Filed Under:First Listen

LISTEN // Small Black Streams ‘Best Blues’ Via NPR Music


Small Black’s new album, Best Blues, is currently streaming via NPR Music’s First Listen series ahead of its October 16th release on Jagjaguwar. The band’s third full-length release was written and recorded at their Brooklyn home studio and mixed by Nicholas Vernhes (War on Drugs, Deerhunter) of Rare Book Room Studio. Lead single “Boys Life” is an absolute stunner having racked up over 480,000 Spotify plays and 332,000 SoundCloud streams and spending ample time in Sirius XMU’s Top 10 and on the Hype Machine popular chart. Best Blues finds Small Black in their sweet spot: the smoky intersection of considered and vulnerable songwriting and loose, almost nonchalant ambience.

The addition of piano flourishes, trumpet (Darby Cicci of The Antlers), hidden acoustic guitars and Kaede Ford’s ethereal vocals provide new dimensions to the band’s already expansive sonic palette. Cut-to-the-chase rippers “Back at Belle’s” and “Checkpoints” embody and build on the group’s signature gritty yet focused electronic sound. While the more pastoral tracks, such as “Between Leos,” and “XX Century,” skeletally based on recorded improvisations, find the band painting a more nuanced, assured aural portrait. The repeating of the line “twentieth century” on closer “XX Century” serves as a coda for the album, offering a simple summation of what Best Blues intent has been from the opening Casio stab: an attempt to re-examine the past, but also one to let it go.

Order Best Blues:
Jagjaguwar // iTunes // Amazon // Support your local record store

(more info and tix here)

Sun. Oct. 11 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
Tue. Oct. 13 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl *
Wed. Oct. 14 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa *
Fri. Oct. 16 – Austin, TX @ Red 7 *
Sat. Oct. 17 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
Sun. Oct. 18 – San Antonio, TX @ 502 Bar *
Tue. Oct. 20 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar *
Wed. Oct. 21 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah *
Fri. Oct. 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre *
Sat. Oct. 24 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent *
Mon. Oct. 26 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge *
Tue. Oct. 27 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret *
Wed. Oct. 28 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile – Back Bar *
Thu. Oct. 29 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux *
Fri. Oct. 30 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge *
Sat. Oct. 31 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge *
Mon. Nov. 2 – Kansas City, MO @ The Tank Room *
Tue. Nov. 3 – Iowa City, IA @ The Mill *
Wed. Nov. 4 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry *
Fri. Nov. 6 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall *
Sat. Nov. 7 – Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory *
Sun. Nov. 8 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison *
Tue. Nov. 10 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa *
Wed. Nov. 11 – Burlington, VT @ Signal Kitchen *
Thu. Nov. 12 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall *
Fri. Nov. 20 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right *
Sat. Nov. 21 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right *

* w/ Painted Palms

Listen Up! Dinosaur Jr.’s ‘I Bet On Sky’ Streaming at NPR’s First Listen

Dinosaur Jr.’s I Bet On Sky isn’t released until Tuesday, September 18, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to hear the new album. NPR’s First Listen is streaming the album right now for the remainder of the week. Don’t wait to hear it! Pre-order your copy of the album HERE.

Stream I Bet On Sky at NPR

“I Bet on Sky channels the best of Dinosaur Jr.’s lethargic fury, as Mascis continues to wrap words of alienation and ennui in wiry energy, not to mention guitars that shred and shred some more. The result still feels fresh, 27 years on. Just don’t skimp on the earplugs.”Stephen Thompson, NPR

Once you’re acquainted with the record, head out to see Dinosaur Jr. live in concert. They’ll kick off their tour in Toronto on September 24! Dates include stops at Midpoint Music and Pygmalion festivals. Full schedule and ticket links HERE.

NPR Streaming Tramp at 11AM, With Live Q&A from Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten’s new album, Tramp, is out next Tuesday, February 7. However, beginning today, NPR Music is rewarding everyone’s supreme patience as they are streaming Tramp in its entirety beginning this morning at 11AM! AND, as if premiering the new album wasn’t enough, Lady Van Etten, herself, will be participating in a live Q & A. Head over to All Songs Considered, where hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton will read fans’ questions. Additionally, for the next week, Tramp will be available to hear in its entirety as part of NPR Music’s First Listen series, and next week via Spinner. Sharon will also be hitting the road this month begin an extensive US/EU/UK tour. Dates below!

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The Motorway by The Besnard Lakes
Golden Lion by The Besnard Lakes
Boys Life by Small Black
No One Wants It To Happen To You by Small Black
Back At Belle's by Small Black
Words by Sharon Van Etten
Druganaut by Black Mountain
Black Mountain (Demo) by Black Mountain
Surrender by Briana Marela
I Don't Want to Let You Down by Sharon Van Etten
Just Like Blood by Sharon Van Etten

Necessary Evil by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Dani by Briana Marela

Boys Life by Small Black

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