Hello again everybody! Hope you’re all recovered from SXSW if you were there. It was wonderful seeing so many of you, in some cases meeting face to face for the first time. And there’s nothing like coming back from the 90ish degree temps in Austin to yet another Nor’easter. About a foot of snow has accumulated so far here in the Philly area. Is it Spring yet? Oh, yeah it is actually. Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I had a blast at SXSW, seeing somewhere around 35 bands, finding some new favorites (like Caroline Rose, Hatchie, Shame, Snail Mail, and Partner), zipping around town on BCycles, and feasting on Torchy’s Tacos! I documented pretty much everything on my Twitter, but want to put together a photo gallery from all of you as well, so please send me a few of your best pics to include for next week’s SubModern Report.
Now, let’s see what was getting played on all the specialty shows this past week. Beach House remains #1 on the album chart for the 2nd week in a row with their forthcoming 7, which features "Dive," still at #3 on the singles chart. Speaking of singles, after a steady build-up over the last month, Wallows‘ "Pictures of Girls" finally hits #1, pushing The Kills‘ "List of Demands" to #2.
One of those kids from Stranger Things is in a band… a different one than Post Animal. The one I’m talking about now is Finn Wolfhard‘s band Calpurnia, whose single "City Boy" debuts at #4, followed by Father John Misty‘s "Mr. Tillman" at #5. There’s a three-way tie for #6 between Gang of Youths‘ "The Heart Is A Muscle," Ladytron‘s "The Animals," and Parquet Courts‘ "Wide Awake." Then a whopping seven songs are tied at #9 so you can chack that out below.
Back on the album chart, the aforementioned Parquet Courts come in at #2 with Wide Awake, followed by Lucy Dacus at #3 with Historian, Guided By Voices‘s umphundredth album Space Gun at #4, and Albert Hammond Jr.‘s Francis Trouble at #5. There’s also a three-way tie for #6 here between All Nerve by The Breeders, Visions of A Life by Wolf Alice, and There’s a Riot Going On by by Yo La Tengo. That brings us to #9, where CHVRCHES, Hot Snakes, Jack White, and Superorganism all have albums vying for position. Again and as always, see it all on the charts below and even more at FMQB.com/SubModern.
That’ll do it for today. Here’s to digging out by the weekend!
|1||WALLOWS||PICTURES OF GIRLS||ATLANTIC|
|2||THE KILLS||LIST OF DEMANDS (REPARATIONS)||DOMINO|
|3||BEACH HOUSE||DIVE||SUB POP|
|4||CALPURNIA||CITY BOY||ROYAL MOUNTAIN|
|5||FATHER JOHN MISTY||MR. TILLMAN||SUB POP|
|6t||GANG OF YOUTHS||THE HEART IS A MUSCLE||RED|
|PARQUET COURTS||WIDE AWAKE||ROUGH TRADE|
|KITTEN||I DID IT||RED|
|PEARL JAM||CAN’T DENY ME||SELF-RELEASED|
|RAINBOW KITTEN SURPRISE||FEVER PITCH||ELEKTRA|
|SPEEDY ORTIZ||LUCKY 88||CARPARK|
|TWIN SHADOW (FT. HAIM)||SATURDAYS||WARNER BROS.|
|JACK WHITE||OVER AND OVER AND OVER||THIRD MAN / COLUMBIA|
|YOUNG FATHERS||IN MY VIEW||NINJA TUNE|
|20t||DEATH FROM ABOVE||CAUGHT UP||LAST GANG / WARNER BROS.|
|JAMES BAY||PINK LEMONADE||REPUBLIC|
|THE MIDNIGHT CLUB||SCREAM||CAROLINE / HARBOUR|
|PENNYWISE||NEVER GONNA DIE||EPITAPH|
|ROBERT DELONG (FT. K. FLAY)||FAVORITE COLOR IS BLUE||GLASSNOTE|
|ROYAL BLOOD||HOLE IN YOUR HEART||WARNER BROS.|
|1||BEACH HOUSE||7||SUB POP|
|2||PARQUET COURTS||WIDE AWAKE||ROUGH TRADE|
|4||GUIDED BY VOICES||SPACE GUN||SELF-RELEASED|
|5||ALBERT HAMMOND JR.||FRANCIS TROUBLE||RED BULL|
|6t||THE BREEDERS||ALL NERVE||4AD|
|WOLF ALICE||VISIONS OF A LIFE||RCA|
|YO LA TENGO||THERE’S A RIOT GOING ON||MATADOR|
|9t||CHVRCHES||LOVE IS DEAD||GLASSNOTE|
|HOT SNAKES||JERICHO SIRENS||SUB POP|
|JACK WHITE||BOARDING HOUSE REACH||THIRD MAN / COLUMBIA|
|13t||CAR SEAT HEADREST||TWIN FANTASY||MATADOR|
|NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS||TEARING AT THE SEAMS||STAX / CONCORD|
|SOCCER MOMMY||CLEAN||FAT POSSUM|
|YOUNG FATHERS||COCOA SUGAR||NINJA TUNE|
|18t||THE ACES||WHEN MY HEART FELT VOLCANIC||RED BULL|
|COURTNEY BARNETT||TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL||MOM + POP|
|DAVID BYRNE||AMERICAN UTOPIA||NONESUCH|
|KING TUFF||THE OTHER||SUB POP|
|SUPERCHUNK||WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE||MERGE|
|TEENAGE WRIST||CHROME NEON JESUS||EPITAPH|
Back in a time that seems like forever ago, December of 2017, I had the chance to sit down with Massachusetts band Sun Parade to chat about their debut full-length album Shuggy Mtn Breakdown. The band also performed some stripped down renditions of songs from the album for an FMQB SubModern Session, which you can listen to here.
