Active Child’s new album Mercy – out now June 15th 2015 By Aaron

Active Child’s new album Mercy – out now

Active Child’s highly anticipated sophomore release, Mercy, will be released locally on June 12th via Spunk Records. Active Child recently premiered a new single off the album, entitled ‘Stranger.’ The track bears “pillowy synths, gorgeous falsetto, unexpected swathes of harp – but it pulses with tension and intrigue.” (Stereogum).
Serving as a follow up to 2011’s critically acclaimed LP, You Are All I See, and 2013’s Rapor EP, Mercy showcases Grossi’s raw, honest, and incredible vocals like never before.  “On Mercy I wanted to feel new again in my own music. It’s been four years since my last full-length album and I wanted these songs to reflect my growth as an artist over that time. And I wanted my voice to be heard, and not just felt,” says Grossi.
Produced and recorded in Brooklyn with Van Rivers (Blonde Redhead, Fever Ray) the ten-track LP is a collection of love songs, each shining a different light on the subject. “This album more than previous releases feels like more of a collaboration between the producer and I. His fingerprints are all over these songs and he really pushed me vocally, more than anyone has before.”
Stream/embed ‘Stranger’ here.

Welcome New Gum Sarn, hear first single + tour dates below June 15th 2015 By Aaron

Welcome New Gum Sarn, hear first single + tour dates below

New Gum Sarm features Sophia Lawler-Dormer on drums, Dave Weir on bass, Durham Fenwick on guitar and Oscar Dowling on vocals & guitar.  Fenwick and Dowling started writing songs together two years ago, shortly after moving South to Auckland city. After Dave and Sophia fleshed the songs out, the band borrowed two van loads of gear from a variety of friends and recorded the album live over a weekend in Puhoi with Oscar’s brother Sam Hamilton, a longtime Auckland artist. The album was mixed in both Portland, Oregon and Auckland. Most of the guitar parts were written by Dowling or Fenwick. Dowling wrote the riff for the first single ‘Money Talks’ while traveling in France at 18. ‘Anxiety Nap’ was a piano piece Dowling was working on around the same time and when the band started jamming he took the right hand and Durham took the left hand.  Originally called Small Boys, the band changed their name to New Gum Sarn last year. They are named after a supermarket just off K Road in Auckland. It means “New Gold Mountain”, which is what Chinese immigrants called New Zealand when they came to New Zealand during the goldrush.
Dowling also releases music under his own name, while Weir and Durham play in another band The Nightshades. Inspiration for the record comes from long term heroes Television, Velvet Underground, The Modern Lovers, Neil Young and Talk Talk and NZ/AUS artists Seth Frightening, Sharpie Crows, Rowland S. Howard, and East Brunswick All Girls Choir.
NEW GOLD MOUNTAIN TOUR
New Zealand Dates
Thursday 2nd July at Whammy Bar, Auckland
Friday 17th July at The Darkroom, Christchurch
Sat 18th July at The Sherwood, Queenstown
Thursday 23rd July at Chicks Hotel, Port Chalmers
Friday 24th July at Eyegum Music Collective, Wellington
Saturday 25th July at Moon, Wellington
Saturday 1st August at Winecellar, Auckland
The Weather Station’s Loyalty hits stores! June 15th 2015 By Aaron

The Weather Station’s Loyalty hits stores!

