Wow, can you believe it? Only a week until Thanksgiving! Then we really roll into end of the year mode in this biz. Our charts will be published as normal next week, probably not any earlier than usual, unless all you specialty hosts send your playlists in early (as in not at the last possible minute).
As for this week, we have two new chart-toppers. A seemingly standalone single from Wye Oak, "Fortune," debuts at #1, and the just officially announced new record from Grimes, Miss Anthropocene, is the week’s #1 album, with the new single "So Heavy I Fell Through The Earth" landing at #2.
Also tied at #2 are the Dutch band The Homesick with "I Celebrate My Fantasy." The next four spots on the chart have no ties, starting with of Montreal‘s brand new "Peace To All Freaks" at #4. Then at #5 is last week’s (and the week before’s) #1 tune, "It Might Be Time" from Tame Impala. That’s followed by Post Animal at #6 with "Safe or Not," and a lengthy new one from Modest Mouse, "Ice Cream Party," at #7. Finally, singles from Charly Bliss, The Districts, and Wolf Parade close the top ten, all tied at #8.
Two of those three bands also show up in the top five of the album chart as well, but not at #2. That spot is reserved for the one and only Beck, whose new record Hyperspace is out this week. Then we’ve got Charly Bliss showing up at #3 with their new Supermoon EP. They just played here in Philly last week and it was seriously one of the most fun shows I’ve seen all year! My colleague Joey Odorisio and I got to sit down with the band as well for an interview that will appear here at some point after Thanksgiving. Anyway, back to the chart with Wolf Parade’s just announced Thin Mind coming in at #4, followed by FKA Twigs‘ Magdalene at #5. Next come some ties with Corridor‘s Junior and Lucy Dacus‘ 2019 EP at #6. Then tied for #8 are Desert Sessions Vols. 11 & 12 and White Lies‘ re-release of last year’s Five, now Five V2 featuring a couple new tunes. Finally Guided By Voices take the #10 spot with Sweating The Plague, their ∞th album.
Of course, the charts don’t go all the way to infinity, but you can find even more down below, so check that out and then I’ll talk to you before Turkey next week.
|2t||GRIMES||SO HEAVY I FELL THROUGH THE EARTH||4AD|
|THE HOMESICK||I CELEBRATE MY FANTASY||SUB POP|
|4||OF MONTREAL||PEACE TO ALL FREAKS||POLYVINYL|
|5||TAME IMPALA||IT MIGHT BE TIME||INTERSCOPE|
|6||POST ANIMAL||SAFE OR NOT||POLYVINYL|
|7||MODEST MOUSE||ICE CREAM PARTY||EPIC|
|THE DISTRICTS||HEY JO||FAT POSSUM|
|WOLF PARADE||AGAINST THE DAY||SUB POP|
|12||NEON TREES||USED TO LIKE||THRILL FOREVER / ADA|
|14t||AWOLNATION||THE BEST||BETTER NOISE|
|BILLIE EILISH||EVERYTHING I WANTED||INTERSCOPE|
|JEHNNY BETH||I’M THE MAN||20L07|
|LUCY DACUS||FOOL’S GOLD||MATADOR|
|FRANCES QUINLAN||RARE THING||SADDLE CREEK|
|WHITE LIES||FALLING OUT WITHOUT ME||PIAS|
|COAST MODERN||PUPPY LLAMA||+ 1|
|ELIZA & THE DELUSIONALS||JUST EXIST||COOKING VINYL|
|FKA TWIGS||SAD DAY||YOUNG TURKS|
|HAIM||NOW I’M IN IT||COLUMBIA|
|SAINT MOTEL||VAN HORN||ELEKTRA|
|STAR PARKS||OH BOREDOM (SCHMALTZ CITY, USA)||MODERN OUTSIDER|
|3||CHARLY BLISS||SUPERMOON EP||BARSUK|
|4||WOLF PARADE||THIN MIND||SUB POP|
|5||FKA TWIGS||MAGDALENE||YOUNG TURKS|
|LUCY DACUS||2019 EP||MATADOR|
|8t||DESERT SESSIONS||DESERT SESSIONS, VOLS. 11 & 12||MATADOR|
|WHITE LIES||FIVE V2||PIAS|
|10||GUIDED BY VOICES||SWEATING THE PLAGUE||SELF-RELEASED|
|11t||BATTLES||JUICE B CRYPTS||WARP|
|BEABADOOBEE||SPACE CADET||DIRTY HIT|
|GREEN BUZZARD||AMIDST THE CLUTTER & MESS||I OH YOU|
