November 27, 2015 · Spartan Records · SPAR033
Since their inception in late 2011, Norwegian noise rock duo Barren Womb have been raising both eyebrows and hell with their nasty swill of Punk 'n' Roll and Blackened Country Noise. Nique Everything, Barren Womb’s second and arguably most defining album to date, features 10 brand new bursts of easy listening for the hard of hearing. It sees the band further exploring soundscapes, instrumentation, and themes more commonly found in Country/Americana than in Noise Rock. Yet it still retains every ounce of energy and conviction the duo has been known for in the past. From the crushingly heavy opening track "Make sure you get yr whole head in front of the shotgun" via the frenetic Country Punk of tracks like "Piss jugs" and "Town’s back the way you came" to the swampy stomp of "Devil run the game" and "White raven," trails are being blazed left, right and center.
December 18, 2015 · Spartan Records · SPAR031
After spending years as a contributing songwriter and active member of the fan adored indie-pop band Mae, Rob Sweitzer made a decision to leave the band in 2008 due to personal reasons, intraband tensions, and a desire to focus on home life and the budding stages of his own independent musical path. With hundreds of thousands of record sales, countless sold out shows, and scores of critical accolades under his belt, there was no shortage of momentum propelling Sweitzer’s post-Mae ambitions. Inspired by bands like Delta Spirit, Broken Social Scene, Elbow, and Doves, Sweitzer accumulated a mountain of demos that have been meticulously whittled down to a six song narrative that will serve as My God, It’s Full of Stars’ official introduction to the world. M29 is a project that has been both long in the works and completely reborn. It is an attempt to untangle conversational wonderings and existential inquiry through sonic layers, cathartic songwriting, and deliberate production.
November 13, 2015 · Spartan Records · SPAR029
Hiraeth: a word without a concrete English translation. While evading an unequivocal definition, it exudes melancholy. Those who have attempted to define it describe the word as a mixture of homesickness, nostalgia, grief, and longing. It is the oppressive guilt associated with memories now passed; the bitter remembrance of joyous occasions that can never be revisited. It is also the title of Shy, Low’s upcoming full-length album, due November 13th on Spartan Records. Just like the word Hiraeth itself, Shy, Low’s continual evolution make them a band that is not easy to define. While it would be convenient to corral the band into the bucket of canonical post-rock bands like Mono, Mogwai, and This Will Destroy You, on Hiraeth, Shy, Low’s eclectic palate of musical influences are showcased more broadly than ever before. The band earnestly sifts through the complex relationship between music, art, and the emotions that encapsulate the human experience — and in doing so, they’ve successfully created a brilliantly moving, yet strangely bittersweet 43 minute aural journey.
October 30, 2015 · Spartan Records · SPAR028
Heavy, majestic, desolate, ominous. There are no better words to describe Kiska’s self-titled, debut release. Leaving behind the more radio-friendly leanings of the quartet’s former band, Desoto Jones, the musicians reinvented themselves with Kiska, pursuing a heavier, more dynamic, and frenetic direction. In comparative terms, sonically the record falls in the general vicinity of bands like Jawbox, Failure, Rival Schools, and Hum — driving, dynamic, and aggressive, but with clean and resounding choruses. A delicate balance of space, power, grit, and color.
December 4, 2015 · Spartan Records · SPAR027
Reigning from the depths of Orange County, Lucky Scars has but one goal and ambition: to rock your backyard party. With songs about a female assassin, fear of the government, breaking the law, and killing people in positions of power, Lucky Scars — featuring former members of Sense Field and Ignite — exists to further rattle those who live comfortably in paranoia. Produced by Jim Monroe (CJ Ramone, The Adolescents) and mastered by Stephen Egerton (Descendants, All, Flag), the EP contains four breakneck blasts of good, old-fashioned, beer-swillin' American rock and roll.
