Archive for the ‘WE LOVE’ Category

Sacredbones

Independent Record Label based in Brooklyn New York City formed in 2007, included on its Roster are ZOLA JESUS, DAVID LYNCH, MOON DUO, THE MEN, PSYCHIC ILLS, and CRYSTAL STILTS one of the best american record label in the last 5 years,

It’s a prolific time for Brooklyn’s Sacred Bones label; with some of the finest records of the year released under their belts, plus last year they curated a stage at Liverpool Psych Fest (co-curated a stage with Chile’s BYM label), general manager Taylor Brode explains,

“I can’t imagine that I would ever be interested in doing something else as a career,” Taylor Brode tells us. It’s a familiar expression in the music industry, as common from the mouths of pouting indie rock hopefuls as from doe-eyed X Factor auditionees. Though intended to convey a mixture of romanticism, determination and focus, it almost always betrays the pie-in-the-sky hopelessness upon which dreams of fame and fortune are built – a lack of experience clouded, sometimes wilfully, by blind hope that the reality of ambition is neither intangible as clouds nor delicate as bubbles.

And yet when Brode utters those words, they sound perfectly straightforward; completely reasonable. Then again, her role as general manager of Brooklyn’s Sacred Bones Records is one where dreams and ideals have to be wedded to pragmatism – where romance has to be tempered by practicality without losing its sheen. “This is what I love to do,” she continues. “I love working with bands and finding out about new music, and just helping bands realise their goals.” That balance, it would appear, is in good health, which is presumably just one of the factors behind the renowned and increasingly respected indie label’s meteoric rise over the past eight years… but back up a minute. Let’s start earlier.

Sacred Bones was founded in 2007 by Caleb Braaten, an employee of Williamsburg’s Academy Records, who simply wanted to release an EP by his friends and reissue some curate’s eggs from the 80s heyday of British post-punk. Even as a youngster, he had always been surrounded by records. “His friends’ parents owned a store – they still do – called Twist and Shout, in Denver,” explains Brode cheerfully, with the knowledgeable air of someone well-versed in their own history. “He got into music from working there when he was younger, and he’s been a lifelong record collector. His taste is really wide, he likes a lot of post-punk and darker music, but also a lot of jazz and soul music and rap music… pretty broad.”

This open approach served Braaten well when he moved to New York over a decade ago, and began to immerse himself in Brooklyn’s notoriously hip music scene. “The first record that he ever put out was a seven-inch by this band called The Hunt, who were just good friends of his. He started a label to do that and also to do some reissues. It was mostly a New York-based label, and the bands were from here – people he’d met in the shop. Blank Dogs was the first 12-inch he ever put out, and that was [Captured Tracks boss] Mike Sniper’s band. They worked at Academy together, so that’s kind of how that came up.”

Food for thought is offered to anyone who imagines that starting a label – even in such a cultural metropolis – might be a glamorous pursuit. “He started the label in the basement of Academy, and he did two, three years there. I moved here in 2010 [having worked previously for Chicago’s legendary Touch and Go stable, the effortlessly professional Brode is no stranger to the industry] so we both worked in their basement for about two years. We moved into our office in 2012; we didn’t have internet and there were rats in the basement, no windows… it was truly a basement for a long time. But we have a proper office now with phones and stuff…!”

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Since those humble beginnings, the label has relocated (along with Academy) to Green Point, slightly further to the north of Brooklyn than their Billyburg origins. It’s also become one of the most widely respected indie labels in North America – a tastemaker label in the mould of Sub Pop, Homestead or even Touch and Go, covering a wide base of genres from the glistening electronic pitter-patter of Blanck Mass to Jenny Hval’s deconstructivist, gender-freeing pop to Destruction Unit’s sandstorm-buffeted hardcore to… well, you get the picture. Did the label always have designs on such eclecticism, we wonder? Brode pauses to consider. “I think it was more just what was going on in Brooklyn; I don’t think [Braaten] started the label with the intention of it just being one genre. We’ve done folk records and a lot of psych records, and experimental, and noise… we try to keep it open.”

