SC Distributon

Title
HEAL
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-06-24

Strand of Oaks: HEAL

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

From the first bars of HEAL, the exhilarating melodic stomp of 'Goshen '97' puts you right into Tim Showalter's fervent teenage mindset. We find him in his family's basement den in Goshen, IN, feeling alienated but even at 15 years old, believing in the alchemy and power of music to heal your troubles. "The record is called HEAL, but it's not a soft, gentle healing, it's like scream therapy, a command, because I ripped out my subconscious, looked through it, and saw the worst parts. And that's how I got better." HEAL embodies that feeling of catharsis and rebirth, desperation and euphoria, confusion and clarity. It is deeply personal and unwittingly anthemic.

Showalter was on tour, walking home on a mild autumn night in Malmo, Sweden, when he first felt the weight of the personal crisis that would ignite him to write HEAL. "It was a culmination of pressure," Showalter recalls. "My marriage was suffering, I'd released a record I was disappointed in, I didn't like how I looked or acted?so I'd gone on tour, I was gone about two years! I didn't take time to think about failure, but I knew I was going deeper and deeper?I was thinking, I have this life, but it's not my life, I haven’t done it right?"

When Showalter returned, he wrote 30 songs in three weeks, a process that proved difficult, but cathartic and at times invigorating. Previous Strand Of Oaks records were more skeletal, raw examples of folk-rooted Americana with occasional rock and electronic currents, that have now come to the fore. HEAL is a bold new beginning, with a thrilling full-tilt sound that draws on Showalter's love of '70s, '80s and '90s rock and pop, with the singer and guitarist playing the intense valedictory confessor.

Crucial to HEAL's sound was the man who Showalter chose to mix the record, the stellar alt-rock icon John Congleton. Showalter also re-connected with Ben Vehorn, synth expert and studio engineer extraordinaire, and drummer Steve Clements, who provides HEAL's thunderous, sinewy drive. Songs such as 'Shut In', 'Plymouth' and 'Woke Up To The Light' have a classic construction and mood, recalling '70s power-pop/ballads and the yearning ache of Big Star's late, great Chris Bell. Many of the songs on HEAL reveal an electronic undercarriage and towering drums that push the album's wired dynamic to its stretching point, especially on 'For Me', which expertly bridges the album's twin decades of influences. And if 'Goshen '97' recalls the molten energy of Dinosaur Jr, that actually is J Mascis on lead guitar. Despite the initials, the album's smouldering 7-minute epic 'JM' is not a Mascis tribute, but to the late Jason Molina, about having his music as comfort no matter how bad things get.

Which brings us to another crisis, this time much more serious and immediate. HEAL was scheduled for mixing on Dec. 26, 2013. Driving on the freeway Christmas Day, Showalter and his wife were involved in a car accident with a semi-truck, and were fortunate to walk away with their lives. Showalter suffered a, "pretty severe," head trauma, "which affected me much more than I realized at the time." Fearing delays, Showalter didn't let Congelton know about it, so the mixing session went ahead. "Being on the verge of death, and my thoughts being so closely tied to that, changed the album's direction," Showalter claims. "Together, we pushed it toward a much more cathartic sound that forces the listener to where I was at that exact moment, somewhere between almost dying and being absolutely fearless." ?

HEAL is not just a saviour for its creator, but for anyone who needs reminding of music's ability to heal, or just thrill. Showalter is taking out a full band to play, and finally, the kid who wanted to be a rock star at 15 might get his chance. Finally, he and Strand Of Oaks have much to celebrate.

CD  $12.99     LP  $15.99    
Title
HEAL (Deluxe Bundle)
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-06-24

Strand of Oaks: HEAL (Deluxe Bundle)

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

1. HEAL on CD 2. HEAL on limited edition clear vinyl (while supplies last) 3. Limited edition 7" featuring a cover of The National's "Pink Rabbits" and a special acoustic version of "Plymouth" (while supplies last) 4. Digital download code for the album (as a .zip file containing 320kbps mp3s), redeemable two weeks before release date on June 10, 2014

Title
9 Songs
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-06-10

Dub Thompson: 9 Songs

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

Take the 101 north out of Los Angeles, and you'll pass by Agoura Hills, where the core duo of the band Dub Thompson grew up. Whatever you see in that town won't readily prepare you for the music they wrote while there, but you're free to look.