FMQB: Tell me about the origins of Sun Parade. Chris and Jeff, you started the whole thing and it’s gone through a few configurations?
Sun Parade: Yeah, we started it about six or seven years ago. We were a duo, and then we played with some other people over the years as a quartet in various formations. We used to be described as "psych-folk." It’s hard for us to get stuck stylistically, which I think is a good thing. I think we’d get bored if we weren’t always challenging ourselves and each other to write different kinds of songs and create different kinds of sounds. Carl, our drummer, has been in the band for about three years and that was a big thing. The record is recorded by Chris, Carl, and myself (Jeff).
FMQB: Going from a duo to a five piece, you more than doubled in size. That’s a big expansion.
SP: Yeah, it was gradual. We were never really established as a duo. Most of the duo experiences came from not having a band available at the times that we wanted to be touring.
FMQB: You mentioned being described as "psych-folk" back in those days. I think some of that still makes it through to Shuggy Mtn Breakdown but there’s a lot more in there as well. There’s some pop sounds, some classic rock sounds, some funk. You really brought a lot of styles together. Was that a goal for this album or something you’ve always tried to do?
SP: We, as a group, go through short obsessions with different styles of music and bands. At least with me (Chris) it comes out in my song writing, so there’s probably a song on there that’s three years old and some newer songs. It’s not like a goal, but it happens and we’ve been trying to embrace that. It’s hard, but I’m hoping people are digging it.
FMQB: You’ve had some previous EP releases. What’s really different about this album from those?
SP: I think in general, we’ve just gotten a little grungier and louder. There’s just more of everything. The classic phrase people talk about is bands discovering their sound. Like I said before, we don’t like to pigeonhole ourselves, I think in principle, but also by default. It’s just not the way that we write. Going into recording the record, we were listening to a lot of intense contemporary rock, as well as a lot of classic soul and funk. This record is like hovering right between the Beastie Boys and The Beach Boys in terms of the spectrum of our inspiration.
FMQB: I can hear that. That’s a good description. Is there a narrative to this album?
SP: Yeah, it’s definitely supposed to be listened to straight through to get the full experience, which I think any self-respecting album should be. We lined it up very carefully so that it had a classic arc in terms of tension and release, but you’d have to write your own story to it, I’d say.
FMQB: Oh, okay. I thought maybe it had something to do with the mountain in question, Shuggy Mtn.
SP: It does! This stuff wasn’t pre-meditated. I think we kind of hatched the concept as we were hearing the songs get completed. "Shuggy Mtn," the track, is sort of the height of the tension on the record and then it sort of lands with the last two tracks.
FMQB: So it’s like you’re climbing the mountain, and coming down.
SP: Yeah, yeah.
FMQB: Is that an actual mountain?
FMQB: That was probably silly of me to ask, but speaking of locations, I know you guys are from Massachusetts. Are you close to Boston to be part of the Boston scene?
SP: We’re two hours west of Boston. It is a fairly mountainous region. You get up into the foothills of the Berkshires and you’ll find an album called Sugarloaf Mountain, which has no connection to the album, unfortunately. But yeah, we’re from western Mass. We play in Boston a lot, but we’re not a Boston band.
FMQB: What does 2018 have in store for Sun Parade?
SP: More touring. We’re probably gonna release some sort of EP or mixtape as well. Get back to the studio and keep moving forward with recordings. And some more music videos. We have a dream that we’ll have full visual accompaniment to the album.
FMQB: Oh really? How many are there now?
SP: There’s currently three videos and we’re working on the fourth and fifth coming out in the next couple months. We’ve made a lot of the videos ourselves, so low overhead. Our friend and tour manager, Georgia, is a great photographer and artist, and is quite adept with cameras and editing. Our "Cheer Up" video was really spearheaded by her in the technical sense and we directed it together.
Find out more about Sun Parade and follow along with their video progress at TheSunParade.com. Listen to their SubModern Session performances of "Cheer Up" and "Braindrain" here.
By 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.