Tarcar announce EP on Blackest Ever Black, just in time to soundtrack the feeling of the days getting shorter and darker and everything closing in

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That time when the days get shorter, night comes sooner, and it feels like the entire dark weight of the universe is closing in on your tiny human body. Happy oncoming holidays! Embrace this crushing realization with Mince Glace, the debut 12-inch EP by Tarcar, out December 15 on Blackest Ever Black.

The label describes the release as a “a modern-day revenge tragedy in six-parts” that invokes images of “pissing on the compost heap” and “staying up late to collect bottles to smash in the carpark across the road,” among others. Listen to “Fireball” below, a track which does, as promised, bring to mind “cold leaves and Christmas.” Mince Glace will be out in vinyl and digital formats, with the LP limited to 300 copies, because all things are finite and must end sooner than later.

• Blackest Ever Black: http://blackesteverblack.com

The Pop Group announce first album in 35 years, return to find the pop landscape different from how they left it

It’s been 35 years since The Pop Group put out their last album, For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder. Since then, the pop landscape has changed and reformed itself numerous times over. Beyoncé, Taylor, Timberlake, Usher, Rihanna, Will Smith, Snow, Billy Ocean, Jessica Simpson, and Smash Mouth have all risen (and, in some cases, fallen) in that time. The Pop Group are back to reclaim their crown, though, with new album Citizen Zombie out February 24 through Freaks R Us. With their sweet harmonies and synchronized moves, they’ll show the kids what pop is really all about. Oh. by the way, I did, like, no research on who The Pop Group are. Don’t tell me if they’re, I don’t know, some legendary experimental post-punk band or something.

Handling production duties on Citizen Zombie was longtime Pop Group fan Paul Epworth, who is best known for working with actual pop stars. Will The Pop Group’s comeback enjoy the same success of Adele’s Epworth-produced 21? Nope! But it should do just fine in the alternate-universe where abrasive post-punk is the most popular type of music, if the title track is any indication:

To get back into the swing of being a band with a new record out, The Pop Group are doing a number of dates in March. Those dates will be capped by an appearance at SXSW, because they are a band that exists.

Citizen Zombie tracklist:

01. Citizen Zombie
02. Mad Truth
03. Nowhere Girl
04. Shadow Child
05. The Immaculate Deception
06. s.o.p.h.i.a.
07. Box 9
08. Nations
09. St. Outrageous
10. Age Of Miracles
11. Echelon

The Pop Group dates:

03.01.15 - Tokyo, Japan - Liquid Rooms
03.05.15 - Adelaide, Australia - Adelaide Festival
03.06.15 - Sydney, Australia - The Factory Theatre
03.07.15 - Melbourne, Australia - The Corner Hotel
03.10.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex
03.11.15 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
03.12.15 - Seattle, WA - Neumos Crystal Ball Reading Room
03.13.15 - Chicago, IL - TBA
03.14.15 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
03.16.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade
03.17.15 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
03.19-22.15 - Austin, TX - SXSW

• The Pop Group: www.thepopgroup.net
• Freaks R Us: http://www.freaksrus.net

The Body and Thou (finally!) tie the knot on upcoming collaborative full-length, out in January

Ending this generation’s greatest will they/won’t they debate once and for all, Thou and The Body have finally announced they’re going to tie the knot in the form of a full-length collaborative LP called You, Whom I Have Always Hated. I sure do hope that’s just an album title and not how the bands talk to one another because if it is, from personal experience, they might be in for a bit of a bumpy ride once the honeymoon is over, especially in light of the fact that during the courtship phase of their relationship they put out an EP together called Released from Love. Released?! Honey, we’re trying to lock that shit down, if you know what I mean. Anyhow, the new full-length is out January 27, and in addition to a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Terrible Lie,” it features five brand new songs that the bands wrote together, and then honed over this summer’s collaborative tour. The digital and CD versions of the release also include Released by Love, which appears for the very first time in non-vinyl form.

Sure, sure, you might be thinking to yourself, “Hasn’t The Body done quite a bit of dating around with the likes of The Haxan Cloak and Sandworm this year? What makes you think this one is the one?” Call it a feeling, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because of this totally adorable tour documentary I watched over on the Thrill Jockey Facebook page in which, yes, the bands travel around to crush mere humans with waves of sound. But in between, they really bond on a deep level, you know?