“The Weather Station is about to drop the best folk album of the year.” The Fader
“Stunningly beautiful.” The Guardian
“She’s a singer with an unmistakable and communicative voice, able to convey hope and hurt with equal clarity.” Pitchfork
“The resulting vignettes are intimate and charming.” Stereogum
In excess virtue lies danger, or at least limits to pragmatic action – it’s a lesson hard learned by anyone disillusioned by the erosion of youthful mythologies. Strict fealty to a fixed ideal of identity doesn’t do us any favours as adults. Loyalty, the third and finest album yet by The Weather Station (and the first for Spunk Records) wrestles with these knotty notions of faithfulness/faithlessness – to our idealism, our constructs of character, our memories, and to our family, friends, and lovers – representing a bold step forward into new sonic and psychological inscapes. It’s a natural progression for Toronto artist Tamara Lindeman’s acclaimed songwriting practice. Recorded at La Frette Studios just outside Paris in the winter of 2014, in close collaboration with Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) and Robbie Lackritz (Feist), the record crystallises her lapidary songcraft into eleven emotionally charged vignettes and intimate portraits, redolent of fellow Canadians Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and David Wiffen, but utterly her own.
Beyond the decaying decadence and vintage gear, the brokedown palace atmosphere of La Frette afforded a more significant interior luxury as well, one stated with brutal honesty in the stunning ‘Shy Women’: “it seemed to me that luxury would be to be not so ashamed, not to look away.” Accordingly, Loyalty brings a freshly unflinching self-examining gaze and emotional and musical control to The Weather Station’s songs. She is an extraordinary singer and instrumentalist – on Loyalty she plays guitar, banjo, keys, and vibes – but Lindeman has always been a songwriter’s songwriter, recognized for her intricate, carefully worded verse, filled with double meanings, ambiguities, and complex metaphors. Though more moving than ever, her writing here is almost clinical in its discipline, its deliberate wording and exacting delivery, evoking similarly idiosyncratic songsters from Linda Perhacs to Bill Callahan.
To invoke Herman Melville, “extreme loyalty to the piety of love” can be a destabilizing force, a kind of bondage from which we must emancipate ourselves. The line is from his strange masterpiece Pierre, or the Ambiguities; The Weather Station’s Loyalty could quite easily support the same subtitle for the fascinating ways it navigates the deep canyons between certainty and uncertainty, faith and doubt.
Alex G’s Trick out July 3. June 1st 2015 By Aaron

Alex G’s Trick out July 3.

Spunk Records is thrilled to release Trick, the latest album by the Philadelphia-based songwriter Alex Giannascoli, more commonly known as Alex G. Trick follows on the acclaimed heels of the June 2014 release of Alex’s fifth album, DSUTrick is due out on July 3rd. A new bonus track, ‘Sarah’, is streaming and available for download right now.  Listen to ‘Sarah’ here.
In their extensive profile, The FADER, wrote that Alex G is “the type of artist to make a person go all Garden State”, a fact solidified with the often enrapt audiences hushedly singing along word-by-word to album track ‘Change’. Alex himself acknowledges that this song, like much of his repertoire, “resonates with a lot of people, probably because the lyrics deal with growing away from people you love.. something that everyone experiences.” Listen to ‘Change’ here.
Trick continues to showcase a prodigious song-writing talent, reaffirming that Alex G is one of the most promising and prolific American musicians today

Welcome Juan Wauters to the family!!!! May 21st 2015 By Aaron

Welcome Juan Wauters to the family!!!!

Who Me? is the next chapter in the ongoing story of Juan Wauters. Whereas his debut solo record was recorded casually over the course of one year, his sophomore album was crafted in under two weeks at Future Apple Tree in Rock Island, Illinois. Inspired by both the arrangements of Uruguayan songwriter Jaime Roos and the production of American master Dr. Dre, this collection of songs presents his continued approach to existential questioning through pop music. Tracks like ‘She Might Get Shot’ and ‘I Was Well’, which may seem like wisdom addressed to the listener, are in fact part of Juan’s reciprocal process of self-actualization through songwriting and performing. Bringing new sounds to his repertoire, ‘This Is I’ and ‘Through That Red’ add a spiritual tone with ethereal string arrangements. Juan’s voice – which has risen to the forefront of his music since his first recordings with The Beets – intensifies with added nuance.
Despite the expansion musically, one thing stays the same: Juan continues to find inspiration in his everyday life. Familiar themes – 90s hip hop, and, of course, his beloved Queens, NY – are still prevalent here and the cover of Who Me?, which was shot on the Queensboro Bridge that goes from midtown Manhattan into the neighbourhood that gave us Nas, represents his home borough with the pride we’ve come to expect from Juan. The album’s title refers to catchphrase by regular Howard Stern “Wack Pack” member Beetlejuice, a radio show that Juan religiously has been listening to for years. The other thing that hasn’t changed: expect to see Juan playing in Oz soon, as he continues to tour the world in support of his second solo record. We release June 26!

