26.06.2020 news

Thad Cockrell’s Debut Album ‘If In Case You Feel The Same’ Out Today

Thad Cockrell’s debut If In Case You Feel The Same is out today, and the album has already won a wide swath of critical praise, a quickly growing amount of radio airplay and success at streaming platforms. Produced mainly by Tony Berg (an industry veteran who’s worked with everyone from Phoebe Bridgers to the Replacements), and mixed and engineered by Shawn Everett (Vampire Weekend, Beck, The War on Drugs), the album features an all-star backing band appearing on various songs throughout – Brittany Howard (backing vocals on “Higher”), Blake Mills (guitar), Chris Dave (drums), Matt Chamberlain (drums), Ethan Gruska (piano, synths), Ian Fitchuk (multiple instruments). If In Case You Feel the Same pushes beyond the understated country of Cockrell’s earliest work to illuminate his more idiosyncratic impulses. Throughout If In Case You Feel The Same, Cockrell reveals his rare ability to create songs that instantly hit on a visceral level, yet subtly invite intense contemplation.



Listen to “Higher” (featuring Brittany Howard) below



The New York Times recently praised album standout “Higher,” which features backing vocals from Howard, saying “Thad Cockrell sings in a quivering tenor about sorrow and heartbreak, but Brittany Howard swoops in to rescue him, harmonizing a vow that grows ever more persuasive: ‘I’m gonna lift you higher when I’m feeling low.'” Rolling Stone says Thad “gets into cosmic gospel mode on ‘Higher,’ enlisting the Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard to help him strain toward the sky. Nestled between lush, arresting bits of psychedelia, Cockrell’s urgent tenor makes a promise: ‘I’m gonna lift you higher, when I’m feeling low.'”


Cockrell has co-written with a notable list of artists that include Joy Williams (on her GRAMMY-nominated 2019 album Front Porch), Joseph, Devon Gilfillian and Mathew Caws of Nada Surf, and there’s a palpable sense of communion that infuses all of If In Case You Feel The Same, including Cockrell’s collaborations with Howard. An ardent fan of the Alabama Shakes frontwoman, Cockrell first linked up with Howard thanks to a wholly unexpected introduction from his dear friend, singer/songwriter Becca Mancari.


“I never wanted Becca to feel like a pass-through, so I put it out into the universe that if I was meant to meet Britt, it would just happen someday,” says Cockrell. One very late night while hanging out with Howard, Mancari shared some recordings of Cockrell’s songs, which then prompted Howard to hijack Mancari’s phone and send Cockrell a text professing her love for his music. “Twenty minutes later they’re walking into my house, and I’m making mezcal margaritas and playing Britt songs from the new album,” says Cockrell. “At some point she said me, ‘I never like anything, but I love all of this.’” Soon enough, Howard had sent Cockrell’s demos to ATO Records, thus paving the way for his signing to the label.


23.06.2020 news

Old 97’S Return With New Album ‘Twelfth’ Out August 21 + New Music Video

Photo credit: Alysse Gafkjen


“Terse, wry, and supremely catchy roots-rock.” – THE ATLANTIC


“A well-loved pioneering force in the alt-country movement… [they’ve] still got the same raucous, sweaty energy that’s made [them] so beloved all this time.” – NPR


“Blistered, blasted, and brilliant.” – NEW YORKER


Pre-order Old 97’s Twelfth HERE


Old 97’s, the iconic alt-country outfit fronted by Rhett Miller, is returning with their twelfth album, the aptly titled Twelfth, to be released on August 21. Twenty-seven years in, Old 97’s still features its original lineup – Miller, guitarist Ken Bethea, bassist Murry Hammond, and drummer Philip Peeples – and Twelfth is a testament to the band’s staying power. The album’s cover image of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach is both an homage to Miller’s childhood hero and a recognition that, in making their livings as musicians, the 97’s themselves have achieved their lifelong dreams.


In an interview with Rolling Stone, Miller talks about how his five-year sobriety influenced the new album, saying, “Going back in, I thought, ‘What if I don’t bring anything to the table? What if I’m like Samson and the whiskey was my long hair and I cut it off and can’t write songs anymore?’… But [Twelfth] was the first record where, top to bottom, I felt I was back in the driver’s seat, found my voice, and came out the other side. It feels good.”


