Dead Oceans

Khruangbin & Leon Bridges “Texas Sun” (Dead Oceans)

2020-03-13T20:35:14+00:00February 7th, 2020|

Driving anywhere in Texas can cost you half a day, easy. For example, it’ll take you over four hours just to get from R&B singer Leon Bridges’ hometown of Fort Worth down to Houston, where the psychedelic wanderers in Khruangbin hail from. The state is vast, crisscrossed with rugged expanses of road flanked by limestone cliffs and granite mountains, forests of pine and mesquite, miles of desert or acres of sprawling grassland, all depending on what part you’re in. And it’s all baking under the Texas Sun that lends its name to Bridges and Khruangbin’s new collaborative EP.

“Big sky country, that’s what they call Texas,” Khruangbin bassist Laura Lee says. “The horizon line goes all the way from one side to another without interruption. There’s something really comforting about that.”

On Texas Sun, these two members of the state’s musical vanguard meet up somewhere in the middle of that scene, in the mythical nexus of Texas’ past, present, and future—a dreamy badlands where genres blur as seamlessly as the terrain.

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Bill Fay “Countless Branches” (Dead Oceans)

2020-01-17T03:35:35+00:00January 17th, 2020|

Bill Fay returns with the third album in the celebrated second phase of his recording career. A prime Fay song is a deceptively simple thing which carries more emotional weight than its concision and brevity might imply. There are ten of these musical haikus on Countless Branches, as pointed and as poignant as anything he’s ever recorded.

For decades now – it’s almost 50 years since he cut his classic albums “Bill Fay” and “Time of the Last Persecution” – songs like these have been Fay’s ambassadors helping rave reviews and endorsements from the likes of Jim O’Rourke (Tortoise) and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) which led to a huge revival of interest in his music. He had continued to make music almost every day in the intervening decades. For Countless Branches he’s completed new toplines over some of his cache of backing tracks, most of them 20 to 40 years old.

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Khruangbin “Hasta El Cielo” (Dead Oceans)

2020-03-07T03:25:46+00:00July 12th, 2019|

Globetrotting Texan trio Khruangbin are set to release ‘Hasta El Cielo’, the band’s glorious dub version of their second album ‘Con Todo El Mundo’. The full album has been processed anew along with two bonus dubs by renowned Jamaican producer Scientist.

The band’s exotic, spacious, psychedelic funk aligns with the dub treatment particularly well. Indeed, keen fans won’t find this a surprising release. Dubs of tracks from their first album ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’ appeared on limited vinyl releases of ‘People Everywhere’ for Record Store Day 2016 and ‘Zionsville’ on the BoogieFuturo remix 12”. The especially eagle-eared will have caught a dub of ‘Two Fish And An Elephant’ playing over the credits of the track’s celebrated video.

“For us, Dub has always felt like a prayer. Spacious, meditative, able to transport the listener to another realm. The first dub albums we listened to were records mixed by Scientist featuring the music of the Roots Radics. Laura Lee learned to play bass by listening to Scientist Wins the World Cup. His unique mixing style, with the emphasis on space and texture, creates the feeling of frozen time; it was hugely influential to us as a band. To be able to work alongside Scientist, a legend in the history of dub, is an honor. This is our dub version of Con Todo El Mundo.”

Since the album’s release, the band have continued their almost non-stop approach to touring, playing over 130 dates in 2018 alone. They return to the UK this summer for festival shows at Green Man, Latitude, Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival and Barclaycard British Summer Time.

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Bleached “Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough” (Dead Oceans)

2019-07-05T03:19:37+00:00July 5th, 2019|

Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough? is what Jennifer Clavin asked herself when she hit a turning point in her life. It’s also the title of the new record from Bleached, Jessie and Jennifer Clavin’s first LP written from a place of sobriety. That newfound perspective serves as the guiding force, yielding a courageous, honest, and sonically ambitious album. It’s a record about fighting both literally and figuratively for your life — and the clarity born from that struggle.
Writing began in early 2018, both in a Los Angeles practice space, and with friends and co-writers in Nashville. Producer Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells) helped open every door to experimentation, wanting to be exploratory while keeping the sound singularly Bleached.
The resulting LP is explosive, grappling with the past; its twelve tracks mark some of the sisters’ most visceral, rawest songwriting to date — and some of their best. The work glimmers with inspiration found in touring with the likes of The Damned and Paramore. That arena-ready pop, incisively catchy, was a palpable influence helping to push Bleached’s sound in a new direction.
“Writing these songs while sober became somewhat of a spiritual experience,” Jennifer says. “Like I was connecting with a power greater than myself. I had to let go, trust the process, and allow an energy beyond my control to be present.”

