Namesake – the Brooklyn-based jangle punk band formerly known as Honduras – are back with their new album Redeeming Features. Following a string of EPs, singles, and the LP Rituals under their previous moniker, Redeeming Features is both a refinement of their previous work and a bold step forward. Stereogum called “I’m Sick” “a revved-up power-pop banger with the reckless energy of a brand-new band”, with Under The Radar and New Noise featuring the group as well. I produced the record with the band, recording pre-pandemic at Outlier Inn (where we had recorded Rituals five years earlier) and mixing/mastering at Studio Windows last year. I’m so proud of the work we did together at each step of the way, and I feel like the joy & excitement of creation really shines through on this one – check it out! Redeeming Features is out now on Get Better Records.
Namesake, the NYC punk quartet formerly known as Honduras, have announced their new record Redeeming Features with its first song & single “I’m Sick”. Stereogum premiered the track, calling it “a revved-up power-pop banger with the reckless energy of a brand-new band.” I had worked with Honduras back in 2014-2016 on their debut full-length Rituals and the followup Gathering Rust EP, and had listened as their collection of songs grew in the intervening years. We reunited in 2019 to sift through the tracks, selecting our favorites and fine-tuning the structures before going into the studio to record. I produced this record Winter 2019/2020 – recording at the incredible Outlier Inn (in Mountain Dale, NY) and mixing/mastering at Studio Windows (in Brooklyn, NY) – and I’m beyond thrilled to finally be able to share this first song. As Stereogum put it, “It’s a jam.” Redeeming Features comes out October 15 on Get Better Records.
Happy New Year & Decade!
Of the dozens of albums & singles I worked on that came out in 2019, Phantom Rhythm by Gong Gong Gong is particularly near & dear to my heart. I produced/recorded/mixed the record (and earlier singles) with the group starting back in 2017, and played the works-in-progress for friends & colleagues, leading to tours with Parquet Courts, Bodega, and Flasher and a relationship with the always-interesting Wharf Cat Records. Unsurprisingly, this fresh take on “multinational blues” made its way onto a number of Best Of 2019 lists, including Loud and Quiet, Aquarium Drunkard, and Raven Sings the Blues, as well as writers’ lists in The Wire and The Guardian.
Phantom Rhythm also made its way onto Post Trash‘s Best of 2019 list, where it shares space alongside Duo Duo by electro-rock whiz kids Operator Music Band (another personal fave that I co-produced/recorded/mixed), and two records that I mastered: noise-punks Weeping Icon’s self-titled debut and Dehd’s stellar breakup-pop LP Water.
Gimme Tinitus‘s Best of 2019 also featured Gong Gong Gong, Operator Music Band, and Weeping Icon, as well as Brooklyn noise-rock duo ESSi and their mind-bending debut Vital Creatures (which I co-produced/recorded/mixed/mastered).
Perhaps the most touching was seeing Parquet Courts in a number of Best of the Decade lists. The albums I produced with them (and Light Up Gold in particular) launched the band’s career, and were massively important for me and my trajectory as a producer/engineer. In the seven years since Light Up Gold was first released, I’ve watched their popularity and stature steadily rise, as their name became a short-hand comparison for literate, catchy punk bands. Nevertheless, it was humbling and exciting to see Light Up Gold rank #16 in Rolling Stone (and #2 in writer Rob Sheffield’s personal list), #37 in BrooklynVegan (and #7 in writer Bill Pearis’ personal list), #39 in AV Club, #41 in Treble, #78 in Vice, and #80 in Stereogum; Sunbathing Animal rank #140 in Pitchfork; and their break-out single “Stoned and Starving” rank #16 in Rolling Stone and #89 in Stereogum.
Snail Mail’s Lush also graced a number of these Best of 2010s lists. I helped to record the album, which was produced & mixed by my studio partner Jake Aron. Lush was undoubtedly important not just to the music culture of the last couple years, but also to our work: it was the first album tracked in the new Outlier Inn (where I’ve recorded many albums since Sunbathing Animal in the studio’s previous setup), and the first album mixed in our own Studio Windows. Lush ranked #48 in Stereogum and #122 in Pitchfork, and its lead-single “Pristine” ranked #87 in Stereogum and #97 in Pitchfork.
