Past Releases

The Juniper Berries "Death and Texas"

Facing the tragic passing of both his brother and grandfather, as well as the looming pandemic, The Juniper Berries’ Josh Stirm hit upon a strange realization. “The grief felt weirdly impersonal,” The Austin-based multi-instrumentalist says. “It brought me a broader understanding of what it means to love people and lose them.” Stirm turned that overwhelming connection to the very idea of connection into Death and Texas, a set of character-driven tracks that explore loss as an affirmation of life.

BIG BRAVE "A Chaos of Flowers"

BIG|BRAVE’s music has been described as massive minimalism. Their fusillades of textural distortion and feedback emphasize their music’s frayed edges as much as its all-encompassing weight. The potency of the trio’s work is their singular artistry combining elements of traditional folk techniques and a modern deconstruction of guitar music. Gain, feedback, and amplitude are essential to A Chaos Of Flowers, an album that builds on their ferocious 2023 album nature morte. Lyrically, the songs explore the most vulnerable of human experiences, how marginalizations manifest internally and externally, the inner struggles of isolation, and co-existence in nature. A Chaos of Flowers draws on catharsis and beauty as well as the quagmire of disorientation and othering. The album is a monument of simultaneous serenity and disquiet, a subtle maelstrom of internal life.

For A Chaos Of Flowers guitarist/vocalist Robin Wattie drew heavily on the poems of artists whom Wattie found kinship in, their words resonant with experiences of those often sidelined by cultural norms. “I discovered that most poems from folk traditions or in the public domain seem to be by men – to which I could not quite relate. In my search, I rediscovered some of my favorite works and poets,” says Wattie. Wattie’s interpolation of poetry from artists around the world and across womanhood, intermingled with her own, examines the chaos and confusion alienation breeds in the psyche of those othered by society. “It is a feeling of relatability and even astonishment really,” Wattie notes, “with how these writers of different standings and eras and all being female-presenting, each expressing these seemingly similar intense moments of individual experiences, of intimacy and madness. We’re alone, and yet, not.”

Guitarist Mathieu Ball and drummer Tasy Hudson help Wattie shape poetry into pieces as dense and impenetrable as they are vulnerable. Volume and noise have been essential tools in BIG|BRAVE’s catalog. A Chaos Of Flowers keenly reconfigures how the band utilize each element of their sound, allowing the space for loud movements to feel achingly quiet and abundant with delicate gestures. Ball’s guitar soars in long arcs and blusters in thick layers around Wattie’s own resolute chords. Hudson delivers her most powerfully reserved performances on record, incorporating elegant brushwork and making deft use of cymbal-work to give the songs’ deliberate paces momentum. Wattie’s voice is tempered and unhurried throughout which guides the reverent tone of each piece. Guest guitarist Marisa Anderson lends earthen, blues-inflected atmospheres to the album, where guitarist Tashi Dorji and saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi amplify the squall. Working closely with frequent collaborator and producer/engineer Seth Manchester, the internal tumult of Wattie’s voice rings out in warbles, haunting echoes, and unearthly harmonies across bold immense walls of distortion.

BIG|BRAVE achieve their colossal sound through minimalist approaches, a deft understanding of dynamics and an inventive employment of percussion and distortion. The trio reconceptualize what it is to be heavy or minimal, challenging perceptions with their illumination of painfully overlooked perspectives. BIG|BRAVE’s sound on A Chaos of Flowers has blossomed, harnessing potent emotions with their unparalleled arrangements and intricate economies of space. It is an album as moving as it is awe-inspiring.

Brainstory "Sounds Good"

Big Crown Records is proud to present Brainstory’s sophomore full-length album Sounds Good.

Based in L.A. but hailing from the Inland Empire’s own Rialto, California, two-thirds of Brainstory, Kevin and Tony Martin are brothers by blood, while Eric Hagstrom is a brother through their music and long term friendship. Since they started the band they have constantly faced situations that forced them to rise to the occasion. They got signed to Big Crown Records, they stepped up their game. COVID happened, they learned to record themselves. They started touring a ton sharing the stage with the likes of Lady Wray and they got their live show super tight. All of this time spent grinding and growing has certainly paid off. The path to take their art to the next level is clearer than ever, and once again, they are here for it. If there is one thing that is abundantly clear on Sounds Good, it’s that Brainstory has leveled up.

Part of this evolution is undoubtedly attributed to having access to and working constantly in their own studio in Long Beach. Another major factor is that their brotherhood has expanded. “I’ve been playing music with my brother all my life and now with Eric for a long time,” Tony tells us. “Leon, though, is like another brother I’ve just met.”
Leon Michels, Big Crown’s co-owner, produced this record and applied his unmistakable golden touch in crucial ways. The other member of the extended Brainstory brotherhood whose contributions were essential to the album, is studio engineer legend Jens Jungkurth who controls the tones and textures of the music. “That’s what you’re hearing, our connection, the fun moments, the little details,” Kevin describes. “This record isn’t half what it is without them—and it made us want to match that effort,” and match that effort they did.

Album opener “Nobody But You” is an uplifting, dance floor burner, that shows off a new side of Brainstory’s range. Drummer Eric Hagstrom’s crushing back beat lays the foundation for an inspirational feel good banger that manages to take the uncomfortable truth that “nobody will save you but you” and turn it into pure blissful motivation. “Peach Optimo” is a laid back half time tune that blends the bounce of Down South Hip-Hop with California G funk and Jazz. They once again show off their B said ballad talents with “Gift Of Life” but this time taking the genre to a new place with lyrics about existentialism and a track that is drop dead gorgeous, haunting, and profound all at once. “NyNy” is an homage to Kev and Tony’s recently deceased grandfather while “Too Yung” is a show stopping, deeply personal, stripped down number about being introduced to alcohol at a young age. They put another hit on the boards with “Hanging On,” a Latin / Psychedelic Soul inspired banger featuring Claire Cottrill on background vocals while “XFaded” addresses the all too common vicious cycle of smoking and drinking too much over a trippy shuffle.

“It’s been four years since our last full length record, and with everything that’s happened since, it’s like we’ve been catching up to ourselves.” That’s one way to describe change: catching up to oneself. Each member of Brainstory has gone through shifts, both personally and musically, and all of that threads through Sounds Good. It’s easy to say that the music industry can be short on lasting, genuine relationships. However, for Brainstory, from day one it’s been about standing by each other, for each other. Their friendship started the group, and now, this expanded brotherhood is supporting them to push it further. The stars have aligned for them to take a big and well deserved step with this new album and it couldn’t have happened to a better group of guys. Ups and downs of course, but they are acutely aware of how good the big picture has been for them and you can hear it in their music—music that just Sounds Good.

Emel "MRA"

Tunisian- American singer-songwriter, musician and artist, Emel Mathlouthi, also known as EMEL, will is back with her 4th Studio album, MRA, out now.

“A beautiful 100% Feminine/female odyssey, an ode to women, sisterhood and humanity”