Spider Bags just wrapped up the first leg of touring in support of their Merge debut Frozen Letter, and new dates are below!
Along the way, they visited WFMU for a live performance. Listen to the archive now. KEXP included "Back With You Again in the World" on their recent podcast. The All Songs Considered hosts also commented on the variety of great songs on Frozen Letter.
photo credit: Jason DixonMore >
Hiss Golden Messenger’s fifth studio album Lateness of Dancers is out now everywhere on Merge Records. In celebration of the U.K. release date, NME premiered the music video for single “Mahogany Dread” which they deemed “life-affirming.” See the band on tour now, and on The Late Show with David Letterman on November 21!More >
Following the rapturously received news of his forthcoming album (due October 7th via Merge), Caribou has revealed album title track “Our Love.”
Built around warm, bubbling beats and Dan Snaith’s distinctive vocal loops before taking a bass-heavy turn in the middle, you can listen to “Our Love”–both the album version & the Daphni remix–below.
Hiss Golden Messenger, the nom de plume of songwriter and singer M.C. Taylor, released his fifth album Lateness of Dancers today (September 15 worldwide). It’s an open, confident, immediate album, and it feels, at times, like a direct response to the darkness of Taylor’s last record, 2013’s Haw, or to the searching of 2010’s Bad Debt, the stunning acoustic LP he made at his kitchen table shortly after the birth of his son. It was recorded outside of Hillsborough, North Carolina, and features Phil and Brad Cook of Megafaun, guitarist William Tyler, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig of Mountain Man, and Taylor’s long-time recording partner Scott Hirsch.
This morning saw enthusiastic album reviews from Pitchfork, Aquarium Drunkard, and many others, as well as an in-depth feature on M.C. Taylor in The Washington Post. KEXP has posted a unique session recorded at Pickathon earlier this year.
Bob Mould has unveiled a new video for "The War" off his critically-lauded album Beauty & Ruin. The video, which captures the sweaty, rollicking shows Bob and his band are known to put on, as well as other aspects of touring life, is directed by Dave Markey (1991: The Year Punk Broke). Stay tuned until the grand finale, when a special guest makes a sly appearance. Join Bob and his bandmates Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster on tour in "The War."
Mac McCaughan recently stopped by Marc Maron's garage to talk about high school band names, punk shows in churches, Superchunk, Merge Records, and much more on the latest episode of WTF with Marc Maron. Stream, download, and share it here, or subscribe to WTF on iTunes. To those of you who shop in the Merge store, pay close attention for a special bonus!More >
We aren't the only ones celebrating a big anniversary this year! Hopscotch Festival celebrates 5 years this week and they've enlisted many Merge artists to help them party. The schedule is below, along with our annual listening party hosted by our friends at Foundation on Thursday afternoon from 4-6pm.
Thursday Sept 4
4-6pm - Merge Records listening party @ Foundation
11:00pm - Saint Rich @ Tir Na Nog
12:30am - Reigning Sound @ Pour House
Friday Sept 5
12:30pm - Jenks Miller (of Mount Moriah) and Rose Cross NC @ Kings (Three-Lobed/WXDU Day Party)
4:00pm - Pipe @ Slim's (outside) (Chuchkey/Layabout/BCBB Day Party)
4:45pm - Spider Bags @ Slim's (inside) (Chuchkey/Layabout/BCBB Day Party)
11:30pm - Flesh Wounds @ Slim's
Saturday Sept 6
3:00pm - Flesh Wounds @ Kings (Orange County Social Club Day Party)
4:00pm - Ex Hex @ Warehouse District (Shindigs Babes in Boyland)
On October 7, we will celebrate our longstanding relationship with East River Pipe by releasing his critically acclaimed fourth album, The Gasoline Age, on vinyl. The reissue includes a download of the full album as well as nine previously unreleased tracks, spanning various years and recording set-ups, from the East River Pipe archives.More >
We are delighted to welcome Australia's Twerps to Merge. In celebration of this occasion, we are releasing Underlay, an all-new digital EP of Twerps songs written, recorded and designed by the band earlier this summer.
Listen & share the Underlay digital EP via Soundcloud now for the next week, and get excited about Twerps' new full-length album coming in early 2015. Get Underlay at iTunes, Spotify, Rdio, Google Play, or in the Merge store now.
Upon signing to Merge, Marty from Twerps said, "'Great minds think alike' that is straight up why we have decided to release records with Merge. Along with having a bad ass catalogue they also are musicians, and know how musicians think. They are lovely, talented and awesome. Thanks Merge. We love ya xx"More >
Hiss Golden Messenger will release their fifth studio album Lateness of Dancers on September 9th in the US (September 15th worldwide). Today, Consequence of Sound premiered the single “Mahogany Dread,” "a slightly smoky jam that weaves together bits of twangy honky-tonk, earnest John Mellencamp, and spirited Tom Petty." Listen below!More >
Wye Oak recently stopped by the Triple Door in Seattle to perform for KEXP VIPs, including Shriek favorite "Logic of Color." Check out the full set below, and find more Wye Oak videos on the KEXP blog. Towson's WTMD also hosted the band for a special listener event last month! Check it out below.
Wye Oak will also be featured on XM The Loft next week! A very special session with the band will air August 25 at Noon Eastern / 9am Pacific. Encore performances will also air Wednesday at 5pm Eastern, Friday at 11pm, Saturday at Noon and Sunday at Midnight. It’ll also be available on demand for all Sirius subscribers.
