Good day everyone. We’re slowly but surely working our way back up to full capacity of reporters this week, although still had a few shows off for various reasons. On that front we have a new show on a station that’s already reporting. WRDA/Atlanta has added The Alternative Project, hosted by Wendy Rollins on Friday nights from 10-11pm. While Free Range Radio will continue to air on Sunday mornings, we will switch our focus to the new show. With several new Alternative stations having recently come into being, hopefully we’ll have some more new reporters in the coming months. If you know of any new shows, please feel free to put them in touch with me or vice versa.
As I predicted, Jack White‘s new single "Connected By Love" debuted at #1, although I wouldn’t have guessed that he’d release two songs from his forthcoming Boarding House Reach and thus have the #1 album as well! That’s how it was, no real competiton for the top spot on either chart.
We also had new #2’s this week with Jeff Rosenstock‘s new pay-what-you-wish album POST- and an older song from Car Seat Headrest, "Nervous Young Inhumans," made new again with a re-recorded album on the way. Aussie garage rock duo Hockey Dad have the #3 album with their forthcoming Blend Inn, and from it a #9 single "I Wanna Be Everybody." That was tied with Loma‘s second single "Relay Runner" from their upcoming self-titled debut album, which placed at #5. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club also showed up ith the Top 5 albums at #4 with their new one, Wrong Creatures.
I kind of glossed over a big chunk of the singles chart, so let’s circle back around to that. Superorganism‘s infectiously catchy "Everybody Wants To Be Famous" was at #3, followed by last week’s #1, "I Can’t Quit" by The Vaccines, which slipped to #4. We also had brand new debuts from Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats at #5, and David Byrne tied with Karen O at #6. You can see how it all lined up on the charts below.
The new music just keeps on coming this month as we’ll surely be hearing from The Decemberists, Sylvan Esso, Eels, Editors, and more this week. Where will they all chart? Meet me back here next time to find out.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the tragic passing of Delores O’Riordan of The Cranberries this week. I turned 16 in the summer of 1994 and driving around listening to Y100 in Philadelphia (where I would begin working 3 years later) really shaped my musical taste. Well, The Cranberries were pretty huge around that time with "Zombie" hitting the airwaves that fall. No Need To Argue is an album that I listened to many times and will forever associate with that time in my life. Not to take away any credit from her bandmates, but it was Delores O’Riordan’s amazing vocal range really drew me in. We’ve lost far too many icons of that era as of late, but this was perhaps the most shocking. Condolences to all of those in the industry who knew her and most importantly to her children.
|1||JACK WHITE||CONNECTED BY LOVE||THIRD MAN / COLUMBIA|
|2||CAR SEAT HEADREST||NERVOUS YOUNG INHUMANS||MATADOR|
|3||SUPERORGANISM||EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE FAMOUS||DOMINO|
|4||THE VACCINES||I CAN’T QUIT||COLUMBIA|
|5||NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS||YOU WORRY ME||STAX|
|6t||DAVID BYRNE||EVERYBODY’S COMING TO MY HOUSE||NONESUCH / TODOMUNDO|
|KAREN O. & MICHAEL KIWANUKA||YO! MY SAINT||SELF-RELEASED|
|8||MOBY||LIKE A MOTHERLESS CHILD||MUTE|
|9t||HOCKEY DAD||I WANNA BE EVERYBODY||KANINE|
|LOMA||RELAY RUNNER||SUB POP|
|11t||BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB||ECHO||VAGRANT|
|THE FRATELLIS||STAND UP TRAGEDY||COOKING VINYL|
|JEFF ROSENSTOCK||YR THROAT||POLYVINYL|
|14t||THE BREEDERS||ALL NERVE||4AD|
|CURTIS ROUSH||REAL LOVE||MODERN OUTSIDER|
|17||BELLE AND SEBASTIAN||THE SAME STAR||MATADOR|
|18t||SUPERCHUNK||WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE||MERGE|
|THE WOMBATS||TURN||BRIGHT ANTENNA / IN2UNE|