The band shares Twelfth’s first single “Turn Off The TV” today alongside a video directed by Liam Lynch that features Puddles the Clown as well as footage of the band throughout their career.


Watch the Video for First Single “Turn Off The TV” Below





“Somehow what we’ve got never breaks down,” Rhett Miller sings on Old 97’s exhilarating new album, Twelfth. At first, the line comes off as a boast, as a declaration of invincibility from a band that’s managed to survive three decades of rock and roll debauchery, but as the phrase repeats over and over again, it slowly transforms into something more incredulous, something more vulnerable, something deeply human.


“We experienced some close calls over the last few years,” says Miller, “and I think that led us to this dawning realization of the fragility of it all. At the same time, it also led us to this increased gratitude for the music and the brotherhood we’ve been so lucky to share. I think all of that combined to make recording this album one of the most intensely joyful experiences we’ve ever had as a band.”


That joy is utterly palpable on Twelfth. Loose and raw, the record is an ecstatic celebration of survival, a resounding ode to endurance and resilience from a veteran group that refuses to rest on their considerable laurels. Working out of Sputnik Sound in Nashville, Miller and his longtime bandmates—bassist Murry Hammond, guitarist Ken Bethea, and drummer Philip Peeples—teamed up once again with GRAMMY-winning producer Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White), and while the resulting album boasts all the hallmarks of a classic Old 97’s record (sex and booze, laughter and tears, poetry and blasphemy), it also showcases a newfound perspective in its writing and craftsmanship, a maturity and appreciation that can only come with age and experience. Perhaps the band is growing up; maybe they’re just getting started. Either way, Old 97’s have never been happier to be alive.


“You have to take pride in the unlikeliness of it all,” says Miller. “It’s mind boggling to think that we’ve been able to last this long, that we’ve been able to support ourselves and our families on our own terms for almost thirty years. Twelve is a lot of records.”


Formed in Dallas, Texas, Old 97’s first emerged in the early ’90s with an adrenaline pumping blend of rock and roll swagger, punk snarl, and old-school twang that quickly brought them into the national spotlight. Conventional wisdom places the band at the forefront of a musical movement that would come to be known as “alternative country,” but, as the New York Times so succinctly put it, their sound always “leaned more toward the Clash than the Carter Family.” Fueled by breakneck tempos, distorted guitars, and wry storytelling, the foursome built a reputation for high-energy albums and even higher energy shows, earning themselves performances everywhere fromConan and Letterman to Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza alongside countless rave reviews. NPR lauded the group as a “pioneering force,” while Rolling Stonehailed their music’s “whiskey-wrecked nihilism and slow-burn heartbreak,” and The New Yorker praised their songwriting as “blistered, blasted, and brilliant.” On top of his prodigious output with Old 97’s, Miller simultaneously established himself as a prolific solo artist, as well, releasing eight studio albums under his own name that garnered similarly wide-ranging acclaim and landed in a slew of prominent film and television soundtracks. A gifted writer beyond his music, Miller also contributed essays and short stories to The Atlantic, Salon, McSweeney’s, and Sports Illustrated among others, and in 2019, he released his debut book, a collection of poetry for children, via Little, Brown and Company.


While part of Old 97’s charm has always been the air of playful invulnerability they exude onstage every night, reality began catching up with the band in 2017. The night before a television appearance in support of the group’s most recent album, Graveyard Whistling, Peeples collapsed in a hotel parking lot, falling backwards and cracking his skull on a concrete abutment. He spent weeks in the ICU and was forced to miss the first leg of tour. Bethea, meanwhile, began to notice a loss of feeling in the fingers of his right hand. As his condition continued to deteriorate on the road, the numbness spread to his leg, and he was eventually forced to undergo spinal surgery in order to regain full motor control. Miller, for his part, found himself at more of an existential crossroads, questioning attitudes and behaviors he’d long taken for granted. Yes, he was a rock and roll star (whatever that means nowadays), but he was also a father and a husband, and he decided it was long since time to get sober.


“Back when we were in our 20’s, we put ourselves through these terrible trials because we thought we could survive anything,” says Miller. “But over the last few years, it started becoming clear that we’re human.”