One last thing I almost missed: Catherine – the short film & web series by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp (the minds behind Marcel The Shell With Shoes On) was featured in Vulture’s Favorite Comedy Moments of the Decade. I don’t do much for sound-for-film these days, but this was certainly a highlight for me, and I’m happy to see it still getting some (admittedly confused) love.
I’m looking forward to 2020, with the debut album Person by my new group P.E. scheduled in March, alongside albums I’ve produced for Pottery, Public Practice, Dougie Poole, and Brandy also arriving this spring. Regardless of how arbitrary Best Of lists can seem, it does feel like a great way to start off the new year & decade…. thanks for reading & listening.
Machinegum – the NYC neo-new-wave quintet led by Fabrizio Moretti of The Strokes – has released their debut album Conduit. The album was produced by Fab and my studio partner Jake Aron, recorded at Outlier Inn and Figure 8, mixed by Jake, myself and Andrew Maury, and mastered by Heba Kadry. There’s quite a range here, from softer crooners to abstract synth-rock and everything in between, and features contributions by Delicate Steve and Ian Devaney of Nation of Language. Stereogum published this thoughtful review of the album to alert the world of its release; Conduit is on all streaming services now via Frenchkiss Records.
Lush, the debut record from teenage indie-pop sensations Snail Mail, is out now on Matador Records. I recorded this album at Outlier Inn and Doctor Wu’s with Jake Aron, who also produced and mixed the record. Fun fact: Lush was the the first record recorded in the new Studio A at Outlier Inn, the first record mixed at Studio Windows (the new studio started by me and Jake), and one of the last records worked on at Doctor Wu’s before it closed. Joe LaPorta mastered the record at Sterling Sound.
Lush has been greeted with near-universal acclaim from Best New Music (and a score of 8.7) on Pitchfork; to features in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe; to reviews in nearly every music-related publication, and many non-musical ones as well. Check it out if you haven’t already!
Baltimore indie-pop sensation Snail Mail just received a Best New Track nod from Pitchfork for their new track “Heat Wave”. “Heat Wave” is the second single from their upcoming album Lush, which I recorded with Jake Aron (who produced and mixed the record) at Outlier Inn, Doctor Wu’s, and our new studio in Brooklyn, NY. Lush comes out June 8 on Matador Records.
“Pristine”, the first single from Snail Mail‘s upcoming LP Lush, was just awarded “Best New Track” by Pitchfork. The album was produced by my studio partner Jake Aron, which I helped record at Outlier Inn (in Woodridge, NY, on their Neve VR) and our old studio Doctor Wu’s (in Brooklyn, NY). I’m very happy to have been a part of this record, and very proud of the band and Jake for the work they put into this gorgeous work. Lush comes out June 8 on Matador Records.
Matador Records – the massively influential label and a personal longtime favorite – announced today that they’ve signed Snail Mail to their roster. I went upstate last month to the newly re-designed and re-opened Outlier Inn (where I also recorded Parquet Courts’ Sunbathing Animal and Honduras’ Rituals) with the band and Jake Aron (my studio partner and the album’s producer) to do the basic tracking. It sounds fantastic – the studio’s fun and beautiful, and the songs are a great progression from the first EP. Jake’s mixing it this fall – it will be a good one!
New music by Parquet Courts, the Drums, PC Worship, Turn to Crime, The Britanys, Dougie Poole, Operator Music Band and more…
To kick things off, Parquet Courts‘ collaboration with Bun B finally came out! They debuted this version of “Captive of the Sun” on Colbert last summer with members of PC Worship, Blues Control, and my bandmate Bob Jones. Austin Brown and I went into Doctor Wu’s shortly after that to put together this remix, which has a chopped n’ screwed version by DJ Candlestick and OG Ron C on the B-side. Pitchfork premiered the track, along with a Houston rap playlist by Young Doc Gooden (fka Austin Brown)… so proud to still have my 713- number. Pick it up on limited-edition LP via Rough Trade, and check out the lyric video below.
I was also super excited to see the premiere of The Drums‘ new single “Blood Under My Belt”. Pitchfork premiered the song last week, as the first single from the new record “Abysmal Thoughts”. Bandleader Jonny Pierce and I worked together last summer at Doctor Wu’s, disassembling his demos and rebuilding them into something else entirely. I’m really happy to have recorded and mixed this album, and I can’t wait for more of it to be released. Mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound, “Abysmal Thoughts” will be released in June on Anti-.
