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cast iron

allie

Alternative & Indie - Released December 1, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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Calming Night Partner

Land Of Talk

Alternative & Indie - Released November 12, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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THE DOOR

SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE

Alternative & Indie - Released November 9, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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Fun House

Hand Habits

Alternative & Indie - Released October 22, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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With their latest Hand Habits record, Meg Duffy has pulled off a wild, nothing-is-what-it-seems trick. Sonically, these are some of the most reassuring and calming songs imaginable. Take "No Difference," which, with its liquid bass line and soothing, 5th Dimension-style ascending "ba-ba-ba" harmonies, could be an easy-listening candidate for a meditation app. Duffy's voice is like pure warmth slowly poured from a jug. But then the unsettling lyrics come into focus: "I could never hear her, no matter how loud/ Screaming, 'I’ll always be the anchor you drag around.'" Or there's "Aquamarine" and its uplifting super-bounce bass and hopscotch drums soundtracking a nightmare tale of family dysfunction (an alcoholic and distant father, a ruined mother, a suicide): "When everything is burning/ You light a fire on the grave." Suddenly, the title Fun House starts to have shadows that connect it to Alison Bechdel's "family tragicomic" graphic novel of the same name. Duffy has said that the isolation of pandemic lockdown forced introspection. Besides their own projects, Duffy has spent the past few years playing guitar in Kevin Morby's band as well as on records by the War on Drugs, William Tyler and Weyes Blood. "Then, when the world basically stopped, it turned out to be the longest I’ve been alone in my entire life—without being in a relationship, without being on the road, without working myself to exhaustion," they said. "Everything psychologically that I’d been pushing down and ignoring for the past few years suddenly flew to the foreground." That led to songs like "Gold/Rust," which, with its sweet harmonies, feels a bit like Azure Ray playing with pulsing sonars, and the mysterious line "Everything's covered in gold/ all the power that you hold ... and 20 years later you found out she was the one who knew." The quirky, breezy and just slightly retro duet with Perfume Genius, "Just to Hear You," shifts near its end to unexpected, paranoia-inducing ambient noises that may make you look around the room: Are those keys in the door? Who whispered that? Did the cat knock a book off the shelf? With low-to-soar vocals and a lulling melody punctuated by strings and a gentle high hat, "The Answer" recalls an Elliott Smith track. "Control" makes good use of flute, the trendiest instrument du jour. And "Concrete & Feathers" is a cool surprise: a straight-forward Neil Young or Stevie Nicks-style rocker. More vibrant than the last couple of Hand Habits records, Fun House is a lush, disturbing delight. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Ghost (Is Leaving Me)

Sorry About Dresden

Alternative & Indie - Released October 22, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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IT MIGHT TAKE SOME TIME (Avey Tare Remix)

SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE

Alternative & Indie - Released October 14, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden

Ada Lea

Folk - Released September 24, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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Montreal's Alexandra Levy, who performs as Ada Lea, has drawn the material for one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden out of her everyday life. Each song represents a moment of personal history in her hometown (an actual map indicating their locations accompanies the physical product). Lea tours listeners through an at-times harrowing journey of self-discovery as she brings her journals to life. It's a voyage she began on her 2019 debut album what we say in private. The constant self-examination and introspection of her lyrics are either claustrophobic and insular or the key to her art depending on your taste for overthinking and oversharing. Either way, Lea's world is never boring. In the opener "damn" where every year gets "a little bit darker," and the chorus ends with "I've had it with this place/ We've all gone insane," she's agitated with life—or is she? The lines between fiction and autobiography constantly blur but it doesn't really matter because of her ability to create layered and accessible musical settings for her telling exposures. Most impressive, Lea is also an instrumental prodigy who plays much of the music on the album (including percussion, bass, guitar and various keys), with assistance from drummer/engineer/producer Marshall Vore, guitarist Harrison Whitford, and several others. Demoed in Banff, Alberta, Canada, and recorded in Los Angeles, one hand, has an intimate sense of sonics, her voice being slightly forward in the mix with instrumental textures close behind. The attention to detail here is obsessive and rewarding: the bass part in "oranges;" the motorcycle-engine-to-keyboard rev that opens "can't stop me from dying;" the violin accents in "backyard." While the experimentalism of the album's instrumental track, "and my newness spoke to your newness and it was a thing of endless"—a lo-fi field recording that opens with prodigious tape hiss—is a palette cleanser, it's in the album's second half that's Lea's music takes precedence. In "my love 4 you is real," Lea's voice, deceptively strong and the perfect vehicle for her ever-sifting lyrics, illuminates the tune's grand ambitions. While the music in "backyard" turns momentarily dreamy, the lyrics show perspective and flashes of wisdom: "There is something to be said/ About how we neglect/ The things that are right in front of us every moment/ For the promise of something better/ Far away/ Is more about imagination than of escape." While one hand, like her debut, is still about the kind of heartbreak and insecurity that appears in the closing tune "hurt" ("Somebody hurt me badly/ Now I'm stuck in a rut/ Now I don't know my body") her music at least is growing in promising ways. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Any Shape You Take

Indigo De Souza

Rock - Released August 27, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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Real Pain

Indigo De Souza

Rock - Released August 11, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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Culxr House:Freedom Summer

Marcey Yates

Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 30, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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Hold U

Indigo De Souza

Rock - Released July 21, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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Gentle

Disq

Electronic - Released July 7, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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Blood Rite

PENDANT

Electronic - Released June 29, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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Kill Me

Indigo De Souza

Rock - Released June 15, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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ENTERTAINMENT, DEATH

SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE

Rock - Released April 9, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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Schatze b/w Failure

Ohtis

Rock - Released February 26, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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dirt

Hand Habits

Folk - Released February 19, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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Likewise Remixes

Frances Quinlan

Electronic - Released January 28, 2021 | Saddle Creek

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Hours

Tomberlin

Electronic - Released December 8, 2020 | Saddle Creek

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Quarter-Life Crisis

Quarter-Life Crisis

Electronic - Released December 4, 2020 | Saddle Creek

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