Three More Songs from Half-Handed Cloud

November 8th, 2019 , by

There are now three more new songs we can hear from Half-handed Cloud’s forthcoming 2xLP compilation, Gathered Out of Thin Air.

In this third release of three songs each, there’s “Naaman,” which is a cover of an unreleased song sent by Sufjan Stevens to John Ringhofer (Half-handed Cloud) early in  2001, back when they were first pen pals. There’s a newly-mastered version of “Running Off With Balderdash” from Half-h’s scrappy Foiled EP N°2. And finally there’s “Nativity Costume (2000 Year’s Eve),” a holiday song John wrote that found its way into a cover song for the end of credits of the video game Hypnospace Outlaw

Next Friday, November 15th, we’ll be able to hear a decade’s worth of work, all 60 tracks, in one place! The 2xLP is still available for preorder here.

Pre-orders through Asthmatic Kitty Records include a limited set of four bookmarks, designed by Ringhofer.

Surprise! Three More New Tracks from Upcoming Half-handed Cloud Comp

November 1st, 2019 , by

A couple of weeks ago, we debuted three new-to-us songs from the forthcoming Half-handed Cloud compilation, Gathered Out Of Thin Air. 

Today, Half-handed Cloud (aka John Ringhofer) is releasing a new batch of three additional songs: “Peoples With Rubbed Out Steeples,” “California,” and “You Came To Disappear.” All of these come from small-run vinyl pressings over the last decade.  This is the digital debut of 2011’s “Peoples With Rubbed Out Steeples,” (originally part of Burnt Toast Vinyl’s 1-Sided LP series) and ”California” (from a 2012 Spendour split-7” record with Norway’s I Was A King. “California” is a cover of one of I Was A King’s songs. “You Came To Disappear” comes from 2015’s analog monophonic synthesizer-based Jiminy Circuits EP, originally commissioned by Plastiq Musiq

Listen to those songs on Spotify here, on Bandcamp here, or on your favorite platform.

Gathered Out Of Thin Air is a new double LP gatefold sleeve compilation of sixty newly-mastered rarities and singles, recorded throughout the HHC’s second decade (2010-2019), set to release November 15th 2019 via AKR on digital, streaming, and 2xLP. Though some of the sixty tracks have seen previous release in other formats, this is the first time these songs have been re-mastered and compiled for wide release via digital platforms and vinyl.  

The 2xLP is available for preorder here. Initial pre-orders through Asthmatic Kitty Records include a limited set of four bookmarks, designed by John Ringhofer.

Hear The New “River Of Music” From Denison Witmer

October 25th, 2019 , by

A few weeks ago, we announced American Foursquare, a new project from Denison Witmer. Today, you can hear the first single, “River of Music.”

American Foursquare was started with Thomas Bartlett (Sufjan Stevens, The National, Norah Jones) in New York City, and finished and mixed in Seattle, WA, with Andy Park (Death Cab For Cutie, Pedro The Lion, Noah Gundersen). Abby Gundersen and Aaron Campbell contributed instruments and vocals.

Here’s what Denison had to say about “River of Music”:

While writing this song, I often thought about how music is basically a magic spell. Something is created from nothing—arranging notes and rhythm and instruments—and it has the possibility of shifting our emotions, thoughts, and even our actions.  I take so much from music, so I’m grateful to give back in whatever way I can.  

“River of Music” feels like a fitting first song to release after my hiatus from recording and touring. It’s a love song. It’s a call to action to give back, pay it forward, live intentionally, and love unconditionally. 

Listen on your favorite steaming platform here, or below.

Out Now: The Decalogue

October 18th, 2019 , by

Sufjan’s score score for Justin Peck’s ballet The Decalogue —ten etudes for solo piano— is on out now on digital platforms and in record stores via a vinyl deluxe edition. CD and standard edition vinyl are following on December 6, 2019.

Performed by the pianist Timo Andres, this recording of The Decalogue is the first time the score, originally premiered during the New York City Ballet’s 2017 season, is available to the public.

The deluxe, limited edition of The Decalogue includes a Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket, 180-gram vinyl, a 40-page song chart book, a monotype print from visual artist Charlotte de Mezamat, and a download card. If purchased directly from AKR, the deluxe edition also includes a 20-page 12×12 photo booklet.

You can buy the album from AKR here, or check with your favorite local record store.

To hear The Decalogue on your preferred streaming platform, click here.

