ARTISTPAGE

Listener

News

on tour in europe!

»Wooden Heart«

LP / CD 2014

Sounds of Subterrania

SoS 138

1. You Have Never Lived Because You Have Never Died
2. I Don\'t Want To Live Forever
3. Most Roads Lead To Home
4. Wooden Heart
5. Falling In Love With Glaciers
6. Failing Is Not Just For Failures
7. Building Better Bridges
8. Seatbelt Hands
9. These Hands Weren`t Meant For Us
10. You Were A House On Fire
11. Save Up Your Hopes Friends

Second studio album from (then) talk-music duo, Listener; Wooden Heart is a concept album that loosely draws it`s framework from the popular children`s tale The Never Ending Story, with each song having an alternate title that corresponds with characters, places and things from the story. Overall a more delicate affair it`s predecessor, the album features 11 heartfelt songs that combine delicate and considered instrumentation with the trademark vocal delivery and vivid poetry of Dan Smith. Unlike anything you will have heard. Originally self released in July 2010, this album is re-issued on vinyl.

More Information Shop

»Return to Struggleville«

LP 2014

Sounds of Subterrania

SoS 137

1. Death By Shotgun
2. A Song From A Knife Salesman To His Wife On Their Wedding Day
3. It's Time For Drastic Measures They're Note Taking You Seriously
4. The Music That The Angels Do
5. My Five Year Plan
6. What Would You Do If I Am Not What I Am Supposed To Be, Because I'm Not
7. I Have Nothing, But Attention, When I Scream
8. Ozark Empire, Or A Snake Oil Salesman Comes To Your Town
9. Your Life Will Never Dull Or Your Money Back
10. When No One Else Will Be Your Friend, I Will Do The Job
11. Office You Have The Wrong Man, I Am Not That Man

paperversion
Size: 314 x 314 x 3 mm
Weight: 0.4 kg
Sleeve: Gmund Treasury Traditional
Processing: Lasergravur with Laser Pro Mercury III
Duration: 28 Minutes per Copy
Edition: limited edition of 500 copies 180 gram, black vinyl

More Information

»Time Is a Machine«

LP / CD 2014

Sounds of Subterrania

SoS 139

1. Eyes To The Ground For Change
2. Good News First
3. Not Today
4. Tornadoes
5. I Think It's Called Survival
6. Everything Sleeps
7. There Are Wrecking Balls Inside Of Us
8. It Will All Happen The Way It Should

More Information Shop

»Being Empty : Being Filled - Volume 3«

7`` 2017

Sounds of Subterrania

SoS 173

1. Shock and Value
2. The Window To the World

The third of four EP's being released for the upcoming full-length record Being Empty : Being Filled

More Information Shop

»Being Empty : Being Filled - Volume 4«

7`` 2018

Sounds of Subterrania

SoS 174

1. Manhattan Projects
2. Plague Doctor

The fourth of four EP's being released for the upcoming full-length record

More Information Shop

»Being Empty : Being Filled«

LP / CD 2018

Sounds of Subterrania

SoS 170 / SoS 171

1. Pent Up Genes
2. Little Folded Fingers
3. There's Money In the Walls
4. Add Blue
5. Bloodshot/New Love
6. Shock and Value
7. Window To the World
8. A Love Letter To Detroit
9. Manhattan Projects
10. Plague Doctor

It was with great luck that I was able to discover Listener in the Hamburg-based venue Hafenklang a few years ago. I saw three men on stage, playing the very music I missed so much since the "break up" of Hot Water Music. There weren`t a lot of people in the audience, but I got the impression that I was not the only one with goose bumps in the room. The band's three previous records were completely sold out, so I did something I'd never done in my label history so far: I asked for a re- release. We agreed and I developed the lasered Special Editions. On the day of the release, my server collapsed, because I received too many orders and by then I also recognized for the first time how many fans Listener have worldwide, because the orders really came in from all over the world. This is even more impressiv, if you know that Listener publish either on their own or on very small labels. These fans they earn themselves with their almost 150 shows a year and the good old mouth- to-mouth propaganda.
I think this echo for their music is coming, or at least that's how it works with me, through another form of poetry in their lyrics. Dan, the singer, calls it talkmusic, I would describe it as a form of storytelling, as it is common in more original forms of music. Away from the idiom, the idle gesture, the staging, to the story, which must be told. And this is exactly where the genius of this band shows itself. Because these stories could also be made by Kubrick, Gus van Sant or Wes Anderson. They are small-scale and self-consistent, they make a big whole and yet are like a fragmented mirror in front of you and let only guess what world you can expect. Now, Being Empty: Being Filled is the first release I have been able to join from the start, and I hope this album will do many rounds on your turntables.
Gregor Samsa

If you want to make it easy, the basic theme of the new, fourth album "Being Empty: Being Filled" could be the reference to all the outstanding personalities being presented on it. But it's not that easy, of course. Listener have become louder, the guitars more rocking, sometimes more angry. Kris hits the drums as if there is no tomorrow. But this is just the musical side. The other is poetry and Dan sings, or should we say, talks, about life, with its edges, with the big moments, the many questions and the many failures, like no other singer in this world. No pathos, no false theatricality obscures the view of the content of the narrative. This way Dan recounts his stories, which may be our stories, makes Listener by a long way one of the most interesting bands of today. It is these analogies that best describe our time and let us understand them. This pointing out the contradictions without lifting your finger. This warmth, which in the end still gives hope, makes their music unique.

