Tag Archives: Sub Pop

New Bully: Where To Start

Video: Bully – “Where To Start”

Bully - Where To Start [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Directed by Alan Del Rio Ortiz and Alicia Bognanno. From Sugaregg, due August 21 on Sub Pop.

Alicia Bognanno isn’t having any of your shit.

Running your face through ice cold water
Quick sugar rush, blood in the shower
I read your mind through the flash in your eyes
There’s nowhere to go, out of reasons to try

The song has an unexpected origin story.

“I was listening to ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawamba and picking apart the melodic structure and sort of trying to mimic that,” Alicia Bognanno told Rolling Stone. “I’m not even joking; it still makes me laugh to think about. But let’s be real, that is undeniably a solid song.”

Is it though? Really?

Bognanno says her song “addresses the frustration that comes along with love having the ability to fully control your mood and mental state for better or worse. It was therapeutic to funnel some lightheartedness into what can be an otherwise draining state of mind.”

One thing we can say for sure is that you are never gonna keep her down.

Bully: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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New Weyes Blood video: Wild Time

Video: Weyes Blood – “Wild Time”

WEYES BLOOD — WILD TIME

Directed by Natalie Mering. From Titanic Rising, out now on Sub Pop.

“It’s a wild time to be alive.” You can’t argue with that!

The new video features Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering and a few of her friends frolicking naked in the woods and then getting freaky with some dayglo paint under a blacklight.

Mering says the video “was shot on 16mm pre-Pandemic, then edited together during isolation. Felt like the right time to let this video out into the world, seeing as we’re all getting saddled down by some pretty grim realities. This song is about yearning for wildness and Mother Nature in a time of chaos. It’s for sensitive people who worry about the fate of humanity and feel powerless to do anything about it.”

The song has a very strong Seventies Creepout vibe. Remember when Karen and Richard Carpenter ate a bunch of acid and spent a week locked up in the studio with Scott Walker? Yeah, me neither. But if that happened I bet the results would sound a lot like “Wild Time.”

Weyes Blood: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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New Marika Hackman video: Hand Solo

Video: Marika Hackman – “hand solo”

Marika Hackman - hand solo

From Any Human Friend, out now on Sub Pop.

Not the most subtle video ever made, but that’s okay. Sometimes you want your message to come across loud and clear: Diddlin’ is fun.

Hackman said, “I wrote ‘hand solo’ as a bit of light-hearted relief, a wank anthem for women everywhere. I loved the idea of playing on old wives’ tales about the dangers of masturbation and pushing the boundaries about what is socially acceptable. I met Sam and we came up with this playful, tongue-in-cheek idea about hands all over the world masturbating on everyday objects, and even places, and eventually the world. The hands were directed by the wonderful Evie Fehilly, a sex educator who runs sex-positive workshops in London at the famous sex shop SH!. Despite the video being quite fun, I wanted to make a serious point at the end, after the world explodes in its orgasm, that masturbation is still for many women perceived as something shameful and embarrassing – the moment of shame after the ecstasy. We asked for any female-identifying people to anonymously submit their experiences of shame relating to masturbation, and we received so many heart-breaking and heavy stories. I hope that when people see these accounts, they can relate and realize that there’s no shame in masturbation.”

She also told Apple Music, “One lyric that will get overlooked because I don’t think many people are gonna understand the reference, but the first half of the song is looking at old wives’ tales about masturbation. One of them I read is that you get hairy hands if you masturbate too much. There’s a line in there that says, ‘Oh, monkey glove’—it’s talking about having hairy hands. It’s quite abstract but it sounds sexual as well. It sounds like something you might call your vagina. And it’s quite gross, that song. ‘Dark meat, skin pleat’—it’s all quite visceral. My favorite lyric is obviously ‘Under patriarchal law, I’m gonna die a virgin.’ That is insane, that is crazy! I feel like people don’t take my sexual experiences as real. The song is also a massive f**k-you, because it’s very funny and empowered with a bit of sass.”