June 16, 2015 · Spartan Records · SPAR026
While the untangling of duality -- awe and anguish, faith and fraud, hope and horror -- is hardly a new artistic exercise, such rich questioning is rarely attempted in the form of a six song EP. Performing the duties of both architect and builder, Zach Gehring (of beloved Virginia-based Mae acclaim) has designed an exorcism vehicle, the aptly-titled moniker Demons, and allowed often-at-odds voices the opportunity to speak. Decidedly heavier and more aggressive than previous projects, Demons took stylistic cues from the likes of many influential bands that have shaped Gehring as a musician. Traces of Spiritualized, Pedro The Lion, The Afghan Whigs, and Mudhoney can be found throughout and we bare witness as moments of sonic accessibility lose footing and spiral into heavy and brooding responses with little warning. Gehring's fragile vocals transition into angst-ridden bellows and words from the same speaker argue back and forth across the tracklisting. The result is Great Dismal, an oxymoronic battle of declarations, withholdings, distortion, and clarity -- a tussle of the psyche examined through opposing dynamics.
June 23, 2015 · Spartan Records · SPAR025
NYVES is the new electronic music project featuring Ryan Clark (Demon Hunter) and Randy Torres (ex-Project 86). What began as a cathartic outlet centered on a mutual love for moody, electro-rock music has resulted in one of the most gorgeous full-length records of the year. Dark, pulsing soundscapes are woven together by Clark’s instantly identifiable vocals; resonate layers are balanced by Torres’s crystal clear and expert production; and high levels of experimentation are outweighed only by melodic sensibility and sonic accessibility.
March 24, 2015 · Spartan Records · SPAR024
In the tradition of great modern alternative noisemakers like Brand New, Jimmy Eat World, and Foo Fighters, Unifier has spent the last several years releasing and performing a steady stream of gorgeously driving pop rock records. What the band achieved on their earlier albums in terms of “big” and “pretty” aesthetics, Gutted matches with newfound elements of rawness and aggression. Conceptually, the EP wanders into both familiar and darker domains, examining recurring feelings of loss, helplessness, doubt, and judgment through a variety of narrative lenses.
February 24, 2015 · Spartan Records · SPAR023
The start of a new year comes with a new set of goals. Determination breeds new ambitions and the past is left securely in the rear view mirror. For the upstate New York-based quintet, Trespassers, this is the year to give rise to those ambitions. And with the first chords of the band's new EP Rival Glass, it is obvious that band has has its sights set squarely on the future. Rival Glass starts with the explosive "Dead End" and embarks on a five-song journey that not only cements the band's trademark for writing melodic and emotional songs with a colossal backbone, but explores new sonic territory as well. This is the year for Trespassers -- with the arrival of the EP, there is no turning back.
February 17, 2015 · Spartan Records · SPAR022
There have always been two sides of music that argue back and forth. There are bands that make pop music with the sole goal of writing a song that feels good and captivates the mind, and those that make music that is progressive and pushes the boundaries of what is possible in a genre. Originally released in 2011, Unifier's debut EP Oh, Great City is a collection of songs that masterfully marries both sides -- fusing the pop-rock sounds of Switchfoot, Foo Fighters, and Jimmy Eat World with the progressive genre-bending of groups like Brand New, The Dear Hunter, and Manchester Orchestra. Now re-released with 3 bonus tracks and newly imagined artwork, the EP serves as a perfect introduction to the Greensboro, NC quartet and is just a taste of what fans can expect from the band's first new release in over two years, the Gutted EP, which will be available March 24th on Spartan Records.
December 5, 2014 · Spartan Records · SPAR021
Spartan proudly presents Homesick: A Spartan Records Christmas Album featuring nine renditions of holiday classics, both new and old, by some of your favorite Spartan bands - including some of the most beloved Christmas songs ever like "Last Christmas" by Trespassers, "O Holy Night" by Shy, Low and "I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Sullivan as well as new original holiday songs like "Three Kings" by Ourlives and "Beard of Doom" by Barren Womb.
October 28, 2014 · Spartan Records · SPAR020
Trespassers. The name itself beckons a foreboding sense of uncertainty. While the New York-based quintet’s formation has been a process of both instinct and unconscious evolution, the direction of the music has remained unwavering. Melodic. Emotional. Heavy. Three adjectives commonly strung together, but rarely executed with precision or balance. The power of No Turning Back is in the negative spaces; the subtle contrasts between what is heard and what is felt.
December 16, 2014 · Spartan Records · SPAR019
Formed in 1991, Sense Field was one of the original bands to breakout in the mid-90's "emo" scene along with acts like Jimmy Eat World, Sunny Day Real Estate and Texas Is The Reason. During that time the band released classic full-length records Sense Field, Killed For Less, and Building which help establish them as one of the scene’s most highly regarded bands. Later in 2001, the band returned with their breakout record Tonight and Forever, which garnered the band massive success with their single "Save Yourself." The song was also featured on the official soundtrack for the hit TV show "Roswell," which catapulted the band to mainstream audiences and performances on late night TV shows like "The Tonight Show" and "The Late Late Show."
