Howdy once again folks! This week is one for the SubModern history books (if there is such a thing) as Arctic Monkeys highly anticipated and kept-under-wraps sixth album, Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, has finally been unveiled and released to the world. It’s certainly a bold departure and new sound for Alex Turner & co., and thankfully that’s not stopping anyone from digging into it. Were there any stations that didn’t play a track from it this week? Well, probably, but almost everyone played at least one, and many shows played more, making this the biggest debut week for any album since Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool back in 2016 (whch this surpassed). The most spun track was also this week’s #1 single, "Four Out of Five."
Poor Beach House. I say that because on any other week their huge debut for the new album 7 would have blown the competition out of the water, but on this week, it came in at #2, as did its latest single "Dark Spring," tying with last week’s #1 single, "Break-Thru" from Dirty Projectors. Both Jungle and Bastille also had great debuts with new singles "Happy Man" and "Quarter Past Midnight" at #s 4 and 5 respectively.
On the album chart, Middle Kids slipped a bit to #3 with Lost Friends, while Parquet Courts rose a bit to #4 with Wide Awake. Belly‘s Dove, which was #1 last week, tied for #5 with Father John Misty‘s forthcoming God’s Favorite Customer.
Three other artists also appear in the top ten on both charts this week – Ash, DMA’s, and Now, Now. I’ll let you check out their placements and everything else on the charts below. Need more than that? Ask me about subscribing to our SubModern E-Tracking.
Until next time, I’ll leave you with this picture of my buddy Rob (of Y-Not Radio) and I hanging out with Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards!
|1||ARCTIC MONKEYS||FOUR OUT OF FIVE||DOMINO|
|2t||BEACH HOUSE||DARK SPRING||SUB POP|
|5||BASTILLE||QUARTER PAST MIDNIGHT||VIRGIN|
|7t||ASH||ANNABEL||INFECTIOUS / BMG|
|DMA’S||FOR NOW||INFECTIOUS / BMG|
|JAMES SUPERCAVE||SOMETHING TO LOSE||HARBOUR / CAROLINE|
|JEALOUS OF THE BIRDS||PLASTIC SKELETONS||CANVASBACK|
|THE KNOCKS (FT. FOSTER THE PEOPLE)||RIDE OR DIE||BIG BEAT / ATLANTIC|
|ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER||TALKING STRAIGHT||SUB POP|
|WHITE DENIM||MAGAZIN||CITY SLANG|
|FATHER JOHN MISTY||DISAPPOINTING DIAMONDS ARE THE RAREST OF THEM ALL||SUB POP|
|THE INTERRUPTERS||SHE’S KEROSENE||HELLCAT|
|MEG MYERS||NUMB||300 ENT.|
|18t||FLORENCE + THE MACHINE||HUNGER||REPUBLIC|
|HATCHIE||SLEEP||DOUBLE DOUBLE WHAMMY|
|THE HUNNA||NEW YORK TO LA||300 ENT.|
|PETAL||BETTER THAN YOU||RUN FOR COVER|
|22t||ALI BARTER||GIRLIE BITS||INERTIA / PIAS|
|DAVE MATTHEWS BAND||SAMURAI COP (OH JOY BEGIN)||RCA|
|MAZZY STAR||QUIET, THE WINTER HARBOR||INGROOVES|
|PARQUET COURTS||MARDI GRAS BEADS||ROUGH TRADE|
|1||ARCTIC MONKEYS||TRANQUILITY BASE HOTEL + CASINO||DOMINO|
|2||BEACH HOUSE||7||SUB POP|
|3||MIDDLE KIDS||LOST FRIENDS||DOMINO|
|4||PARQUET COURTS||WIDE AWAKE||ROUGH TRADE|
|FATHER JOHN MISTY||GOD’S FAVORITE CUSTOMER||SUB POP|
|7t||DMA’S||FOR NOW||INFECTIOUS / BMG|
|9t||ASH||ISLANDS||INFECTIOUS / BMG|
|CHVRCHES||LOVE IS DEAD||GLASSNOTE|
|12t||CUT WORMS||HOLLOW GROUND||JAGJAGUWAR|
|HATCHIE||SUGAR & SPICE||DOUBLE DOUBLE WHAMMY|
|THE ORANGE PEELS||TRESPASSING||MINTY FRESH|
|PETAL||MAGIC GONE||RUN FOR COVER|
|SPEEDY ORTIZ||TWERP VERSE||CARPARK|
|17||POST ANIMAL||WHEN I THINK OF YOU IN A CASTLE||POLYVINYL|
|18t||LA LUZ||FLOATING FEATURES||HARDLY ART|
|TEENAGE WRIST||CHROME NEON JESUS||EPITAPH|
|20t||GANG OF FOUR||COMPLICIT||SELF-RELEASED|
|KING TUFF||THE OTHER||SUB POP|
|MATT AND KIM||ALMOST EVERYDAY||FADER|
|STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS||SPARKLE HARD||MATADOR|
Late last year Milwaukee synth pop band GGOOLLDD released their third EP, titled Teeth, which featured the SubModern single "Secrets." Our "Wisconsin Correspondent" Matt McGrath recently hosted the band for a SubModern Session at Solid Air Music in Madison, WI and conducted an interview with frontwoman Margaret Butler. Read that below and listen to their performance here.