When I was 11 years old my recently widowed mother read me a book called Preparing for Adolescence by Dr. James Dobson. My mom’s heart was in the right place and she felt a great responsibility to steer me in the right direction. I no longer had a dad to teach me about puberty and sex stuff, but can you imagine anything more embarrassing than having to hear a chapter titled “Something Crazy Is Happening to My Body” read out loud by your mom? Worse, Dobson’s views weren’t designed to create a particularly healthy attitude about sex. The bits of advice I can remember include “never do anything on a date that you wouldn’t want someone to do with your sister” and to remember that Jesus is always watching you. Impure thoughts offend God. If you’re feeling a certain kind of way, it’s best to take a cold shower.

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t take any of this advice. But I felt a lot of guilt and shame about it and that’s a bummer. These were also the early days of AIDS when we were taught that sex can straight up kill you. Hopefully kids these days have a healthier attitude about sex, but who knows? There’s an endless supply of creepy stuff out there to warp young minds. Every generation gets its own hangups.

Marika Hackman: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Frankie Cosmos video: Wannago

Video: Frankie Cosmos – “Wannago”

Frankie Cosmos - Wannago [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Directed by Robert Kolodny. From Close it Quietly, September 6 on Sub Pop.

The video is a little distracting but the song has everything you want from this band: sad melodies, earnest vocals, delicate harmonies, and shimmery guitars.

Greta Kline says, “Wannago is an older song that I thought would never come out. Every time we ever tried to arrange it we gave up or lied that we would come back to it later. It felt too hard, and I found some of the lyrics embarrassing. Then Alex encouraged us to give it another shot because he really loved the demo. We ended up all working together to turn this into a song that feels sparkly and distinct; and it’s really fun to play. I’ve accepted the cheesier lyrics as part of the youthful glow of the song, it feels very wide-eyed and is purely about love, distance, and life.”

Frankie Cosmos: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Frankie Cosmos video: Windows

Video: Frankie Cosmos – “Windows”

Frankie Cosmos - Windows [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Directed by Eliza Doyle and Greta Kline. From Close it Quietly, due September 6 on Sub Pop.

Watch Greta Kline and her pal Eliza Doyle frolic around the streets and beaches of New York. Like the music, the video mixes moments of silliness with poignancy.

Slow leak, slow dream
I never noticed you boiling

Kline says, “This song takes place during the waiting period of healing, not knowing how to proceed or how to find the path to forgiveness. The inner versus the outer — learning to see yourself as part of the whole. For me the lyrics cover some of the slow movements of relationships, the shifts that occur in ways of thinking over time.”

I know it’s probably uncool to dwell on but I still can’t get over the fact that Kline’s parents are Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates. That blows my mind.

Frankie Cosmos: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Marika Hackman video: I’m Not Where You Are

Video: Marika Hackman – “I’m Not Where You Are”

Marika Hackman - i’m not where you are

Directed by Will Hooper. From Any Human Friend, due August 9 on Sub Pop.

Marika Hackman is apparently a lousy girlfriend. Throughout the video for “I’m Not Where You Are” she pisses off a parade of lovers by remaining aloof (or possibly catatonic) despite their remonstrations.

Lately I’ve been trying
to find the point
in human contact.
I get bored like that.

Sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays!

The video’s actually pretty funny in the end, and the song is hauntingly catchy. And I can personally confirm that spilling a bloody mary makes a huge mess.

Marika Hackman: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Kyle Craft video: Broken Mirror Pose

Video: Kyle Craft – “Broken Mirror Pose”

Kyle Craft - Broken Mirror Pose [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

From Showboat Honey, due July 12 on Sub Pop.

I’m not sure what it is about this video that has me all in a bunch, but GOT DAMN if this song isn’t stuck in my head for days on end. Maybe it’s the balance of danger and fun the song elicits? I mean, it has a pretty ominous rhythm part juxtaposed with one of the most sing-song-y choruses of the summer jam season.

Balance, it seems, is a point of order for Craft as his bio says, “This is basically an album centered around bad luck and good fortune hitting at the same time,” Craft explains “Then, out of nowhere, I find love. Everything went to shit except that. I guess that’s how life works.”

