Today Kim Gordon releases her highly anticipated, ‘No Home Record’, an album already being heralded as “provocative, challenging and effortlessly cool” and “a superb genre-spanning solo debut.” Those who purchase the CD or LP at Amoeba Hollywood (6400 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028) today can celebrate with Gordon in-person at an in-store signing event starting at 7pm.
Earlier today, Gordon released a clip for “Hungry Baby”, which is the latest in a short video series the legendary musician and Berlin-based artist and filmmaker Loretta Fahrenholz created to accompany the album
Lucy Dacus’s ‘2019’ EP compiling her series of holiday-themed singles will be released on November 8th. Following “La Vie En Rose”, “My Mother & I”, “Forever Half Mast” and most recently “Dancing In The Dark”, today’s EP announcement comes with a new Halloween-inspired cover of Phil Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’. Lucy’s ‘2019’ EP will feature two more songs celebrating the winter holidays – a cover of “Last Christmas” and an original ode to New Years titled “Fools Gold”.
In this spirited cover, Lucy revamps ‘In The Air Tonight’ into a Halloween anthem by magnifying the original song’s ominous undertones, bringing the mythology behind Phil Collins’ song to the forefront with haunting vocals and penetrating reverb. In Lucy’s own words, “perhaps the best eerie bop of all time, and certainly the best drum fill. The image in the first verse is so unsettling- watching someone watch someone drown without moving to save them. People have wondered if this is something Phil Collins really witnessed, but the song is actually just a manifestation of his anger and frustration about his divorce. It’s tense, dark, and so much fun, as a good Halloween should be. This was the most fun I’ve ever had in a studio.”
Additionally, a special bundle set of the ‘2019’ EP and a limited edition, clear vinyl pressing of Dacus’s breakthrough 2018 album ‘Historian’ will be available through the Matador Records webstore.
(photo : Elizabeth Weinberg)
1. Fool’s Gold
2. La Vie En Rose
3. My Mother & I
4. Forever Half Mast
5. Dancing In The Dark
6. In The Air Tonight
7. Last Christmas
“Hungry Baby” is the latest single from Kim Gordon’s forthcoming solo album, ‘No Home Record’, out this Friday (October 11). Early praise for ‘No Home Record’ has been fairly over the top (“everything a Kim Gordon record should be: provocative, challenging and effortlessly cool” –DIY,
“a bold mix of industrial noise, art-punk poetics and wry wit” – The Guardian, “sharp, savvy and engagingly subversive” – Uncut), and there will be more to talk about later this week.
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.
Ending a 16-year hiatus since its last installment, the most mythical, longest running rock n roll mixtape odyssey in existence, Desert Sessions will return this October with the most ambitious entries yet in its expansive and elusive catalog: Vols. 11 & 12 (a/k/a respectively as ‘Arrivederci Despair’ and ‘Tightwads & Nitwits & Critics & Heels’) will be released October 25th. A limited edition first vinyl pressing will include a one of a kind custom mix & match body swap booklet. Exclusive merchandise bundles are available for pre-order now
Vols. 11 & 12 were recorded mostly in a six-day span in December 2018 at Rancho De La Luna studios in Joshua Tree, CA, with Queens of the Stone Age founder and Desert Sessions ringleader/producer Joshua Homme enlisting a cast of players including:
Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)
Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint)
Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters)
Mike Kerr (Royal Blood)
Carla Azar (Autolux, Jack White)
Les Claypool (Primus)
Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Superwolf, Endless Boogie)
Matt Berry (What We Do in the Shadows, Toast of London)
The results are eight new songs that embody the legacy of freedom from expectations and inhibitions that stretches back to 1997, when Homme led a first retreat to the Joshua Tree desert. What began as a casual writing and recording session amongst friends—isolated from daily distractions and comforts—has since become a possibly infinite body of work. Now spanning 12 volumes over the course of two decades (and a total of two documented live performances), The Desert Sessions has featured some of music’s most cherished icons—past players have included Polly Harvey, Mark Lanegan, Josh Freese, Dean Ween, among many others—deliberately removing themselves from their comfort zones and working together to create some of their most relaxed yet challenging work.