Aldous Harding Uk/Europe tour May 12th 2015 By Aaron

Aldous Harding Uk/Europe tour

Aldous Harding has just kicked off her European tour. Great Escape is next and then a bunch of shows across the mainland. buy the LP from here http://www.roughtrade.com/albums/87639
MAY
14: UK – Brighton @ Paganini Ballroon 2.pm @ Royal Albert Hall 8.pm
18: UK – Manchester @ Gullivers 20: UK – London @ Rough Trade 1pm
22: NW – Oslo @ Subscene 26: DK – Kobnhavn @ Analog Bar
27: NL – Amsterdam @ Paradiso 28: F – Paris @ Le Petit Bain.
30: D – Mannheim @ Mohawk 31: D – Offenbach @ Hafen 2
JUNE
02: F – Lyon @ Le Krazpek Myzik 03: CH – Geneve @ Kalvingrad L’Usine
04: CH – Basel @ Parterre Club 05: CH – Bern @ Cafe Kairo
06: CH – Rorscach @ Treppehaus 07: D – Munich @ Hausekonzerte
08: A – Wien @ Fluc 10: I – Roma @ Black Market at Unplugged Monti
13: D- Berlin @ Torstrasse Festival at Z Bar
Surfer Blood’s ‘1000 Palms’ out now May 12th 2015 By Aaron

Surfer Blood’s ‘1000 Palms’ out now

Surfer Blood’s new album 1000 Palms has just been released. Purchase from the spunk store for $12 or via iTunes. Latest single is I can’t Explain.
The story of 1000 Palms began on January 1st 2014, after playing a New Year’s show in Portland, OR, the band decided to stick around for the rest of the month, renting a practice space and sorting through a backlog of ideas. By February, as their lease ran out, Surfer Blood had recorded demos for most of the tracks that now feature on their third LP.
The making of 1000 Palms also owes a lot to the kindness of friends and family, with the remaining instrument sessions taking place at the home of drummer Tyler Schwartz’s parents while they were on vacation. Following a few days of very little sleep and after the band pooled resources and called in favours, the band had managed to craft everything you now hear on the upcoming record.
Jason Isbell to release ‘Something More Than Free’ on July 17 May 6th 2015 By Aaron

Jason Isbell to release ‘Something More Than Free’ on July 17

Acclaimed, award-winning artist Jason Isbell will release Something More Than Free, his highly anticipated fifth album, on July 17 via Spunk Records. Something More Than Free features Isbell’s Southern-inspired vignettes of working class men, women and traditions that permeate these 11 new songs. The pure honesty and authenticity of Isbell’s poetic lyrics and soulful vocals have connected deeply with so many, and they shine as brightly as ever on Something More Than Free.
 
Something More Than Free is Isbell’s most sonically diverse album to date. The opening track, ‘If It Takes A Lifetime’ exudes a classic country tone, while ‘24 Frames’ flows effortlessly with its easy, Laurel Canyon vibe. The wistful folk balladry of ‘Flagship’, along with the bluesy Southern rock timbre of ‘Palmetto Rose’ and epic ‘Children Of Children’ prove that Jason Isbell is an artist whose creative pinnacle has yet to be within sight.
 
Stream ‘24 Frames’ via SoundCloud now.
 
Something More Than Free is the follow up to Isbell’s 2013 celebrated breakthrough album Southeastern, which received overwhelming support from the press internationally. Isbell was subject of stories in outlets ranging from The New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal and NPR’s All Things Considered. Something More Than Free was recorded at the Sound Emporium in Nashville, TN and produced by Dave Cobb, who also produced Southeastern.