Half-handed Cloud Debuts Three New Songs from New Upcoming Compilation

October 9th, 2019 , by

Here’s some good news: in November we’re releasing a brand new Half-handed Cloud double vinyl compilation of sixty newly-mastered, non-LP singles from the band’s second decade (2010-2019), Gathered Out Of Thin Air.

And today, Half-handed Cloud (John Ringhofer) is debuting three songs from the forthcoming compilationwith more songs to come in the following weeks (so stay tuned).

Three new singles are available on your favorite streaming platform, here. Watch a video from Half-handed Cloud for “Here We Go Transformation” here:

The themes and locations in this portable song library (with its card catalog-referencing artwork) are as interesting and varied as the formats. For example, one song cluster documents the compositions that were commissioned for a 2008 live printmaking event in London, which had Ringhofer leading group sing-a-longs from the wobbly surface of a giant 12-foot spinning plywood record player (#2-8). Half-handed Cloud recorded one of the songs to benefit breast cancer research (#15). Other songs wrestle with the complicated history of 16th century exploration (#10-14), or are intended as devotionals for walking (#38-44). 

There’s even a whole EP’s worth of Christmas songs (#53-60), summoned here from various compilations from the last decade, including one (#59) that was recently turned into the grand theme for hit alternate Y2K internet simulation video game Hypnospace Outlaw.

Pre-orders for the 2xLP from Asthmatic Kitty include a complimentary limited set of four Gathered Out Of Thin Air bookmarks, and access to all of the MP3s as we release them.

You can preorder the 2xLP at our online shop here, or at your favorite record store.

Sufjan Debuts “IV” from The Decalogue

October 4th, 2019 , by

A couple of weeks ago, we announced The Decalogue, a recording of Sufjan’s score for Justin Peck’s ballet of the same name, performed by pianist Timo Andres.

Today you can hear “IV,” the fourth etude of ten on The Decalogue, on your usual digital streaming platform, or on YouTube with animation by Stephen Halker of Unreasonable Studios here.

You can also listen on your favorite streaming platform here.

We’re releasing The Decalogue digitally and on limited deluxe vinyl edition on October 18th. You’ll be able to find it at your favorite local record store, or you can preorder it here.

The deluxe edition includes a 40-page song chart book.

Below are the charts for “IV.”

Denison Witmer to Release New Album: “American Foursquare”

September 27th, 2019 , by

This fall, Denison Witmer will release the first two singles from his 12thLP, American Foursquare,on Sufjan Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty Records, with follow-up singles in the beginning of 2020. 

The full album will be available digitally and physically in Spring 2020.

American Foursquareis a meditation on empathy, on love, and on the meaning of home.

Denison began writing American Foursquare after he and his family relocated from Philadelphia to his hometown of Lancaster in 2014, trading their 800-square-foot row home for a 100-year-old house on the edge of Lancaster City. Denison wrote and recorded the songs as a response to the major life changes of moving and domestication, all the while taking a general hiatus from music to start a carpentry business and spend time with his wife and small children.

Denison named the record after the architectural style of the “new” house. Designed in reaction to the ornament of late-nineteenth century architecture, the foursquare emphasizes simplicity and function, with an open four-by-four room layout and a balanced, boxy shape. It’s one of the most common styles of American architecture. 

As Denison wrote and recorded these songs, the simplicity, ubiquity, and plain-spoken utilitarianism of the American Foursquare house became a centering stand-in metaphor for many of the themes on the record: loss, change, settling, transition.  

Denison began recording American Foursquare with Thomas Bartlett (Sufjan Stevens, The National, Norah Jones) and finished/mixed in Seattle, WA with Andy Park (Death Cab For Cutie, Pedro The Lion, Noah Gundersen) with additional string arrangements and vocals by Abby Gundersen and electric guitar and mandolin by Aaron Campbell.

To make sure you hear news about the new singles, be sure to follow Denison Witmer on Spotify here, or Instagram here.

Sufjan Stevens to release The Decalogue

September 17th, 2019 , by

On October 18th, Sufjan will release his score for Justin Peck’s ballet The Decalogue —ten etudes for solo piano—on digital platforms and a vinyl deluxe edition. CD and standard edition vinyl will follow on December 6, 2019.

You can watch a trailer for the recording above, or the first track release from The Decalogue, “III,” below.

The Decalogue is the fifth collaboration between New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer Peck and Sufjan, following 2012’s Year of the Rabbit, 2014’s Everywhere We Go, 2016’s The Countenance of Kings and most recently, 2019’s Principia.