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Kevin Morby “Oh My God” (Dead Oceans)

2019-04-19T02:17:54+00:00April 19th, 2019|

With his four acclaimed solo albums and myriad records of various collaboration, Kevin Morby has become a true musical auteur. Each record possesses its own unique persona and explores intriguing themes and fertile terrain through shifting, focused textures and dexterous, dedicated skill. And now, with the lavish, resplendent, career-best double LP Oh My God, Morby delivers a grandiose director’s cut of his biggest statement to date, epic in scope as well as sound.

“This one feels full circle, my most realized record yet,” he says. “It’s a cohesive piece; all the songs fit under the umbrella of this religious theme. I was able to write and record the album I wanted to make. It’s one of those marks of a life: this is why I slept on floors for seven years. I’ve now gotten the keys to my own little kingdom, and I’m devoting so much of my life to music that I just want to keep it interesting. At the end of the day, the only thing I don’t want is to be bored. If someone wants to get in my face about writing a non-religious religious record? Thank god. That’s all I gotta say.”

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Better Oblivion Community Center “Better Oblivion Community Center” (Dead Oceans)

2019-03-01T01:39:16+00:00March 1st, 2019|

Better Oblivion Community Center is a brand new band comprising the formidable talents of Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst, two of the most lauded American songwriters of the past several years. Written and recorded in Los Angeles during the summer of 2018, their self-titled debut album will be released on Dead Oceans in early 2019.The pair first collaborated on Bridgers’ 2017 single, “Would You Rather”, taken from her acclaimed debut album Stranger In The Alps. They teamed up again for a recording of Oberst’s “LAX” in the fall of 2018.
Co-produced by Bridgers, Oberst and long time Oberst/Bright Eyes collaborator Andy LeMaster, Better Oblivion Community Center features the work of several talented friends: Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ guitarist Nick Zinner appears on two tracks (first single “Dylan Thomas” and “Dominoes”) while Carla Azur (Autolux, Jack White) plays drums on half of the album. Dawes’ rhythm section Wylie Gelber and Griffin Goldsmith appear on the other half. Songwriter Christian Lee Hutson contributes guitar and Anna Butterss provides bass. Bridgers and Oberst are currently putting together a live band to tour in March and April.

Phosphorescent “C’est La Vie” (Dead Oceans)

2018-10-05T01:23:39+00:00October 5th, 2018|

Recorded in Nashville at Matthew Houck’s own Spirit Sounds Studio, C’est La Vie reveals a crystallization of what made Muchacho such a breakout a little sweetness and a little menace, sometimes boot-stomping and sometimes meditative.
For years, Phosphorescent’s rise was a steady one: tours got a little better, rooms got a little bigger, and with it the music became more intricate, more ambitious in its recording and arrangement. Then came Muchacho, a juggernaut that to date has sold over 100,000 worldwide, with lead single “Song for Zula” now well over 50 million streams.
A lot of life was lived between these records: Houck became a father (twice), built his studio, escaped New York. And C’est La Vie does have a hefty, career-spanning feel. But there’s a newfound wisdom, too, a deeper well for all that livin’. The magic of Matthew Houck’s music has always been the way he weaves shimmering, almost golden-sounding threads through elemental, salt-of-the-earth sounds. It’s not experimental, exactly, but it’s singular and it’s definitely not traditional. That knack, the through-line across the Phosphorescent catalog, is front and center here.

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A Place to Bury Strangers “Pinned” (Dead Oceans)

2018-04-20T14:17:40+00:00April 20th, 2018|

A Place To Bury Strangers have announced their new album, Pinned. Their fifth full-length finds them converting difficult moments into some of their most urgent work to date. It’s their first since the 2016 election, and their first since the 2014 closing of Death By Audio, the beloved Brooklyn DIY space where founding guitarist/singer Oliver Ackerman lived, worked, and created with complete freedom.

Pinned opens with “Never Coming Back,” a frightening crescendo of group vocals, vertiginous guitar work, and bassist Dion Lunadon’s unrelenting bass. “That song is a big concept,” Ackermann says. “You make these decisions in your life…you’re contemplating whether or not this will be the end. You think of your mortality, those moments you could die and what that means. You’re thinking about that edge of the end, deciding whether or not it’s over. When you’re close to that edge, you could teeter over.”