The tracklist for Desert Sessions ‘Vols. 11 & 12’ (a/k/a ‘Arrivederci Despair’ and ‘Tightwads & Nitwits & Critics & Heels’) is:
Move Together (lead vocal: Billy F. Gibbons)
Noses in Roses Forever (lead vocal: Joshua Homme)
Far East for the Trees
If You Run (lead vocal: Libby Grace)
Crucifire (lead vocal: Mike Kerr)
Chic Tweetz (vocals: Töôrnst Hülpft, Matt Berry)
Something You Can’t See (lead vocal: Jake Shears)
Easier Said Than Done (lead vocal: Joshua Homme)
01. Sister Buddha (Intro)
02. I Know Where The Summer Goes
03. Did The Day Go Just Like You Wanted?
04. Jill Pole
05. I’ll Keep It Inside
06. Safety Valve
07. The Colour’s Gonna Run
08. Another Day, Another Night
09. Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying
10. Wait And See What The Day Holds
11. Sister Buddha
12. This Letter
13. We Were Never Glorious
Perfume Genius has released ‘Eye in the Wall’, a new track taken from
The Sun Still Burns Here, a dance and music performance collaboration with Seattle-based choreographer Kate Wallich. The evening-long piece, set to debut in October, is co-directed by Perfume Genius and Wallich and stars Perfume Genius’s Mike Hadreas alongside dance company The YC.
The nearly 9-minute ‘Eye in the Wall’ is a hypnotic swirl of propulsive percussion, celestial atmospherics and a spellbinding vocal performance that is unlike anything Hadreas has done before. Listen to it HERE.
“I think of ‘Eye in the Wall’ as a cosmic peep show,” says Hadreas. “Watching, being watched, dancers unlatched from the Matrix and truly LIVING. Creating new rituals on the other side. Whole bodies braiding, spit glowing in the dark and a camera floating just above. We spent a lot of time in the studio alternating between the math of the song and the magic of it — which was very much like the process of creating the dance itself. Working with Kate Wallich and YC, really being with my body, really being with other bodies – there is control and a real formula but a portal opened up in parallel that is completely free and overwhelmingly full of feeling.”
Wallich adds: “’Eye in the Wall’ is the part of the piece where we lure you in and spit you out. A tornado of body, time, space, transformation and deterioration. It’s like pulling the Death card when you already knew what needed to end.”
(photo by Andrew J.S.)
For nearly a year, Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas and Alan Wyffels have been rehearsing with Wallich and The YC in Seattle. Not only are Hadreas and Wyffels fully integrated into the complex choreography of the piece, but the performance will also feature Hadreas performing songs he has composed for the project live, creating an exciting marriage between Perfume Genius’ epic take on popular music and the evocative nature of Wallich’s contemporary dance.
A trailer for The Sun Still Burns Here, featuring a clip of ‘Eye in the Wall’, can be viewed above. The trailer was directed by Zia Anger, with art direction by Andrew J.S.
The world premiere of The Sun Still Burns Here will be held on October 4th and 5th at Seattle’s Moore Theatre, with more performances slated for New York, Minneapolis and Boston through the winter. The full list of dates can be found below.
In honor of The Boss’s birthday, Lucy Dacus has released a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark,” which can be heard HERE. This is the fourth installment of her 2019 holiday song series, following her Valentine’s Day cover of “La Vie En Rose,” and original songs “My Mother & I” and “Forever Half Mast,” celebrating Mother’s Day and Independence Day, respectively. Lucy’s ongoing 2019 singles series will also include tracks tied to Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s, with a physical EP coming in the fall.
In “Dancing In the Dark,” Lucy pays tribute to one of her role models with an inspired Bruce Springsteen cover that foregrounds her ebullient guitar playing. She swaps out the synth line of the original tune in favor of uptempo strumming patterns that coalesce with her arresting vocals to reinvigorate an American classic. “Happy birthday to Bruce,” says Dacus, “but also happy birthday to my dad, the biggest Bruce fan I know and the reason I’ve listened to The Boss since birth. I resisted it when I was younger as a rebellion to my dad’s taste, but I have come to love his music on my own time. His lyricism is embedded in my own songwriting inextricably at this point.”
