Kill Rockstars

Mi'ens Live Performance

October 30, 2020

Mi'ens' Kill Rock Stars debut album, Future Child, dropped September 25th. Three new music videos released this week, and today, we share their in-studio performance.
In their home city of Vancouver, Canada, Kim and Evan perform five tracks off the record. It's beautifully shot and there's no better way to experience a band than a (virtually) live performance. Let this be the entertainment for your Halloween spooky season. 
Mi'ens Live @ Rain City Recorders

Tele Novella Sign With Kill Rock Stars + New Single

October 22, 2020

Tele Novella join Kill Rock Stars for their sophomore album, Merlynn Belle - out February 5th, 2021. 
The first single from the album, "Technicolor Town," is out today. 
Watch the video, stream the track, preorder the LP.  
The album's upcoming music videos are shot on super 8 film; moody, raw, alluring, lo-fi. Natalie Ribbons owns a vintage shop. Jason Chronis collects rare records. They encapsulate the music they create. Precise lyrics. Chord progressions that suck you in. 

If the Austin-based band Tele Novella isn't on your radar yet, it should be." - USA Today
"equal parts Nancy Sinatra and The Virgin Suicides, combining classic ’60s rhythms with macabre undertones." - SPIN
"Tele Novella’s music is the sonic equivalent of Halloween candy—spooky and sweet." - Rookie


October 11, 2020

Shaylee signs to Kill Rock Stars!
Shaylee is the songwriting project and avatar of Elle Archer, a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter based in Portland, Oregon. Elle uses her music as a platform to explore her unique lived experience as a a queer trans person, with her songs functioning as diary entries that she crafts as a one-woman band. Having been making records at home for almost ten years, her arrangements bear the maturity of artists twice her age, recalling the intimate aesthetic of fellow Kill Rock Stars-signee Elliott Smith, as well as the synth-laden sounds that bands like Wilco and the Flaming Lips were exploring at the turn of the millenium. Wholly unique yet potently familiar, Shaylee is a project intended to showcase queer and trans excellence at its most honest and unflinching.
You heard the brilliant cover of Elliott Smith’s 'Alphabet Town' and now you can expect more music coming your way.  
To celebrate National Coming Out Day, we share with you Shaylee Live @ Long Play Recording. Three different videos are featured and the playlist is available for you now. 
Watch and listen.


October 02, 2020

Shutups EP, 5, is out now. Stream the EP anywhere you like to listen to music or get your very own limited edition copy from Bandcamp.
“These songs are less rambunctious than our previous releases. All five songs were written within an early noise curfew time frame, as to not disturb sleeping family members. Sleeping schedules crept later and later, often waking up at 1pm and working well until 4 a.m., silently editing drums and vocal takes, taking smoke breaks out the bathroom window.”


October 02, 2020

We have been eager to share this bit of news for quite some time. To commemorate the signing, we are announcing a split 7 inch single between Big Joanie and fellow UK punk band, ​Charmpit​.
Kluster Rooms Sessions​ is available for pre-order today, in tandem with Bandcamp Day, and will be released on November 27th, 2020. The 7 inch features Big Joanie's haunting depiction of a lost relationship ‘Cut Your Hair’ on the A side and Charmpit’s whip sharp retort to a petty boss ‘Bad Attitude’ on the B side.
Be expecting a full length album in 2021, their follow up to 2018's Sistahs. It will be released via Daydream Library Series in the UK/EU and Kill Rock Stars everywhere else. 
Kluster Rooms Sessions

