Label Spotlight: Slumberland Records
What's a better way to kick off our Record Label Spotlights for 2009 than with a label that is celebrating their 20-year anniversary? I know! I can't think of anything either. Thus, I now present to you the BetterPropaganda Slumberland label spotlight.
In honor of full disclosure and with the full acknowledgement that I may be losing any kind of music-cred I had, I have to admit that until last year I didn't really know that Slumberland existed. That's not to say I haven't heard of say, Velocity Girl, Stereolab, the Lilys, or the Swirlies, bands I've loved long before my college radio djing days, and have only deepened since then. They are also all bands with releases on Slumberland. Slumberland began in 1989 as a collective response to an explosive hardcore punk scene, with little in the way of a pop-spin to it (other than main inspiration K Records), so members of DC area bands Velocity Girl, Black Tambourine, Big Jesus Trash Can/Whorl, and Powderburns stepped up to fill that void.
Over the years and up until 2001 Slumberland released a steady stream of dreamy shoegaze and punchy-pop 7"s from Stereolab, Velocity Girl, the Swirlies, Boyracer, Tiger Trap, and Go Sailor--to name a few. The label went on a bit of a hiatus in 2001 as now-sole owner Mike "Slumberland" Schulman moved the label out to Northern California (it is now based out of Oakland). The label rebooted in 2006 and has been gaining momentum ever since. In 2006 the label began resurfacing and garnering a new dedicated base of fans, and 2008 saw a definite resurgance of fans with stellar releases from Leed's pop rockers The Lodger, Jesus and Mary Chain descendents, Crystal Stilts and lo-fi crunchy-pop Brooklynites Cause Co-Motion. 2009 is also starting strong with one of my favorite recent obsessions, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Their self-titled debut full-length is Smiths without the whining, My Bloody Valentine without being a pretentious knock-off, and is just well... pure at heart! Cue rim shot.
When the label seemed to drift off into slumberland (har har) in 2003, many thought that was the end of it. Luckily for us who recently stumbled upon the gem of a label, that proved to be false. Make sure to check out www.slumberlandrecords.com for some pretty kick-ass podcasts too!
- Nicole Coxe
Click through the artists at the right and download each individual mp3 or stream them all below. Enjoy!
[ play ] Play our Slumberland sampler