Spoon today shine a light on the rarity track “Shake It Off.” Available digitally for the first time ever, and culled from a 2002 split single with Swearing With Motorists (Super Asbestos), the track was recently made the b-side of the 7” version of latest single “No Bullets Spent”
Just a reminder that today marks the release date for the LP and CD versions of our reissue of Snail Mail’s 2016 EP ‘Habit’, also featuring a cover of Lois Maffeo’s “The 2nd Most Beautiful Girl In The World” as a bonus track. Order/stream here.
ALGIERS have released a collaborative audiovisual piece, “Can the Sub_Bass Speak?”, a new work from the band and production duo Randall Dunn and Ben Greenberg. The new piece pits charged language and free jazz collage by ALGIERS multi-instrumentalist Franklin James Fisher, saxophonics pioneer Skerik and drummer D’Vonne Lewis against a maelstrom of visuals by award-winning filmmaker Sam Campbell and typographer Farbod Kokabi.
Inspired by a chance encounter with artists Moor Mother and Harrga at Wysing Polyphonic in 2018, “Can the Sub_Bass Speak?” contorts ALGIERS’ post-punk deconstruction of racial and class sonic politics into new collaborative directions. “Can the Sub_Bass Speak?” is the centerpiece of a larger web installation thereisnoyear
The film recalls the ‘visual abstraction’ and political radicalism of Lis Rhodes and John Akomfrah, situating Fisher’s lyrical examination of structural racism within the disorienting resurgence of fascism across Europe and the United States.
Fisher writes :
“Who has the cultural authority to designate origin and authenticity? ’Can the Sub_Bass Speak?’ is a frustrated regurgitation; a re-contextualization; a re-appropriation; a shield and a mirror that projects back onto the world a lifetime of interpellating language rooted in weaponized ignorance and supremacist privilege. The improvised punctuation is provided by Skerik on the tenor saxophone and D’Vonne Lewis on drums and percussion. The underlying cacophony traces the evolution of African-American music, experience and identity. This is not for the mercenary architects: the Jacks and Queens of simulated experience. This is for anyone who has found themselves on the sharp end of insidious, rhetorical prying: ‘Where are you from?’ ‘What are you?’ This is for anyone who has had their identity assigned and determined by the agents of patriarchy. This is for the Subaltern.”
In addition, ALGIERS have announced UK & European headline tour dates for 2020, Kicking off in Brighton on February 3rd, the band headline London’s Village Underground on February 5th, before continuing to further stops in the UK and Europe. Tickets for the 2020 shows go on sale Friday, August 30th, at 10am. A full list of current and upcoming dates can be found below.
Multi-disciplinary artist Kim Gordon‘s first solo album, No Home Record is being released worldwide October 11th on Matador Records. No Home Record follows the recent opening of Gordon’s solo exhibition “She Bites Her Tender Mind” at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) in Dublin and “Lo-Fi Glamour” at Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. Among its nine tracks, No Home Record features the new single “Sketch Artist” accompanied by a video directed by Berlin-based experimental artist Loretta Fahrenholz and includes a cameo from actress and writer Abbi Jacobson. Fahrenholz notes, notes ‘Sketch Artist’ is a haunted car ride. Kim drives as ‘Unter’ Pool summons passengers throughout nighttime LA. The city drifts by, passengers intermingle in the back seat and Kim’s deadly stare shocks pedestrians along her route.”
No Home Record was produced largely by Justin Raisen (Charli XCX, Ariel Pink, Sky Ferreira) at Sphere Ranch in Los Angeles, along with contributions from Shawn Everett (Jim James, The War on Drugs) and composer/filmmaker Jake Meginsky (L’appel Du Vide, ‘Milford Graves Full Mantis’). Gordon’s solo debut album’s title is a nod to the French-Belgian director Chantal Akerman’s film No Home Movie .
‘Why a solo record? And why now?,’” Gordon mused of the upcoming solo debut. “I don’t know, but it wouldn’t have happened without the persistence of Justin Raisen. Living in LA the last few years it feels like home, but the transience of the place makes it feel sometimes like no home.”
