Tag Archives: Merge

New Tracyanne and Danny video: Cellophane Girl

Video: Tracyanne & Danny – “Cellophane Girl”

Tracyanne & Danny - Cellophane Girl (Official Music Video)

From Tracyanne & Danny, out now on Merge Records.

Another globetrotting video from Tracyanne Campbell and Danny Coughlan, this one featuring lead vocals from Coughlan who says, “I worked in a plastics factory for a while in my teens, and there was a woman, I guess in her late twenties, who would turn up for her shift looking like a film star despite the hair net, white wellies, and love bites on her neck. We all had crushes on her and adored her. I guess it’s a fond look back at a simpler time of adolescent infatuations.”

Tracyanne and Danny: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Escape-ism video: Bodysnatcher

Video: Escape-ism – “Bodysnatcher”

Directed by Alexandra Cabral. From The Lost Record, out September 7 on Merge.

Another minimalist disco jam from the twisted funkbone of Ian Svenonius. The video features the subtle but enticing dance moves of Svenonius and collaborator/director Alexandra Cabral as they get down on the craggy shore of a tropical island…or maybe Big Sur.

Ian Svenonius says, “‘Bodysnatcher’ takes its name from the paranoid classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which cast communist influence as an outer space invasion. The body snatcher is a kind of mythic folk figure who represents the threat or the allure of total romantic or ideological takeover and surrender.”

Body snatch me, baby!

Escape-ism: bandcamp, fb, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Waxahatchee video: Chapel of Pines

Video: Waxahatchee – “Chapel of Pines”

Waxahatchee - Chapel of Pines (Official Music Video)

From the Great Thunder EP, out September 7 on Merge.

Waxahatchee’s “Silver” was one of the best songs of 2017. And now Katie Crutchfield is back with a stripped down acoustic collection recorded at Bon Iver’s studio in Wisconsin.

Crutchfield says the new stuff “is a complete 180 from the last record: super stripped-down, quiet, and with me performing solo, it’s a throwback to how I started. Overall, the EP is a warm, kind of vibey recording.”

Great Thunder was originally the name of Crutchfield’s project with former Swearin’ bassist Keith Spencer, and they released a couple of cassettes on Stupid Bag Records and then a double album on Salinas Records in 2013. The original Great Thunder recordings of all of the songs on the new EP (except “Slow You Down”) can be found on those releases, but only Groovy Kinda Love is currently available on streaming services.

Waxahatchee: web, twitter, amazon, wiki.

Continue reading New Waxahatchee video: Chapel of Pines

New Escape-ism video: Nothing Personal

Video: Escape-ism – “Nothing Personal”

Directed by Alexandra Cabral. From The Lost Record, out September 7 on Merge.

Ian Svenonius is prolific. It was only November when he introduced the world to his new project, Escape-ism. And now there’s a second album coming due in September. “Nothing Personal” continues with Introduction‘s minimalist soul.

The video features Svenonius scowling and snarling and flanked by Los Angeles artist Ariana Papademetropoulos and Black Lips saxophonist Zumi Rosow.

Only ten months after he provided us with an Introduction to Escape-ism, mythic rock ’n’ roll provocateur / theorist / revolutionary Ian Svenonius is back as Escape-ism with The Lost Record, a classic destined to bewitch the minds, hearts, and dancing shoes of any rock ’n’ roll fan who happens to discover it, for as long as such creatures exist. Without the high-octane hype machine of the mind-control minstrels who hypnotize the hapless through the mass media, The Lost Record is bound for inevitable obscurity, but—with its timeless tunes, poignant message, and innovative sound—rediscovery and immortal status is equally assured! The Lost Record, being what it is, has enormous selling potential. Music enthusiasts will be thrilled to be the ones clever and kind enough to have rescued this platter from oblivion.

Recorded in four different studios—Gaucho in Los Angeles, Flat Black in Iowa, Tonal Park in Takoma Park, MD, and at Club Blasé in DC—the record is the culmination of humanity’s attempt at something poignant, perverse, and poetically imperfect.

Escape-ism: bandcamp, fb, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Tracyanne and Danny video: It Can’t Be Love Unless It Hurts

Video: Tracyanne & Danny – “It Can’t Be Love Unless It Hurts”

Tracyanne & Danny - It Can't Be Love Unless It Hurts (Official Music Video)

Directed by Ed Dougherty. From Tracyanne & Danny, out now on Merge Records.


Director Ed Dougherty says, “One of my obsessions is The Amityville Horror. Most people don’t know it was proven to be a hoax, but it was, and the story of how they pulled it off is way more interesting to me than any haunted house story. We made this with a four-person crew in Scotland, with all of us wearing many hats, and three of us appearing in the video as actors.”

“It Can’t Be Love Unless It Hurts” is another pretty song and a funny video from Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell and her pal Danny Coughlan.

Previously: New Tracyanne and Danny video: Alabama

Tracyanne and Danny: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New H.C. McEntire video: Baby’s Got the Blues

Video: H.C. McEntire – “Baby’s Got the Blues”

H.C. McEntire - Baby's Got the Blues (Official Music Video)

Directed by Jared Hogan. From Lionheart, out now on Merge.