Rather than slow things down, the band decided to embrace their mortality as all the more reason to seize the day. Life is short—a lesson that was hammered home on the group’s first day of recording in Nashville, when a series of deadly tornadoes ripped through town—and Twelfth is the sound of Old 97’s recommitting themselves to making the most of every moment they’ve got left. Addictive opener “The Dropouts” sets the stage, taking stock of the band’s journey from its very first days, when they cut their teeth playing the bars of Deep Ellum in exchange for pitchers of beer and pizza. Like much of the record to come, it’s a nostalgic look back on simpler times, but it smartly avoids looking at the past through rose-colored glasses, instead recognizing that change is neither inherently good nor bad, only inevitable.


“There’s a line about sleeping on hardwood floors in that song,” says Miller, “and that’s what we did in the early days. But that image of hardwood floors keeps coming back and building on itself in different songs throughout the album, and over time it begins to mean different things as we grow up and start families and own homes.”


Miller has a knack for capturing those sorts of little details that tell a larger story, for crafting richly cinematic scenes that transform seemingly mundane moments into metaphors for life itself. The driving lead single “Turn Off The TV,” for instance, spins a free cable hookup into a celebration of the visceral pleasures of living in the present, while the larger-than-life “Diamonds On Neptune” turns an astronomical phenomenon into a meditation on what really matters, and the waltzing “Belmont Hotel” finds emotional symbolism in the restoration of a Dallas landmark.


“‘Belmont Hotel’ is a microcosm of the album, and of our band,” says Miller. “When we first started out, the Belmont was in absolute ruins, and we even did a photoshoot in the empty parking lot. Now, though, it’s more beautiful than it was in its glory days, and that got me thinking about the way we approach our relationships. Whether it’s a friendship or a marriage or a band, it’s inevitable that you’re going to go through ups and downs, but if you’re willing to put in the work and stick out the hard times, you can wind up with something that’s better than it ever was before.”


While Miller collaborated with writers like Butch Walker and Nicole Atkins onGraveyard Whistling, he penned everything on Twelfth himself (outside of the Spaghetti Western-esque “Happy Hour” and hypnotic album closer “Why Don’t We Ever Say We’re Sorry,” which were both written and sung by Hammond). It’s a return to form he credits in part to his increasing comfort with sobriety, a comfort that finds him effortlessly running the gamut from playful romance (the dreamy “I Like You Better”) and brash bravado (the blistering “Confessional Boxing”) to supernatural fantasy (the Kinks-ian “This House Got Ghosts”) and old-school twang (the rollicking “Bottle Rocket Baby”). It’s perhaps the jaunty “Absence (What We’ve Got)” that captures this particular moment in Old 97’s history best, though, as Miller marvels at the way things change while staying the same. “The wine turns into whiskey / And the whiskey turns to tears / It’s been this way for years,” he sings, later summing the whole magic act up with a deceptively simple confession: “This is what I do.”


Old 97’s may be human, but somehow what they’ve got never breaks down.
19.06.2020 news

Mattiel Releases New Cover Songs from Beastie Boys and The Clash + Limited-Edition ‘Double Cover’ 7-Inch

Mattiel, the Atlanta-based rock band fronted by vocalist Mattiel Brown, release their new limited-edition Double Cover 7-inch today. The 7-inch features dynamic covers of the Beastie Boys’ “Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun,” off their iconic 1989 LP Paul’s Boutique, and The Clash’s “Guns Of Brixton,” from their classic 1979 album London Calling. Sharp and forceful, both tracks are perfect matches for Mattiel’s explosive energy. Pre-order the physical 7-inch HERE. Read guitarist/producer Jonah Swilley’s statement on the covers and Bandcamp’s Juneteenth fundraiser today below.


LISTEN: “Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun” / “Guns Of Brixton”


Available also on Spotify and iTunes!




“When you make art, it no longer belongs to you. We had this release scheduled for last week, and we’d been working on all the moving parts for a number of months. Both Beasties and The Clash are an integral part of each band member’s musical influences.


After meeting Paul Simonon on the Jools Holland Show in 2018, we started playing ‘Guns of Brixton’ upon our bassist Travis’s request. Our tour manager, Pete, had the Beastie Boys book floating around the tour van last summer. We all started reading bits of history from their career and shared our collective interest in their story. Mattiel mentioned covering ‘Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun’ from Paul’s Boutique and then we hashed out the details at sound check. 


