Our 100 Words Or Less Podcast with host Ray Harkins is back with Tanner Merritt of O’Brother who also happen to be our Artist Of The Week. Ray and Tanner discussed expectations, musical influences, and much more. Be sure to pick up the band’s new record, Disillusion, if you’ve yet to.
PropertyOfZack is happy to have O’Brother, Native, and Daylight together for a new Playlist as they dig deeper into their late-summer tour. Check out their tour routing here and the Playlists below while listening to the songs on Spotify and reading everyone’s thoughts!
Junior Astronomers - Touching War
This was the first new song I heard these guys play live a few years before they released ‘Dead Nostalgia’. Now it’s out, and it’s still one of my favorite tracks off the record. Don’t sleep on this band and buy their record now.
Whirr - Reverie
I can put this track on repeat and zone out like I can with Brian Eno’s “An Ending (Ascent)”, M83 “I Guess I’m Floating”, and Sigur Ros “Untitled 4”.
Nine Inch Nails - Right Where It Belongs
I had the privilege of seeing NIN at Lollapalooza this year. It was the best performance I have ever seen from start to finish. Their lights/production were on point, their sound was immaculate, and their playing was flawless. They didn’t play this song, and I’m glad they didn’t because I would’ve cried in the middle of tens of thousands of people.
Cult of Luna - Vicarious Redemption
This is the third track to one of my favorite releases of 2013, ‘Vertikal’. Although a 19 minute track, it does not feel like it at all.. it’s tasteful and loud when it needs to be. If you like dark and heavy, this is it.
Jesu - Losing Streak
How can a song be so catchy yet so heartbreaking? I don’t know, man. Ask Justin Broadrick.
Sigur rós - Yfirborð
Experiencing Sigur Rós live has been something on my bucket list for years. I got to experience it for the first time when my girlfriend and I, along with some of the dudes in my band and their girlfriends, drove up to Chicago in April. my jaw dropped when I heard this song. ‘Kveikur’ came out and this song sounds just as it does live.
Queens of the Stone Age - I Sat By The Ocean
At first, I thought this song was a little poppy for QOTSA. But the more I listened to it, the more it made sense to me. This band is smart and great at what they do, and this song grooves hard.
Alice In Chains - Phantom Limb
O’Brother had the absolute pleasure of doing a short tour with these guys (what?). I was behind the stage setting up guitars when their drummer, Sean, came up to me and started talking about politics. Their whole crew was looking for him. Moments later, they sound checked with this song and it sounded massive even from behind the stage. It’s insane that this band is still releasing amazing records. It’s hard to believe that they formed the year I was born.
Kowloon Walled City - The Pressure Keeps Me Alive
I discovered this band recently and listen to them on Spotify more than any other band.
Dead In The Dirt - The Pit of Me
Atlanta’s variation of punk, hardcore, sludge, and grind at the same time. Listen loudly. - Johnny Dang
Summer tour playlist: What I’ll be listening to.
Before every tour I make a conscious effort to load my iPod up with new albums and new challenges to listen to when I’m driving. I’m pretty happy with my latest haul and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel so I can delve in. (In alphabetical order)
AA Bondy - American Hearts
My new favorite folk sensation. He seems to be brining a different message to the table and I like his approach. It’s not stale, very refreshing.
Barbarossa – Bloodlines
This album has been taking over everything I do, how I drive, how I run. I saw him open for Junip in June (he’s actually touring in Junip as well) and I was floored. Very tasteful electronic music paired up with super soulful and jaw dropping vocals. His voice is seriously haunting. “S.I.H.F.F.Y.” will keep you coming back for more and more.
Boards of Canada - Tomorrow’s Harvest *Song is not on Spotify
I’ve been listening to this since it has dropped. It’s so challenging that I wouldn’t expect anyone to understand it on the first listen. You have to truly detach yourself from your expectations and understanding of music, and just listen. It’s the soundtrack to what Earth will be like after humans are go. This album is a movie, it will change your perception and unearth some very deep rooted fears about life.
Brighter Arrows – Dreamliner *Song is not on Spotify
This album just came out on the The Ghost is Clear Records. It’s very special to me. Not only is written by some dear friends of mine, but it’s honestly so good it’s a little terrifying. I feel like there’s a lot of bands out there right now trying to emulate this sound, but Brighter Arrows snuck out and did it without anyone knowing it. It’s epic, emotional and quite a journey. Listen to it in its entirety to see the whole picture.
Broadcast - Tender Buttons
This album is in now way current, but it is my go to road trip album because of how upbeat the music is. Another treat is Trish Keenan’s lyrics, it’s like listening to a well worded book on tape.
PropertyOfZack is very exciting to be premiering the third part of O’Brother's documentary called Reap. The band is also our Artist Of The Week and just put out a great new album called Disillusion, so make sure to get a copy of the record here and to watch the documentary, filmed by Capture Media, below!
by Adrienne Fisher, edited by Erik van Rheenen
I’m just gonna get it out there right now, before I start muddling through the whys and the how’s and the panoramas and genre blendings and other verbose descriptions that might blur the bottom line: O’Brother’s new record is amazing.
Let’s not pussyfoot around it. Disillusion, the sophomore LP from the Atlanta band has some of the tightest, most intricate presentations of any record you’ll hear this year. The sprawling landscape that O’Brother has created here alternates towering walls of opaque sound with tiny sonic subtleties: the result is an extremely dark, dimensional, and interesting listen. Think, for instance, of the sludgy abrasiveness of Young Widows, the elevated songwriting strategies of Nine Inch Nails, and the dismal attitude of the Deftones.