|22t||J. RODDY WALSTON & THE BUSINESS||YOU KNOW ME BETTER||ATO|
|JUDAH & THE LION||GOING TO MARS||CAROLINE|
|24t||ANDREW W.K.||MUSIC IS WORTH LIVING FOR||RED / SONY|
|MATT AND KIM||FOREVER||FADER|
|TY SEGALL||EVERY 1’S A WINNER||DRAG CITY|
|1||JACK WHITE||BOARDING HOUSE REACH||THIRD MAN / COLUMBIA|
|3||HOCKEY DAD||BLEND INN||KANINE|
|4||BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB||WRONG CREATURES||VAGRANT|
|6t||CURTIS ROUSH||COSMIC CAMPFIRE MUSIC||MODERN OUTSIDER|
|8t||BELLE AND SEBASTIAN||HOW TO SOLVE OUR HUMAN PROBLEMS, PART 2||MATADOR|
|TUNE-YARDS||I CAN FEEL YOU CREEP INTO MY PRIVATE LIFE||4AD|
|10t||SUPERCHUNK||WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE||MERGE|
|VARIOUS ARTISTS||DR. DEMENTO COVERED IN PUNK||DEMENTED PUNK|
|SLOTFACE||TRY NOT TO FREAK OUT||PROPELLER|
|TY SEGALL||FREEDOM’S GOBLIN||DRAG CITY|
|THE WOMBATS||BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE WILL RUIN YOUR LIFE||BRIGHT ANTENNA / ADA|
|16t||THE NEIGHBOURHOOD||TO IMAGINE EP||COLUMBIA|
|TEENAGE WRIST||CHROME NEON JESUS||EPITAPH|
|19t||FRANZ FERDINAND||ALWAYS ASCENDING||DOMINO|
|21t||DJANGO DJANGO||MARBLE SKIES||RIBBON|
|SUNFLOWER BEAN||TWENTYTWO IN BLUE||MOM + POP|
|23t||JIM JAMES||TRIBUTE TO 2||ATO|
|ST. VINCENT||MASSEDUCTION||LOMA VISTA / CONCORD|
|THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS||I LIKE FUN||IDLEWILD|
Hello to you and goodbye (good riddance perhaps) to 2017! It’s been a long an trying year in many ways for many people, but hopefully we can all agree that it brought us some great music in the Alternative / Modern / Indie universe that we inhabit here at The SubModern Report. So it’s without any further ado that I present our SubModern 2017 Year End Charts.
Congratulations to Toronto’s Alvvays who bested all of this year’s singles with “In Undertow” from their fantastic sophomore release Antisocialites (which was amongst my favs of the year as you’ll see below). A well deserved victory also goes to indie veterans Spoon, who continued to age like a fine wine with the #1 album of the year, their ninth record, Hot Thoughts.
Here at the end of each year we also take a look at label performance. With a roster of great releases from mainstays like Father John Misty, Wolf Parade, The Afghan Whigs, and Iron & Wine, returning favorites like Bully and METZ, as well as newcomers Marika Hackman and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, it’s been a fantastic year for 2017’s #1 label, Sub Pop Records! Congrats to Scott Perlewitz and company for a job well done! Of course we also give a big thumbs up to the rest of the year’s top ten labels: Columbia #2, Warner Bros. at #3, Polyvinyl at #4, Domino #5, Atlantic at #6, Matador at #7, Concord at #8, RCA at #9, and 4AD at #10. And not to sound cheesy, but thank you to all labels and promo folks, big and small, who champion the new and exciting music that we care about here on these charts!
Now comes my favorite part of this end of the year report, where I share my favorites of the year!
|Josh’s Top Ten Songs of 2017
1. Dude York – “Tonight”
2. Charly Bliss – “Glitter”
3. Thumpers – “’99′”
4. Alex Lahey – “I Haven’t Been Taking Care Of Myself”
5. St. Vincent – “Los Ageless”
6. Weaves – “Law and Panda”
7. The New Pornographers – “Clockwise”
8. Arcade Fire – “Creature Comfort”
9. Mister Heavenly – “Beat Down”
10. Alvvays – “Lollipop (Ode To Jim)” (tie)
Japandroids – “Near To The Wild Heart Of Life” (tie)
|Josh’s Top Ten Albums of 2017
1. Charly Bliss – Guppy
2. The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions
3. Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart of Life
4. Alex Lahey – I Love You Like A Brother
5. Alvvays – Antisocialites
6. Weaves – Wide Open
7. Mondo Cozmo – Plastic Soul
8. Arcade Fire – Everything Now
9. Beck – Colors
10. Mister Heavenly – Boxing The Moonlight (tie)
Sylvan Esso – What Now (tie)
Until 2018 my friends, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, I wish you peace and long life!
