A Joyful Knockout
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on defunct, Central Indiana arts website Sky Blue Window on September 5, 2014. Some content, style and formatting may differ from the original version.
Despite her young age, Kristin Newborn has made a significant amount of noise in Naptown in the past several years. A classically trained vocalist who has worked with local heavyweights at Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Newborn first made a splash in Indy’s underground music scene as front woman of the short-lived but much-celebrated Slothpop. In the years since that band’s breakup, Newborn has steadily honed a sound, under the pseudonym KO, based upon intricate vocal loops and straightforward garage rock riffs alongside her minimalist drummer Todd Heaton of Street Spirits.
Today, Joyful Noise Recordings announced it will release KO’s four-song, self-titled EP on Sept. 23. “I just think she’s a great musical presence, and she had these great songs,” says JNR owner and curator Karl Hofstetter. “Most of the time we don’t really f–k around with bands before they have a full-length, but this is kind of an exception just because they’re not really in a place to finish a full-length right now.”
This week, Newborn moved to Chicago following an appearance at WARMfest, where she dedicated her masterful rendition of Ben E. King’s Stand By Me to her hometown crowd as a farewell of sorts. Fortunately for Hoosiers, Newborn hasn’t moved to the moon. She will return to Indy to play an album release show at Radio Radio on Sept. 20 (tickets).
“For me, it was more about solidifying them, so KO doesn’t just become another band that was never properly released,” Hofstetter says. “Kristin will be huge someday, she’s just got that presence. So it was more about supporting her. We’re happy to be lax about this. We’re not making them tour and record a full-length or anything like that. It’s just four songs. We’ll see where it goes.”
Listen to lead single “B-tches Online” and scope the full track listing for the KO EP below. Pre-order your copy of the limited-edition 7″ vinyl via Joyful Noise Recordings.
1. Four Drinks In
2. B-tches Online
3. White Lie
Written by Rob Peoni
Fresh Track: Sleeping Bag “Bummer School”
Our favorite Hoosier slackers have returned, and this time they’re bringing a friend. Today, Joyful Noise Recordings and Jurassic Pop Records announced the release of a split 7″ entitled Heavyweights. The split features Bloomington’s Sleeping Bag and Mike Adams at His Honest Weight. Atypical release formats are becoming the norm with JNR, and this one is no different. The standard split format of one band per side simply wouldn’t do. Instead, each side features one original track and one cover of the other artist’s music.
“Bummer School” is the Sleeping Bag original. It should serve as a welcome dose of familiarity for fans of Sleeping Bag’s self-titled debut and follow-up, Women of Your Life. Deadpan vocals. Propulsive guitars. Addictive melody. What’s not to like? Listen to “Bummer School” below and check out the full track listing for Heavyweights below. The 7″ is limited to 300 copies on beautiful, magenta splattered vinyl. Order your copy via JNR.
1. Sleeping Bag – Bummer School
2. Sleeping Bag – Don’t You Blanket When That Happens (by Mike Adams)
3. Mike Adams at His Honest Weight – dmb
4. Mike Adams at His Honest Weight – Desker (by Sleeping Bag)
Written by Rob Peoni
Joyful Noise Recordings Announces 2013 Flexi Disc Series
Indianapolis record label Joyful Noise Recordings has announced its 2013 line-up for its flexi disc series. Each release is exclusive to the series and is limited to just 1,000 copies on flexi disc. These never-before-heard songs will not be released digitally or in any other format. Two types of subscriptions are available. The standard subscription is priced at $5 per month and includes automatic monthly mailings of each flexi disc with artwork. The deluxe subscription costs $5 per month, plus a one-time $30 fee that includes a hand-numbered, screen-printed wooden box featuring the artwork of Mackie Osborne. Each case is custom designed to house the 2013 flexi disc series. Subscribe HERE and check out the full roster of featured artists below. UPDATE: Less than 50 subscriptions left!!!
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2013 Flexi Disc Artists:
Built to Spill & Helvetia
Here We Go Magic
Mike Adams at his Honest Weight
Sufjan Stevens & Cat Martino
The Sea and Cake