Visit the Jigsaw record shop at 1401 SE Division St. in Portland, Oregon!
Hours: Weds-Sun 12-6, closed Mon/Tues.
Jigsaw Records is the label/record shop/mailorder that sticks up for the little guys, specializing in indiepop, janglepop, lo-fi pop, indie rock, powerpop, twee, punky pop and pretty much any other kind of fun music that we fancy. We carry records/cds/tapes from small independent bands and labels from all over the country and world, and strive to keep our prices as low as possible.
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I picked up the first cassette EP from this Richmond, Virginia trio at a recent Popfest (after really loving their set), so it was a nice surprise to get an email from them some time later about releasing their follow-up on Jigsaw! It was a while in the making, but this second EP of theirs (with six songs in under 15 minutes!) gleefully tops their debut! This is top-notch indiepop in the style of Velocity Girl, Seablite and Knife Pleats, with a little bit of Magnapop crunch, featuring guitars that are sparkly and fuzzy, sugary-sweet female vocals (with some male backing vocals) and of course, half a dozen really catchy songs. A sheer delight that's perfect to briefly bop around to!
Not limited. All songs written by Big Baby. Available digitally on Bandcamp.
this record almost literally came from nowhere! That is to say, my buddy, Jeremy, told me his band would be recording "soon" some months back, and then offhandedly mentioned a few days ago that they were done with it and going to just release it digitally on the day of their final show in two weeks. And with that bombshell, you could practically hear the sound of brakes squealing in my head! A little back-story: Chain is the project of a couple friends of mine, the very talented Teal and Jeremy (both of whom are also in Loose, AKA my very favorite Portland band of late), and their pal, Cassie, who happens to be moving shortly, thereby splitting up the band. They haven't yet released anything, so they recently recorded this batch of songs to mark the conclusion of their career. Being the fan and friend that I am, I pretty much insisted that they let me release this to share their lovely songs with a slightly wider audience. What does it sound like? Well, it's a very short album (only about 14 minutes long, so feel free to hit repeat a couple times!) that reminds me a lot of the gentle female-fronted indiepop made by current artists such as Frankie Cosmos, Snail Mail, Lomelda and Soccer Mommy (though Jeremy sings lead sometimes, for a nice change of pace). The songs are sophisticated-sounding, but also uncomplicated at the same time; simple and beautiful pop tunes, the way they're supposed to be!
Not limited. All songs written by Chain. Available digitally on Bandcamp.
originally from Portland, but now living in Philly, Cool Original (once called "Cool American" until the Doritos lawyers came a-knockin'...) is the project of one Nathan Tucker, with some particularly helpful friends, including members of Alien Boy and Loose, among others. This album was originally released on the Good Cheer label (also of Portland), but received only a small cassette pressing, prompting me to step in and rescue it from physical obscurity. And boy am I glad I did, as it's a stellar album, full of the immaculately jangly indie rock that I love so dearly, as made by the likes of Joy Cleaner, Dogbreth, Diners and so many others these days. Heck, even if you just listen to the lead track, "Never Stop Hanging Out", on repeat a dozen times in a row, you'd be golden, but then you'd be missing out on the other hits they've given us! I may have moved to town too late to catch Cool Original in all their glory, but this record will keep me satisfied until Nathan comes back home for another reunion!
Not limited. All songs written by Cool Original. Available digitally on Bandcamp.
the amount of time between this disc's original conception and its actual release borders on the absurd. I don't remember exactly when I first talked to Phil (the only band member I've been in contact with) about this, but I believe that Meredith were one of my first reissue ideas when I rebooted the Jigsaw label at the turn of the decade! But a continuing series of bad timings and unfortunate events prevented this from being finished until now. And oh man, I'm well-happy with the result! For those who don't know the band (which is probably the bulk of you), they slightly predated Spraydog (one of my faves!) with a 7" and a split cassette with Hood, both on the Sticky label. I always loved those old recordings and after doing the final Spraydog album, asked Phil if he'd give me some additional Meredith recordings to compile along with the previously released output, which he did! Of course, there were hitches (version and artwork disputes and what-not, ha ha!), but the satisfying end result is a near-complete collection of the studio output of Meredith, an excellent noisy indie rock band from Newcastle, UK from the early '90s, who owed as much to Velocity Girl and Veruca Salt as they did to their descendents, Spraydog. Dig in and discover a lovely treasure!
Not limited. All songs written by Meredith. Available digitally on Bandcamp.
originally from New Jersey, but now living in Olympia (where he's been for the last few years), Josh Hoey has been making music for pretty much his entire adult life, previously in Box Fan and Parasol, among countless others. Special Moves is basically his "solo" band, meaning that it's himself and whatever friend is around at the time (in fact, in the credits, he even suggests that it could one day be YOU!). In 2018, Josh embarked on the ambitious project of releasing a cassingle every month on his own Reflective Tapes label with a few songs written and recorded the prior month; sadly, he stopped three months shy of the end of the year (the project was a bit overwhelming, after all), but this disc collects the best songs from the nine tapes he did release. Musically, this is pretty damn lo-fi, particularly reminding me of the first couple Portastatic singles, with a bit of Tall Dwarfs and Capstan Shafts mixed in. Despite the lo-fi nature of the recordings, though, the songs are frequently right on the mark, with hits including "Cars", "What I Wanna Du" and his ode to one of the kings of four-tracking himself, "Big Like Bob", as well as his cool take on a Magnetic Fields classic. And this low-budget disc is just a sampler for his forthcoming debut album, so stay tuned!
Not limited. All songs written by Special Moves, except track 4 written by the Magnetic Fields, track 9 written by Bruce Springsteen and track 12 written by Loudon Wainwright III. Available digitally on Bandcamp.