Since co-founding Sonic Youth in 1981, Kim Gordon has remained at the nexus of music, fashion, art and (more recently) books and film. In the past few years alone, Gordon has debuted in the #1 spot on the NY Times Bestseller List with her 2015 memoir Girl In A Band, acted alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill under the direction of Gus Van Sant (in 2018’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot”), released music and performed as one half of Body/Head alongside Bill Nace, and opened multiple solo-exhibitions at internationally renowned museums.
‘No Home Record’ will be available on standard black vinyl, limited edition white vinyl, CD, or cassette. Get 15% off your order when you bundle the record with a tee (featuring stills from the “Sketch Artist” video directed by Loretta Fahrenholz) or album art tote.
With a career spanning nearly four decades, Kim Gordon is one of the most prolific and visionary artists working today. A co-founder of the legendary Sonic Youth, Gordon has performed all over the world, collaborating with many of music’s most exciting figures including Tony Conrad, Ikue Mori, Julie Cafritz and Stephen Malkmus. Most recently, Gordon has been hitting the road with Body/Head, her spellbinding partnership with artist and musician Bill Nace. Despite the exhaustive nature of her résumé, the most reliable aspect of Gordon’s music may be its resistance to formula. Songs discover themselves as they unspool, each one performing a test of the medium’s possibilities and limits. Her command is astonishing, but Gordon’s artistic curiosity remains the guiding force behind her music. Gordon continues this pursuit on No Home Record, her first-ever solo release, produced by Justin Raisen (Angel Olsen, Yves Tumor, John Cale, Charli XCX, etc.) and recorded at Sphere Ranch in Los Angeles. Borrowing its name from a Chantal Akerman film, No Home Record is, in many ways, a return as much as it is a departure. When Gordon first began playing music in the early 1980s, she used a guitar, a drum machine, and some lyrics sniped from magazine advertisement copy. No Home Recordcontains echoes of that setup, in both form and concept. On “Cookie Butter” (produced by Shawn Everett), Gordon’s vocals jut out insistently over a tinny raindrop beat: “You fucked / You think / I want / You fell.” The song continues, hectic and driving, until finding resolution in the lines “Industrial metal supplies / Cookie butter,” perfectly illustrating Gordon’s singular lyric capacity to meld cultural critique, divulgence and humor. This captivating ability is further exemplified by “Don’t Play it Back” (produced by Jake Meginsky) where Gordon’s wiry vocals slice the track’s circling electric floor: “You don’t own me / Golden Vanity / You can pee in the ocean / It’s Free.” This nod—with a wink—towards culture’s increasingly fraught (and increasingly commodified) relationship with identity and the self is one of No Home Record’s central themes. “Shopping off a cliff / You’re a breath on my eye / To lose a compass of teeth / Hash away at twitter,” Gordon recites, phosphorescent and dirge-like, on the album’s stunning closer “Get Yr Life Back Yoga,” “Everyday, everyday, everyday / I feel bad for you / I feel bad for me.” It makes sense that this “American idea” (as Gordon says on the agitated rock track “Air BnB”) of purchasing utopia permeates the record, as no place is this phenomenon more apparent than Los Angeles, where Gordon was born and recently returned to after several lifetimes on the east coast. It was a move precipitated by a number of seismic shifts in her personal life and undoubtedly plays a role in No Home Record’s fascination with transience. The album opens with the restless “Sketch Artist,” where Gordon sings about “dreaming in a tent” as the music shutters and skips like scenery through a car window. “Even Earthquake,” perhaps the record’s most straightforward track embodies this mood; Gordon’s voice wavering like watercolor: “If I could cry and shake for you / I’d lay awake for you / I got sand in my heart for you,” guitar strokes blending into one another as they bleed out across an unstable page. Front to back, No Home Record is an expert operation in the uncanny. You don’t simply listen to Gordon’s music; you experience it. – Elaine Kahn
‘Everything Hits At Once : The Best Of Spoon’ — featuring the new single, “No Bullets Spent” — is out today. LP and CD editions are now shipping from the Matador and Spoon webstores ; The album will be available at most independent record stores on August 2, and everywhere by August 16. Contact your local store for details.