And yet it feels like there has been a consistent strand of darkness in the label’s output. “We don’t like to box ourselves in as being goth or dark or anything. People sort of attach that to us. I think a lot of it is because of Zola Jesus; we did all of her early records, and a lot of her coverage at the time was comparing her to Siouxsie, so I think we kind of got lumped in with that genre. It’s not really what we consider ourselves.

“You know The Men? Leave Home, the first record we did with them, sounds really different than the stuff they put out after; they got a lot more into country and folk and blues. They were sort of like a hardcore band at the beginning, but they really evolved over the four records we’ve done with them. We’ve had opportunities to work on stuff like that before but we’ve passed; we veer more towards the avant-garde, or edgy, weirder stuff.”

For all this wilful diversity, however, Sacred Bones have always been drawn towards the concept of visual uniformity: the vast majority of their sleeves bear a simple design concept created specifically to draw regular listeners to new projects. The significance of this straightforward notion is not lost on Brode. “It’s really important!” she exclaims. “Basically all of our full-length LPs carry a template, so they have the record label logo on the front, and then the album title, and all the tracks listed on the front of the record. Caleb designed that format with our graphic designer David Correll – he really wanted to have our records be instantly recognisable, so you could look at something and know it was a Sacred Bones record. It was inspired by the Factory Records stuff, and Impulse Jazz. We really tried to make it coherent, so our listeners could trust our taste and take a chance on a band they don’t know because they recognise it from being on the label.”

This format is a little more flexible for bands who’ve stayed with the label for more than two records, but it begs the question of whether anyone has been reluctant to go along with the theme. Brode laughs. “There’s been a couple of bands that don’t love it, but you know, it’s sort of part of our deal. So I think bands know when they sign with us. We’re pretty upfront about it and if bands don’t want to do it, we don’t do their records. But that’s really only happened one or two times at the most.”

Strangers

In terms of the US labels we mentioned earlier, are Sacred Bones conscious of being part of that lineage? “I think we are now. We’re in our eighth year and things are pretty different from when we started. We’re getting to work with a lot of artists and filmmakers who really influenced us, David Lynch being the forerunner there [Sacred Bones reissued the soundtrack to Lynch’s uber-surreal debut, Eraserhead]. We really count that as a blessing and not something we try to take that for granted.”

Are indie labels of that ilk important, then, in terms of defining eras or places? “Yeah, absolutely! It’s a document of what’s happening at the time – I mean, that’s literally what the word ‘record’ means. But I don’t think Caleb ever intended for it to just be that, you know? We have bands now from all over the globe, which is amazing.”

Indeed, it seems the process of bringing acts into the Sacred Bones fold is a shared task: “When we’re looking for new bands, we’ll ask our bands who they like, and we pay a lot of attention to who they’re touring with. We really try to have a community and a lot of our artists work together on releases or just become friends and hang out and do shows together. That’s really special to us.”

That community has since extended to BYM Records, an independent label based in Santiago, Chile, who share elements of their roster with Sacred Bones – specifically trance-tinged krautrockers Föllakzoid and the motorik dreampop of The Holydrug Couple. “It’s their friends’ label,” Brode tells us enthusiastically. “I think two of them are in this band called La Hell Gang, who are amazing – they were touring with Föllakzoid and Holydrug Couple in the United States a couple of years ago, so we hung out with them. They’re really sweet guys and we’re mutual fans of each other.”

This shared love has even extended to one of the highlights of late September, as the two labels jointly curate a stage at the hotly anticipated Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia. Placing the likes of Blanck Mass and Destruction Unit alongside South American wonders such as The Ganjas’ stoned fuzz brilliance and the epic Chicos de Nazca, it’s sure to be one of Psych Fest’s greatest spectacles.

