The Cradle Shares “Eyes So Clear” ~ ‘Laughing In My Sleep’ out Aug. 21

The Cradle, aka Paco Cathcart, is sharing his new single “Eyes So Clear,” today, the final single to be released from his upcoming album, Laughing In My Sleep, out August 21st on standard black & cream vinyl, compact disc, and digital formats.

On “Eyes So Clear,” Cathcart is joined by Lily Konigsberg (of Palberta) on backing vocals. Driven by plodding piano chords and strummed guitar, the song’s narrator wrestles with feeling distrustful and bitter toward friends who have a clear-eyed, less solipsistic perspective on life. Recalling the philosophical and reflective duets from artists such as Simon & Garfunkel and Sufjan Stevens, “Eyes So Clear” feels timeless.

Pre-save ‘Laughing In My Sleep’ here, and pre-order it at Bandcamp or from our shop.

Bendrix Littleton (ex-Bent Denim) Announces ‘Deep Dark South’ out Sep. 25

Today, Bendrix Littleton (ex-Bent Denim) announced his debut album Deep Dark South (Sep. 25) and shared a video for the contemplative lead single and title track “Deep Dark South,” which is a compilation of iPhone clips shot around the time of the record’s creation and edited together by Will Taylor (from rock duo Hovvdy whose latest album, Heavy Lifter, was produced by Littleton).

On “Deep Dark South,” Bendrix Littleton conjures the feeling of looking up at the Southern night sky — “and realizing how big and full of wonder it is down here,” he says. Built on a foundation of steady, elegant piano chords, Bendrix’s gently-picked guitar loops create a lush soundscape, making space for his hazy, solitary voice to ponder solitude and time.

Deep Dark South is available to pre-order on cassette and digital formats from our shop & on Bandcamp.

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Bendrix Littleton is the writing and recording project of Nashville-via-Dallas musician Bennett Littlejohn. The project’s namesake, Maurice Bendrix—the protagonist of Graham Greene’s 1951 novel The End of the Affair—is described by enotes.com as “sometimes an unreliable narrator, for he is so consumed by jealousy, self-pity, self-hatred, and bitterness, that he measures everyone else by himself…[and] confesses that from time to time ‘a demon’ takes possession of his brain.” It’s an appropriate moniker for the self-aware, malaise-filled songs of Bendrix Littleton’s debut, Deep Dark South, due out September 25 from NNA Tapes. While in the album is imbued with the contradictions and painful beauty of the modern American South (as opposed to Greene’s WWII-era London), the hazy, solitary narrative voice remains.

Formerly one half of the “NyQuil-Pop” duo Bent Denim (dissolved in the summer of 2018), Littlejohn sought a fresh outlet that was more individual and freed from any preconceived artistic notions. During this time Littlejohn began taking on significantly more studio work, including production credits on Hovvdy’s Heavy Lifter (out now on Double Double Whammy), new material from Katy Kirby (out on Keeled Scales), and forthcoming work from Sinai Vessel. While production on this music was deeply rewarding, it was nonetheless work that was beholden to someone else’s vision. And it was out of this craving for artistic autonomy that Bendrix Littleton was born. Deep Dark South has provided a space for Littlejohn to experiment, collage, write, and record in a completely independent manner—a long-awaited and welcome zone of unfettered creation.

On the singular writing and recording process of Deep Dark South, Littlejohn states:

The initial spurt of songwriting was directly correlated to a vintage Harmony H162 acoustic guitar I found at a flea market in Kentucky, near the Tennessee border. This guitar would’ve been sold at Sears in the early 60’s. I strung it up with all of the higher pitched strings from a 12-string acoustic set and got to writing. A lot of rich, burnt-out musicians affectedly claim that there are ‘songs in guitars’ to justify their ever-growing guitar collections, but I do feel there is an ounce of truth in this. The way something feels, or the faults of a certain instrument indeed can bring out something unique and new.

Once the basic bedrock of the record had been tracked, I realized that the songs were too slow, my voice was too low…a spark was missing. My brother had just sent me my old Tascam four track cassette recorder. So, I spent a little time with that, and ended up committing these songs in their unfinished states to fixed tracks on this old tape machine—no editing, no panning, no volume changing. Driving the cassette tape hard and speeding the songs up (which also raises the pitch), gave this album that special aspect I had been looking for, and also provided a completely fucked up and new sonic foundation for me to start layering on top of.

