Posts Tagged ‘Sargent House’

Was the whole thing really just a dream? The Armed, one of the most exciting and innovative experimental hardcore bands of the past decade say maybe it was via their new video for “AN ITERATION”. Featuring a voice-over and cameo from one of the most recognized voices in video game history, David Hayter — the legendary voice behind Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid series — the video watches the band’s Dan Greene as he comes to terms with the fact that The Armed may only exist in his head. A fever dream of sorts after one too many times falling asleep playing Metal Gear. A scattered timeline of past music videos that centered around Dan Greene, “An Iteration” is full of easter eggs from the band’s history as well Metal Gear Solid. Stay tuned to the very end.

Dan Greene states “The story of Metal Gear Solid 2–which seemed like convoluted, impenetrable nonsense when we were kids–has turned out to be disturbingly prescient of society in 2021. I would argue that this video game raised more interesting artistic and philosophical questions than a lot of “higher art,” and much earlier too. We are beyond honored to see David Hayter take on the role of Dan Greene within The Armed Cinematic Universe.”

ULTRAPOP, available April 16th via Sargent House features work from Mark Lanegan and Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, and is the first album co-produced by the band’s own Dan Greene in collaboration with Ben Chisholm (Chelsea Wolfe). Kurt Ballou remains at the helm as executive producer. Ultrapop is the genre of music that said album features. It reaches the same extremities of sonic expression as the furthest depths of metal, noise, and otherwise "heavy" counterculture music subgenres but finds its foundation firmly in pop music and pop culture. As is always The Armed’s mission, it seeks only to create the most intense experience possible, a magnification of all culture, beauty, and things.

Watch the video here:

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The Armed

Credit Trevor Naud

Sargent House – 2nd March 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

What to make of The Armed? The lineup is immense, comparable to Revolting Cocks, Pigface, or KMFDM, to the extent that you don’t really know who does what on which song or even who’s in the band or who just tuned up at the studio or rehearsal session. The videos for new single, ‘Average Death’ and its predecessor, ‘All Futures’ don’t help: is it even the band we’re watching? And ultimately, does it matter?

This second single release, ahead of the album’s unveiling in April demonstrates that The Armed are master of churning noise, differentiated by an uncommon accessibility. That is to say that I have no idea what to make of this. While ‘All Futures; was a raging, rampant blast of noise that called to mind Nine Inch Nails, ‘Average Death’ spirals into some heavy shoegaze. If industrial shoegaze isn’t a thing before now, it should be as of this release. It’s deeply immersive, a glorious wash of soft edges, propelled by a squalling wall of noise and frenetic drumming.

So while The Armed and their videos are all the questions, there is no question over the killer nature of their songs.

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Chelsea Wolfe has shared new video for her latest single, “Anhedonia” which features vocals and guitar by labelmate Emma Ruth Rundle. Wolfe joined efforts with stop motion editor and video producer Cressa Beer for a moving creation that reflects grief and loneliness, yet brings hope that with time and support, healing is possible.

Cressa explains, “The core idea of the video came from an artist and mutual friend that Chelsea and I both love – Jess Schnabel (Blood Milk Jewels) – who created a ‘grief moth’ inspired by real moths that drink the tears of sleeping birds. It’s an idea I’ve wanted to animate for a while. So, that became the backbone of the project: the lifecycle of a moth literally born from overwhelming sadness. From there, the video grew into a reflection of what I was experiencing during quarantine, as I found myself confronting my own grief and deeply rooted trauma.  I suffer from PTSD that envelops me like a black void. I wanted to visually articulate how that feels, as well as feelings like disassociation and loneliness; the way that trauma can physically alter your body and mentally reshape the world around you.  But still, the moth can fight its way out, can fly, can follow the light; just like the comfort in the final verse of the song, I wanted to still show that healing is possible.”

Watch the video here:

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The Armed have announced a new album, ULTRAPOP, available April 16th via Sargent House – their first album with the label. Featuring work from Mark Lanegan and Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen this is the first album co-produced by the band’s own Dan Greene in collaboration with Ben Chisholm (Chelsea Wolfe). Kurt Ballou remains at the helm as executive producer. With the announcement comes a live video for the first track, "All Futures," explicitly revealing this album’s band member lineup for the first time. The video is a live take of the studio track, which can be heard here.