Mi'ens - Future Child - OUT NOW

September 25, 2020

Mi'ens' Kill Rock Stars debut album, Future Child, IS OUT TODAY.
If you feel like sticking it to 2020, this is the perfect record.
The release day focus track is 'Charge Dodger' and the music video just dropped!
Here, things get weird and fuzzed-out. It's a ride through a post-pandemic urban core, with a dig at slaves to consumerism and a subplot of alien abduction, all to the beat of backwards drums. Simmering undercurrents build to the frantically abrasive buzz-saw finale, with punctuated and visceral beats, jagged, discordant guitar lines and experimental noisy Moog. Layers crescendo to an explosive, climax of feedback, screeches and sonic aggression, with icy vocals floating upwards as they drift to space.
Alright we’ve come this far/
Let’s take off get in your car/
See the planets near and far/
Blast off to a future star.
Mi'ens is math rock. Noise rock. Experimental. Sparkelpop - with Kim Glennie on guitar/loops/Moog and Evan Heggen with the polyrhythmic blastbeats on drums. The world they created with Future Child is dynamic, textural, powerful, and a canvas for swirling vocals and expressive instrumentals. Now this is all yours.
Future Child: Stream on your favorite platform, get the LP.
Check out Mi'ens Takeover on YouTube - visual content curated by Mi'ens, with their influences, old and new, deep cuts... it's a cohesive story and musical timeline. Their music videos are interspersed and you'll also find BjörkPublic Enemy, Marnie SternStereolab, DeerhoofKim Gordon, and many more. 
Watch now. 

Tamar Aphek - Signed to KRS + New Single

September 15, 2020

Tamar Aphek's album, All Bets Are Off, will be released on Kill Rock Stars in January 2021. 'Show Me Your Pretty Side' is the first single released and it is out today. Listen now. Preorder the album.

"Most of my songs reflect a quest to find an equilibrium between contrasts either love vs. hate in relationships, justice and injustice within society, war and peace between nations and so on. In my search to find some answers, I was inspired by the Nobel lecture of Martin Luther King (1964), who talked about the conflict between material and spiritual realms of human beings. My song is an inner dialogue between what I call the "good cop bad cop" which I believe exists in every person, so one person is asking his or her partner to take off the cover which conceals the pretty side."

Before she was 18, Tamar Aphek didn’t care about rock music. "It wasn’t until I first heard bands like Fugazi, Shellac, Sonic Youth, Jesus Lizard, Blonde Redhead, Unwound, Slint, Hella, Elliott Smith's Either/Or, that I started diving into history. I was fascinated by the minimalist sound based on asymmetric time signatures these bands had.”
Not that Tamar was a stranger to music - she went to a conservatory high school, played piano, and sang in a children’s choir that toured internationally. From her early childhood, Tamar showed a natural inclination for rhythm and pitch. Her four years stay in Egypt with her diplomatic parents widened and enriched her imagination and exposure to different dynamics and melodies.   
The decision to move from classical music to other musical genres was taken during Tamar's two years’ military service, where she embodied prophet Isaiah urge to 'beat swords into plowshares,' as she used to carry her guitar and play during night shifts.
Enrolling in law school at Tel Aviv University did not stop Tamar to plunge deep into the scene of indie music of Tel Aviv, succeeding to integrate smoothly, as a guitarist, in the already well established bands like ED in 2005. Two years later, Tamar founded an ensemble named Carusella, with Guy Schechter, former drummer of ED.
As the leader of the indie bands Carusella and Shoshana, Tamar become a prominent fixture in the Israeli rock scene. Her bands toured Europe and the US, she helped organize Indie Negev, the most prestigious festival in Israel, and she’s been crowned “Israel’s guitar goddess” by Timeout Tel-Aviv.
Within Carusella, and later Shoshana, Tamar demonstrated her creativity as a song writer, singer and guitarist. Within a short period of time she succeeded to break through, and become a leading figure and a prominent face of contemporary rock in the Israeli rock scene. Parallel to her performances in Israel, Tamar gained an international fame through dozens of international tours, both in Europe and the US, including some prestigious festivals like SXSW first with her two bands, and later under her solo personal project which carries her name - Tamar Aphek. 
As for her musical style - from the varied stages in her musical career, Tamar was adamant to break rules and conventions that characterized certain musical genres, pioneering the road to what was called world music, although Tamar prefers the term global music. Her openness to different rhythms, dynamics, melodies and tones might be attributed to her four years in Egypt through childhood which changed her whole worldview. Thus, composing and writing lyrics to her songs reflected a combination of personal philosophical vision with day today life experience.