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Shame “Songs of Praise” (Dead Oceans)

2018-01-20T21:52:10+00:00January 20th, 2018|

“Sunday afternoons, one of the BBC’s oldest running shows, “Songs of Praise,” fills certain British living rooms with the angelic choirs of the country’s church services. It is an institution—traditional, stuffy, and royally approved. The fact that Shame’s debut LP shares the name indicates the quintet’s sense of humor. Songs of Praise threatens to storm into those god-fearing living rooms like an uninvited black sheep, staining the image of safe Britain with post-punk hymns of disgust. Emerging from the same South London pub that housed the squat-chic reprobates Fat White Family, Shame are also indebted to the Fall and Gang of Four. Like FWF, they’re cocky enough to reanimate their ancestors’ corpses.”–Pitchfork

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Kevin Morby “City Music” (Dead Oceans)

2017-06-17T22:47:45+00:00June 17th, 2017|

City Music is an airplane descending over frozen lakes into Chicago. City Music is riding the Q Train out to Coney Island to smell the ocean and a morning in Philadelphia where greats cranes reconfigure the buildings like an endless puzzle. City Music is a quiet afternoon moment on a bench in Baltimore, a highway in Seattle at night where the distant houses look like tiny flames and a bottle of red wine being drained on a bridge in Paris. City Music is a bus pulling into St. Louis at dawn where the arch looks like a metal rainbow reflecting the days early sunlight….
City Music is also the new album by Kevin Morby. Full of listless wanderlust, it’s a collection inspired by and devoted to the metropolitan experience across America and beyond by a songwriter cast from his own mould. As he puts it: “It is a mix-tape, a fever dream, a love letter dedicated to those cities that I cannot get rid of, to those cities that are all inside of me.”

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Slowdive “Slowdive” (Dead Oceans)

2017-05-13T22:23:37+00:00May 13th, 2017|

UK shoegaze pioneers Slowdive enter their second act and offer up a fourth studio opus, their first in 22 years. Self-titled with quiet confidence, Slowdive’s stargazing alchemy is set to further entrance the faithful while beguiling a legion of fresh ears. Deftly swerving what co-vocalist/guitarist Rachel Goswell terms “a trip down memory lane,” these eight new tracks are simultaneously expansive and the sonic pathfinders’ most direct material to date. Birthed at the band’s talismanic Oxfordshire haunt The Courtyard, their diamantine melodies were mixed to a suitably hypnotic sheen at Los Angeles’ famed Sunset Sound facility by Chris Coady. “It’s poppier than I thought it was going to be,” notes principal songwriter Neil Halstead, who was the primary architect of 1995’s previous full-length transmission Pygmalion. This time out the group dynamic was all-important. “When you’re in a band and you do three records, there’s a continuous flow and a development. For us, that flow re-started with us playing live again and that has continued into the record.” “There’s a different energy about it,” adds drummer Simon Scott. “It took ages to get back together and write songs and for it to click in the studio, but this album doesn’t feel like a bolt-on – it’s got an energy that’s as vibrant as Souvlaki and Just for a Day. It feels very relevant to now.”

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Califone “Roomsound” (Dead Oceans)

2016-10-17T19:34:24+00:00October 17th, 2016|

15 years after its initial release, Califone’s seminal album from 2001, Roomsound, has been reissued. Beginning as a Red Red Meat album, this record, born of a particularly brutal Chicago winter, would become Califone’s first proper album (2 EPs in 1998 and 2000, notwithstanding). “Roomsound was a real beginning. By listening. By letting it be, by force,” says the band’s Tim Rutili. “I remember the stomach ache and winter tense in my shoulders. Computers were new to me. We chip away at it. All of us were discovering new ways to work and use the room. On and off over the course of about 6 months, we finished it. It sounded enormous and important to me. I feel like we made something good.”

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Bleached “Welcome the Worms” (Dead Oceans)

