In early September 2018, on the eve of the announcement of his latest album, ‘Bottle It In’ (celebrating its one-year anniversary this October), Kurt Vile – along with friends and fellow musicians – decamped to the Catskill Mountains in upper state New York to rehearse, prepare and ponder the year’s road ahead.
The brief getaway, which included Matt Sweeney and Toronto friends The Sadies, is captured in the short documentary film (bottle back), directed by Ryan Scott.
In between hanging out and exploring the remote and rainy surroundings, (bottle back) catches a solo acoustic adaptation of “Bassackwards”, a performance of “Check Baby” with The Violators, and a special backyard rendition of “Baby’s Arms” featuring The Sadies.
Somewhere between pre-tour workshop and countryside retreat, (bottle back) is an intimate and insightful glimpse into the creative process of one of the most prolific and celebrated singer-songwriters of his generation.
Having capped off an extensive North American tour this summer, Vile plays further festivals this autumn, including Levitation and Corona Capital, as well as a small handful of US headline shows. A list of upcoming dates can be found below.
Earlier today, Vogue Magazine premiered a Loretta Fahrenholz-directed clip for the track, “Don’t Play It” (above) from Kim Gordon’s forthcoming debut solo album ‘No Home Record’ out next Friday, October 11th.
Belle and Sebastian have released a video for the new single ‘This Letter’, taken from their recently released soundtrack album ‘Days Of The Bagnold Summer’
Directed by frontman Stuart Murdoch and starring Glasgow three-piece Wet Look, the homespun, understated video is a fitting accompaniment to the enchantingly autumnal, beguilingly bittersweet song.
“After the Boaty Weekender I got the chance to make another video,” says Murdoch. “With limited time, I called upon 3/4 of boat mates Wet Look to help me out. They play three tired film crew people, who just made a Belle and Sebastian video – but they quite fancy having a go at filming themselves, so they get hold of Super 8 cameras, and start messing about.”
This autumn will see Belle and Sebastian headline Pitchfork Music Festival in Paris and the inaugural Primavera Weekender in Benidorm, as well playing a small run of European shows. A full list of upcoming dates can be found below.
‘Days of the Bagnold Summer’ began life as a 2012 award-winning graphic novel by Joff Winterhart, was turned into a feature film and the directorial debut of Simon Bird (“The Inbetweeners”, “Friday Night Dinner”), and is now a wonderful, rich, bittersweet, and warmly welcoming original soundtrack album by Belle and Sebastian, to be released September 13.
The announcement arrives with first single “Sister Buddha’” and its accompanying video (above).. The anthemic song is led by shards of melodic guitar and Stuart Murdoch’s compassionate lyrics and soaring vocals, telling of a protagonist in search of an escape from “the thrills, the pills, the circus ring” of daily life, brimming with a message of inner strength and solidarity.
‘Days Of The Bagnold Summer’ features eleven brand new Belle and Sebastian songs, as well as re-recorded versions of classics “Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying,” originally appearing on 1996’s If You’re Feeling Sinister, and “I Know Where The Summer Goes,” from 1998’s ‘This Is Just a Modern Rock Song’ EP.
‘Days Of The Bagnold Summer’ is set for release in 2020 and features Monica Dolan, Earl Cave, Rob Brydon, Alice Lowe, Tamsin Greig and Elliot Speller-Gillot. It’s a tender, touching and acutely observed coming-of-age story, which tells of a heavy-metal-loving teenager’s holiday plans falling through at the last minute, leading to him having to spend the summer with the person who annoys him most in the world: his mum. The film is set for release in 2020.
‘Days of the Bagnold Summer’ is the latest outside-the-box accomplishment from storied Glasgow 6-piece Belle and Sebastian, comprised of Stuart Murdoch, Stevie Jackson, Sarah Martin, Chris Geddes, Richard Colburn, Dave McGowan, and Bobby Kildea. The last two years have seen them go against conventional practice by releasing a trilogy of EPs to some of the best reviews of their career, and launch and curate their own four-day music festival at sea in The Boaty Weekender, continuing the individualist streak that has characterized them from day one.