December 9, 2014 · Spartan Records · SPAR018
While seven years have passed since the release of the fan adored album Cover Your Eyes, Sullivan has not stood idle. Remaining fully immersed in different facets of the indie music world, each member of the band has continued to hone their craft in a different way, ultimately leading them on a journey back to a starting point. Enter Heavy Is The Head. Eleven songs of beauty and anguish, organically constructed and painstakingly nurtured. With traditional deadlines, label pressures, and industry pitfalls removed from the equation, Sullivan was able to write the album in the purest conditions. Inspiration was captured at the point of conception and given time to percolate for as long as was deemed necessary. The combined result: the strongest and most realized album in the bands discography.
January 27, 2015 · Spartan Records · SPAR017
In February 2003, Norfolk, Virginia introduced the world to the charming quintet collectively known as Mae. Not only was their debut album, Destination: Beautiful an instant success with audiences, but their live show proved their talent moved even past just writing alluring hits. The year after, the band returned with Destination: B-Sides, their first recorded project since the release of Destination: Beautiful. The release featured 10 tracks of new and unreleased songs, live recordings, and acoustic takes on old favorites and gave an inside look at the band's beginnings, as well as signs of what was to come. Now, 10 years later, the album is available for the first time ever on vinyl and features a new track listing that includes two brand new takes on two classic Mae songs, "Skyline Drive" (from Destination: Beautiful) and "Where The Falls Begin" (from The Everglow Special Edition). Recorded during the summer and fall of 2014, these recordings mark the first newly recorded music by all 5 original members of Mae in over 4 years.
November 18, 2014 · Spartan Records · SPAR016
On Waypoint’s new EP, Creature of Habit, our transgressions are laid bare. Over the course of four songs, the Jackson, MS quartet trudges noisily through murky thematic content in order to chronicle a journey toward redemption. Musically, the road is dark, heavy, and raw. Lyrically, the message is unabashed, biting, and true. In its entirety, Creature of Habit is an exorcism; it is a call to arms against our own self-hauntings.
October 14, 2014 · Spartan Records · SPAR015
Hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland, musical prowess and pedigree is something that innately runs through Jón Björn Árnason and Leifur Kristinsson’s veins. Together they are Ourlives, and over the last nine years they have been meticulously assembling a lush and layered musical narrative. Contributing to the post-Britpop tradition of bands like Coldplay, Radiohead, and Travis, Ourlives fuses together delicate textures with driving guitars and drum work, and seamlessly transition between spare and intimate ballads and soaring, declarative anthems. This is Den of Lions, a heartbreakingly gorgeous examination of love and darkness, intimacy and isolation, and paranoia and clarity.
September 9, 2014 · Spartan Records · SPAR014
When asked to describe The Foxery, each band member contributed one word: Passionate. Intense. Cathartic. Heavy. Genuine. Fun. In a sense, there could be no better way to characterize both the music and the poetically thrashing spirit of the Louisville sextet. Coming on the heels of several independent releases, incessant DIY touring, and months and months of persistent writing, The Foxery has found their home on Spartan Records with Unless, unquestionably their most prolific record to date. Thematically, Unless tackles massive questions against the backdrop of a dark and wandering musical journey; however, the story doesn’t end there. Amidst the darkness, there is a palpable sense of hope that builds as the record progresses. Subtle rhythm changes, melodic layers, and key modulations begin to alter the sonic landscape as the record reaches its crescendo where it ultimately ends in a place of redemption.
July 22, 2014 · Spartan Records · SPAR013
For two years, Pittsburgh PA’s Young Fox has been at work -- writing, refining, building and honing. Foundational anchors were set at the fascinating intersection of homage and experimentation, and familiar outlines of past inspiration were redrawn with steady, confident hands. With influences ranging from Sunny Day Real Estate to Fugazi, characterizing Young Fox’s sound is not a simple task. Predecessors is a journey of aesthetic variance, where melodic integrity meets power, lushness breaks for simplicity, and structure crescendos into recklessness.
