Tag Archives: Joyful Noise Recordings

Newest Love: Sleep Party People

“(The Sun Will Open Its Core) marries the psychedelic weirdness of MGMT with the Euro-y sonic tenets of early 80s Mitteleuropa synth-pop. It’s both grandiose and intimate, eerie but inviting. It also has a point to make.” – BlackBook

“‘Lingering’, which will be released on June 2nd through Joyful Noise Recordings, is poised to be one of the year’s best records. With a deft and intoxicating brand of dreamy pop, as well as collaborations from the likes of Peter Silberman from The Antlers and Beth Hirsch (best known for providing vocals on Air’s masterpiece Moon Safari), Lingering has all the ingredients to be a smash success.” – The 405

BlackBook has shared Sleep Party People’s “The Sun Will Open Its Core”, the third single from the forthcoming album Lingering. “The Sun Will Open…” follows two previously released singles, “Fainting Spell” & “The Missing Steps”. Written, recorded, produced and performed entirely by Danish multi-instrumentalist Brian Batz, Lingering – featuring collaborations with The Antlers’ Peter Silberman & Air vocalist Beth Hirsch – is Sleep Party People’s fourth studio album and the first release since 2014’s Floating. Watch the video for “The Missing Steps” here. Lingering is due out June 2nd, 2017 via Joyful Noise Recordings.

When talking about the track Batz says, “I got really frustrated and emotionally upset when the whole refugee debate in Denmark was at its highest. I felt extremely indignant in terms of how society dealt with this problem. Normally I don’t go into politics, especially not in my music, but this was kind of inevitable.”

“I don’t get how people can reject human beings, who are fleeing from their destroyed homes and cities. What if it happened to us? Wouldn’t we do the same and ask for help and do whatever we felt necessary? We should be able to help each other even if we don’t agree on religion, politics or what we eat and wear. It puzzles me that some people out there can’t see the reason in helping. I had to write a song about this. Period.”

Though Copenhagen-based Batz & his 5-piece live band have become synonymous with the rabbit masks they wear during Sleep Party People live performances, Lingering finds Batz shedding his guard to create some of the most personal and accessible material of his career. Whilst “The Missing Steps” and other moments on Lingering engage demonstrably with bliss (also the woozy, unhurried not-quite title track, “Lingering Eyes”), it is nonetheless a record also concerned with anxiety and doubt, and the ways in which we cope with those insecurities that can persist through adulthood.

A personal high-water mark for Batz from Lingering is the appearance of Air-collaborator Beth Hirsch, who guests on “We Are There Together”. A longstanding fan of classic album Moon Safari, he was left tongue-tied when Hirsch contacted him out of the blue, seeking out a collaboration. Whilst Lingering is enriched by several such artistic collaborations – with The Antlers’ Peter Silberman also providing choir arrangements on “Dissensions” – it is equally shaped by Batz’s famously eccentric collection of instruments. “Salix And His Soil” came about when Batz bought an old organ; “When I turned the organ on for the first time, it started playing this crazy fast Super Mario Brothers-ish beat and loop by itself. I got hooked straight away and started jamming along”.  Elsewhere, “Fainting Spell” rests entirely on a piano loop played out on the snapped wires of his battered old studio piano.

On Lingering’s album-closer “Vivid Dream”, Batz sings of ‘Beating down my own door. Aiming to be flawless and without any mistakes’. Flawed or otherwise, in Lingering, he has unmistakably created a thing of stark beauty.

Tracklisting:

1. Figures
2. The Missing Steps
3. Fainting Spell
4. Salix And His Soil
5. Lingering Eyes
6. Dissensions (Feat. Luster)
7. Limitations
8. The Sound Of His Daughter
9. The Sun Will Open Its Core
10. We Are There Together (Feat. Beth Hirsch)
11. Odd Forms
12. Vivid Dream

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Introducing: White Label Series

whitelabelseries

Joyful Noise Recordings has announced its 2017 White Label Series, a new monthly subscription series that aims to shine a light on undiscovered and under-appreciated bands. Each month will feature a new album hand-picked by one of twelve influential artists and packaged in a screen-printed jacket, along with an insert that features a statement from its curator. All White Label Series releases are limited to 500 hand-numbered copies (pressed on black vinyl) and come with a digital download.

2017’s curators are Devendra Banhart, Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh), Rob Crow (Pinback, Goblin Cock), Kelley Deal (The Breeders), Toshi Kasai, Tim Kinsella (Joan of Arc, Cap’n Jazz), Doug Martsch (Built to Spill), Mirah, Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Chris Schlarb, Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi) and Yoni Wolf (WHY?).

Joyful Noise launched the series in an effort to save great music from obscurity and to combat the trend of meaningful music being overlooked and “doomed to the remote regions of the Internet.” Click here to become a subscriber.

2017 White Label Series
Devendra Banhart
Lou Barlow
Rob Crow
Kelley Deal
Toshi Kasai
Tim Kinsella
Doug Martsch
Mirah
Greg Saunier
Chris Schlarb
Janet Weiss
Yoni Wolf

 

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New Music: Surfer Blood – “Six Flags In F Or G”

surferblood

Surfer Blood has announced their fourth studio album, Snowdonia, due out February 3rd via Joyful Noise Recordings. A sonic departure for the band, Snowdonia is Surfer Blood’s first release since the tragic loss of guitarist Thomas Fekete to cancer in May 2016.

