ANDY SHAUF - "THE MAGICIAN"
On May 20th, Anti- is excited to release an immensely imaginative work from acclaimed young singer-songwriter Andy Shauf called The Party. The Saskatchewan-based musician recorded his first album at home and toured Western Canada playing DIY punk venues with an acoustic guitar. In 2015 he gained attention with a an album called The Bearer of Bad News that NPR called one of “2015's most breathtaking albums.” With The Party, Shauf masterfully creates a cast of memorable and unique characters. All of this is set to ornate arrangements of fuzzed-out guitars, string sections, clarinets and dreamy synths, all draped over delicate piano, acoustic guitars and rainy-day drums. The Party is not exactly a concept record, but it was a way for the singer-songwriter to get out of his own head; an after-party record, more like it. Or for the hangover the next day, when only Shauf’s songs can make any sense of the emotionally-charged scenarios that played out the night before. When The Party was over, Shauf had no regrets—even if its characters have more than a few. You’re invited to The Party. It’s one you’ll never forget. Listen to the first single from the upcoming album, “The Magician.”
ROGUE WAVE - "CALIFORNIA BRIDE"
Rogue Wave will release their first new album in more than three years entitled Delusions of Grand Fur on April 29th, and they just shared the record's second single, "California Bride." The bright song, which will prove most familiar to longtime Rogue Wave fans, is a meditation on the beauty and fortune of being alive. Their sixth studio album, Delusions of Grand Fur, a title chosen as a riff on the tendency of fresh-faced musicians to misperceive the reality of band life, marks the reinvigorated return of Zach Rogue, his longtime bandmate Pat Spurgeon, and their fellow band members. Much like the band's debut, 2003's Out of the Shadow, a project completed entirely by Rogue and a single engineer, the band worked without recording demo versions of songs-instead, the demos would simply become the songs. Despite the modest environment and DIY approach, the end result is a clear snapshot of who Rogue Wave is today.
SIR WAS - "A MINOR LIFE"
City Slang welcomes Sir Was to their growing family of innovative producers and share his debut single “A Minor Life.” Sir Was is the musical journey of Joel Wästberg, documenting a wealth of unique & idiosyncratic influences. Growing up in the tiny village of Frillesås on the western coast of Sweden, he had an early career as a jazz saxophonist that led to studying in Gothenburg and an influential time at the University of Kwasulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. From there he started focusing more on drums, and immersed himself in discovering pan-African rhythms & sounds, traveling through Mozambique and Zimbabwe, finding musical inspiration all along the way. The resulting range of styles is as uncommon and refreshing as the story might suggest. It is intricate without feeling complex, with driving beats and dynamically varied instrumentation weaving throughout. Sir Was’ first offering is a relatively gentle introduction. “A Minor Life” sets the scene with colorful flourishes of bagpipes & recorder sailing around a core of syncopated modular synths. Nestled underneath is a swinging live beat so clear and sharp, it could be mistaken for a J Dilla sample.
TUFT - "SPOOLS"
The most unexpected thing happened when Casey Trela packed up his car in North Carolina heading west for Los Angeles. When Trela grew tired of his own thoughts he picked up a hitchhiker, Kevin Manwarren, headed for Oklahoma. Oklahoma came and went, Manwarren stayed with Trela. At a truck stop in the middle of who-knows-where they met Roxy Radulescu, and immediately knew she was destined to join them. She was less certain, at least at first, but upon hearing a single verse emanate from Trela’s automobile she plucked her personal belongings from the cab and abandoned the 18-wheel big rig she rode in on, joining them on their fateful journey. The deejay called them TUFT, and so they were, ever more. Having previously announced their debut LP and sharing the first single, “Stills," TUFT are excited to release the next single, "Spools," from the forthcoming Look Look album, which is out April 8th as a self-release.
TELETHON - "A FUNNY THING HAPPENED TO ME TODAY"
Sometimes the best results are born in the heat of the moment, and Telethon’s latest full-length effort Citrosis, rehearsed once the night before they took it to the studio, is proof. Formed in the winter of 2014 in Wisconsin, the power-pop meets punk-rock quintet have created a diverse record, which calls on Modern Baseball’s emotion and honesty, Thin Lizzy’s melodic guitar harmonies and Weezer’s playfulness. Recorded in just over five days in September 2015 by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Joyce Manor, Laura Stevenson), Citrosis is an adrenaline-fuelled relentless thirty-two minutes of near-gapless playback, blending an enticing mix of emotive lyrics, garage-rock-infused riffs and classic rock harmonies over the course of twelve tracks. Citrosis is a loose narrative of the low-stakes anxiety that prods us throughout our waking lives, touching on topics usually only discovered post ‘coming of age’ along with the realization that things are only as hard as you make them for yourself. It is an album that touches upon post-millennial topics explored with instrumentation from not only across the last three decades but over a huge range of styles and sub-genres. Despite being recorded with haste, the building blocks couldn’t have been more thoughtfully devised. This album, much like life, is a fast one-way play-through, tackling a whole range of emotions. Listen to “A Funny Thing Happened to Me Today” now before the album drops April 1st.
