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Genre > Rock > Alt & Grunge
A Flourish And A SpoilThe Districts deliver raw, rollicking power on 'A Flourish And A Spoil' out February 10 on Fat Possum Records. John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, Swans) produced/engineered/mixed the album at Seedy Underbelly Studio (formerly Pachyderm Studio) in Cannon Falls, MN. The resulting 10 tracks capture the boisterous live performances from the quartet, who are all between 19 and 20 years old. The Guardian UK says, "The Districts will be your new favourite band."
The four-piece band formed in 2009 while the members were still in high school in Lancaster County, PA. 'A Flourish And A Spoil' features singer/guitarist Rob Grote's vocals front and center, combining equal parts ferocity and yearning as when he reflects on leaving behind suburban childhood on "Suburban Smell." The album credits original members Grote, Connor Jacobus on bass and Braden Lawrence on percussion with Pat Cassidy joining on guitar.
The Districts have toured with bands including Deer Tick, White Denim, Dr. Dog and Temples and won over fans on both sides of the pond with 2014 sets at Lollapalooza, ACL and Reading Festival, among others. Consequence of Sound says, "As performers, they're naturals, having the confidence and stage presence of bands twice as old and twice as popular" and Interview Magazine dares, "just try not to bob your head."1. 4th And Roebling
5. Sing the Song
6. Suburban Smell
8. Heavy Begs
9. Young Blood
10. 6 AM
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
TelephoneRe-Release Of Their 2012 Debut Full Length Album
Telephone was originally released in June 2012 independently by The Districts when they were just sophomores in high school in Lititz, PA. The album had a handful of tracks including “Funeral Beds”, “Lyla” and “Long Distance” that helped the band garner attention outside of their small town following and eventually caught the ear of a few tastemakers in Philadelphia, including WXPN, as well as some prominent indie labels and music industry professionals across the nation. The band soon found a home in Fat Possum Records. After releasing a self-titled EP, featuring songs from Telephone along with a few new tracks, and their first full length LP on the label, A Flourish and A Spoil, they’ve decided to fulfill the many requests from fans across the world to put Telephone back into physical distribution and, for the first time, on vinyl.” – The Key1. Lyla
2. Where We Started
3. Long Distance
4. Funeral Beds
5. Sleepy Song Pt. 2
7. Silver Couplets
9. Wrung Out and Hanging (On West Coast)
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Popular ManipulationsIt's not uncommon for musicians to grow and evolve between releases—but even by those standards, the Districts' Popular Manipulations is stunning. The Pennsylvania-borne band's third full-length represents an exponential leap in sound and cohesion, an impressive and impassioned burn with a wide scope that threatens to swallow everything else surrounding it. Perhaps it's a cliché to say so, but while listening, you might find yourself wondering why people don't make indie rock like this anymore.
The total electric charge of Popular Manipulations is just the latest evolution for the impressively young quartet, whose founding members—vocalist/guitarist Rob Grote, bassist Connor Jacobus, and drummer Braden Lawrence—have known each other since attending grade school together in the Pennsylvania town of Lititz. After deciding to form a band in high school, the Districts gigged hard in the tri-state area, releasing a slew of promising material (including the rootsy 2012 debut Telephone) before catching the eye of venerable indie Fat Possum. 2015's A Flourish and a Spoil found the band refining their embryonic sound with veteran producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Kurt Vile)—and looking back on that release, there are glimmers of Popular Manipulations in chrysalis form to be found on it, hints of the fence-swinging anthemic sound they'd soon make wholly their own.
After touring behind A Flourish and a Spoil, Grote began "playing with different ideas" in his own songwriting by making demos at a prolific pace. "We knew that we wanted to change some things musically, so we were trying to come up with as many songs as possible to narrow the direction we wanted to take the material," he states. In total, they ended up with 50 song ideas, and so they were off to LA in May of 2016 with new guitarist Pat Cassidy in tow to log more recording time with Congleton, with four of Popular Manipulations' songs coming out of the sessions.
"We have a lot of overlapping tastes and preferences for how things are made," Grote gushes about working with the notably reliable studio wizard—but acceding all credit to Congleton (who also handled the record's mixdown) would be shortchanging the Districts themselves, who went on to self-produce the remainder of the record in Philadelphia with engineer Keith Abrams. "Something we took from working with Congleton was ideas on arranging songs," Grote explains, and they certainly learned a lot: Popular Manipulations is a raucous and impressively thick-sounding album, overflowing with toothy melodies that pack a serious punch.
The distinctly intense sound of Popular Manipulations—charging guitars, thunderous drumming, and Grote's searing vocals—was brought on by a few cited influences, from shoegaze's aggressive swirl to the Velvet Underground's impeccable drone-rock sound. There's a distinctly Canadian flavor to this brand of indie rock, too; Spencer Krug's anthemic, lushly inscrutable work in Wolf Parade and his defunct Sunset Rubdown side project comes to mind, as does 2000s Toronto barnburners the Diableros' overlooked 2006 gem You Can't Break the Strings in Our Olympic Hearts.
But don't mistake easy comparisons for a lack of originality: on Popular Manipulations, the District are in a lane entirely their own, exploring lyrical themes of isolation and abandonment in a way that ups the music's already highly charged emotional quotient. "Capable" finds Grote turning his focus to the ruinous aftermath of divorce, and "Before I Wake" is, in his words, "About coming to terms with being isolated or alone—even though we have a whole group of voices singing the whole time." Grote explains that even the title of the record touches on these universal concerns: "It hints at how people use each other, for good or bad, and the personal ways you manipulate yourself and other people in day-to-day interactions."
For such weighty thematic material, though, Popular Manipulations is purely life-affirming rock music, bursting with energy that cuts through the darkness of the world that surrounds us. "We're a much better distillation of who we wish to be as a band," Grote reflects on the journey that has led the Districts to this point. "We've figured out how to distill the things we've been trying to accomplish as a band, musically and lyrically. We've always viewed making music as something we're trying to do better the whole time." Mission accomplished.1. If Before I Wake
3. Ordinary Day
5. Why Would I Wanna Be
8. Fat Kiddo
10. Rattling of the Heart
11. Will You Please Be Quiet Please?
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
The DistrictsLancaster County, PA foursome The Districts signed to Mississippi based label Fat Possum and are excited to announce the release of their self-titled EP. The young band has a busy 2014 planned out already, with a tour with White Denim planned for February and March, as well as their first SXSW in Austin.
The self-titled EP will feature three newly remastered tracks off their 2012 self-released album Telephone, as well as two brand new tracks.1. Rocking Chair
3. Funeral Beds
4. Long Distance
5. Stay Open
$13.9910" Vinyl EP - SealedBuy Now
Alternative rock first emerged in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the 90s with the arrival of bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and
Alternative rock first emerged in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the 90s with the arrival of bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction. That was also right around the time that Nirvana and Pearl Jam fueled the grunge rock explosion.
And when you want the full and real alt rock experience, you’ve gotta try it out on vinyl, and SoundStage Direct is your one-stop shop for all the best alternative rock vinyls.