INVENTIONS are the collaborative sum of longtime friends Matthew Cooper of Eluvium, and Mark T. Smith of Explosions In The Sky. Their 2013 eponymous debut album introduced an ambition to create music that was both challenging and comforting.
Currently premiering on Pitchfork, lead track “Springworlds” can be heard here:
Their new album, Maze of Woods, opens with a vocal sample declaring, “I wanted to do something that I don’t know how to do.” Using this as a mission statement, Inventions have crafted a complex and exuberant album from an array of instruments, samples, found sounds, beats, chants, and raw bursts of noise, with a much greater emphasis on strong vocal accompaniment in every song.
Two albums released in the span of 10 months speaks to the drive that these two have felt since they started playing together. Much like on the first record, they again mixed the album in a house on the Oregon coastline, with final mixing and production all done by Smith and Cooper.
Inventions have stated that much of the inspiration for Maze of Woods comes from the closing paragraph of Denis Johnson’s novella Train Dreams. In that paragraph, Johnson describes the non-verbal howl of a feral wolf boy, a pre-language that is yearning and instinctual; a statement of wordless distress and love. Maze of Woods is the product of two masters of their craft getting lost in the wilderness, “doing something that they don’t know how to do,” and emerging with something wholly unexpected and beguilingly beautiful.
Maze of Woods will be released 16th March on Bella Union.
Following their triumphant return last November with second album “The Other I”, sister duo 2:54 have premiered a visceral, gritty black and white promo video to accompany ‘Crest’, one of their rawest, punkiest, cuts to date. “We wanted to create a video that captured the energy of the song as well as our live show, and once again Charlie Robins, Chris Hugall and Daniel Castro have done an outstanding job of doing exactly that,” says frontwoman Colette Thurlow.
Bella Union are thrilled to announce the release of Pleasure Boy, the new album from HANNAH COHEN, which will be available 30th March. Listen to “Keepsake”, the album’s sublime opening track below:
The album teaser is also viewable here.
Music often comes from a deep place, and in the case of Hannah Cohen’s stunning and heartrending second album, it’s very deep indeed. Mainly inspired by a painful break-up and the anxieties that loss can trigger, Pleasure Boy cushions its sadness in an exquisitely nuanced soundscape of aching melancholy and lush melody where Hannah’s vocal conveys all the different shades of heartbreak. Following the album’s completion, she’s survived the calamity and found a new level of happiness, but to paraphrase the classic Sixties hit, there will always be something there to remind her with Pleasure Boy.
‘Pleasure Boy’, like her debut ‘Child Bride’, was produced by Thomas Bartlett, aka Doveman, whose work with artists such as The National, Antony Hegarty and David Byrne singles him out as one of America’s current finest producers and collaborators, though he’s also a talented pianist. The dynamics of ‘Pleasure Boy’ was the result of Hannah and Bartlett, “bunkering down with my songs, experimenting with different tones and sounds, and layering them. My first record was so airy and roomy, I didn’t have patience for that again, I wanted more movement, something more mysterious and witchier, so we created this sound wall together.”
“I wanted the music to hurt, to have a visceral effect,” Hannah says. Her voice sometimes sounds delirious or icy; other times she recalls the vulnerable, piercing beauty of Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) and Karen Peris (The Innocence Mission). But Pleasure Boy‘s sound wouldn’t exist without the vision that launched it. The album title arrived as the record took shape. “Pleasure Boy is a character of who it’s about, someone who represents gluttony and decadence and richness,” Hannah explains. She admits it was a tough record to make, given she was aiming to heal emotionally while feeling “devastated and hurt. But it wouldn’t be the record it is if I hadn’t done that.”
Pleasure Boy will be released 30th March on Bella Union.
Actor Jason Lee (My Name is Earl) and lead singer Eric Pulido discuss their new live concert film Midlake: Live in Denton, TX. The footage was captured at an iconic venue in the bands hometown. Directed by Eric Noren.
The result is a beautifully photographed film that is part live concert film, part documentary homage to the band’s hometown of Denton, TX.
February 26th @ Hackney Picturehouse.
With just a few tickets still available for his UK tour, and his Village Underground show having sold-out within just a few hours, FATHER JOHN MISTY has today unveiled a video for “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” from his new album I Love You, Honeybear.
Directed by Josh and Emma Tillman, the video can be viewed here:
“Sounds great, right? It may have even gone viral because: kittens. If a video goes viral, that means you’re reaching a wider audience, and you might even get on a chart. If you get on a chart that means you’re streaming more records, and the more records you’re streaming the more money you supposedly have for hiring kitten wranglers.
“Aside from the fact that kitten wranglers are considerably more expensive than you may realize and that said-kitten wranglers all informed me there was no way we were going to be able get the outfits I had mocked up onto said-kittens, there was another extenuating factor involved in the decision to abort this music video concept and ruin the slim likelihood that I might ever get to see the Huffington Post entertainment headline “EX-FLEET FOXES DRUMMER WEDS CATS”.
“That reason is that the song actually means a great a deal to me. It’s got the #4 on it because this iteration of Chateau Lobby was the 4th attempt at arranging and producing the song that did not turn out perversely sentimental. Sentimentality brutalizes emotion. Much like ironic music videos.
“I don’t care all that much if you like the music video or not. The label isn’t crazy about it. Management isn’t crazy about it. I have been informed I’m basically kissing an MTV “Woodie” award goodbye forever. I made it on an iPad on my wedding anniversary with the one I love. We ate pancakes.
“I love you,
Father John Misty’s headline tour begins mid-January in California and reaches the UK/Ireland for the following dates:
Sunday 22 February – DUBLIN – Whelans **(SOLD-OUT!)**
Monday 23 February – GLASGOW – King Tuts **(SOLD-OUT!)**
Tuesday 24 February – MANCHESTER – Gorilla
Thursday 26 February – LONDON – Village Underground **(SOLD-OUT!)**
Friday 27 February – LEEDS – Brudenell Social Club
Saturday 28 February – BRISTOL – Thekla **(SOLD-OUT!)**
I Love You, Honeybear is the highly-anticipated follow up to his acclaimed debut, Fear Fun. The album, featuring “Bored In The USA,” “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins),” “True Affection,” and the title track, was produced by Josh Tillman and Jonathan Wilson, mixed by Phil Ek, and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Click HERE to watch his stunning performance of “Bored In The USA” with a 22-piece string section last night on The Late Show with David Letterman,
Preorders for I Love You, Honeybear are now available via http://fatherjohnmisty.merchline.com and iTunes. The album will be available on CD, download and 2 x LP in a gatefold jacket and black vinyl. A limited edition deluxe 2XLP alternate-cover version on tricolor vinyl in a Dioramic, Meta-Musical Funtime gatefold jacket All CD and LP formats will come with a fold-out poster, featuring a collage of Emma Tillman’s intimate photos, designed by Alia Penner and an extensive “Exercises for Listening” written by Josh Tillman.
I Love You, Honeybear will be released 9th Feb in the UK/Europe on Bella Union (10th Feb in the rest of the world via Sub Pop).