Helado Negro Touring, to Open For Sufjan in June; New Video

February 12th, 2015 , by

It’s an AKR Double Whammy. Sufjan Stevens is touring North America on the heels of his new record, Carrie & Lowell. In June, Helado Negro will join Sufjan for a run down the west coast.

Helado Negro is also playing in NYC at the Ecstatic Music Festival on February 18th, and at the Liquid Music Series with an 18 piece ensemble in St. Paul on March 21st.

Also just released is an incredible music video to Helado Negro’s “Ojos Que No Ven.” This project was hand crafted by a talented group of 9 to13 years olds during a very intense 2 week summer camp with the NYCICFF (New York City Independent Children’s Film Festival) and the @TheGoodSchool. Art Teachers helping out were William “Zoe” FitzGerald & Maya Erdelyi.


Sufjan to Play Eaux Claires Festival

February 11th, 2015 , by

Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National) are curating a music festival in Vernon’s hometown of Eau Claire, WI. Sufjan is slated to play. Tickets are available here.

Says Justin Vernon, “That the barriers between the stage and the audience altered, and expression and experience put above all. We have put so much thought into who should collaborate at this festival, from musicians to actors, filmmakers to visual artists. We will all share and revel in this collision of artistic force while performing in the arms of our own Chippewa River Valley.”



Ceci Est Ma Main

January 23rd, 2015 , by

“Ceci Est Ma Main” is a French spin on “This Is My Hand,” the title track from My Brightest Diamond’s latest album. Though song simplifies the instrumentation down to a drum and guitar, this version feels more pressing and immediate. “Ceci Est Ma Main” arrives just as MBD makes a run through the Netherlands and France in February. See those tour dates here.

Lyrics below.


Ceci est ma main, ceci est mon poignet.
Ceci est mon bras, ceci est mon poing.
Comme une vigne entortillée, s’enveloppe et s’entrelace

Ceci est mon visage, ceci est ma bouche.
Ceci est mon œil, ceci est mon sourcil.
Comme le vin de lilas, se déversant de toi, pour toi.

Ceci est ma forme, ceci est mon moule.
Ceci est mon âge, ceci est ma charpente.
Ceci est mon esprit, ceci est ma voix.
Ceci est mon coeur, ceci est mon choix.

Ceci est ma cuisse, ceci est mon sexe.
Ceci est ma hanche, ceci est mon sein.
Ceci est mon ombre, ceci est ma haine.
Ceci est ma ligne, ceci est mon doute.

Ma mélancolie, ma flamme, ma joie, mon but d’aimer, aimer, aimer…

Ceci est ma forme, ceci est mon moule.
Ceci est mon âge, ceci est ma charpente.
Ceci est mon esprit, ceci est ma voix.
Ceci est mon coeur, ceci est mon choix.

Ceci est mon temps, ceci est mon souffle.
Ceci est ma droite, ceci est ma gauche.
Ceci est mon ombre, ceci est ma haine.
Ceci est ma ligne, ceci est mon doute.

Ma mélancolie, ma flamme, ma joie, mon but d’aimer, aimer, aimer…


Words With the Craig Bros. About Sufjan’s ROUND-UP

January 20th, 2015 , by

Wherein we solve the mysteries of crop circles and abnormal UPS charges.

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Announcing “Carrie & Lowell,” a new record from Sufjan Stevens

January 12th, 2015 , by

We’re proud to announce that on March 31st (March 30th in the EU) we’ll be releasing Carrie & Lowell, a new Sufjan Stevens record.

THESE ARE AGGRESSIVE TIMES. Each morning we awaken to a psychic blitz of breaking news, social outrage, and millions of images and voices shrieking look at me and this onslaught does not cease until late at night when the last glowing screen fades to black. This world demands our attention with one hand and destroys it with the other. That such a noisy age can deliver an album as graceful and honest as Carrie & Lowell should reassure anyone losing faith these days. Let no one say philosophy is dead, for here is a 44-minute meditation on mortality, memory, and faith.

Each track in this collection of eleven songs begins with a fragile melody that gathers steam until it becomes nothing less than a modern hymn. Sufjan recounts the indignities of our world, of technological distraction and sad sex, of an age without either myth or miracle—and this time around, his voice carries the burden of wisdom. Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait. If youth knew, if age could.

Our limited edition first pressing is in clear colored vinyl, which is available for preorder now. It’s also available in black vinyl, CD, and digital. The first single, “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross,” arrives mid-February. You can be one of the first to hear it by preordering the album on iTunes or Bandcamp.