|TOP 50 SUBMODERN SINGLES OF 2017|
|3||LCD SOUNDSYSTEM||CALL THE POLICE||COLUMBIA|
|4||THE NATIONAL||THE SYSTEM ONLY DREAMS IN TOTAL DARKNESS||4AD|
|5t||THE WAR ON DRUGS||HOLDING ON||ATLANTIC|
|7||ST. VINCENT||LOS AGELESS||LOMA VISTA / CONCORD|
|8||MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA||THE GOLD||LOMA VISTA / CONCORD|
|9||MIDDLE KIDS||EDGE OF TOWN||DOMINO|
|SYLVAN ESSO||DIE YOUNG||LOMA VISTA|
|12||THE DRUMS||BLOOD UNDER MY BELT||ANTI-|
|13||LIAM GALLAGHER||FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH||WARNER BROS.|
|14t||SPOON||CAN I SIT NEXT TO YOU||MATADOR|
|FATHER JOHN MISTY||BALLAD OF THE DYING MAN||SUB POP|
|16||WASHED OUT||HARD TO SAY GOODBYE||STONES THROW|
|17t||BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE||HALFWAY HOME||ARTS & CRAFTS|
|RUBBLEBUCKET||IF U C MY ENEMIES||YEBO|
|19||WHITE REAPER||JUDY FRENCH||POLYVINYL|
|20||MGMT||LITTLE DARK AGE||COLUMBIA|
|21||WOLF PARADE||VALLEY BOY||SUB POP|
|THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS||HIGH TICKET ATTRACTIONS||CONCORD|
|24||THE NATIONAL||DAY I DIE||4AD|
|25t||ST. VINCENT||NEW YORK||LOMA VISTA / CONCORD|
|LIAM GALLAGHER||WALL OF GLASS||WARNER BROS.|
|27||DIRTY PROJECTORS||COOL YOUR HEART||DOMINO|
|28t||THE SHINS||NAME FOR YOU||COLUMBIA|
|BULLY||FEEL IT STILL||SUB POP|
|30||DEATH FROM ABOVE||FREEZE ME||LAST GANG / WARNER BROS.|
|31||PERFUME GENIUS||SLIP AWAY||MATADOR|
|32||THE ACES||STUCK||RED BULL|
|33||DAN AUERBACH||SHINE ON ME||EASY EYE / NONESUCH|
|34t||PORTUGAL. THE MAN||FEEL||ATLANTIC|
|36||GGOOLLDD||SECRETS||ROLL CALL / INGROOVES|
|37||JOYWAVE||IT'S A TRIP!||HOLLYWOOD|
|38t||THE BLACK ANGELS||CURRENCY||PARTISAN|
|ROYAL BLOOD||LIGHTS OUT||WARNER BROS.|
|41t||BLACK PISTOL FIRE||LOST||RIFLE BIRD / INGROOVES|
|FATHER JOHN MISTY||TOTAL ENTERTAINMENT FOREVER||SUB POP|
|43||MORRISSEY||SPENT THE DAY IN BED||BMG|
|44t||QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE||THE WAY YOU USED TO DO||MATADOR|
|GRIZZLY BEAR||MOURNING SOUND||RCA|
|47t||DAY WAVE||SOMETHING HERE||HARVEST|
|THE DISTRICTS||ORDINARY DAY||FAT POSSUM|
|THE AFGHAN WHIGS||DEMON IN PROFILE||SUB POP|
|TENNIS||MY EMOTIONS ARE BLINDING||MUTUALLY DETRIMENTAL|
|TOP 25 SUBMODERN ALBUMS OF 2017|
|2||LCD SOUNDSYSTEM||AMERICAN DREAM||COLUMBIA|
|3||ST. VINCENT||MASSEDUCTION||LOMA VISTA / CONCORD|
|4||THE NATIONAL||SLEEP WELL BEAST||4AD|
|5||LIAM GALLAGHER||AS YOU WERE||WARNER BROS.|
|7||THE WAR ON DRUGS||A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING||ATLANTIC|
|8||FATHER JOHN MISTY||PURE COMEDY||SUB POP|
|9||PORTUGAL. THE MAN||WOODSTOCK||ATLANTIC|
|10||THE XX||I SEE YOU||YOUNG TURKS|
|11||MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA||A BLACK MILE TO THE SURFACE||LOMA VISTA / CONCORD|
|12||REAL ESTATE||IN MIND||DOMINO|
|13||NEW PORNOGRAPHERS||WHITEOUT CONDITIONS||CONCORD|
|15||SYLVAN ESSO||WHAT NOW||LOMA VISTA|
|16||WOLF PARADE||CRY CRY CRY||SUB POP|
|17||THE DISTRICTS||POPULAR MANIPULATIONS||FAT POSSUM|
|18||BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE||HUG OF THUNDER||ARTS & CRAFTS|
|19||FUTURE ISLANDS||THE FAR FIELD||4AD|
|20||ALT-J||RELAXER||CANVASBACK / ATLANTIC|
|21||ARCADE FIRE||EVERYTHING NOW||COLUMBIA|
|22||WALKER LUKENS||TELL IT TO THE JUDGE||MODERN OUTSIDER|
|23||THE BLACK ANGELS||DEATH SONG||PARTISAN|
|WASHED OUT||MISTER MELLOW||STONES THROW|
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.