In early March of this year, we decided to cut studio versions of both. It should go without saying that we do not condone gun violence. The timing of this release alongside a global awakening is purely coincidental, but undeniably strange. We chose to release them today in order to benefit Bandcamp’s donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. They have promised to donate 100% of their share in sales every Juneteenth from now on. We ask you to interpret these songs as you wish, and we thank Paul Simonon, The Clash, and The Beastie Boys for writing them.”



19.06.2020 news

ATO Announces ‘Silence Is Not An Option (turn this up)’: A Compilation Album Supporting Black Lives Matter

ATO Records Announces
Silence Is Not An Option (turn this up)
A Compilation Album Supporting Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, and Innocence Project


Featuring Songs From the ATO Catalog From Brittany Howard, My Morning Jacket, Black Pumas, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Benjamin Booker, Drive-By Truckers, Nilüfer Yanya, Nick Hakim & More


Plus a Brand-New Track From Emily King



ATO Records has been reflecting deeply on the injustices and inequality in our world. We recognize that music is not just an agent for change, but a space of solace. As we approach our 20th anniversary as a label, we remain proud to represent a diverse range of artists whose music imparts messages of inclusivity, justice, and equality.


In that spirit, we’ve assembled an LP that showcases our extraordinary roster of artists and epitomizes ATO’s richness of musical diversity and talent. Silence Is Not An Option (turn this up) is a compilation of powerful anthems from the ATO catalog that explore issues of identity, community, social justice, and resistance. Tracks include Brittany Howard’s “Goat Head,” released in 2019, the explosive song that Howard wrote about growing up in the South with a white mother and a black father; Benjamin Booker’s “Witness,”released in 2017, (“Right now we could use a little pick-me-up / Seems like the whole damn nation’s trying to take us down”), a collaboration with soul music and civil rights icon Mavis Staples; Drive-By Truckers’ “What It Means,” released in 2016, the withering track that Patterson Hood wrote in response to the police shootings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown; and Chicano Batman’s “Invisible People,” released earlier this year (“Invisible people, we’re tired of living in the dark / Everyone is trying to tear us apart / All we wanna do is heal now”).


The compilation also features “See Me”, a brand-new song from Grammy-nominated R&B artist Emily King. King wrote and recorded the passionate track just days ago in response to the Black Lives Matters protests. “Feeling so moved by this powerful time,” says King. “Everyday watching the world demand justice. I wake up with sadness but also hope. Like people are starting to finally notice how deeply broken things are. Can you hear me now? Can you see me now? I started singing the words and they wouldn’t leave my head.”Listen to “See Me,” premiering now on Rolling Stone, HERE.


ATO stands with all those committed to the fight for racial equality and mutual respect among all peoples. Silence Is Not An Option is available today digitally and for pre-order on vinyl exclusively on Bandcamp, who are donating 100% of their fees to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund. ATO will donate 100% of net proceeds from the compilation to causes supporting the Black Lives Matter global human rights movement: Black Lives Matter Greater New York, Color of Change, and Innocence Project. Vinyl will ship in August.


“Many of our remarkable artists have been outspoken and provided commentary on these issues for years,” says ATO General Manager and Head of A&R Jon Salter. “Team ATO couldn’t be prouder to raise awareness and money showcasing their powerful songs in our catalog, and be in this moment alongside our artist community.”



Massive thank you to A to Z Cares Foundation for being incredibly kind and manufacturing this vinyl gratis.


Silence Is Not An Option (turn this up) – Vinyl Tracklist


1. “Witness” – Benjamin Booker (featuring Mavis Staples)
2. “Colors” – Black Pumas
3. “Goat Head” – Brittany Howard
4. “See Me” (Exclusive) – Emily King
5. “What It Means” – Drive-By Truckers
6. “Pa’lante” – Hurray for the Riff Raff
7. “When You Come Back” – Vusi Mahlasela
8. “Paralysed” – Nilüfer Yanya
9. “Invisible People” – Chicano Batman
10. “I’m Amazed” – My Morning Jacket
11. “Vincent Tyler (Single Version)” – Nick Hakim
15.05.2020 news

Nick Hakim Releases New Album ‘WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD’

Today, Nick Hakim releases his sophomore album WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD. The new album features a slew of Hakim’s previously released singles including the delicate and melancholic “BOUNCING,” Pitchfork Best New Track selection “QADIR” and the Mac DeMarco assisted “CRUMPY” and arrives after his NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert.


While WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD is distinctly Nick Hakim, it does represent a tonal shift from 2017’s Green Twins that reflects the ideas with which he grappled while making the record. To prepare listeners for the experience, Hakim shares the following statement about the record:

“I feel the people simmering, on our way to the boiling point. There’s a lot of madness going on around us and this world can feel so cold. It can get hard to remember what makes it worth it. The people around me and the music I love helps.


For a while, I couldn’t write. I worked on new music but couldn’t find the right words. But that time was just a build-up to the three months of expression that led to this album. I hope this music will raise awareness about where we are right now. About how we are living on this planet. About how we treat our neighbors. About community. About depression. About what can heal us and what can’t. About overmedication, overstimulation and manipulation. About respecting and loving the people around us, because one day they won’t be here-or you won’t.


But it’s also true that I’m still trying to figure this record out. People have told me that it’s confusing or that it’s messy-that’s fine. There’s so much pressure on artists to commit to being one thing, or to restrict an album to exploring just one subject or sound. But my life isn’t like that, and so my music can’t be like that either. I’m not thinking about this music as a product to be bought and sold, or how I’ll buy your interest. This is my world; a lot of friends touched this record, and that makes me feel lucky and proud. These songs are glimpses into my community. I’m exploring, but I’m not alone. It’s a journey in progress; it’s an experiment, every day.”


04.05.2020 news

Amyl and The Sniffers Release Live at The Croxton 7″ EP

Amyl and The Sniffers have released Live At The Croxton, a 7-inch featuring explosive live versions of three fan-favorite songs, recorded at the Melbourne punk rockers’ favorite hometown venue last fall. Capturing the band’s notoriously electrifying performances, Live At The Croxton is exactly the kind of record a live music-starved world needs right now. Live At The Croxton is available to buy and stream HERE. All three tracks on the 7-inch – “Control,” “Gacked On Anger,” and “Shake Ya” – are found on Amyl and The Sniffers self-titled debut album, out now on ATO Records.


Amyl and The Sniffers are also sharing the accompanying Croxton live videos for “Gacked On Anger” and “Shake Ya” today. The band previously released the live video for “Control,” which had Vice raving, “Melbourne four-piece Amyl & The Sniffers make rock ‘n’ roll ferocity seem effortless… chock-full of muscular, rambunctious riffs and singer Amy Taylor’s wholly anarchic energy.”

01.05.2020 news

Chicano Batman’s New Album ‘Invisible People’ Is Out Today

Chicano Batman’s New Album ‘Invisible People’ Is Out Today


Chicano Batman’s highly anticipated new album ‘Invisible People’ is out today. The album channels the kinetic spirit of Los Angeles into a wildly shapeshifting sound, ultimately finding an unstoppable joy in following Chicano Batman’s most outrageous instincts. While ‘Invisible People’ mines inspiration from krautrock acts like Can and Neu! and the Nigerian synth-funk of William Onyeabor, it also embodies elements of hip-hop and R&B—especially in its endless barrage of addictive hooks and hard-hitting beats.


Watch Their Performance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert #playathome series


Listen/share here: http://smarturl.it/invisiblepeople


“This album is an evolution from our last one in that we put much more thought in our approach to the songwriting and production before hitting record,” guitarist of Chicano Batman Carlos Arévalo says. “We went in with a plan that helped guide the musical direction. We demoed songs for over a year before going into the studio as well. In the past, we’d pool some songs together, rehearse them for a few weeks and go in and simply record them. This time we had a much more elaborate MO; replace organs with synthesizers, make the guitars funkier, and have the drums and bass play beats that make your head bob up and down.



