“[The] Caseworker extract darkness from inside whispery, ambient pop… completely enraptured and awesomely dazed” – Rolling Stone
With each successive release, garage-dreampop trio [The] Caseworker deliver their own timeless sonic magic. Their pivotal 2011 album Letters From The Coast has the feel of a shoegazing Velvet Underground reared by the Flying Nun label – the perfect balance of drone and chime. The follow up release, Voices Out There, saw the band rein in their lo-fi guitar-pop impulses and explore a more expansive, minimal sound, akin to Conor and Eimer Devlin’s previous band Half Film. [The] Caseworker create an enigmatic intimacy and atmosphere, which they wrap around immaculately crafted pop songs like smoke. Perfectly intoxicating.
Voices Out There
Voices Out There sees [The] Caseworker rein in the lo-fi guitar-pop impulses of acclaimed third album Letters From The Coast to explore a more expansive, minimal sound, akin to Conor and Eimer Devlin’s previous band Half Film. The band maintain their enigmatic intimacy and atmosphere, while suggesting haunting vistas just beyond the horizons of these succinct, sad songs. The lyrical themes explored on the album are a continuation of their previous preoccupations – reflection, rootlessness, memory – while also being coloured by Conor Devlin’s experience of recovering from a serious car accident in 2012. First single ‘Dependence Day’ marries [The] Caseworker’s trademark restraint with a strident, slowburning melodic sensibility, while the title track vividly surveys the morphine hallucinations Conor experienced while confined to a hospital bed in Switzerland. The album’s chiming guitars, gently bobbing rhythm section and warm yet dislocated vocals from both Conor and Eimer Devlin generate a sense of intimacy and fragility that is deeply affecting. What’s most apparent on these songs is of a band in absolute control of their craft, able to derive maximum emotional heft from minimal ingredients.
Letters From The Coast
On their third album Letters From The Coast, garage-dreampop trio [The] Caseworker exude the feel of a shoegazing Velvet Underground reared by the Flying Nun label – the perfect balance of drone and chime. The band creates an enigmatic intimacy and atmosphere, which they wrap around immaculately crafted pop songs like smoke. Perfectly intoxicating. With opening track and lead single ‘National Runner’, [The] Caseworker have an instant pop classic on their hands. The song’s consummate mix of hypnotic guitars and driving rhythm section are perfectly balanced with Conor Devlin’s starry-eyed vocal. Elsewhere, bassist Eimer Devlin assumes lead vocal duties for ‘The Slow Track’ and ‘Sea Years’, both reminiscent of prime Yo La Tengo, while standout ‘Boats’ carries the listener away on its buoyant yet melancholic waves of arpeggios and feedback. The album exudes a wonderful sense of timelessness and romanticism – these are songs to attach memories to.
Biography[The] Caseworker was initially formed by Conor Devlin (vocals, guitar) and Eimer Devlin (vocals, bass) as a San Francisco-based recording project back in 2003. They released their first album These Weeks Should Be Remembered in late 2003. Rave reviews prompted the band to try some live shows, with Will Waghorn joining on drums, and extra guitar provided by Monte Vallier (Swell, Jet Black Crayon). Two more albums followed over the next three years: East of Sunset, a soundtrack album of Tom Waits covers, and their second album of original songs, When I Was A Young King, in 2006.
Between 2007 and 2009 [The] Caseworker went on accidental hiatus as the band members moved around the world. They’re now based respectively in Lausanne, Switzerland, Petaluma, USA, and Clifton-upon-Teme, England. Their new album, Letters From The Coast (Hidden Shoal, 2011), was recorded by Monte Vallier at San Francisco’s Ruminator Audio Studios (Young Prisms, Weekend, Tommy Guerrero).
Hidden Shoal is incredibly honoured to have been selected as one of Textura’s Ten Favourite Labels of 2018. Textura is, in our opinion, the premiere new music magazine and favourite of the label team for unearthing and exposing new and exciting new music. This is the second time Hidden Shoal has been selected in Textura’s best labels list and as always we are nestled against some other very special labels, all of who you should check out.
Now for a very brief and unnecessary acceptance speech – we are nothing without our incredible roster of artists, who continually amaze, inspire and surprise us. Thank you all!
Hidden Shoal is excited to end the celebration of its 10th year of existence with the new compilation album Eat Your Friends, comprising remixes and covers of Hidden Shoal artists, by Hidden Shoal artists. This freely downloadable album not only showcases the wealth of original music released through Hidden Shoal, but also the creative ingenuity and deft musical touch of the remixers and cover artists.
