Oh man, do we ever have news for you this month! Five - that's right, FIVE! - new releases to tell you about, not to mention all the cool stuff we've gotten in the shop these last few weeks. Let's take a deep breath and get started, shall we?
Starting in catalog number order, we've got "Skywriter Blue" from THE SKYWRITERS, a fun Philly band from the late '90s. They didn't release much during their brief time, but this cd collects everything from their 7" on Galaxy Train to their cdep on Brentwood Estates, with all the comp tracks and a bonus live track added in for good measure! The Skywriters were twee-pop at its best: boy/girl vocals, jangly guitars and endearing songs about love and loss. Plus, most of them would go on to form the Snow Fairies afterwards, if that gives you an idea of where they're coming from.
Next up, but staying in Philly, we've got SCARY MONSTER, who followed in the footsteps of predecessors the Skywriters and the Snow Fairies, but where the two bands had a predominately twee sound, Scary Monster were a bit more mature, taking their cues from Small Factory and adding a Jonathan Richman vibe, with Neal and Carly sharing lead vocal duties. Sadly, their time was also brief, but they did manage to release one album on Carly's own Modern Soul label, which is now reissued here, along with three wonderful bonus tracks!
Moving over to Europe - specifically Hamburg, Germany - we've got the debut album from TRIPPING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC, a collective of 6 or 7 people who like to have fun with their indiepop! Though only ten songs long, this album is quite multi-faceted, going from the driving and melodic "The Lane" and "Lover Not A Fighter" to the playful "Can't Treat Me Right" (with a ragtime piano part!) and gentle "Mostly Harmless", which nicks the chorus from an Orange Juice classic (and the singer does a good Edwyn Collins, too!). Plus, you have to love a band where everyone sings!
The final album of the month comes from WATOO WATOO, the venerable duo of Pascale & Michaël from Bordeaux, France, who grace our label with their fourth full-length! Over the last 15 or so years, they have evolved from a simple indiepop band to something more encompassing of their myriad influences, with nods to Stereolab, Young Marble Giants and Astrud Gilberto surfacing in their songs. Gentle and textured, this might just be my favorite release of theirs yet!
Last, but certainly not least, comes our most ambitious effort as a label to date: a proper 7" singles club! In collaboration with Dufflecoat Records in the UK, we're thrilled to present a six-volume singles club, featuring 12 exclusive songs from 12 fantastic indiepop groups from around the world, including Math And Physics Club, Summer Twins, Fireflies, Pale Sunday, Wallflower, Monnone Alone and more! Limited to 300 copies, you can only buy these records as a set, and to make things even better, all sets will include a set of 14 badges: one for each band contributing (most of which will be specially-designed for the club) and one for each label! This is a preorder, with the first batch of records arriving in March, but you'll get advance download codes for each single at the beginning of every month!
This one was a bit tricky to work out, due to postage issues and multiple shipments and the damn USPS raising their rates AGAIN, but you can get details here.
Oh boy, I've nearly run out of room. Well, not really, but I can't go on forever, can I...? (The answer is no, I won't.)
So... in mailorder news, we've received a big package from Germany including all the new FIRESTATION RECORDS releases (DER ENGLISCHE GARTEN cd/lp, GROOVY CELLAR lp and the really amazing SPENCER MCGILLICUTTY 7"), some stuff on the ALL ROCK N ROLL SPEEDS UP label (who did the first cdep and 7" from our own TRIPPING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC, as well as an awesome looking/sounding lp from HONEYHEADS) and also the cd/lp from legendary German band, the SHEETS, who would've been on a German "Sound Of Leamington Spa" comp, were such a thing to exist.
The other great big package we got came all the way from FISHRIDER RECORDS in New Zealand, who sent us so many cool releases, I barely know where to start. I especially recommend the Opposite Sex cd/lp, Prophet Hens cd and the Males lp, but I really do like it all!
February is shaping up to be as big as January, label-wise, as are March and April from the look of things going on in my inbox. Let's put it this way, I've got things scheduled all the way to Jigsaw #52, and there's even more unscheduled goodness after that! Guess you'll just have to wait and see what we've got in store... Follow us on Facebook for regular-ish updates!
|Ten random items we think are simply great!|