More Information Shop

+++ NOW ON TOUR:

LISTENER
21.11.19 - Ljubljana - Metelkova
LISTENER
22.11.19 - Linz - Stadtwerkstadt
LISTENER
23.11.19 - Wintertur - Gaswerk
LISTENER
24.11.19 - Aachen - Musikbunker
LISTENER
25.11.19 - Jena - Rosenkeller
LISTENER
26.11.19 - Berlin - Cassiopeia
LISTENER
27.11.19 - Kopenhagen - Underwerket
LISTENER
29.11.19 - Gothenburg - Sekten
LISTENER
30.11.19 - Aalborg - Studenterhuset

Listener - Falling in love with glaciers

Directed by Ariana Franks

Listener - There's Money in the Walls

Shot, Directed and Edited by Joe Angelini

Listener - Wooden Heart

Shot and directed by Nathan Corrona

Biography

Line-Up:
vocals, bass, trumpet - Dan Smith
guitar - Jon Terrey
drums - Kris Rochelle

Listener began in 2007 when Dan Smith wrote a series of songs about a traveling knife salesman who was struggling through some of life?s hardships. These were songs of the heart, intended to be heard by everyone who could gain something from them and were released as part of Smith's solo project, on a hip hop/poetry album called Ozark Empire. The outcome of the project was less than what Smith had hoped for. Smith had been working on what he called ?Talk Music,? a genre consisting of radical poetry and more traditional folk/rock music. He had a vision but had not found the right pieces to make that vision a reality. And in 2007 Smith approached his good friend Christin Nelson about starting a new project. Nelson ended up being the perfect choice and they quickly began taking the songs from Ozark Empire and reworking them into a new album. This album was titled Return to Struggleville, and marks the first studio release of the band Listener. (It was later remastered and re-released in 2009 with two additional songs.)
Armed with raw songs about life and a vision to share this music with everyone, Smith and Nelson began to tour and grow as a duo. Playing shows every night and anywhere they could, concert goers witnessed Smith yelling and sweating through songs, sometimes ?cancelling? the show, while Nelson vigorously beat an old hollowed out washing machine with a taped up axe handle. Each show culminated with "Ozark Empire or a Snake Oil Salesman Comes to Your Town". The duo became accustomed to being on the road spending every day together, and subsequently they went from being musical accomplices to best friends. As they grew together in life and on stage they started to experiment with the songs more and more as a team, and the music started to flourish.
2008-2009 was essentially one constant tour for Smith and Nelson, so they began writing and recording the next Listener album, Wooden Heart, on the road. Smith had been performing some of the lyrics to Wooden Heart as spoken word poems, but the words quickly became well crafted songs once Nelson began adding music. The process of writing together was still fairly new to them but they had found an interesting approach to making the songs come together. Often they would sketch out on notebook paper a sort of blueprint to the song, Smith would note the lyrics and how the song was supposed to feel at certain points using a blend of analogies, and Nelson would translate and create music that matched these ideas. After the music was written and rough versions recorded, they would tweak the songs, practice, and often record them on the road in someone?s basement or another random place. This process brought pieces of the road life with them, and they used these unique opportunities to their advantage. For example, they recorded the crowd murmuring for the beginning of House on Fire, while at a music festival right before they played the song for the first time. This method also gave them plenty of practice so that the recording process was easier and the ideas behind the songs had reached their full potential. The songs continued to grow and they continued to do more with them musically. Wooden Heart was clearly more of a studio album, as the songs were layered with more arrangements than the duo could perform live, and had largely progressed from the simpler folk/americana sound ofReturn to Struggleville. Musically, each song seemed to correctly frame Smith's lyrics and the album finally took shape after a year long recording process.
Wooden Heart was officially released to the public in July 2010. Wooden Heart, like Return to Struggleville, was a concept album. Smith discovered that many of the real life people and feelings he was experiencing and writing about seemed to relate to the characters and struggles in the popular children?s tale The Never-Ending Story. The Never-Ending Story was the allegorical framework for Wooden Heart, each song having an alternate title that corresponded with characters, places, and things from the story. Some songs seemed to relate more than others, and had more obvious references to The Never-Ending Story like: "Falling in Love with Glaciers," "Failing is not just for Failures," "Seatbelt Hands," "These Hands Weren't Made for Us," and "Save Up your Hopes Friends." Other songs had a more subtle approach or came from a different direction altogether, "You Have Never Lived Because you Have Never Died," was a poem written about an intense dream Dan had, while the title track "Wooden Heart" was written about a daydream he experienced while at a music festival. Listening to Wooden Heart from beginning to end was like listening to a Never Ending Story-musical that had been scripted by Dan Smith and Christin Nelson. The album was quickly a fan favorite that created many opportunities for