From searing solar-flared adaptations to delicately reconstructed covers, deep space jam reworkings, and shimmering ambient tapestries, Eat Your Friends reimagines the Hidden Shoal discography in new and beautiful ways, playing to all the strengths of the roster’s dizzying array of talent.
Includes remixes and covers by: Antonymes, Arc Lab, Glanko, Wayne Harriss, Liminal Drifter, Makee, Chloe March, Markus Mehr, Erik Nilsson, REW<<, Slow Dancing Society, Tin Manzano, Willem Gator, and Zealous Chang of music by: Arc Lab, Brother Earth, Cheekbone, City of Satellites, Medard Fischer, Gilded, Glanko & Daniel Bailey, Kryshe, Memorybell, Erik Nilsson, perth, Slow Dancing Society, Tangled Star, Umpire, and Zealous Chang.
Eat Your Friends is available now as a free download via Bandcamp and is also streamable via SoundCloud. Listen and then throw yourself into the wormhole as you explore the originals and more work by the remixers and cover artists. For all the filmmakers, games designers and others in need of engaging music, don’t forget that all tracks in our catalogue are available for licensing (film, tv, games, compilations etc).Continue reading →
Hidden Shoal is extremely excited to be celebrating its 10th birthday this month. It’s hard to believe that back in May 2006, Perth-based musicians Cam Merton, Stuart Medley and Malcolm Riddoch began Hidden Shoal Recordings as a means to put out releases by local artists. Tim Clarke, based in Melbourne, joined the team in 2007. Hidden Shoal has since gone on to become a much-loved independent label and publisher, releasing over 120 albums from a diverse range of international artists and licensing music from its catalogue across film, tv, web and compilation.
Stay tuned for special anniversary announcements in the coming months!Continue reading →
The good folks at KBRP know good music. Want proof? How about three Hidden Shoal artists in the KBRP CMJ Top Ten this week! perth’s What’s Your Utopia? at 3, Kramies’ The Wooden Heart at 4 and [The] Caseworker’s Voices Out There at 8. Now if we can just dislodge Stephen Malkmus, Damien Jurado, XIU XIU and a few others we can hold the top three spots.Continue reading →
[The] Caseworker’s brilliant 2013 album Voices Out There has continued to garner glowing press wherever it has been covered. And why wouldn’t it? It’s such a deeply affecting, atmospheric slab of hypnotic pop that it becomes almost impossible to not be lost in its ever evolving charms. Here’s a round-up of recent reviews out of Europe and the US that espoused the same feelings – Luna Kafe (Norway), Music Won’t Save You (Italy), Polyphonia (Poland) and Tome To The Weather Machine (USA). Check the links to read the reviews and then soak in the album and grab some free downloads at the Hidden Shoal Store.Continue reading →
“The Caseworker is a SF project led by Conor and Eímer Devlin, former members of the slowcore band Half Film. Shaped partially by Conor’s time in a hospital post-car-crash, this fourth album is immaculately crafted to create an overarching feeling of tranquil melancholy at the axis of guitar pop, slowcore, and shoegaze. Catchy and magnificent (and released by Hidden Shoal!).” – KZSU on [The] Caseworker’s Voices Out There
“New EP by this Colorado dream-pop artist (released by the great Hidden Shoal Recordings). This features Jason Lytle of Grandaddy and has the same grand, quirky melancholy as Lytle’s music. There’s a strong sense of anguish and yearning to this. Lovely.” – KZSU on Kramies’ The Wooden Heart
KZSU listeners can expect to hear lots of cuts from both these releases spinning on the radio and should be keeping their eyes on the charts as well!Continue reading →
The lovely Norwegian blog Luna Kafe has once again given a bunch of love to some new Hidden Shoal releases. Kramies title track to his stunning new EP The Wooden Heart and ‘Dependence Day’ taken from [The] Caseworker’s just released album Voices Out There have both been reviewed in the latest edition of Luna Kafe. Here’s some excerpts to get you started,
“I will line up to check the album. “Dependence Day” is so distinct and focused, so intense and enigmatic it is just perfect guitar-pop melancholia. Sadness painted in bright colours.” – Luna Kafe on [The] Caseworker ‘Dependence Day’
“a swaying, head-in-the-sun pop piece… it is a beautiful and magic/mystic song… pop music turned inside out” – Luna Kafe on Kramies ‘The Wooden Heart’
Head to the Hidden Shoal Store to download both tracks for free and check out their fantastic respective releases.Continue reading →
We’ve been bursting at the seems to release this amazing album! It is of course Voices Out There, the fourth album by garage-dreampop trio [The] Caseworker. Voices Out There sees the band rein in the lo-fi guitar-pop impulses of acclaimed third album Letters From The Coast to explore a more expansive, minimal sound, akin to Conor and Eimer Devlin’s previous band Half Film. The band manage to channel the best of Flying Nun’s roster and merge it with their inimitably dreamy and atmospheric take on rock music.