The idea of bad luck and good fortune is particularly interesting to me as my closest friends and I just went through a year of a father dying. My friend’s dad, Bill, played a pivotal role in our lives, but one that was as gentle and “hands-off” as you can possibly imagine. He was a quiet presence, but a profound one in our lives. And as he was going through the process of dying, he had a constant refrain: “It is what it is.” He had the bad luck of getting brain cancer, but the good fortune of 75 years of great health and living life to the fullest. That’s a pretty good end result, really.

So this song kinda mystifies me. There are strange qualities that are hard to describe, and it’s driving me crazy. Maybe I should stop trying to figure it out and just accept it for what it is? Maybe I should just let it be? Maybe, after all, it just is what it is?

Kyle Craft: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Orville Peck video: Turn To Hate

Video: Orville Peck – “Turn To Hate”

Orville Peck - Turn To Hate [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Directed by Orville Peck and Carlos Santolalla. From Pony, out now on Sub Pop.

There’s been a spate of videos with dudes in masks of late, which I guess makes sense in the era of Trump and Brexit. We all have a little something to be ashamed of and perhaps a compulsion to hide from our responsibilities. Sub Pop crooner Orville Peck takes it one further by also masking his influences and genres, and it works like a charm. And maybe it’s not about hiding at all?

Peck recently told The 405, “Masks actually expose a lot—and in this case—allows people to connect way more with me than If I wasn’t wearing the mask. Wearing it lets me stay honest and not hold anything back, if that makes sense. If anything my masks are actually way more exposing than anything.”

Read any other review of his work and you hear a lot of Outlaw Country acts bandied about as musical references, which I guess is true, but I hear something else entirely. What I hear is a Bret Easton Ellis soundtrack. Not the Huey Lewis variety, but one that would play in an indie production of one of his books. There’s a bit of Big Country and Love and Rockets and The The and a whole heaping of Wall of Voodoo. While mining the 80s is in fashion these days, Peck has tapped a new vein. It’ll be interesting to see what else pans out.

Orville Peck: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New J Mascis video: Elastic Days

Video: J Mascis – “Elastic Days” (ft. Dina Martina)

J Mascis - Elastic Days [OFFICIAL VIDEO] Featuring Dina Martina

Directed by: Shane Wahlund & Michael Anderson. From Elastic Days, out now on Sub Pop.

How great is J Mascis? Doesn’t his voice just make you feel like you’re in college? It’s perfect this time of year, too, when the world is hushed by a blanket of snow. His solo stuff that he’s been releasing on Sub Pop since 2011’s Several Shades of Why has been so good. It’s still fun to destroy your eardrums with Dinosaur Jr, but it’s nice to be able to chill out with this mostly acoustic solo material as well.

Then the wheels came off, I don’t know what to say
It all made some sense if you know what to play
But I lost the plot of all elastic, all elastic day

The absurd video features “tragic singer, horrible dancer and surreal raconteur” Dina Martina lip syncing the song.

Mascis said, “I’ve been a big Dina Martina fan for a long time. I’ve seen her perform many times over the years. I’m glad that I got her to do this video before she becomes an untouchable superstar. I am amazed at how the video came out, I’m so psyched.”

Untouchable!

J Mascis: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Luluc video: Kids

Video: Luluc – “Kids”

Luluc - Kids [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Directed by Katie Mitchell. From Sculptor, out now on Sub Pop.

Most songs written by adults about kids are condescending, but Luluc treats their kids with respect.

The teacher who prides:
“Why don’t you come talk to me?
You’ve got such a big chip on your shoulder.”
“No, that’s my armor til I’m older.”

There’s a bit of a “It gets better” message but more important — or at least more visceral — is the “We’re gonna get out of here” message. For me, looking back a few decades, my overwhelming memory of adolescence is the feeling of just wanting to get out: of school, of my dumb hometown, of my house, of my body. Flight.

Luluc gets this.

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