News for Jeremy Enigk

NEWS : THU, APR 12, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Sub Pop To Release Jeremy Enigk’s Solo Debut, The Newly Remastered ‘Return of the Frog Queen: Expanded Edition’ on May 25th, 2018

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U.S. East Coast Living Room Tour Is Underway Now Through April 24th.

On May 25th, 2018, Sub Pop will release Return of the Frog Queen, the newly remastered debut solo album from Jeremy EnigkReturn of the Frog Queen has been out of print since its original 1996 pressing. This reissue includes the original album, remastered in 2018, plus digital bonus tracks from Enigk’s 1996 live session on Seattle radio station The End.
 
Jeremy Enigk performed with legendary indie rock band Sunny Day Real Estate from 1993 to 2000. In 1996, following Sunny Day Real Estate’s first breakup (which lasted from 1995 to 1997), Enigk released Return of the Frog Queen.
 
Return of the Frog Queen represents a major shift from the sound of Sunny Day Real Estate. The album features a 21-piece orchestra backing Enigk as he performs striking, dramatic, chamber-pop compositions that demonstrate the full breadth of Enigk’s talents as a singer, musician, and songwriter. The album was produced by Greg Williamson, who also produced Sunny Day Real Estate’s 1998 comeback album, How it Feels to Be Something On

Return of the Frog Queen is now available for preorder from Sub Pop.  The vinyl edition of the album will be available on a limited run of purple vinyl (while supplies last).

Return of the Frog Queen 
Tracklisting
 
1. Abegail Anne
2. Return of the Frog Queen
3. Lewis Hollow
4. Lizard
5. Carnival
6. Call Me Steam
7. Explain
8. Shade and the Black Hat
9. Fallen Heart
10. Abegail Anne*
11. Return of the Frog Queen*
12. Lizard*
13. Carnival*
14. Explain*
*The End Sessions CD and
digital-only bonus tracks

Tour Dates + Ticket Links

Jeremy Enigk 2018 tour schedule is underway, with a U.S. east coast Living Room tour through April 24th. Additional live dates will be announced soon. Please visit Jeremy Enigk’s website here for more info.

[Photo Courtesy of the Artist]


About Jeremy Enigk’s Return of the Frog Queen

Three good reasons why it’s hard to remember a time when an album like Jeremy Enigk’s Return of the Frog Queen sounded shocking:

1) At the time of its release in 1996, there was no other album like it.
 
2) In the 22 years between then and now, its marriage of seemingly opposing sensibilities—English folk and American punk; orchestral chamber pop and progressive rock; surreal, pastoral, fanciful lyrics that burn to express personal, emotional, and spiritual quandary—has become the blueprint for so much great music that a young listener can be forgiven for thinking that things were always just like that.
 
This isn’t to claim some kind of Velvet Underground/Big Star status for the album, but it is to say that you can draw a straight line between Frog Queen and elements of Elliott Smith, Belle & Sebastian, Rufus Wainwright, Destroyer, the Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, Grizzly Bear, Joanna Newsom, Bon Iver, and many, many other artists who have come to define the past two decades of indie music.
 
3) It’s getting harder to remember anything anymore.
 
But Return of the Frog Queen is worth remembering. Or discovering. And most definitely celebrating. Though you rarely see it turn up on lists of 50 Best Things of Whatever Year We Wish We Still Lived in Because the Present Is Such a Consummate Drag, the album was an indisputable innovation in the world of ‘90s indie rock, rewriting a litany of unwritten rules about sound, subject matter, and solo identity for lead singers of successful bands.
 
THE BACKGROUND
 
As you probably know, Enigk was the singer/guitarist of Sunny Day Real Estate, the Seattle quartet widely credited as the Big Bang of the post-hardcore, indie rock variant of emo that would spend the next decade morphing into a massively commercial enterprise.
 
You can’t blame Sunny Day Real Estate for that, though. They were just a young, powerhouse band who happened to be several years ahead of their time.
 
SDRE’s debut album, Diary, and its first single, “Seven,” was a seismic event, not least in the lives of the band members. It was released in May of 1994, one month and two days after Kurt Cobain’s suicide was discovered. Diarybecame Sub Pop’s biggest-selling album since Bleach—a distinction that lasted until the next decade.
 
The story of the band’s splintering during the making of their follow-up album (LP2)—and triumphant reunion a few years later—has been well-told elsewhere. But for our purposes, it’s worth bearing in mind that the break-up drama formed the background from which Return of the Frog Queen emerged.   
 
In the space of about two years, Jeremy Enigk had joined a band with some friends, toured the world, sold way more records than anyone had anticipated, been heralded with hyperbolic—not to say unwarranted—praise, become a significant voice to a lot of young listeners, experienced a religious epiphany that he spoke of publicly, and watched the band buckle and fall apart, much to the dismay of a public that was only just starting to figure out how to broadcast its anxious speculations and judgments on the internet.
 
By the time the band broke up, he had been loved, respected, celebrated, criticized, vilified, and reproached. He was 21 years old.  
 