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This may be one of the biggest “no duh” labels on our list . Though they’ve made a name for themselves as a home for initially smaller artists with big visions, often with stunning visual art components, to grow into true forces, Sacred Bones aren’t content to rest on their cred, to settle into a comfortable groove. Their output this year took a lot of risks and showed a lot of ambition, and also showed the true care they put as a label into every detail in order to let their artists grow.

Please Seek Out: Jenny Hval: Apocalypse, girl; Institute, Catharsis; Destruction Unit, Negative Feedback Resistor; Rose McDowall, Cut With the Cake Knife; The Holydrug Couple, Moonlust

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SYLVAN ESSO – ” Play It Right “

Posted: December 9, 2015 in WE LOVE
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When we caught Sylvan Esso at this year’s Green Man, the Alabama, frontwoman Amelia Meath made reference to Beyonce a few times during their set—first by singing a snippet of “Flawless” and then by making a comment after the high winds started blowing her hair around. “I feel like Beyonce,” she said, laughing. “If only.” The thing is, there are similarities to Meath and the pop diva; both know how to work a crowd and deliver a high-energy, danceable set. Meath’s confidence as a performer shined on favorites like “Coffee” and “Hey Mami” this year, and though she may not have woken up in the giant platform sneakers she was sporting, Sylvan Esso’s set was, in fact, flawless.

SEPTEMBER GIRLS – Black Oil

Posted: June 19, 2015 in WE LOVE

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September Girls are a five piece noise pop band from Dublin, Ireland. The band formed in September 2011 and performed their first gig in Dublin in November 2011.[1] Having released singles under various labels between 2012 & 2013, the band signed to Fortuna Pop! in 2013 and released their debut album in January 2014.[2] In Autumn 2014, ahead of their appearance at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York, the band announced signing to Kanine Records, and an EP release through Kanine & Fortuna Pop! Pulling from romantic yet hazy, noise and echo chamber heavy influenced bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain or The Cure, September Girls are an Irish all-girl quintet who is making waves across the pond. The band’s latest offering stateside is the Veneer EP, a four track burner that tips it’s hat to shoegaze, post-punk, and more. It rips,

 

 

 

 

More classic psychedelic lettering by our good friend here in “Posterville”, and acclaimed father of the style and legendary BIG FIVE artist, Wes Wilson. WE have poster #61 in the old Fillmore poster series. This poster dates back 46 years ago. On this date in 1967, Buffalo Springfield, The Steve Miller Band and Freedom Highway played for a revved up audience at the Fillmore Auditorium here in the city by the bay. There are several variation of this poster due to the fact that the colors of inks were changed during the press run. I wish I could put up a few of the different colored posters as they are all really beautiful. This one is my favorite though.
The image here is of a fantasy face of a figure with a long head dress which forms the lettering. In one way,it is very unfortunate that Wes was about to have a dispute with Bill Graham which led to him no longer producing posters for the Fillmore concerts because most of the designs he created at this time were some of the most brilliant works of graphic artistry created in the 20th century. I truly believe that …..wouldn’t you agree? Alas, he went onto create a vast amount of posters long after that, and continues to this day producing some incredible pieces. Look up his website to see just what he’s been up too.

In spite of artistic differences, Family Dog’s “Top Dog” Chet Helms and Master Big FIve rock artist, Wes Wilson collaborated on the beginnings of what led to a revolutionary explosion of creativity in Psychedelic Poster Art. Both Helms and Wilson are credited with the artwork on this poster. The image on this piece certainly screams at the viewer… “Strange things are going to happen at this concert advertised on this Poster”! This is probably exactly was Chet wanted, and is one of the main elements of psychedelic art, …an appeal to weirdness.


