Haley Dahl, who records as Sloppy Jane, has released her new single, “Party Anthem”, marking the lauded musician’s first release as the newest signing to Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records. Dahl has also revealed details for her forthcoming new album, Madison, set for release on November 5th. “Party Anthem” is a soaring orchestral ballad that comes on like Kate Bush leading Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or Laura Nyro fronting Olivia Tremor Control. It’s accompanied by a captivating video shot in 16 mm and filmed inside the Lost World Caverns in West Virginia, the place where Dahl recorded all of Madison, bringing in 21 bandmates from all around the country to make an impressive and ambitious orchestral album recorded deep inside the caves. It’s the first time someone has ever recorded an entire album in a cave, and the results are sonically stunning; Madison is an astounding, glorious record of highest order melodrama.
Sloppy Jane will celebrate the album release with a headline show in New York City at Baby’s Alright on November 7th. She will also be opening for Iceage in February. All dates below.
On signing to Saddest Factory Records and crafting her latest album, Dahl shared, “Phoebe and I made friends in high school when I was goth and didn’t bathe and she wore dresses with little bicycles on them – we mistook each other for cool then, and it lasted. Phoebe is one of my closest friends, and is also someone who has always seen that the things that make my work different are what make it valuable. She played bass in Sloppy Jane. When I was moving to New York I talked about how I wanted to make the band bigger and incorporate chamber instruments, and a lot of people didn’t get what I meant, but Phoebe said, ‘Go get your orchestra.’
When I started talking about recording in caves, she was one of the few people to really get it immediately and thought it was the coolest thing. To work with someone who has so much personal context and enthusiasm was kind of a no-brainer. The label name “Saddest Factory Records” came from a joke I made on twitter, and I kind of think that’s representative of what my ideal professional trajectory looks like- me and my same friends who understand each other making the same jokes over and over again while our platforms expand.”
Phoebe Bridgers will join Dahl for an IG Live chat on Friday, September 10th at 3:30pm ET/ 12:30pm PT.
For Madison, Dahl spent three years exploring caves that could capture her vision for the album. Her search took her across the USA, obsessing over the different acoustics of each option, before landing on Lost World Caverns. The result is a beautiful, personal labor of love; a sweeping grand gesture, a powerful statement about obsessive love, and about growing into yourself in the aftermath of a life-changing relationship.
Dahl and her 21 bandmates recorded all of Madison from inside the caves from 3pm to 8:30 am each day over the course of two weeks. To access the space, they’d enter through the back of a gift shop, down a long tunnel where they’d walk down 200 feet of stairs to reach the entrance. Dahl and her bandmates did this steep walk with a piano. The ceiling of Lost World Caverns is massively high and is a perfect dome. The inside was also 98 percent humidity, leading to both stellar sound and also problems with tuning and gear. Engineer Ryan Howe sat in his parents Subaru above the cave with his mixing board and computer, and threaded cables down 90 feet through a hole in the ground to the ceiling of the cave.
This album, so fully realized and diligently executed, is a long time coming for Dahl, who has been performing as Sloppy Jane since she was a teenager. In those days, Sloppy Jane was a three-piece punk band. Its earliest members were Phoebe Bridgers on bass, Sarah Cath on guitar, and Imogen Teasley-Vlautin on drums. Now the band has over a dozen members, and has transformed into a chamber pop project. Dahl also learned so much as a musician: on Madison, she learned how to write for chamber instruments and taught herself the piano. The record is difficult to categorize. It’s David Bowie but also when the song “Crying,” by Roy Orbison plays at the end of Harmony Korine’s Gummo. It’s My Chemical Romance meets Sgt. Pepper. Courtney Love and Queen. It’s a huge, flowery, velvety thing full of toy horses and stalagmites. It follows one major throughline: a grand gesture so large that it moves the whole Earth.
Sloppy Jane Live Shows
Nov 7th, 2021 – New York City, NY – Baby’s Alright^
Feb 12th, 2022 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel*
Feb 13th, 2022 – Felton, CA – Felton Music Hall*
Feb 16th & 17th, 2022 – Los Angeles, CA – Zebulon*
Feb 19th, 2022 – Pioneertown, CA – Venue TBD*
Feb 20th, 2022 – San Diego, CA – The Casbah*
Feb 21st, 2022 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress*
Feb 24th, 2022 – Houston, TX – The Secret Group*
Feb 25th, 2022 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa*
Feb 26th, 2022 – Jacksonville, FL – Intuition Ale Works*
Feb 28th, 2022 – Orlando, FL – The Social*
Mar 1st, 2022 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West*
Mar 2nd, 2022 – Nashville, TN – The Basement East*
Mar 3rd, 2022 – Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle*
Mar 4th, 2022 – Durham, NC – Motorco Music Hall*
Mar 5th, 2022 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar*
Mar 7th, 2022 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair*
Mar 8th, 2022 – Providence, RI – Columbia Theatre*
Mar 9th and 10th, 2022 – New York City, NY – Bowery Ballroom*
Mar 11th, 2022 – Holyoke, MA – Gateway City Arts*
Mar 12th, 2022 – Kingston, NY – Tubby’s Kingston*