Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Setting a new Standard

Following releases on Touch and Go (August) and Yep Roc Records (Wire Post To Wire, Albatross) and shows / tours with an incredible array of globally renowned bands including Wire, Nine Inch Nails, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The National, The Shins, Stephen Malkmus, and Slint, The Standard signed to V2 Records (The White Stripes, Grandaddy) in 2007. They worked tirelessly throughout the year in Portland, OR to record their fifth full-length effort, Swimmer. The album was portended to be the release that would propel The Standard out from the underground where quietly, they had been making their own brand of uniquely inventive music since 1999.

In January 2007, V2 Records' United States and Canada branches announced that they were "undergoing restructuring". Simply put, the label was closing its doors and could not release any new albums. The band explored new options for the release of Swimmer, and throughout the process of determining what the band's next step would be, singer Tim Putnam encountered numerous other extraordinary artists that had similarly weathered the industry confines. Seeking to have full control over the fate of his own band's releases and help other artists, Putnam resolved to form his own label, Partisan Records in late winter 2008.

The Standard's long awaited album Swimmer will be one of the first releases on Partisan Records. It reflects the wholly distinctive collaborative songwriting of Jay Clarke, Rob Oberdorfer, Robby Duncan, and Tim Putnam. The album is centered around Putnam's emotive disarming vocals / guitar, Clarke's beautiful constructed keyboards / piano, and Oberdorfer's / Duncan's accompanying rhythmic movements all at once minimal and full. Like many of their previous albums, it is a slow burn, that over time reveals a dark and poetic, innovative body of work that is hard to ignore. It dark moody goodness that's just a little off kilter and takes a wee bit getting used to. But one listen to, "Different Skin," with its dark synth line and swirly guitars and you'll be hooked.

Download: Sunday Eyes
Download: Different Skin
Download: The Swimmer

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