Music Releases 01-18-19
Pedro the Lion has always been David Bazan, but it took a long time to get back there.
In August 2016, during what he now recognizes as his lowest point, Bazan was touring the country alone in an aging minivan and found himself in his hometown of Phoenix, AZ. In need of a break from the road, he spent a night off at his grandparents’ house instead of driving on to San Diego. Before leaving town the next morning, after realizing that even the most familiar places can become unrecognizable, Bazan gave himself the gift of a quick detour past the house he grew up in, and on the way, experienced a breakthrough - one that would lead him both forward and back to another home he had built many years before.
From the beginning, Pedro the Lion didn’t work like the bands Bazan had played drums in, where each player came up with their own parts. Instead, like scripting scenes of dialogue for actors to play with, Bazan recorded and arranged all of the skeletal accompaniments for his obsessively introspective lyrics and spare melodies. Each player would then learn their parts and, together as a band, they brought the skeleton to life. While bandmates played on a few recordings, Bazan often played all or most of the instruments himself.
“I found so much joy working this way,” Bazan remembers. “It came naturally and yielded a feeling and a sound that couldn’t have existed by any other process. At the same time, I was also aware that not everyone wanted to play in a band where the singer wrote all the parts and might perform them on the record. Someone even suggested it might not be a valid approach to having a band in the first place. Being insecure and wanting to find camaraderie, I became conflicted about my natural process.”
By 2002, after recording Control, the high rate of turnover in the band finally caused Bazan to ditch his “natural process” in favor of a collaborative writing process. When, after a couple more years, this move did nothing to stabilize turnover, Bazan was perplexed. In November 2005, Bazan decided to stop doing Pedro the Lion altogether.
Ironically, Bazan didn’t see “going solo” as a chance to revert back to his original process of writing and playing all the parts. For the next decade Pedro the Lion felt off limits, even forgotten, like a childhood home Bazan had moved out of. He pushed forward with releasing solo albums & relentless touring in living rooms and clubs, through every part of the US and beyond, sometimes with a band, but mostly on his own. It took a toll on his family and more acutely on himself. By the summer of 2016, he still hadn’t found the personal clarity or the steady collaboration he’d been seeking and was at the end of his rope.
“I had abandoned my natural way of working in the hopes of creating space for a consistent band to write with...and it hadn’t worked. So I got a rehearsal space, mic’d up drums, bass, and guitar, and really leaned into my original process again. It immediately felt like like home. Before long I realized it also felt like Pedro the Lion.”
In June 2018, with Bazan on bass, vocals, and arrangement writing, Erik Walters on guitar and backing vocals, and Sean Lane on drums, Pedro the Lion went into Studio X and Hall of Justice with producer Andy Park to create Phoenix, the first new Pedro album in 15 years.
|Pedro The Lion||$27.98|
|Mint [Green LP]
After rising to fame two years ago in 2016 with her explosive debut 1 Million selling single 'No Roots' (Mom + Pop), written about her constant moving homes as a child becoming such as huge debut, its safe to say its been a whirl wind for Alice Merton with 124 Million YouTube hits to date. She also gained 6+ Million streams, toured the US supporting the brilliant Vance Joy, championed by Billboard Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine with Performances on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonights Show and James Corden's Late Late Show, Live With Kelly and Ryan, and even a recent 2018 Teen Choice Awards Nomination in 'Best Rock' category. Merton's debut album, Mint, will be released on January 18th and featured "No Roots", "Lash Out" and her newest single "Why So Serious".
|I Used To Be Pretty [2LP]
One of Los Angeles punk rock’s most widely admired yet little-heard bands makes a striking return to records on Jan. 18, as Yep Roc Records issues an all-new collection by The Flesh Eaters, I Used to Be Pretty. On the release, founding vocalist and songwriter Chris Desjardins — better known as Chris D. — is backed by the legendary “all-star” edition of the band, originally heard on the 1981 set A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die: Dave Alvin (guitar) and Bill Bateman (drums) of the Blasters; John Doe (bass) and D.J. Bonebrake (marimba and percussion) of X; and Steve Berlin (saxophones) of the Plugz (and later the Blasters and Los Lobos). The album was produced collectively by the band members.
|The Flesh Eaters||$26.98|
|Remind Me Tomorrow [LP]
Remind Me Tomorrow was written in stolen time. In the four years since Are We There, Van Etten guest-starred in The OA, performed in David Lynch's Twin Peaks revival, and wrote her first film score and song for TV - for Kathering Dieckmann's Strange Weather Tig Notaro's show Tig, respectively. Van Etten also had a child, and began studying psychology. In the scraps of hours between these endeavors, Remind Me Tomorrow was born. Working with producer John Congleton, Remind Me Tomorrow reveals piano keys that churn, deep drones, distinctive sharp drums. Originally a piano ballad, "Comeback Kid" evolved into a dark, menacing anthem. "Seventeen" began as a Lucinda Williams-esque dirge, but winds up a star-spangled nod to Springsteen, exploring gentrification and generational patience. The breadth of Van Etten's new passions have inflected Remind Me Tomorrow with a wise, warped-time perspective. She explains, "I want to be a mom, a singer, an actress, go to school, but yeah, I have a stain on my shirt, oatmeal in my hair. I feel like a mess, but I'm here. Doing it. This record is about pursuing your passions." This is Remind Me Tomorrow, fusing a pained attentive realism and radiant lightness about new loves.
|Sharon Van Etten||$14.98|
|Native Tongue [2LP]
'Before we learn to hate. Love is our Native Tongue.' - Jon Foreman. For their new album Native Tongue, alternative rock band SWITCHFOOT step beyond their trademark epic soundscapes and explore new textures and themes that genuinely reflect this fraught cultural moment. From the hard-hitting anthemic title-track to more reflective songs such as 'Prodigal Soul,' 'Joy Invincible,' and 'Voices,' co-written and produced with their friends in One Republic, the band interlace empathy and introspection, urging us to 'use our lungs for love and not the shadows.'
|It Won't Be Like This All The Time [LP]
From their unassuming origins as a group of school friends drawn together by a shared passion for music to the global touring force (supporting The Cure and Editors at arenas and stadiums), they have quietly become, The Twilight Sad's ascent has been forged the old way with grit, graft and four exceptional studio albums. Now signed to Mogwai's Rock Action Records, the bands fifth album does not disappoint and will certainly not disappoint fans of their previous works. It will also appeal to fans of The Cure, Frighten Rabbits, The National, Interpol and Editors.
|The Twilight Sad||$31.98|
|Heard It In A Past Life [LP]
After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Maggie Rogers released her critically acclaimed debut EP, 'Now That The Light Is Fading'. The acclaimed producer/songwriter/performer now releases major label debut album: ‘Heard It In A Past Life’. The album includes the song that introduced Rogers to the world, “Alaska,” which has accrued over 100 million global combined streams to date. ‘Heard It In A Past Life’ also contains the follow-up singles “Fallingwater,” praised by NPR as “a celebration of the terrifying yet thrilling process of change” and “Give A Little,” which Pitchfork hailed as “cathartic pop song about empathy and unity.”; as well as newest single “Light On”, as seen on Saturday Night Live - November 3rd.
|Runnin [Limited Edition Vinyl Single]
The brand new single from the band Ohtis - made up of members Sam Swinson, Adam Pressley & Nate Hahn. The band, formed in Normal, Illinois, bring the vivid storytelling wit of Josh T. Pierson and the shufflin’ Americana of Wilco and Phosphorescent. The band have finished their new album which is due for release in Spring 2019. Limited edition, one time 7" press. Includes "Runnin" and an exclusive B-side, "Settling."