LAZY - Soft Sheets
At this point, we might as well automatically redirect to Volar Record’s SoundCloud page because I know I’ll like whatever’s posted or released by VR. Same goes for Kansas City band LAZY and their energetic strain of pop punk. Soft Sheets is off their upcoming 7” due out through Volar which you can pre-order here.
Thank you ever so kindly…
Back in the early 90s, Slim Moon started a small indie record label out of his home in Olympia, Washington to put out records by local bands because nobody else was doing it. That label, Kill Rock Stars, remains to this day a model for upstart indies everywhere. One would think after 20 years, in the age of the Internet, creating a label in the mold of KRS would be easier than ever. After all, prospective owners can now contact artists, promote new releases, and send mp3s all over the world at the click of a button. But, for Volar Records’ Craig Oliver, it’s been a bumpy road to indie labeldom.
Like Kill Rock Stars, San Diego-based Volar was started in 2009 as a way for Craig to release a 7-inch by his own band. He took the name from a Spanish word which means both “to fly” and “to blow up”, and made the logo a scowling cartoon picture of his cat, Anton LaVey. He had some label experience having worked for Cargo Music, the small San Diego label most famous for putting out Blink-182’s first record. But Craig’s heart was always in the underground.
ALTR EGO - 001
After a short absence, we’re back to talk about nothing in particular and share good music with you fine people.
A Million Billion Dying Suns - Daydream
Worthless - Greener Grass
Meatbodies - Wahoo
In The Red released this track plus another track from an OOP cassette on 7” single. The LP is soon to follow
Sick Hyenas - Handle Song
Limited to 100 tapes, this is first US release from the German garage rock band
Thee Tee Pees - Got My Gun
Limited to 100 Red vinyl and 500 Black, debut LP for the LA band
The Wolf - In Waves
Cassette EP is available here from the promising Austin band
Dusty Mush - Spacecat
You can get the LP on clear vinyl from the grimy Parisian band here
Mink Mussel Creek - Promising Quintet Rise to Power
Predates both Tame Impala and Pond; this LP reissue is an interesting look at what these bands sounded like not so long ago. LP can be ordered here
Kevin Morby - My Name
The Everywheres - Through Flowers
Off their Habitualism cassette which you can grab here. Limited to 30!
Corners - I Don’t Mind
Susan - Pancake
Susan will be releasing their debut 7” through Volar Records next month. Pre-order here! Hopefully you can make a decision on if you want green or gold — I couldn’t, so I ordered both.. because I’m greedy? And check out this sweet vid.
Froth - General Education
Roses - Florence Girls
Cold Showers - Seven Tears
Debut 7” by Susan - “Just Call It” b/w “Frenchie” & “Pancake”, available in August on Volar Records. Five-song cassette on Burger Records also available this Fall.
RIYL Chin Chin, The Aislers Set, The Shop Assistants, Talulah Gosh, etc etc
Los Angeles-based power pop trio Susan have released a music video for their new song, and title track off their upcoming release, “Just Call It.” Their debut 7” EP will be released on August 26th through Volar Records. Watch the music video below.
PREORDER Limited gold and green vinyl at our webstore!
Susan’s “Just Call It” video by our old bud Cassandra Lee Hamilton, from the forthcoming debut 7” on Volar Records, available in August. Limited green and gold copies available at our webstore, and their first West Coast tour started last night in LA w/ Priests, who they play with again tonight in San Diego at the Che Cafe. Dates below, as well as their write-up and interview over at Impose Magazine that popped up today.
Meet LA’s power pop trio Susan, consisting of Jessica Owen, Beth Borwell, and Katie Fern. There is talk of their five song cassette coming later this fall from Burger Records, but we have the premiere of “Just Call It” from their debut 7” release for Volar Records, available August 26. Beth you may remember from Cowabunga Babes and her Going Nowhere album (also from Volar), continues to make catchy DIY with her friends Jessica and Katie The three contribute real talk and real power chord rock to LA’s newest current of independent creative minds, cutting their teeth and wax with a radical force to be reckoned with, made to be heard at the loudest volumes imaginable.
Volar Records' newest signees roll with the memorable back-and-forth chorus of, “So if I don't call you, please don't call me, if I don't call you, please don't call me, if you don't you don't call me, I won't call you too.” Harmonized “ooohs” descend on the guitars that grind locomotive grooves to illustrate mutually asserted stand offs that square off between the lyrics, delivery, and churning metal strings that connect “Just Call It”, through the flipside features of “Frenchy”, and “Pancake” off their upcoming 7”. Susan does not even have time to mess with a surname, with a no mercy attitude that revives the classic put-down single with all kinds of new negotiated twists.
"Just Call It" is worthy of thousands of replays, reposts, retweets, already on its own economy merits of rowdy guitars mixed in a gloss that brings the rhythm and the real vocals into some of the best audio tones you might hear all summer long. But it only begins there, as the lyrical complications allude to communicative breakdowns elsewhere with a confrontational front that spells it out discreetly and yet explicitly at the same time. Consider the opening beat down, "I don’t like you with anybody else, ‘cause I just want to be all by myself, I’m getting ready to call it quits, because I’m getting sick of all your shit," to threats of, "I’ll be the one to let you go, and live your life on your own." A stand off between respective parties sounds like a UN peace treaty in a meltdown that becomes a mushroom cloud of dive bar dust and soot blared out of a Marshall stack.