Way back in 2007 the blogosphere was abuzz about a band out of Jacksonville, FL called Black Kids. Following the success of their debut album Partie Traumatic in 2008, fans waited for years with nary a peep out of Reggie Youngblood and co. until a surprise re-emergence this year with their long-awaited follow-up Rookie. I recently sat down with Youngblood, his sister Ali, and bandmates Dawn Watley and Owen Holmes to chat about the new album. They also played a few songs live for another FMQB SubModern Session, which you can listen to here.
FMQB: Good to have you here with us and here in general because it’s been quite some time. I’m sure you’ve been answering this question in every interview since you’ve been back out on the road, but why’s it been such a long time since we’ve heard from Black Kids and what have you been doing in the interim?
Reggie Youngblood: Usually I’m kind of glib about it and say that I’ve been watching television non-stop (which is true), but in all honesty, we just couldn’t find the songs we wanted. We would go into the studio in earnest and work pretty hard. I think we probably recorded three albums since the last time we released one. But this was the only session that stuck, that felt good and felt right. All the elements were in place. We were in a studio we liked in Athens, Georgia (that’s where I live now). We were working with a producer / engineer that we really loved, Andy LeMaster. We finally had a batch of songs that made sense as a follow up. We had choruses that we liked. I couldn’t write a chorus to save my life for some reason, well at least not for this project. So, it was just waiting for things to fall in place.
FMQB: So, it was no drama or anything crazy like that?
RY: Sadly, no. It was just wanting it to be something that we liked before we put it out there. I think it would’ve been unfortunate if we put out the songs that we didn’t really care for.
FMQB: Yeah, of course you don’t want to put out something that you’re not proud of. When you came out with the new record, did you wonder if people would remember you and how it would be received?
RY: Well, we usually made it a point to go out and do a couple weeks on the road. So, y’know people were coming to the shows and our online interactions with our fans are pretty lively.
FMQB: So people knew that you were still a thing and your fans were probably very eager for some new tunes.
Owen Holmes: Yeah, they never really let up.
RY: They were very aggressive. Almost belligerent. (Laughs)
FMQB: How are they receiving what they’re hearing?
RY: With joy!
OH: And relief.
FMQB: They’re latching on to the new songs?
RY: Yeah. It does seem like a good follow-up in that it’s different, but the same.
FMQB: It has the right feel. I’m curious that if you had released some of what you recorded in the interim, would it have not felt to us like Black Kids?
RY: It would’ve been a trap that most bands fall into, which Owen and I refer to as "mature second record." Y’know the cellos are there all of a sudden, apropos of nothing. The lyrics were going too earnest because I was sick of the bratty tone of the first record. So then, I just split the difference and it felt pretty good.
FMQB: Some bands will put out that "mature second record" and it might not be as well received so then they’ll kind of go back to the sound that made people love them in the first place. So, you just skipped a step in there.
RY: We showed some restraint and did not release the "mature second record," which is a sign of maturity. (Laughs)
Find out more about what Black Kids are up to and see their latest videos at BlackKidsTV.com. Listen to their SubModern Session performances of "Rookie" and "In A Song," plus an old favorite, "I’m Making Eyes At You," here.
By Josh T. Landow