And on the themes and sensibility of the album itself, Littlejohn says:

Throughout the record I deal with the common tropes of alcohol/drug abuse, malaise, ennui, regional junk, and the dissolution of relationships. It’s well-trod ground, but I’d rather write what feels genuine rather than something foreign for the sake of novelty. It feels ridiculous enough to put out something in 2020…so much noise to break through. But I feel like these are common enough things. I wouldn’t say these things are universal, but they’re not far from it.

Bendrix Littleton

Bendrix Littleton is the writing and recording project of Nashville-via-Dallas musician Bennett Littlejohn. The project’s namesake, Maurice Bendrix—the protagonist of Graham Greene’s 1951 novel The End of the Affair—is described by enotes.com as “sometimes an unreliable narrator, for he is so consumed by jealousy, self-pity, self-hatred, and bitterness, that he measures everyone else by himself…[and] confesses that from time to time ‘a demon’ takes possession of his brain.” It’s an appropriate moniker for the self-aware, malaise-filled songs of Bendrix Littleton’s debut, Deep Dark South, due out September 25 from NNA Tapes. While in the album is imbued with the contradictions and painful beauty of the modern American South (as opposed to Greene’s WWII-era London), the hazy, solitary narrative voice remains.

Formerly one half of the “NyQuil-Pop” duo Bent Denim (dissolved in the summer of 2018), Littlejohn sought a fresh outlet that was more individual and freed from any preconceived artistic notions. During this time Littlejohn began taking on significantly more studio work, including production credits on Hovvdy’s Heavy Lifter (out now on Double Double Whammy), new material from Katy Kirby (out on Keeled Scales), and forthcoming work from Sinai Vessel. While production on this music was deeply rewarding, it was nonetheless work that was beholden to someone else’s vision. And it was out of this craving for artistic autonomy that Bendrix Littleton was born. Deep Dark South has provided a space for Littlejohn to experiment, collage, write, and record in a completely independent manner—a long-awaited and welcome zone of unfettered creation.

On the singular writing and recording process of Deep Dark South, Littlejohn states:

The initial spurt of songwriting was directly correlated to a vintage Harmony H162 acoustic guitar I found at a flea market in Kentucky, near the Tennessee border. This guitar would’ve been sold at Sears in the early 60’s. I strung it up with all of the higher pitched strings from a 12-string acoustic set and got to writing. A lot of rich, burnt-out musicians affectedly claim that there are ‘songs in guitars’ to justify their ever-growing guitar collections, but I do feel there is an ounce of truth in this. The way something feels, or the faults of a certain instrument indeed can bring out something unique and new.

Once the basic bedrock of the record had been tracked, I realized that the songs were too slow, my voice was too low…a spark was missing. My brother had just sent me my old Tascam four track cassette recorder. So, I spent a little time with that, and ended up committing these songs in their unfinished states to fixed tracks on this old tape machine—no editing, no panning, no volume changing. Driving the cassette tape hard and speeding the songs up (which also raises the pitch), gave this album that special aspect I had been looking for, and also provided a completely fucked up and new sonic foundation for me to start layering on top of.

And on the themes and sensibility of the album itself, Littlejohn says:

Throughout the record I deal with the common tropes of alcohol/drug abuse, malaise, ennui, regional junk, and the dissolution of relationships. It’s well-trod ground, but I’d rather write what feels genuine rather than something foreign for the sake of novelty. It feels ridiculous enough to put out something in 2020…so much noise to break through. But I feel like these are common enough things. I wouldn’t say these things are universal, but they’re not far from it.

Deep Dark South is out on September 25 from NNA Tapes.

The Cradle Shares “End of the Day” From New LP ‘Laughing In My Sleep’

The Cradle, aka singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Paco Cathcart (Big Neck Police, Eyes of Love, Shimmer), has shared “End of the Day,” today — the second single from his upcoming, 21-track album Laughing In My Sleep, out August 21 on standard black and limited edition cream vinyl, compact disc, and digital formats. The first 50 vinyl pre-orders will ship with a chapbook handmade by Paco.

