All posts tagged Vagrant Records

Indie Dispatches: Recent Signings, Free Agents and Year End Lists Begin

L.A.'s Active Child among Vagrant Records latest signings

Somewhere along the line in the last month or two, news of a few indie signings seemed to somehow slip through the cracks. Most particularly Vagrant Records, who has been busy adding much buzzed about LA combo Active Child to their ever expanding and diversifying roster, along with inking one bona fide legend, Polly Jean Harvey, for her new album – quite a coup. The LA label has done an excellent job of branching out beyond the emo niche it was once known for, and have developed an ‘A Class’ stable of indie rock acts that includes Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Hold Steady, STARS, School of Seven Bells, and of course Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. PJ Harvey’s new album Let England Shake hits stores February 15, while Active Child’s debut should look for a release in the spring.

Meanwhile, what seems like ages ago (and probably was!), blog favorites DOM from Massachusetts signed on with EMI-offshoot, Astralwerks, with a re-issue of the band’s Sun Bronzed Greek Gods EP slated as their first release in early 2011. And now split from EMI and back in the ranks of indie, Mute Records announced that the first artists to sign to the new version of the label include Yeasayer, Londoners S.C.U.M., and Texan singer songwriter Josh T Pearson. Meanwhile in the past week, Sub Pop announced what seems be the 50th new signing for the year, indie-rock supergroup (with members of Man Man, Modest Mouse & Islands/Unicorns) Mister Heavenly…  And what of the free agents out there? Rumors are looming of an announcement about The Head and the Heart signing to a certain Northwest indie (which seems public knowledge but still hasn’t officially been announced)… Will Odd Future sign with XL Recordings, who appear to have been laying out the red carpet for the controversial LA hip hop collective (including reportedly flying their entire posse to the UK)…  What will become of Bright Eyes? This past week details of their forthcoming album The People’s Key (due February 15) were announced. Following the record, which is their last for Saddle Creek, will the project be done, or will Conor Oberst follow the path of his solo projects by bringing Bright Eyes to Merge? Or will it be another indie (such as was the case with Monsters of Folk)? And slowly emerging (and pricking up people’s ears) is the fact that critically acclaimed Seattle singer-songwriter Jesse Sykes (and the Sweet Hereafter) is in the market for a new label home, after a number of much beloved releases on Seattle’s Barsuk. Sykes supposedly has avid fans at both small and large labels, indie and major, and a with a new record in the can, chances are she won’t remain unsigned for long.

Of course, since we are now in the waning days of 2010, most of the news in the music media concerns the ubiquitous year-end lists – one of the first being NME‘s top 75 albums. There is no disputing the UK rag’s choice for their album of the year – These New Puritans Hidden – was baffling, and has had more than one pundit scratching their heads (possibly even the band’s label), but hats off to Domino Records for nabbing that top spot… Subsequent lists from Spin and Rolling Stone (and surely many others) have been released, and as to this column’s picks for the year’s favorites? Well, that will just have to wait until next time…

- Cool Hand Luke

Indie Dispatches: Down the Rabbit Hole; 10 Essential Things To Do This Week

Sleigh Bells Debut LP Out this Week on Mom & Pop; Streaming on NPR

1. Listen to the debut Sleigh Bells LP Treats that is streaming on NPR‘s First Listen

2. Check out the bountiful slate of great shows coming up in LA at the Hollywood Bowl this summer – She and Him with The Swell Season (July 18), Chemical Brothers, Yacht & Chromeo (August 29), Phoenix, Grizzly Bear & Girls (Sept 18), Vampire Weekend & Beach House (Sept 26) and of course Pavement, Sonic Youth & No Age (Sept 30)

3. Be thrilled that the latest albums by the Hold Steady Heaven is Forever (Vagrant Records), The New Pornographers Together (Matador) and Minus the Bear Omni (Dangerbird) all cracked the top 50 this week

4. Wish you were in the UK hanging out in your chalet with your music friends going to the latest ATP festival

5. Watch the debut video for “What’s In It For” by Avi Buffalo

6. Marvel at the fact that 1000 people came out to the recent Broken Social Scene instore at Amoeba Records in Los Angeles and buy a copy of their new album Forgiveness Rock Record on Arts and Crafts

7. Read Mike McGonigal‘s excellent oral history of seminal nineties act Galaxie 500

8. Visit your local vinyl emporium to see if there are any more Record Store Day goodies floating around (you may be pleasantly surprised)

9. Download the new track “Lights” from Interpol and rue the fact that bassist Carlos D has left the band

10. Purchase the much praised new album High Violet from The National

11. Mark down the date for the 2010 Siren Festival in your calendar (July 17!)

-Cool Hand Luke