Ultrapop is the genre of music that said album features. It reaches the same extremities of sonic expression as the furthest depths of metal, noise, and otherwise "heavy" counterculture music subgenres but finds its foundation firmly in pop music and pop culture. As is always The Armed’s mission, it seeks only to create the most intense experience possible, a magnification of all culture, beauty, and things.

Dan Greene goes on to explain, "crafting vital art means presenting the audience with new and intriguing tensions—sonically, visually, conceptually. Over time and through use, those tensions become less novel and effective—and they become expectations. The concept of "subgenre" becomes almost the antithesis of vitality in art—itself a fetishization of expectation. ULTRAPOP seeks, in earnest, to create a truly new listener experience. It is an open rebellion against the culture of expectation in "heavy" music. It is a joyous, genderless, post-nihilist, anti-punk, razor-focused take on creating the most intense listener experience possible. It’s the harshest, most beautiful, most hideous thing we could make. "

Watch the video for ‘All Futures’ here:

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Armed

Credit Trevor Naud

Chelsea Wolfe has always been a conduit for a powerful energy, and while she has demonstrated a capacity to channel that sombre beauty into a variety of forms, her gift as a songwriter is never more apparent than when she strips her songs down to a few key elements. Today she has released her gripping and reflective new single “Anhedonia”, which features guest vocals and guitar from labelmate Emma Ruth Rundle and was mixed by Ben Chisholm.

Of the single, Wolfe reveals, “I wrote Anhedonia after I experienced it during summer of 2019, then tucked the song away and moved forward with my acoustic album and subsequent North American tour. When COVID-19 hit and stay-at-home orders began in 2020, my European tour was canceled and I had to fly home. Restless, I started listening through my archives of unfinished songs and little unused ideas. When I heard Anhedonia again, it hit me how strangely relevant the lyrics felt to current times. I’d been wanting to work on a song with Emma for a long time, so I recorded it and sent it her way. She graciously added her gorgeous vocals and lead guitar, and then Ben mixed it, adding his signature sound landscape as a fortress around the song. As I listened back to the final version, I was finally able to set free those emotions which I couldn’t feel back in 2019. I had worries around releasing the song, not wanting to romanticize the condition of anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure), but I also understood that it could possibly be cathartic for others who are struggling, as it was for me, to sing and dance my way out of a depression.”

Rundle adds, “I was moved to tears when she sent me Anhedonia, which made getting through the tracking very emotional and slow on my end. I love the way the guitars I tracked morphed in Ben’s mix. The whole song swirls in a poignant eddy of sorrowful sound and still takes a hard swing at my heart hearing it now.”

Listen to “Anhedonia” here:

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Jaye Jayle reveals an evocative new album track, “The River Spree", by way of a new video. Patterson crafted the music—an organic mixture of digital contrabass and interweaving drones—while driving on tour across the long barren stretch of Kansas. But the lyrics capture a moment across the Atlantic, when Patterson found himself lost in Berlin late at night, peaking on acid, without a working phone, and without knowing the whereabouts of his bandmates. He charts his journey over the six-minute song with a drug-high ambivalence, recounting a mugging with the same stoicism as breathing in the night air while “thinking about David / thinking about Iggy.” It sounds like Alan Vega singing from an opium den, comfortably numb while recounting some urban nightmare.

About the making of this track Evan comments "I made this original composition while on the driving from St. Louis to Denver. This particular drive is one of the worst in the country. The long straight and barren stretch of Highway that rolls through the entire state of Kansas gifts one a purgatory-like aura. My story of wandering the streets of Berlin while tripping on acid made for an ideal narrative. I could close my eyes and be transported back to that particular evening. And now, you can too."

