Shearwater have been a prolific bunch while on Sub Pop. Their label debut, Animal Joy, was followed quickly with the wonderful covers record, Fellow Travelers, a couple of 7” singles thrown in for good measure, and here we are today offering you a FREE download of the track ”Black Is The Color”, which was recorded at WNYC for the “Colors” episode for the truly enlightening radio show, Radiolab (if you’re not already into this show, do your brain a favor and get into them here).
In other Shearwater news, the band will be offering an exclusive, special limited release album throughout their current tour: Missing Islands is a 20-track collection of demos and outtakes from the sessions for Rook, The Golden Archipelago, and Animal Joy,
spanning the years from 2007 to 2012. Most of these recordings, which
range from solo acoustic home recordings to full-band explorations, have
never been released in any form, and they catch the songs halfway
between sleeping and waking. It also features some songs that never made
it out of the incubator, some memorable studio moments, and the sound
of Thor fighting a mighty (but deceased) oak tree (he won). You can read some liner notes JM wrote about the release right now.
Thanks to the short holiday week, the typical North American record release day, Tuesday, November 26th was officially moved up to Monday, November 25th (that’s today!), and bringing with it two Sub Pop releases! Today marks the release of Shearwater’sFellow Travelers and the long-overdue re-release of Soundgarden’sScreaming Life/Fopp.
Listen to Soundgarden’s classic “Nothing to Say” and Shearwater’s cover of The Baptist Generals’ “Fucked Up Life” with the embedded players, both of those tracks are available on their respective Monday, November 25th, 2013 releases.
Sub Pop’s Small Bounty of Record Store Day Treasure
We are, once again, participating in the frenzied, let’s-get-our-economy-back-on-track holiday tradition known among vinyl collectors, music fanatics, and eBay flippers as Record Store Day’s Black Friday, for which we (and other record labels and artists) come up with very cool and very limited releases to be sold exclusively at independent record retailers.
On November 29th, Sub Pop (hey, that’s us) will release two limited-edition Black Friday exclusives: Josh Tillman’s score to the forthcoming short film The History of Caves, and a split 7” featuring Low’s popular rendition of Rihanna’s megahit “Stay” and Shearwater’s take on Frank Ocean’s “Novacane.” Please find track listing details for both releases below.
The History of Caves is the directorial debut of photographer and filmmaker Emma Elizabeth Tillman, and it will premiere later this year on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes. Josh Tillman’s (spoiler alert: he is Father John Misty!) haunting, spare instrumental score spans 10 tracks, all of which are featured on this limited-edition LP. The album is limited to 2,000 copies.
Labelmates Low and Shearwater each contribute what might be considered, in some circles, improbable covers of popular songs for this split 7” single. After performing a crowd-favorite live version of Rihanna’s “Stay” at the Pitchfork Music Festival this past July, Low recorded a studio version at Sacred Heart in Duluth, MN. Low’s version of the pop ballad has been available digitally since mid-September and follows in the wake of the band’s March 2013, Jeff Tweedy-produced album The Invisible Way. Shearwater’s new album Fellow Travelers is out November 26, 2013, and on it the band performs re-imagined songs by bands they have toured with over the years, including Folk Implosion, St. Vincent, Wye Oak, Xiu Xiu, and Coldplay among others. Unfettered by the operating principle of Fellow Travelers (and inviting future tour dates together) Shearwater recorded their own gauze-wrapped, undulating version of Frank Ocean’s “Novacane” for this single. Low’s proceeds will benefit Rock for Kids (www.rockforkids.org), while Shearwater’s will benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center (www.splcenter.org). This 7” is limited to 3,500 copies.
Both releases will also be available digitally, so you MP3 purists can have yours, too.
That it’s late August and we’re already talking about a November record release is more than a little disheartening, but we at Sub Pop are taking solace in the fact that Fellow Travelers, the late Autumn sonic gem in question, comes from Shearwater, their second record on this fine(ish) record label. Fellow Travelers is a somewhat conceptual covers album comprised of compositions from artists that Shearwater have shared a stage with during their touring tenure (full track listing below). If you pre-order Fellow Travelers, you’ll receive a bonus 7" featuring two more Shearwater covers of their fellow travelers (while supplies last). Listen to the album track “I Luv the Valley OH!!”, originally by Xiu Xiu, in the embed.
1) “Our Only Sun” – a fragment of the song “Deeper Devastation,” by Jesca Hoop
2) “I Luv the Valley OH!!” – Xiu Xiu
3) “Hurts Like Heaven” – Coldplay
4) “To Be of Use” – Smog
5) “Natural One” – Folk Implosion
6) “Ambiguity” – David Thomas Broughton
7) “Cheerleader” – St. Vincent
8) “Tomorrow” – Clinic
9) “A Wake for the Minotaur” – Shearwater & Sharon Van Etten
10) “Mary is Mary” – Wye Oak
11) “Fucked Up Life” – The Baptist Generals
Another week is already on top of us, June’s entering its awkward tweens, and we’ve got another issue of Getting to Know Us, the weekly column in which we go on and on (and on) about a few of the artists playing our self indulgent 25th anniversary party (the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee—July 13th—Seattle), with the tedium of proud parents in an effort to acquaint/reacquaint you with the artists playing. This week, we’re going to tell you all about Greg Dulli, Shearwater, and The Baptist Generals.
Among Sub Pop’s many prodigal sons, Greg Dulli stands out because we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to work with him on not just one, but three different projects: The Afghan Whigs, The Gutter Twins, and most recently, The Twilight Singers; each sonically unique unto themselves yet somehow all clearly branded “Dulli”—all with truly astonishing releases. Greg Dulli is going to have an unparalleled depth in which to pull songs from, so a performance from him is likely to be a multi-decade-spanning trip from the past to the present with stops everywhere in between—we’re excited to board any ship with Greg Dulli at the helm—it’s going to be a great ride. Watch the video for “On The Corner”, from Twight Singers’ 2011 Dynamite Steps to hear what we’re saying.
Shearwater’s prolific career has been on high speed for over a decade, but we’ve only just recently been lucky enough to work with them having released their seventh full-length record, Animal Joy, in 2012. Without a background in poetry, it’s difficult to accurately describe exactly the sound that Shearwater has so developed over the years—dark with a healthy dose of pirated optimism?—yikes, that’s not it. Check out their cinematic video for “You As You Were”, my personal favorite Shearwater song.
The Baptist Generals hold the Sub Pop Records record for longest time span between debut and sophomore record—No Silver/No Gold and Jackleg Devotional to the Heart—2003 and 2013, respectively; a full decade. It’s no small feat reintroducing a band to a generation of music listeners and record collectors who were forced to move on after the long wait, but upon our first hearing Jackleg, there was no question that we had to share this record with anyone and everyone who we could play it for, which is to say, it may have been a long time, but The Baptist Generals sound is as good as ever. They’re like the Meryl Streep of Denton, TX-based musicians. To hear proof of this well-aged sound, listen to “Broken Glass.”
With last Friday’s announcement expanding the already get-here-July 13th-no-matter-what caliber lineup for The Silver Jubilee to include METZ, King Tuff, Built To Spill, Chad VanGaalen, and brand new Sub Pop artists, clipping., this festival is shaping up to be the best we’ve ever been to—here’s to hoping you can join us.