"Most everyone who’s in a group who's our age lives on the Internet," says guitarist Matt Pulos. "The kinds of things that have shaped our band aren't anchored to any one time or place."

Pulos and his bandmate, drummer Evan Laffer, are currently both 19 years old, and are putting that line of thought to the test; their musical influences travel from the Midwestern malaise of Big Black and Pere Ubu, to Kraut pioneers Can and Kraftwerk, while bowing to the British belligerence of The Fall and This Heat.

Recording the album while living with Foxygen's Jonathan Rado at his rented house in Bloomington, the band had its first taste of a heavy Indiana? summer, and all the humidity and insect life that buzzes along with it. "We woke up every day, ate hard-boiled eggs and stood on a porch," says Pulos of the experience.

Their first collection of songs slyly unties the shoes of genre and convention, shapeshifts mischievously, and tramples on the promises delivered on the name itself.

There are only eight songs on this rangy debut.

Intense blasts of hook-filled noise rock ("Hayward!"), rocksteady marionette stomp ("No Time"), hypnotic bouts of doomy poetics? ("Epicondyles"), outlandishly sexy groove rock ("Dograces"), and a number of other bite-sized forays into parts unknown are made manifest across? 9 Songs.?

The vibes are strong here. Pulos sings and plays like he's working out long-standing grudges, pulling the most sinewy tones from an acoustic guitar and ripping huge chunks of demon flesh out of his electric. Laffer matches him step for step on the drums, an exacting presence behind the kit who pushes even the band's more placid moments into bouts of tension. Together they succeed in animating their musical ideas to startling, almost unnatural life. Reverb units, keyboards, samples and processing gluing everything together, saturated in the August heat and worn in until they sound second nature, it's like somehow? you've been listening to these songs forever.?

CD  $12.99     LP  $15.99    
Title
9 Songs (Translucent Black Vinyl)
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-06-10

Dub Thompson: 9 Songs (Translucent Black Vinyl)

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

Take the 101 north out of Los Angeles, and you'll pass by Agoura Hills, where the core duo of the band Dub Thompson grew up. Whatever you see in that town won't readily prepare you for the music they wrote while there, but you're free to look.

"Most everyone who’s in a group who's our age lives on the Internet," says guitarist Matt Pulos. "The kinds of things that have shaped our band aren't anchored to any one time or place."

Pulos and his bandmate, drummer Evan Laffer, are currently both 19 years old, and are putting that line of thought to the test; their musical influences travel from the Midwestern malaise of Big Black and Pere Ubu, to Kraut pioneers Can and Kraftwerk, while bowing to the British belligerence of The Fall and This Heat.

Recording the album while living with Foxygen's Jonathan Rado at his rented house in Bloomington, the band had its first taste of a heavy Indiana? summer, and all the humidity and insect life that buzzes along with it. "We woke up every day, ate hard-boiled eggs and stood on a porch," says Pulos of the experience.

Their first collection of songs slyly unties the shoes of genre and convention, shapeshifts mischievously, and tramples on the promises delivered on the name itself.

There are only eight songs on this rangy debut.

Intense blasts of hook-filled noise rock ("Hayward!"), rocksteady marionette stomp ("No Time"), hypnotic bouts of doomy poetics? ("Epicondyles"), outlandishly sexy groove rock ("Dograces"), and a number of other bite-sized forays into parts unknown are made manifest across? 9 Songs.?

The vibes are strong here. Pulos sings and plays like he's working out long-standing grudges, pulling the most sinewy tones from an acoustic guitar and ripping huge chunks of demon flesh out of his electric. Laffer matches him step for step on the drums, an exacting presence behind the kit who pushes even the band's more placid moments into bouts of tension. Together they succeed in animating their musical ideas to startling, almost unnatural life. Reverb units, keyboards, samples and processing gluing everything together, saturated in the August heat and worn in until they sound second nature, it's like somehow? you've been listening to these songs forever.?

LP  $15.99    
Title
Love Me
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-06-10

Tomas Barfod: Love Me

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

Love Me is an album that takes Tomas Barfod’s spirit of adventurousness and raises the stakes. Utilising a supporting cast that includes a string and brass section, and musicians like Here We Go Magic's Luke Temple and long-term collaborator Nina K. on vocal duties, it's a multi-layered album that effortlessly pushes and pulls dance and electronic music into a myriad different shapes.