Performed by the pianist Timo Andres, this recording of The Decalogue is the first time the score, originally premiered during the New York City Ballet’s 2017 season, is available to the public.

Brooklyn-based composer-pianist Timo Andres has written major works for the Boston Symphony, Carnegie Hall, the Barbican, the Takács Quartet, the Concertgebouw, and elsewhere. He performs regularly with Gabriel Kahane, and has frequently appeared with Philip Glass, Becca Stevens, Nadia Sirota, the Kronos Quartet, John Adams, Ted Hearne, and others.

As a pianist, Timo has performed at Lincoln Center, for the New York Philharmonic, the LA Phil, at Wigmore Hall, for San Francisco Performances, and at (le) Poisson Rouge. Upcoming highlights include a curated program for the Cincinnati Symphony (featuring Dance Heginbotham and a performance of Andres’s cello concerto, Upstate Obscura), and a solo piano recital for Carnegie Hall. Previous work with Sufjan includes the orchestration of Principia.

The deluxe, limited edition of The Decalogue includes a Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket, 180-gram vinyl, a 40-page song chart book, a monotype print from visual artist Charlotte de Mezamat, and a download card. If purchased directly from AKR, the deluxe edition also includes a 20-page 12×12 photo booklet.

Preorder the album from AKR here, or check with your favorite local record store.

Sufjan has also released a short trailer, and “III,” the third track from The Decalogue. Both pull iconography from the design of The Decalogue physical product and set to visuals by frequent collaborator Stephen Halker of Unreasonable Studios.

Sufjan Releases Love Yourself / With My Whole Heart

May 28th, 2019 , by

In celebration of Pride Month, Sufjan Stevens is releasing two new songs today on the topic of love: “Love Yourself” and “With My Whole Heart,” available now on digital/streaming platforms, and on limited-edition 7” vinyl on June 28.

A portion of the proceeds from this project will go to two organizations that provide support for LGBTQ and homeless kids in America—the Ali Forney Center in Harlem, NY and the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, MI.

“Love Yourself” is based on a sketch Stevens wrote 20 years ago. The original 4-track demo he recorded in 1996 is included as well as a short instrumental reprise. “With My Whole Heart” is a completely new song that Stevens wrote as a personal challenge to “write an upbeat and sincere love song without conflict, anxiety or self-deprecation.”

Sufjan also designed a Pride T-shirt that is available exclusively on his new merchandizing platform Sufjamz. You can preorder the shirt (along with a 7 inch of “Love Yourself/With My Whole Heart”) on Sufjamz.com here.

For all the links, please visit loveyourself-withmywholeheart.sufjan.com.

Watch Angelo De Augustine and Sufjan Stevens Play “You Needed Love, I Needed You”

January 4th, 2019 , by

We’re proud to share a new live video of a new song from Angelo De Augustine recorded at Reservoir Studios with Sufjan Stevens.

Angelo’s new album, Tomb, is out today, January 11th, and on CD/LP and in record stores on Friday January 25th. Listen via your favorite digital service here.

The track off his upcoming album Tomb, produced by Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman; credits include work on albums for St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens, Glen Hansard, and Rhye). Here’s the album version:

“You Needed Love I Needed You” is the fifth track released ahead of Tomb, following lead single “Time” and additional songs “Tomb,” “Kaitlin,” and “Somewhere Far Away From Home.” A video of “Time,” also performed live with Sufjan Stevens Reservoir Studios (where the album was recorded), can be seen here.

Angelo will overseas for a tour of the UK and Europe next month, but first will perform in the Los Angeles-area at Marty’s on Newport in Tustin, CA on February 13th. Additional 2019 live dates in support of Tomb will be announced soon.

Angelo De Augustine 2019 Tour Dates:
02/13/19 – Tustin, CA @ Marty’s On Newport
02/17/19 – Bristol, UK @ The Folk House
02/18/19 – London, UK @ Oslo
02/20/19 – Stockholm, SE @ Obaren
02/21/19 – Copenhagen, DE @ JOURNEY fest at Loppen w/ Jade Bird, Odetta Hartman
02/23/19 – Utrecht, NL @ TivoliVredenburg, Club Nine
02/24/19 – Ghent, BE @ Democrazy
02/25/19 – Paris, FR @ Le Pop Up du Label
02/26/19 – Amsterdam, NL @ Upstairs at Paradiso
02/27/19 – Berlin, DE @ Privatclub
02/28/19 – Malmo, SE @ Babel (Bar)

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