Filed Under:Artists

Japanese Breakfast Announces New Album, ‘Soft Sounds From Another Planet’, Out July 14th

Pre-Order Soft Sounds From Another Planet :: https://japanesebreakfast.lnk.to/softsounds

A swirl of wind folds into a spoken-word intro, moves into autotune 80s pop bliss, and caps off with a sulty saxophone solo. This shape-shifting single, titled “Machinist”, is the delectable first taste of Soft Sounds From Another Planet, the new album from Japanese Breakfast out July 14th (you can pre-order it here).

The follow up to Japanese Breakfast’s critically acclaimed debut is a work of self-reflection that looks out at the cosmos in search of healing, finding inspiration in science fiction, outer space, and the Mars One Project. This influence is most apparent in the video for “Machinist,” Michelle Zauner’s fourth music video collaboration with House of Nod’s Adam Kolodny.

Video director, Zauner says “the song is a sci-fi narrative about a woman who falls in love with a robot. In the video she hallucinates on rocket fuel and tears apart her spaceship in an attempt to build a body for her robot lover,” while director of photography, Adam Kolodny, says they “were inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, 2046, and The Fifth Element.”

Japanese Breakfast is currently on tour with Slowdive and has upcoming dates with Tegan and Sara, (Sandy) Alex G and Cende. All dates at the bottom of the post.

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“The title Soft Sounds From Another Planet alludes to the promise of something that may or may not be there. Like a hope in something more. The songs are about human resilience and the strength it takes to claw out of the darkest of spaces.”

Michelle Zauner wrote the debut Japanese Breakfast album in the weeks after her mother died of cancer, thinking she would quit music entirely once it was done. That wasn’t the case. When Psychopomp was released to acclaim in 2016, she was forced to confront her grief. Zauner would find find herself reliving traumatic memories multiple times a day during interviews, trying to remain composed while discussing the most painful experience of her life. Her sophomore album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, is a transmutation of mourning, a reflection that turns back on the cosmos in search of healing.

“I want to be a woman of regimen,” Zauner sings over a burbling synth on the album’s opening track “Diving Woman.” This serves as Zauner’s mission statement: stick to the routine lest you get derailed, don’t cling to the past, don’t descend. In fact, ascend to the stars; Zauner found artistic solace removed from Earth, in outer space and science fiction. “I used the theme as a means to disassociate from trauma,” she explains. “Space used as a place of fantasy.”

And yet, Soft Sounds From Another Planet isn’t a concept album. Over the course of 12 tracks, Zauner explores an expansive thematic universe, a cohesive outpouring of unlike parts structured to create a galaxy of her own design.

With help from co-producer Craig Hendrix (who also co-produced Little Big League’s debut) and Jorge Elbrecht, (Ariel Pink, Tamaryn) who mixed the album, Zauner recontextualizes her bedroom pop beginnings, expanding and maturing her sound. The sheer massiveness of the big room production on Soft Sounds From Another Planet introduces listeners to a new Japanese Breakfast. Zauner’s familiar, capacious voice will serve as their guide.

“Your body is a blade that moves while your brain is writhing,” she sings. “Knuckled under pain you mourn but your blood is flowing.” There’s discernible pain in the phrasing, Zauner recognizing limitation, a lack of control, but then subverting the feeling, creating her own musical language for confronting trauma. Where Psychopomp introduced the world to Japanese Breakfast, Soft Sounds dives deeper. It builds space where there is none, and suggests that in the face of tragedy, we find ways to keep on living.