“End of the Day” has been a staple in The Cradle’s acoustic live sets over the past couple of years. It is also a song that bucks easy categorization: “It’s a repetitious lullaby; a series of images at greater or lesser distance; an ode-poem to Brooklyn; the daily splendid and heartbreaking minutia of city life; a first-person account of events of questionable significance; a dream that goes both towards nostalgia and out towards adventure,” Paco says. “End of the Day” follows “One Too Many Times,” and both singles feature backing vocals from Lily Konigsberg (of Palberta).

Laughing In My Sleep is available to pre-order from our shop & on Bandcamp. Pre-save the album to your preferred streaming service by clicking here.

Horse Lords’ 2014 LP ‘Hidden Cities’ is Back in Stock

Horse Lords’ 2014 LP ‘Hidden Cities’ is back in stock! Available from our shop and on Bandcamp.

On opening track “Outer East” the band showcases its considerable range and sick chops: over a low-slung motorik groove, Andrew Bernstein spins a smoky web of sax-into-delay that recalls Terry Riley’s “Reed Streams”. The song turns an unexpected corner five minutes in as guitarist Owen Gardner—who has structurally altered his frets into a just intonation tuning system—carves beguiling arabesque figures on top of Max Eilbacher’s insistently funky bass. Sam Haberman then breaks in with a fierce drum solo, from which the whole band erupts into a relentless forward moving ecstatic riff that blurs the difference between prog, no-wave and minimalism. It’s a compressed lesson in the effortless eclecticism and muscular playing that makes this band so mesmerizing live. Following “Outer East” with barely a pause,  “Life Without Dead Time” rides a mutating polyrhythmic grid that showcases the synthesizer and signal processing chops of Eilbacher (whose solo LP “Red Anxiety Tracers” came out to critical acclaim on Spectrum Spools last year).

A gradually building ramp built of field recordings, tape manipulation and modular synthesis, “Tent City” introduces the second long-form composition on the album, “Macaw”. A floor burner at their live shows, “Macaw” builds rhythmic tension and release before coalescing into a unison burst of festivity and abandon. Bernstein’s woodblock figure pulls away from Haberman’s steady beat and the resulting groove plays out like a krautrock duel-in-the-sand between two offset patterns competing for dominance in a vivid strobe effect. By the ten-minute mark, Gardner’s guitar hits a Bo-Diddley-meets-Group-Doueh sweet spot and the track lifts off in a final spiral of ensemble unison hammering. A coda for extremist signal processing, “All That Is Solid” manipulates and processes the record’s preceding riffs into liquid pools of unrecognizably alien new forms, setting you down on the other side of “Hidden Cities” at once startled and becalmed. It’s vital, thrilling, and utterly transcends its many influences to arrive at a new place on the map for forward-thinking American rock music.

The Cradle Announces ‘Laughing In My Sleep,’ Shares “One Too Many Times”

Truly beyond excited to announce ‘Laughing In My Sleep’ — the new 21-track album from singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Paco Cathcart, aka The Cradle.

Available August 21 on standard black and limited edition cream vinyl, compact disc, and digital formats. ⭐️ The first 50 physical pre-orders will receive a chapbook handmade by Paco. Order from our shop & on Bandcamp.

Check out the lead single “One Too Many Times,” featuring Lily Konigsberg (of Palberta) on backing vocals. “It’s a lament about miscommunication, and the difficulties of being vulnerable and clear with one another,” Cathcart explains. “It’s about feeling desperately apart from the “vanguard,” that is, those who are fearless and true with their language, politically and personally.”

 

Out Now: [NNA123] TALsounds – Acquiesce ✨

Acquiesce, the fifth solo album from Chicago-based Lebanese-American electronic artist Natalie Chami (aka TALsounds), is out today! The album is available from our shop and on Bandcamp on standard black and limited edition white vinyl, in addition to digital formats. The album is also available on transparent blue vinyl at select local indie record stores.

Bandcamp made Acquiesce Album of the Day last week, saying, “Chami continues exploring her penchant for slowly unfolding drones, her analog synthesizers and gentle whispers layered like silvery smoke hanging in a lamp-lit room.” Read more here.

The album’s lead single, “No Rise,” premiered exclusively at The FADER, and subsequent singles “Soar” and “Else” were featured on NPR’s Viking’s Choice playlists, and more.

Chami also recently made a FACT mix for FACT Magazine, featuring women from DIY music scenes in the US and beyond. Listen here.

