Relationship problems. Post-graduation life choices. The troubles of early-20s life. They’re millenials’ problems, sure, but weren’t they everyone’s at one point? Few people can detail these worries quite like Alex Lahey, a 24 year old Melburnian (that’s Melbourne, Australia). Needless to say, we are delighted to be working with Alex. Her EP “B-Grade University” is out now via Dead Oceans.
Alex Lahey originally released “B-Grade University” on her own label in summer 2016, shortly before playing iconic Australian festival Splendour in the Grass. Lead track, “Ivy League,” pretty much wrote itself: “I went and studied sax at uni for a few years and just fucking hated it” she told DIY magazine last November. Lahey dropped out to concentrate all her efforts on the songwriting that she cared most about. That cliffjump proved a great decision: “B-Grade University” immediately went onto heavy rotation on Triple J, with the single “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me.” Lahey closed 2016 being the most played artist on Triple J Unearthed, as well as being voted Best Female Artist at the Age Music Awards.
Even if your woes are not the same, Lahey’s themes demand you to sing along, close your eyes and punch your fist in the air. Underneath the millennial angst, there’s an aura of positivity, universality, good times and looking towards the future that we all need right now.
“The sentiment is simple and familiar—and yet so is the wind that whips through your hair while racing down a highway in the summer with friends, and who ever gets sick of that?” — Pitchfork, on “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me” [BEST NEW TRACK]
“Earlier this year, Melbourne’s Alex Lahey released her debut EP, ‘B-Grade University,’ which is the kind of startlingly impressive debut that you just know is going to catch on…” — Brooklyn Vegan
“The fact she’s made something so vibrant and altogether fun out of a concept as straightforward as ‘being in your early 20s and just figuring shit out’ speaks volumes about her ability to put her own thoroughly entertaining spin on the ups and downs of the everyman.” — DIY Magazine
After 22 years, Slowdive return with “Star Roving”, their first new material since 1995’s Pygmalion. Featuring Neil Halstead (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Christian Savill (guitar), Nick Chaplin (bass), Rachel Goswell (vocals) and Simon Scott (drums, electronics), “Star Roving” embodies the effortlessness for which Slowdive is known — as the song progresses, it expands and contracts in ways that feel infinite. Along with the track, the band has also announced signing to Dead Oceans. Needless to say, we are incredibly proud to be a part of Slowdive’s new chapter.
(above image by Ingrid Pop)
Slowdive released their debut album, Just For A Day, in 1991 via Creation Records. The highly revered Souvlaki followed in 1993 and Pygmalion in 1995, and then the band disbanded. In the 22 years of their virtual disappearance, compilation albums have been released and the core members of the group have gone on to join other musical endeavors. In 2014, Slowdive announced that they had reunited and more new music would follow.
“When the band decided to get back together in 2014, we really wanted to make new music. It’s taken us a whole load of shows and a few false starts to get to that point, but it’s with pride and a certain trepidation we unleash ‘Star Roving.’ It’s part of a bunch of new tracks we’ve been working on and it feels as fun, and as relevant playing together now as it did when we first started. We hope folks enjoy it.”
Dead Oceans’s Phil Waldorf comments on the signing,
“We are elated to work with Slowdive on their new album. I saw Slowdive for the first time, as a teenager, in 1991 at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC. I remember it being a revelation – the way the band used texture and tone was something I’d never heard before, and it stuck with me for a long time. It was one of those gigs that was a gateway drug of sorts — not only was it amazing to see Slowdive, but it was the first taste of a whole sound that made me go exploring into all kinds of music. More than two decades later, their music sounds just as relevant and vital, and we cannot wait for old fans and new listeners to hear the band’s new recordings.”
Strand of Oaks, led by Philadelphia’s Tim Showalter, will release its new album titled Hard Love, on February 17th of next year. On the highly anticipated follow up to 2014’s HEAL, Showalter confronts the struggle between overindulgence and accountability; while he yearns for rock ‘n’ roll transcendence, he’s also forced to confront the damage that pursuit inevitably imposes on his loved ones. With help from producer Nicolas Vernhes (The War on Drugs, Spoon) and guitarist Jason Anderson, Hard Love harnesses Showalter’s unrelenting energy and channels it into nine of the most incendiary, ambitious songs in Strand Of Oaks’ discography.
Our first slice of the new record, “Radio Kids” comes with a beautifully shot video directed by Christopher Good. NPR Music says,
“Just like that favorite song you’ve held onto for so many years, evoking memories of the past, ‘Radio Kids’ is the kind of song you want to listen to over and over.”
Hard Love walks a tightrope of emotions — from rock ‘n’ roll abandon to harrowing self-reflection — and Showalter has lived every minute of it. From a life-changing psychedelic awakening at the Boogie Festival in Australia (“On The Hill“) to his own domestic troubles (“Hard Love”) and the near-death of his brother from cardiac arrest (“Taking Acid and Talking With My Brother“), Hard Love is a sledgehammer of a record rife with unrestrained sonic expression.
Written and conceptualized during Showalter’s post-tour break as he reveled in what he considered to be a life-changing experience, the initial sessions for Hard Love were scrapped. Showalter brought in producer Nicolas Vernhes to capture the loose, hedonistic vibe he was searching for. “In a time of calculation and overthinking, I wanted to bring back the raw, impulsive nature that is the DNA of so many records I love,” says Showalter, who draws from his love of Creation Records, Trojan dub tapes and Jane’s Addiction throughout the album’s nine tracks.