|JULIANA HATFIELD||JULIANA HATFIELD SINGS THE POLICE||AMERICAN LAUNDROMAT|
|16t||BEAUTIFUL DUDES||RADIO||MAMA BIRD|
|FOALS||EVERYTHING NOT SAVED WILL BE LOST – PART 2||WARNER|
|19t||DAN LUKE + THE RAID||OUT OF THE BLUE||NEW WEST|
|GIRL IN RED||BEGINNINGS||SELF-RELEASED|
|MILKY CHANCE||MIND THE MOON||BMG|
|VARSITY||THE BASEMENT TAKES||RUN FOR COVER|
|24t||BIG THIEF||TWO HANDS||4AD|
|CHROMATICS||CLOSER TO GREY||ITALIANS DO IT BETTER|
|CIGARETTES AFTER SEX||CRY||PARTISAN|
|CLASS PHOTO||LIGHT YEARS LATER||JANSEN|
|DJ SHADOW||OUR PATHETIC AGE||MASS APPEAL|
|JIMMY EAT WORLD||SURVIVING||RCA|
|KAE ASTRA||FORTUNE EP||MODERN OUTSIDER|
|LOVE FAME TRAGEDY||I DON’T WANT TO PLAY THE VICTIM, BUT I’M REALLY GOOD AT IT||AWAL|
|MARK LANEGAN||SOMEBODY’S KNOCKING||HEAVENLY / PIAS|
|SHERLOCKS||UNDER YOUR SKY||BMG|
|STARCRAWLER||DEVOUR YOU||ROUGH TRADE|
|V/A||DEATH STRANDING: TIMEFALL||RCA|
A few months ago, before the October release of her second album Hello, I’m Doing My Best, Australian artist Ali Barter visited the U.S. for a press tour, during which I had the opportunity to chat with her about her new record, and she performed a few songs for our latest SubModern Session, which you can listen to in the player below.
FMQB: The first song that we heard from the record was "UR A P.O.S." so you made it kind of hard for radio DJs.
Ali Barter: Yes, but it’s really a term of endearment. This song is about my best friends and essentially I’m saying, "you’re a piece of s— and so am I," so this is why we’re friends, y’know.
FMQB: I found that funny when I first got the song and read that. I thought, that’s an interesting term of endearment.
Ali: We have some in Australia that are interesting. Many that are words you can’t say here very easily. We’re an odd bunch, yeah.
FMQB: So if this song is autobiographical about you and your friends, you all really went through some stuff together.
Ali: I think all kids growing up, we go through stuff. The point of the song is I’ve known these girls for a long, long time. I’ve been though everything with them. I see how the stuff that affected them as kids has f—ed them up now, but I love them and we’re all doing it together. They’re the same with me. And everything in the song is true. I would never write anything that wasn’t true. I guess it’s good to talk about stuff sometimes. You can’t help but write about the things that happened and how they affect me today or the people I know. When I finished writing the song, I texted one of my best friends, who I talk about in the song. I said, "it’s a about you and it’s called ‘UR A P.O.S.’" and she was like "I love it. That’s amazing." And then when I called each friend to tell them, they were stoked. And some of them were even upset that I didn’t say other things about them.
FMQB: Obviously people use music as catharsis. You’ve gotta get stuff out of your system. And not to make light of anything, but of everything you unload in that song, having a sister pull your hair seems like a very minor thing.
Ali: It is. I’m an only child. I didn’t have a sister pull my hair, but that’s the line that some people were like, "Oh, when you say that… I hated my sister…" or whatever. Look, not everything can be super heavy.
FMQB: Right, it’s a mixed bag. So, going back before this album, the song "Girlie Bits" was the first of yours that I heard, which I guess touches on some of the same stuff. I love how you took what is an unfortunate reality that women in music and women in general are dealing with all the time, and you put it into an easily relatable and catchy form of a song.
