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Genre > Rock > Alt & Grunge
Nobody's Watching (Pre-Order)Steady Holiday is an appropriate name for an artist whose music feels like the soundtrack to your fondest memory. Or your deepest heartbreak. Or the dream sequence from a David Lynch film. There's a nostalgia present in Dre Babinski's songwriting that leaves you longing for the familiarity of a bygone era - just not one you can necessarily pin down.
After years growing up playing in bands around Los Angeles, Dre recently began writing and recording for herself - on her own, in secret, developing a body of work about hidden desire itself. Establishing a sound defined by her featherlight voice floating above sweeping strings, her 2016 debut Under the Influence led to opening for artists like Mitski, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
Whereas the first record took us on a trip through the deeply personal, Dre's sophomore album Nobody's Watching zooms way out. What began as a concept record about two archetypal crooks developed into an exploration of universal themes like greed, fear and self-interest; the ugly and troubling edges of human nature. It's a good time for that.
Dre worked with producer Gus Seyffert (Roger Waters, Beck) to create a sound that echoes the narrative told on Nobody's Watching. From the sunny and observant to the dark and critical, the tone ranges from levity to paranoia through layers of analog synths and chilling strings played by Dre herself. There are moments of cinematic intensity reminiscent of a James Bond score, yet the subtle tape hiss and creaking chairs remind us that this is an album made by people. It is warm, and it breathes, the same way the human touch can both soothe and suffocate.
Nobody's Watching is the natural next step for Dre and Steady Holiday, a project that builds worlds we wish to escape to or from. It's an examination of the inner narratives we all share but keep in the shadows, where the characters may not always be likable, but they do what they can to survive - like we all do.1. Flying Colors
3. Who's Gonna Stop Us
4. Nobody's Watching
5. All Aboard
6. Love and Pressure
7. Eastern Comfort
8. Trapping Season
9. Exit Song
10. Desperate Times
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedPRE-ORDER Buy Now
Thank You For Today (Pre-Order)Thank You for Today, Death Cab for Cutie's ninth studio album, was produced and mixed by Rich Costey (Fiona Apple, Franz Ferdinand, Muse), who also produced the band's last album the GRAMMY® nominated Kintsugi. Thank You for Today marks the first Death Cab for Cutie release to see long time bandmates Gibbard, Nick Harmer, and Jason McGerr joined in the studio by new members Dave Depper (Menomena, Fruit Bats, Corin Tucker, Ray Lamontagne) and Zac Rae (My Brightest Diamond, Fiona Apple, Lana Del Rey, Gnarls Barkley). Depper and Rae have both been part of Death Cab's touring band since 2015.1. I Dreamt We Spoke Again
2. Summer Years
3. Gold Rush
4. Your Hurricane
5. When We Drive
6. Autumn Love
7. Northern Lights
8. You Moved Away
10. 60 & Punk
$19.99Vinyl LP - SealedPRE-ORDER Buy Now
Emergency & I"Best New Reissue" And Perfect 10.0 On Pitchfork!
Full-Color Photo Collage, Lyrics Sheet, And In-Depth Liner Notes
Four Bonus Tracks
Emergency & I has been widely regarded as the definitive artistic statement from the beloved Washington D.C. quartet and has found its way onto many best-of lists, including the #16 spot of Pitchfork's Top 100 Albums of the 90's.
Originally released on DeSoto Records, this vinyl re-issue will be presented in gatefold 180-gram audiophile-grade vinyl with a giant full-color photo collage, lyrics sheet, and in-depth liner notes, plus four rare bonus tracks,also never before available on high quality vinyl.1. A Life of Possibilities
2. Memory Machine
3. What Do You Want Me to Say?
4. Spider in the Snow
5. The Jitters
6. I Love A Magician
7. You Are Invited
9. The City
10. Girl O' Clock
11. 8 1/2 Minutes
12. Back and Forth$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
You Know Who You AreHaving recorded five albums in ten years and toured extensively in support of all of them, Nada Surf — singer/guitarist Matthew Caws, bassist Daniel Lorca, drummer Ira Elliot and guitarist Doug Gillard (now official fourth member, more on that later) — opted to follow 2012’s cracking The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy with a brief but well-earned hiatus. So in January 2015, when Caws informed Nada Surf’s vociferous Facebook following that a new record was just about done, the news was greeted with explosive enthusiasm.
The music was in the can, he announced, and all that remained was to finish up a few lyrics and sing a few vocals; something he planned to do on off-days off during an upcoming solo acoustic tour. Caws even included a photo of the recording set-up he was bringing in the car. “I was so eager to have an album done that I believed in it as it was,” Caws recalls. “But the great thing about being 'finished' is that you can take a breath and evaluate, because the pressure to 'do it' is gone. The more I listened and thought about it, the more I realized that I might want to keep working. Also, I'd sent the tracks to my friend Josh, who runs Barsuk Records, the label we’ve been on since 2002, and he said 'It's great,' but followed that with a pregnant pause. I got the message. I didn't take that as a critique as much as a belief that I could do better. It was very freeing.”