“[The] Caseworker extract darkness from inside whispery, ambient pop… completely enraptured and awesomely dazed” – Rolling Stone
First single ‘Dependence Day’ marries [The] Caseworker’s trademark restraint with a strident, slowburning melodic sensibility, while the title track vividly surveys the morphine hallucinations Conor experienced while confined to a hospital bed in Switzerland. The album’s chiming guitars, gently bobbing rhythm section and warm yet dislocated vocals from both Conor and Eimer Devlin generate a sense of intimacy and fragility that is deeply affecting. What’s most apparent on these songs is of a band in absolute control of their craft, able to derive maximum emotional heft from minimal ingredients.
Voices Out There is available now in CD and digital formats. All CD orders include an immediate download of the album in mp3 or FLAC formats and all downloads come with a beautiful extended digital booklet. Head to the Hidden Shoal Store for all the details.
Continue reading →
[The] Caseworker – ‘Voices Out There’ (Single)
More lovely reviews rolling in for Hidden Shoal releases. This time Monocle‘s brilliant new album Transpacific Sound Paradise has just been lovingly reviewed at Leonard’s Lair and [The] Caseworker‘s latest single and title track to their forthcoming album Voices Out There has just been reviewed at The Sunday Experience as well as the Polish blog Polyphonia.
Head to the Hidden Shoal Store to check out the above releases by Monocle and [The] Caseworker along with free downloads and previous albums.
Continue reading →
Monocle – ‘Chances Glide’
We have an absolutely beautiful new single and stunning accompanying music video for you from garage-dreampop trio [The] Caseworker. ‘Voices Out There’, the title track to their forthcoming new album (24th October), is available now as a free download and for streaming on SoundCloud. The accompanying 3D animated music video by Cam Merton, Hidden Shoal label manager and experimental film-maker, is available for streaming on YouTube and Vimeo.
Of all the songs on Voices Out There, the title track is most explicitly coloured by Conor Devlin’s experience of recovering from a serious car accident in 2012. ‘Voices Out There’ vividly surveys the morphine hallucinations experienced while confined to a hospital bed in Switzerland. The song’s chiming modulated guitars, gently bobbing rhythm section and warm yet dislocated vocals generate a sense of intimacy and fragility that is deeply affecting. The track’s 3d animated music video visually renders the intimate, surreal and dislocated spatiality conveyed so beautifully in the song.
The track is lifted from the band’s fourth album, and their second for Hidden Shoal, Voices Out There, which sees [The] Caseworker rein in the lo-fi guitar-pop impulses of acclaimed third album Letters From The Coast to explore a more expansive, minimal sound, akin to Conor and Eimer Devlin’s previous band Half Film. The band maintain their enigmatic intimacy and atmosphere, while suggesting haunting vistas just beyond the horizons of these succinct, sad songs.Continue reading →
[Translated from the Italian via Google. Read the original here.]
“The physical distance between the components of a given band is now a more and more relevant, not only for the electronic experimenters who exchange files from one corner of the globe, but also for artists who put the writing and the cohesion of melodic songs at the center of their expressive code. It is a well-established for [The] caseworker, quartet whose members are spread between California, England and Switzerland but maintains its roots firmly on the U.S. West Coast.
Like last ” Letters From The Coast “, also their fifth album” Voices Out There “was in fact recorded in San Francisco, in the same studios that have seen the birth of the latest works by Soft Moon and The Weekend. Probably the latter figure was partly plagued the band led by brothers Conor and Eimer Devlin, whose Popsong agile and sadly you are now cloaked in wraparound shades shady. Not for this is missing the potential of melodic songs, however, who see their times and languor slowed moderately jangly outcropping in previous work become more full-bodied and dark reverbs.
Although in particular the first part of “Voices Out There” maintains suspended atmospheres and dreamy, soaked by salt breezes (“Ultramarine”, “Dependence Day”), explicit twists distant echoes from the garage and turbid feedback (“Morgen-shelf”, ” The Inside View “) deviates decisively towards gothic setting, although tempered by flowing melodic fading, which are interpretations of Conor Devlin complement of unpredictable natural.