It’s masterfully written and at times completely intimidating, but the way that the record manages to somehow make effervescent music out of heavy footfalls of grunge is enough to completely hypnotize. Great writing, from any creative standpoint, hides the seams and stitches that hold the components together - and in that regard, O’Brother’s new record is excellently done.
Opening with a sonic patchwork quilt that sounds like it was plucked from the noise archives of a Mars Volta record, the expository “Come Into the Divide” is discordant and uncomfortable, drawing out a vivid setting for where and how the rest of the songs are to take place. The record hits some its best tempo strides in “Context” with growling, throaty guitars and a riveting outro that marches on and on, dragging its feet until it finally slows to a stop. “Path of Folly” features ghostly vocals that sound (and say things that are) more otherworldly than they do human: ”Caught in the paradox of life / when living is dying and I just want to live / as if I were dying.” And “Transience,” one of the more upbeat songs of the record, kicks to a start with a curling Thrice-like melody and closes with earth shattering drags of distortion.
Monday means BandsOnBands, and we’re excited to be posting the new PropertyOfZack features today with Tanner Merritt of O’Brother. The band is our Artist Of The Week and will be releasing Disillusion tomorrow via Triple Crown Records, so make sure to pre-order it here.
In this week’s feature, Tanner talks about his love for Portishead. Listen to songs by Portishead here and check out what Tanner had to say about one of his biggest influences below!
From Tanner Merritt:
We all listen to Portishead pretty frequently. While it may seem to be a divergence from the influences that we might commonly be associated with, I think we’ve all drawn a significant amount of influence from them. There’s a quality to their music that I think is entirely unique. They’re able to achieve an overwhelming intensity with minimal effort. We’re fans of dark and moody music, and I don’t think anyone really does it better. They somehow manage to elicit an emotional response that most people (ourselves included) can only get by manipulating volume and dynamics.
PropertyOfZack is excited to have O’Brother as our Artist Of The Week this week. The band will be releasing their new record, Disillusion, in two days via Triple Crown Records, so make sure to pre-order it here. We’ll be bringing you exclusive content all week from the band, but in the meantime, check out an album stream of Disillusion and their current tour dates below!
POZ Discussion: Most Anticipated August Releases
August is just a few days away, and there are a slew of great records coming out next month that PropertyOfZack team members couldn’t be more stoked to hear. In today’s new Discussion, we’re highlighting our personal Most Anticipated August Releases. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with what you’re looking forward to as well!
The Dangerous Summer - Golden Record (8/6)
There are a lot of different opinions out there about The Dangerous Summer, their music, and the situations they seem to find themselves in. My take has always been to just forget about it, because the music’s just too good to ignore. After War Paint ended up being every bit as good as Reach for the Sun was (and probably better), there’s no limit to how good this band can be. There’s a wrinkle in this record cycle, thanks to two new additions (drummer Ben Cato and guitarist Matt Kennedy, ex-The Graduate), and the duo’s contributions on first single “Catholic Girls” show that the band’s musicianship has taken another giant step forward. All eyes will be on the band’s third full-length, Golden Record, because not only are the expectations and anticipations high, but they deserve to be. If Golden Record is any bit as good as the two albums that preceded it, this will be yet another album from TDS that we’ll be talking about years after its release. - Donald Wagenblast
Dads - Pretty Good (8/6)
All hail our beloved Kings of Emo! The forthcoming EP from New Jersey’s Dads, Pretty Good, is the first release for the band’s new home (6131 Records) and promises to, you know, at least kind of meet our expectations with that modestly given title. Yet after a few listens to the 2 new songs that have been posted for streaming, we’re more than certain that Dads needn’t lowball themselves, as the duo has seemingly put together a couple of tightly written and innovative jams. Running the gamut between lighthearted and furious, Dads has all their stylistic bases covered; “Boat Rich” reprises their typical wealth of “emo” liveliness with John Bradley’s vocals at their strongest showing to date, while “My Crass Patch” is a stormy departure into darker, heavier territories, both raising eyebrows and inciting audiences everywhere. We’re titillated at the idea of hearing the rest of the EP, and with a year that’s so far been endless touring and opportunity for them, we’re stoked to see where Dads’ career lands them next. - Adrienne Fisher
Long Lost - Save Yourself, Start Again (8/6)
Transit’s Young New England, for all the bluster and sound and fury against it, actually has some solid hooks behind it. Okay, so there’s some bad ones too, but songs like “Lake Q” and “Don’t Go, Don’t Stray” are breezy, harmless summer tunes that pack some pretty strong melodies. I know, #GFYEVR, right?
Transit fans pretty quickly tarred and feathered Joe Boynton as a suitable scapegoat for the album’s underwhelming reception, which really isn’t fair to the singer. But Long Lost, Boynton’s new project, gives himself a chance to save himself and start again — literally. Much like Young New England’s best numbers, Long Lost is jam-packed with end-of-summer bonfire melodies and wistful vocals. If this is Boynton’s second chance in 2013 (in fan’s eyes only), it’s a pretty darn good one. - Erik van Rheenen
John Mayer - Paradise Valley (8/13)
John Mayer is a far cry from what I normally listen to, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the handsome smooth-talker from Connecticut. So of course I was excited to hear that he had another album in the works, and judging from the singles Mayer has released (“Paper Doll” and “Wildfire”), it seems that Paradise Valley is going to follow in the footsteps of last year’s Born And Raised. And that is perfectly okay. In the onslaught of summer we could all use a little more chill, which is exactly what Mayer provides in his laid-back and soulful brand of rock. - Becky Kovach