Title
Love Me (Deluxe Bundle)
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-06-10

Tomas Barfod: Love Me (Deluxe Bundle)

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

1. Love Me on CD 2. Love Me on limited edition clear double-vinyl (while supplies last) 3. Limited edition 'True To You' b/w 'Happy' 7" feat. Gruff Rhys and Eddie Chacon (while supplies last) 4. 11"x17" poster featuring album artwork 5. Digital download code for Tomas Barfod's Pulsing EP (as a .zip file containing 320kbps mp3s) redeemable immediately 6. Digital download code for the album (as a .zip file containing 320kbps mp3s) redeemable 2 weeks before release on May 27, 2014

Title
Special Victim
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-05-27

Future Death: Special Victim

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

From swirling, tumultuous outbursts to pummeling destruction, the controlled chaos that is Future Death is ready to be unleashed in 2014. Stripping everything to the bone, the band’s creative process is heavily linked to impulse as they capture their feelings organically and in the moment while leaving little room for conceptualization. The Austin-based band formed in 2012 as Alton Jenkins and Bill Kenny began writing and recording what later evolved into their debut EP, which was self-released in the summer of 2013. They added bassist Jeremy Humphries to the lineup and vocalist Angie Kang found them later after months of writing. Special Victim, their forthcoming debut full-length on Bloodmoss Records, was recorded and mixed by This Will Destroy You’s Alex Bhore in a funeral-home-turned-studio owned by producer John Congleton. With the creative tools at hand, Future Death took a bright, explosive approach on Special Victim. Like the band’s overall creative process, the concept of impulse is apparent throughout album itself. There’s not much time to breathe, and that’s exactly why it is such a thrilling and powerful listen.

CD  $12.99     LP  $15.99    
Title
Are We There
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-05-27

Sharon Van Etten: Are We There

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

For all the attention that was paid to her 2012 break-through Tramp, Sharon Van Etten is an artist with a hunger to turn another corner and to delve deeper, writing from a place of honesty and vulnerability to create a bond with the listener that few contemporary musicians can match. Compelled by a restless spirit, Van Etten is continuously challenging herself. Now, the result is Are We There, a self-produced album of exceptional intimacy, sublime generosity, and immense breadth. Most musicians are quite happy to leave the production end of things to someone else. It’s enough to live your music without taking on the role of producer as well. Yet Van Etten knew it was time to make a record entirely on her terms. The saying goes “fortune favors the bold” and yet this boldness had to be tempered. For this, Van Etten found a kindred spirit in veteran music producer Stewart Lerman. Originally working together on Boardwalk Empire, they gently moved into new roles, rallying around the idea of making a record together in Lerman’s studio in New Jersey. Lerman’s studio expertise gave Van Etten the freedom to make Are We There the way she imagined. Van Etten also enlisted the individual talents of her band, consisting of Heather Woods Broderick, Doug Keith and Zeke Hutchins, and brought in friends Dave Hartley and Adam Granduciel from The War on Drugs, Jonathan Meiberg (Shearwater), Jana Hunter (Lower Dens), Peter Broderick, Mackenzie Scott (Torres), Stuart Bogie, Jacob C. Morris and Mickey Freeze. It is clear from the opening chords in the first song, Afraid of Nothing, that we are witnessing a new awareness, a sign of Van Etten in full stride, writing, producing and performing from a place that seems almost mythical, were it not so touchable and real. Always direct, and never shying away even from the most personally painful narratives, Van Ettten’s songwriting continues to evolve. Many of the songs deal with seemingly impossible decisions, anticipation, and then resolution. She sings of the nature of desire, memory, of being lost, emptiness, of promises and loyalty, fear and change, of healing and the true self, violence and sanctuary, waiting, of silence. The artist who speaks in such a voice is urging us to do something, to take hold and to go deeper. Living in this way, the questions of life remain alive, as close and steady as breathing. Many of the ballads of old are as dark as pitch, and people for whom the issues of life and death were as vivid as flame wrote them. You could turn off the electricity, remove all the instruments and Sharon’s voice and words would remain. They connect her to the mystic stratum which flows just beneath the everyday, which is rarely acknowledged as the forces of distraction sweep our attention away.