I would imagine that H.C. McEntire gets tired of comparisons to Lucinda Williams. But whatever. If you dig Williams’ literary sensuality and soulful vocals, you’re probably going to appreciate McEntire.

Give me a dog in a fight
Call it off or call it God
Call it anything you like
Do you see it in my eyes?

Director Jared Hogan said, “In talking with Heather, we knew that we wanted this video to touch on universal wounds of depression and suffering, but established in a more poetic narrative. We also knew we wanted family and community to play an integral role. All of the subjects in the video are connected to Heather’s life in one way or another, and that was very important to us. The song strikes this beautiful balance between darkness and hope, and we wanted the video to do the same.”

In times of darkness, there’s nothing we need more than some hope.

H.C. McEntire: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Wye Oak video: It Was Not Natural

Video: Wye Oak – “It Was Not Natural”

Wye Oak - It Was Not Natural (Official Music Video)

Directed by Dan Huiting. From The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs, out now on Merge Records.

There’s a photo of a Datsun 240-Z tucked into the corner of the mirror on the vanity in this video. My mom had that car when I was a toddler. In 1976 she upgraded to the 280-Z and that’s the car I remember from my entire childhood. Parents today talk about how we never had car seats when we were kids; well I didn’t even have a seat! The Z was a two-seater and I just rolled around in the hatchback. It was awesome!

My mom gave that car to me after college and I shamefully drove it into the ground. I eventually sold it and bought a Toyota Corolla, which, looking back, is disgraceful.

Jenn Wasner told Drowned in Sound: “This is a story about finding an object of uncertain origin whilst walking through the woods. Or, if you’d rather: it’s about exploring the space between the things that we are socialized to believe about ourselves, and the actual truth of our natures, for better and for worse. And it’s about learning how to push the limits of the systems we’ve put in place to help ourselves make sense of chaos.”

My foot uncovers
What my heart wishes is a treasure
Seemingly foreign
But somehow still it is familiar
It could be amber
It could be animal or antler

Sometimes we don’t recognize what a treasure something is until it’s gone.

Wye Oak: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Superchunk video: Erasure

Video: Superchunk – “Erasure”

Superchunk - Erasure (Official Music Video)

Directed by Whitey McConnaughy. From What a Time to Be Alive, out now on Merge Records.

“Erasure” features backing vocals from Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield and The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, and it’s another punch in the gut from Superchunk.

Hate so graceless and so cavalier
We don’t just disappear
Shifting shapes you’re just an auctioneer
But we’re still here

Mac McCaughan says: “The song ‘Erasure’ is about the desire and attempt, on the part of the old white men currently running this country, to erase the experience, history, and existence of entire groups of people who don’t look or think like them. They want a straight white America which does not and has never existed, but they hope to make it so. When director Whitey McConnaughy heard the song and started thinking about video ideas, he heard another angle, which is also a theme of our album: Given today’s anxiety-inducing, creeping authoritarianism, how do we get through each day when we feel like we’re losing our minds?”

For real. How do we get through each day? The last couple of years have been absolutely brutal to anybody who pays attention and gives a shit. I’m not sure Superchunk has an answer, but listening to loud, defiant music seems to help for a little while…

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

New Tracyanne and Danny video: Alabama

Video: Tracyanne & Danny – “Alabama”

Tracyanne & Danny - Alabama (Official Music Video)

From Tracyanne & Danny, out May 25 on Merge.

You’ll remember Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura. Twelve years ago she sang, “Let’s Get Out Of This Country.” Assuming she was referring to her native Scotland, it looks like she finally made it out because now she’s singing about Alabama with Danny Coughlan from Crybaby.

It’s always kinda odd when foreigners try to introduce you to an obscure little country called the United States of America. U2’s Rattle and Hum probably ruined the idea for everybody. But this song is pretty, and I can never get enough pedal steel in my life.

Plus, Merge says “Alabama” is “a reflection on the life of her late friend and bandmate Carey Lander.” Lander died in 2015 from bone cancer.

Now nothing will be easy, nothing’s going to be as much fun
Cause I miss you by the night time, I miss you when the daytime’s begun
I couldn’t hope for a better soul
When I’m an old lady I’ll still miss you like crazy — oh!

It’s a lovely tribute.

Tracyanne and Danny: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Tracyanne and Danny video: Alabama

New Superchunk video: Cloud of Hate

Video: Superchunk – “Cloud of Hate”

Superchunk - Cloud of Hate (Official Music Video)

Directed by Taiyo Kimura. From What a Time to Be Alive, out now on Merge Records.

For someone in their forties there isn’t any music more life affirming than Superchunk. They make you feel alive. They open up the possibilities of what it means to be a grownup. You don’t have to be old and lame. You don’t have to get complacent and conservative. Yeah, I’m working. But I’m not working for you!

Last time I saw Superchunk was almost eight years ago. And in a lot of ways it’s a completely different world now.

You have a dream, a bloody nightmare
For every human that’s not you
You scare the kids, I hope you die scared
Of all the kids that know the truth

As grownups who give a shit, we have no choice but to put our faith in the kids that know the truth. Granted, that’s not all the kids. Exit polls suggest that ~37% of 18-29 year olds voted for our orange fuhrer in 2016. More than one out of three kids are still dipshits. Cloud of hate, float me away.

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