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.
We’re super excited to let you know that Slumberland will be releasing the new album from Philadelphia pop band Literature next month. It’s sparkling, classic indie-pop will sit comfortably next to your Orange Juice, Close Lobsters and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart records. The tunes on “Chorus” are timeless, immediate and well-crafted, each song exploding with energy, clever lyrics and brilliant instrumental detail. Every song on here could be a single; it’s that stacked.
The album is out August 19th, but you can pre-order it now. Mail order copies of the LP are on pink+purple splatter vinyl while supplies last, and there’s also an optional bundle that includes a copy of their great first album “Arab Spring.” The iTunes pre-order includes an immediate download of the album’s first single “The English Softhearts,” which you can listen to below.
"There was absolutely no way that bands like the Bags, Germs or Screamers would have been signed to a major label. I still don’t hear anything quite as confrontational as “We Will Bury You” or “Richie Dagger’s Crime” on the radio, no matter what people say about punk being mainstream nowadays. One thing that will never come into fashion is challenging the expectations of the average consumer.”
Our Slumberland Record of the Day is the sole album from FRANKIE ROSEwith her band The Outs. Fantastic garagey pop with echoes of Shop Assistants, The Aislers Set and some rather Opal-esque moments of moodiness. Great tunes throughout, including a very nice Arthur Russell cover.
Happy birthday to the great composer Terry Riley. Is it safe to call this dude an American hero? Yes, I think it is. Here’s the deal with this very early Riley set:
"From a concert recording made in 1963 and not commercially available, Terry Riley performs his ‘Two Piano Pieces.’ Well known for his seminal minimal, or repetitive music, compositions including “In C,” as well as for his association with the master Indian singer Pandit Pran Nath, Terry Riley is also a virtuosic keyboard player, who supported his composting activities by performing at local piano bars. All these qualities are evident in this short, delightful, and rare recording."
[Yes, it does say “composting” over on the Archive. They probably meant “composing.” But I wouldn’t be surprised if Terry was doing some composting as well.]
Our sibling label Future Perfect has a new Hard Left single out today. Free download on Bandcamp, limited lathe cut 7” on the way. One banging original and a rather rambunctious cover of Rich Kids’ classic “Ghosts of Princes In Tower” on the flip. If you like your punk political, or your politics with a rousing helping of terrace shout-alongs, then tune in.
Happy Friday! You can now pre-order the LP/CD/digital of the new album fromThe Proper Ornaments. CD and digital are out July 8th, and we’ll start shipping CD orders next week. The LP is running a few weeks behind, but you’ll want to stake a claim on one of the limited edition red vinyl copies ASAP. It’s a marvelous album that slots right in with VU, Darklands-era Mary Chain, Love, Felt, etc.
We’re super excited to be releasing the new album from The Proper Ornaments here in the US. CD and digital will be out on July 8th, but production issues have delayed the vinyl LP for an unspecified amount of time. Oops. We’ll have pre-orders for all formats up soon. In the meantime, cock an ear to the GREAT new single “Magazine.” Such a good record.