Though the bands have got distinctive sounds and backgrounds, You, Whom I Have Always Hated reportedly brings their sounds together, letting the strengths of each shine like the low-hanging sun on a planet darkened by “alienation, melancholy, and despair” winding the whole affair up into something that sounds like, “a twilight dungeon crawl exploring the winding, ruined halls of Mad King Duro’s Castle, best friends at your side, enemies crushed beneath your heels, mysteries solved, and treasures found.” Sounds an awful lot like Wednesday, if you ask me! Pre-order the album from Thrill Jockey here; if you’re quick you might grab one of the 300 limited edition white LPs available exclusively through Thrill Jockey mail order. Call me a romantic, but I can’t wait to watch this collaboration flower into something truly beautiful and beset by darkness on all sides!

You, Whom I Have Always Hated tracklist:

01. Her Strongholds Unvanquishable
02. The Devils of Trust Steal the Souls of the Free
03. Terrible Lie
04. Beyond the Realms of Dream, That Fleeting Shade Under the Corpus of
05. He Returns to the Place of His Iniquity
06. Lurking Fear

Released from Love tracklist (included in the digital/CD edition):

01. The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills
02. Manifest Alchemy
03. In Meetings Hearts Beat Closer
04. Coward

• The Body: https://www.facebook.com/pages/the-body/334047229514
• Thou: http://noladiy.org/thou
• Thrill Jockey: http://thrilljockey.com

Moon B announces new tape Lifeworld on 1080p

Wes Gray, the Atlanta-based producer behind the Moon B moniker, has announced a new album, Lifeworld, his first release on 1080p. The tape, out next month, follows Gray’s recent releases on PPU (2013’s Moon B and past May’s II) and extends his electro-funk experiments, melding together esoteric samples with synth overlays harkening back to the analogue-beatmaking days Moon B’s music so adroitly evokes.

Lifeworld is Gray’s most ambitious work yet, aiming for a “remapped” take on his music, opening his register to danky jams, chopped samples of Tamil film clips, and boudoir-ready grooves. In order to achieve that, Gray plays with our aural frame of reference by dropping retro-sounding beats he’s just programmed in the middle of some steamy funk sampled straight out of a moldy record crate. Also, while the techno tangent present in Gray’s earliest work is downplayed for a g-funk mood, Lifeworld does not forgo contemporary signifiers, opening the album with a chopped and vaporous R&B piece, and peppering the tape with cloggy samples galore. The result is not exactly retrofuturistic, but an age-negligent funk. Gray has claimed “subcontinental movies” (which are quite notoriously sampled here) and Delroy Edward’s fantastic Slowed Down Funk series as sources of inspiration.

The resulting album not only lives up to Moon B’s reputation as an unrepentant gear-head, but has some of the funkiest grooves he’s ever played, and will be out on December 16 via 1080p, available on a 200-copies run of c30 Chrome Plus cassettes.

• Moon B: https://www.facebook.com/moonbatnation
• 1080p: http://1080pcollection.net

BMG has acquired Vagrant Records, folks, making 2014 the REAL year that punk broke!

OMG! Say it ain’t so! According to this rather lengthy post by FMQB, Vagrant Records — you know: THE GET UP KIDS’ LABEL — just got straight-up BOUGHT the fuck OUT by the MAN… er, “the man” in this case being… wait, BMG Records? They still exist??? Wait, let me double-check that… huh. They still exist.

In fact, Vagrant’s co-founder Jon Cohen is set to become “EVP Recorded Music at BMG Chrysalis US” and will therefore sorta kinda be responsible “both for Vagrant and for records released in the US through BMG’s ground-breaking Artist Services model.” Ah. I see. Wait. No, I don’t see.

Either way: “It is impossible not to be impressed by what BMG has achieved in the US since it opened in the US just five short years ago,” Cohen remarked. “By putting service to artists at the center of its offering, BMG is committed to offering a genuine alternative to traditional label deals. Together with the rest of the Vagrant team, I look forward to further growing BMG’s presence in the recordings business.” Wait, huh? Seriously. Am I on drugs? Is any of this making any sense to any of you guys??

