Tag Archives: Slumberland

Top Albums and Songs of 2015 (Sam List)

31 Dec

Inspired by Todd and a really great year for music, I’m coming out of hibernation with my tops of 2015…

Top Albums

Jamie xx In Colour (Young Turks)
I figured this collection of dancefloor etudes wouldn’t hold up to repeat listens but here I am, on the last day of the year, still unable to shake the hooks from my head.

Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment Surf (self-released)
A remarkably eclectic and powerful album. The fact you don’t see any of the guest stars credited in song titles tells you everything you need to know about how this “experiment” fared.

Protomartyr The Agent Intellect (Hardly Art)
Riveting post-punk from Detroit; kinda like Interpol without the pretense.

Young Guv Ripe 4 Luv (Slumberland)
Ben Cook set out to satirize bands like Cheap Trick, Big Star, Marshall Crenshaw, etc. only to end up creating a completely epic power pop album of his own.

Jose Gonzalez Vestiges and Claws (Mute)
I respect Jose’s absolute commitment to the whispery folk formula that made him famous, especially when it produces a gorgeous album like this one.

Sufjan Stevens Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty)
Like Jose, Sufjan keeps doing his thing and it keeps getting better.

Thundercat The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam (Brainfeeder)
Yearning, confident, proggy, funky – like nothing else out there.

Colleen Captain of None (Thrill Jockey)
An art album that plays like a pop record.

Kamasi Washington The Epic (Brainfeeder)
I may be the only so-called music snob who thought Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly was just okay (or is that just me being extra snobby?) – but if the Kendrick Lamar phenomenon means former studio musicians like Kamasi see more sunshine, I’m all about it.

Beirut No No No (4AD)
Even a B+ record from Beirut will make my top 10.

Top Songs

Young Fathers “Shame” (Big Dada)
Nosaj Thing feat Chance the Rapper “Cold Stares” (Innovative Leisure/Timetable)
Baio “Sister of Pearl” (Glassnote)
The Arcs “Stay In My Corner” (Nonesuch)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” (Jajaguwar)
Lonelady “Groove It Out” (Warp)
Bicep “Just” (K7)
Swervedriver “Last Rites” (Cobraside)
Spectres “Where Flies Sleep” (Sonic Cathedral)
Beliefs “Tidal Wave” (Hand Drawn Dracula)
Low “What Part of Me” (Sub Pop)
Helen “Motorcycle” (kranky)
Four Tet “Morning Side” (Text)
William Alexander “Strangest Things” (Yellow K)
Open Mike Eagle feat MC Paul Barman & Milo “Trickeration” (Mello Music)

Top 25 Albums of 2015 (ToddS List)

31 Dec

25. Leggy – Nice Try EP [self]

24. Library Voices – Lovish [nevado]

23. Faith No More – Sol Invictus [reclamation]

22. Say Hi – Bleeders Digest [barsuk]

21. Giggly Boys – Bastards of Young [self]

20. The Diamond Center – Crystals of the Brass Empire [funny / not funny]

19. Gun Outfit – Dream All Over [paradise of bachelors]

18. Woolen Men – Temporary Monument [woodsist]

17. Expert Alterations – You Can’t Always Be Liked [kanine]

15. Albino Father – II [self]

14. Mikal Cronin – MCIII [merge]

13. Kurt Vile – b’lieve i’m goin down… [matador]

12. King Gizzard and the Lizzard Wizard - Paper Mâché Dream Balloon [ato]

11. L’Orange & Kool Keith – Time? Astonishing! [mello music]

10. Ultimate Painting – Green Lanes [trouble in mind]

9. Wand – Golem [in the red]

8. Young Guv – Ripe 4 Luv [slumberland]

7. Moon Duo – Shadow of the Sun [sacred bones]

6. Lazy Knuckles – Bucolic [gold robot]

5. Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeted At Last [castle face]

4. Danny James Etc. – Pear [burger]

3. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear [sub pop]

2. Destroyer – Poison Season [merge]

1. The Butterscotch Cathedral – S/T [trouble in mind]

The Mantles

3 Nov

San Francisco’s The Mantles are back with their newest pop masterpiece, All Odds End. Check out the throbbing bass lines and jangling guitars of “Hate To See You Go” (below) it’s a great example of the album’s psych-pop goodness.

All Odds End is out now and available via Slumberland Records. This album belongs in your collection. Enjoy.

The Mantles – Hate To See You Go from All Odds End (2015)

The Mantles FB

Best of 2013 (Todd’s List)

1 Jan

2013 was a great year for music. Below are my top 20 albums of 2013 and mix of my favorite songs from those albums. Happy new year!

20. BOOM! – Get A Grip (Burger)
19. Dim Peaks – Time of Joy (Gold Robot)
18. The Limiñanas – Costa Blanca (Trouble In Mind)
17. Lloyd Cole – Standards (Tapete)
16. Bill Callahan – Dream River (Drag City)
15. RUMTUM – Mystic Wonders (1320)
14. Crocodiles – Crimes of Passion (Frenchkiss)
13. The Go – Fiesta (Burger)
12. Johnny Marr – The Messenger (Sire)
11. Mikal Cronin – MCII (Merge)

10. Gap Dream – Shine Your Light (Burger)
9. Veronica Falls – Waiting For Something To Happen (Slumberland)
8. Eleanor Friedberger – Personal Record (Merge)
7. Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities (Trouble In Mind)
6. Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Daze (Matador)
5. Yo La Tengo – Fade (Matador)
4. Wooden Shjips – Back To Land (Thrill Jockey)
3. Monster Rally – Return To Paradise (Gold Robot)
2. Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin (Castle Face)
1. Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic (Jagjaguwar)

Best of 2013 from simco1974 on 8tracks Radio.

