Bonding’s Nothing Hurts SP854, CD/LP
Side A: Dum Dum Girls “Pay for Me”
Side AA: Male Bonding “Before It’s Gone”
Happy Birthday 7” (sp874)
Two brand-new and exclusive tracks for Record Store Day 2010 from Kyle “King Tuff” Thomas’ Happy Birthday. Both of these tracks, like those of Happy Birthday’s self-titled March 2010 debut album, were recorded and mixed at Kyle’s home studio. Available March 16th: Happy Birthday’s Happy Birthday SP850 CD/LP.
Side A: “Shampoo”
Side B: “Alien”
Soundgarden “Hunted Down” 7” Reissue (sp12a)
This reissue of a Sub Pop classic was arranged specially for Record Store Day. “Hunted Down” was released in June 1987 as the band’s first single and was later available on Screaming Life. This single is pressed on translucent orange vinyl. The original, now a Soundgarden collector’s item, was pressed on blue vinyl.
Side A: “Hunted Down”
Side B: “Nothing to Say”
CocoRosie “Lemonade" 7” (sp884)
The A-side to this limited-edition single is an edit of one of the stand-out tracks from the new CocoRosie album Grey Oceans and the B-side is the band’s cover of the Beach Boys’ classic “Surfer Girl.” Grey Oceans, CocoRosie’s Sub Pop debut (and fourth full-length album overall) will be released on May 11, 2010. Watch a ““Smokey Taboo” trailer from Grey Oceans.
Side A: “Lemonade”
Side B: “Surfer Girl”
SP20: Casual Nostalgia Fest CD (sp879)
We at Sub Pop Records celebrated our 20th anniversary in 2008 with, among other things, a 2-day music festival July 12th and 13th at Marymoor Park, somewhat unimaginatively called SP20. We’ve collected here some of our favorite performances from the SP20 festival. Sub Pop will be donating all of the profits from the sale of this CD to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
1. Green River: “Leech”
2. Wolf Parade: “Fine Young Cannibals”
3. The Vaselines: “Dying for It”
4. Obits: “Run”
5. Les Thugs: “Dirty White Race”
6. Eric’s Trip: “Smother”
7. Beachwood Sparks: “You Take the Gold”
8. Blitzen Trapper: “Furr”
9. Flight of the Conchords: “Carol Brown”
10. Iron & Wine: “Woman King”
11. Constantines: “Why I Didn’t Like August ‘93”
12. Seaweed “Baggage”
13. Grand Archives: “Dig That Crazy Grave”
14. Low: “Silver Rider”
15. The Helio Sequence: “Lately”
16. Kinski: “The Wives of Artie Shaw”
17. Pissed Jeans: “Caught Licking Leather”
18. Mudhoney: “The Open Mind”
19. Comets on Fire: “Dogwood Rust”
Well, here we are, back in action after a highly successful second annual Record Store Day! Thanks to all of you who purchased our limited edition goods at your finer local independent record shoppes. Your patronage means that we can keep paying the rent on the Sub Pop flag that flies continuously on the Space Needle and that my husband can continue bringing home his share of the proverbial bacon.
We’re releasing several great records this month, starting May 5 with Enter the Vaselines – the new and improved and deluxed version of The Way of the Vaselines. This new guy contains remixed and remastered versions of all the old songs, a new title, new cover art from the band, and a whole lot of new material (the entirety of the 17-song second CD/third LP has been added + never-before-heard demos, and live recordings from 1986 in Bristol and 1988 in London.). The Vaselines are Kurt Cobain’s favorite band so you should definitely check this out; unless of course you don’t like K. Cobain, in which case you might want to steer clear of the newly remodeled McDonald’s in Aberdeen which, rumor has it, features a huge portrait of the man himself inside the dining area. The Vaselines are doing some US touring as well, and it would behoof you to go see them if’n they’re in your area.
May 5 is also the day we release the Mykonos 7” by Fleet Foxes. You know them—they were on SNL, for chrissakes. Sheesh. This li’l record comes in a gatefold sleeve and is backed with a previously unreleased (here in the US) cover of the traditional folk ballad “False Knight on the Road” made popular by Steeleye Span and Richard Thompson. Oh, Steeleye Span and Richard Thompson—I LOVE those guys. (No, I don’t know who they are either, but the song is killer.)
On May 19th we’re releasing Around the Well by Iron and Wine. This is essentially a collection of never before released tracks, b sides, and covers. It’s got those jams from the movie In Good Company, and it’s a must for any serious Iron and Wine fan. (I have always wanted to say that!) Order before street date to get $2 off. That’s a deal, man!
And finally, we are all fucking ecstatic to have new mom/online publicist Alissa Gallivan back in the office after her maternity leave. The office has been deadly boring (sorry, other co-workers!) since she’s been away and the Rainier beer in the soda machine is in desperate need of re-stocking. Please leave Alissa a congratulatory comment of some sort—she’d love to hear from you.
It’s time again for Record Store Day (April 18), sometimes known as Record Store Day 2: The Reckoning. Last year we gave out free CD samplers of our astoundingly good bands, but this year we are doing something even better—SELLING stuff by our astoundingly good bands, but only in record stores, not even here on subpop.com.
We’re doing four limited-edition 7" singles with unreleased material by Flight of the Conchords (‘Pencils in the Wind’/‘Albi the Racist Dragon’), Obits (‘I Can’t Lose/‘Military Madness’), Vetiver (‘Wishing Well’/‘Pay No Mind’), and Blitzen Trapper (‘War is Placebo’/‘Booksmart Baby’). COLLECTORNERDSTATS: All of these are limited to 1500 copies, except Flight of the Conchords which is limited to 3000, but they’re on TV so….
We’re also releasing an 18-track live set from Iron & Wine’s Woman King tour in 2005, but this one’s on CD with extra cute packaging to make it look like a tiny 45. Adorable, and limited to 5000.
Learn more about Record Store Day here. See you in the vinyl bins, bro!