SC Distributon

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-04-01
Black Mountain: IV

The rock canon has many anti-heroes, Black Mountain being the latest. In the past, Can's Tago Mago established that the only rule in rock and roll is that there are no rules. Pink Floyd's prodigious output in the 70s showed us that architecture can be cool, while delinquent proto-metallers Black Sabbath demonstrated that you can make a lot from not that much. Now Black Mountain teach us that you don't have to be afraid of the past to move bravely into the future, defining what it is to be a classic rock band in the new millennium. Today, they announce IV, an unapologetically ambitious record made by a group of musicians who are at the peak of their powers.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-04-01
Black Mountain: IV Deluxe Bundle

IV Deluxe Bundle: 1. IV on limited edition translucent orange vinyl 2xLP. (This color is exclusive to the Jagjaguwar mailorder bundle.) 3. IV on CD in 6-panel cardboard wallet. 3. Limited edition custom pewter model plane, emblazoned with the Black Mountain IV logos. 4. Digital download code for the album (containing 320kbps MP3s) redeemable 2 weeks before release date on March 18, 2016

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-04-01
Unknown Mortal Orchestra / SILICON: Phone

Brothers Ruban and Kody Nielson have been playing, recording and collaborating on music for decades. From the influences of their jazz musician father and dancer mother, Ruban and Kody have gone on to play in New Zealand's The Mint Chicks, and at its end in 2010, moved on to separate projects. Ruban formed Unknown Mortal Orchestra out of Portland, while Kody collaborated with various artists and musicians before his own solo project, SILICON, took shape. At the end of 2015, as UMO's Multi-Love and SILICON's Personal Computer made the rounds, garnering critical acclaim, Ruban and Kody (who played keyboards and drums on UMO's Multi-Love) took some time to rework tracks from each of their records. The theme of phones led to Kody working on UMO's "Can’t Keep Checking My Phone," changing it from a bouncy, sprite disco track to a sparser song filled with space, treated vocals and isolated drum breaks. Ruban's rework of SILICON's "Cellphone" is turned moody and dark, with a skittering beat and additional vocals. The limited edition Phone 7" is available on April 1, 2016.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2016-01-22
The Besnard Lakes: A Coliseum Complex Museum

Unique among their furrowed brow peers, The Besnard Lakes are unafraid to marry textured, questing headphone sonics to the honeyed pleasure of radio hits past: the rapture of My Bloody Valentine entwined with the romance of Fleetwood Mac. Imagine dreamy Beach House riding Led Zeppelin dynamics, with unabashedly androgynous vocal harmonies.

Channelling their obsessions with the paranormal as well as the dark arts, A Coliseum Complex Museum is populated by cryptozoological creatures (The Bray Road Beast, Golden Lion) while also luxuriating in natural phenomena and beauty (The Plain Moon, Nightingale). These themes are sincere yet good-humoured. The LP's title jokily refers to a landmark-heavy road sign spotted on tour in Texas, the varied emotional impulses within reflected by its environmentally warped artwork.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-12-04
Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy (10th Anniversary Edition)

In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of this iconic album, Jagjaguwar is proud to present the Black Sheep Boy 10th Anniversary Edition, a three-LP set combining the classic Black Sheep Boy album and its counterpart the Black Sheep Boy Appendix with an all new unreleased album entitled There Swims a Swan: full-band recordings made six months prior to the release of Black Sheep Boy which illuminate the album's roots in the traditional American songbook. Featuring beautiful, emotional readings of songs popularized by such artists as Washington Phillips, Lead Belly, the Louvin Brothers, and Roscoe Holcomb, There Swims a Swan takes the listener on a trip through the songs that inspired Sheff while composing Black Sheep Boy and reads like a run-through of that album's themes. Black Sheep Boy is celebrated for its album artwork as well as its music, and the Anniversary Edition collects that artwork in a meticulously reworked package, combining every previous element of William Schaff's imagery with a large new piece by Schaff depicting an updated Black Sheep Boy. The release also includes lengthy liner notes by Will Sheff walking the listener through the circumstances surrounding the album.

For Okkervil River fans (the most high-profile of whom was recently revealed to be President Barack Obama, who included "Down Down the Deep River" on his 2015 summer playlist), the Anniversary Edition is a loving, comprehensive, richly expanded presentation of a record many consider to be one of the band's best. For those new to the band, this might be the best place to start, the first step on a long road, the opening to a forest you can get lost in.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-10-16
Small Black: Best Blues

Gracing the cover of Brooklyn band Small Black’s new record, a mysterious woman walks alone on the dunes at dusk, amid pockmarked sand. She's the subject of a found photo, one of many rescued with the warmth of a blow dryer and a fireplace, by singer Josh Hayden Kolenik after Hurricane Sandy flooded his family’s Long Island home. The faded image offers clues and invites viewers to construct their own narrative, one that escapes even the picture’s taker, Kolenik’s father. To put it simply, Best Blues is an album about loss, the specific loss of precious people in our lives, but also the loss of memories and the difficult fight to preserve them. “I spent months trying to scan all these images & letters, most covered with ocean dirt, and in doing so discovered what people often find in their family’s past: that they are a hell of a lot like those who’d come before,” says Kolenik. The chorus of standout “Boys Life” echoes this sentiment with the refrain “pictures of youth/picturing you,” over a track that itself was an old demo re-discovered by accident by the band, during a late night jam session at a cabin in Upstate NY. The compassion of the record collects itself in the soft repeating mantra-esque hook in "No One Wants It To Happen To You".