Watch The Official Video For “Machinist” ::

Soft Sounds From Another Planet
1. Diving Woman
2. Road Head
3. Machinist
4. Planetary Ambience
5. Soft Sounds From Another Planet
6. Boyish
7. 12 Steps
8. Jimmy Fallon Big
9. Body Is A Blade
10. Till Death
11. This House
12. Here Come The Tubular Bells

Japanese Breakfast Tour Dates:
5/5 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall ~
5/6 – Montreal, QC @ Olympia Theatre ~
5/7 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club ~
5/8 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel ~
5/9 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel ~
6/2 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel *
6/3 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter *
6/4 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle (Back Room) *
6/6 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade (Purgatory) *
6/7 – Orlando, FL @ The Social *
6/9 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall *
6/10 – Austin, TX @ The Parish *
6/11 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
6/13 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge *
6/15 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex *
6/16 – San Diego, CA @ The Irenic *
6/17 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room *
6/18 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *
6/20 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile *
6/21 – Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt *
6/22 – Portland, OR @ Holocene *
6/24 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court *
6/25 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge *
6/27 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry *
6/28 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge *
6/29 – Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness *
6/30 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s *
7/1 – Detroit, MI @ El Club *
7/2 – Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground *
7/4 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB *
7/5 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair *
7/6 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
7/7 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
7/8 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
7/27 – Halifax, NS @ Rebecca Cohn Auditorium ^
7/28 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre ^
7/29 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom ^
7/31 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues ^
8/2 – Covington, KY @ Madison Theater ^

~ w/ Slowdive
* w/ (Sandy) Alex G & Cende
^ w/ Tegan & Sara

Slowdive Share “Sugar For The Pill (Avalon Emerson’s Gilded Escalation)” Announce Release Day Listening Parties

Have you seen peppermint being made before? The hot, elastic sugary material is stretched out further than you’d think possible then folded back in on itself repeatedly. That’s how they get the swirl. Today Slowdive have shared “Sugar For The Pill (Avalon Emerson’s Gilded Escalation)” – a remix that embodies this process quite nicely. Warm and familiar, the quickly beloved track takes on a new shape at the deft hands of Avalon Emerson. With a runtime of almost 10 minutes, it’s quite the form of escapism.

Listen to “Sugar For The Pill (Avalon Emerson’s Gilded Escalation)”

We’re only a few days away from the release of Slowdive’s first record in 22 years. (We keep saying it because we can hardly believe it ourselves). That’s right, this Friday, May 5th Slowdive will be out in the world and at your fingertips. In celebration of this momentous occasion, approximately 50 stores across North America are hosting listening parties. They’ll have buttons, stickers, slipmats & more exclusives. Interested? Check out the map below to find one near you.

If you’re out at these events or simply picking up a copy from your local record shop, we’d love to see your photos! Use #Slowdive or tag us @deadoceans on Instagram.

(If you haven’t already)
Pre-order Slowdive:
slowdive.lnk.to/slowdive

Find a listening party near you!

Full list of participating stores:

1-2-3-4 Go! Records – San Francisco
1-2-3-4 Go! Records – Oakland
Bull City Records
Cactus Music
Criminal Records
Culture Clash Records
Down In The Valley
Easy Street Records
End of An Ear
Everyday Music
Fingerprints
Good Records
Grimey’s
Guestroom Records – Louisville
Guestroom Records – Norman
Guestroom Records – OKC
Harvest Records
Hear Again Records
Indy CD & Vinyl
KA-CHUNK!! Records
Landlocked Music
Lou’s Records
Luna Music
Lunchbox Records
Mills Record Company
M-Theory Music
Music Millennium
Music Saves
Omega Music
Park Ave CDs
Port of Sound
Radio-Active Records
Record Archive
The Record Exchange
Redscroll Records
Repo Records
Seasick Records
Shuga Records
Sonic Boom Records
The Sound Garden
Stinkweeds
Sweat Records
ToneVendor
Waiting Room Records
Waterloo Records
Zia Record Exchange

Phosphorescent’s Cover of “This Land Is Your Land” Closes Out Our First 100 Days

This past Saturday marked day 100 of Our First 100 Days, a project started in conjunction with Secretly Group and 30 Days, 30 Songs. Over the course of Our First 100 Days, we’ve raised funds and awareness for organizations supporting causes that are under threat by the proposed policies of a Trump administration: All Above All, Cosecha, Hoosier Action, People’s Climate Movement, and Southerners On New Ground. Our own Phosphorescent contributed the final song – a fitting cover of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” Matthew Houck’s full statement on his contribution can be read below:

Listen to Phosphorescent’s cover of “This Land Is Your Land”

“Sometime about a year ago
I heard “This Land Is Your Land”
And it brought me to tears

Like maybe most Americans I guess I’ve known it forever
It’s one of those magic ones that snuck through somehow
And slipped into the jet-stream of collective consciousness
Just like Woody Guthrie himself did

Somebody out there on the internet had made a collage of footage
Of thousands of folks singing this song together at Bernie Sanders rallies
Voices raised together in a spirit of generosity;
Then juxtaposed it with footage from Trump rallies from that time
People punching, spitting, yelling
So much hate and anger
So much ugliness;
Everyone at ease with the empty mean-ness of it all;
Everyone agreeing on impotent vile-ness
As basic human-ness

There were a handful of Phosphorescent shows around that time
And I started singing This Land Is Your Land during the set
But it didn’t then and still doesn’t now feel political
I’m not sure I fully grasp what constitutes “political”

The other night over a drink with a friend
It came up that I was gonna record this song for this 100 Days benefit
“Oh that’ll do it,” he joked, “That’ll fix everything.”
And I laughed cuz I reckon he is right in a lot of ways
And I can be as jaded as anybody
Depending on the hour, day, mood
But I don’t want to live there

So anyway, what is this politics?
Where does personal end and politics begin?
Are all songs political?
Is this a political song?
Regardless, does an 80-year-old folk song have any purchase in 2017?
Do “most Americans” know it?
Does that matter?
Does this / Can this do anything
As relates to the 100th day in office
Of a “President” of a “Nation” ?

I don’t know

I only know that it speaks to that looming thing
That has stayed near me my whole life;
That thing that wants nothing to do with fear
Or selfishness or pettiness or greed;
That thing which blindly and stubbornly
Persists in believing in the sweetness of this world

It speaks to that thing and says,
“Stay a little longer hey,
This land was made for you and me”

Matthew Houck
Phosphorescent
April 27 2017

Kane Strang Announces New Album, ‘Two Hearts and No Brain’, Out June 30th

You know that delightful, intoxicating and ultimately stressful feeling of holding onto a particularly delicious secret? Well today we’re free of the burden of secrecy. Kane Strang has announced his new album, Two Hearts and No Brain, out June 30th on Dead Oceans (that’s us!). We’ve had it on high rotation in the office and we’re ecstatic you get a taste of it today. That’s right! Along with the announcement he’s sharing the new single, “My Smile Is Extinct.” It’s the follow up to lead single, “Oh So You’re Off I See,” his first taste of new music since 2016’s Blue Cheese, which was shared ahead of Kane’s first ever North American tour last month.

Recorded in his hometown of Dunedin at the notoriously haunted Chick’s Hotel studio, Kane teamed up with producer Stephen Marr from trip hop group Doprah for Two Hearts and No Brain. The collaborative result is a razor sharp blend of intelligent alt-rock, bearing the signatures of grunge/alt rock swiftly executed with careful, meticulous precision over 11 tracks. Marr’s influence brings a pristine, retro-futuristic sheen which complements Strang’s perfectionist recording style, sharp melody, and verbose lyrical neuroticism. Taking to well-worn subject matter (heartbreak, loneliness, family) with a disarmingly frank scalpel, Strang’s wryly deadpan lines never miss a beat – the results often sardonic, and always captivating.

Two Hearts and No Brain is pure pop genius from start to finish. It’s hard to imagine who else could convincingly fuse fuzzy synths with slide guitar; crunchy chords with chiming vocals in such a kaleidoscopic pop vision. The album’s cover art, featuring a refracted analogue photograph taken of Kane atop of a rocky precipice; echoes the spirit of lean guitar-pop shining through a truly contemporary, innovative lens. His attention to detail shows up the fat slack present in the work of many of Kane’s contemporaries; yet his sound remains emotive and playfully laced with a tongue-in-cheek nostalgia – timelessly old and new in the same breath.