Califone 'Needle In The Hay' - Elliott Smith Cover

September 11, 2020

Out via Jealous Butcher Records
Listen now.
Califone was the first artist to release a cover leading up to the 25th anniversary reissue of Elliott Smith's self-titled album. Out first as an Amazon Exclusive, 'Needle in the Hay' is now available everywhere. Califone released an additional cover to coincide with the release: John Prine's 'Crazy as a Loon.' 

"Matching his homespun folksy storytelling with the deconstructed warmth that has been coursing through Califone’s music for decades. It’s an excellent fit."
-Stereogum's Exclusive Premiere


Shutups - Can You Dance to a Feeling?

September 04, 2020

Shutups share new single and video for 'Can You Dance to a Feeling?' off of their upcoming EP, 5, out October 2nd. 
Don't miss their Kill Rock Stars' debut single, 'Death From Behind.'
"Oddball interpretation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
-Glide Exclusive Premiere
Stream it, watch it, pre-order the EP. 

Elliott Smith: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition OUT NOW

August 28, 2020

You've heard the covers, seen the videos, streamed the live recordings, and, if you're like us, admired JJ Gonson's never before seen photographs. And it's all been leading up to today.
Elliott Smith's self-titled 25th anniversary reissue is out now!!! Listen to the beautifully remastered tracks and previously unreleased live recordings. Remastered by Larry Crane - Telegraph Mastering.

Portia Sabin - emeritus president of Kill Rock Stars:
"During the time I ran KRS, there was a constant demand for more pictures of Elliott and his world. On a whim, I asked JJ if she might have taken any more around the time that she shot the cover photo for the self-titled album. We’re all incredibly lucky that she had, and that she’s decided to share them with the world. I’m very proud of this LP book and everyone who worked on it so lovingly, and I hope it brings people as much joy as his music always does."
JJ Gonson - photographer:
"This project has shone a light on the deep joy that this record brings to so many people. I’m honored to be a part of it all, still, after all these years."
Larry Crane - producer:
"It was truly an honor to oversee the remastering of Elliott Smith’s second, self-titled solo album, and to mix and restore the live recordings from Umbra Penumbra."
Slim Moon - president of Kill Rock Stars:
"This was the first album I helped Elliott put out. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be involved with this expanded version that highlights Elliott’s personality and skill and helps keep his music fresh and alive for another generation."
To make things even better, all items shipped benefit USPS.
Browse the collection.

Portland Cello Project ft. Nafisaria Mathews 'Christian Brothers' - Elliott Smith Cover

August 25, 2020

The Elliott Smith 25th anniversary reissue is just days away. We've partnered with some wonderful artists from all across the musical sphere to release an alternate version of every song on the album. Portland Cello Project and Nafisaria Mathews share their take on 'Christian Brothers.' The strings and brass give it a whole new light. 
"The mood of the song seems to fit the mood of the world right now. The 6-bar phrase is as off-kilter-but-natural as my brain has been feeling."
Listen to the cover wherever you listen to music. 

Mi'ens - Rifft Valley

August 21, 2020

'Rifft Valley' is the latest single / video from Mi'ens' upcoming album Future Child. It makes you want to bang your head and float away. Listen to the track, check out the music video, and pre-order Future Child.
Guitarist/vocalist Kim Glennie on Rifft Valley:
“Rifft Valley” takes the listener on a mythic, winding journey with a skittery feel, awash with symbolism. We chose to weave heavy drums that lock in with an insistent bass line, discordant, distant loops, and technical guitar lines expressed alternately in precise angularities or freeform shredding.I was inspired by Rift Valley in Iceland, which marks the boundary between tectonic plates, as well as the site of early parliament. The lyrics are a commentary on the growing gap between rich and poor, and like the active volcanic fissure region, these social strata are uncertain and ever-changing.“The black cone” in the lyrics references the monument to civil disobedience in Reykjavík: “the few and what they own”. We are all small in the longer view of “geological time”. Guitar and loop fuzz within flexed and taut definition, galvanizing propulsive percussion and intensifying to a swirling, chaotic crescendo.The black cone/ The rift grows wide/ Geological timeThe black cone/ Divest and divide/ Growth and declineTechtonic states/ The black cone/ The few and what they own"