Ali: I guess that’s just what I do. I seem to write these really upbeat, happy sounding songs that have an underlying message. I think it’s quite a manipulative and easy way to convey a message.
FMQB: So, the new album deals with more issues all the way through and you’ve done kind of the same thing and turned them into these really great pop songs.
Ali: Yeah, all my issues. Thanks.
FMQB: The album is Hello, I’m Doing My Best and I read a quote from you that said that’s what you’re learning to do in your own life, if you want to explain that a little bit.
Ali: It’s just basically my life motto. I can get bogged down in trying to be better, and trying to be not jealous, or not be a gossip, or not eat badly, or not whatever. So it’s just this stuff that goes around in my head all the time. And a couple years ago I came to place where I was like, all I’ve got is to do my best and that’s what when these songs started coming out of me, when I had this moment of acceptance. It’s just a human thing I guess. And also, I have lots of conversations with my friends and they’re all stressed and whatever. That’s what inspired me to write, was just our flaws and our f— ups are what make us interesting and unique and fun. I definitely have more fun with f—ed up people than with perfect people. So, yeah, I wanted to explore that.
FMQB: No one’s perfect. They just make you think they are, some people.
Ali: That’s true. They’re probably more f—ed up than anyone.
FMQB: The second single was "Backseat," which is kind of about how you became a couple with your husband Oscar [Dawson of Holy Holy], right?
Ali: It is. I sort of admired Oscar from afar you could say. I saw his band play a few times and I was always going out with someone at the time when I would meet him earlier on. I just thought he was really beautiful looking and a really amazing guitar player, and just so amazing. Then a few years later he ended up playing some guitar on my EP, and I got dumped by a boy, and Oscar was there playing in my band and it was a beautiful thing, y’know… And we’re still together now. We got married, so… The clip is about two people who meet in a bar and hit it off, but they’re a bit awkward and they end up injuring each other.
FMQB: So that part didn’t actually happen?
Ali: That didn’t happen. Maybe emotional injuries. Y’know, sometimes getting together can be a confusing process and it definitely was for us. But we survived, and everything’s okay. But, yeah, I always take inspiration from movies for my clips and this one was kind of like a cross between True Romance and Misery, y’know where she traps the guy and hits him with a sledgehammer.
FMQB: Oh yeah.
Ali: So it’s kind of like a PG version. I just like to have a little violence. It’s more fun.
FMQB: Did you recently get married?
Ali: Three years ago. Yeah, that’s recent. I’m a newlywed.
FMQB: Then I can still say congratulations! And Oscar produced the album. Is that the most you’ve worked together?
Ali: No, he actually did the last record and two EPs before that as well.
FMQB: So obviously you work well together.
Ali: I think as a couple, there’s good things and bad things about working together. We definitely collaborate really well together. But I can tell him to f— off too much. [laughs] And he can tell me to f— off as well. But we’ve come to a happy medium where we’re both heard. Any working relationship people out there will know the intricacies of working together, but seems to be working alright.
FMQB: Are there ever times when you can’t leave it in the studio?
Ali: Oh, 100%! I think the specific process where it becomes tricky is the mixing process. I find that awful and we always fight then. And in the studio, the band knows to just go have a coffee or a cigarette when we’re fighting. That’s just how we are.
FMQB: You bring up your band. You’re alone doing a promo tour right now, but when you come back you’ll have a band. Is it the same band that tours with you and you record with?
Ali: Well, I have a band in Australia, I’ll be coming with an American band here. It’s just, logistically a bit easier. I met this awesome couple of musicians in Nashville and so I’ll be rolling around with some Americans, which will be fun.
FMQB: You’ll get a lay of the land, cause it’ll be your first tour of America?
Ali: That’s right. Yeah, this is my first tour so I’m just doing a smaller one, but I’ll be back. I think there’s plans to come back next year.
Hello, I’m Doing My Best is available for airplay now from PIAS. Check out Ali Barter’s videos and dates for her upcoming U.S. tour at AliBarterMusic.com.