For the album, the band worked with Shawn Everett, the GRAMMY-award winning mixing engineer known for his work with Alabama Shakes, War on Drugs, Kacey Musgraves, and Julian Casablancas. With Leon Michels’ (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Lee Fields & The Expressions) producing and Everett’s mixing steering the record’s direction, the band’s lush sound has become a more pointed, densely layered soundscape. ‘Invisible People’ is an illuminating and encapsulating listen, one that hasn’t lost the essence that put Chicano Batman on the map and makes a stirring point about the times we’re living in.


The album’s lead track “Color my life” was lauded by Rolling Stone as a “tropicalia-infused thesis on a utopian world where factors like race, gender and class do not preclude the potential for human connection and solidarity” and garnered support from Rivers Cuomo and Danger Mouse.


‘Invisible People’ Tracklisting:

  1. Color my life
  2. Blank Slate
  3. I Know It
  4. Invisible People
  5. Manuel’s Story
  6. Moment of Joy
  7. Pink Elephant
  8. Polymetronomic Harmony
  9. The Way
  10. The Prophet
  11. Bella
  12. Wounds






24.04.2020 news

King Gizzard’s “Chunky Shrapnel” Out Now Digitally + LP Pre-Orders Shipping May 1st





2 LP’s in a deluxe gatefold jacket (heavy silver reflective mirrorboard w/spot matte and gloss printing)

Opaque gold colored vinyl with a heavy black splatter

Obi strip w/gold foil

Custom inner-sleeves

All LP pre-orders come w/one of two Chunky Shrapnel movie posters


Chunky Shrapnel features 13 live performances hand-picked from the band’s 2019 European tour and includes a musical score written by Stu Mackenzie that adds a ‘magical touch of alien melancholy’ throughout the record. It’s an adrenaline fueled psychedelic trip that captures the energy of a live concert while also creating something tailored and unique to King Gizzard.


Chunky Shrapnel track list:
1. Evil Star
2. The River (Live in Luxembourg ’19)
3. Wah Wah (Live in Madrid ’19)
4. Road Train (Live in Manchester ’19)
5. Murder Of The Universe (Live in Utrecht ’19)
6. Quarantine
7. Planet B (Live in London ’19)
8. Parking (Live in Brussels ’19)
9. Venusian 2 (Live in Milan ’19)
10. Hell (Live in Milan ’19)
11. Let Me Mend The Past (Live in Madrid ’19)
12. Anamnesis
13. Inner Cell (Live in Utrecht ’19)
14. Loyalty (Live in Utrecht ’19)
15. Horology (Live in Utrecht ’19)
16. A Brief History Of Planet Earth (Live in London, Berlin, Utrecht and Barcelona ’19)

24.04.2020 news

Other Lives’ New Album “For Their Love” Out Now

Buy on LP / CD / Digital

Other Lives have just released their long-awaited new album For Their Love.  Following 2015’s Rituals, For Their Love is a ten-track collection that finds frontman Jesse Tabish displaying a more candid narrative both in general and on a more personal level.  It’s Other Lives most evocative, awestruck, and intimate record yet, invested with a new vein of poetic thought addressing the individual and society in these turbulent times.  Tabish says of the record…

“the album is a record reflecting human feeling in the current state of affairs. Economy and politics on the individual, while the latter still has to deal with the basic struggles of finding meaning of their existence. Money, love, and death are always real and hard to cope with; what does the individual chose to make these larger themes of life easier to deal with. The record speaks in realness, questions, observing, lamenting and hopefully finding the slightest of hope in themselves; these characters sometimes venturing out into spiritual, religious or institutionalized endeavors. In my personal hope, only finding their self-worth being more important than anything than what has been taught or preached to them”



The album takes its name from one of the earlier tracks written for the album. “Something about the title feels both inclusive and also of a larger scene,” explains Other Lives’ creative lynchpin and frontman, Jesse Tabish. “The song also embodied the direction we wanted to take.”


In terms of Other Lives’ narrative, the direction For Their Love followed is partly a return while embodying a new chapter.  The story began in the town of Stillwater in 2009, with Other Lives’ self-titled debut, produced by Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M, Atoms For Peace), followed by Tamer Animals, broadening their horizons with dazzling orchestration and instrumentation that reflected Tabish’s love of minimalism, neo-classical music and soundtrack genius, Ennio Morricone.