Meanwhile, Laurent Hubert, the President of Marketing & Creative at BMG Chrysalis North America, called the label’s acquisition of Vagrant “another milestone for BMG in the US as we build scale and capabilities in the recordings business just as we have in music publishing. Jon Cohen has built an impressive team at Vagrant, and with the support of BMG and its international infrastructure, we believe they will offer an unbeatable service both to Vagrant artists and to BMG’s Artist Services signings.” Okay. Well, I guess that makes sense. I mean, I do want to make sure my favorite Get Up Kids records get into as many hands as possible. So… in the end, I’m fine with all this.

• Vagrant: http://www.vagrant.com
• BMG: http://www.bmg.com

David Sylvian releases new composition featuring collaborations with the poet Franz Wright, Fennesz, and others

Not content with just getting biographied all the live long day, David Sylvian has recently released a brand new long-form composition entitled there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight. Though there’s no word on the extent to which this light does or does not never go out, we do have a bit of information about the release, which you can purchase right now (though, unfortunately, at this time the deluxe edition has sold out).

Originally composed largely from sampled sound bites stitched together by Sylvian, there’s a light… was conceived as something that “worked in support of and/or complimented” readings from the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright. Sylvian then took his composition on tour with Christian Fennesz, who helped to refine and contribute to the piece. John Tilbury later contributed to the recording process as well, and a number of clips included came from sessions with Toshimaru Nakamura and Otomo Yoshihide. Sylvian has written a short essay on the impetus for the piece, its composition, and his relationship with Wright’s poetry, which is available on his website alongside a handful of audio samples from the album.

there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight tracklist:

01. there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight

• David Sylvian: http://www.davidsylvian.com
• Samadhisound: http://www.samadhisound.com

ZS announce new LP Xe for January release via Northern Spy

Hudson, New York’s Future-Past Studios is like a sauna for musicians. Brooklyn-based ZS occupied the studio earlier this year, and in addition to the normal perspiration going on, a new album came surfing through their pores — Xe, recorded in a single take and set for release January 27 on Northern Spy.

I’m gleaning pure expressions of creativity from the press release, and in addition to the single take, arguable frontman Sam Hillmer had this to say regarding any production frills: “No effects, no editing, nothing done in post, just a snapshot of three guys in a room who worked really hard on some music for a long time.” Something about New Slaves did seem like an evocative catharsis, but I think we’re all curious to hear what this different lineup, featuring Patrick Higgins (also a producer on the album) and Greg Fox (Guardian Alien), has in store from an unadulterated LP perspective. An 18-minute title track? Shit yeah, we’re getting a sense.

Additional credits include Henry Hirsch, who went for interesting contrast by following up his producer work with Lenny Kravitz, and Tauba Auerbach, who reportedly went to painstaking lengths to design the cover art. No tracks to share, unfortunately, but in due time.

Xe tracklisting:

01. Future of Royalty
02. Wolf Government
03. Weakling
04. Corps
05. Xe


12.20.14 - Ridgewood, NY - Trans-Pecos *
01.15.14 - Philadelphia, PA - TBA
01.16.14 - Boston, MA - TBA
01.17.14 - Hudson, NY - Half Moon ^
01.21.14 - New York, NY - le Poisson Rouge (Xe release party)

* Blazer Sound System
^ ZS solo projects (Sam Hillmer, Patrick Higgins, Greg Fox)

• ZS: http://www.zzzsss.com
• Northern Spy: http://northernspyrecords.com

Chief Keef plans Nobody: The Album to drop on December 2, featuring Kanye West, Tadoe

In light of hisrecent drop from Interscope, Chief “The Grand Sosa” Keef is free to do what he wants, and what he wants, apparently, is to fill every last server on Earth up to the brim with his own mixtapes. In addition to the thoroughly excellent Back from the Dead 2 (which made my own Halloween night a sloppy, terrifying mess), and his recent collaboration with Gucci Mane on Big Gucci Sosa, he’s pumped several full mixtapes up on his YouTube channel in the last month or so. And now, as Hot New Hip Hop reports, since with the help of that Nifty Nabber Plus he just ordered from Bed, Bath & Beyond he feels confident he’ll be able to hold his liquor after all, Keef has announced Nobody: The Album, featuring contributions from Kanye West and Tadoe.

