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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 >

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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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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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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Caribou reveals extended mix of "Can't Do Without You." Available now!

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.
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Bob Mould European tour dates announced

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 Guardian   More >

Stream Reigning Sound's Shattered this week on Grantland, more fall dates announced

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.)"
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Merge Records partners with Google Play for label documentary & exclusive songs

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).
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Hospitality debuts video for "I Miss Your Bones" via NPR Music

According to NPR Music, Hospitality's "I Miss Your Bones" is, "easily one of the catchiest songs of the year". We concur. Today, the song's tutorial-happy braid-heavy music video was debuted; watch it, share it, love it now!

Director Lara Gallagher on the video:
When I first heard the song, I was struck by how specific it was—missing someone's BONES. Not their hair or their smell or how much fun they are to be around, but their bones. Beyond my initial brainstorms involving dancing old ladies and milk, I thought about my favorite age group (girls in junior high) and just how weird and specific obsession at this age can be. It also got me thinking about how intangible and digital things have become, and how you can miss someone even if you technically can see them all the time. In this scenario, I think missing someone's bones—the things that make them real and standing before you as opposed to on the internet or in your email—makes total sense.

"I Miss Your Bones" can be found on Hospitality's masterful sophomore release Trouble, available on LP, CD, and digital in the Merge store. Mojo Magazine says Trouble is, "Sweet at its core, but pleasantly dark at the edges." Give it a spin on Spotify or Rdio to find out for yourself!
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Merge 25: Opening Night After-Party with Flesh Wounds and DJ set by Reigning Sound’s Greg Cartwright

We can’t wait to kick off the Merge 25 Festival with Lambchop, Mount Moriah, and William Tyler on July 23 at Baldwin Auditorium in Durham—but we couldn’t let the night end there! Please join us for our Opening Night After-Party at Motorco. Local badasses and Merge 7-inch rockers Flesh Wounds will hit the stage at 11pm, followed by a DJ set from Greg Cartwright, frontman of Reigning Sound and garage-rock legend, to round out the night. Doors will open at 10:30pm.

Merge 25 passholders get in free while space allows, and tickets to the general public are $5 at the door. Please come hang out, rock out, and celebrate the first night of Merge 25 with us in Durham!

Wye Oak return to US tour on July 5, share Shriek closer "Logic of Color"

If you have seen Wye Oak live this year around the release of their new album Shriek, you know "Logic of Color" has become an instant staple in the band's set. The New York Times described the album closer as a “voguish nod to retro synth pop” and Rolling Stone called “triumphant.” “When I wrote this song I knew it would be the last track on the record,” said lead singer Jenn Wasner.  “On the surface, it's probably the most straightforward pop song we've ever made. But it's also a song about people and about the creative process—about trying to capture intangible, ephemeral things for a moment and attempting to make them sit still. It's a beautiful process, but one rooted in loss and impermanence—so I wanted it to sound open-ended, like an unfinished thought.”   More >

Reigning Sound's "My My" arrives just in time for summer, West Coast tour begins July 2

The July 15 release of Reigning Sound's Shattered is just around the corner, and the band has shared their latest track, “My My”. Greg Cartwright said it best: “If this song was wrapped in a package and had a card attached, the card would read: ‘Do not open until summer.’” The Wall Street Journal premiered “My My” yesterday, calling it “a jangly, jubilant song about the time-honored tradition of going on a date.” Pick up a copy of today's WSJ for an in-depth feature with Greg and the band, conducted at Daptone's Brooklyn studio where Shattered was recorded.   More >

Listen to "Saturday's Song", the first from Hiss Golden Messenger's Lateness of Dancers

“When Saturday comes I'm going to heal myself / When Saturday comes with the lamb and the four swords / I might get a little crazy / Here comes Sunday waiting for me” sings M.C. Taylor on Hiss Golden Messenger’s “Saturday’s Song,” the first offering from the forthcoming album Lateness of Dancers. Stereogum premiered the track, calling it, "a simple song about the plight of the working stiff and the weekend’s elusive promise of release. Every time I hear it, I love it more.”
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Merge 25 Festival: now with day parties and a website!

As we all prep for the Merge 25 Festival on July 23–26, there are still plenty of truly awesome surprises to share in the coming month!
 