FMQB: A couple years ago I was driving around Milwaukee and I heard this band GGOOLLDD come on the radio and thought it was really cool. That was a couple years ago, but you guys have been a band for even longer than that?
Margaret Butler: Four years now. We just made four years.
FMQB: So how did you guys come together or get your start?
MB: Well I was living in Milwaukee and I was bored and cold. I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday. I’ve always been a clothing designer so for that reason alone, it’s a really fun holiday for me. But I was kind of sad because I couldn’t go home for it. So was like, y’know what, I’m gonna throw my own party at my house. It’s gonna be great, I’m gonna get a band. But I don’t know any bands and I can’t afford to pay a band. I’m gonna start my own band!
FMQB: There you go.
MB: So I wrote some songs with some friends. We wrote like three songs and did a cover song. The party was really fun! The band was really bad, but the party was so fun that people just started asking us to play. And then people there would have a lot of fun and other venues would ask us to play. It just got to a point where we had to get better because people were paying us to do this, so we were like we should try a little harder. Still have a ton of fun, but also try to work for our money a little bit, I suppose.
FMQB: And was that the band lineup as it is now?
MB: I hadn’t yet met Mark at this point, our drummer. We were using a drum machine. It started with a bunch of other guys too that have since moved to different cities and states and y’know, had to do their jobs that they went to college for and pay off debt and stuff like that. It’s actually rotated a lot since then. Half the band I didn’t even know when I started it.
FMQB: What was the turning point for you guys where you were like, "Alright, let’s really go for it?"
MB: It just kept growing. I don’t think there was a turning point. It was like, well this is more fun than my job so… I was struggling. Being a clothing designer is not an easy thing. I gave all of my money and all of my time to it. I was about to open a store. I probably spent ten grand that year or two years before starting the band, just trying to get this business running. And now all of a sudden it’s like I’m making money doing something that takes less time and is more fun to do! I love designing and I love sewing, but it’s back-breaking work, and this isn’t that. It’s a lot more fun and I feel like there’s a lot more appreciation from people too. It’s immediate gratification when you write a song and people like it and people like dancing to it with you. It’s not something that any of us wanted to let go of, so we did everything that we could to make music happen instead of what else we were doing as far as work.
FMQB: Speaking of dancing, you have a very synth-pop kind of sound. Was that a direction that you wanted to go from the very beginning?
MB: Ah, yeah. I love dance music. We all love pop music. We all love rock music. We all love 80’s and 90’s, just everything – rock, grunge, electro, dance, pop.
FMQB: Yeah, and it’s all kind of thrown together in this band.
FMQB: You like to call yourself a performer rather than a musician. Why is that?
MB: Yeah, that’s the part of the show that I get excited about. I just like making the costumes for myself, and the hair and the make-up, and the over-lined lips and the fake lashes, and the very drag queen-esque vibe that I like to give off. It’s just a different part of my personality that doesn’t get to come out in any other natural part of my life. So, for me it just the most exciting part. When I’m performing, it feels like I’m putting on a play more than it feels like I’m just singing.
FMQB: It all goes really well together – the performance and the music and the stage show. What is the song writing process like for you guys? Is it just you writing or is it a group effort?
