Tag Archives: Polyvinyl

New Laura Jane Grace video: Blood and Thunder

Video: Laura Jane Grace – “Blood & Thunder”

Laura Jane Grace - Blood & Thunder [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

From Stay Alive, out now on Polyvinyl.

I miss Chicago.

South wind coming up Western
Simple as heaven
Your love is all I need

I spent my first year in Chicago in an apartment up on Foster. The Western brown line station was the closest el stop and even that was a hike. Usually in the morning I would take the 92 bus to the Berwyn red line stop, but in the evenings I would usually take the brown line to Western and walk home from there. Maybe stop at Laurie’s and browse through the used bins. Western north of Lawrence was ungentrified back then (maybe still?) but there was a little antique store I liked and a funny electronics repair shop that was never open and then a diner on the corner of Foster where I would buy fries. All these years later, I look back on those walks with fondness but our next place was going to be closer to the el for sure. Shit gets old quick in the winter.

Laura Jane Grace: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New of Montreal video: Get God’s Attention By Being An Atheist

Video: of Montreal – “Get God’s Attention By Being An Atheist”

of Montreal - Get God’s Attention By Being An Atheist [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

Directed by Christina Schneider. From UR FUN, out now on Polyvinyl.

It’s fun when Kevin Barnes turns up the guitars. For the past couple of decades he has gone back and forth between making disco beats in his bedroom, and getting down with a full band. Sounds like of Montreal is a badass glam rock band now. Which is awesome.

Barnes told Songfacts, “It’s a cheeky song playing with these different ideas of whether or not you can have blind faith or whether you need to antagonize God into believing in you. We’re always worried about us believing in God, but it’s more important that God believes in you. So it’s playing off that idea, and also with the carpe diem chants in the choruses it’s about not being afraid of life: not letting society or conventionality prevent you from exploring your psyche, exploring your sexuality, exploring all levels of your human experience.”

We don’t wanna be safe, we want experience, we want it louder
It’s crushing our ears, we don’t give a fuck, we want it louder
Loud enough to destroy the talismans of our depressions
We don’t wanna be safe, we want experience, we want it louder

Turn it up!

Of Montreal: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Anna Burch video: Party’s Over

Video: Anna Burch – “Party’s Over”

Anna Burch - Party's Over [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

Directed by Anna Burch. From If You’re Dreaming, out April 3 on Polyvinyl.

And this is why you should never get married outside! Nature is scary and unpredictable. Stay inside where you don’t have to worry about monsters stealing your betrothed.

The video’s silly, but the song is great with the same slow-motion clean guitar tones and warm vocals that first attracted us to her with the addition of some twangtastic Rickenbacker 12-string.

When the party is compulsory
I’ll start getting down
Watch you make the rounds
When did I lose your eye?
Feels like I lost my mind
‘Cause I’m so tired

Burch told Nylon, “I wrote ‘Party’s Over’ after a night out that didn’t go my way. I used to live across the street from a wine bar that was sort of the nexus of my social scene in Detroit at the time. The summer was ending and I was ready to be in a committed relationship that made me feel secure. It’s a song of exasperation and longing, and was one of the first I wrote for the new record. It feels closer lyrically to the songs on Quit the Curse, so there’s a sense of continuity from where that record left off.”

I’m still kicking myself for not making it out to her show last summer at the relatively small Pyramid Scheme venue. Hopefully she’ll come back around to this side of the state this summer. She grew up in St. Joe after all!

Anna Burch: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Anna Burch video: Party’s Over

New Anna Burch video: Not So Bad

Video: Anna Burch – “Not So Bad”

Anna Burch - Not So Bad [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

Directed by Anna Burch. From If You’re Dreaming, out April 3 on Polyvinyl.

Anna Burch first caught our attention hula-hooping in her “2 Cool 2 Care” video. That whole album, Quit the Curse, was solid, and now she’s back with the first single from her second album. It features the same clean guitar tones and upfront double-tracked vocals that we first fell in love with but the instrumentation here is a little jazzier, i.e., features saxophone.