The restyled sound [The] caseworker will weigh in part the immediacy of the songs, making the pass band stationed in Europe and America from the sweet nostalgia of Teenage Fanclub reminiscences wave veiled by a dark patina that only the persistence of a dreamy melodic touch features compared to the revivals of many other American bands in recent years.”Continue reading →
[Translated from the Polish via Google. Read the original here.]
“Floated the soul of the Velvet Underground, but fortunately there are teams that show who was the inspiration for them. Today the trio [The] caseworker .
Yesterday we received the sad news of the death of Lou Reed. Probably if not for his influence, is today I did not write about the latest album “Voices Out There” [The] caseworker. Some time ago on Polyphonii described the video for the title track, which was another harbinger of the upcoming longplay. The disc is released on Australian label Hidden Shoal Recordings .
Probably many years ago, musicians [The] caseworker, somewhere in the garage under recreated hits the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed himself. In several recordings for the “Voices Out There” clearly can be seen that TVU was a point of reference. On the other hand, we have a clear reference to Sonic Youth – not only because he sings and plays bass woman Eimer Devlin. There is no way in the case of [The] caseworker does not refer to the British scene. The material on the album was partly recorded in Cornwall in the studio Farm2, led by Neil Halstead (Slowdive former member). In several passages of American musicians gave a mood that can be found in the compositions of Slowdive from the 90s
Music [The] caseworker is also a characteristic of sleepy and slow pace, which sometimes comes on top of a slightly depressed mood, associated with the stage slowcore’ową (Codeine, Low and Red House Painters).
Peeling back all the associations and speculations, the album “Voices Out There” is a piece of solid play.I appreciate the melodies that he composed the guitar Conor Devlin, as well as imaginative and original bass parts Eimer Devlin. The band recorded a coherent album, which is not coming apart at the proverbial sides. Sophisticated savings in means a great asset to their composition; musicians do not przekombinowali with an excess of ideas. The bottom line is that he wants to come back to the recordings [The] caseworker. I hope that their plate – and the same group – gets more attention in our country.”Continue reading →
“I love the back story behind [The] Caseworker’s former band, Half Film. A couple of Irish musicians move to San Francisco in the 90’s to start a band. Not because of the Haight-Ashbury scene, or the Bay Area punk rockers, but because of Mark Eitzel. Mark.Eitzel. Half Film moved to San Francisco to be a slowcore band. I love that. 2/3 of that criminally overlooked band have reformed as [The] Caseworker playing in the similar vein to Codeine, Seam, American Music Club of navel-gazing, plodding guitar music accompanied with some truly inspired outsider pop elements a la Flying Nun Kiwi pop legends The Chills or The Clean. Perfect low-key pop album for walking on decaying leaves on some bright, chilly morning. I also love [The] Caseworker because, as a case worker (case manager is the preferred term for my agency) I totally understand the prevailing sadness and discontent that this album exudes. Welcome to my job.”Continue reading →
[The] Caseworker’s Voices Out There is their 4th album, and it’s been promoted by two tasty singles; the album’s title track, as well as the stunning “Dependence Day”. Depp-cored dream-pop for heart and soul.
With the 12 track Voices Out There Conor Devlin (vocals, guitar) and Eimer Devlin (vocals, bass), accompanied by drummer Will Waghorn and producer (and additional guitars) Monte Vallier have probably made their best album so far. The songs tread the dark side of pop, in moods, manners, and feelings. As I said when reviewing “Dependence Day” they create “…perfect guitar-pop melancholia. Sadness painted in bright colours.” This is far from the cherry and merry guitar pop. [The] Caseworker move in the shades and in landscapes of gloom and doom. That said, they are not a total doomsday ballroom band. This is not music for ‘end times’ only. Their music do hold glimpses of daylight and colours as well, even though this is the pale and bleak edition of the colour palette. To quote Rolling Stone: “…extract darkness from inside whispery, ambient pop… completely enraptured and awesomely dazed”. [The] Caseworker serve strong tales of describing darkness and trauma, musically and vocally delivered with enigma and empathy.
Conor and Eimer share the vocals, and this also adds fine nuances to their songs and sound patterns. Best songs, besides the amazing “Dependence Day” and the fine title track (with lyrics based on Conor’s morphine hallucinations experienced while hospitalized in Switzerland), are “Morgen-Colla”, “Ultramarine”, “The Inside View” (with its short ‘reprise’ “The Outside View”), “Negatives”, and the closing ‘couple’ “Effi Enters the Boat” and “Effi Leaves the Boat”. Voices Out There is a very fine listen. It is a majestic album with spellbinding songs.”Continue reading →
“The Caseworker is a SF project led by Conor and Eímer Devlin, former members of the slowcore band Half Film. Shaped partially by Conor’s time in a hospital post-car-crash, this fourth album is immaculately crafted to create an overarching feeling of tranquil melancholy at the axis of guitar pop, slowcore, and shoegaze. Catchy and magnificent (and released by Hidden Shoal!).”