Watch the video for ‘The River Spree’ here:

Sargent House – 13th September 2019

Christopher Nosnibor

(Hiss) Spin it any which way, but following her last two inordinately powerful albums, which saw Chelsea Wolfe expand and deepen the depth of tempestuous noise and emotional force, the ‘eagerly awaited’ cliché was never more apt when Birth Of Violence was announced. Those two albums have left me emotionally raw and breathless since release, and I continually return to them as being simply stunning. It’s the perfectly poised juxtaposition of fragility and full-tilt riffage and noise that has impact on numerous levels and renders them with a special kind of intensity. Did I anticipate more of the same? I did I want more of the same? Could I handle more of the same?

It probably wasn’t entirely strategic, and probably more a reflection of the creative ebbs and lows, but nevertheless it makes perfect sense and sits with Wolfe’s creative arc to pull back the noise to deliver a reflective and largely acoustic album this time around. It does mean that despite what its title suggests, Birth Of Violence is altogether more sedate, and doesn’t grab you by the throat within a minute of hitting play. But then, in a world of noise, some reflection and hush is beyond welcome and necessary.

‘The Mother Road,’ unveiled back in June, opens with extraneous noise, but it’s acoustic guitar and a clean, untreated vocal that stand to the fore. Without the explosive crash of percussion and melting guitars one would reasonably anticipate based on recent for, we’re left to feel the pull of Wolfe’s tone and delicate intonation. But then it builds subtly to a rich swell of sound, a subtle adaptation of the post-rock crescendo that’s not overtly noisy, but isn’t exactly quiet either, culminating in a whirling swirl of noise around her emotionally fragile vocal.

The somewhat folksy title track finds Chelsea soaring, semi-operatic but also breathy and vulnerable and transcending to another plane, while ‘Deranged For Rock ‘n’ Roll’ finds heavy, murky percussion crash in behind her unusual pronunciation of ‘rock ‘n’ roll.’ She doesn’t sound particularly deranged, but more sedated. A lugubrious violin whines while the sound swells and surges and Wolfe soars to deliver a breathtaking climax.

‘Dirt Universe’ climbs slowly down to the gloomy depths of Leonard Cohen around Songs of Love and Hate: dark, lugubrious, and yet quietly intense. So intense.

It may be acoustic-based and considerably less noisy than its immediate predecessors, meaning it has less immediacy and less velocity overall, but Birth of Violence is an elegant and also striking album. Of course it is, it’s Chelsea Wolfe.

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After a spellbinding performance at The Cure’s Pasadena Daydream Festival this past weekend in LA, Chelsea Wolfe is just one week away from releasing her latest album Birth Of Violence via Sargent House on September 13th.

Birth of Violence is a return to the reclusive nature of her earlier recordings where we see Wolfe withdraw into her own world of enigmatic and elusive autobiography. But the album also exists in the present, addressing modern tragedies such as school shootings and the poisoning of the planet.

On the song Wolfe tells us “Deranged for Rock & Roll” is my love song to music. Every time I ever tried to walk a different path, music always called me back home to it. It’s in my blood; it’s my one source of true peace. I love its chaos and its rough edges, and I love the way it can bring understanding and comfort. I belong to music, and it to me. I feel Gilbert’s video illustrates that unnamed pull towards something so well. My character is destined to sing the same song over and over in this purgatory of a desert bar, while different people come through the town and begin to feel the pull as well, drawing them into this vortex to stay for good.”

Video director Gilbert Trejo (Pixies, DIIV) says “From the beginning we knew this video took place outside of society. The melody invokes compulsion, a certain type of purgatory, the inability to just buckle down and fly the straight path. Everyone’s purgatory exists side by side, and we affect one another without ever knowing.”

