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2018 Recap

We all know 2018 was something else, but at least we have music to assuage the pains and anxieties of our current moment. Since we put out 16 records this year, not including a healthy dose of reissues, we wanted to recap it all for you in as succinct a manner as possible.

If life is too hectic, throw on the sampler and see what strikes your fascinations. Stylistically, our year covered a lot of ground, so if none of the names below ring familiar to you, it's a great collection to get yourself acquainted with this year's repertoire, and our roster in general.

As always, thank you for listening and thank you for supporting our label and the artists we work with.


2018 Sampler

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | tidal

recommended for the musically curious

what to expect: an eclectic, hand-picked selection of songs from each one of our 2018 titles


Ratboys - GL

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Soccer Mommy, Diet Cig, Hop Along, Big Thief, Andy Shauf

what to expect: indie rock embellished with country charm and twang


Giraffes? Giraffes! - Memory Lame

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Hella, Tera Melos, LITE, Don Caballero, Battles

what to expect: hectic, scatterbrained math-rock bursting with psychedelic tendencies and unforeseeable turns


Gulfer - Dog Bless

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Bear Vs. Shark, Cap’n Jazz, Crash of Rhinos, Algernon Cadwallader, Tiny Moving Parts

what to expect: raucous anthems that exude punkish quintessence through crafty, inventive songwriting


Thanya Iyer - Do You Dream? Mixtape

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Lomelda, Emily Yacina, Helena Deland, Bernice

what to expect: eclectic intersections of indie pop, electronic, and jazz which weave peculiarly gorgeous stories


Queen of Jeans - Dig Yourself
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Warpaint, SALES, Jay Som, The Duke Spirit, The Ronettes

what to expect: elegantly retrofitted indie pop with ethereally layered vocals


Clearance - At Your Leisure

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Pavement, Guided by Voices, Parquet Courts, Nap Eyes, Ought, Yo La Tengo, The Feelies, REM, Wire, The Kinks

what to expect: jangly indie rock fronted by reflective sprechgesang, rounded at the edges with clever pop songwriting


tricot - potage / On the boom
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Cibo Matto, Marnie Stern, TTNG, Metric

what to expect: a satisfying quick fix featuring two of the band’s more poppier songs to date


Pema - Bad Habits
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Nadine, Alex Napping, Men I Trust, Half Waif

what to expect: electronic pop that shimmers with unique production and enchanting vocals


gobbinjr - ocala wick
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: The Blow, Mirah, Of Montreal, Snail Mail, IAN SWEET, Adult Mom

what to expect: upbeat and whimsical indie pop built on earwormy, hazy melodies


mouse on the keys - tres
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: CHON, Cornelius, toe, Tortoise, The Mercury Program

what to expect: unpredictable, beautiful, and solemn compositions that pry open and rearrange the seams of jazz


El Ten Eleven - Banker's Hill
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Tycho, The Album Leaf, Battles, The Mercury Program, Lymbyc Systym

what to expect: driving yet meditative post-rock with curious and explorative guitar looping


Another Michael - Land
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Stephen Steinbrink, Jodi, Friendship, Russel the Leaf

what to expect: subdued indie pop with infectious vocals and crispy production



toe - Our Latest Number

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: The Album Leaf, The Mercury Program, Pele, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Mono, Don Caballero, Battles

what to expect: toe, but on the more restrained, introspective end of their wildly broad spectrum


Doe - Grow into It

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: The Breeders, Rozwell Kid, Weezer, Speedy Ortiz, The Sidekicks, Charly Bliss, Swearin’, Great Grandpa, Hatchie

what to expect: assertive indie rock hooks and riffs that brim with crunchy tact


LITE - Blizzard

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Tera Melos, Hella, Pele, Don Caballero, Battles, mouse on the keys

what to expect: the classic, tight noodling and controlled explosiveness that this band is all about


Elephant Gym - Underwater

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: American Football, toe, tricot, Chon, TTNG, Yvette Young

what to expect: deft and immersive math-rock featuring a host of international vocalists

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#another michael
#clearance
#doe
#elephant gym
#el ten eleven
#giraffes? giraffes!
#gobbinjr
#gulfer
#lite
#mouse on the keys
#pema
#queen of jeans
#ratboys
#thanya iyer
#toe
#tricot
 
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New Music from Elephant Gym, Annual Label Sampler & Holiday Sale

Greetings! It is about that time, people. We've got a few deals going to help you with your holiday shopping (much more on that below). Now's probably also a good time to recap you on what we've put out this year, incase you've missed anything. We've also got Elephant Gym's new album Underwater available for purchase—details on all of that below.

