Uproxx says of “Lightro…” and Watercolor, “Over a wafting cloud of synthy production Ray tackles the grimness of death and the fleeting nature of life, before the track bleeds into Stas’ starlit harmonies….When he starts spitting, you know it’s him immediately. He runs through various cadences and countless rhythms like it’s nothing to change up, but never loses a sense of cohesion in his rapping…In many ways, Watercolor is a distillation of Northwest rap told through the region’s most promising newcomer (see premiere February 21st).”
Porter Ray’s current live dates include a hometown release show on March 8th at Barboza (with guests Jarv Dee, Cam the Mac, and Bruce Leroy), multiple appearances at SXSW March 15th-19th, and Sasquatch Music Festival on May 26th. More live dates coming soon.
Tour Dates + Ticket Links Feb. 26 - Seattle, WA – Crocodile (w/ Pickwick for ACLU Benefit) Mar. 08 - Seattle, WA – Barboza (Watercolor Release Party) Mar. 15-19 - Austin, TX - SXSW May 26 - Quincy, WA - Sasquatch Music Festival
“Lightro…,” and the forthcoming Watercolor, find Ray blending thoughtful portraits of Seattle streets with cathartic biographical accounts of an eventful adolescence and early adulthood, during which his father passed away, his brother was shot and killed, he became a father, and saw his son’s mother go to jail. Possessing insight beyond his years, Ray’s laid back yet captivating style, vivid lyrical vignettes and powerful storytelling are built around a vulnerability and unflinching honesty.
Watercolor is available for preorder in all your favorite formats. LP pre-orders through the Sub Pop Mega Mart and independent retailers will receive the limited Loser Edition on translucent vinyl with magenta swirl in North America & Translucent vinyl in Europe, while supplies last.
Watercolor features original production from B-Roc, Dez Anthony, and Kmtk, and was mixed by Erik Blood. Guest appearances include Cashtro, Stas Thee Boss, Nate Jack, Jus Moni and Black Constellation elders Palaceer Lazaro and Fly Guy Dai of Shabazz Palaces.
What are “The People” saying about Porter Ray? Well, since you asked:
“A star in the making.” [Watercolor] - Uncut
“A natural storyteller, Ray unleashed a series of vivid mixtape portraits of his locale’s druggy highs and lows that painted him as a new school Nas with the lyrical slickness of Roc Marciano. The street-wise intellect certainly lets his slightly off-pitched voice do most of the heavy lifting over the stuttering spacey synthetics, phased keys and warped Rhodes of B-Roc’s atmospheric production.” [Watercolor, 4/5] -MOJO
“As a rapper, Porter’s storytelling skills drive his lyrical content. He tries to paint pictures, never sounding over excited or too energetic, opting for beats which create unique moods….with his effortlessly smooth tone and considered lyricism, Porter carries himself with striking presence and wisdom.” [Watercolor] - Crack Magazine
“Ray is Seattle to the bone, continuing the tradition of Sea-Town rappers with malleable flows and unorthodox sounds that bend along with them….The first taste of his album is a posse cut of sorts featuring Shabazz Palaces,Palaceer, and Castro. They all spit complicated rhyme schemes over a hollowed-out soundscape with dry 808 drums and shimmering, space-age synths reminiscent of THEESatisfaction.” [“Sacred Geometry”] - Stereogum
“Seattle rapper Porter Ray shares another hazy and seductive gem from his debut…“Arithmetic” showcases Porter’s golden voice and effortlessly vivid flow over a dreamy, immersively narcotic beat, elevated by spectral siren calls from the great Stas Thee Boss (formerly of THEESatisfaction) and anchored by a crucial assist from revered Seattle MC Infinite.” [“Arithmetic”] - Gorilla vs Bear
“On the first track from the Seattle native’s forthcoming Watercolor, Porter leads the song with melodic cadences and descriptive verses. Here, he and his collaborators all highlight the narratives that make up this holy equation.” [“Sacred Geometry”] - The FADER
Sub Pop Records in Seattle, WA is offering a grand total of $15,000 worth of college scholarship money to three eligible high school seniors. There are three scholarships—one for $7,000, one for $5,000 and one for $3,000. As longtime and proud losers ourselves, we’re exceedingly happy to be able, in some small way, to help further the education of art-enthused misfits from the NW.
Applicants must be a resident of Washington or Oregon, and a graduating senior on your way to full-time enrollment at an accredited university or college. We are looking for applicants who are involved and/or interested in music and/or the creative arts in some way. However, you do not need to be pursuing an education in the arts.
To apply you must submit an essay, one page or less, using any combination of the following questions as a guide (or write something completely your own, be inspired and creative!). Please list the school you are graduating from and the school you plan to attend in the fall at the top of your essay along with your contact information.
- What are you doing in the arts/music field in your community?
- What does being a Sub Pop ‘Loser’ mean to you?
- What are your influences and/or who inspired you to become involved in the arts?
- Describe your biggest failure and explain how it has brought you closer to your goal(s).