Veronica Falls

28 Jan

It’s embarrassing to tell you how much I love this band. It’s embarrassing to admit that I listen to this band over and over and over and over again. I admit that I completely give up my critical faculties when I listen to Veronica Falls. Pure bliss! The melodies! The harmonies! The boy/girl vocals! My son, who just got his driver license and with whom I now share a car, had to eject their album out of my CD player’s cold…dead…slot. Speaking of death and coldness, this band has a reputation for being into death and dark and cold, but au contraire! All I can do when I listen to Veronica Falls is dance around, strum my air guitar, and sing my lungs out. Sure, the opening track to their first album is called “Found Love in a Graveyard” and the follow-up track’s refrain is “Take your hands off me,” but graveyards can be cheery places if you’re dancing on someone’s grave to the right soundtrack and you can always ask your dance partner to remove their mitts politely, respectively.

And besides, on their new album they ditched the dour song titles and replaced them with names like “Shooting Star” and “My Heart Beats” so you can tell your parents your new favorite band sings songs about hope and life (just don’t tell them about “Buried Alive”). I love Veronica Falls so much I don’t even miss Velocity Girl and if you know me, that’s saying something. And guess what else? This is the quickest post I’ve ever written because I can’t even think straight when I hear Veronica Falls and this all comes gushing out and I can’t wait for their tour and even though they’re currently in Europe (they’re from the UK) VERONICA FALLS IS COMING!!! [pace Will Farrell as Elf when he hears the news that Santa's coming to town] and I’m gonna stop typing and go buy my tick—

Veronica Falls – Teenage [MP3 via Boing Boing/Soundcloud]



8 Jul

This track has become a staple on the ol’ show lately, and I was about to mention how well they sound after The Raveonettes. Good thing I did a bit of fact checking, because in fact the only bands that have preceded them are Ratatat, Sonic Youth, and CSS. Being from Sweden, Liechtenstein probably don’t want to be compared to those aforementioned Danes, but I didn’t make that comparison. Liechtenstein play sugar-free, bubblegum bedroom pop: not too sweet, but instantly endearing. No nonsense. No frills. Just charming vocal harmonies and a steady beat, all sounding like it’s coming from the garage of the girl next door.


The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

12 Jan

Slumberland is putting out some great pop these days from New York bands. Recent releases from Crystal Stilts and Cause Co-Motion! will be followed up this month with the self-titled debut from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. POBPAH continue the Slumberland tradition of fine noise-pop, in the mode of Velocity Girl, the Ropers, Black Tambourine, with boy/girl harmonies, choice bits of fuzz and jangle, and crisp drums, all wrapped together by clever songwriting. Said debut album will be out February 10th, in the middle of their East Coast tour.


Crystal Stilts

3 Nov

The perfect companion to last week’s post on Cause Co-Motion!, since the two Brooklyn bands are currently touring the West Coast together. (I had planned on seeing them tonight in Oakland, but alas, I’ve got torn knee ligaments.)

The Slumberland page for their new album Alight of Night makes reference to a whole slew of bands: Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators, Red Crayola, the Gun Club, the Mary Chain, and also bands from Flying Nun, Rough Trade, and Factory Records. I’d also throw in early Walkmen and the Recoys. Feel free to add your own.


Cause Co-Motion!

27 Oct

Only one minute and thirty four seconds for you today, but it’s brilliant DIY pop from Brooklyn’s Cause Co-Motion! (or alternately caUSE Co-MOTION!) doing their take on the early Television Personalities, or what the Buzzcocks would have sounded like if they had formed in the USA in the heyday of 50′s sock hop. It’s Time!, a 14 song singles compilation is out on tomorrow on Slumberland, and they’re also starting a West Coast tour with Slumberland’s the Crystal Stilts this week.


The Lodger

20 May

Has it really been a year since The Lodger released their first album Grown-Ups? Here they are again with their new LP Life is Sweet, not even twelve months later, turning it up a notch with crisp production to further refine their Yorkshire pop sensibilities. Let’s just hope that they can keep up this pace!

Original Post 6/17/2007:
I’m starting to worry. Maybe cause it was my birthday recently I’m getting all nostalgic. Yes, I know things go in cycles, and the past few years of music have been heavily borrowing from the 80′s, but that was my decade. I would hold a tape recorder up to the radio to record Wang Cheung. I bought Tears for Fears on tape, Joy Division on vinyl, the Smiths on CD, Camper van Beathoven on a t-shirt, and the Cure on a poster. I saw the Descendents live and Dance Craze and Athens, Ga, Inside/Out on VHS. The 80′s were good to me. But it’s the next cycle that’s starting to worry me. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen the kids starting to sport long stringy hair and flannel shirts. We’re on a fine line between the next “scene” going hippie or retro Pearl Jam. Let’s just get it out of the way before my kids hit their teenage years.

The Lodger and their fine Yorkshire guitar pop, though, ain’t going down without a fight. While influenced and even motivated by the songwriting of such guitar pop stalwarts as the Wedding Present and the Housemartins, this Leeds band’s debut album Grown-ups, adds their own personal touch and a host of modern sensibilities, like crisp melodies, high-energy honesty and reverb-free drums, all evidenced in the outstanding “Let Her Go.” Just what an old fella needs to feel young again.