Did Stuart Murdoch, Belle and Sebastian’s lead singer and songwriter, know the comic book before Bird, a longtime fan, approached the band to write the soundtrack? “No, I didn’t,” he admits. “But its style and its atmosphere set me off straight away. I read it on a Friday, and by Monday I pretty much had all my ideas lined up. What was great was that Simon hadn’t shot anything then.” He laughs. “You want to get in early, because that way you can start having late night conversations with the director about The Graduate, or whatever. We all have fantasies about those great movies of the Sixties and the Seventies. If you going to get involved with a project like this, you want to do it right.”
Interspersing some of their most casually gorgeous songs in recent memory with wildly transportal instrumentals, ‘Days of the Bagnold Summer’ is something of a scenic detour from the band’s recent work, largely exchanging the funk, soul and psych of the How To Solve Our Human Problems triptych for more pastoral and acoustic textures. Ones that make lyrical use of strings, French horn, banjo and the occasional trumpet.
Some inspiration may have stemmed from revisiting past plains: “‘Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying’ is a song from our second LP [the seminal If You’re Feeling Sinister from 1996],” says Murdoch. “Simon was adamant he wanted to use it. He’s a proper fan of the group.” The former was re-recorded for the soundtrack along with another B&S classic, “I Know Where The Summer Goes,” originally appearing on 1998 EP This Is Just A Modern Rock Song. Bird also went for a song called “Safety Valve,” (“I wrote a song to you/ I poured my soul in it/ now I’m feeling flat/ I want my soul back”), not knowing he’d stumbled upon Belle and Sebastian collector’s gold dust. “That one’s ancient,” says Murdoch. “It predates the band; it’s maybe 25 years old. The only time I can remember ever playing it was in a coffee shop with a friend of mine, and people scratching their heads. There was only a verse and a chorus, so I went back to it, and revised the words. It’s a simple song about being over-reliant on a particular person – probably my girlfriend at the time. But it seems to work okay here, too.”
The single “Sister Buddha” serves as a loose ‘theme’, appearing at the beginning and towards the end of the album. While not originally written for the film, it struck a chord with Bird: “It just came from my present interest in Buddhism. Simon picked up on it, wanting to have something uplifting at the end of movie, and we were happy for him to have it”.
Another new track, written by Murdoch specifically for the film this time, is “Did The Day Go Just Like You Wanted?” (“Did the day go just like you wanted?/ Or did you hold on with your fingernails?”). “That came out so quickly. It’s based on the relationship between the mum and the son. I guess I used my own experience a bit, feeling it: the situation they are in.”
The brief and spacious “Another Day, Another Night” (“Another day, another night/ I spend my life not-thinking about you”) was written by Sarah Martin. “In the screenplay, the mum is a richer character than in the book, and I was taken by that,” she says. “This is really her song: she doesn’t have much of a facade; she’s not robust. There’s a point when she thinks about an old boyfriend, and her whole past, with all its regrets, suddenly opens up before her. I love her character.”
“Jill Pole,” an instrumental waltz of windswept harmonica and violin, contributes an almost prairie-like expanse and melancholy, while the baroque-tinged “We Were Never Glorious” draws down the curtain with wistful clarinet and snippets of dialogue from the film.
Is releasing a soundtrack a different prospect from releasing a regular album? Would a Belle and Sebastian fan notice the difference if they didn’t know? “Everything we do that becomes an album is a big deal for us,” says Murdoch. “We’re quietly pleased with how the collaboration went, but the truth is that you don’t know what’s going to happen when it goes out into the world, and people hear it.” Martin thinks it is slightly different from other records they’ve put out. “It’s more consistent, probably, than most of our albums. Soundtracks are a deeper cut. They’re not a big pop statement.” But is making music for film that different than making it for a listener? “The whole thing with music is to make a good moment better,” Murdoch says. “Deeper, more thrilling, more heartfelt.” – Rachel Cooke
Belle and Sebastian on tour :
Tuesday, July 2 The Leadmill, Sheffield UK (SOLD OUT)
Wednesday, July 3 Albert Hall, Manchester UK (SOLD OUT)
Thursday, July 4 O2 Academy, Oxford UK (SOLD OUT)/
This morning Steve Gunn has confirmed a new August/September European tour in support of the critically acclaimed ‘The Unseen In Between’, accompanied by Anton Coene’s footage of the album’s standout “Morning Is Mended”, filmed in the former monestary, Caermersklooster.