And lo and behold, what would have been another really good Nada Surf album (their seventh since getting signed to a major in the go-go 90's and scoring a worldwide alterna-hit with “Popular”) became what could well be the most representative collection of the group’s two-decade career, all while pushing towards whatever comes next. Captured in the album’s 10 tracks is every beloved facet of the band, but You Know Who You Are also finds much on offer that stands apart from anything previously heard in the band’s diverse catalog.1. Cold to See Clear
2. Believe You're Mine
3. Friend Hospital
4. New Bird
5. Out of the Dark
8. You Know Who You Are
9. Gold Sounds
10. Victory's Yours
$17.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
KintsugiPressed At QRP
Kintsugi marks Death Cab For Cutie's first new album since the departure last year of founding guitarist/keyboardist/producer Chris Walla. Recorded in Los Angeles with Rich Costey (Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Interpol) behind the board, the album takes its title from the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum, highlighting cracks rather than hiding them. As such, kintsugi represents a compassionate aesthetic philosophy in which damage and wear are embraced as part of an object's history.
"Considering what we were going through internally, and with what a lot of the lyrics are about, it had a great deal of resonance for us - the idea of figuring out how to repair breaks and make them a thing of beauty," says bassist Nick Harmer, who suggested the name to singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard and drummer Jason McGerr. "Philosophically, spiritually, emotionally, it seems perfect for this group of songs."1. No Room in Frame
2. Black Sun
3. The Ghosts of Beverly Drive
4. Little Wanderer
5. You’ve Haunted Me All My Life
6. Hold No Guns
7. Everything’s a Ceiling
8. Good Help (Is So Hard to Find)
9. El Dorado
11. Binary Sea
$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + CD - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Transatlanticism: 10th Anniversary EditionReissued For Its 10th Anniversary After Being Out Of Print For Years.
Comes With 12-page Full-color Booklet
As musical lunacy goes, things have gotten as crazy as it gets for Death Cab for Cutie since 2002's You Can Play These Songs with Chords compilation. A wildly successful tour with Dismemberment Plan, a collaboration for singer Ben Gibbard with emo-electronic guru Dntel under the Postal Service moniker, and a whole new legion of fans swooning to Gibbard's lyrics as if he were a modern day answer to Kiss Me-era Robert Smith have all amassed considerable hype around Transatlanticism.
But the group proves themselves more than equal to the task, answering the call and proving the cynics wrong with their most focused and most mature work in their entire catalog. Transatlanticism wastes absolutely no time and dives in head first with "The New Year," one of the most melodramatic openings to an album since the Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight" from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The mellow, mixed-meter percussion and dense atmosphere of "Lightness" is a brilliant lead into the pop-happy "Expo '86" and "The Sound of Settling" before setting up the climatic and intensely dramatic title track. Unconsciously taking a page from Blur's "Sing," the hypnotic drumming and guitar call and responses through the eight-minute climax of the album are backed with a singalong finale that unquestionably will have every audience on the next tour singing along and holding up their lighters.
And while most albums would be left exhausted after such a track, the group keeps things moving, albeit at a much slower pace than compared to the anthems that packed the first half. Gibbard seamlessly makes the transition between songs that full out rock to songs that are comparable to Elliott Smith's finest hour with great ease. But it's Gibbard's poetic lyrics and signature introspection that remain a bench mark for Death Cab; and it's the group's maturity as musicians as well as songwriters that make Transatlanticism such a decadently good listen from start to finish. The band has never sounded more cohesive, the track sequencing is brilliant, and it caps off a triumphant year for not only Gibbard, but a band whose time and greater recognition is finally due.
- Rob Theakston (All Music Guide)LP 1
1. The New Year
3. Title And Registration
4. Expo '86
5. The Sound Of Settling
6. Tiny Vessels
2. Passenger Seat
3. Death Of An Interior Decorator
4. We Looked Like Giants
5. A Lack Of Color
$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
We Have The Facts And We're Voting YesNewly Reissued 180 Gram Version
"Like the also-great Idaho or Wheat, to file Death Cab for Cutie under the mellow-pop umbrella that shelters tranquil chamber outfits such as Red House Painters, Low, or (post-dance-pop) Talk Talk would do them a gross, miscalculated service. While they're no strangers to the tickling knelling of guitars searching out the extra space found in laggard tempos, that predilection only encompasses a fourth of Death Cab for Cutie's output (like on "Title Track" and "Little Fury Bugs"). Heck, they're not even remotely quiet for half of We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes -- the best and brightest LP of their three fine albums to date. Ben Gibbard has turned into a sublime composer, using melodies sparingly but with splendid tunefulness, as all four players marinate his writing with delicately plucked, picked, and pulled arpeggios, ringing chords, and non-obvious atmosphere building. Verily, the slow, broody stuff is but a change of pace; it's when the volume doubles (if only occasionally crashes), when the band shows potency, that We Have the Facts starts flying, soaring with exigency beyond even the threatening storm clouds from the last flight plan, 1998's Something About Airplanes. "Lowell, MA" and "Company Calls" are perfect examples: drummer Nathan Good actually gets to punish his snare and toms, the other three dig in with him, and the words "indie pop" suddenly sounds fresh and alive, with real aggressive, post-dream pop guitar popscapes. Loud and soft, or most of all both, and plenty of points in between, DCFC write and record finished songs that emote, that do more than merely fill a slot in a form in a preconceived genre. In short, they're superb. And getting greater."
