BIG STIR RECORDS CDs and Vinyl
The new album from Maple Mars on a vinyl LP in a deluxe gatefold sleeve.
SpyderPop Records' all-star tribute to the songs of 1970 on CD in a deluxe album gatefold replica sleeve.
Big Stir Records is proud to announce our first major album release of 2022: DARLING PLEASE from celebrated North Carolina singer-songwriter CHRIS CHURCH. Recorded eleven years ago and seeing full-scale release for the first time in a newly remastered version (courtesy of audio maestro NICK BERTLING and adorned with newly tracked backing vocals from LINDSAY MURRAY of GRETCHEN'S WHEEL), the album is out on CD and digital January 21 and features the lead single “Bad Summer”. It's up for preorder at www.bigstirrecords.com, www.bigstirrecords.bandcamp.com, and on sale everywhere music is sold or streamed on the release date.
The new record sees the genre-hopping CHURCH in a raw rock mode, with dominant Crazy Horse-style guitars topped with some of the most immediate and aching vocal performances in Chris's catalog. The emotionally direct and often elegiac tone of DARLING PLEASE derived in large part from its origins: “I made the album in my basement studio,” says Church. “It was and is dedicated with love to my late great brother Mike Church, who'd passed not long prior to my decision to start this project. It was actually the first time I'd played all instruments on an entire album.” The self-produced ethic makes the album a forerunner to last year's acclaimed, home-recorded GAME DIRT, but DARLING is if anything even more visceral.
Opening with the rough, ready and stately “History” and diving directly into the “Satisfaction”-beat rocker “We're Going Downtown,” the album pays overt and indirect tribute to Mike Church (who'd played drums on most of Chris's earlier music) on a number of tracks. The Sugar-inflected “Pillar To Post” finds the singer feeling "like a guest and a host, like taking a walk with my own ghost" while Church describes the loping “Never So Far Away” as “my legit attempt to bridge loss and love, the big struggles, mortality, how the same old stuff still surprises us no matter how repetitive.” “We Could Pretend” channels “all of what it takes to cope... The hugeness is empty, and vice versa” over a “Cinnamon Girl” groove, and closing track “Triple Crown” sees Church on the drums, recreating Mike's restrained approach from live performances of the song.
Elsewhere, the empathetic backing vocals of Lindsay Murray (who also designed the sleeve art) illuminate the choruses of the single “Bad Summer” and the whole of “Atlantic”. Both tunes are sharp and heartfelt character studies derived from Church's circle of friends at the time. “I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry” opens with a guitar and piano workout that sets the stage for one of the album's most indelible choruses, again spotlighting Murray. And “Nepenthean” dives into psychedelic sludge to immersive effect.
Gripping and emotive, DARLING PLEASE is a belated but essential addition to the CHRIS CHURCH catalog, following on the heels of the 2021 relaunches of his SpyderPop Records albums Backwards Compatible and Limitations of Source Tape. More than a relic, it's a rewardingly rough-hewn gem deserving of inspection and a sincere tribute to a musical and familial brother, and it stands among Church's very best.
Uppsala, Sweden's IN DEED, purveyors of timeless indie-pop of the highest order, are embarking on an improbable and thrilling third act with the release of their album EVEREST for the first time on CD in a completely new configuration with three brand new tracks, expanded from the Swedish vinyl-only version, on Los Angeles-based BIG STIR RECORDS. Drawing on the history of melodic rock from The Zombies to The Posies and beyond, with echoes of female-fronted luminaries like Blondie, The Bangles and The Primitives, the new release sparkles with an energy and wit that easily stands up to and transcends those influences. At turns it's sly, tender and ferocious in the tradition of both Swedish pop and decades of hooks and harmony from the US, UK and beyond: a thing of beauty that will capture ears and hearts worldwide.
IN DEED made their brash arrival on the Swedish rock scene in 2001 with At 4000 Meters, an album embraced by the Swedish music press which has stood the test of time as an underheard classic. The story could have ended there, but thankfully the group has re-emerged on the live and recording scene in recent years, with their creative and performance energy undiminished. The arrival on vinyl of the original Everest album, available in their native country and in limited quantities in the UK, returned In Deed to their status of darlings of the Swedish press and radio community without missing a beat, and ushered in an overdue international appreciation of their music. Rave reviews and Top 10 placements on Year's Best Albums lists from the likes of David Bash of the International Pop Overthrow Festival heralded, as the title of one new song has it, “Another Start” for the band.
The vitality of the material on the new record was solid evidence that this was no nostalgia trip. Linda Karlsberg's vocals range from a vulnerable coo on the likes of the jangly, Mersey-inflected “According to You” and the frankly gorgeous “Five Times a Day” to a searingly fierce howl (as heard on the single “Heart Attack” and the Farfisa-driven “Flavour of the Month”). Guitarist Richard Öhrn remains an encyclopedia of guitar tones and textures spanning the length and breadth of modern pop, and drummer Marcus Segersvärd likewise shuffles, grooves and pounds as each tune demands. All three core members contribute tunes to the In Deed songbook, while Jens Siilakka (bass) and Johan Hellander (keys and additional guitar) round out the celebrated live version of the group.
Big Stir Records founders Christina Bulbenko and Rex Broome enter the picture in the summer of 2018. A superb Swedish pop band being on every fledgling indie label's short list of improbable dreams, and In Deed wishing to get Everest to an international audience and onto CD for the first time, the match was, as with much of BRS's expansion from its LA roots, a natural. The band's ambitions reached beyond a simple reissue, and to the label's delight they came armed with three brand new tracks and the concept of completely reconfiguring Everest into a new animal altogether. Label co-founder Broome counts the assembly of the album into its “Capitol version” as the most fun he's ever had on the business side of the music scene.
The resulting new edition is as essential as the original. Kicking off with the bracing new “Another Start” and the delicate “Five Times a Day”, rushing headlong into the original lead track “What Once Was” and the soaring recent single “Don't Need, Don't Care”, this Everest has the hooks to pull in new fans and reveal new facets of the band to the faithful. The additions of “Fantastic”, whose snarky sweetness brings the band's fellow nationals The Cardigans to mind, and the deceptively giddy current single “I'm Alright (When I'm with You)” make for a cohesive and absorbing album in the best pop-rock tradition: the new version still clocks in at under 43 minutes and without a trace of bonus-track fatigue. Everest is, in either format, a singular record for the ages.
Plans for the band's first-ever US tour and a return to perform once again for their ever-adoring UK fans make 2019 a watershed year for In Deed. If it's been too long in coming, it's still a dream come true, and Big Stir Records is extraordinarily proud of our role in bringing it to you!