Prior to Spoon’s show tonight at Austin’s 360 Ampitheater, the band will be signing copies of ‘Everything Hits At Once’ and the “No Bullets Spent” 7″ at Waterloo Records at 1pm.
‘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)/
In honor of Independence Day, Lucy Dacus has released a new single titled “Forever Half Mast,” . The third installment of her 2019 holiday song series, “Forever Half Mast” follows her Valentine’s Day-inspired “La Vie En Rose” cover and her ode to Mother’s Day and Taurus Season, an original song titled “My Mother & I.” Lucy’s ongoing 2019 singles series will also include tracks tied to Bruce Springsteen’s birthday, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s, with a physical EP coming in the fall.
In “Forever Half Mast,” the twang of a steel guitar compliments Lucy’s gentle strumming and lends a distinctly ‘American’ sound to the song — yet the lyrics convey an attitude towards her home country that is decidedly more ambivalent. Lucy drew inspiration for the song from her experiences touring in Europe, where she was starkly confronted by the complexities of her American identity, and by what it means to be a proud American in these trying times.
In Lucy’s words, “There is a daily dissonance one endures as an American wherein much of our joy is counterweighted by shame, where much of our pride lives in tandem with injustice and suffering. ‘Forever Half Mast’ is about confronting this unavoidable culpability as an American citizen and consumer. Instead of allowing this guilt to paralyze us, we should try to let it influence us in positive ways.”
Baltimore-based singer/songwriter/guitar wiz Snail Mail, aka Lindsey Jordan, has re-issued the breakout 2016 EP, ‘Habit’, available now digitally, with the 12″ and CD versions available on August 30th. The re-mastered EP contains the six original songs, including the single, “Thinning,” as well as a cover of Lois Maffeo’s “The 2nd Most Beautiful Girl In The World,” an alternative version of which was previously available as an Amazon exclusive.
ICYMI, Snail Mail contributed an original song to EA Games’ latest installment of The Sims, ‘The Sims 4: Living Island,’ which came out last Friday. “Rizbeen” is an original new recording of Snail Mail’s “Pristine,” with the lyrics translated into Simlish (NO REALLY, THAT’S WHAT I WAS ASKED TO TYPE).
“It was really hilarious working with the producer of Lush and trying to be serious the whole time! It came pretty naturally to me for some reason. Maybe i’m a sim.”
Spoon today unleash their first new song since 2017’s acclaimed ‘Hot Thoughts’. “No Bullets Spent” showcases Spoon in full creative forward momentum, with its staccato rhythms and spooky film-noir guitar. The inimitable vocals of magnetic frontman Britt Daniel kicking off at the first note, Spoon’s signature is stamped on the track immediately while another level is achieved in Daniels’ seemingly infinite hot streak as a songwriter. Blending with the percussion wizardry of Spoon co-founder Jim Eno, the song is propelled from the doors of his own Public Hi Fi studio in Austin, TX and is produced by Mark Rankin. Alex Fischel (keyboard) and Gerardo Larios (guitar) add their own dimension to the band whose recent recording sessions point to, perhaps, a forthcoming new album.
“No Bullets Spent” joins classics from the Spoon catalog on ‘Everything Hits at Once: The Best of Spoon’, the greatest hits compilation coming out July 26th. “No Bullets Spent” will also be available as a limited edition 7”, with the ‘A Series of Sneaks’ era rarity “Shake It Off” on the B-side. Limited to a small pressing worldwide, the 7” will be sold exclusively via the Matador and Spoon webstores and on tour with the band this summer. The album’s tracklist (complaints about what songs are missing
can be directed to the Twitter ether) and Spoon’s full list of summer tour dates can be found below the physical and digital artwork, and the Rob Sheffield-penned bio.
How many rock bands from the past 25 years could get away with a greatest-hits album? Spoon stand alone, with a career-spanning retrospective culled from all over their unique songbook. It’s a flawless compilation of their best-known, best-loved tunes, yet it’s still full of
surprises—the only thing you could expect from a band that’s spent their whole career taking people by surprise.
