Modern Outsider Records Signs Ume, The Calm Blue Sea

posted May 6, 2011

Modern Outsider Records Signs Ume, The Calm Blue Sea

Modern Outsider Records has announced they have just signed female-fronted indie rock trio Ume and instrumental cinescapers The Calm Blue Sea. The Austin-based upstart label is gearing up to have an exciting summer as it will release Ume's anticipated debut LP, Phantoms, following the reissue of The Calm Blue Sea's 2008 eponymous self-released full-length, which will be pressed on vinyl and made available digitally in July with previously unreleased bonus tracks.

"We couldn't be more honored to be working with both of these fantastic bands," said Chip Adams, co-founder. "We first met with Ume when Modern Outsider was just an idea and the band's album was still in progress. To see the partnership come to fruition is a dream come true."

"The Calm Blue Sea's powerful cinematic music is something we've been obsessing over for quite some time and we have wanted to work with them for a while but the opportunity wasn't there until the launch of Modern Outsider," said Erin Adams, co-founder. "We're proud to be reissuing their amazing debut album, giving their music a chance for a much broader audience."

Calling Austin home since 2007, Ume (pronounced ooo-may) has already made quite a name for themselves on the strength of their self-released "Sunshower" EP and dynamic, awe-inducing live show, described by Brooklyn Vegan as both "poppy and surprisingly heavy, powerful and charming" consisting of "all flailing hair, swinging arms, and wild movements." Front woman Lauren Larson (guitar and vocals), husband Eric Larson (bass) and Rachel Fuhrer (drums) were handpicked by Rolling Stone last year as one of 16 unsigned bands to compete for the cover of the magazine. "Distortion-heavy jams (and the whole marriage thing) invite comparisons to Sonic Youth, but Ume do more headbanging and wailing," they declared. The trio, who have also garnered comparisons to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, have played more than 300 shows including three national tours and shows with the likes of Arcade Fire, Marnie Stern, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Polvo, The Meat Puppets and Warpaint. The band's forthcoming album is a beautiful head-on collision of Lauren Larson's impressive guitar shredding and beguiling voice that ranges from a devilish coo to an unassuming snarl. Combining a keen sense of melody with adroit musicianship, Phantoms is a captivating listen that will appeal to listeners across a broad spectrum as it marries indie rock, '90s alternative, shoegaze and pop hooks with exhilarating results. Ume is poised for big things in 2011.

The Calm Blue Sea began creating their thundering instrumental epics in 2007 and now following a brief hiatus are back with more vigor than ever before. The band self-released their six-song self-titled full-length (it clocks in at 46 minutes) in 2008 to strong reviews and coupled with a ferocious live show earned them a passionate local following. However, limited resources from being a self-funded band kept them off the radar of a larger audience. Modern Outsider's reissue of the album celebrates the group's return to the post-rock landscape and should easily appeal to fans of Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. With song structures measured in minutes rather than measures, their lushly textured sound is a study in contrast; at once beautiful and violent, transcendent and triumphant. The band's first performance back, at Modern Outsider 2011 SXSW Official Showcase, garnered praise and coverage on Esquire.com and NPR Music, who previously chose the mostly instrumental pummeling rocker "Literal" as their "Song of the Day" this past March 18. "At nearly eight minutes, 'Literal' moves through so many phases and changes, and achieves such elegance and power in the process, that it's actually a shame to hear it end," they exclaimed.

Modern Outsider was founded in Austin, Texas in October 2010 as a full-service management company and record label by husband and wife team, Chip and Erin Adams. Collectively, they have well over a decade of experience in various facets of the music industry, from radio promotion at Dangerbird Records, Capitol Records, The Syndicate and Cornerstone where they also handled digital marketing; they were in charge of editorial at the tastemaking site, TheTripwire.com. Their mission is simple: discover and release great music while building a tight-knit community for their artists. Modern Outsider Management's roster consists of the critically acclaimed Cincinnati duo Bad Veins, Manchester, UK indie rockers The Answering Machine and The Calm Blue Sea. Ume and The Calm Blue Sea join LA/NYC duo Soft Swells at Modern Outsider Records.

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