March 11, 2014 · Spartan Records · SPAR012
"The sun's not yellow, it's chicken" is the first full-length album from Norwegian noise mongers Barren Womb. After a handful of successful singles and EP's, the duo have already established their vicious blend of hardcore, black metal, country and rock 'n' roll. From the first jangly chords of opener "Kill Hicks" it quickly becomes apparent how much the band has grown since these first efforts. Broader dynamics, more focused songwriting and heavier sounding, topped off with the bleakest lyrics they've written to date. Recorded by Ole Spangrud of Mørkemakt and mixed by the band themselves, "The sun's not yellow, it's chicken" features 13 blisteringly honest noise punk ditties, all set in the key of apocalypse.
February 24, 2014 · Spartan Records · SPAR011
After an impressive debut release, indie supergroup States return with their beautiful and lush second installment - Paradigm. Delving into more experimental territory, Paradigm is a lesson in dynamics -- rich atmospherics are grounded by propulsive rhythms, delicate layers are juxtaposed by driving guitars, and heady lyrics are masterfully delivered by an arresting voice. With foundational roots in such beloved bands (Copeland, Lydia), expectations have always been high for States. Paradigm not only secures the bands independence as a stand alone force, it also serves as a statement of what's to come.
November 28, 2013 · Spartan Records · SPAR010
The first ever free Spartan Records sampler, "The Sound We're Making," includes 10 tracks - one from each Spartan release to date, including songs from Schematic, Over the Ocean, Daisyhead, Shy, Low, Waypoint, and more.
December 3, 2013 · Spartan Records · SPAR009
The story of Schematic is one of progress, experimentation and rebirth. After a very successful decade fronting the beloved indie-powerhouse Mae, Dave Elkins packed his bags and relocated to Nashville for the start of something new. With four LP's, three EP's, and over half a million album sales under his belt worldwide, Elkins longed to refine his approach to making records, to experiment with the unknown. The result emerged under the moniker Schematic, and in the form of a brilliant and breathtakingly complex record, Color (n.) Inside The Lines.
Landing on a particular sound for Schematic was, and remains to be, a journey that is constantly evolving. Sonically, the album draws heavily from Elkins' progressive pop leanings, but delves into a new territory of experimentation with compelling grooves, interweaving time signatures, and unique instrumentation. In addition to Elkins' adept handiwork, the record features a veritable dream team of producers and contributors. With additional engineering and production by Paul Moak (Mat Kearney, Lovedrug); co-writes by Stephen Christian (Anberlin) and Mark Padgett (Mae); and guest musical appearances by Jeremy Lutito (Leagues), Chase Lawrence (Coin), and Eleanor Denig, Color (n.) Inside The Lines was a process of diverse brilliant collaboration.
Reinvention is not easy. Departing from the safe harbor of familiarity and success takes a tremendous amount of courage. But with an undying desire for advancement and progression as an artist, Elkins' has already found his footing with Schematic on a very familiar climb to the top.
November 5, 2013 · Spartan Records · SPAR008
With the high concentration of sharpened elbows jockeying for position within the Nashville scene, it takes an extraordinary amount of artistry and ingenuity for a band to separate themselves from the pack -- especially with only an EP. In early 2013 Michael Roe, Adam Easterling, Curtis Durard, and Zach Chiarizzio made a decision to take a break from their heavier band projects and collectively explore something new. There was no specific style there were trying to create, no image they were trying fit, and no sound they were trying to replicate. Four musicians simply got together, drew from their unique influences, and began to play. Chemistry formed, songs took shape, and what began as a project, pure and untainted, evolved into something much bigger -- a musical monolith that found it's feet in the form of stunning, and stirring EP.
On the surface 'emotional rock and roll' is a reasonable summation of the band's sound, but that classification alone doesn't begin to describe the complexity and energy that propels the band's debut EP "I Couldn't Face You." With the perfect combination of powerful and propulsive guitars, an aggressive rhythm section, tastefully untamed production, conceptual storytelling and a fragile yet sophisticated voice, "I Couldn't Face You" is as effortlessly beautiful as it is unfathomably raw. Be on the lookout on November 5th as Daisyhead partners with Spartan Records to share their creation with the world on limited edition 7" vinyl and at all major digital retailers.