PC Worship – one of my favorite groups going – released their new album Buried Wish, which I had the pleasure to master and help sequence with Justin Frye. All of the PC Worship records (and many PC Worship songs) have their own series of detours and digressions, which is particularly true of this album – it veers from ornate horn arrangements to grunge-sludge stomp to acoustic/field recording meanderings and everywhere else in between. Hopefully you caught them on tour with Naomi Punk, but either way you should catch them next month with The Dreebs. Check out the great press in Pitchfork, Noisey, and Clrvynt, and pick up Buried Wish on Northern Spy now.
My fellow electro-rock weirdos Turn to Crime released their latest (fourth? sixth?) record Secondary in early February. Derek Stanton records all of the music himself at his own Molten Sound studio in Detroit, and you can hear that freedom of creativity and amazing collection of gear throughout each of his records. Secondary, which I mixed and Sarah Register mastered last year, is my personal favorite – “Chasing”, “Dead Man”, and the title track are all undeniable gems. Check out these features on Noisey and Brooklyn Vegan, and pick up the record through Mugg and Bopp.
Bushwick rock+rollers The Britanys released their debut EP Five A Side, which premiered with an enthusiastic NME review. We recorded these songs in two different sessions, deciding in the end to go with the stripped-down basement recordings for this EP – they just rocked harder! Check them out at SXSW, and stream/purchase Five A Side from the group’s Bandcamp.
Electronic country-crooner Dougie Poole released his debut LP Wideass Highway on JMC Aggregate. I mixed and mastered this strange and beautiful record last year, and was happy to see it featured in both FADER and Ad Hoc. Do yourself a favor and pick it up at Dougie’s Bandcamp.
Fuzzy synth rockers Operator Music Band‘s debut LP Puzzlephonics I & II came out last week. The album pairs two EPs (recorded by band member Dara Hirsch) which we mixed and mastered at Doctor Wu’s last fall. Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan both featured the group, who is heading out on tour this week toward SXSW. Pick up a copy now on New Professor Music, and stream it below.
My German indie-rock buddies Behave! released a video for “Someone”, the first single from the record we did last summer in Hannover. It was a pleasure working with the group over there on a Studer A800 with a bunch of vintage German mics, and I’m really happy with the results, which I mixed and mastered back in NYC. If you read German, you may enjoy this interview on Diffus, but even if you don’t, you’ll probably enjoy the song (it’s in English).
NYC alterna-singer-songwriter Tica Douglas’ new single “The Same Thing” was recently released. The Wild Honey Pie and Gold Flake Paint both featured the track, which I mixed and mastered as part of the new record Our Lady Star of the Sea, Help and Protect Us. 2014’s Joey was released to great reviews, and I’m excited that this one will be released on Team Love later in May. Stay tuned…
In a similarly off-kilter-folk vein, Dark Tea’s debut EP was released last month. I mastered this for Gary Canino, who also plays in the fierce NYC punk band Rips. CLRVYNT wrote about the EP, and you can purchase it on Bandcamp.
And Brian Chillemi (also of shredders Junk Boys) released a video single for the new song “Child of the Earth” (which I mastered). Read about it on Impose, and buy the track on Bandcamp.
Also released: Eventide debuted their new plugin ‘Fission‘. It’s the first in their line of “Structural Effects”, which separates the transient and tonal information of a source, and allows you to effect each separately. I consulted with the designers Russ & Tom and my friend Joe Waltz early on in the process of development, and contributed a handful of presents to the plugin. Check out this explanation here and download the demo now!
I spent some time upstate this past month, checking out the progress on the incredible new control room at Outlier Inn (where I recorded Parquet Courts’ Sunbathing Animal and Honduras’ Rituals). I always loved visiting and working at the space, but with this new room (designed by Wes Lachot) and new console (Tom Elmhirst’s modified Neve VR 72), it’s going to be a truly incredible place to make a record. I can’t wait for the opening this May.
I also spent some time with Acid Dad, recording and co-producing their debut LP. We recorded the basics to my Otari MX-5050 at their studio upstate, and mixed it in Brooklyn at Doctor Wu’s. It’s a fierce and fun album – I’m excited for people to hear this one. Check them out later this month on the road with Honduras.
One last thing: I posted a new Soundcloud playlist too, if you’re interested in hearing a mix of different things I’ve worked on.