By Josh T. Landow
SubModern Interview: Britt Daniel of Spoon
By Joey Odorisio
For over two decades, Britt Daniel and his band Spoon have been releasing critically acclaimed records and steadily building a fan base to the point that the Austin, TX band has become one of the true veteran mainstays of the indie rock world. Pulling from an impeccable catalog full of beloved tunes, Spoon has released Everything Hits at Once: The Best of Spoon, collecting most of their best-known songs.
Spoon spent most of the summer on the “Night Running” tour, opening up for Beck and Cage the Elephant on the co-headlining powerhouse trek. Before the tour’s stop in Camden, NJ, Daniel sat down to chat with FMQB’s Joey Odorisio about best-of sets, their surprising ties to Presidential candidates and more.
FMQB: What can you tell us about the new single “No Bullets Spent?”
Britt Daniel: “No Bullets Spent” was a song I wrote last summer in New York City. I was there for most of the summer once we got off tour and I just went immediately back to writing some songs and that was the first one I got. It was based on an old instrumental track called “Dracula’s Cigarette,” [which] was on this weird record called Get Nice. I always loved that track so much and had an idea that I was gonna turn it into a song with words. That was the original idea: I’ll just take that instrumental track, write words on top of it and we’ll be done.
I did that, but then I got tired of that groove so we ended up changing it all up. You wouldn’t probably recognize it as being “Dracula’s Cigarette,” but that was the original way it started.
FMQB: In the lyrics, you sing, “you picture yourself,” which is a lyric in other Spoon songs, like “The Mystery Zone.” Is that intentional?
Britt: “Picture yourself” – it was on “The Mystery Zone,” it was on “The Underdog”…it was in “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” I like that line, it’s a good starter. You just say “picture yourself” and things start happening.
FMQB: How has the “Night Running” tour with Beck and Cage the Elephant gone?
Britt: It’s been a blast, honestly. The tour has its challenges for us because it’s gonna be still sunlight out when we play. That’s not quite as fun as playing in the dark. You’re a step down in vibe and the lights help with everything. But despite all that, most of the shows have been kind of fantastic and we’re having a really good time.
All the bands are buddies and I know all the crew by now and there’s a hundred crew people on this tour, it’s insane how big it is. It’s a traveling city.
FMQB: Do you go back with Beck a ways?
Britt: Actually Matt [Shultz] from Cage invited me to do this tour. He asked me to do it and then said, “Oh and by the way, Beck is going to be on the tour.” And I was like, “Oh! Why didn’t you say so?”
FMQB: In every interview you’ve done for Everything Hits at Once, you’ve had to defend making a best-of record in the age of streaming. I know you’ve always namechecked The Cure’s Standing on a Beach as your entry point into that band and a reason for releasing one.
Britt: There’s two parts to it. There’s the marketing part. That’s kind of what a greatest hits record is about. It’s more of a marketing experience than a normal record and it worked perfectly for me, because I had never heard a note of The Cure. I bought that record because I knew The Cure was this New Wave band that people love, bought it, became obsessed and from there bought all their record.
And it actually works as an artistic record in and of itself. I still go and throw on that compilation Standing on a Beach because it’s a great collection of those songs and sometimes that’s just what I want to hear.
FMQB: Which of your peers have done a best-of record? Beck doesn’t even have one!
Britt: Yeah, I guess he doesn’t…
FMQB: It depends on the rights, because he’s been on different labels. You had to deal with that for Everything Hits at Once…your songs were from three different labels, right?
Yeah, we had to navigate that and it was not easy. All the Elektra stuff we got back and we gave to Merge, so it was Merge, Matador and Loma Vista we had to negotiate with.
FMQB: That makes it much easier than if you’re negotiating with an Interscope and their catalogs, like Beck would.
Britt:Yeah, in the end we own all those records, we just licensed them out. And a lot of those bands that put out records on major labels, they do not own those records, you know, they never will.
FMQB: Other than The Cure and obviously Spoon, who else can you think of that have good, entry-point greatest hits album out there?
Britt: Elvis Costello’s Girls Girls Girls is another one, it’s not in print and hasn’t been for a while, but that’s how I found out about him.
