Take Off to Indie Labels: Drag City

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Wand’s Cory Hanson rides into the high desert on a glossy melody through lustrous mists of instrumentation: acoustic, wah-electric and steel guitars, acoustic and electric drums. bass and piano. Pale Horse Rider explores myths and truths of a country on the way down, viewed through a deep-focus lens trained on the city from the deserts on the east; a terminus of unoccupied residential parks and streets fading into craggy footpaths to ...Read More
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Wand’s Cory Hanson rides into the high desert on a glossy melody through lustrous mists of instrumentation: acoustic, wah-electric and steel guitars, acoustic and electric drums. Pale Horse Rider explores myths and truths of a country on the way down, viewed through a deep-focus lens trained on the city from the deserts on the east; a terminus of unoccupied residential parks and streets fading into craggy footpaths to nowhere, where o...Read More
Original
Wand’s Cory Hanson rides into the high desert on a glossy melody through lustrous mists of instrumentation: acoustic, wah-electric and steel guitars, acoustic and electric drums. Pale Horse Rider explores myths and truths of a country on the way down, viewed through a deep-focus lens trained on the city from the deserts on the east; a terminus of unoccupied residential parks and streets fading into craggy footpaths to nowhere, where o...Read More
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Alasdair Roberts is a Scottish folk musician based in Glasgow who has released a number of albums under his name as well as the stage moniker, Appendix Out. Roberts is also noted for his frequent collaborations with other musicians, writers and filmmakers.
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Axis: Sova began as the experimental psych-rock solo project of Chicago artist Brett Sova, who wrote and recorded much of the bands early output before settling on a full lineup. Since 2018 the band has consisted of Sova with Tim Kaiser on guitar and Jeremy Freeze on bass.
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After years of releasing acclaimed lofi folk-rock albums under the name Smog, Bill Callahan has been recording and releasing music under his own name since 2007. This critically-acclaimed work has mixed his largely acoustic sound with elements of gospel, soul and pop.
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Queens-based experimental rock duo Blues Control, composed of Russ Waterhouse on guitars and electronics and keyboardist Lea Cho, established themselves in NY with exciting live shows and a series of self released cassettes and vinyl.
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After releasing a variety of offerings with friends under the nebulous Palace moniker and his own name, Will Oldham began his prolific streak of recording and performing his brand of Americana under the pseudonym Bonnie “Prince” Billy in the late 90s. His songs feature haunting lyrics over instrumentals that draw from numerous American musical traditions.
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Chicago-based psychedelic Krautrock group Cave began seriously recording music together in 2008. Cave is known for their hypnotic and droning instrumentals which have invited comparisons to bands like Can and Funkadelic.
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Dope Body are a Baltimore area post-punk noise rock group. Their Drag City debut, Natural History, a reference to the venue that first hosted the group for a one-off, meshed the band’s myriad sonic influences into an intense 35 minute experience. After briefly breaking up in 2016, the band reformed in 2019, culminating in two full length releases in 2020.
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Magik Markers member Elisa Ambrogio released her pop-influenced solo debut The Immoralist on Drag City in 2014. The album paired her soft and distant vocals with pop arrangements, all imparted with the rough textures of her noise rock roots.
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Cheerful West Coast punk rock trio Flat Worms are known for combining garage punk sensibilities and energy with indie rocker wit. Will Ivy recruited bassist Tim Hellman, formerly of Thee Oh Sees, and Babies drummer Justin Sullivan for their debut 7 inch “Red Hot Sand” before following it up a year later with a positively received self titled full-length.
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Jackie Lynn, the fictional, long-haul trucking, drug dealing stage persona of Circuit des Yeux’sHaley Fohr, developed as a way to compartmentalize Fohr’s introspective, avant-folk sound from the more playful fusion of country and synth pop on releases like Jackie Lynn and Jacqueline.
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The current band of the Stereolab frontwoman, Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble incorporates some of Sadier’s longest and closest collaborators, Emmanuel Mario, Nina Savary and Xavi Munoz.