PRISM TATS - "DEATH OR FAME"
Recently signed to ANTI- records, Prism Tats is the drum machine-fueled lo-fi garage persona of Garrett van der Spek. “Death Or Fame” is one of the first tasters from the forthcoming debut album. This is one of the first tracks from the self-titled debut, out April 15th, which was produced by Chris Woodhouse (Ty Segall, Wild Flag, !!!), who put an extra touch of magic into the mix, resulting in the ten tight, torqueing songs that make up Prism Tats’ full-fledged album. And the recent single is the perfect example of the unique, abrasive sound that is making Prism Tats a fast rising name in the underground music scene. Prism Tats is the culmination of a creative life spent on the grind, honing instincts and eventually going all-in on a singular dream. Garrett van der Spek’s tunes bristle and hum with electric energy while carving out unique emotional territory all at once. The well-traveled van der Spek, originally from Durban, South Africa, moved to Seattle in the early 2000’s as part of a university exchange program and fell in love out there. Once he’d moved out stateside for good, he spent his time between Seattle and Los Angeles, building a repertoire for Prism Tats.
MERRICK'S TUSK - "VOTARY"
Hailing from Nottingham and Derby, melodic rock quartet Merrick’s Tusk are a band that have drawn a route through the familiar sonic territory of emo-rock with signposts to bands such as The Appleseed Cast, American Football and Jimmy Eat World to draw you in but with more than enough originality in their post-hardcore sensibilities to keep you there. The band’s second release, a 6-track EP titled regroup and reform, which is founded on the life experiences of frontman John Jeacock, features cameos from BAFTA-winning composer Nicholas Hooper (Harry Potter soundtrack composer) and once label-mates Bear Makes Ninja, Blind Wives and Some Skeletons, the follow-up EP delivers a more expansive and ambitious sound. Sonder, Merrick’s Tusk’s debut EP, was released on Bad News Records to critical acclaim in June 2014. regroup and reform will be self-released in conjunction with the estimable Buttonpusher DIY on April 1st and will be see the band hit the road again touring across the UK, Europe and various festivals in 2016. Merrick’s Tusk are evolving musically and with every sonic state they encounter the band are finding new ways to push the boundaries and instill originality. Check out “Votary” here.
THE HERMS - "PARADES"
After a three year break, The Herms are back and have announced a new album, Welcome All Tourists, out April 1st via Narnack Records. It's also been four years since the groundbreaking Narnack Records has released any music, putting out Garrett Pierce’s City of Sand and Electric Flower’s EPII in 2012. The first single from The Herms new LP, "Parades," is a glimpse at what to expect from the forthcoming album. Having relocated from the Bay Area to Los Angeles in 2014, The Herms add true grit and originality to the sun-fried, post-punk scene of Southern California. Born in the co-ops of Berkeley with bedroom Tascam recordings in the mid aughts, nurtured in San Francisco, and finally finding residence on the East side of LA, The Herms brings a frenetic, schizophrenic charm to the lo-fi reemergence. Matt Lutz leads the charge with his lefty guitar and, at times, Mark E. Smith style vocals. Vlad Duran adds melodic bass lines, and Mike Leyva on drums fill out the other points of the sonic triangle.
PAPIER TIGRE - "HEEBIE JEEBIES"
10 years after they started from scratch, PAPIER TIGRE have built a name for themselves with three albums: 2007’s Papier Tigre, 2008’s The Beginning And End Of Now, and 2012’s Recreation. With over 500 shows in more than 25 countries over 3 continents, the three-piece’s music is firmly entrenched in the tradition of inventive, challenging punk but combines elements of experimental music with pop compositions. The band understands that a song being intelligent and complex need not exclude it from having a raw, danceable energy. They are constantly pushing the limits of their unusual line-up when the band is not playing with La Colonie de Vacances. On their new album The Screw, PAPIER TIGRE has matured into a devastatingly efficient unit, with instruments, ideas and personalities bouncing off each other in an audible culture of creativity. The nine songs are an impressive account of the band’s ability to balance different atmospheres, underlined by original rhythmic patterns, minimalist melodic lines and distinctive vocal hooks, the whole blossoming as their most significant work yet. If you have heard them before, the band you will come back to is now a cacophonous tour de force: wilder, avidly literate, fiercely melodic, yet eagerly restrained. If you haven’t heard them, here's your chance with new single “Heebie Jeebies.”
JOANA SERRAT - "TUG OF WAR"
Cross The Verge, just as its name promises, shows us another side of Joana Serrat, who so enchanted audiences on her 2014 album Dear Great Canyon. On Cross The Verge, her third album, Serrat lays bare all the cracks, inconsistencies and fears that come with life, with the album revealing itself to be an especially beautiful tribute to the acknowledgment of loss and the acceptance of the uncertain. To record this album, Serrat travelled from her home in Vic, near Barcelona, to Montreal, Canada to team up with producer Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, The Barr Brothers) in his analog studio, The Hotel2Tango. In the recording process Serrat was joined by the likes of Gavin Gardiner (The Wooden Sky), Aaron Goldstein (Daniel Romano, City & Colour, Cowboy Junkies) and the acclaimed Canadian auto harpist and vocalist Basia Bulat. Elsewhere, Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Mojave 3) and Ryan Boldt (The Deep Dark Woods) joined Serrat in two duets from two different approaches. Howard Bilerman’s approach results in Cross The Verge feeling like a natural progression and a show of real maturity. Her ability to never waste a lyric or syllable where something needs to be said and never miss an opportunity to breathe life into a song’s darker corners illustrates her creative growth. Until the release, you can listen to “Tug of War.”