Chad VanGaalen animates the new Shabazz Palaces video for "Forerunner Foray"

All-around talented guy Chad VanGaalen has lent his skills to his Sub Pop label mates / heady hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces in their new video for "Forerunner Foray". It starts off with the shaky animated mutations in the style of the early videos for Chad's own music, soon after cutting to highly-detailed full-colour sci-fi scenes in the same vein as his forthcoming cartoon feature.

"Forerunner Foray" is off Lese Majesty, out now on Sub Pop. Here's an interview with Chad VanGaalen about his latest record Shrink Dust and his three-part sci-fi feature project.  

METZ are recording their next album


Earlier today METZposted this photo to Facebook with the caption "Recording for record number 2 starts today at the barn." The barn being a literal barn-turned-studio in Ontario (here's a photo from outside) that's used by Holy Fuck's Graham Walsh, and has been home to WintersleepDusted and Viet Cong, to name a few. Viet Cong did a killer demo of "Bunker Buster" there with Walsh that was posted earlier this year. 

It's also where the Toronto-based noise punk trio made their crushing self-titled LP. They're just getting better live, too. METZ played at least one new song at Ottawa Explosion Weekend (maybe another, blame the beer), and it's safe to say expectations are set pretty high for this follow-up. Not to add to the hype or anything, but I think they'll deliver.

Here's "I'm a Bug", a Urinals cover they posted in June.

New Chad VanGaalen video - "Monster"

 Chad VanGaalen continues his streak of crazy animated videos with "Monster." Some of the creatures in the video are probably part of his animated sci-fi feature Tarboz that will hopefully see the light of day next year. When we spoke at the beginning of the summer, Chad was looking for voice actors to help bring the many characters to life. He's getting some practice syncing up his characters' lips in this video, the most human-looking monster singing along to the first verse.

"Monster" is off Shrink Dust, his latest LP out now on Flemish Eye / Sub Pop.

Gather 'round the campfire with J Mascis

J Mascis is back with a new solo record. Here's the second track "Every Morning," sitting on the campfire jam end of his repertoire. But of course, even though this is an acoustic jam, J still lays down a Marshall-powered solo. His new record Tied to a Star is out August 26 on Sub Pop. Watch one of the wordiest interviews with J you'll ever see on Sub Pop's YouTube channel.

Washed Out's new video is eight minutes of synth and slowmo

The new Washed Out video is all summer love and teen angst. It's an extended version of "Weightless" directed by David Altobelli, proof that even jumping on a trampoline can look poetic if it's slowed down enough. The intro builds for two minutes before we're submerged into "Weightless," all synths and shimmering vocals. The video ends with with a clip of "All Over Now," the last track on Paracosm. I talked with Ernest Greene last year about his latest LP and going from bedroom artist to band leader. Read the interview here.

Dream sweet dreams with Mirel Wagner

The opening chords of "Oak Tree" have been strummed countless times before, but Mirel Wagner's dark acoustic stories are carried by her emotion, not innovation. It's a reminder of how much can be done with one acoustic guitar and one voice.

The Ethiopian-born Finnish singer wanders the forest in the video for the opening track of her sophomore record, When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day. It's coming out in August on Sub Pop, who she signed with after releasing her self-titled record in 2011, a bare-bones folk recording of soft fingerpicking and a distant, piercing voice.

Production on "Oak Tree" is far less raw than on Mirel Wagner, with little embellishments as she sings "I dream, I dream sweet dreams" signalling this is indeed a studio record. But the bareness of her songwriting remains, the record apparently written in a log cabin near Helsinki. "Oak Tree" is a decent start.

Stream When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day on Bandcamp.