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French artist Laetitia Sadier, best known as a founder and lead vocalist of indie pop groups Stereolab and Monade , began releasing music as a solo artist with 2010’s The Trip, a tragic dream pop odyssey that drew upon experiences of grief. She followed this effort up with the intimate, yet politically charged albums Silencio in 2012 and Something Shines in 2014.
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Masaki Batoh, founding member of Japanese experimental rock band Ghost, struck out on his own after closing the door on Ghost’s 30 year tenure in the psychedelic and progressive scenes. His more recent projects include his psychedelic 5-piece the Silence and his more spiritual solo output, such as Nowhere, and Smile Jesus Loves You!, released on Drag City.
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What world, REALLY are Matt Sweeney and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy from? A place of all-music, knowing no borders, no morals other than natural tribal lines to be violated in the name of love and light, for all together.
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Folk artist Meg Baird comes from a long family tradition of Appalachian folk roots, her great-great uncle was folk-singer and regional historian Isaac Garfield Greer. Her solo work features soft, airy vocals that float above otherworldly folk arrangements and her band Espers draws upon the baroque pop/chamber folk sound of the late 1960s, creating an intoxicating psychedelic sound.
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Greg Turkington’s fictional persona Neil Hamburger, a misanthropic, anti-comedian was introduced to the world in 1992 on the album Great Phone Calls Featuring Neil Hamburger, a self-deprecating assault on the expectations that had developed in stand-up.
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LA-based noise pop duo No Age brought the ethos of early punk and hardcore music into the 21st-century with their stripped down DIY style that taped together their spare drum and guitar riffs with passionate vocals and a few playful samples. Their origins playing energetic live shows at all-ages venues around Los Angeles would lay the groundwork for the band’s future output for the next 15 years.
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Nebulous and with an ever-changing roster of collaborators, Palace, was an anti-folk folk rock project. As the musical debut of influential Louisville singer/songwriter Will Oldham, the “group’s” inconsistent name scheme reflects the constant ebb and flow of collaborators in Oldham’s life.
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Initially getting its start as a noisy and abrasive solo project in the basement of Philadelphia guitarist Mike Polizze, before expanding into a power trio, Purling Hiss made their name in the sceen playing alongside acts like the War on Drugs.
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Purple Mountains, the last project of late Silver Jews singer David Berman, released after a decade of absence from the music industry and a month prior to his tragic passing, was a clever, occasionally somber tribute to the country-rock traditions that had guided much of Berman’s career.
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Sic Alps was a San Francisco-based lofi garage rock band started by Matt Hartman and Mike Donnovan, who met on tour with their previous bands in the 90s. The group drew as equally from noise pop as they did from art rock luminaries the Velvet Underground.
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Silver Jews was an American rock band formed in Hoboken by David Berman and Pavement members Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich. Inspired by the conceptual art at the Whitney Museum where Berman worked as a security guard, they would record their earliest tracks on the answering machines of friends.
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Drawing inspiration from the fingerplucking, East-meets-West guitar solos of the 60s and 70s psychedelic folk scene, Six Organs of Admittance was the primary project of NorCal guitarist Ben Chansy. Combining new folk and drone music with Eastern bells and chimes, Six Organs of Admittance began releasing music on Drag City in 2006.
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Prolific artist Ty Segall rose to prominence with his own brand of psych-influenced garage rock in the late 2000s. His near nonstop output over the last decade spans multiple bands, collaborations and solo records, weaving a variety of sonic influences into each of his projects.
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Wand is a metal-influenced psych rock band based in Los Angeles, California. Formed in 2013 by Cory Hanson, the group’s early releases feature hints of sludge and heavy metal, later giving way to more melodic synths. A lineup expansion in 2016 brought an improvised, jam-style to the band’s songwriting which coincided with a transition towards a more expansive, classic rock sound.
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Xylouris White is the folk duo of Greek lute player George Xylouris and Australian drummer Jim White. Their 2014 album, Goats, features a fluid mix of regional folk traditions with psych and rock inspirations. They would expand on this with subsequent releases, including their punk influenced Drag City debut The Sisypheans