It was 49 years ago (holy crap) on this day back in 1966, that Love, The Sons of Adam and The Charlatans played at the Fillmore Auditorium for the last Family Dog event to take place there. After that it was mostly ALL Avalon Ballroom with a couple of exceptions. Lights that night provided by Tony Martin’s Light Sights. This “Poster From The Past” is Family Dog poster #4 in the original series. It was printed three times.

Wes Wilson (Robert Wesley Wilson). Grateful Dea, Junior Wells, Chicago Blues Band, and The Doors. 1966. Offset Lithograph, 22 3/4 x 14" (57.8 x 35.5 cm). Gift of Joseph H. Heil; Wes Wilson (Robert Wesley Wilson). Jefferson Airplane / Grateful Dead. 1966. Lithograph, 20 x 14 1/4" (50.8 x 36.2 cm). Gift of the designer

Consider the design work of  Wes Wilson, the unofficial father of the 1960s concert poster: the Jefferson Airplane / Grateful Dead concert at the Fillmore, or The Grateful Dead, Junior Wells, Chicago Blues Band, and The Doors concert. Wilson, who dropped out of school for forestry, found himself in the right place at the right time—San Francisco, just before the “Summer of Love” working for a printer. His only formal design training was a few night school art classes and trips to the library for inspiration from the likes of Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt, and Alfred Roller—excellent choices by anyone’s standard. Making the scene brought him in contact with concert promoters Chet Helms and the Family Dog and Bill Graham, and one thing led to another.

Icelandic Airwaves Festival is famous not just for its big-name headliners,

Kiasmos lead the final wave of Iceland Airwaves line up additions.

They join the likes of Mercury Rev, Arca, Hot Chip, John Grant, Perfume Genius, Ariel Pink, Beach House, Battles, Hinds and hundreds more.

Iceland Airwaves 2015 takes place 4th-8th November in a varity of venues across Reykjavik.

Iceland Airwaves Music Festival bill, this November are Tuff Love They’ll be joining an amazing line-up including fellow Lost Mapper Rozi Plain, as well as Hot Chip, Ariel Pink, East India Youth, Father John Misty, Hinds, LoneLady, Mercury Rev, Meilyr Jones, and SOAK among many others.but also a chance to see the weird, wonderful and wild Icelandic bands who form a large part of the festival’s bill. Many of these local heroes don’t play regularly on overseas stages, so it’s a big part of the festival experience to see them play for their home crowd, in the many interesting venues dotted around Reykjavík’s city centre.

With a relatively sparse thoroughfare of overseas bands, Reykjavík’s many homegrown talents keep the gig circuit ticking throughout the year, giving them plenty of time to hone their craft – one reason, perhaps, for the oft-heard remark that the level of musical ability seems preturnaturally high on this little island.

Here are a few recommendations for anyone feeling dizzy from the sheer volume of Icelandic acts to check out – from cosmic art-pop to oddball disco to dreamy soundscapes to chaotic rock ‘n’ roll to a full symphony orchestra – there’s a rich musical menu on offer at Airwaves ‘. Most will play several shows – one official festival show, and at various “off-venue” daytime gigs – so there’ll be multiple chances to check them out.

OYAMA_z

Something of a young-team supergroup, the five faces of Oyama might be familiar to those keeping an eye on the Icelandic indie scene in recent years – they boast members of Útidur, Sudden Weather Change, Swords of Chaos and Grísalappalísa, amongst others. But their sound is something quite different from all of the above – a mixture of distorted noise-rock and dreamy, expansive shoegaze-inflected soundscapes, with lyrics that offer a melancholy look at life in the world’s Northernmost capital.

SAMARIS

Since signing to One Little Indian, the secret of Samaris is out – they’ve been out touring for much of 2014 in support their debut album Silkidrangar – but they’re still a must-see at Airwaves ´14. Their mixture of ’90s-inflected beats, electronic drones and atmospheric clarinet lines is pushed to the next level by the one-off voice of singer Jófríður Ákadóttir, whose breathy vocals seem at once young and wise, humane and otherworldly.