What sets Kane apart from the rafts of DIY indie songwriters is a willingness to push further. Having mastered the lo-fi aesthetic, he’s stretched his already limber songwriting legs and production chops to new unexpected spaces on Two Hearts and No Brain. Kane’s vision of extending his sound far beyond the bedroom promises international touring and releases the world over. With a live show that exhibits his unpredictable and exhilarating command on stage, Kane’s amassed a band of cohorts to execute his vision with arresting impact, sure to charm crowds with his sideways slant of guitar pop.

Pre-order Two Hearts and No Brain:
https://deadoceans.lnk.to/kanestrang

Two Hearts and No Brain tracklist:
1. Lagoons
2. Silence Overgrown
3. Not Quite
4. Oh So You’re Off I See
5. See Thru
6. Summertime In Your Lounge
7. My Smile Is Extinct
8. Two Hearts and No Brain
9. It’s Not That Bad
10. Don’t Follow Me (I’m Lost)
11. Good Guy


Kane Strang UK/EU Tour Dates:
Sat. May 13 – Zurich, CH @ Stall 6 (Lauter Festival)
Mon. May 15 – Manchester, UK @ Gullivers
Tue. May 16 – Leeds, UK @ Headrow House
Wed. May 17 – London, UK @ The Lexington
Thu. May 18 – Brighton, UK @ The Great Escape
Fri. May 19 – Brighton, UK @ The Great Escape
Fri. May 19 – Brighton, UK @ The Mucky Duck (The Great Escape)
Sat. May 20 – Antwerp, BE @ Trix
Mon. May 22 – Berlin, DE @ Privatclub
Tue. May 23 – Paris, FR @ La Mecanique Ondulatoire
Wed. May 24 – Kortrijk, BE @ De Kreun
Thu. May 25 – London, UK @ Greenman Presents Courtyard at Kings X
Sat. May 27 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso Upstairs (London Calling)

Kevin Morby Shares Video For New Song “Aboard My Train,” New Album ‘City Music’ Out 6/16

Today Kevin Morby has shared a video for “Aboard My Train,” the new single off his forthcoming album, City Music (out 6/16 on Dead Oceans). Kevin self-directed the video for his new song, “Aboard My Train.”

“I wanted to make a video at home, something sort of lo-fi,” he explains. “I kind of missed the challenge of having to come up with something creative with little to no money.” As for the song, Kevin had this to say: “Doing what I do, people are constantly coming in and out of your life. The moment you think you’ll never see someone again, they reappear and that’s what this song is about starting with my first best friend, Pablo, who lived on my street in Tulsa, and was my first memory of having a best friend.” In the video, Kevin writes the names of many of these people who have made lasting impressions on his life.

Pre-order your copy of City Music
https://kevinmorby.lnk.to/citymusic

Catch Kevin On Tour
Tue. May 23 – Washington DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Wed. May 24 – New York NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Fri. May 26 – Philadelphia PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Sat. May 27 – Allston MA @ Boston Calling
Thu. June 1 – Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound
Sat. June 3 – London, UK @ Field Day
Sun. June 4 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
Thu. June 8 – Sun. June 11 – Manchester TN @ Bonnaroo
Fri. June 23 – Sun. June 25 – North Adams MA @ Solid Sound Festival
Tue. June 27 – Gothenburg, SE @ Pustervik
Wed. June 28 – Roskilde, DK @ Roskilde Festival
Sun. July 2 – Berlin, DE @ Quasimodo
Mon. July 3 – Frankfurt, DE @ Zoom
Wed. July 5 – Düdingen, DE @ Bad Bonn
Fri. July 7 – Soliera/Modena, IT @ Artivive
Sun. July 9 – Brugge, BE @ Cactusfestival
Tue. July 11 – Paris, FR @ Le Trabendo
Thu. July 13 – Lisbon, PT @ Super Bock Super Rock
Sat. July 15 – Dour, BE @ Dour Festival
Sun. July 16 – Southwold, UK @ Latitude
Fri. July 28 – Newport RI @ Newport Folk Festival

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