Let’s begin with two day parties occurring on Thursday and Friday behind Cat’s Cradle. Both are free and open to the public (until we’re at capacity), and both will have beer and food on-site for purchase. Think of these events as tasty appetizers before each evening’s six-course meal inside Cat’s Cradle:
 
Thursday, July 24, 4–6pm
Orange County Social Club, Carrboro, NC
(FREE & open to public)
Amor de Días
Hiss Golden Messenger
 
Friday, July 25, 4–6pm 
Orange County Social Club, Carrboro, NC
(FREE & open to public)
Radar Brothers
Saint Rich
 
Thursday and Friday’s shows inside Cat’s Cradle are sold out, but there are a few tickets still available for Wednesday’s show at Baldwin Auditorium in Durham and Saturday’s big outdoor blowout in Carrboro, the latter hosted by Margaret Cho!

To keep you in-the-know, we and our friends at Squarespace have created this website to host all things Merge 25 related. Be sure to bookmark it so you’ll have all of the latest festival info at your fingertips.
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Reigning Sound's Greg Cartwright playing record stores before the release of Shattered

Reigning Sound's Shattered is out July 15, but Greg Cartwright will be getting his music in a few record stores ahead of time! These will be solo shows, all free, all ages, and open to the public.

Jul 11 Nashville, TN — Fond Object 7pm FREE
Jul 12 Memphis, TN — Goner Records 5pm FREE
Jul 15 Greenville, SC — Horizon Records 7pm FREE

Listen to a few selections off Shattered below, pre-order in the Merge store, and make sure to catch Reigning Sound at a show near you!
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Spider Bags on "Japanese Vacation", tour in August

"Japanese Vacation" is the second preview from Spider Bags' Frozen Letterthe band's fourth full-length album and first for Merge which will be released on August 5. Consequence of Sound described "Japanese Vacation" by saying, "the mixture of upbeat grooves and unyielding gloominess make for a unique summer anthem, perfect for either cookouts or crying alone in your bedroom." Frozen Letter follows up 2012's acclaimed Shake My Head and is available for pre-order now on CD and LP in the Merge store.

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US tour dates announced for The Clean and David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights

New Zealand's finest The Clean and David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights have both announced summer tour dates in the US. David Kilgour will be playing the Friday portion of Merge 25 Festvial before heading down the west coast for several dates. He'll then connect with Robert Scott and Hamish Kilgour in Chicago for a run of shows with The Clean, including an appearance at Harvest Records' Transfigurations II with Merge family members Reigning Sound, William Tyler, and Hiss Golden Messenger.

The Clean's Anthology is out July 15 on 4xLP, part of our 25th anniversary reissue series. Last week, David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights announced details of their new studio album End Times Undone, out August 5. Pre-order both in the Merge store.

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Bob Mould debuts video & tour, Beauty & Ruin out now!

This week, Bob Mould premiered the fantastic new video for "I Don't Know You Anymore" on Funny or Die. In the video directed by Alicia J. Rose, Bob is joined by bandmates Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster as they scheme to develop an effective marketing strategy for his new single with some inspiration from The Decemberists' Colin Meloy.



"I Don't Know You Anymore" can be found on Bob's new studio album, Beauty & Ruin, which hits record store shelves and online marketplaces today! Order your copy via Merge's websiteiTunes, listen on Amazon, Rdio, Spotify, or pick it up at your favorite music retailer.
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Caribou to release new album Our Love on October 7!

You reach a point in life where the question of how to stay at the top of your game looms, with the only real solution being: you change the game. Our Love, the new album from Caribou, is the sound of Dan Snaith doing just that. Our Love is due October 7 on Merge Records and is the sixth studio album from Caribou. The album features collaborations with Jessy Lanza and Owen Pallett. It was mixed by David Wrench and features artwork by Jason Evans and Matthew Cooper. Listen to the lead single "Can't Do Without You" via Soundcloud now.   More >

The Rock*A*Teens’ Sweet Bird of Youth reissue on 2xLP out today!

Also out today is the reissue of Sweet Bird of Youth by The Rock*A*Teens, released on vinyl for the first time and including a bonus download of one of the band’s last shows before disbanding in 2002. The band is reuniting for a pair of sold out hometown shows at The Earl in Atlanta this weekend, with an east coast tour on deck this summer including a stop at Merge 25!   More >