This year's been awesome—I'm so psyched on the diverse titles and exciting group of artists we've gotten to partner with in 2018. For a quick glimpse of everything we had our hands in this year check out our discography page, or just peep our label sampler that features a track from every artist we released music for in 2018:

Oh yeah, the sale!

  • Take 20% everything in our shop with the code HOUSEKEEPING (excludes pre-order items)
  • Take an additional 15% off everything in our sale section (prices already marked down)
  • Our Bandcamp subscription is temporarily lowered to just $6 a month—get everything we release instantly digitally delivered to you, plus bonus downloads and behind-the-scenes updates all while supporting us and our roster in an ongoing, sustainable way!
  • we've re-stocked crewnecks, beanies, hats and shirts
  • For every $50 you spend in our shop, get a free random test press with your order
  • All digital items on our Bandcamp are 50% off (use the code HOUSEKEEPING)
  • Lastly, if you're shopping for someone and not sure what to get them, we have gift cards

A few notes and clarifications: The 50% off Bandcamp code *will* work on physical merch. We won't honor that though. Please do not try to buy physical merch with this code—YOU WILL BE REFUNDED and we will cancel your order if you do this. It is intended for digital items only. Thanks!

To redeem your free test press for every $50 spent, you must add this item to your cart.

In other news, you can finally listen to the new Elephant Gym album Underwater! It'll be on streaming platforms December 7th, but until then, you can stream or download it from Bandcamp (psst you'd already have it if you were subscribed!) or simply add it to your cart here on our shop.

That's it for now—thanks so much for your continued interest and support! <3

View tricot merch»
Listen to tricot»
View tricot tour dates»

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misc

#another michael
#bellows
#clearance
#doe
#elephant gym
#el ten eleven
#giraffes? giraffes!
#gobbinjr
#gulfer
#lite
#mouse on the keys
#pema
#queen of jeans
#ratboys
#special explosion
#thanya iyer
#toe
#tricot
 
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LITE // Blizzard

Blizzard, the latest from LITE, is a 7" single that indulges in the band's renowned style of cinematic, melodically rampant math rock. Side A explores a host of stylistic influences, with skittering call-and-response guitars building over an electronic drum loop into a shimmering climax that consumes the listener like a blizzard. B side, "Zone," returns to the signature urgency of LITE, crashing straight into a breakneck, noodling ostinato that perfectly captures the group's rambunctious yet controlled style of composition.

LITE will bring their cerebral sounds to both the UK and US this fall and winter, starting next week in Bristol. In December, they will support Chon on a small run of shows along both the east and west coasts.

Listen to Blizzard today on your favorite platform, here.

Order the Blizzard 7" today here. Available in bone and opaque purple variants.

UK tour dates:

  • October 08, 2018 - Bristol, UK @ Exchange
  • October 09, 2018 - Manchester, UK @ The Ruby Lounge
  • October 10, 2018 - Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
  • October 11, 2018 - Belfast, UK @ Foundry
  • October 12, 2018 - Dublin, Ireland @ Bello Bar
  • October 13, 2018 - Sheffield, UK @ The Foundry Sheffield
  • October 14, 2018 - London, UK @ The Garage

US tour dates with Chon:

  • December 05, 2018 - Boston, MA @ Sinclair
  • December 07, 2018 - Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
  • December 08, 2018 - Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes
  • December 14, 2018 - Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone
  • December 15, 2018 - Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
  • December 16, 2018 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom

Tickets for these shows can be found here.