I've been in love with Joy Cleaner's music ever since I first heard them; in fact, their debut album, "Total Hell", ranks among my top five most-listened to/favorite Jigsaw releases (yes, I play favorites, ha ha!). They followed that up with a very promising cassingle on Dromedary Records, but here is the highly-anticipated sophomore album, and boy have they ever delivered! Their classic Dogbreth/Diners-styled jangly/breezy indie rock sound is still present in some places, but the first part of the record is made up of these amazing powerpop hits that rank up there with songs by later-era Superdrag, prime Matthew Sweet and Material Issue. Seriously, the one-two-three punch you're given right off the bat will knock you senseless - and the hits keep coming after that! And like the first record, high points are just too numerous to merely rattle off song titles... Seriously, any fan of punchy powerpop should check this one out post-haste!
Vinyl limited to 400 copies (100 on yellow, 300 on black); cd not limited. All songs written by Joy Cleaner. Available digitally on Bandcamp.
truth be told, I am a damn sucker for jangly and somewhat laidback indiepop. It's why this recent crop of bands like Ultimate Painting, EZTV, Young Scum, the burgeoning Aussie scene, etc all hit the right spot for me, but really it dates back to my youth spent wearing out my R.E.M. tapes. But in between the very old and the very new, though, lies the '90s/'00s and its clutch of amazing American janglepop bands, such as Breezy Porticos, Holiday, Kincaid and the undisputed (in my eyes) kings of the scene, Masters Of The Hemisphere. These bands were all important to me then, and I'm happy to say that this recent finding from Kansas City, MO called Eggs On Mars are cut from the exact same cloth as those bands. In fact, there were a number of times on this album (which is actually the band's fifth, after a bunch of self-released cds/tapes!) where I could have easily mistaken a song or even a feeling for something that Breezy Porticos or MOTH gave me. Yes, this is a magical little record, filled with many melodic and memorable moments!
Not limited. All songs written by Eggs On Mars. Available digitally on Bandcamp.
funny enough, this Portland band happened to reach out to me BEFORE I announced I was moving to town, but now that we're both in the same place, their being on Jigsaw makes so much sense. I mean, this batch of a dozen laidback janglepop tunes on the band's debut album is right up my alley, falling in the same class as the Essex Green, Spent and Great Lakes. The dual guitars are crisp & jangly and the rhythm section is nimble & bright, but the vocal harmonies are their true secret weapon, thanks to the shared vocals of Jamie & Annie. So many hits are scattered throughout this record to name, but rest assured you'll be keeping this disc on rotation for quite some time!
Not limited. All songs written by Neilson Family. Available digitally on Bandcamp.
two years after their highly successful self-released debut album, "Fits & Starts", the Smiles are back with a new single and teaser for their much-anticipated forthcoming second lp. The A-side contains two of the band's most immediate hit songs, "Cherry Bomb" and "Honey Do", both of which are revved-up and super-catchy and just over two minutes a piece. Think vintage Pains Of Being Pure At Heart or maybe even Ringo Deathstarr (in terms of fuzz and ferocity) and you'd be close. On the flip, the band shows their softer side with an acoustic-based number entitled "Original Replacement" that was recorded by our buddy, Lisle Mitnik of Fireflies/etc (I was there!), and would fit perfectly on a Sarah Records 7" between Brighter and the Field Mice. I say this with all sincerity: you won't find a better indiepop single than this all year...300 copies pressed, co-released with Kocliko Records. All songs written by A Certain Smile. Available digitally on Bandcamp.
hot on the heels of their stellar debut album, "At Moonset" (also on Jigsaw), Flying Fish Cove are back with another batch of songs that are as enchanting and magical as they are catchy and fun. The lead track, "No Ending", is easily the band's most rocking tune to date, sounding halfway between Heavenly and a Harriet Records release by the likes of Pest 5000 or Twig. The title track follows, and is a serious hit, replete with an incredibly memorable chorus. The latter half of the EP is made up of a pair of gentler omnichord-driven songs that show off the band's lighter and afore-mentioned enchanting side. Brief but essential, this is a surefire hit for the summer, just in time for the band's cross-country tour!
Not limited. All songs written by Flying Fish Cove. Available digitally on Bandcamp.
rising from the ashes of Manchester's sorely missed Amida, comes the fresh and new Champion Of Youth, and this self-titled mini-album is their debut release. To be honest, though, I really can't tell much of a difference between this new band and the final works from Amida (which were released as the "Boring Birth" album on Jigsaw about five years ago). That is, this is still energetic indiepop with tight, jangly guitars (see also the Wolfhounds or Sarandon) and lots of terrific melodies and witty lyrics, though I guess there's a bit more indie rock influence seeping through now, not unlike Urusei Yatsura and early/mid-period Pavement. Also, the songs are a wee bit longer this time around, with 7 songs in 23 minutes, averaging just over 3 minutes a piece. Amida may be long gone, but their successor manages to live up to their stellar legacy!
Not limited. All songs written by Champion Of Youth. Available digitally on Bandcamp.
based in Seoul (but originally hailing from California), Stars On Fire is the brainchild of a fellow named Cristoph Mark, who I recently found out was a member of Ampersand, a short-lived band who released an amazing mini-album on Fantastic Records back in 2000 that you probably never heard (but really should). This debut release from Cristoph's new project is a hard-to-define batch of songs that are jangly, but not quite janglepop; noisy, but not actually noisepop; and dreamy, but not really shoegaze. Heck, even the production style is simultaneously lo-fi and well-recorded! The guitars are shambling and distorted, the vocals are morose (but not over-bearing) and the songs themselves are pretty great. This is a cool EP that kinda comes from left-field and is definitely well worth checking out!
Not limited. All songs written by Stars On Fire. Available digitally on Bandcamp.