Over the past decade Natalie has been at the forefront of Chicago’s DIY electronic music community. In addition to her solo work, Chami is one-third of Good Willsmith, half of ambient duo l’eternebre, and frequently collaborates with her peers—notably with Brett Nauke and Whitney Johnson (aka Matchess)—in the Windy City’s “post-band” scene.

To celebrate the release of Acquiesce, TALsounds will have a live-streamed record release show tonight, May 22, broadcasted on Twitch via Lumpen Radio.

Out Now: [NNA126] Kalbells – Mothertime

NNA is overjoyed to release ‘Mothertime,’ — the new EP from Kalbells, the project led by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Kalmia “Kal” Traver.

Co-produced with Jeremy Malvin (aka Chrome Sparks), ‘Mothertime’ sees Kal processing themes she has been continually chewing on in the 6-year wake of surviving ovarian cancer and transforming a codependent relationship wither her long-time music partner: resilience, yielding, beckoning creativity, self-exploration, and joy. “It’s something I feel proud to have moved and grown through,” she says, “and I hope writing about it can be a form of revealing the illusion, and healing.”

‘Mothertime’ [NNA126] is available from our shop and on Bandcamp, on limited edition cassette and digital formats.

TALsounds Shares “Soar” From Upcoming LP ‘Acquiesce’ out May 22nd

TALsounds (the solo project of Chicago-based electronic artist Natalie Chami) has shared a new track titled “Soar” from her upcoming full-length Acquiesce, out May 22nd.

♫ Listen: TALsounds – “Soar”

Made while meditating on a new love and relationship, “Soar” opens with a heavy, plodding bass line and works in layers of long tone swells and shimmering sequencer spirals amidst climbing synth and vocal melodies. As Chami explains: “This improvisation had me reflecting on my new relationship. Was he grounded enough for me? Were we living contradictory lifestyles? Would we be able to find balance together? Was our happiness just a facade? I think all of my uneasiness came out in this song in an ominous kind of way.”

“Soar” follows lead single “No Rise” which premiered with The Fader who praised Chami’s body of work as “an unpredictable discography that’s impossible to categorize. It is, by its nature, impulsive music, guided in the moment by Chami’s emotions and immediate sense of what should come next.”

Acquiesce is available from our shop and on Bandcamp, on standard black vinyl, limited edition white vinyl, and digital formats.

GRID Share “Cold Seep” from Sophomore LP ‘Decomposing Force’

GRID—the Brooklyn, NY noise-jazz trio comprised of Matt Nelson, Tim Dahl, and Nick Podgurski—just released “Cold Seep,” the second single from their upcoming sophomore LP Decomposing Force, out April 24.

♫ Listen: GRID – “Cold Seep”

The band describe the disquieting 12+ minute track: “In “Cold Seep”we have a bottom giving out at the moment of orientation. The fundament, all that has come before, is undone. Free-falling into dark new age we must face the terror of our nothingness.” The previous single “Brutal Kings” caught the attention of a wide array of publications, from the jazz publication Jazziz to the electronic focused outlet XLR8R.

Recorded live in one room with no overdubs and mixed to 1/2-inch tape, Decomposing Force will be GRID’s first release available on vinyl, which is available to pre-order from our shop.

Photo Credit: Dominika Michalowska

Kalbells Share New Track & Video For “Mothertime” From Upcoming EP

Photo Credit: Amanda Picotte

Today, Kalbells—the project led by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Kalmia Traver—is sharing “Mothertime,” the title track (and accompanying lyric video made in quarantine with a microscope) from her forthcoming EP co-produced with Jeremy Malvin (aka Chrome Sparks), releasing April 10.

Following the lead single and video for “Cool and Bendable” (that premiered with The Fader who called it  “crackly and tactile… a dazzling celebration anthem.”)“Mothertime” is about Traver’s mother and their relationship together. As Traver explains in her own words: “it’s about the bewildering beauty and uncanniness of the fact that we can keep growing & changing so much, cueing off each other across our two mobius-entwined lifetimes.”

To celebrate the single release, Traver is taking questions live on Reddit today (Monday, March 30th) at 2PM PT / 5 PM EST. The AMA will be hosted on subreddit r/music.

♫ Listen: Kalbells – “Mothertime”
♫ Watch: Kalbells – “Mothertime”

Mothertime will be out April 10th, 2020 and is available to preorder on Cassette and Digital formats.