Burch says it’s “an optimistic love song about retreating into memories to find what you need to feel in control of your own narrative when everything else around you feels precarious.”

She adds, “I wrote ‘Not So Bad’ the day before I left to record, because I felt there was an important piece of the album missing—a hopeful, escapist pop song that dealt more positively with themes the other songs were circling around—and luckily it came together almost immediately. The chord progression felt light and jazzy, and when I started to write the words I remembered my mom bugging me about how melancholic my lyrics tend to be, ‘Surely your life hasn’t all been that bad!'”

The video was dreamily filmed at the Senate Theater in Detroit.

Anna Burch: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Anna Burch video: Not So Bad

New American Football video: Silhouettes

Video: American Football – “Silhouettes”

American Football - Silhouettes [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

Directed by Shawn Brackbill. From American Football, due March 22 on Polyvinyl.

I just recently moved to Michigan from Oregon, where I lived for almost ten years. It’s still my favorite place in the world. It’s a place of incredible natural beauty and Oregonians love to get out in it. Subsequently, people are always getting lost in this beauty. Literally. I can’t tell you how many people get lost in the woods just surrounding the metro-Portland area. It’s a lot.

I don’t know where the video for American Football’s “Silhouettes” was shot, but maybe it was Oregon. It starts with what appears to be our hero asleep in the woods. Time-lapse photography tells me he’s been there a while and when he wakes up, he seems to wander a bit before finding his girl, who maybe is also lost in the woods. I’m glad they found each other, but it makes me wonder how they ended up there in the first place.

In some other shots they don’t seem to be the outdoors-type. They primarily spend their days hanging out in their apartment and then riding elevators and looking pensively from balconies or couches in business parks. Maybe the boredom of their temp jobs drives them to the woods? I can understand that.

At least they have some pleasant soundtrack music to their lives. A bit like Death Cab for Cutie, which also reminds me of the Pacific Northwest. So…win?

American Football: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New American Football video: Silhouettes

New Anna Burch video: With You Every Day

Video: Anna Burch – “With You Every Day”

Anna Burch - With You Every Day [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

From Quit the Curse, out now on Polyvinyl.

I’ve loved Anna Burch ever since I saw her hula hooping in the video for “2 Cool 2 Care.” I recently sent that song to a friend of mine with two daughters who play guitar and drums. Her kids are awesome so I try to forward good new music to her. She wrote back, “If I heard her voice on the radio I would think ‘Jake Brown would love this.’ Immediately. It’s so you.” So I guess I have a type. Cool, smart, conversational, unaffected, deadpan. Anna Burch is all this and more. Pure Michigan.

Anyway, Quit the Curse is my favorite album of the year so far, so check it out if you haven’t heard it. And if you’re not already convinced, “With You Every Day” ought to win you over. It’s an exploration of what happens in a relationship after the giddy honeymoon period wears off.

There’s nothing you want to say
I’m just with you every day
I know it’s better than before
So why, why do I need more?

I know some people who think a chorus consisting of “ahhh ahhh ahhh” is a lazy songwriting move, but I dunno. I think it works sometimes. What else can you do, after all, when there’s nothing more to say?

Anna Burch: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Anna Burch video: With You Every Day

New Of Montreal video: Plateau Phase/No Careerism No Corruption

Video: of Montreal – “Plateau Phase/No Careerism No Corruption”

of Montreal - Plateau Phase/No Careerism No Corruption [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

Directed by Christina Eleni Schneider. From White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, out now on Polyvinyl.

Sometimes I worry about Kevin Barnes. I realize it’s not right to try to read too much into the personal life of an artist based on their creative work, but yowza. I hope he’s well. And maybe he is. Perhaps he just thinks serious mental disorders make an interesting lyrical subject matter for disco jams. And maybe he’s right. What do I know?