“The idea of doing a best-of came to us a couple times,” Britt Daniel says. “First I wasn’t sure how I felt about it but at some point I remembered that when I got my first Cure record it was ‘Standing on a Beach’. When I got my first New Order record, it was ‘Substance’. That was how I met those bands, and I moved backwards from there but I still listen to those comps. I
love a greatest hits LP when it’s done well. It can be a thing unto itself.”
If you were the betting type in 1996, and you were taking odds on which bands would still be on top of their game in 2019—still thriving, creating, evolving, sitting on top of a catalog so rich it could produce a compilation like this—it’s safe to say you could have bought a house betting a quarter on Spoon. They did not seem the likeliest band to make history. Yet they’ve achieved this by refusing to concede a thing to fashion, refusing to pander, declining to repeat themselves, resisting the impulse to play it safe. When they dropped ‘Kill the Moonlight’ in 2002, it already seemed bizarre this underdog band had turned out to be so freakishly prolific and creative. But Spoon were just getting started. They have kept going their own way, moving past their original blueprint and building something new one album at a time.
When you hear Spoon has a greatest-hits record, you instantly think of your pet favorites. Every fan would assemble a totally different lineup—that’s the beauty of it. They’ve built the kind of ridiculously vast catalog where people love to argue for hours over their favorite highlights. Are you a ‘Girls Can Tell’ diehard or a ‘Transference’ cultist? Do you prefer ‘Gimme
Fiction’ or ‘Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga’? ‘Hot Thoughts’? ‘They Want My Soul’?
Certain artists like Al Green, Blondie or Creedence spend years making individual albums that stand up as fully realized works of art—but they spawn a perfect greatest-hits record that makes its own statement. That’s the classic level Spoon are on here. So how did this complex and diverse string of albums boil down to one disc? “Honestly, it was a struggle,”
Daniel says. “I was listening to the old records and jotting down the songs—if you wanna turn the volume up, that’s a good sign. The list really got whittled down, so these are the best. ‘I Summon You’ was never a huge song, wasn’t for the radio, but it had to be on there. It’s one of the best things we’ve done. I wanted to represent ‘Transference’, even though it’s not really a ‘hit’ type of album—‘Got Nuffin’ was the closest thing. It did get to a point where I started feeling like, ‘We gotta represent this album in some way, we’ve gotta represent this change in some way.’ ‘Everything Hits at Once’ was a turning point for us—a minimal new wave soul type of rock song.’”
That’s part of what makes this a classic greatest-hits album—we will keep arguing over the selections for years to come. “It’s a small collection trying to cover a lot of years, but I hope it does what ‘The Singles’ record by the Pretenders or ‘Hot Rocks’ did for me—cover a lot of ground and then if you want to find out more, you can find out more.” It’s a conversation starter, like any great group’s best-of should be. But it’s also a map to the work of a band that’s still full of surprises—and more yet to come. – Rob Sheffield
Having released one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2019 in ‘The Unseen In Between’, Brooklyn-based songwriteSteve Gunn today shares two new non-album songs, “Be Still Moon” and “Shrunken Heads.”
Recorded during the sessions that yielded ‘The Unseen In Between’, “Be Still Moon” is a swaying acoustic waltz that showcases Gunn’s melodic fretwork, while “Shrunken Heads” sets a rhythmic call-and-response refrain against kaleidoscopic country guitars. While they didn’t make sense with the distinct ebb and flow of the album, taken on their own, the two tracks are as spellbinding an illustration of Gunn’s arresting songcraft as any.
1. Cosmic Hero (Live at the Tramshed, Cardiff, Wales)
2. Fill In The Blank (Live at Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OH)
3. Drugs With Friends (Live at La Lune des Pirates, Amiens, France)
4. Bodys (Live at La Lune des Pirates, Amiens, France)
5. Cute Thing (Live at O2 Forum Kentish Town, London, England)
6. Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales (Live at O2 Forum Kentish Town, London, England)
7. Destroyed By Hippie Powers (Live at the Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR)
8. Ivy (live at the Capitol Theater, Olympia, WA)
9. Beach Life-in-Death (Live at Crossroads, KC, Kansas City, MO)