CD  $12.99     LP  $17.99    
Title
Are We There (Deluxe Bundle)
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-05-27

Sharon Van Etten: Are We There (Deluxe Bundle)

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

1. Are We There on both limited edition clear vinyl in litho-wrap gatefold jacket and CD in 6 panel cardboard wallet. 2. Taking Chances b/w Taking Chances (demo) limited edition 7." 3. Signed 5x7" print of album cover photo by Sharon Van Etten. 4.17x22" poster. 5.Three digital download codes redeemable for .zip files containing 320kbps mp3s: (1."Taking Chances" redeemable on March 5th, 2014. 2. The album's second single redeemable on April 30th, 2014. 3. Download for the full album, redeemable two weeks before release date on May 12th, 2014).

Title
Apocalypse Soon
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-04-29

Major Lazer: Apocalypse Soon

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

Major Lazer? has announced their first official release of? 2014, the? Apocalypse Soon EP,? slated for release? February 25? via? Secretly Canadian / Mad Decent. The new chapter begins where Major Lazer, led by Grammy nominated ? Diplo,? left off in 2013. ? Once again, Major Lazer has recruited some of the biggest names in music to collaborate on the 5 track EP including? Pharrell Williams? and? Sean Paul? as well as Machel Montano, RDX, Moska and Mr. Fox.

CDEP  $9.99    
Title
Apocalypse Soon
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-04-29

Major Lazer: Apocalypse Soon

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

Major Lazer? has announced their first official release of? 2014, the? Apocalypse Soon EP,? slated for release? February 25? via? Secretly Canadian / Mad Decent. The new chapter begins where Major Lazer, led by Grammy nominated ? Diplo,? left off in 2013. ? Once again, Major Lazer has recruited some of the biggest names in music to collaborate on the 5 track EP including? Pharrell Williams? and? Sean Paul? as well as Machel Montano, RDX, Moska and Mr. Fox.

Title
Wester Easter
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-04-29

Old Smokey: Wester Easter

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

Old Smokey is a unique five piece ensemble featuring Jim Willingham on banjo, Jason Trahan on lap steel, John Fernandes on violin/clarinet/bass clarinet, Jacob Morris on cello, and Rob Lomax on drums. Their quixotic and sometimes haunting sound has developed organically; the way the instrumentation of the band blends is both complementary and evocative. This distinctive unit began playing together over two years ago. Old Smokey's first full-length album, "Wester Easter" will be released on Cloud Recordings, April 29, 2014.

Despite a wide adventurous berth, "Wester Easter" is not the soundtrack of a flippant genre-jumping band. Throughout the album, their strong, sonorous mark is consistently there, as the instruments blend, swirl, and crescendo, then break down, from time to time, into the spidery banjo, drums, and plucked-cello skeletal substructure. Led by Jim's reedy lead vocal, spinning narratives or spilling out constellations of imagery, the whole band often joins, in chorus, to create layered harmonies or group chants.

Old Smokey is compiled of veterans of the Athens music scene. Members have played with bands such as The Olivia Tremor Control, Circulatory System, Vic Chesnutt, Ham1, Moths, Madeline, The Good Ship, and The New Sound of Numbers, to name just a few of their past and current projects. Their previous 7 inch and ep can be purchased at gypsyfarm.net.

LP  $11.99    
Title
Get Back
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-04-29

Pink Mountaintops: Get Back

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

Pink Mountaintops might not be the best-known band ever to make rock 'n' roll, but in Get Back they just might have written its scripture -- an exploration and celebration of what, exactly, rock 'n' roll can be. When the aliens touch down and they don't know rock 'n' roll, you can play them Get Back from start to finish and that'll be all they need.

CD  $12.99     LP  $15.99    
Title
Get Back (Deluxe Bundle)
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-04-29

Pink Mountaintops: Get Back (Deluxe Bundle)

ALBUM DESCRIPTION

Pink Mountaintops might not be the best-known band ever to make rock 'n' roll, but in Get Back they just might have written its scripture -- an exploration and celebration of what, exactly, rock 'n' roll can be. When the aliens touch down and they don't know rock 'n' roll, you can play them Get Back start to finish and that'll be all they need.