premiere: stream Sloppy Jane’s debut LP Willow
The most unexpectedly intense and unforgettable performance I saw at SXSW this year came in broad daylight on Saturday morning, as I wandered into Cheer Up Charlie's just as the genre-defying Brooklyn-via-LA ensemble Sloppy Jane took the outside stage, their fearless leader Haley Dahl already disrobing and spewing blue vomit all over the stage. According to the band's bio, elements of the Sloppy Jane live show include the following: "laughter, choir vocals, xylophone, saxophone, kazoo, television, slide whistle, vomiting blue dye, a naked body, a rotting suit, guitar, bass, drums, tambourine, ruby red slippers, violent shifts in genre and speed, a make-believe maestro, and a set that does not stop moving once it has started." The group's inspired performance was all of this and more, confrontational and vulnerable and uncomfortable and surreal and brave in a way that feels rare to the point of extinction at SX, with Dahl seemingly telepathically conducting the carefully choreographed chaos. So yeah, it probably goes without saying that we're very psyched to premiere Sloppy Jane's sprawling debut album Willow here today. It's an unclassifiable concept album that lands somewhere between visceral, blistering punk and comfortingly familiar children's music, and like the band's already legendary live show, it's an exhilarating, disorienting, and occasionally terrifying experience. Dahl -- who also gives legit brilliant advice -- urges us to listen to Willow in full, and in its intended order:
Our debut record, “Willow” tells the story of a great adventure. Willow is a girl, who existed inside of a strip club in Inglewood, who ran away to the desert to hustle pool with a lion, and who burned herself alive for my freedom. She was buried at sea alongside her best friend. This piece is dedicated to their sacrifice and to their memory (and to Ember Knight). The record is a work of nonfiction, and if consumed correctly will take the listener through a journey. Please put on your tallest shoes, your air conditioner, and lie on the floor. Pick a position, and don’t move one muscle the whole time, even if it’s scary. Or funny. Or feels like it’s been too long. Listen alone. Or while driving through the Mojave in the middle of the night with someone who understands. Recorded and engineered by my hero, Joel Jerome, in Los Angeles. All drums and many essential guitar moments by my son and brother, Sara Cath, who nothing would have been possible without.
Willow is out today. Get the record on limited vinyl here.