2016-04-04T18:45:41+00:00April 4th, 2016|

Los Angeles-based sister duo Jennifer and Jessie Clavin knew that things were going to be different for their band Bleached sophomore LP W elcome The Worms. Not only had they managed to charm world renowned producer and engineer, Joe Chiccarelli (Morrissey, The Strokes, Elton John) to join the sisters and their bassist Micayla Grace in the studio, but Jen and Jessie had been crawling out of their own personal dramas. Jessie was evicted from her house and scrambling, while Jen ended a torrid, unhealthy romance. While emotionally spinning, she dove head first into music. She struggled and escaped the pressures with drinking and partying, sometimes to excess, feeling like she was losing herself altogether.
“I was a loose canon,” the commanding front woman says. “I was losing serious control of my personal and creative life. I was falling apart, trying to escape. I felt like Bleached was the only thing I actually cared about.”
The 10-song LP was born out of triple the amount of demos. Sometimes the three girls spent time writing at a remote house in Joshua Tree away from the seemingly destructive city (a first since bassist Micayla had never contributed to songwriting on previous releases). Other times Jen and Jessie worked alone, just like when they were teenaged punk brats playing in their parent’s San Fernando Valley garage imitating their heroes The Slits, Black Flag and Minor Threat.
In the studio, Chiccarelli and co-producer Carlos de la Garza (Paramore, YACHT) helped the band perfect their fervent songs into fearlessly big pop melodies. They drew inspiration from the iconic hits of everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Heart to Roy Ayers. They focused on pre-production and challenged the songs. Jessie took her usual approach to guitar overdubs and leads (her favorite duty in a recording session). “I just let my fingers play and kind of surprise me,” she smirks. Still remaining to keep the band’s origin of cheeky, California-punk in the forefront, Welcome The Worms became a smarter, heavier, emotionally deeper Bleached.
“Before we even knew we were working together, I remember Joe saying, you can’t lose these melodies, no matter how raw the music gets,” Jen explains. She penned demos on an acoustic guitar and focused. “If I was happy [with the songs] in [their] rawest form, then I knew it would be even better after going through production.”
“I’ve become a more confident musician,” adds Jessie. “I wanted to be open-minded to this record and try new things we hadn’t done before. I felt such a great amount of respect working with the people we did on this record, feeling really free to do what I wanted to do, and making it a Bleached world.”
Welcome The Worms is an ambitious rock record with a new found pop refinement that somehow still feels like the Shangri-Las on speed, driven forward in a wind of pot and petals, a wall of guitars in the back seat. “Keep on Keepin’ On” is a hypnotic opening anthem that spins like a kaleidoscope, while “Sleepwalking” and “Trying To Lose Myself Again” invoke the struggle of floating through life on autopilot. The drums are instinctual, while the bass bounces like a rubber ball over the lyrics on a karaoke screen. “Sour Candy” is a stand-out hit so effortless and catchy it sticks in your head for days. Synth is only brought in as a thickening agent, just like the harmonies. “Chemical Air” and “I’m All Over The Place (Mystic Mama)” toy with pop sensibilities, while “Desolate Town” shows Jen getting weird on the verses before a Cobain-like chorus.
Throughout the record, Bleached paints a frivolous picture of Los Angeles: the life of eye-rolling caused by dating men in bands, dirty Sunset Boulevard and futile drunken nights in a starstruck hole that made everyone from Charles Manson to Darby Crash to Marilyn Monroe stare up at the Hollywood sign for direction. Although a typical theme of ruined romance floats through the album, the real power is in Jen figuring out herself through lyrics so straight, identifiable and honest. This was a first for the girl who safely hid behind a cheeky misdemeanor. She did a lot of messing up and even more digging into herself.
“Sometimes [writing this album] made me hate myself and sometimes it made me love myself,” she admits. “But being aware of how I felt is what I wanted.” It became clear that Jen had to embrace the good with the horrible and learn to overcome it all through music.
One evening, high on psychedelics and up all night, Jen and a friend passed a freaky couple at Echo Park Lake peddling homemade religious pamphlets. “One page was a bunch of cut and paste sentences with images. I’m always really intrigued by those crazy DIY religious books. It all was so perfect at that moment [because] it was about embracing the dark side of life instead of pretending it isn’t there because it’s all beautiful and I wouldn’t give any of it up for anything.” Welcome The Worms was sprawled across the tripped out pamphlet. The phrase stuck.
“We don’t want perfection because it’s boring,” she continues. “We want to make music that’s as real as life.”
-Mish Way

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Tallest Man On Earth “Dark Bird Is Home” (Dead Oceans)

2015-06-13T00:56:26+00:00May 31st, 2015|

“Dark Bird Is Home doesn’t feel like it came from one time, one place, or one tape machine. The songs and sounds were captured in various countries and studios, and they carry a weather-worn quality, some dirt and some grit.

If you’re a fan of The Tallest Man On Earth, Dark Bird pays real tribute to the old records you fell for, and goes new places you’re going to love as well. If you’re new to The Man: holy shit! Many would be jealous of your position. Enjoy these songs, and know there are 40 or more other gems waiting on earlier albums and singles.”

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