Steve Gunn has released a tribute to the late director Agnes Varda who, among many other works, created the film Vagabond after which Gunn named the first single off his new album The Unseen In Between. The director of Gunn’s new music video Naomi Yang had these words to share:
The lyrics tie the song very directly to the imagery in the film so I felt the main challenge in making the video was to honor the film without trying to literally recreate it, and to express the emotional weight of Steve’s song which was all his own.
Formally, Varda’s film is structured around 12 long tracking shots of the main character walking from right to left. There are also a few simple reoccurring props in the film: cigarettes, a painting, a transistor radio. These elements I pulled from the film and used in the video. I decided that by echoing some formal elements from the film we could be secretly give a nod to the film in homage, but it would not depend on you knowing the film to understand the song or the video.
I set the video in Pittsburgh – a place that both Steve and I were essentially strangers. Steve and I wandered the edges for 3 days. The thought was Steve was following in the footsteps of the character from Varda’s film, that perhaps she had left right before he arrived, had just moved on – leaving Steve to find only her traces. And after all, isn’t that not unlike the itinerant life of a musician?
Years ago, when I was in Galaxie 500, we arrived in a club in Europe, and found personal greetings in graffiti to us on the wall of the band room. Friends of ours had played the same club the week before, left us a message and moved on.
And now, sadly, Agnés Varda has passed on. But she has left us with her incredible, soulful, mischievous, political, compassionate body of work to discover, rediscover, and be inspired by.
— Naomi Yang, 2019
Steve Gunn continues on his tour dates in support of The Unseen In Between this week in North America, beginning Thursday in Milwaukee. See a full list of upcoming dates below.
(photo by Halfdan Venlov)Marking the start of their North American tour, Iceage have released a new video for ‘Pain Killer’, one of the standout tracks from their critically acclaimed fourth album Beyondless.
Hallucinogenic epiphanies filmed between Tijuana, San Diego and LA interspersed with 70’s pulp animation? Visual cues from Wild At Heart, Fear And Loathingin Las Vegas, and the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage? VHS footage featuring a cameo from Sky Ferreira shot in the garage of Lili Hayes?
Directed by Mortis Studio with additional animation from Josh Freydkis and featuring lead actors Linda Abud & Sebastian Alvarez, the video for ‘Pain Killer’ truly has it all, and is a potent chaser to the visceral and intoxicating potion of the audio.
Iceage’s North American run of dates in support Beyondless kicks off Friday, April 12th in Las Vegas, with Shame and Nadah El Shazly supporting on select dates. A full list of upcoming dates can be found below.
With a triumphant European tour about to conclude and a US tour with Gun Outfit about to commence, Steve Gunn announces a new run of headline North American tour dates this summer. Spanning the Northeast corridor, the tour begins on July 24th in Portland, ME and ends with a hometown show at Brooklyn’s Industry City on August 3rd. The full list of tour dates can be found below and is accompanied by the release of an acoustic video for ‘The Unseen In Between’ standout track, “Chance,” the third in a series of live acoustic videos made by The Mitcham Submarine — this one filmed at London’s Albert Memorial.
Stephen Malkmus had a vision … or so begins the lyrics to “Rushing The Acid Frat,” the newly released single from his forthcoming ‘Groove Denied'(out March 15th). The song title, inspired by Stephen’s memories of a specific student fraternity (think less beer-pong-bros, more “Grateful Dead druggy tie-dye” vibe) at his UVA alma mater, is a “Louie Louie”-style shindig rumpus, which he imagines as the soundtrack to a “Star Wars bar scene in such a frat … it’s kinda 12-bar but gigged with psych lyrics.”