Sunday 8th November will see the culmination of the five day festival wrap up with a huge extravaganza at Vodafone Hall, featuring the crème de la crème party starters of the Icelandic music scene including FM Belfast and Úlfur Úlfur along side UK star bands Hot Chip and Sleaford Mods!.

 

Back for its ninth annual outing, Live at Leeds assumes its customary position over the early May bank holiday weekend. Buoyed by the success of having bagged last year’s coveted ‘Best Metropolitan Festival’ award, this time around it promises two hundred bands, twenty venues and one wristband – all for the unbeatable value of £27.

Live at Leeds has built a strong reputation upon an ethos of promoting local talent alongside more established national and international artists, whilst also being one of the very best places at which to catch the year’s breakthrough acts.

The festival has today revealed its venues and scheduling for the event that this year falls on May 1st. .

EagullsHookwormsCarl BaratTobias Jesso JrTelegram and Meance Beach to name a handful will be in attendance. Add to that the plethora of bands who will be adorning your favourite magazines and site (ahem!) next year and the heart skips a beat.

Take a look at the newly added to the line-up below and in the midst of daydreams about destroying a beloved and old city full of blackened churches and deep dark basements of debauchery (Hyde Park, you know who you are!), try not to click this link for tickets.

Or here for the schedule. 

Full Lineup So Far Below:

THE CRIBS | LAWSON | SWIM DEEP | PALMA VIOLETS
CARL BARAT & THE JACKALS | DRY THE RIVER | DUTCH UNCLES | EAGULLS | EMMY THE GREAT | GAZ COOMBES | GEORGE THE POET HOOKWORMS | LAUREN AQUILINA | LUCY ROSE | MNEK | RALEIGH RITCHIE | RHODES | SAINT RAYMOND | SLAVES | SPECTOR STORNOWAY | STORMZY | SUNSET SONS | THE STRYPES | THURSTON MOORE BAND | WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS

ARCANE ROOTS | BLOSSOMS | BOXED IN | BRAWLERS | CHILDHOOD | EKKAH
FLO MORRISSEY | H. HAWKLINE | JAGAARA | JOANNA GRUESOME | JP COOPER
LAURA DOGGETT | LONELADY | MENACE BEACH | MISTY MILLER | NIMMO
NOTHING BUT THIEVES | PALACE | PRETTY VICIOUS | REAL LIES | ROLO TOMASSI
SCARS ON 45 | SPRING KING | TELEGRAM | TOBIAS JESSO JR | TOM WILLIAMS | YAK