We also have the video premiere for “Just Call It”, directed, edited, and shot by Cowabunga Babes’ Cassandra Hamilton. The energy of Susan is presented in dance moves, silhouettes, glamor shots, screen tests, and further indie introductions, attitudes, latitudes, and more. On this sound stage, sparklers, lollipops and hanging on the telephones on as the raison d’être of your new favorite trio. Beth, Katie, and Jess joined us for an interview after the following look and listen.
How did Susan first form, and which pop songs do you all feel bonded you all together?
Jess: I remember meeting through our friend Cassandra at a show, and the first thing Beth said to me was, ‘you play guitar?’ When they invited me to go dancing at a bar downtown, Katie did a full body slide across the dance floor and I was like, ‘I gotta be friends with these girls.’ One of my favorite memories from that summer was when we spent an extra hour driving the longest way home possible because we were waiting for “Can’t Hardly Wait" to play on this mixtape. When it finally came on we pulled over, got out of the car, and danced on the side of the road in the middle of the night with all the car doors open. It took awhile before we actually started playing music together, but by then, I already thought they were the best girls on the planet. I think music has always been a big part of our friendship.
Beth: After we bagged Jessica we pretty much spent the entire summer bumming around LA together with Cassandra, bonding over bands like The Replacements, The Only Ones, Pale Saints, The Bats and C86 classics such as The Siddeleys and The Shop Assistants. Throw a little GG Allin in the mix and you pretty much have the soundtrack for the first summer of Susan.
Katie: Yeah, Beth and I were just a lonely rhythm section in my garage until we met Jess. Also, an important side note, our friend Cassandra directed, shot, and edited our music video for “Just Call It”, she’s super talented and partially responsible for Susan existing at all!
By banding under the name Susan, why no surname to go with?
Beth: Haha, well Susan is kind of like Prince, only one name required.
What were the sessions of recording power pop gems, “Just Call It”, “Frenchy” and “Pancake”, like?
Jess: We got really lucky and our super talented friend, Drew Fischer, recorded us at his house. He’s so good! He made us sound exactly how we sounded in our heads.
Beth: Drew is the best! After recording for something like seven hours, we were starting to feel run down. Drew totally picked up on it and encouraged us by telling us to mix up the lighting, have a drink and try again. I think his exact words were, ‘y’all need to get wasted.’
Katie: Well I was having an allergy attack… shout out to Eleanor, Drew’s cat, she is so adorable! For real though, recording was great! It’s always refreshing to work with people and feel like everyone is really on the same page. We are all stoked on how the songs came out and are looking forward to recording again. We want to keep pushing ourselves and developing sonically.
I like how “Just Call It’ calls out all the wishy-washy folks that are ambivalent on matters. Is Susan here to break down the walls of apathy?
Beth: Well, I dunno, maybe something like that… or maybe not? Sigh. Who cares.
Katie: What she said…
How do you write and form songs?
Jess: Usually one of us comes to practice with a little tidbit of a melody in our head, some lyrics, or an idea for a song that’s not fully written. We all listen together and then try to flesh it out. For one of our newer songs, I had been struggling because I came up with this thing that sounded too somber to me and I didn’t like the chords. When I brought it to practice we had this “That Thing You Do” moment. Katie completely changed the tempo and Beth added a cool melody on bass and a great vocal line that would never have occurred to me. All of a sudden, it was a brand new song that I loved! I really like that we all write independently but that we finish our songs as a group. We are always bouncing ideas off each other. We kinda work best when we all come up with something together. I’ve never met anyone else I mesh with like that. It feels really magical.
Katie: We always joke that being a musician is one of the most embarrassing things you can be. Sometimes it’s hard to lay down your half figured out ideas in front of the people who’s opinions you care about the most, let alone a live audience.
Jess: We love Roses! We’ve played a lot of shows with them and kind of consider them our brother band. We also love playing with Upset and Underground Railroad to Candyland from San Pedro.
Beth: Yeah Roses! Also totally in love with Sea Lions and our buds Gal Pals who recently relocated to LA from Austin.
Katie: There are a lot of great bands from LA. I really love when we’ve played with LA Takedown (Jess plays keys in that band also). They have this really amazing Miami Vice vibe, it’s fantastic! Oh and obviously Guns N’ Roses, Sugar Ray, and Tool…
What we should be listening and looking out for this summer?
Beth: We are really excited for our first 7” coming out this summer on Volar Records, followed by a cassette release of our EP, The Eleanor Sessions on Burger Records. June 20 kicks off our West Coast tour, then there are some local LA shows on the books. On top of it all, we’ll be heading into the studio to begin work on a full length. So basically, we’ll be around.
Susan’s Just Call It 7” will be available August 26 from Volar Records, with 100 gold and green pressings and 300 black vinyl pressings, while The Eleanor Sessions cassette will be available from Burger Records this fall. Find Susan playing the following June dates:
20 Los Angeles - Pehrspace with Priests, and French Vanilla
21 San Diego - Che Cafe with Priests, and Ash Williams
22 Oakland - Rock Paper Scissors Gallery with Gal Pals and General Hospital
23 Santa Cruz - Blue Lagoon with Suck Me Beautiful, and Powers!
24 Sacramento - The Witch Room with Charles Albright, 2014 and Amateur Hour
26 Seattle - The Rendevous in the Grotto w/ Ubu Roi and The Dumps
27 Portland - The Vern with The Rat and Lamebrain
28 Portland - Bunk Bar with Houndstooth, and Sartorial Excess