Slumberland Records is having a phenomenal renaissance right now.
They've been releasing fantastic music for yonks (since 1989 or thereabouts). Inspired by the likes of Postcard, él, Fast Product, Sarah and early Creation, the label took C-86 (and its never-been-equalled mix of twee, lo-fi jangle and angular noise) as a jumping-off point for a musical aesthetic that's remained remarkably steadfast. Some 20 years and 80 releases later, the fickle public seems to have caught up with them at last. 'Bout time, I say.
Today, their stellar roster includes shoegaze babies Pains of Being Pure at Heart, young Glaswegian whippersnappers Bricolage, the Shangri-Las-by-way-of-Kleenex known as Liechtenstein, and latest signings The Champagne Socialists —aka husband-and-wife team of ex-Royal We frontwoman Jihae Simmons Meek and Bricolage frontman Wallace Meek. The first release from this poptastic duo channels the same girl-group-gone-dangerous vibe as early Shangri-Las. "Blue Genes" is a dark and twisted tale of love gone very wrong, sung with heartbreaking optimism. It's got handclaps! Luscious wall of sound percussion! And triple-tracked vocals! Does it get any more perfect?
Liechenstein's short but sweet debut is equally fab, hitting a happy medium amongst rough, tart and sweet. Riding echoes of Heavenly, Comet Gain, the Pastels et al., they effortlessly blend girl-group wistfulness with confectionery pop perfection. (Clearly I've got a thing for hand claps, harmonies and surfy jangle.) My favorite release of the year so far!
But wait! There’s more! (A great Bricolage video to be exact.)
The Champagne Socialists, "Blue Genes" (Slumberland 7”, 2009)
Liechtenstein, "Roses in the Park"(from Survival Strategies in the Modern World, Slumberland, 2009)
LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND (Windsor McKay)