Art by Yoshiaki Miura

View LITE merch»
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View LITE tour dates»

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#lite
 
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Doe // Grow into It

Today marks the full release of Doe's, Grow into It. This London trio's second album explores themes of aging and growth through the lens of crunchy, punk-infused indie rock. Speaking on those central aspects of the record, singer and guitarist Nicola Leel explains that “lyrically, I wanted to write an album about getting older that was an antithesis of the overdone trope of male bands singing about rejecting adulthood and wanting to stay young and get wasted with their friends forever. Instead, Grow into It is about finding light and freedom in age and finding autonomy in death."

"Vivid body imagery is a recurring lyrical theme, not only to evoke ideas of physical change / deterioration, but as a metaphor for the development and deterioration of personal relationships as you grow and gain perspective.

The subject matter across the songs ranges from deciding you’re not going to accommodate others at your own personal expense anymore (Labour like I Do, Team Spirit), to realising your favourite author is a bit shit at writing women (Even Fiction)."

The catchy and raucous riff-pop of Doe is a perfect fit for fans of groups like The Breeders, Rozwell Kid, Weezer, Speedy Ortiz, Tancred, The Sidekicks, Charly Bliss, Swearin', Great Grandpa, and Hatchie.

Check out the record today on your favorite platform, just over here. Fans of physical media can order the record on vinyl, CD, or cassette over here.

The band will be on tour for most of October, closing out the month with a handful of shows in support of Speedy Ortiz. Scope the dates below and mark your calendars accordingly.

Tour dates:

  • October 1, 2018 - London, UK @ Flashback East
  • October 2, 2018 - Lille, FR @ Bobble Cafe
  • October 3, 2018 - Germany @ TBC
  • October 4, 2018 - Schaffhausen, CH @ Cardinal
  • October 5, 2018 - Prague, CZ @ 007 Klub
  • October 6, 2018 - Erlangen, DE @ ZeWi
  • October 7, 2018 - Hanover, DE @ Bei Chez Heinz
  • October 8, 2018 - Diest, BE @ JH Tijl
  • October 17, 2018 - London, UK @ The Garage*
  • October 18, 2018 - Nottingham, UK @ Rough Trade Nottingham*
  • October 19, 2018 - Leeds, UK @ Belgrave Music Hall*
  • October 20, 2018 - Birmingham, UK @ Hare & Hounds*
  • October 22, 2018 - Glasgow, UK @ Stereo*
  • October 23, 2018 - Manchester, UK @ Now Wave Venue*
  • October 24, 2018 - Brighton, UK @ Patterns*
  • October 25, 2018 - Bristol, UK @ The Louisiana*

* with Speedy Ortiz

View Doe merch»
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#doe
 
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Ratboys // GL (8-Bit Version)

Today we're excited to share a surprise Ratboys release with the world! This EP is an 8-bit reimagination of the band's 2018 release, GL. Nostalgic and upbeat, this new arrangement of the band's most recent material is a unique addition to the ever deepening Ratboys repertoire. Impressively, guitarist Dave Sagan made the whole EP on his PSP!

The band is just about to embark on a five day stint in Japan before an early winter tour with Soccer Mommy. Make sure to mark your calendar if they're passing through your town.

Check out the EP today — find it on your favorite platform here.

Japan tour dates:

  • October 11, 2018 - Tokyo, Japan @ Warp
  • October 12, 2018 - Tokyo, Japan @ Nine Spices
  • October 13, 2018 - Osaka, Japan @ Shinsaibashi Live House Pangea
  • October 14, 2018 - Nagoya, Japan @ Sakae Rad Seven
  • October 15, 2018 - Tokyo, Japan @ SHINDAITA FEAVER

Winter dates with Soccer Mommy:

  • November 28, 2018 - Nashville, TN @ The East Room
  • November 29, 2018 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
  • November 30, 2018 - Durham, NC @ The Pinhook
  • December 01, 2018 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat
  • December 02, 2018 - Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
  • December 05, 2018 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • December 06, 2018 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • December 07, 2018 - Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
  • December 08, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church

Art by Dave Sagan

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#ratboys
 
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Special Explosion // New "Gig Gab" Out Now!

A new episode of "Gig Gab" with very special guest Special Explosion is up on the Topshelf 'Tube today! Press play, sit back, and catch up with the Seattle four-piece as we talk recording the new album, touring, Isaac Brock, and the bands they're listening to these days.


