Tag Archives: 4AD

New Breeders videos: Wait in the Car

Video: The Breeders – “Wait in the Car”

The Breeders – Wait in the Car (Official Video)

New single, out now on 4AD.

Good morning!

The Breeders are back with their Last Splash lineup (the Deal twins, Jim Macpherson, and Josephine Wiggs). Pretty exciting. Last Splash is still a great album and its production is so weird and trippy. Not much evidence that any new stuff is going to be that freaky sounding, judging by the new single, but “Wait in the Car” rocks and still has that classic Breeders vibe of fun mayhem.

Meow meow meow meow meow.

They’re releasing three variants of the single with different art and b-sides, and the one I’m most excited about features a cover of Mike Nesmith’s “Joanne.” Should be awesome. Can’t wait to hear it. (The other two b-sides are Devo’s “Gates of Steel” and Amon Düül II’s “Archangel Thunderbird.”

The Breeders: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Breeders videos: Wait in the Car

New Torres video: Three Futures

Video: TORRES – “Three Futures”

TORRES – Three Futures (Official Video)

From Three Futures, out September 29 on 4AD.

In the last video from Torres we saw our hero walking around your Aunt Phyllis’ basement with a guitar. This new video is set upstairs in the same house, and this time Torres’ Mackenzie Scott is cast as three separate characters: the foxy housewife, the grumpy husband, and (once again) the cool guitar player. I.e., the participants in the love triangle described in the chorus where the narrator describes her three potential futures: “One alone and one with you / And one with the love I knew I’d choose.” It’s a new twist on the classic cheatin’ breakup song.

While the lyrics don’t offer much hope for the jilted lover, at least the video features a happy ending!

TORRES: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New National video: Guilty Party

Video: The National – “Guilty Party”

The National – 'Guilty Party'

From Sleep Well Beast, out September 8 on 4AD.

I never really got the National until I heard the song “Bloodbuzz Ohio.” Now I like them, and I can no longer even hear the Joy Division references that turned me off when Boxer first brought them to my attention.

Continue reading New National video: Guilty Party

New Torres Video: Skim

Video: TORRES – “Skim”

TORRES – Skim (Official Video)

This song is cool and the video is creepy. Mackenzie Scott is hanging out in your Aunt Phyllis’ house (complete with pool table and intercom!) and getting groped by disembodied arms while she walks around playing the guitar. Eventually she gets down with Ruth Bader Ginsburg and another, more scantily clad hottie. The guitar tone is paranoid and the lyrics are evocative: “There’s no unlit corner of the room I’m in.”

The “Skim” single is out now on 4AD.

TORRES: web, twitter, fb, amazon, apple, wiki.

Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

Deerhunter - Halcyon DigestpgDeerhunterHalcyon Digest (4AD)

The prolific output of Deerhunter should at least get you to notice them, but it’s the band’s consistency that will convert you. They’re one of a select few that is able to combine successfully their art-rock tendencies with melodic fortitude.

Normally, this sense of melody comes in the form of reverberated cavestomps that sound like fractured, Nuggets-era musings on death, drugs, and disturbing characters.

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The National – High Violet

The National - High VioletThe NationalHigh Violet (4AD)

I didn’t think a band was supposed to work this way in these times: follow up the most successful album of your career with one that could potentially become the least likely to succeed.

But I can’t say enough about High Violet, the National‘s fifth album and most ambitious release to date, not only in terms of how its woe ultimately takes the wind out of any momentum that Boxer may have provided it, but how focused, smart, and goddamn good it sounds in those dark corners of personal abyss.

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Beggars Group Knows What’s Up

BeggarsI’ve known for a while that the Beggars Group has its shit together. This might be “inside baseball” but as the publisher of an online music zine, I’ve been very impressed with how their publicity department deals with us. Each release from their four labels (Matador, 4AD, XL, and Rough Trade) is promoted with a free, easily shareable MP3, and review copies are distributed far more simply than any other label. It is no coincidence that we review more stuff from Beggars than from other labels; they make it easier for us, and we’re kinda lazy—sometimes too lazy to even send an email requesting a promo.

Now, after reading this interview with Beggars founder and chairman Martin Mills, I realize why they’re great: the dude running the show is hella smart.

“You read the industry is 60 per cent of the size it was ten years ago. But that 40 per cent that has gone is almost entirely the cream at the top. Records that sold two million now sell 500,000 – that’s where that’s gone. At the same time it’s easier to sell those slightly smaller levels.

“What’s called pejoratively ‘the new middle class’ is someone like, say, Calexico or Midlake, who can sell 100,000 plus records every time they put out a record; they can play to 3-4,000 people in 30 or 40 cities around the world. And they can make a pretty good living out of that, doing what they love doing, and can do it on their own terms, and that’s fantastic. We’ve got a bunch of bands like that, they’re not necessarily seeking stardom or riches. That’s incredibly healthy.”

You just don’t expect to read quotes like that from a music exec. It’s refreshing. Mills has lots of insightful opinions on a variety of topics, and he makes a shitload of sense. He wants his artists (and his labels) to get paid, but acknowledges that “some of our best purchasers are also pirates.” It’s a complex world we’ve got here, but this guy reminds us that it’s a great time to be a smart independent label.

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Serena-Maneesh – SM2: Abyss In B Minor

Serena-Maneesh - SM2: Abyss In B MinorSerena-ManeeshSM2: Abyss In B Minor (4AD)

Quite possibly, the most accurate interpretation of My Bloody Valentine‘s Loveless since Kevin Shields submitted the invoice to Creation Records for the recording fees from that landmark album.

Yes, I’m aware that I’ve penned a number reviews that active use Loveless as a handy reference point, but Serena-Maneesh‘s second album, SM2: Abyss In B Minor, is such a spotless reinterpretation of Shields’ shoegaze classic that I’m inclined to tell everyone waiting for a My Bloody Valentine reunion album to pitch the idea and lend your support behind these Norwegian sound manipulators.

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Efterklang – Magic Chairs

Efterklang - Magic ChairsEfterklangMagic Chairs (4AD)

Love it or hate it, Arcade Fire‘s Funeral has reached international proportions to the point that even the second-tier bands can be found in such far reaching places like the Netherlands.

Here’s the thing, when Efterklang began making records before Funeral, the records sounded a lot more like Sigur Ros. Whether or not the change in sound was a factor in the band getting signed or the result of it, Magic Chairs is yet another entry in orchestral pop world that began when people stopped smelling like teen spirit and began incorporating their friend with the cello into their rehearsals.

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The Big Pink – A Brief History Of Love

The Big Pink - A Brief History Of LoveThe Big PinkA Brief History Of Love (4AD)

A better title would be “A Brief History Of Shoegaze,” but because not a lot of bands today are doing this type of music with such stunning accuracy, we’ll give the Big Pink a pass.

Let’s clarify a bit: A Brief History Of Love is nowhere near the same level as Psycho Candy or Loveless, but it could fit in nicely beside any Catherine Wheel record and is infinitely more hooky than anything Ride ever released. It is a pop record at its core—fueled by specific sections of a record store that stocks every Creation Records ever released on the merits of the label itself.

Continue reading The Big Pink – A Brief History Of Love