Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Portland's Southerly releases new LP "Youth" TODAY via Greyday Records; shares new MP3!

 Portland's Southerly releases new full-length Youth TODAY via Greyday Records
Full album streaming on Absolute Punk!
NEW MP3 (Cleared to post stream): Southerly - "All Abandoned"
MP3 (Cleared to post): Southerly - "Do We Believe?"
  MP3 (Cleared to post): Southerly - "Suffer"
"There's a wonderful amount of variety here, from the crescendo that capitalizes on the potential energy of Krueger's coiled emotions during the self-doubting "If We All Forgot" to the pedestrian showmanship springing from the piano keys during the hopeful "Soldiers".... Krueger also sings with the fidelity of a songwriter who's seen what he's saying. In fact, he's often better at conveying his sentiments with vocal nuances than with the words themselves." - Grayson Currin, Pitchfork

Portland's Southerly (Krist Krueger) celebrates the release his new full-length, Youth, via Greyday Records today.

It's common hyperbole to boast of a songwriter's newfound "maturity" with each new album, as if it were hallmark of perfection. With Southerly's third full length Youth, Portland, OR's dark-pop auteur Krist Krueger takes on the very notion of earned perspective through age & experience. Youth itself is a poignant exploration of life's varying stages of uncertainty and self-deception. Likewise, musically it explores shades of song structure with equal measures of childlike wonder and nuanced pop expertise.
NEW MP3 (Cleared to post stream): Southerly - "All Abandoned"
MP3 (Cleared to post): Southerly - "Do We Believe?"
  MP3 (Cleared to post): Southerly - "Suffer"

The title track pits a delightfully simple nursery rhyme vocal melody over droning two-chord guitars and an elegantly simple piano line that builds to a gallop as Krueger warily sings, "a child with no remorse/ a villain on his course / it's youth / it's youth / confident and cool." There's an equal sense of hope and foreboding in both his voice and the song's somber tone that fully accentuates the song's impact. "All Abandoned" pits an insistent acoustic guitar refrain alongside a stately piano phrase with dark aplomb reminiscent of The National or Angels of Light. Elsewhere, elements of Greg Sage's effect-laden guitar lines in Portland legends The Wipers and hints of New Zealand kiwi-pop (ranging from The Clean to The Veils) permeate Southerly's songs with a marriage of anthemic force and understated grace. Throughout, Krueger's mastery of infectious melody, ominous drone, sparing song structure and astute lyricism gives Youth its dramatic impact.

Youth is not a "mature" album in the cliched sense. Rather, and more importantly, it embodies exactly everything that the best music can be: a comforting companion to our multitude of hopes and fears throughout all stages of life. Krueger never professes to provide answers, but he's asking the right questions.

The Portland artist's lush, orchestral pop is reminiscent of The National, Brendan Benson, Elliott Smith and former Tindersticks frontman Stuart Staples. Krueger recorded the second Southerly album, Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist, with his own full orchestra and horn arrangements. The arrangements flesh out the songs, which center on Krueger's otherwise intimate singing style. Even in his solo performances, you can almost hear the sweeping and swooning violins, horns and backing vocals that surround Krueger's every note.

Recently dubbed "a one man musical army" by Skratch magazine, Southerly revisits the golden era of lush pop orchestration. His songs include signs of great craft while finding a way to stray far outside the traditional verse/chorus structures often dictating the final product of too many modern artists. Krueger started the project in 2003, tracking songs with a hand-me-down microphone and an Otari four track reel-to-reel in bedrooms and basements, releasing short runs of hand-packaged cassette tapes on his own imprint (dharmakayamusic/DKM).

Previous Praise for Southerly:
“...one of the year’s most gripping releases with Champion of the Noisy Negativists. The five- ‐track EP is a cauldron of methodical yet deeply moving instrumental rock (although “Allostasis” does contain some enchanting oms) that combines forlorn piano motifs with gradually intensifying, swirling drones and portentous orchestral swells (or very convincing simulacra thereof). This is slowcore animated by subtle Sturm und Drang. Southerly understand that you don’t have to go over the top to drive listeners to tears and trembling; they wield the killing feather. With Champion of the Noisy Negativists, Southerly have achieved a sublime condition of uplifting downheartedness. More bands should follow their example.”
- Dave Segal / The [Seattle] Stranger

“In a city that has as many musicians as it does trees, Krist Krueger is one of the most prolific. Under the Southerly moniker, and in conjunction with OPB Radio, Krueger wrote, recorded, and released a song each week for 22 weeks. It was the second time he’d undertaken such a project. Part of the purpose for the Song- ‐a- ‐Week series was to showcase that I don’t really write in one style,” says Krueger. Another part is the rush that comes with the immersion in creativity. What’s more impressive and more important than Krueger’s schedule is the thread of quality that ties together his work as Southerly. Songs are not dashed off. They are all rigorous, composed, and fully realized studio executions more Beatles than Daniel Johnston.”
- Andrew Tonry / Portland Mercury

Artist - Southerly
Album - Youth
US Release Date - September 20, 2011
Label - Greyday Records

Track Listing:

01. Suffer
03. Youth
05. Her Name Is Forward
06. Lust
07. Sacrifice
08. So You're Right
09. Going Down
10. Breaking In
11. Without A Cause
12. The End of Adolescence

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