Thanks to Pitchfork who premiered the trailer today. We also put the trailer on a little website along with a write-up and pre-order links. Visit carrieandlowell.com for more information.


EDIT: We’re out of clear vinyl in our webshop and Bandcamp page, but black vinyl is still available. Here’s a list of retailers currently selling the clear vinyl:
EU:  VinylTap / Norman Records
US: Amoeba / Origami

ROUND-UP by Sufjan Stevens and Yarn/Wire

January 8th, 2015 , by

City planning, outer space, and now the rodeo: at the end of January Sufjan Stevens will perform what has become an ongoing series of multimedia performances premiering at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and incorporating collaborations with stellar performers and video artists into new classical compositions by Stevens himself.

His live electronics, along with percussion and piano duo Yarn/Wire, will be accompanied at the premiere of ROUND-UP by a new film shot Aaron and Alex Craig, at the BAM Harvey Theater from Jan. 20-25.

Previously, Sufjan Stevens collaborated with Bryce Dessner and Nico Muhly to compose Planetarium, a set of hymns to our solar system, for a BAM premiere in 2013, and at 2007’s BAM Next Wave Festival he unveiled The BQEa symphonic poem about the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway. ROUND-UPthrough the Craig Brothers’ slow-motion footage, is a chamber piece that takes the audience to the 2013 Pendleton Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon to explore the roping, riding, and ritual of the rodeo.

Buy tickets here.

A new trailer is available for viewing now. See it above or here.

Indiewire premiered the trailer and interviewed Sufjan and the Craig Brothers. Said Sufjan on the topic of the composition and film: “Round-ups are steeped in a lifestyle of cattle ranchers, and they take place on these grounds — it’s a way of life that still exists. The film is part of a much bigger argument about the domestication of plants and animals and man’s relationship to the earth. It’s an existential issue that I think is crucial to have conversation about: man in modern society.”

It Can Be Simple

December 13th, 2014 , by

Half-Handed Cloud’s Learning About Your Scale Turns 15!

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Lover Killer: Haunting New Music Video From My Brightest Diamond

November 19th, 2014 , by

FLOOD Magazine has debuted a striking new music video of My Brightest Diamond’s “Lover/Killer.” Director Jean-Paul Frenay told FLOOD Magazine ““In a sense, I’m considering Lover Killer as an allegory of rebirth. Each one of us is facing different difficult choices throughout life. Sometimes the decisions we make are not even consciously taken. Sometimes this means to kill something you’ve loved: an idea, a thought or perhaps a friend. It’s the ineluctable rawness of life. I’m picturing those choices as little deaths, which lead to rebirth.”

My Brightest Diamond is on tour in the US now. Limited edition translucent red vinyl is available at AKR and your local record store.

New Music Video From Lily & Madeleine

November 19th, 2014 , by

Fumes, the new record from Lily & Madeleine, is out now. A review in The Daily Mail reads, “Fumes is bewitching but never too glossy and the harmonies are sublime.”

On Tuesday, Teen Vogue premiered the music video to “Can’t Admit It.” In the video, a couple faces the reality that things might (or might not) be over for them. Lily & Madeleine sing backdrop at a swanky club. Luke Tate and Jason Drake directed the video.

The limited edition pop-bottle-clear vinyl of Fumes is still available. Lily & Madeleine are on tour in Europe now, and touring in the US with Over The Rhine in December. See those tourdates here.

Out Now: Fumes, the New Album from Lily & Madeleine

October 28th, 2014 , by

Fumes, Lily & Madeleine’s second full-length, is out now.

The U.K.’s The Independent proclaims, “Never mind Difficult Second Album Syndrome .  . .  Fumes, an even better follow up.”

Here’s a sample of what Katie Presley wrote for NPR:

The foundation of Fumes, and of Lily & Madeleine’s career overall, is clearly two intrinsically connected women sharing stories and bearing witness to each other . . . Though both are still teenagers in possession of sweet, juvenescent voices, their lyrics are sharp and wielded skillfully. “The Wolf Is Free” and “Rabbit” possess Top 40-friendly instrumentation, but the former is undercut with deliciously creeping menace, while the latter features a biting perspective on breakups and perhaps the album’s most powerful moment: the line “Oh my god,” delivered without harmony and highlighted with echo.

You can hear the album here on NPR.

Buy it here; limited edition coke-bottle-clear vinyl is still available.

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