In the accompanying video (above), created by Robert Strange and James Papper, features an animated Stephen taking a romp through LA’s Koreatown and Hollywood Forever Cemetery, followed by a trip to the moon, and back to a field on Earth (fun fact – it’s Ben Kweller’s ranch in Texas), tinged with hallucinatory enhancements.
Along with this May’s solo dates, additional shows have been added at NYC’s The Kitchen and the Art Institute Of Chicago (ticket links below).
Steve Gunn today shares a third song off of ‘The Unseen In Between’ (out January 18), the gorgeous “Vagabond” and its accompanying official video. Named after Gunn’s favorite Agnes Varda film, “Vagabond” could almost be the soundtrack to a Denis Johnson short story or Sam Shepard play, with its rich cast of characters whose lives have gone astray — like Mona who “camped out in a graveyard” and Jean-Pierre who “came from the road, his artwork remains unsold.” Accompanied by gorgeous harmonies from Meg Baird, the song is a meditation on our restless times, an ode to the runaways, drifters, and vagabonds trying to make ends meet.
Jason Evans directed the accompanying official video, which includes graphics by Stephen Powers. It’s a stylish black & white performance film with a timeless feel, taking its visual cues from Richard Avedon and David Bailey. The intimacy lends itself well to Gunn’s impeccable guitar work, with close-ups of his fingers casting spells on the frets
Gunn has also announced a lengthy run of new headline full-band tour dates for the spring, which will commence upon his return from playing East Coast, West Coast, and European shows on April 18th in Milwaukee. The full list of tour dates can be found below.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of Yo La Tengo’s “From A Motel 6” being released as a single thru the confusing maelstrom of the major label distribution system. It’s also Ira Kaplan’s birthday, and to celebrate both of these historic events we’re offering 25% off ‘Extra Painful’ and ‘There’s A Riot Going On’. Stream “From A Motel 6” and find your territory’s Matador Webstore
(Made for Matador Records by The Mitcham Submarine)
Steve Gunn sings about the rhythms of life in terms of landscapes — overpasses, oceans and streets, from the perspective of characters that could step in for him but are likely based on folks he’s met along the way. It gives his songwriting a winding quality, enlivened by a dexterous-yet-mindful guitar style that has become Gunn’s own.
For the first time in years, there’s no band — just Gunn, his guitar and a meditation underscored by a video filmed on the streets of London. “Stonehurst Cowboy” muses on a father who knew how to tell a story, and who doubled as a guide through Gunn’s life. Entangled in one of his most indelible guitar melodies, he sings, “Teach us right all those steps / Before there’s nothing left, for all those cowboys in the world.”- Lars Gotrich, NPR
Earlier today, NPR Music premiered “Stonehurst Cowboy”, the second track from Steve Gunn’s incredible new album ‘The Unseen In Between’ (out January 18)
After releasing “Alan (Rework)” via W Records last week, Perfume Genius premiered “Not For Me” today, a cover of Bobby Darin’s track, along with a new music video directed by Perfume Genius’s Mike Hadreas himself. As with last week’s release, profits from the streaming of this track will be donated in full to Immigration Equality, an LGBTQ immigrant rights organization.
The latest single from songwriting powerhouse Kurt Vile’s album-of-the-year contender ‘Bottle It In’ is a banjo-propelled, instant classic that belies the author’s claim, “I’ve always had a soft spot for repetition.” While peers real and imagined tip-toe on the periphery of Americana, folk and classic rock, not for the first or last time, Philadelphia’s Vile renders such considerations moot — if he’s not 2018’s wittiest, most evocative storyteller, we’d like to meet whoever else holds the crown.
At last week’s close of Queens of the Stone Age’s massive, 129 date world tour in support of ‘Villains’, fans in Tasmania were treated to an intimate one-off acoustic set at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart – a benefit that generated $10,000 matched by QOTSA’s Joshua Homme’s own Sweet Stuff Foundation for a total of $20,000 to support the Royal Hobart Hospital Paediatrics Ward. The band visited the hospital the following day, presenting the donation to the hospital and gifts to its patients. Above – the band performing “The Way You Used To Do”.