Watch the video here:

Chelsea Wolfe Acoustic Tour:

10/18: San Diego, CA – Observatory North Park

10/19: Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom

10/21: Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall

10/22: Estes Park, CO – Stanley Hotel

10/24: Chicago, IL – Metro

10/25: Detroit, MI – Senate Theater

10/26: Toronto, ONT – Queen Elizabeth Theatre

10/27: Montreal, QC – Le National

10/29: Boston, MA – Royale

10/31: Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer

11/01: New York, NY – Brooklyn Steel

11/03: Washington, DC – 9:30 Club

11/04: Charlotte, NC – McGlohon Theater

11/05: Atlanta, GA – Terminal West

11/06: Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge

11/08: Dallas, TX – Texas Theatre

11/09: Austin, TX – Levitation

11/10: Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall

11/12: Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf

11/13: Tucson, AZ – Club Congress

11/15: Los Angeles, CA – The Palace Theatre

11/16: San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom

11/18: Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom

11/20: Seattle, WA – The Showbox

11/21: Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre

* All dates with special guest Ioanna Gika

The spellbinding new album from Chelsea Wolfe is out in just under a month and today she has given us another glimpse of her more folk leaning sound. Her new single, ‘Be All Things’ is an emotional journey and shows Wolfe at the top of her songwriting game.

Of the track, Chelsea Wolfe says “’Be All Things’ is about navigating the world as a woman: reconciling the soft and the strong, balancing the warrior and the goddess, and wanting to be everything and nothing at the same time. Telling stories through song allows me to explore so many facets of myself; so many lives within. Some days I want to be quiet and reach my roots into the earth, and some days I want to spring up from the ground and be all things.”

“The video is a culmination of footage taken in a few magical locations,” says Wolfe. “Around southwestern Iceland, while shooting the Birth of Violence album cover, inside Moaning Cavern in Northern California – a marble cavern 450 feet deep that I visited as a child and sang in as an adult, sending my voice out as heavy as I could against the powerful dampness and sparkles of the ancient cave walls. A special spot in nature not far from my home where the Manzanita grows up like a red and green tunnel, and a historic California hotel from the Victorian era where many from the past rested their heads.”

Watch the video here:

Chelsea Wolfe has returned with another stunning track from her forthcoming album, Birth Of Violence out September 13th on Sargent House. The song is accompanied by this video which Wolfe tells us is an “expression of freedom and beautiful humans being themselves.”

She continues, “It began as a sort of homage to a scene in the Paul Thomas Anderson film Magnolia, where the characters are singing along to the Aimee Mann song “Wise Up,” but I wanted our version to be explored through the lens of The Tarot. I’ve been reading tarot cards for myself for many years, and researching the symbolic expressions of the cards for this video made me want to dive even deeper. To represent that, I played both The Fool and The High Priestess cards in the video, to embody both the beginning of the journey, and the realization that the sacred knowledge I was seeking was inside me all along. We cast friends to play a few other tarot archetypes, and Karlos’ idea was to bring the symbols and signifiers into the contemporary; deconstructed, and made everyday – “the magical and the unexceptional.” I loved that. At the same time, we really wanted to challenge the binary of the traditional tarot cards, and give them more diversity, which is something important that many cool artists and witches are doing. I’m such a fan of Karlos Rene Ayala as a writer, director, documentarian and friend, and have looked forward to making a video with him for a long time.”

Watch the video here:

Wolfe will be embarking on an extensive, acoustic North American tour this Autumn starting with a special performance at Pasadena Daydream Festival with her full band. All tour dates are listed below.

Chelsea Wolfe Acoustic Tour:

31/08: Pasadena, CA – Pasadena Daydream Festival * (Non Acoustic Set)
18/10: San Diego, CA – Observatory North Park
19/10: Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
21/10: Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall
22/10: Estes Park, CO – Stanley Hotel
24/10: Chicago, IL – Metro
25/10: Detroit, MI – Senate Theater
26/10: Toronto, ONT – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
27/10: Montreal, QC – Le National
29/10: Boston, MA – Royale
31/10: Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
01/11: New York, NY – Brooklyn Steel
03/11: Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
04/11: Charlotte, NC – McGlohon Theater
05/11: Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
06/11: Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
08/11: Dallas, TX – Texas Theatre
09/11: Austin, TX – Levitation
10/11: Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
12/11: Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf
13/11: Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
15/11: Los Angeles, CA – The Palace Theatre
16/11: San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
18/11: Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
20/11: Seattle, WA – The Showbox
21/11: Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre

* All dates with special guest Ioanna Gika except 8/31