Shriek is available in the Merge shop & at all independent record stores now.
Earlier in the year, Bob Mould stopped by NPR's infamous tiny desk to play solo versions of songs from June's Beauty & Ruin as well as one Hüsker Dü deep-cut. Watch the Tiny Desk Concert today on NPR.
Mould was also interviewed for an episode of WTF with Marc Maron, discussing Beauty & Ruin, writing for pro-wrestling, composing The Daily Show theme, and so much more. Check out the episode on WTF's website or subscribe to WTF on iTunes.More >
“Beast” is the newest Ex Hex track to be let out into the wild! Give it a spin on Pitchfork or below.
Rips is the debut album from Mary Timony, Laura Harris, and Betsy Wright. They are a power trio hailing from Washington, DC, making the music you’ve been waiting for. Drums, bass, guitar, P90s, searing leads—this is unapologetic rock ’n’ roll spat out in the discipline’s mother tongue.
“Don’t Wanna Lose,” the first single from Rips, was deemed “a fun-as-hell supercharged take on Ramones punk and Cheap Trick power-pop, direct and catchy beyond belief” by Stereogum, and Consequence of Sound wrote, “While the song’s reminiscent of Wild Flag’s rollicking material, it simultaneously holds its own as a sizzling and energetic little rocker.”
"Some Things You Don't Get Back", the raucous closer to David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights' End Times Undone, has been given the music video treatment: watch & share via Noisey now. Speaking from California after his west coast tour dates with the band, David Kilgour had this to say about the video:
It's two performances to the track, with the two versions visually transposed over each other, shot by Thomas Bell and edited by Stuart Page who did the "Comin' On" video too...we shot in a bar called Chicks where we recorded most of End Times Undone....the bar is close to Dunedin at a place called Port Chalmers......cheap as chops!
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 >
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.
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.
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.
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.)
As a special surprise in the spirit of our 25th anniversary reissue series, we have released Old Pain(t): Live at City Gardens, a new Volcano Suns download-only live album. It’s available now in the Merge digital store as well as iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Rdio.
Listen & share "Tree Stomp" from Old Pain(t): Live at City Gardens:
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.
Following the rapturously received news of Caribou’s forthcoming album Our Love (due October 7 on Merge), Dan Snaith has revealed an extended DJ-friendly mix of “Can’t Do Without You,” the song that accompanied Caribou’s triumphant return to the fore last month. The extended version is available now from all digital services and as a limited-edition 12-inch via Snaith’s own label JIAOLONG. Download the track at iTunes or stream it at Spotify now.
Having racked up over a million plays on Soundcloud alone in little over a month, the original track also accompanied news that Caribou will be returning to the US in November.
Our Love is due out on October 7 and features collaborations with Jessy Lanza and Owen Pallett. It was mixed by David Wrench and features artwork by Jason Evans and Matthew Cooper. Pre-order the album on LP or CD in the Merge store and digitally at iTunes.
The Merge store is overflowing with new music today! Reigning Sound officially joins the Merge family with Shattered, while Volcano Suns drops a surprise live album. Plus, The Clean's essential compilation Anthology is now available as a quadruple LP that can be bundled with a limited-edition t-shirt design! Also, Caribou has released an extended version of the viral hit "Can't Do Without You."More >
Bob Mould has announced European tour dates kicking off in Berlin on November 6. The ten dates are in support of his recent album Beauty & Ruin.
Described as "a compact epic," Beauty & Ruin packs a staggering lifetime's worth of emotion and experience into a 36-minute package. As with 2012's Silver Age tour Bob will be joined in Europe by his stalwart band of bassist Jason Narducy and drummer Jon Wurster.
Judging by the love Bob Mould has seen in the papers overseas (as well as stateside!), we strongly suggest getting tickets tout de suite. A full list of dates (including the aforementioned appearance at Merge 25 and North American fall tour) are below.
“Alternative rock belongs to Bob Mould” – NME
“What happens next could be incredible” – Uncut
“It’s a defiant affair” – The GuardianMore >
Shattered, Reigning Sound’s first album for Merge and the first full-length release by the group since 2009’s Love and Curses, is in stores July 15 but can be streamed in its entirety now on Grantland. Accompanying the stream is an interview feature on Greg Cartwright and the band.
Of Shattered, Grantland writes:
"Instead of the loose, hard-charging, and guitar-centric rock of Reigning Sound’s previous records, on Shattered Cartwright has moved toward the seductive strings and tinkling keyboards of prime early-’70s soul. (It’s no surprise that Shattered was recorded at the Brooklyn studio of Daptone Records, the indie label known for traditionalist soul’s current queen, Sharon Jones, and birthing Back to Black.)"
Today, Google Play premiered a new documentary in the US about Merge Records. In candid, amusing interviews, Mac, Laura, Merge musicians, and friends of the label talk about its evolution and unwavering focus on its artists. Daniel Handler, author of the Lemony Snicket series of books (and sometime member of The Magnetic Fields), narrates the documentary.
Also, music fans in the US are invited to download 25 free Merge tracks, including five new and exclusive recordings from Superchunk, The Mountain Goats, Telekinesis, Saint Rich, and Hiss Golden Messenger.
Visit Google Play now to watch the documentary and download the tracks (US only).