Indie Exclusive Releases
In the three decades since first convening at the University of Massachusetts, Buffalo Tomsinger-guitarist Bill Janovitz, bassist-vocalist Chris Colbourn and drummer Tom Maginnishave built a formidable body of work. Having first made its mark with a raw, raucous approach that put the band at the forefront of the '90s alt-rock explosion, the intrepid trio has consistently revealed new layers of musical and emotional depth, as manifested in the bittersweet ballads, soul-searching songcraft and rousing rock tunes that make up the new album Quiet and Peace. The consistently compelling 11-song set (on the band's own Scrawny label, in association with Schoolkids Records) finds the band simultaneously mining their best-known sonic elements while breaking new ground on emotionally resonant new tunes such as "All Be Gone," "Overtime," "Roman Cars," "Freckles" and "CatVMouse.
Limited-edition, indie-only. Single LP on translucent red vinyl. Includes coupon for full download. Limited to 3,000 worldwide.
“Nine feminist bangers,” Tracey Thorn joked when asked to describe her first solo album of entirely original material in seven years. Resplendent in Ewan Pearson’s unashamedly glittering electro-pop production, Record will be released on March 2, 2018.
“I think I’ve always written songs which chronicle the milestones of a woman’s life,” she says. “Different ages and stages, different realities not often discussed in pop lyrics. If 2010’s Love and Its Opposite was my mid-life album—full of divorce and hormones—then this album represents that sense of liberation that comes in the aftermath, from embarking on a whole new ‘no fucks given’ phase of life.”
On Record, the synth-driven tracks arrive and leave with a punchy sub-three-minute directness. The album packs an eloquent punch. As ever, the personal has often been political in Tracey Thorn’s work. Across four decades, her songs and writing have offered up a clear-eyed woman’s view of the immediate world around her, from the acerbic teen love songs of her first early ’80s band Marine Girls through sixteen years as one-half of articulate multimillion-selling duo Everything But The Girl, to her recent acclaimed memoirs and journalism.
Jonathan Wilson had a busy 2017, producing Father John Misty's grammy-nominated Pure Comedy and touring arenas around the globe as a guitarist and vocalist for Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters (for whom he also contributed to the lauded Is This The Life We Really Want? album.) Wilson also saw widespread acclaim heaped on Karen Elson’s sophomore LP Double Roses, which he recorded with her in Los Angeles in 2016.
But it's not looking like Wilson is going to get much of a rest in 2018 either, as he'll be continuing on with the worldwide Waters tour and is set to release his own new solo album Rare Birds in the spring. The highly anticipated long player - which features backing vocals from Lana Del Rey, Josh Tillman, fellow Roger Waters bandmates Lucius and an extraordinary musical gift from otherworldly Brian Eno collaborator Laraaji - will be released through Bella Union worldwide.
Soccer Mommy is the project of twenty-year-old Sophie Allison, a Nashville native. She cut her teeth in her local DIY scene, going to shows and hanging out with other musicians, though she kept her own songwriting secret. All that changed the summer before Allison left for college. She bought a Tascam digital recorder and began to experiment with production, pushing the quality and craft of her songs to new heights. A buzz began to grow around her Bandcamp recordings, leading to live shows and eventually a record deal, with 2017’s critically acclaimed bedroom-recorded compilation Collection. “I realized that I could do this full-time,” says Allison. “It was either quit school now and do it, or stop growing as an artist. It was now or never.”
So Allison took the plunge. She quit school, moved back home to Nashville, shifting all her focus to music. She toured with Mitski, Jay Som, Slowdive, and others, and was featured in the New York Times article “Rock’s Not Dead, It’s Ruled By Women.” The bedroom project of Sophie Allison is now a full-time band with a new studio-album debut, Clean. Produced by Gabe Wax (War On Drugs, Deerhunter, Beirut) and mixed by Ali Chant (Perfume Genius, PJ Harvey), Clean is Allison’s journey out of the bedroom and into the studio.
Clean presents Sophie Allison as a singular artist, wise beyond her years, with an emotional authenticity all her own. “It feels like my first real record,” says Allison. “It’s my first real statement.” It’s an emotional album, heavy on themes of growth, isolation, and change, but balanced by a lightness of touch, and with hooks to spare. Clean is a true step forward, a mature, powerful album from an artist just coming into her power.
Limited-edition, indie-only. Single LP on blue and gray swirl vinyl. Includes bonus 7” with “(I’m) Like a Rolling Stone” on black vinyl in a stock white paper sleeve. Includes coupon for full download. Limited to 3,000 worldwide.
Since debuting in 2008, Titus Andronicus has been conditioning faithful listeners to always expect only the unexpected, consistently zigging where others would zag and maintaining a steadfast dedication to fearless ambition. With the March 2 release of the new studio album A Productive Cough on Merge Records, Titus Andronicus has executed the most shocking departure yet—but only if, as ever mercurial singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles insists, “you haven’t been paying attention.”
Wait For Love, their fourth album, sees PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH taking another sonic step forward to craft a musical statement that truly transcends genres. The Baltimore natives have produced a collection of songs that feature lush soundscapes and a more nuanced and melodic sound when compared to the screamo-aggression of their early work.
Fans who have followed the band’s trajectory—from their 2013 split with Touché Amoré—can trace the way the band’s sound has evolved from a melodic screamo act to a group that create heaviness and weight via raw emotion instead of distortion and dissonance.
See You Around is the full-length debut from I'm With Her, featuring multi-Grammy-Award-winners Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O'Donovan. Before coming together these artists co-founded seminal bands (Nickel Creek and Crooked Still) and since have collectively contributed to critically acclaimed albums from esteemed artists including Yo-Yo Ma, The Civil Wars, Kris Kristofferson, John Mayer, Alison Krauss, and more!
Limited-edition, indie-only. Single LP on pink-in-clear vinyl. Includes 12” x 24” folded poster insert. Includes coupon for full download. Limited to 3,000 worldwide.
After the shocking, and for many, demoralizing result of the 2016 election, “I didn’t buy the silver lining some were promoting that ‘well, at least art and music will be great now!’,” says Superchunk co-founder and frontman Mac McCaughan. “Obviously, any sane person would gladly trade four to eight years of terrible music for not having our country dismantled to satisfy the whims of a vengeful child and his enablers.”
That said, good music and art still have a lot to say, and the urgency of current events gave Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon the momentum to make something new sooner than later. “It would be strange to be in a band, at least our band, and make a record that completely ignored the surrounding circumstances that we live in and that our kids are going to grow up in.” Enter What a Time to Be Alive, Superchunk’s first album in over four years, out February 16, 2018, on Merge Records. It’s a record, says Mac, “about a pretty dire and depressing situation but hopefully not a record that is dire and depressing to listen to.”
Limited-edition, indie-only. Single LP on white vinyl. Includes 12” x 12” printed insert. Includes coupon for full download. Limited to 1,500 worldwide.
On Room Inside the World—Ought’s third album and their first for Merge—growing up doesn’t mean mellowing out so much as it means learning to pay attention, listening carefully and openly, staying somewhere long enough to really understand where you are. Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Silver Jews), Room Inside the World explores themes that have always concerned the band—identity, connection, survival in a precarious world—but with a bolder, more nuanced sound palette. Vibraphone, justly intonated synthesizers, drum machines, and a 70-piece choir suffuse the precise post-punk breakdowns that spangled Ought’s first two albums, giving rise to an emotional complexity that pushes their characteristically taut sound to greater depths.