ACTOR | A.O.S.O.O.N | ADAM FRENCH | ADY SULEIMAN | ALEX BUREY | ALFIE CONNOR | ALMA ELSTE | AMY STUDT | AMY YON ASTRONOMYY | AYLEE | BAD//DREEMS | BEACH BABY | BILLIE BLACK | BLACK HONEY | BLACK PEAKS | BLOODY KNEES | BRONCHO BRUISING | BULLY | C DUNCAN | CAIROBI | CARNABELLS | CHAIKA | CHARLIE CUNNINGHAM | CHARLIE HOLE | CHLOE BLACK | CLAY | CLOUD CASTLE LAKE COLD OCEAN LIES | COLOUR OF SPRING | COMPNY | CROWS | DAN OWEN | ELDERBROOK | FEHM | FOREVER CULT | FOSSA FRANCES | FRANCISCO THE MAN | FRANKO FRAIZE | FRASER A. GORMAN | FREDDIE DICKSON & THE GUARD | GET INUIT | GLACIER PACIFIC GULF | HONNE | HOOTON TENNIS CLUB | HYENA | IYES | JAKIL | JAMIE LAWSON | JASMINE THOMPSON JET SETTER | JONNY O’DONNELL | JONNY QUITS | KATE MILLER | KELVIN JONES | KID WAVE | LAKE KOMO | LAUREL | LIVES | LONGFELLOW | LOUIS BERRY | MAN MADE | MARSICANS | MONOGRAM | NEW VINYL | NGOD | OCEAAN | OHBOY! | OLIVER PINDER | ONLY GIRL | OSCA | OSCAR | OSCAR AND THE WOLF | PINKSHINYULTRABLAST | PIXEL FIX | PLASTIC MERMAIDS | POLO | PORT ISLA | PROM PROSE | RACING GLACIERS | RAKETKANON | RAT BOY | REBECCA CLEMENTS | REDFACES | ROBYN SHERWELL | RUPERT STROUD | SAM GRIFFITHS | SAMUEL S.PARKES | SAMUEL FORD | SEA LION | SEAFRET | SHELTER POINT | SKINNY LIVING | SOPHIE JAMIESON | TALOS | TENTERHOOK | THABO AND THE REAL DEAL | THE ACADEMIC | THE AMAZONS | THE BEACH | THE COMPUTERS THE HALF EARTH | THE MAGIC GANG | THE MISPERS | THE MOON | THE ORIELLES | THE RIPTIDE MOVEMENT | THE VRYLL SOCIETY | TIBET | TREASON KINGS TWIN WILD | VANT | VAULTS | VENDETTAS | VITAMIN | WALKING ON CARS | WHILK AND MISKY | WOODEN ARMS | WULF | YURS | ZIBRA
-END-

Tickets and full line-up information: http://www.liveatleeds.com/

Salt Cathedral is a Brooklyn-based experimental pop duo who originally hail from Bogotá, Colombia, Their name references a Roman church built in a Colombian salt mine. The title of their recent EP Oom Velt, on the other hand, is a phonetic corruption of the German word umwelt. Since we don’t sprechen sie Deutsch, we’ll take Salt Cathedral’s word that the term means the “individuality of experience” like how you and I could watch the music video for their previous single “Holy Soul” together but never get the same thing out of it. At the end of the day, we’re all on our own planets, man. Travelling In Paris is taken from Salt Cathedral’s ‘OOM VELT’ EP released 2014

“Holy Soul” has an ethereal, spacious quality with echoing vocal refrains that sound like a ghostly being talking to itself.  The video was inspired by the lyrics “I am a holy soul in a foreign land,” says co-director Bradley Tangonan: “The main character feels like an outsider, both at home and at the country club where he works. In the time he spends at his job, he imagines he belongs in this strange place as a way to escape.”

The Brooklyn-based record label Mexican Summer will celebrate five years in business with a two-day, indoor-outdoor festival featuring label artists, alumni, and friends at Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation in Red Hook. With a lineup that spans from living legends Spiritualized, Ariel Pink to underground mainstays like No Joy, the Fresh & Onlys to promising up-and-comers Happy Jawbone Family Band, Co La .

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We’d expect nothing less from Mexican Summer, which has established itself as one of America’s premier indie labels since beginning as a vinyl-only subscription service spun off from Kemado Records in Autumn 2008. Since then, over the course of almost 200 releases — a mammoth 40 records per year on average — Mexican Summer morphed into a full-fledged label, dropped the vinyl-only policy and released records from some of the most visionary and respected names in underground music, developing a hard-to-define but easy-to-appreciate aesthetic along the way.

They put out pivotal early releases by Washed Out, Real Estate, Kurt Vile, and the Tallest Man On Earth. They’ve done buzzing garage pop with the Soft Pack, droning psych with Peaking Lights and dark synth-pop with Light Asylum. Software, their experimental electronic imprint directed by Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin, has showcased Autre Ne Veut’s blistering art-damaged R&B, Tim Hecker’s masterful ambient freewheeling and the galactic synthscapes of Fuck Buttons side project Blanck Mass. In Best Coast, they helped to launch a legitimate rock star.