Thanks for reading all of this!
Moment of Inertia, the new EP from my group Eaters, is out now via Driftless Recordings. The EP is an audio-video document of a sound-sculpture conceived by visual artist, group member, and old friend Christopher Duffy (who is also responsible for the on-stage sculptures at our live shows). I’ve tried describing it many different ways, so perhaps it is best to quote the statement we prepared:
A large cylinder of glass serves as a manually-spun platter for an altered turntable, playing an original composition cut to acetate. Void of a motor of any sort, the turntable slows over the course of the composition, eventually coming to a complete stop. Throughout the experience, tempo and pitch fluctuate, exploring perceptions of speed, elasticity, and entropy.
Brooklyn Vegan premiered the EP last week, coinciding with more shows with the always-incredible Shabazz Palaces. Check out the video (a single shot of the sculpture in action) and audio (three different versions of the compostion) below. Special thanks to Steven Probert for shooting the cover image and video and to Josh Bonati for cutting the acetate.
Parquet Courts recently announced their new EP Monastic Living. The recording was done at Sonelab and in their practice space (by band member Austin Brown), and Austin and I mixed and mastered it last month at Doctor Wu’s. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s a weird one! Monastic Living is out November 13th on Rough Trade.
Stereogum recently announced the new Lushes album Service Industry. I spent some time with the group this past winter, developing synth parts and treatments across the record, which was recorded and mixed by Aaron Mullan (Sonic Youth, Tall Firs, et al). The album comes out October 16th on Felte Records, and you can stream the first single “Low Hanging Fruit” below.
Also coming soon: Do You Remember Real Pain, one of two new EPs by Rat Columns (aka David West). I met David when Eaters and Lace Curtain (one of his many other projects) toured together last fall, and we started mixing when we got off the road. I mixed and mastered 4/5 songs for the EP (which you can stream below), to be released August 20th on Adagio 830. (His other EP – Fooling Around – is out now on Blackest Ever Black).
Honduras just released a video for “Paralyzed”, the first single from their upcoming album RItuals. I produced this record a while ago – recorded upstate at Outlier Inn, mixed/mastered at Doctor Wu’s in Brooklyn – so it’s excited to see pieces of it shared with the world. It’s a great record, and though it sounds like we have longer still to wait for the full thing, you can check out the video and audio for “Paralyzed” now.
I wrote about this in my last post, but there has now been an official update to the delayed Optimo Music post-punk compilation that I re-mastered and restored along with Michael Train this spring. Originally titled Now That’s What I Call DIY! (Cult Classics From the Post-Punk Era 1978-82), the double-LP collection was set to be released this month before Sony – who is behind the series Now That’s What I Call Music! – issued a cease and desist. Optimo couldn’t reach an agreement with Sony’s lawyers, so all of the original packaging has been destroyed and the title has been changed to [Cease and Desist] DIY! The compilation is truly great, so I’m pleased to announce that it has a new release date of October 30th. Read more of the story and the full track-listing on Pitchfork, and check out a sampler of the collection below.
I also worked with Michael Train to restore and remaster the long out-of-print back-catalog of late 70s/early 80s Aussie post-punk group the Sunday Painters. The first reissue in the series was a collection of early singles called In My Dreams, which was released earlier this year. Their two subsequent full lengths – Something to Do and 4th Annual Report – are coming out August 28th via What’s Your Rupture. As with In My Dreams, these reissues have been lovingly restored and feature bonus downloads of never-before-heard live recordings. Check out “Something to Do” and “Shattered Lens” below.
After mastering the compilation American Music this spring, I recently mastered five different EPs for GODMODE Records, one of my favorite local labels. Yvette, Soft Lit, Fitness, and Hand of God all have new EPs coming soon; Fasano’s The Beach EP is out now (streaming below).
I recently spent a few days in the studio with Junk Boys, recording/mixing/mastering a full-length record as a follow-up to the EP we did this winter. It rips!!
I also mixed a commercial for director Robin Comisar (creator of the short Mom Died that I sound designed and mixed). The commercial is for Crossfit, and features a 79 year old woman using the fitness program for rehabilitation. The ad is playing on ESPN, and you can stream it on Youtube as well.
Thanks as always for taking the time to read this! Much more in the works – finishing the next Eaters LP; lots of records; maybe some short films; and hopefully some more beach time before the end of summer!