The group’s third full length release, written & recorded at their Brooklyn home studio, nicknamed 222, showcases a band still evolving, and embracing the unpredictable. Kolenik (keys, vocals), Ryan Heyner (guitar, keys, vocals), Juan Pieczanski (bass, guitar) and Jeff Curtin (drums) have been recording, writing, and often living together, throughout the life of the band, establishing a closeness that has allowed them to achieve easy creativity and unspoken chemistry. After a year of recording, that band enlisted mixer Nicholas Vernhes (War on Drugs, Deerhunter) of Rare Book Room Studio to help complete the record.

Best Blues finds the band in their sweet spot: the smoky intersection of considered & 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” & “Checkpoints” embody & build on the group’s signature gritty yet focused electronic sound. While the more pastoral tracks, such as “Between Leos,” & “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.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-09-04
Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-08-21
Briana Marela: All Around Us

Briana's lyrics are forceful, and throughout her second album, All Around Us, traditional song structure gives way to plainspoken declarations that pull back the record's shroud. Her first single,"Surrender" is musically delicate at first, with flickering blips and chords that float into earshot like fireflies. "Take Care of Me" is the album's brightest and most immediate song, a buoyant celebration of friendship with a skittering beat and a warm, sweet melody. And title track "All Around Us" is a stark but inspiring beauty, built on the memory of a family member of Briana's who passed away, and the sadness of not being able to say "goodbye" or "I love you" one last time. It is the balance of the abstract and the intimate that makes Briana Marela and All Around Us so special.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-07-17
Sharon Van Etten: Words (Music from the Film "Tig")

From the soundtrack of the documentary "Tig".

Black Mountain: Black Mountain (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

Available in limited edition Grey Vinyl. Black Mountain's self-titled debut album is a new classic rock, with reference points arcane and clear, its sound fresh, unfamiliar and irresistible. Savor the compact, spacey brilliance of this cosmic, heavy and subtle album, expanded now with a raft of delicious bonus tracks scavenged from the Black Mountain Army archives.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-06-09
Sharon Van Etten: I Don't Want to Let You Down

One of music's most astute cartographers of the heart, able to squeeze enormous sentiments into especially small spaces, Sharon Van Etten offers up documents of surrender and disappointment, admission and longing with this 5 song EP, I Don't Want to Let You Down.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-05-26
Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Multi-Love

The threads of our past never unravel, they hover like invisible webs, occasionally glistening due to a sly angle of the sun. On Multi-Love, Unknown Mortal Orchestra frontman and multi-instrumentalist Ruban Nielson reflects on relationships: airy, humid longing, loss, the geometry of desire that occurs when three people align. Where Nielson addressed the pain of being alone on II, Multi-Love takes on the complications of being together.

Multi-Love adds dimensions to the band's already kaleidoscopic approach, with Nielson exploring a newfound appreciation for synthesizers. The new songs channel the spirit of psych innovators without ignoring the last 40 years of music, forming a flowing, cohesive whole that reflects restless creativity. Cosmic escapes and disco rhythms speak to developing new vocabulary, while Nielson's vocals reach powerful new heights. "It felt good to be rebelling against the typical view of what an artist is today, a curator," he says. "It's more about being someone who makes things happen in concrete ways. Building old synthesizers and bringing them back to life, creating sounds that aren't quite like anyone else's. I think that’s much more subversive."

While legions of artists show fidelity to the roots of psychedelia, Unknown Mortal Orchestra shares the rare quality that makes the genre's touchstones so vital: constant exploration.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-04-18
Okkervil River: Sleep And Wake-Up Songs (Deluxe Edition)

Sleep and Wake-Up Songs is now being rereleased for Record Store Day, it's first time pressed ever on vinyl. Including a demo of the EP track "You're Untied Again" and the never before released song "Knocking Myself Out," the EP reveals Okkervil River in-between the monumental albums Down The River of Golden Dreams and Black Sheep Boy. Band leader Will Sheff looked back to this EP, remarking, "I can hear in it somebody who is actually getting comfortable with singing, with playing the guitar, with letting music happen naturally."

