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Kevin Morby Shares “1234,” Chats with NPR Music

Photo: Ebru Yildiz / Brooklyn Vegan

Yesterday, Kevin Morby hopped on the phone for a quick chat with NPR Music’s Bob Boilen to discuss “1234,” one of the more unusual songs off his forthcoming record, City Music (out 6/16). The chat about the short-and-sweet homage references the obvious name-drop of the Ramones, and how the song is a perfectly and condensed sentiment within the context of City Music. The album is a love letter to New York, its denizens and all their private and personal melodramas, and all the similar stories that reverberate in other cities across the world.

And believe us when we say that “1234” is an utterly catchy and wonderfully fitting tribute to the feeling of walking through city streets abuzz with energy, every corner packed full of stories.

Listen to “1234”:

Listen to Kevin & Bob’s Conversation on All Songs Considered:
http://bit.ly/morby1234

City Music was also named Vinyl Me, Please‘s Record of the Month, which means the vinyl subscription service’s 20k+ subscribers will have an opportunity to get a limited edition, white/orange tie-dye vinyl accompanied by a 12-page lyric booklet and a 12×12 art print by Robbie Simon.

Also, Kevin has included another special treat for those who pre-order City Music directly from Dead Oceans. Since the record reflects upon the cities Kevin has visited and loved, Dead Oceans pre-orders will include “A Guide To The Cities That Inspired City Music,” a pamphlet that points to his favorite locations in Kansas City, New York City, and Porto, three locations especially close to his heart.

Finally, Kevin’s European tour begins tonight with a performance at Primavera Sound in Barcelona. Last week, Kevin debuted his new songs for a sold out crowd at Bowery Ballroom in NYC, check out a review and photos here. Coming soon to a city near you.

Kevin Morby Tour Dates:
Thu. June 1 – Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound
Sat. June 3 – London, UK @ Field Day
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
Thu. June 29 – Hamburg, DE @ Nochtspeicher
Sat. July 1 – Gdynia, PL @ Open’er Festival
Sun. July 2 – Berlin, DE @ Quasimodo
Mon. July 3 – Frankfurt, DE @ Zoom
Tue. July 4 – Montreux, CH @ Montreux Jazz Festival
Wed. July 5 – Düdingen, DE @ Bad Bonn
Thu. July 6 – Belfort, FR @ Eurockeennes
Fri. July 7 – Soliera/Modena, IT @ Artivive
Sun. July 9 – Brugge, BE @ Cactusfestival
Sun. July 9 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso (9pm)
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
Mon. Aug. 21 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
Tue. Aug 22 – Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater
Thu. Aug 24 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room
Fri. Aug 25 – Fort Collins, CO @ Downtown Artey
Sat. Aug 26 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
Mon. Aug 28 – Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge
Tue. Aug 29 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
Thu. Aug 31 – Spring Green, WI @ Shitty Barn
Fri. Sep 1 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Sat. Sep 2 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
Sun. Sep 3 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
Mon. Sep 4 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PBD
Fri. Sep 8 – Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry
Thu. Sep 7 – Sun. Sep 10 – Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch Music Festival
Wed. Sep 13 – St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
Fri. Sep 15 – Dallas, TX @ Sundown at Granada
Sat. Sep 16 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
Mon. Sep 18 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
Tue. Sep 19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
Thu. Sep 21 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
Fri. Sep 22 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium
Sun. Sep 23 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
Tue. Nov. 7 – Stockholm, SE @ Debaser
Wed. Nov. 8 – Oslo, NO @ John Dee
Thu. Nov. 9 – Lund, SE @ Mejeriet
Sun. Nov. 12 – Köln, DE @ Luxor
Wed. Nov. 15 – Munich, DE @ Ampere
Fri. Nov. 17 – Ravenna, IT @ Bronson
Sat. Nov. 18 – Rome, IT @ Monk
Sun. Nov. 19 – Milan, IT @ Serraglio
Tue. Nov. 21 – Strasbourg, FR @ La Laiterie
Wed. Nov. 22 – Rouen, FR @ Le 106

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.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“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

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)

Strand of Oaks’ ‘Hard Love’ Out Now

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Strand of Oaks‘ “raw and forthcoming” (Consequence of Sound) new album Hard Love is out now worldwide. The record is already garnering high marks. Stereogum calls it “incredible” and praises its ability to “channel intimate, internal battles into universal catharsis.” Bandcamp Daily named it Album Of The Day, while the Philadelphia Inquirer deemed Strand of Oaks “one of the leading lights of the Philadelphia Rock renaissance.”

Listen to Strand of Oaks talk about Hard Love & more on NPR Morning Edition:
http://n.pr/2lV7WCY

Strand of Oaks will tour extensively in 2017, with dates in Europe and the United States, including Boston Calling in May and dates with Jason Isbell. They will also be returning to Australia in April to perform at The Boogie Festival, which inspired Hard Love track “On The Hill”.

You can now stream Hard Love in full or purchase it in your preferred form of consumption, CD / LP / cassette:
https://StrandOfOaks.lnk.to/hardlove

Hard Love Tracklist:
1. Hard Love
2. Radio Kids
3. Everything
4. Salt Brothers
5. On The Hill
6. Cry
7. Rest Of It
8. Quit It
9. Taking Acid and Talking To My Brother

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Praise for Hard Love:

“Incredible…channels intimate, internal battles into universal catharsis.” — Stereogum

“One of the leading lights of the Philadelphia rock renaissance” – Philadelphia Inquirer

“Anthemic…the kind of song you want to listen to over and over.” — NPR Music on “Radio Kids”

Hard Love is easy to adore.” — Magnet

“Raw and forthcoming.” – Consequence of Sound

“Sounds like Primal Scream channeling Loaded-era Velvets.” – The Independent

“Nine assured, sprawling new songs…visceral, potent.” — Line Of Best Fit

“Irresistibly surging.” — Uncut

Hard Love is a fitting combination of uplifting declarations, somber introspection and ne’er-do-well rambunctiousness…breathes new life into good ol’ rock’n’roll.” — Exclaim

“Akin to a garage band with a penchant for hallucinogens and an experimental tilt…ambitious, artistically unapologetic.” — Pop Matters

“Forthright, lionhearted…shot through with an underlying spirit of hope.” – Bandcamp Daily, Album Of The Day

US Tour Dates:

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
May 04 – Springfield, MO @ Gillioz Theatre (w/ Jason Isbell)
May 06 – Peoria, IL @ Limelight Eventplex (w/ Jason Isbell)
May 26 – Boston, MA @ Boston Calling
May 27 – Boston, MA @ Boston Calling
May 28 – Boston, MA @ Boston Calling
July 21 – Miami Beach, FL @ The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theatre (w/ Jason Isbell)
July 22 – Saint Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheatre (w/ Jason Isbell)
July 23 – North Charleston, SC @ North Charleston Performing Arts (w/ Jason Isbell)

European Tour Dates:

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

Australian Tour Dates:

April 13 – Melbourne, VIC @ The Curtin
April 14 – Tallarook, VIC @ Boogie Festival
April 15 – Tallarook, VIC @ Boogie Festival
April 20 – Brisbane, QLD @ Black Bear Lodge
April 22 – Tanunda, SA @ Silver Raven

Alex Lahey Signs To Dead Oceans, “B-Grade University” EP Out Digitally Today

alex

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.

PURCHASE/STREAM “B-GRADE UNIVERSITY” EP
https://alexlahey.lnk.to/B-GradeUniversity

Praise for Alex Lahey

“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

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