It’s all pretty impressive for a company that began as, in co-founder and A&R man Keith Abrahamsson’s own words, a side project. Mexican Summer has surpassed its parent label in terms of cultural cachet and sales figures. It’s the primary focus of business at Kemado and Mexican Summer’s Greenpoint office, which also houses the label’s in-house recording studio, Gary’s Electric, and sits adjacent to the label-run record store Co-Op 87. The intention was never to relegate Kemado to a catalog label and bring Mexican Summer to the forefront, but by following their instincts, Mexican Summer’s founders ended up hitting a lot of other people’s sweet spots along with their own.

best coast

“The records that we were putting out just picked up momentum, and you could just feel that it was what people wanted to talk to us about,” Abrahamsson says. “More and more it became the focus, not just internally but from the outside. That’s what we were in touch with press about more. That’s what the sales were better on. You could feel the shift from all directions. It was pretty undeniable. We all knew it just was what was happening. We didn’t want to fight it.”

Mexican Summer was born during a Brooklyn label renaissance that also included brands such as Woodsist, Captured Tracks, and Sacred Bones. Rather than compete, the companies fed off each other’s creative energy, working with some of the same musicians and even sharing office space at times.

“The neighborhood is full pretty much with the majority of our peers, and each of us seems to be putting out records that have some significance,” Abrahamsson said. “We all work together in some capacity, or we have throughout the years. It’s a good thing.”

The magnetic camaraderie attracted locals and out-of-towners alike. Fresh & Onlys guitarist Wymond Miles should know; despite deep roots in San Francisco’s garage rock scene, his band released records on Woodsist, Captured Tracks, and Sacred Bones before linking up with Mexican Summer for 2012′s “Long Slow Dance” album.

That’s the approach Abrahamsson had in mind when he and Andres Santo-Domingo spun off Mexican Summer from Kemado five years ago. Since its inception in 2002, Kemado had operated under a traditional model that involved signing bands to multi-record deals and rolling out heavily structured long-lead press campaigns. Abrahamsson was starting to feel constricted by that business model and was looking for a way to merge his omnivorous music geek tendencies with his work.

“I think the whole idea of Mexican Summer really just came because I wanted to try to develop artists in a different way,” Abrahamsson says. “I think there are a lot of records that I was buying or records that were being released maybe out of a bedroom, you know? People that were just putting records out, whether it be a single or a 12-inch or whatever kind of format, and it just felt a little bit less — I don’t know, like maybe less structure and less pressure? And it felt like a good way to develop bands.”

Running the label on personal taste went hand in hand with basing it on personal relationships. Jasamine White-Gluz of Montreal shoegazers No Joy noted Mexican Summer’s “family environment,” while Tamaryn and Ariel Pink collaborator Jorge Elbrecht, who lives right down the street, says he was drawn to the label by his friendship with the staff and respect for their taste. (Elbrecht’s former project, Lansing-Dreiden, recorded for Kemado.) 

“It’s a boring answer, but the criteria really is only that we’re passionate about the music — and also the people behind the music, Abrahamsson offers. “Those two things, they have to click for us to feel really behind the project… There is a sound or an aesthetic that exists, but I leave that to people’s imagination a little bit more.”

The result is a record label whose artists feel supported but not smothered by a staff that’s hands-on in the best way. Miles said Abrahamsson requests to hear every Fresh & Onlys demo because he’s so stoked on the band, yet the band is more likely to turn to him for advice than he is to issue imperatives about taking the music a certain direction. It all sounds less like subjection to helicopter parenting than recording for the president of your fan club.

“They’re the best,” No Joy’s White-Gluz says. ”We’ve never worked with a label before, but in your head, you think labels are these people that tell you what to do or kind of like the bad cop to give you deadlines or whatever… For this latest record we got to record at Gary’s Electric, which is the studio in their building, and it was like the best creative experience we’ve ever had.

