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Merge 25: A Heartfelt Thanks!

We cannot thank you enough for attending Merge 25 last week to celebrate our twenty-fifth anniversary. To us, it felt like a big family gathering. Telekinesis backed Eleanor Friedberger on “Roosevelt Island.” Performances from Vertical Scratchers and The Mountain Goats included covers of The Magnetic Fields and American Music Club, respectively. Mikal Cronin invited Christian Peslak from Saint Rich onstage to sing “Am I Wrong.” Many of our artists extended their stays in order to catch up with their labelmates. The crowd was filled with attentive and appreciative people. These are all good things, and we are so grateful.

A reminder that our final Merge 25 concert event takes place this Wednesday, July 30, with Stephin Merritt and Mark Eitzel at Duke University’s beautiful Baldwin Auditorium, co-presented with Duke Performances. Purchase your ticket here. We hope you'll join us for these special performances.
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Listen to Spider Bags' Frozen Letter & watch a new live video!

Spider Bags' Merge debut Frozen Letter will be in stores next week, but the full album is now streaming at NPR Music.

In their description of the album, NPR writes:
What's made Spider Bags such a worthwhile band to follow, aside from peeling back scalps with blistering fuzz when they want to, is McGee's preternatural understanding of his niche. He writes songs that reach back to the canon but retain more personality than almost any in the garage spectrum, solely on his words and riffs, and he lands both with a lot of comfort and a little abrasion.

Visit NPR Music now to stream Frozen Letter and pre-order the album now on CD or LP in the Merge store.
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Stream End Times Undone by David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights, west coast dates start Wednesday

Wondering Sound is exclusively streaming David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights' new album End Times Undone a week ahead of its August 5 release. Stream & share End Times Undone now. Wondering Sound says, "The resulting record is Kilgour’s best since his 1991 masterpiece Here Come the Cars, a collection of sparkling guitar-pop built around Kilgour’s graceful, effortless vocal melodies."   More >

Watch Reigning Sound's music video for "Never Coming Home" on Noisey

In conjunction with a thorough interview, Noisey has premiered Reigning Sound's first music video from Shattered, "Never Coming Home". It beautifully captures the band during their run of West Coast dates earlier in July.



Director Jonny Look on the video:
Reigning Sound, and Greg Cartwright in general, has been touring for years. That’s sustainable because Cartwright brings a ferocity that instantly connects with his audience—his live shows are incredible. I wanted to capture that, as well as the never-ending cycle of tour that continues on and on and eventually cannot be held down to a certain place and time. His music is out of time; there’s a nostalgia to it, even when it’s contemporary. In creating this video, my goal was to harmonize his energy and style into a piece created from footage filmed just a few weeks ago, but that would be indistinguishable from a performance that took place 10 years ago. The time is different, but the pieces are the same.
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Lambchop's Live at XX Merge now on vinyl

Five years ago, those of us lucky enough to be at Cat’s Cradle when Lambchop took the stage witnessed the performance that became Live at XX Merge, a concert film and album. We are now releasing this special album on clear vinyl with a full download of the audio and concert film for those who missed it or for those who want to relive the experience.

The limited-edition LP is available now for pre-order and will arrive in your mailbox on or around the September 9 release date. We will also have copies for sale at the Merge 25 merch table. (Note that pre-orders cannot be picked up at the festival.)

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Hiss Golden Messenger premieres solo performance of "Lucia" on T Magazine

This morning, the New York Times’ T Magazine premiered a live performance video for “Lucia,” the first song from the forthcoming Hiss Golden Messenger album, Lateness of Dancers. The video, filmed in Cornwall, England, was directed by video collective Before the Winter Fires, who captured a solo performance by Hiss Golden Messenger’s M.C. Taylor on 16mm film using a Beaulieu R16 camera. Check it out now!

The directors had this to say about the video:
For the past few years, we've been searching for authentic ways to capture folk and Americana performances to mirror that timeless quality within the music. Shooting on film—a beautiful medium rapidly dying out due to the rise of digital HD cameras—was something we’ve always wanted to explore. We approached Hiss Golden Messenger with the idea of shooting our first 16mm test, and Mike was really into the idea. We knew his music would work so well with the colors, grain, and raw imperfections that can only be captured on film. With just a couple of rolls per song, he had only two shots at nailing it, which creates this natural intensity on camera. We were really pleased to work with HGM and think the results turned out great.
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