– KZSUContinue reading →
“Like the indie-rock greats, like The Mountain Goats or Beck, that shy away from the usual boring blathering that the genre usually resonates like a homeless stench, [The] Caseworker deviate from a cut-and-paste formula for great results. On their new album ‘Voices Out There’, you can expect introverted, personal lyrics crossed over with skyline hooks and melodies. I can’t quite tell if their music is catchy, but its certainly interesting. There are some points that are better to just quietly skip over, but for the most part, tracks such as ‘Dependance Day’ and ‘Notes From the Summer’ capture the listeners attention with a reason.”Continue reading →
“Ambient garage-dream poppers [The] Caseworker has got a new single ready, off their new album Voices Out There (to be released October 24th). The trio’s new efforts are produced by Monte Vallier (Swell) and recorded at Neil Halstead’s (Slowdive) UK studio.
The band was formed by Conor Devlin (vocals, guitar) and Eimer Devlin (vocals, bass), as a duo (in prior to Caseworker, they were Half Film), while drummer Will Waghorn joined in later when performing live wasn’t a two-some job. Now producer Monte Vallier, was also no-board as an extra guitar player at the time. Voices Out There will be their fourth album, following Letters From The Coast. I’m really looking forward to it because “Dependence Day” is a smashing, fabulous song! [The] Caseworker roam the lo-fi guitar-pop valley. I was just about to name-drop Flying Nun Records, and – Hey! – That is what’s mentioned in the press material (‘…the feel of a shoegazing Velvet Underground reared by the Flying Nun label – the perfect balance of drone and chime’). The guitars sparkle, the basslines is a comfortable mattress, and the drums and cymbals are clean and steady. On top, there is Devlin’s voice – dark, rustic, sober, and quite fitting guidance for listening to the song.
I will line up to check the album. “Dependence Day” is so distinct and focused, so intense and enigmatic it is just perfect guitar-pop melancholia. Sadness painted in bright colours.”Continue reading →
“Due soon from Hidden Shoal is the fourth album from multi national dream pop collective [the] Caseworker entitled ‘voices out there’ for which you can expect fond words in later musings here though not before we’ve had a chance to you flavour your listening space with a sneak peak of the title track via this quite delightful animated video. directed by HS head honcho Cam Merton. Romantically brooding and darkly majestic, ‘voices out there’ uncoils like some ghostly apparition unfurling to consume the voids and dapple the once was nothingness in a rich opiate velour, there’s a poise, a sense of grandeur unlocked and attaching here, tenderly intimate and yearning, yet cut to quick in a hollowing reflection that stilled, spectral and graceful not to mention something very much mainlining into the core melodic psyche of The Church.”Continue reading →
Excerpt: “They aren’t exactly mysterious, [The] Caseworker, they just spread themselves around a lot. With band members variously inhabiting San Francisco, Switzerland and rural England, they seem less of an actual band and more of an association bound only by their musicality…. What it is, is a mellow, blissed out sequence of West Coast guitar pop, one that references Green On Red and Teenage Fanclub as much as it does the more abrasive Sonic Youth and monochromatic Velvet Underground whom [The] Caseworker acknowledge as influences. Alex Chilton casts his lengthy shadow over the songs here too, and there are inflections in the songwriting that reveal Post Punk influences such as Wire and Television Personalities. After all this, while you might think [The] Caseworker haven’t left any room for their own songwriting, they are significantly more than the sum of their influences and Letters From The Coast is a sun drenched dream haze of verging upon euphoric blissed out jangle pop…. Without leaning too heavily on foot pedals and production, and utilising some highly defined instrumental dynamics, Letters From The Coast has as much resonance and melodic energy as any of the bands and musicians whose work [The] Caseworker draw their influence from, and it succeeds fully as a complete album…. Anyone whose album colllection is incomplete without Ocean Rain, Grand Prix and Park Life will find an equally prominent space in it for this twelve track masterpiece.Continue reading →
Excerpt: “Letters from the Coast sees the band exude the feel of a shoegazing Velvet Underground as if reared by the Flying Nun label: the perfect balance of drone and chime. Perfectly intoxicating.”Continue reading →