Today King Krule releases a music video for “Biscuit Town,” the opening track from his Mercury Prize nominated album ‘The OOZ’. The video comes as the first of a three-part collaboration with WeTransfer, which sees King Krule explore the creative process with each video’s director, hosted on their WePresent platform. Directed by friends and long-term collaborators cc. Wade (aka Michael and Paraic Morrissey), the video sees King Krule (aka Archy Marshall) inhabiting his own noir “Biscuit Town” — waking up and retracing his footsteps through the city, piecing together the remnants of a hazy, half-remembered night before. A reflection of his futuristic, jazz-inflected, film-inspired sound, the video serves to compliment the warm, dreamlike quality of “Biscuit Town.”
Interpol’s Marauder is finally out tomorrow, and to preview their first LP in four years, they’ve shared the video for album-opener “If You Really Love Nothing.” The video, directed by Hala Matar, stars Kristen Stewart and Finn Wittrock.
Interpol kicks off their North American headlining dates with a sold out show at Philadelphia’s Union Transfer tonight, before playing their Marauder release show at Brooklyn’s House of Vans tomorrow night. The first five tracks of their set tomorrow will be live-streamed from the band’s Facebook and YouTube channel, beginning at 9:45pm EDT.
Upcoming Tour Dates, In Bold On Sale Tomorrow at 10am Local Time
This morning, we’re pleased to present the Kurt Vile video, “Loading Zones,” the first new music to surface from him since 2015. Directed by Drew Saracco, the video is a paean to Kurt’s City of Brotherly Love, and a farcical tribute to the song’s lyrics, a loose account of his peculiar parking strategy. Law enforcement is played by Kevin Corrigan and Matt Korvette.
Kurt and The Violators (Rob Laakso, Kyle Spence, and Jesse Trbovich) hit the road this fall on an extensive global tour. Tickets are on-sale now for the full world tour, which commences in Hamburg, Germany on October 12th. The North American leg, where fans can expect a further taste of new music in addition to the band’s iconic catalogue, kicks off on November 24th in Boston. The band has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 per ticket sold will go to support the ACLU’s work defending and protecting our individual rights and liberties. The full list of tour dates can be found below.
Following a seven-week US tour on the heels of the recent release of their new album, Beyondless, Iceage have shared a new video for album stand-out track, “Under The Sun.” The video was filmed in Tokyo during their ‘Opening Nights’ residencies, which was an inter-continental exhibition that saw Iceage collaborating with their favorite visual artists (also staged in NYC and LA).
Directed by XXX, the “Under The Sun” video features the vibrant, eye-catching floral designs of renowned flower sculptor, Azuma Makoto, who handpicked Iceage for his flower-music installation series titled “Crazy Garden x Iceage.” The band’s darkly beautiful and chaotic live performance is an unexpected, yet fitting, foil to the delicate blooms
After a North American co-headline tour with The Black Lips in November, Iceage will return to London for a special performance at the Hackney Arts Centre on December 7th, with Helm and Astrid Sonne opening, and set design by Christian Friedlander. The full list of tour dates can be found below.
Interpol have released the video for powerhouse new single, “The Rover” taken from their forthcoming Dave Fridmann-produced new album, ‘Marauder’, out August 24th.
The video was shot on-location in Mexico City in June, during a whirlwind journey where Interpol announced their new album via a live-streamed press conference – only to be unexpectedly interrupted halfway through by a mysterious figure played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach, confusing fans and media alike. Today, the mystery has finally been revealed with the release of the video directed by Gerardo Naranjo (“Narcos”, “The Bridge”) – giving further context to the elusive cult-like character, ‘The Rover’ himself, blurring the line between documentary and fever dream in a heady montage of psychedelic, hedonistic adventures with his young followers in tow, as they ‘rove’ through the pulsing Distrito Federal.