The band’s core trio of Jesse Tabish (piano, guitar, lead vocals), Jonathon Mooney (piano, violin, guitar, percussion, trumpet) and Josh Onstott (bass, keys, percussion, guitar, backing vocals) then moved out west to Portland. “Stillwater is a college town and being perpetually surrounded by 21-year-olds eventually got to me,” Tabish recalls. “And we’d always liked Portland and its politics.”


In their new north-western base, the band made their third album, Rituals, released in 2015. The exquisitely ornate 54-minute, 14-track opus further pushed the boundaries of the band’s compositional ambitions, infusing a subtle use of electronics. At the same time, “working with a computer means you can layer parts forever,” Tabish reflects. “I’d forgotten how to pick up a guitar and sing a song, to be more physical and primal with the music. On For Their Love, we’re playing again as a band, with a clear definition of parts.”


It helped that the band had reconnected again with rural life when Tabish left Portland, renting a friend’s beautiful A-frame house in Oregon’s Cooper Mountain region, surrounded by towering trees and no neighbours in sight. In this bucolic setting, the trio set about making For Their Love.


“My wife, Kim, and I moving to this house and making a new life and music together was a huge part of this record,” Tabish says. “I found there was too much distraction in Portland, but here we could dedicate ourselves to work. I found that I returned to my music vocabulary in a natural way, using certain types of chords or keys, and also the way I sing. Living with roommates in Portland, I was too shy to sing in front of them. But here, I felt free.”


The sense of freedom and togetherness carried over to the way For Their Love was made: from start to finish, it’s Other Lives’ most collaborative album. This includes the contributions of Rituals drummer, Danny Reisch and of Kim Tabish, whose layered backing vocals amplify the album’s cinematic aura. “We really set out to make a band record,” Tabish says. This extended to self-producing for the first time since 2006 – Mooney also engineered the album.


As For Their Love came together, the band avoided re-working and refining tracks (as they had on Rituals), choosing instead to record different arrangements of songs, “to capture the vibe of something more instant,” Tabish explains. “We were adamant that For Their Love would have no tricks, and nothing to hide behind, which we’d been doing psychologically as well as musically. We wanted ten songs that held up by themselves.”


Part of Tabish’s personal efforts to emerge from ‘hiding’ was re-engaging with the outside world, “getting real with myself,” as he puts it. A tight band of friends, the band had many conversations about the current state of affairs; to that end, For Their  Love’s lyrics “question, observe, lament and hopefully find the slightest hope in the individual and in ourselves. Characters sometimes venture into spiritual, religious or institutionalised endeavours – though I’ve personally found that self-worth is more important than any teachings or preaching.”


‘Sound Of Violence’, the opening track, is one of the album’s most vivid laments, recalling the awestruck Wild West aura of Tamer Animals highlight ‘For 12’ but with a more sobering lyric: “There is no room for an individual outcry in order to exist in the current way of life,” Tabish says. The exquisitely desolate ‘Dead Language’ makes Tabish’s resignation even more palpable. “I feel like I’m an outsider these days,” he admits. “Though that’s not always bad, because you can observe and judge by your own morals.”


But by the band’s own morals, the current world feels bereft. ‘Hey Hey I’ is the sound of Other Lives at their most upbeat and liberated but the lyric addresses, “the paradigm of the downtrodden working class. The American Dream is dead. You bought into the system but it does not pan out.”  The emotion driving ‘Who’s Gonna Love Us’ is one of seeking community and security in this increasingly unstable world. ‘Lost Day’ is similarly unmoored, written on tour, “when we were on the road forever, and we didn’t feel human anymore.” As Tabish developed the lyric, more feelings of dislocation merged: “My fear that the intellectual is dying out, and religion is rising.”


Yet the album’s darkest hour is the penultimate track. ‘We Wait’ is inspired by a real incident, when 17-year old Jesse was a founder member of emo rockers All-American Rejects, and his best friend was murdered by someone within the band’s inner circle. “It’s been haunting me for the last decade,” Tabish admits. “It’s part of my larger narrative of dealing with troubling stuff in my life.”


With Tabish and Other Lives as a whole re-centring their lives and music, For Their Love suitably ends on a note of hope. A serene ballad, ’Sideways’ is an acknowledgement that the world is dark but light exists. “It was the first song we wrote at this house, for Kim, when she was abroad,” says Tabish. “It’s good to leave on something more positive, less cynical.”