One might expect a person might respond to all this sturm und drang by making noisy, chaotic, electric guitar-driven music of the kind his now-defunct band made its name with. One might expect someone whose character and even sanity had been widely debated in public might want to write a definitive statement about his identity, his ideology, his id.
 
But Jeremy Enigk didn’t do either of those things. He made Return of the Frog Queen instead.  
 
ENTER THE FROG QUEEN
 
The songs that formed the basis of Enigk’s first solo album were about as far from the sound of Sunny Day Real Estate as you could imagine—unless all you’d heard of them was “Pheurton Skeurto,” the little piano songlet that sounds (delightfully) out of place on Diary.
 
Spare acoustic guitar figures and solemn, almost plainsong melodies are the foundational elements, which Enigk and his two key collaborators, producer Greg Williamson and arranger/conductor Mark Nichols, build up into astonishingly dynamic worlds of sound. But for all the swoops and bends, the unconventional entrances and exits, the arrangements remain organic, and perfectly united behind the singular human voice at the center of it all.
 
From the very first strum on “Abegail Anne,” the music is stately, mysterious, vaguely mystical, and not even remotely interested in the ironic detachment still popular in those days.
 
If anything, the arrangements, and the stupefyingly strong vocals, are flagrantly theatrical. Enigk sang hard over loud instruments in SDRE, but nothing prepared you for the versatility of his voice on Frog Queen. From a raspy whisper to conversational chest voice to clearly differentiated levels of high end—choked scream, melodic scream, head voice, falsetto, whatever you want. (And just a wisp of an unconscious British accent.)
 
But even at the peak of crescendo, as on the staggering climax of “Shade and the Black Hat,” on which Enigk wails “WON’T YOU STAY TONIGHT?” at the top of his range while the orchestra whips up a maelstrom—this music feels unfailingly intimate, while somehow remaining intensely private.
 
This is the central enigma (enigkma?) of the album: How can a song be both intimate and private? How can music that feels like fearless personal revelation grow more opaque the more closely you examine at it? Consider the author, and what his life was like at the time these songs were written and recorded. It’s easy to imagine a 21-year-old rock star manqué feeling overwhelmed, overexposed, overanalyzed, hungry for a kind of solace in which sound precedes meaning.
 
And yet, meaning is all over the record if you’re looking.
 
In among the pleasing, suggestively abstract imagery—“dallow water,” and “this dubious day,” and “window morning dream paradise”—Enigk plants lines that don’t require much interpretation at all if you’ve ever been anywhere near a break-up of a band or any other relationship, ever worried about what strangers might be saying about you, ever felt unseen, ever re-ran edited versions of old arguments in your mind, ever believed in something so fiercely that you were willing to lose friendships over it.
 
“Wait for, wait for me…”
 
“I’ve heard rumors…”
 
“No one knows my name…”
 
“What I’ve seen tears me inside…”
 
“Then the writing on the wall
said he is only the way
You said it was bad timing
at least we had timing at all.”
 
These lines are crucial, but they’re also non-sequiturs, there for you to discover if you’re looking, but the songs still work beautifully if you never do.  
 
But beyond the literal, there’s a spirit of fabulism in the lyrics—hardly a surprise on a record named after amphibian royalty. Who is this “Abegail Anne”? Where is this sleepy, enchanted “Lewis Hollow”? What does “hi, hey” mean? And how does he proceed so artfully from idle, drowsy contemplation of a lizard in a castle, observing the tremors of its “dreary heart,” to the roaring, soaring cascade of frustration bursting forth at song’s end? Who is being addressed, and by whom?
 
Trying to tease out the puzzle of these artfully esoteric lyrics has proven to be one of the album’s most durable pleasures (or possibly frustrations, if you prefer things spelled out). As time passes, the words might seem meaningless or profound depending on who you are, not who Enigk was.
 
It makes for an odd spin on the idea of self-revelation. The album unquestionably opens a window onto an unorthodox artist, pursuing an unorthodox process, to arrive at a most unorthodox production. But as with any great artwork, the real subject is the person looking at it.
 
ONWARD AND INWARD
 
Even after two decades, it’s difficult to find a name for the atmosphere conjured by the album. There are traces of Incredible String Band pastoralia, but also a strain of Pink Floydish unease. Bowie between Man Who Sold the Worldand Hunky Dory. It’s not dark exactly, but only because your eyes have adjusted to candlelight. It feels mystical, even metaphysical.
 
Emphasis on “physical.”
 
Jack Rabid of The Big Takeover nailed it in two sentences from his review:
 
“He pounds a piano and howls like his wife just left him for his best friend, as the violins, violas, and cellos scrape at their strings as if to break them, and the flutes, piccolos, trumpets, trombones, French horns, and clarinets blow like they were hired by a wolf to blast a few recalcitrant pigs’ houses down. The waves of classical countermelodies are extraordinary, adding on to each other to create an 1812 Overture anvil clarion call, a roar so dense, so overpowering, it’s like gasoline exploding, even more so as they back Enigk’s fevered wail as if he were long past desperation.”
 
Return of the Frog Queen was the very last thing anyone would have expected to come out of the singer of Sunny Day Real Estate, or really, the Pacific Northwest at that time—which was not long past a different kind of desperation.
 