Nobody: The Album is out on December 2 and will (predictably) be the home for the “Nobody” track that Keef teased via Instagram back in August. In addition to featuring on the album, West contributed production help alongside the executive production from Glo Gang’s 12 Million. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to head out to the computer store to buy a portable hard drive that I can paint gold and dedicate specifically to the music of Chief Keef. It’ll sit on the shelf next to my Mountain Goats live recording hard drive inside my Lil B mixtape data center.

• Chief Keef: http://www.chiefkeef.com

Matador to reissue both Chavez records on vinyl; you slowly realize Matt Sweeney has played on every single album you own

It sneaks up on you. You’re going about your business, living your life, slowly amassing a record collection. Then, one day, it hits you. You’re perusing vinyl sleeves, scanning through liner notes. “Huh, I didn’t realize Matt Sweeney played on this,” you say. Then you pull another record. Matt Sweeney played on that one, too. Then another. And another. Until you realize that guitarist Matt Sweeney has played on every single record you have ever owned.

“Well, at least I don’t have the Chavez albums,” you say. “They’ve been out of print in vinyl format since 2003,” as if to reassure yourself.

On January 20, things change. Matador reissues both Chavez LPs, 1995’s Gone Glimmering and 1996’s Ride the Fade, and they appear in your collection. They just show up there. You didn’t even buy them. You’re glad to have them, but you’re also scared. You clasp your hand over your mouth. You slowly back away, until you bump into something, feels like someone, behind. You turn around and it’s Matt Sweeney.

“Hey,” Matt says. “Thanks for your support.”

• Chavez: http://www.matadorrecords.com/chavez
• Matador: http://www.matadorrecords.com

[Photo: Jesse Peretz]

Grooms announce Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair on Western Vinyl

What with Vice teaming up with LiveNation to turn Brooklyn (followed by America as a whole, one imagines) into one giant concert stadium where their writers and only their writers, by dint of an exclusive press pass agreement, can afford to take acid and go see Coldplay and/or monster truck rallies and/or the Arcade Fire without having to travel too far from the central office, a lot of other places throughout the borough have felt the very real pain of a spike in rent prices a.k.a. “housing service fees.” Since, as scientists have estimated that approximately 60% of all content on the web relates to the goings-on in Brooklyn, you’ve likely heard already that one of the spaces in Brooklyn already gobbled up a variety of economic realities like so many MDMA-laced candy corns was the long-running and certified very cool space Death By Audio.

All of this relates to the content at hand — namely a new Grooms full-length entitled Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair — by virtue of the fact that Grooms were a group closely associated with Death By Audio, who released albums such as 2009’s Rejoicer on the space’s label and practiced there for nearly seven years and who are now in search of another Exclusive Joint Physical Content Venture a.k.a. a new practice space. Pair this with the fact that the band’s lineup itself was thrown into turmoil by the hiatus of bassist and co-writer Emily Ambruso for personal financial reasons (leaving singer and guitarist Travis Johnson as the only original member) and you’ve got yourself a musical stew, one that you’d probably guess might end up resulting in a musical shift for the next album.

Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair is described as a “clear aesthetic and thematic departure from the group’s previous efforts,” on releases such as last year’s Infinity Caller and 2011’s Prom. The shift brings the rhythm section (which now features Jay Heiselmann on bass and Steve Levine on drums) more to the fore and finds the group working more with detailed electronic and sampled elements. The album is out on February 17 from Western Vinyl, and you can pre-order it from the Western Vinyl shop here, and listen to the album’s first single “Doctor M” below.

Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair tracklist:

01. Bed Version
02. Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair
03. Cross Off
04. Something Wild
05. Doctor M
06. Half Cloud
07. Will The Boys?
08. Savage Seminar
09. Grenadine Scene from Inside
10. Foster Sister
11. Later a Dream

• Grooms: http://groomsgrooms.com
• Western Vinyl: http://westernvinyl.com