FMQB: Is it weird doing promo for a best-of collection? Do you ask yourself, “Didn’t I already answer every question about “I Turn My Camera On” 14 years ago?”
Britt: A little bit. Honestly, it’s been pretty surprising how much interest there is in it, because we’ve done reissues before and they just kind of came and went. But then we did this greatest hits and it’s been about as much press and radio and stuff to do as there has been with a regular record, so it’s cool…I was surprised.
FMQB: I’m guessing it’s also a lot easier to tour on a best-of, since obviously you don’t have to learn a new record to go out on the road.
Britt: Yeah, a lot of the songs that are on the best-of are songs that have never left our setlist. We never got tired of playing “I Turn My Camera On” or “The Underdog” or “Inside Out.”
FMQB: But you do have a new member in the lineup (bassist Ben Trokan replaced Rob Pope earlier this year).Has that been tricky with a different member in the band who just jumped on board?
Britt: The announcement would make you think that Rob quit right before the tour, but he let us know last Halloween and I spent a couple months trying to talk him out of it. In the end, we sat down in Williamsburg and he said, “You know, I’ve got a three-year-old and a five-year-old and I can’t spend as much time away from them anymore.”
FMQB: “Don’t You Evah” is on Everything Hits at Once and it has such a great backstory to it that many people may not be aware of…
Britt: Yeah, there was a band called The Natural History that we toured with a few times and became buddies with them. Once one of those tours was over, I went back to Austin to write an album and Max and Julian [from the Natural History] went to New York to write an album. We started trading tapes of songs that we were working on. And one of the ones Max sent me was “Don’t You Evah.” I loved it, I put down some ideas for it, some percussion ideas, maybe some guitar. I sent it back and said, “This one’s great! They’re all great but this is my favorite one.”
Two years later, I was starting to come up with songs for another album and “Don’t You Evah” had still never come out. I said to the rest of Spoon, “I know this hit that nobody knows and we can maybe snag it.” And that’s what we did.
Eventually that song did pretty well and we did a “Don’t You Evah” EP and we put out their version on that EP as well as some remixes.
FMQB: The other thing that’s unique about this collection is that they’re “hits” that come from all over, from movies or commercials, and not just specifically radio hits, like you’d see 20 years ago.
Britt: For us, it’s a different level of goalposts, you know? When that “Don’t You Evah” EP came out, so few people were buying singles that it was I think the #1 single the week it came out, in terms of sales. It terms of airplay, it was zero…nobody was playing it. That was the kind of weird following that we had, that people who listen to this band wanted to buy it and they were excited about that.
FMQB: How surreal is it that your band is intertwined with two different Presidential candidates at the same time right now?
Britt:It’s pretty surreal. Well the Pete Buttegieg one is particularly surreal, because I didn’t have any contact with him or that he knew us or anything and he doesn’t have a Texas connection. I started getting these emails one day saying, “I’m sure you’ve seen this but there’s a video of Pete Buttegieg playing your song [“The Way We Get By”] before he goes onstage one night.” And it kind of blew my mind.
FMQB: He’s become friendly with Ben Folds and played on stage with him too. And then Beto O’Rourke obviously does have a Texas connection.
Britt: We kind of came to him… I had been hearing about Beto for a while and I have buddies in certain Texas politics who hip me to certain things going on and I get pretty interested in that stuff. So I kind of knew about this up-and-comer and that he was coming to Austin to do a fundraiser when he was running for Senate. We offered to play it and that’s where I first met him.
FMQB: What’s next for Spoon when you’re done this tour?
Britt: We started a record in February and we were working on it right before we went on tour. So we’re going to go back to that. I’ve got a few more songs to write. [Drummer] Jim [Eno] keeps telling me we’re about a third of the way through it, so we’ll see.
FMQB: Did going back through your entire catalog for this project influence the new material in any way?
Britt: It reminded me that there’s certainly some great drum sounds that I hadn’t thought about in a while, that made me think we could try doing drums like this again. When we recorded everything on tape, everything was a bit more stripped down. And as probably happens with every band, you move into digital and there’s limitless tracks and limitless possibilities and things get more complicated. I do like that more simplistic sound, it’s something to shoot for now and then.