Snowdonia was written shortly after the band’s first long tour without Fekete, as lead singer John Paul Pitts struggled with Fekete’s absence and the weight of getting older. Featuring a talented new lineup that sees Michael McCleary on guitar and Lindsey Mills on bass — both high school classmates of Pitts and drummer Tyler Schwarz — Snowdonia marks the first time since the band’s debut album, 2010’s Astro Coast, that Pitts has written and mixed a Surfer Blood record alone. Though the album features plenty of Surfer Blood’s signature hooks, it also incorporates heavier themes. One of the record’s darkest songs, “Six Flags in F or G,” was written as Pitts grappled with Fekete’s illness and his absence on tour.

Shortly after Fekete was diagnosed with cancer, Pitts’ mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and began undergoing chemotherapy. Her illness inspired him to write “Carrier Pigeon” — Pitts notes it is the most narrative and autobiographical song he’s ever written, and it embodies his attempts to reconcile the love he has for his parents with not always loving how they choose to see the world.

Other tracks on the record attempt to deal with aging in a more playful way. “Matter of Time” is a straightforward pop song that focuses on the decision of when to get married, something Pitts is now considering at age 30. “Taking Care of Eddy” can be taken literally: it was written about Pitts’ girlfriend’s great uncle, Eddy, an 84-year-old who suffered stunted development after a car accident as a child. As a result, he thinks and acts like an eight year old, has Parkinson’s disease, and can’t get around by himself, but maintains a childlike sense of wonder. While taking care of him hasn’t been easy, Pitts tried to inject some of Eddy’s playfulness into the song.

While Snowdonia grapples with heavier material, Pitts likens some of the more complex songs to Astro Coast track “Anchorage,” though the new songs were written specifically with the band’s current lineup and new strengths in mind. Wanting to play up McCleary and Mills’ vocal skills, he wrote layers of vocals into almost every track and added call-and-response parts between himself and Mills throughout the album.

With enormous attention to detail, the eight tracks on Snowdonia make the album Surfer Blood’s most ambitious release yet.

snowdonia

Snowdonia Track Listing:
1. Matter of Time
2. Frozen
3. Dino Jay
4. Six Flags in F or G
5. Snowdonia
6. Instant Doppelgängers 
7. Taking Care of Eddy
8. Carrier Pigeon 

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Newest Love: Busman’s Holiday – “Beach Song”

Busmans Holiday

Busman’s Holiday — made up of Bloomington, IN-based brothers Lewis and Addison Rogers — has spent the past few years touring with acts like Kishi Bashi and Saintseneca and winning over audiences with their heartfelt songs and memorable banter. The duo recently released a 7″ via Joyful Noise Recordings that pairs new single “Beach Song” with the pedal steel-driven ballad “LaVaughna,” and today, they share a video for the A-side.

Shot in the band’s hometown of Bloomington, the “Beach Song” video is lively and celebratory, pairing perfectly with the lighthearted vibe of the song it accompanies.

The Rogers brothers’ vocal harmonies and storytelling lyrics evoke images of their hometown in Southern Indiana and bring their songs’ subjects to life. Known for their spirited live show, they may kick off a set with an exultant, driving harmony or a ballad in a melancholy mode, but not before having a laugh and sharing stories with their audience.

Recorded with engineer/producer Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, the Unicorns) and arranger Matt Nowlin, the new 7″ comes as a follow up to 2014’s A Long Goodbye and is meant to give fans a taste of the duo’s upcoming LP, due out in October on Joyful Noise.

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“Feel It In Your Guts” – Thurston Moore & Bernie Sanders

bstm

 

Joyful Noise Recordings recently brought together two inspiring individuals for a very special release: a brand new composition by Thurston Moore, created in collaboration with the Bernie Sanders campaign. Titled “Feel It In Your Guts,” the track is a twelve-string acoustic piece laced with excerpts from Bernie Sanders’ speeches, touching on topics like the worship of money, economic inequality, social justice, and the need for basic human rights for all people.

“Feel It In Your Guts” is limited to 1000 hand-numbered copies on square, white flexi-disc vinyl. All records are given away for free to those who make individual donations to Sanders’ campaign. More details here.

Throughout his political career, Sanders has been a strong supporter of the arts. “You have my promise that as President, I will be an arts President,” Sanders said in a video recorded for the Arts Action Fund. “I will continue to advocate strongly for robust funding of the arts in our cities, schools and public spaces. Art is speech. Art is what life is about.”

bstm1

ORDER HERE

Explaining how the Bernie Sanders & Thurston Moore collaboration came to fruition, Joyful Noise’s Karl Hofstetter says:

Bernie Sanders inspires us. In a political and business climate which is increasingly self-interested and money-driven, Bernie Sanders alone remains uncompromisingly focused on the issues that affect 99% of us. Which is to say, he’s talking about the things that will improve the lives of ourselves, our families, and basically everyone we have ever met. As the only presidential candidate who refuses bribes from big business, his agenda is unswervingly focused on the people over special interests. As Bernie himself has said, “The reason why we are doing well in this campaign is because we are telling the truth.”

We at the label were inspired to support the campaign, and we thought it would be best to use our curatorial talents to this end. Being a weird-o indie rock record label, we are fortunate to work with a variety of incredible musicians; including, on occasion, the great Thurston Moore. So we decided to ask him. And we were delighted that in a matter of minutes after posing the idea, Thurston excitedly agreed.

Next: the task of getting a major presidential candidate involved. Fortunately, one of our employees was already friends with the good folks of the Bernie campaign, so we reached out. Amazingly, the Bernie campaign responded, and within a week or so, we heard that Bernie himself was into the idea. The amazing folks at the Bernie campaign have worked closely with us to make this crazy collaboration a reality. 

– Karl Hofstetter

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