MB: It goes a lot of different ways. It depends. We just get in a room together sometimes and we’ll all write together. I feel like it essentially starts as two people sitting down, starting an idea, starting eight ideas, liking two of them, bringing those ideas to the rest of the band, and finishing them as a band. Everyone is very much equally involved.
FMQB: Are there any particular topics that you guys like to write about?
MB: Well, I write the lyrics and the vocal melodies. But as no one’s like, "you write bass, you write guitar, you drums." Everyone’s very multi-talented in this band. I’m not great at instruments, but they’re very good at listening if I’m like, "Oh I hear this part on this instrument," they will listen and figure out how to play it for me. The whole dynamic of the band is very caring and very understanding and leads to a very great working environment as far as songwriting goes.
FMQB: This is your third EP. How do you think it’s different from the others?
MB: I think we’ve evolved a lot. This album is the first that it’s just us four now. We’ve gone through like eight different members or something and we’re only writing together. It took us about a year. We didn’t release anything or write anything for a while because we were actually learning about each other and how to best work together in writing and living and everything. I think that was the best thing we could’ve done for each other was to take the time to get to know each other and care about each other and agree on how to write. There was a lot of trial and error for a long time, but we did figure it out and we’re better for it in every way. The songs are better. The band is better. The friendships are wonderful. We are better as people. We’re a little family.
FMQB: What’s next for GGOOLLDD?
MB: The focus of this year is travel and writing. We have three different places where we can write and record around the country. So it’s nice that when we end a group of shows, we always have a place that’s kind of close enough to go and write songs while we have the time off. That’s kind of the focus of this year is to actually, finally write an LP. Maybe. We’ll see.
By Matt McGrath and Josh T. Landow
Something For Your Mind: An Interview with Emily Haines
By Joey Odorisio
In 2006, Metric singer Emily Haines released her solo album Knives Don’t Have Your Back under the moniker of Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton. Over a decade later, Haines has returned to the hushed, piano-based sounds of the Soft Skeleton with Choir of the Mind. Ahead of her brief fall tour in support of the album, Haines recently took some time to talk with FMQB about her new songs, the next Metric record and one of her favorite Jim Carrey movies.
Hi Emily – where are you calling from?
We just wrapped a Metric session here in Toronto and shifted gears to all things Soft Skeleton in preparation for this tour, since it’s imminent now and I’m counting the days.
It’s just such an amazing thing to revisit these songs [from Knives Don’t Have Your Back] and connect them to this new album years later. I’m going to be playing lots of songs from Knives and stuff from the new record, obviously. I have a big problem with those shows where you go and it’s almost like the musician is punishing you with their new music. They play only new music for the whole show, come back for the encore and maybe give you one or two. I’ve been a victim of that myself as a big music fan and I can promise to everyone who’s coming to see this show and this tour that I’ll be playing lots of stuff from Knives right out of the gate. No “punishment.” [laughs]
The first time I heard the single “Fatal Gift,” thematically it took me back to Metric’s “Handshakes” from Live It Out, with its critique of consumerism.
That’s so great that you would say that actually. I’ve had a couple other people have the same observation because the line in “Handshakes” is “Buy this car to drive to work/Drive to work to pay for this car.” [Which is] kind of illuminating this conundrum of modern life and adulthood. I supposed “the things you own they own you” is a similar circular paradox which we find ourselves in. I found that mantra, it’s almost meditative, somehow shaking off some of the consumer shackles of modern life, at least for the duration of the song. Which is a decent amount of time, since it’s six minutes long…six minutes out of the machine, not bad.
How did you decide what goes on the solo record vs. what to keep for Metric?
I feel like my life is led by these songs, I just follow them around and try to do right by them. All the songs start the same [and] any number of these songs could’ve gone on to be Metric songs. It’s just the way you dress them. And what I love about going back to do a solo record now in this window of time, you can just let them stay in a more vulnerable state. In Metric, I kind of need the songs to be armor. Probably the best example of that is writing “Help I’m Alive,” which when I had the epiphany that I could just say the thing I was terrified of and make that give me the power to overcome that fear, which is how that song still functions for me. These songs I feel like I don’t need to make them quite so tough. Because of the way I know I’ll be performing them and the way people listen to them. They’re very personal and it’s a much lighter touch and more ethereal. It’s not so much the material, but the way that it’s left open.