Having Gary’s Electric available in-house to record projects increases the sense of connection between artist and label; it allows the entire process of creating and selling a record to happen under one roof. (It also doesn’t hurt as an income stream when non-label artists rent it out.) Abrahamsson, Elbrecht, and White-Gluz all rave about the low-pressure, creativity-inducing environment.

Elbrecht in particular was enthused about the results when he and Ariel Pink recorded their well-received 2013 single Hang On To Life at Gary’s Electric: “That thing was a pretty magical experience because it was written, recorded and mixed within a weekend, and I just love the way it sounds. We didn’t fuck over it too much, and I just think it was a good lesson for me because of the ease of execution and how happy everyone is with it.

If this all sounds like the platonic ideal of an independent record label, well, yeah. It is. It’s exactly how this whole “indie” thing is supposed to work, and in the case of Mexican Summer, it absolutely has worked.

There is also a commemorative hardcover book coming this December, a limited edition of 1,000 at Co-Op 87 and online. Mexican Summer: Five Years reflects the kind of enthusiasm and creative care that the label has become known for: 250 pages, bound with an embossed cloth cover, with screen-printed craft paper wrap and three interior paper stocks. Most characteristically, the book includes a 10-inch record full of music that won’t be available digitally, including collaborations from Bay Of Pigs (Spiritualized, Soldiers Of Fortune, and Neil Hagerty), Jorge Elbrose (Jorge Elbrecht and Ariel Pink), Autre Ne Veut and Fennesz, Bobb Trimble and Quilt, and the Lonely Sailor and Renée Mendoza Haran (members of Total Control, Lace Curtain, and Ashrae Fax). It’s an ideal artifact for a company that continues to thrive on carefully curated quality, personal interaction and boundless enthusiasm for music.

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 After their second album release UK indie rock band  Dry the River  are touring the UK with the new album, “Alarms in the Heart”, came out in the mid summer of last year, Jake Dypka’s  has filmed a short 10 minute documentary of the weird and wonderful time making the new record in Iceland.
Its a brilliant video. Really captures how much effort the band have put into this record. I’m sure the end result will be an astonishing follow-up to Shallow Bed. I love that the band showed us what the creative process was like, the beautiful and challenging parts of it, captured in such mesmerizing places.
Really interesting to hear the behind the scenes efforts that’s gone into the album, so excited to hear it! Especially love the sound of the song at the end!.
Leading up to the album’s release, the group has made available a gorgeously shot making-of mini documentary that covers the band’s recording of the LP. Particularly stunning are the pristine vistas of Iceland, where Dry the River recorded much of the LP.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yArnr5xg6ko
Peter Liddle, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, talks more about the recording of “Alarms in the Heart”: “Recording in Iceland was about shutting ourselves off from our daily lives and our heavy touring schedule to rediscover what Dry the River as a band means to us. We suspected it would be some kind of otherworldly experience, and it was: beautiful and alien, lonely and taxing but ultimately rewarding. The end product,Alarms in the Heart, is so heavily engrained with that process, that strange location and the experience of being there, that you have to take the two together. We took our old friend Jake Dypka to open a window on to the story, and this ten minute documentary is the result.”

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Selected as one of the ’10 faces to watch in 2015′ by The Independent, Jinnwoois the most singular new folk talent i’ve heard in some time, His gothic folk-croak is a confessional reel unspooling from his innards, a tale of circling doom” A rising talent in the folk world, Jinnwoo has been setting hearts ablaze with his off-kilter guitarisms and distinct, emotive vocals.
Leicester’s best kept secret Jinnwoo sneaks unassumingly into view, unleashing a voice awash with waves of sorrow. His acoustic, dark–edged folk speaks directly to that part of us all which has sat forlornly on dirty doorsteps after the pubs close, trying desperately to put feelings into words.” Its a strikingly potent track full of emotion and a stripped back grace that feels completely alien to everything else around at the moment. It’s rustic and aged in influence, Sombre but beautiful.