But that rocking intensity is tempered by the wounded ballad “Cry,” a sobering moment of clarity that serves as the emotional fulcrum of the record. It’s this strain of honesty and self-reflection that helps mark ‘Hard Love’ as the most fearless work of Showalter’s career — a growing up record that lobbies just as hard for holding on to youthful foibles.
“Some records are built like monuments, set in stone,” says Showalter. “I want this record to be burned in effigy, in celebration of the limited time we have on this earth.”
Hard Love Tracklist:
1. Hard Love
2. Radio Kids
4. Salt Brothers
5. On The Hill
7. Rest Of It
8. Quit It
9. Tacking Acid and Talking To My Brother
Strand of Oaks will tour extensively in 2017, with dates throughout Europe and the United States. Don’t miss this electrifying live show, see if your town’s listed below!
US Tour Dates:
December 1 – Arden, DE @ The Gild Hall
December 2 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
December 3 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
December 4 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
March 10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
March 11 – Washington DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
March 12 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
March 14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
March 15 – Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt
March 16 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Café
March 17 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
March 18 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
March 19 – Milwaukee, WI @ Colectivo Coffee
March 20 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
March 23 – Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett
March 24 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
March 25 – Portland, OR @ Dante’s
March 27 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
March 28 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones
March 30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
March 31 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
April 1 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
April 3 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links
April 4 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Indoor
April 5 – Houston, TX @ House Of Blues – Bronze Peacock
April 7 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
April 8 – Tallahassee, FL @ Word Of South Festival
April 9 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
April 10 – Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall
European Tour Dates:
December 11 – Brussels, B @ AB – Huis 23
February 25 – Berlin, D @ Privat Club
February 26 – Utrecht, NL @ Ekko
February 27 – Brussels, B @ AB – Box
February 28 – London, UK @ Oslo
March 1 – Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute
March 2 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell
March 3 – Brighton, UK @ Patterns
March 4 – Oostende, B @ De Zwerver
March 5 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso Noord
“Cosmically huge and acutely personal” – Pitchfork
We’re over the moon to announce that Japanese Breakfast has signed to Dead Oceans. On August 19th, we will be releasing the critically acclaimed Psychopomp outside of North America. Today Japanese Breakfast has shared a video for “Jane Cum” off Psychopomp. Rookie, who premiered the House of Nod produced “Jane Cum” video, are saying it’s “sometimes light as a feather, other times dark as night.”
Since Psychopomp was released in America in March by Yellow K, it’s become one of the year’s most beloved indie-pop records, receiving plaudits from the likes of Pitchfork, NPR and FACT.
The record is acutely tactile and raw. It’s this skill that Michelle Zauner learned while playing in a number of bands but has honed for Japanese Breakfast. Perhaps it’s to do with the inherent connectivity that links all pop music together, or perhaps it’s the fact that the album is incredibly personal (it deals with her mother’s death, who is the woman in the album art work) and explores life’s inherent juxtapositions – life, death; love, pain; the present, the afterlife – while realizing that those things aren’t binary at all.
The Jungian term “psychopomp” would become so fundamental to exploring tangled ways of the world and beyond, that it became the title of the album.
Psychopomp: ‘the mediator between the conscious and the unconscious’, ‘a mythological guide to the afterlife who forgoes judgment on the life of its charge.’ The album is such a spiritual exploration that it becomes deeper and perhaps less fatalistic than what we’ve been taught about life and what it means to live.
“It’s been really overwhelming the amount of support, the people that have come up to me saying they’ve lost a parent, or how many mixed race girls that come up to me and feel so connected to what I do. Honestly that makes me feel like my work is worthwhile.”
Japanese Breakfast is currently on tour in the US with Mitski and Jay Som. On August 19th, Dead Oceans will release Psychopomp outside of Northern America which will coincide with Japanese Breakfast’s debut UK performances. Full dates & pre-order links listed below.
Japanese Breakfast Tour Dates:
6/22 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall *
6/23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle *
6/24 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMoca *
6/25 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel *
6/26 – Durham, NC @ The Pinhook *
6/28 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Purgatory) *
6/29 – Birmingham, AL @ The Syndicate Lounge *
7/1 – Houston, TX @ Walter’s Downtown *
7/2 – Austin, TX @ The Sidewinder *
7/3 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links *
7/5 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge *
7/6 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Constellation Room *
7/7 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo *
7/8 – Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club *
7/9 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill *
7/11 – Portland, OR @ Analog Theater *
7/12 – Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt *
7/13 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile *
7/15 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court *
7/16 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge *
7/19 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry *
7/20 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall *
7/22 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern *
7/23 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz *
7/24 – Burlington, VT @ Monkey House
7/25 – Portland, ME @ SPACE Gallery *
7/26 – Providence, RI @ AS220
7/27 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
8/04 – London, UK @ Rough Trade (In-store)
8/06 – London, UK @ Visions Festival
8/07 – Brighton, UK @ The Green Door Store
8/08 – Kingston, UK @ Banquet Records In-store