Without knowing or intending it, Enigk and his collaborators made a record that pointed the way out of Seattle’s mid-‘90s post-boom-years malaise, which had no shortage of talent and desire, but lingering ambivalence about ambition, and no clear sense of cultural direction.
 
And then all of a sudden, here came an utterly singular demonstration that when all else fails, the most reliable direction is usually inward.
 
It’s unlikely that a generation of hopeful teenage garage bands formed as a response to eager suburban teens getting an earful of Return of the Frog Queen. Maybe it’s just a coincidence then, that in the years following the record’s release (and the breathtaking live shows Enigk played with a stripped-down version of the 21-piece orchestra that plays on the record), indie music from the Pacific NW outwards, got more expansive, more idiosyncratic, a little riskier, and a lot weirder.
 
But it was for sure never the same.


Posted by Rachel White

FRI, JUN 26, 2009 at 5:19 AM

Sunny Day Real Estate Presale/Ticket info

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Password: SUNNYDAY

September 17th
Vancouver, BC
Commodore Ballroom

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10am here

September 18th
Portland, OR
Crystal Ballroom (Musicfest NW)

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at 10am here

September 20th
Salt Lake City, UT
Murray Theater

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at 10am here

September 21st
Denver, CO
Ogden Theater

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at 10am here

September 23rd
Minneapolis, MN
First Avenue

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at 10am here

September 24th
Chicago, IL
Metro

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at Noon here

September 25th
Detroit, MI
St. Andrews Hall

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at 10am here

September 27th
New York, NY
Terminal 5

Presale happening now here
Tickets go on sale to the public Friday at Noon here

September 28th
Boston, MA
House of Blues

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at 10am here

September 30th
Washington, DC
930 Club

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at 10am here

October 1st
Philadelphia, PA
Trocadero

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at 10am here

October 3rd
Atlanta, GA
CW Center Stage

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at 10am here

October 5th
Dallas, TX
Granada Theater

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10am here

October 6th
Houston, TX
Warehouse Live

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10am here

October 7th
Austin, TX
La Zona Rosa

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10am here

October 9th
Tempe, AZ
Marquee Theatre

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10am here

October 10th
Anaheim, CA
House of Blues

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at 10am here

October 11th
Los Angeles, CA
Henry Fonda Theater

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10am here

October 13th
San Francisco, CA
Fillmore

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Sunday at 10am here

October 15th
Spokane, WA
Knitting Factory

Tickets go on sale Friday at 10am here

October 16th
Seattle, WA
Paramount Theatre

Presale starts Friday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10am here


Posted by Chris Jacobs

TUE, JUN 23, 2009 at 4:01 AM

Sunny Day Real Estate reunion tour plus Sub Pop reissues of Diary and LP2

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Following a more than 10 year hiatus, all four original members of pioneering Seattle rock band Sunny Day Real Estate will regroup for a 20-date US tour starting Sept. 17th, 2009. In addition, Sub Pop Records will re-issue both Diary and the band’s second full-length album, commonly known as LP2 (or The Pink Album for its entirely pink cover). Both re-mastered albums will include rare bonus tracks as well as newly written liner notes and will be released on both CD and LP Sept. 15, 2009, just prior to the start of the tour. Tour dates can be found here.

Originally formed in Seattle in 1992, Sunny Day Real Estate featured Nate Mendel (bass), William Goldsmith (drums), Dan Hoerner (guitar,vocals) and Jeremy Enigk (vocals, guitar). Diary, the band’s first full-length album, was released in 1994 on Sub Pop, going on to become the seventh-best selling record in the label’s history with more than 231,000 copies scanned in the US alone. Diary was recorded at Chicago’s Idful Studios with producer Brad Wood and released to critical acclaim. Following the completion of a US Tour to support the debut release, the group headed back into the studio with Wood to record the follow-up.

But during the recording sessions, internal tensions splintered Sunny Day Real Estate, resulting in a sudden break-up and the finished album being turned in to Sub Pop without a title or artwork. LP2 was released in November 1995, by which time both Goldsmith and Mendel had joined Foo Fighters and Enigk had begun a solo career. Without Mendel, Sunny Day Real Estate reunited in 1997 and released two more studio albums (the 1998 Sub Pop release How It Feels to Be Something On and in 2000 The Rising Tide on Time Bomb) before disbanding again in 2001. Sunny Day Real Estate’s influence has grown exponentially since the band’s initial split.

“I wasn’t around for the second version of the band that recorded the 3rd and 4th albums, so I’ve always had a feeling of unfinished business there,” Mendel explains. “We had all these out-sized ideas back then, ’Everyone’s going to learn a new instrument,’ and ’Let’s do a rock opera,’ but before we could get anywhere with them, the band broke up. We left behind all these weird and beautiful songs, though, and they’ve stuck with me all this time. I’m really happy that we get a chance to play them together again.”

These new editions of both Diary and LP2 will be available everywhere including sunnydayrealestate.fm and here at subpop.com.


Posted by Chris Jacobs