On the reflecting about the title, Sheff recalled "there's something about your mind that's especially flexible when it's in that weird half-asleep/half-awake phase - ideas can glide in more gracefully." Okkervil River present a small collection of more meditative songs, Sleep and Wake-Up Songs is just a station on your way; it knows it's not your lover. It's a little shed, a lean-to constructed on the banks of some shaded stream between mountains. There is peace and quiet here. There's a Les Paul resting against a fallen bough, but there are few loud noises, little reason to panic. The smell of cedars hangs in the air. There's a strange chill.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-03-17
Sur Une Plage: Legerdemain

Legerdemain - a trick, a slight of hand, a skill to make an audience believe that something is other than what it appears to be. Such is the case with Sur Une Plage's first studio album, a collection of pop songs, stripped of their organic beginnings to reveal a colder, more cynical outlook towards an uncertain future. Past experiences - mistakes, successes - should offer clues for successful navigation of future occurrences, yet with such a dismal track record, is there any assurance that these missteps will not be repeated? Recorded over a half year, "Legerdemain" is the culmination of an idea formed by Joshua Wells and Colin McKill during an unrelated tour ages ago. The idea was a musical project typifying simplicity; sparse instrumentation with vocals, harkening back to an age simultaneously of singer/songwriters and the first forays into synthesized music. Warmth, and hope, fighting through cuspidated obstacles - perhaps humanity's most enduring trick; its salvation in the face of overwhelmingly bleak odds.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-02-17
S. Carey: Supermoon

Recorded primarily during the perigee-syzygy (also known as the super moon) of August 2014, the Supermoon EP from S. Carey is a study in scale, space, and proximity. These songs are a new and closer look into existing works from both S. Carey's renowned full-lengths, 2010's All We Grow and 2014's Range of Light. With Supermoon, Carey has broken these songs down to their essential, acoustic parts with his forever humming vocals laid over top, lilting yet percussive piano, and a subtle swath of harmonic strings. You can hear Carey's breath between words and the pat of his fingers on the keys; you can hear the living room in which his family's baby grand piano sits. These songs are beautiful, intimate and so potently personal. This collection is a stark presentation of S. Carey laid bare, an open invitation for the listener to climb into his world.

One particularly poignant piece is the re-imagined Range of Light closer, "Neverending Fountain," perhaps an apt metaphor for the life of the songs themselves. Says Carey, "The longer you spend with a song, the more you can see it in its pure form." Supermoon also features a heartrending cover of "Bullet Proof.. I Wish I Was" from Radiohead's classic album The Bends, and a new song, the EP's namesake, "Supermoon," which takes its inspiration, like much of Carey's work, from the natural world around him.

Another source of inspiration quoted by Carey is the excitement of working out arrangements for pre-existing songs on the spot, for various sessions on tour. He brought that spirit to the recording of Supermoon, which took place over the course of a single weekend. Already known as an artist of impeccable craft, S. Carey worked with long-time friends and collaborators (Mike Noyce played viola, Zach Hanson engineered, mixed, and mastered) to add a chapter to the still unfolding story of Sean Carey as an artist. We can hear the songwriting, singing and performance for what it truly is; understated, true and pure beauty.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-01-20
Viet Cong: Viet Cong

Recorded in a barn-turned-studio in rural Ontario, the seven songs that make up Viet Cong were born largely on the road, when Flegel and bandmates Mike Wallace, Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen embarked on a 50-date tour that stretched virtually every limit imaginable. Close quarters hastened their exhaustion but also honed them as a group. You can designate records as seasonal, and you can feel Viet Cong's bleakness and declare it wintry. But the only way you get a frost is when there's something warmer to freeze up. So yes, Viet Cong is a winter album, but only until it is a spring record, then a summer scorcher, then an autumn burner, then it ices over again.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-01-20
Viet Cong: Viet Cong

Recorded in a barn-turned-studio in rural Ontario, the seven songs that make up Viet Cong were born largely on the road, when Flegel and bandmates Mike Wallace, Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen embarked on a 50-date tour that stretched virtually every limit imaginable. Close quarters hastened their exhaustion but also honed them as a group. You can designate records as seasonal, and you can feel Viet Cong's bleakness and declare it wintry. But the only way you get a frost is when there's something warmer to freeze up. So yes, Viet Cong is a winter album, but only until it is a spring record, then a summer scorcher, then an autumn burner, then it ices over again.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-11-18
Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Deluxe Edition)

On her newest LP, Burn Your Fire for No Witness, Angel Olsen sings with full-throated exultation, admonition, and bold, expressive melody. With the help of producer John Congleton, her music now crackles with a churning, rumbling low end and a brighter energy.

Angel Olsen began singing as a young girl in St. Louis. Her self-released debut EP, Strange Cacti, belied both that early period of discovery and her Midwestern roots. Olsen then went further on Half Way Home, her first full-length album (released on Bathetic Records), which mined essential themes while showcasing a more developed voice. Olsen dared to be more personal.

After extensive touring, Olsen eventually settled for a time in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, where she created "a collection of songs grown in a year of heartbreak, travel, and transformation," that would become Burn Your Fire For No Witness. Many of them remain essentially unchanged from their bare beginnings. In leaving them so intact, a more self-assured Olsen allows us to be in the room with her at the very genesis of these songs. Our reward for entering this room is many a head-turning moment and the powerful, unsettling recognition of ourselves in the weave of her songs.