- Discuss a special attribute or accomplishment that sets you apart.
- How has your family or community background affected the way you see the world?
Applicants are strongly encouraged to send digital links and/or provide hard copies of their artwork along with their essay (we have never had a winner who submitted only an essay). However, please be aware that Sub Pop will not return any of this material, so please don’t send originals. Sub Pop will give equal opportunity to all applicants who fit the criteria outlined above. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, March 22nd.
Please send all submissions and attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, March 22nd. We will announce the scholarship winners on April 3rd.
With a handful of dark and rainy months still ahead of us, now’s
the time to curl up in front of the fire with a good book. Thanks to its
fruitful history and multi-talented roster, there is an abundance of books closely
tied to the Sub Pop family that rocks just as hard as your favorite TAD album.
Here are just a few of our preferred picks from here at the Sub Pop Airport Store!
Bruce Pavitt’s Sub
Pop USA: The Subterranean Pop Music
Anthology, 1980-1988 is a one-stop shop for everything you’d ever want
to know about the formation of Sub Pop, Carrie Brownstein’s Hunger
Makes Me a Modern Girl is a thoughtful and inspiring memoir
highlighting her experiences in Sleater-Kinney, while the graphic novel Black Hole by Charles Burns heavily
influenced La Luz’s most recent album Weirdo
Shine. (Additionally, Charles Burns contributed illustrations for Sub Pop
in our early days and is most visible on our Sub
Pop 200 compilation!)
To make your book reading experience even richer, we’ve
compiled the accompanying list of some of our favorite book and record pairings that will surely satisfy even the most ferocious appetite…
Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever just shared their cheeky new video for ”Julie’s Place,” the first single off their forthcoming EP (and Sub Pop debut), which we here at Sub Pop are stoked to release later this Spring.
True story: After the band spent their video budget on an idea that didn’t work out ($$¯\_(ツ)_/¯$$), they decided to film singer/guitarist Fran Keaney mowing his lawn on a Saturday morning. This simple idea actually ended up being much more in the band’s utilitarian style. So in a sense, out of defeat of an excess of options came a lean opportunity to do something more truthful.
[Photo Credit: Rubin Utama]
“Julie’s Place” levels up on everything that made Talk Tight such an immediate draw. It’s about being young and dumb but full of bravado. Sprinting guitars mimic singer Keaney’s pangs of heartache, his awkwardly sensual lyrics calling to mind the chaos and confusion of being around someone you can’t get off your mind.
You could (and should) feel the same about this band; follow Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever everywhere in the known universe… via Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Here at the ass-end of 2016, it’s a little tough to deny that this has been an inordinately trying year. A brief and sadly incomplete list of the events that brought us together to cry, reflect, regain composure, and then cry again would include the death of Bowie, the Orlando nightclub shooting, the death of Leonard Cohen, the Ghost Ship fire, and… Well, the list goes on. Enough so that the world actually does kind of seem like it’s a crumbling gingerbread cookie right on the fragile edge of oblivion. We should (and, we very much hope, will!) all do what we can to respond to these challenges, and those that are sure to come.
There are also, it’s worth remembering, some things to celebrate from 2016. And, some of those very things are compiled in Sub Pop’s Best of 2016 collection, which many of us here at the Airport Store contributed to, and which can be found here:http://bestof2016.subpop.com/.
Here, also, is a summary of all the neat holiday items we started carrying at the Airport Store that just may provide a welcome distraction from the horrifying chaos that is modern times:
The Ventures’ Christmas Album (CD)
The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Album (CD)
It’s that time of year again where we thank you for being the best customers imaginable in the world of music-buying peoples far and wide.
In an effort to show our unending appreciation of you, we’ll now attempt to coerce you into spending even more of your hard earned shekels with us this holiday season… by offering 20% off on all* Sub Pop Mega Mart orders over $25 starting today and going all the way ‘til 11:59 pm on January 3rd. Believe us when we say that we’ve got some of the best midsize-indie-record-label-branded merchandise your heart can handle, and we’d really love to sell it to you and your loved ones this holiday season. Knit hats, gloves, and sweaters? We’ve got ‘em. Things designed to make you sweat (like sweatshirts and sweatpants, gutterbrain)? We’ve got those too. Trinkets and trash? Enough for everyone! We’ve also got a slew of really exciting 2016 releases that you might have missed out on from bands like Clipping., TAD, LVL UP, Goat, Kristin Kontrol, Morgan Delt, and so much more.
All orders placed by December 19th are guaranteed to ship out before we close up shop for the year, so get your orders in early and often. Related to this impending warehouse closure, any orders placed between December 19th and January 2nd will not ship out until after we are back in the office on January 3rd.
Thank you in advance for your impending (wildly overzealous, we hope) gift buying spree.
Love, Sub Pop.
*All Current and future pre-orders from excellent artists like Pissed Jeans and Jesca Hoop are excluded from this 20% off sale. These items do, however, count towards reaching your $25 qualifying order total, so definitely pick those up too!