Out of personal and creative uncertainty and recalibration, Other Lives have re-emerged, a must-have pastoral sensation reborn.



22.04.2020 news

Thad Cockrell Announces Album ‘If In Case You Feel the Same’, Out June 26th & Releases Single “Swingin'”

Thad Cockrell Announces Album If in Case You Feel the Same, out June 26th and Releases Single “Swingin'”


Produced by Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Andrew Bird), album features contributions from Brittany Howard, Blake Mills, Chris Dave, Matt Chamberlain, Ethan Gruska and Ian Fitchuk


Thad Cockrell will release album If in Case You Feel the Same on June 26th. Produced mainly by Tony Berg (an industry veteran who’s worked with everyone from Phoebe Bridgers to the Replacements), If in Case You Feel the Same taps into the tremendous depth of expression Thad has brought to co-writing for such artists as Joy Williams (on her GRAMMY-nominated 2019 album Front Porch), Joseph, Devon Gilfillian and Mathew Caws of Nada Surf, as well as his much beloved band LEAGUES. Buoyed by the support of Brittany Howard, whom he first met over a 4 a.m. pitcher of homemade margaritas, Cockrell set to work on his first solo effort in over a decade: an album that exposes his deepest insecurities and weaknesses, all for the sake of creating a transcendent connection with the audience.




Mixed and engineered by Shawn Everett (Vampire Weekend, Beck, The War on Drugs), the album features an all-star backing band appearing on various songs throughout – Howard (backing vocals on album standout “Higher”), Blake Mills (guitar), Chris Dave (drums), Matt Chamberlain (drums), Ethan Gruska (piano, synths), Ian Fitchuk (multiple instruments). If in Case You Feel the Same pushes beyond the understated country of Cockrell’s earliest work to illuminate his more idiosyncratic impulses. In dreaming up the album’s thrillingly unpredictable sonic palette, Cockrell built off a batch of recordings he’d self-produced in Nashville with the help of some of his closest musician-friends. Upon heading to Berg’s L.A. studio (then to the legendary Sound City) to complete the production process, he then took care to preserve the intimacy of those original recordings, lending the album a raw vitality that exponentially magnifies its emotional power.


Throughout If in Case You Feel the Same, Cockrell reveals his rare ability to create songs that instantly hit on a visceral level, yet subtly invite intense contemplation. Cockrell even created an inadvertent anthem for our current pandemic-focused lives with the album’s heavy-hearted yet triumphant lead single “Swingin’,” which features Gruska on synths. The song swells into its wildly defiant chorus, where Cockrell sings “If I’m gonna go down/I wanna go down swingin’.” “What more fitting time than now to bring people together with a sense of feeling the same,” says Cockrell. “And we’re gonna get through this together by fighting for each other. If we’re gonna go down, let’s go down swinging.”


There’s a palpable sense of communion that infuses all of If in Case You Feel the Same, including Cockrell’s collaborations with Howard. An ardent fan of the Alabama Shakes frontwoman, Cockrell first linked up with Howard thanks to a wholly unexpected introduction from his dear friend, singer/songwriter Becca Mancari. “I never wanted Becca to feel like a pass-through, so I put it out into the universe that if I was meant to meet Britt, it would just happen someday,” says Cockrell. One very late night while hanging out with Howard, Mancari shared some recordings of Cockrell’s songs, which then prompted Howard to hijack Mancari’s phone and send Cockrell a text professing her love for his music. “Twenty minutes later they’re walking into my house, and I’m making mezcal margaritas and playing Britt songs from the new album,” says Cockrell. “At some point she said me, ‘I never like anything, but I love all of this.’” Soon enough, Howard had sent Cockrell’s demos to ATO Records general manager Jon Salter, thus paving the way for his signing to the label.


With its subtle suggestion of emotional risk and possible reward, the album’s title came to Cockrell as a sudden revelation while walking through Nashville’s Shelby Bottoms in the middle of the winter. “I was looking for a concept that was big enough to house all these different songs and ideas, and when that title struck me I got chills,” he says. “I love the inclusivity of it: how it holds space for oneself, but also holds space for others.”










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