June 25, 2013 · Spartan Records · SPAR007
Post-rockers hailing from the hardcore haven of Richmond VA, Shy, Low play a creative blend of instrumental compositions coming from the diverse and varying influences of the band’s four members. Their new 2 song release, Binary Opposition clocks in at just shy of 25 minutes and is an atmospheric, emotive, and visual tour de force. Recorded live on analog tape at the legendary Inner Ear Studios just outside of Washington, DC, Binary Opposition is the seasoned follow-up to the band’s self-titled record is available now at digital retailers and on 12” colored vinyl.
April 30, 2013 · Spartan Records · SPAR006
From the very beginning, Over the Ocean set out to create music that stops listeners in their tracks. Listening to the band's new album, "Be Given to the Soil," is as if you were sitting in a room watching them sweat out every ounce of passion that was poured tirelessly into each song. Thematically and musically, the arrangements are darker, heavier and sparse at points than the band's previous effort, all the while delivering the same level of lyrical complexity that fans grew to love on their debut. "Be Given to the Soil" swan dives right into the soul, plunging the unexplained inner depths of the human condition. From start to finish the record offers raw, gut-wrenching wrestling with the eternal. Each song proclaims the loudness of humanity’s inner life – truth, doubt and struggle wrapped up in a disturbingly clear package.
In an era of the immediate and temporary, Over the Ocean has crafted something timeless. "Be Given to the Soil" is not for the faint of heart and mustn't be approached half-heartedly. You will either be sonically immersed into a landscape of seeming sonic dysfunction held together by a heart-piercing rhythm section, or you will refuse its advances altogether. "Be Given to the Soil" is available now at digital retailers and on limited edition gatefold double vinyl on Seattle's Spartan Records.
May 15, 2012 · Spartan Records · SPAR005
With subtle beauty and lush instrumentation, Mae burst onto the scene in 2003 with the kind of maturity and distinction that had been so absent in a swarm of bands of the oblique and generic post-emo convention. Utilizing varied soundscapes beneath their crisp, driving melodies, Mae's introduction immediately appealed to those longing for musical depth and substance, painstaking detail, and a collaboration of delicate art and head-nodding rock. "Destination: Beautiful" became an instant classic and is now available in limited quantity for the first time ever on vinyl.
November 29, 2011 · Spartan Records · SPAR004
Ourlives are an explosive, emotive, expansive four-piece, poised and ready at the start of their music recording lives. Ourlives are a band clearly capable of injecting their own edge, of making powerful forward-looking, life-touching music. Hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland, the music they make is a dramatic crossover hybrid of melodic intelligent progressive post-metal and warm powerful emotional pop rock. Ourlives are not afraid to play with the warmth of old-school guitars, with the analogue dust of keyboards, with the power of silence and the strength that can be found in their harmonious vocals. Neither are they a band afraid of soothing, soaring melodies, of emotional choruses and the idea that less is often so much more. The foursome are fusing their ambitious ideas together to produce a sound that's as potentially epic as their Icelandic landscape, they do this without ever losing sight of the power and strength of pop and the art of keeping it simple. The band's debut US 5-song EP "Out of Place" is available now via Seattle's Spartan Records.
July 26, 2011 · Spartan Records · SPAR003
Over the Oceans's debut album, "Paper House," is a refreshing and dynamic collection of original and inspired songs. During the album's quieter moments, you will suddenly find yourself within a moment of introspection - then a moment later, the climactic swell of big guitars, bombastic drums, and vocals will blanket your arms with goosebumps. Over the Ocean's sonic landscape is sprinkled with feedback, distortion, echo, and dissonance - but the sum of those things is a beautiful and memorable collection of songs. Fans of bands like Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai, mewithoutYou, Sigur Rós, and Appleseed Cast will undoubtedly appreciate the band's sound. "Paper House" is available now at major digital retailers everywhere with three additional bonus tracks.
October 5, 2010 · Spartan Records · SPAR002
Before Mae, there was Sky's The Limit. Originally released in 2001, but shortly thereafter out of print, Sky's The Limit was the first band of Mae frontman and chief songwriter, Dave Elkins. The record is an especially essential listen for fans of Mae and also fans of the mid-late 90's emo sound of bands like Mineral, Sunny Day Real Estate, Hum, and others. Shortly after the disbanding of Sky's The Limit, Dave went on to record Mae's "Destination: Beautiful."