Slumberland began operations in 1989 as a collective effort consisting of members of DC area bands Velocity Girl, Big Jesus Trash Can/Whorl, Black Tambourine and Powderburns. We were inspired by such musical happenings as C-86, early Creation, Postcard, K, Bus Stop, lower East Side noise, and also the renegade art aesthetics of people like Cage, Burroughs and Duchamp. We were complete musical neophytes but so pumped-up about all the amazing things going on in post-punk independent music that we just had to jump in.
The explosion of punk had left behind a thriving network of 'zines, labels and distributors and we felt that there was room for our noise-loving, pop-obsessed aesthetic. While there were loads of US indie labels releasing a steady stream of 7"s, there wasn't much pop going on. Notable exceptions included Bus Stop, K and Picture Book, and we hoped to join that group and help chisel out some space for melodies amongst the noise.
Early releases from Velocity Girl and Black Tambourine struck a note, and we found like-minded popsters getting in touch from all over the world. As we expanded the label roster and our own horizons, the goal was always to bring you great songs and interesting sounds from a range of styles. And so it continues over twenty years later and 150+ releases later. We still get excited about listening to and sharing new music, and hope to be delivering sublime slabs of pop beauty for many years to come.
Here’s a release that we’ve been itching to tell you about.Devon Williams crafts some of the best pop out there, and we’re *super* excited to announce the upcoming release of his new album “Gilding The Lily” on June 3. Check out the first single “Flowers” on Stereogum.
Today’s SLR release of the day is none other than The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's classic debut album. A perfect distillation of everything that's great about indiepop, this album is rightly considered a classic. The band has a GREAT new album called “Days of Abandon” coming out June 3rd, so we thought this was a perfect time to revisit this gem. Just re-pressed on LP, and also available in a CD bundle with the equally fine “Higher Than The Stars” EP.
Today’s SLR Record of The Day is Summer Cats’ fantastic “Songs For Tuesdays.” Released in July 2009, this was the sole LP from this fine Australian pop group that specialized in upbeat, fuzzy pop with way above-average tunes and a real ear for guitar/organ racket. Perfect summertime listening, and on sale for a few days. Probably some of the niftiest color vinyl we’ve seen, too.
Been dying for a chance to see Tony Molina bring his shredding power-pop live? Now’s your chance - Tony and his band will be touring coast-to-coast supporting Against Me! Don’t miss it.
05/01 Charlotte, NC — Amos Southend * 05/02 Baltimore, MD — Rams Head Live! * 05/03 New York, NY — Webster Hall * 05/04 Poughkeepsie, NY — The Chance Theater * 05/05 Boston, MA — Royale * 05/06 Philadelphia, PA — The Trocadero * 05/07 Northampton, MA — Pearl Street Nightclub * 05/09 Clifton Park, NY — Upstate Concert Hall * 05/10 Rochester, NY — Water Street Music Hall * 05/11 Detroit, MI — St. Andrews Hall * 05/13 Columbus, OH — Newport Music Hall * 05/14 Milwaukee, WI — The Rave * 05/15 Bloomington, IL — The Castle Theatre * 05/18 Lawrence, KS — The Granada Theatre * 05/20 Tucson, AZ — The Rock * 05/21 Mesa, AZ — Nile Theater * 05/23 San Diego, CA — House of Blues * 05/24 Los Angeles, CA — The Roxy * 05/25 Los Angeles, CA — The Roxy * 05/27 Ventura, CA — Majestic Ventura Theater *
The new Black Hearted Brother EP is out today, featuring a an edited version of the title tune, an exclusive non-LP track, and marvelous remixes from Ricardo Tobar and Ultramarine. A fine companion to their superb debut album “Stars Are Our Home.”
New Gods is not Dan Wilson’s attempt to riff on assorted Jack Kirby-created superheroes, but it’s no slouch for scope. It follows 2011’s Good News, and if these titles suggest to you that Wilson has grand themes on the brain, you’d be spot-on. The man has a knack for memorably catchy melodies, some of which border on the archetypal. But there’s also a jarring bitterness in some of these songs: a beautifully played accordion in the background on one hand, a misanthropic turn of phrase on the other. Some of this might be due to Wilson’s background: he didn’t start making music until the age of 30, and that leads to an interesting approach.
He sounds both weary and willing to try anything, to blend cultures high and low, and bring it all together with as much vigor as one can imagine, making up for lost time.