- Jack Rabid (All Music)1. Title Track
2. The Employment Pages
3. For What Reason
4. Lowell, MA
6. Little Fury Bugs
7. Company Calls
8. Company Calls Epilogue
9. No Joy in Mudville
10. Scientist Studies
$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Something About AirplanesNewly Reissued 180 Gram Version
"The fact that Elsinor and Barsuk, two relatively small labels, conspired to co-release Something About Airplanes should give some indication as to its quality. It's a solid, emotive, and frequently amazing indie rock record that foreshadows Death Cab for Cutie's eventual ascent into the mainstream. Sonically, the band falls somewhere on the dreamier and more pop-oriented end of Built to Spill's sound (particularly on Keep It Like a Secret), alongside the Posies' most pensive tracks, or with Delta Haymax -- that is, dynamic, melodic, and somewhat atmospheric Northwestern rock. What's important, however, is that the composition, arrangement, and perfect vocal harmonies of Something About Airplanes are all hugely effective; the band uses light touches of flute, synth, or cello to add the necessary textures to its well-crafted pop songs, and the result has a consistently impressive and thoroughly engaging quality that rivals Built to Spill's Keep It Like a Secret. Which is quite a complement -- but tracks like "Bend to Squares" and "Pictures in an Exhibition" deserve as much adulation as one can offer."
- Nitsuh Abebe (All Music)1. Bend to Squares
2. President of What?
3. Champagne from a Paper Cup
4. Your Bruise
5. Pictures in an Exhibition
6. Sleep Spent
7. The Face That Launched 1000 Shits
9. Fake Frowns
10. Line of Best Fit
$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
The Photo AlbumNewly Reissued 180 Gram Version
"Released in 2000, We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes delivered on the promise of You Can Play These Songs with Chords and Something About Airplanes. For once, a band's popularity grew commensurate with its maturation. Despite the heightened attention, singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Gibbard next let loose Death Cab for Cutie's finest moment, "Photobooth," the lead track on the sparkling Forbidden Love EP. New fans worldwide swooned under its beguiling romantic rise 'n' fall and its lingering, bittersweet, wallet-sized artifact. And though it wouldn't have killed them to include "Photobooth" here -- for its spotless greatness and thematic likeness -- The Photo Album's ten tracks are of the EP's heightened caliber. Gibbard's words screen intriguing mini-films of the mind, stoked by corresponding daydreamy music. An exquisite liaison of the British penchant for ringing, knelling, subconscious guitars and direct/grittier American drive, the band is tight, evocative, and inventive. Bassist Nick Harmer and drummer Michael Schorr lock in creative rhythmic bases, while Gibbard and Chris Walla's guitar work gives the band climactic, cinematic coloring shades. And, in the end, it's Gibbard's remarkable abilities as a writer and singer that are on display most. Each word draws you in via his sweet, thoughtful guy voice. The solo 1:47 opener, "Steadier Footing," is merely a starter course, but it feels like an entrée: "And this is the chance I never got/To make a move, but we just talk" is only one measure of the chances/plans/dreams/connections and relationships that have eluded him or fizzled. Reeled in, one is left to look back over one's own smoldering wreckage, of opportunities or attachments lost -- much as "A Movie Script Ending"'s abrupt turn "Passing through unconscious states/When I awoke I was on the highway" somehow segues into the couplet "With your hands on my shoulders/A meaningless movement, a movie script ending." Like "Photobooth," it's a typically sobering, adverse assessment of how unromantic the romanticized can become. That it's a great pop song, arresting in its jerky wobble, is just another point in its, and this LP's, favor. The world needs more superb pop with brains and heart and emotional complexity."
- Jack Rabid (All Music)1. Steadier Footing
2. A Movie Script Ending
3. We Laugh Indoors
4. Information Travels Faster
5. Why You'd Want To Live Here
6. Blacking Out The Friction
7. I Was A Kaleidoscope
8. Styrofoam Plates
9. Coney Island
10. Debate Exposes Doubt
$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 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.