Barnes explained the origins of this song:

Plateau Phase/No Careerism No Corruption started out as a song I wrote for Janelle Monáe last summer called Fucked In Your Driveway. We worked on it together one magical day in her laboratory at Wondaland but nothing really happened with it, so I reworked it into something very different for my own album. Lyrically I pulled inspiration from Multiverse Theory, the writings of Wilhelm Reich and the economist Guy Standing, Eastern European party culture, and Bluets by Maggie Nelson, as well as my burgeoning new love affair with a woman of mystery and magic. We shot the video in Atlanta at an art/performance space called RowdyDowdy one chilly winter day this January.

I’d love to hear the Janelle Monae version! Maybe some day. In the meantime you can catch Of Montreal on tour this spring.

Of Montreal: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Of Montreal video: Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia

Video: of Montreal – “Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia”

of Montreal - Paranoiac Intervals/Body Dysmorphia [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

From White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, out March 9 on Polyvinyl.

Good old Kevin Barnes, prancing around in his grandma’s clothes, singing to his love: “You’re the only one who’s worthy of my concentration.”

Barnes said it’s “a song about panic, fear, insecurity, misanthropy, self-loathing, vanity, lustfulness, arrogance and um…loving compassion. It is an anthem for the post-Obama era, an age where spurious hope has been replaced with a hatewave of pharmaceutically diminished internet neo-realism.”

Which, of course, is a perfect subject for a disco song. Why not?

of Montreal: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Anna Burch video: Tea-Soaked Letter

Video: Anna Burch – “Tea-Soaked Letter”

Anna Burch - Tea-Soaked Letter [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

From Quit the Curse, February 2 on Polyvinyl.

There’s no hula hooping in this one, but the song is just as good as Anna Burch’s previous single.

She’s got such an easygoing, effortless delivery, and her rhythm guitar reminds me a bit of early Liz Phair. I swear I listened to this song ten times in a row.

Strange, the ones you love
Could bury your body underground
I woke up too late again
Would you start the coffee, my only friend?

I forgot to fake away that I was feeling
I guess it’s too late now all my cards are showing

No you can’t come up
Who am I kidding? I would drag you up
What was that you said
That I don’t exist inside your head

You said you would communicate better
So what will you send me a tea soaked letter

I feel so alone
When everyone in town is overblown
So I made a scene
I can think of things more embarrassing

Can’t wait to hear the rest of her album!

Anna Burch: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Anna Burch video: Tea-Soaked Letter

New Anna Burch video: 2 Cool 2 Care

Video: Anna Burch – “2 Cool 2 Care”

Anna Burch - 2 Cool 2 Care [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

Single out now on Polyvinyl.

It’s important to know how to hula hoop. It seems impossible at first, but keep trying. You’ll get it. Don’t try to go too fast or else you’ll just look like spaz. Another tip: learn on a good quality, heavier hoop. You can still buy it at the grocery store but just don’t get the super cheap lightest ones, because they’re harder to do. The heft of the hoop helps keep the momentum, and that’s key.

Anna Burch is a solid hula hooper and this video is evidence of that. She grew up in St. Joe (West Michigan, represent!) and lives in Detroit. She’s been in a bunch of bands I’ve never heard, but now she’s gone solo. Back in January she told the Metro Times that her solo debut (working title: Quit the Curse) had been “all recorded” but she was frustrated with the results and intended to “lay down new tracks” with producer Collin Dupuis in February. The full-length results are due in early 2018.

Burch sings “2 Cool 2 Care” as if it doesn’t bother her that her boyfriend is an asshole.

Slamming all your drinks, you don’t have to think about me
You’ve got all your friends, used up all their meds, honey

She says, “I like you best when you’re a mess.” But the extended bridge reveals she knows the deal.

I don’t even fantasize about what life would be like
If I were to find a one true love
The kind they said I should be dreaming of

Dare to dream, Anna! Ditch that prick and go find yourself a grownup who knows how to treat you properly.

This is a great song, and it would be just as good if its video didn’t feature hula hooping. But it does, so how lucky are we?

Anna Burch: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.