Like what you hear? Listen to their latest release To Infinity.

Want even more? Check out Pitchfork's review of the new full-length.

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#special explosion
 
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LITE // New Track, "Zone," and UK Tour

Today we're thrilled to share the latest from the prolific group LITE, with a premiere over at The Line of Best Fit. The track, "Zone," is the B side off the upcoming 7", entitled Blizzard, to be released digitally just ahead of an 8 day jaunt in the UK. You can pre-order the record today, just over here.

Blizzard showcases the band's renowned style of cinematic, melodically rampant math rock. Side A explores a host of stylistic influences, with skittering call-and-response guitars building over an electronic drum loop into a shimmering climax that consumes the listener like a blizzard. B side, "Zone," returns to the signature urgency of LITE, crashing straight into a breakneck, noodling ostinato that perfectly captures the group's cinematic style of composition. Check out the tour dates below.

  • September 13, 2018 - Ebisu, Japan @ Ebisu Liquid Room
  • September 27, 2018 - Shibuya, Japan @ Unknown venue
  • October 08, 2018 - Bristol, UK @ Exchange
  • October 09, 2018 - Manchester, UK @ The Ruby Lounge
  • October 10, 2018 - Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
  • October 11, 2018 - Belfast, UK @ Foundry
  • October 12, 2018 - Dublin, Ireland @ Bello Bar
  • October 13, 2018 - Sheffield, UK @ The Foundry Sheffield
  • October 14, 2018 - London, UK @ The Garage

album art by Yoshiaki Miura

View LITE merch»
Listen to LITE»
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premiere

#lite
 
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Doe // New Single, "Labour like I Do"

Topshelf Records and Big Scary Monsters recently announced the signing of London indie rock trio Doe, who will be releasing their second album, Grow into It, on September 28, 2018. Today we're excited to share the upcoming record's second single, "Labour like I Do," with a premiere on NPR.

"'Labour like I Do' is one of those songs that came flowing out like a stream of consciousness," says singer and guitarist Nicola Leel. "For that reason it’s lyrically one of the more straight up songs on the record, but sometimes it’s cool when you blurt out a bunch of words to music and realise you’ve used songwriting as a form of accidental therapy."

Not only is "Labour like I Do" accidentally therapeutic, but it's also infectiously fun and catchy. On this single, Doe experimented a bit beyond their general formula, deftly incorporating synth and slide guitar to accentuate their crafty indie rock hooks that feature clever, polyphonous vocal work. The catchy hooks trade off dynamically before exploding into an anthemic climax that shows a focused band with an ear for powerfully authentic songwriting.

Check out the video, directed by Andrew Northrop, below.


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#doe
 
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toe // Our Latest Number

Today we are proud to share the latest record from the widely influential toe.

For nearly two decades toe has consistently redefined the limits of experimental rock, and their latest number is no exception. The four songs that comprise Our Latest Number feature the band's signature spellbinding tenets: dextrous, interwoven guitar melodies trickle around clever, unpredictable drumming, with eruptions into syncopated, awe-inspired climaxes. Never relinquishing the electric suspense they're known for, a decidedly more introspective overtone sets the record apart from its predecessors, lending a personal edge to toe's sound that reaches beyond the boundaries set by their previous work.

There's simply a kinetic energy about everything this band does. Our Latest Number shows the band seamlessly shifting between various instrumentations while experimenting with dynamic vocal arrangements and glitchy, looped samples. Their willingness to constantly test the waters of experimentation is a testament to their status as the definitive authors of the subgenres they're commonly associated with.

Long before we ever started working with them, toe was a band that always captivated us. The spectrum of their sound constantly widens while somehow retaining a distinct, precise organic feel. The new EP, Our Latest Number, is out now. Check it out on your preferred music platform, here.

The band will embark on a North American tour this fall. Tour dates can be found here.

Our Latest Number was recorded and mixed by Mino Takaaki, and mastered by Akihiro Shiba.

Album art and layout by Makoto Nii for Dis(ign)


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#toe
 
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El Ten Eleven // Banker's Hill is Available Now!

The day you've all been waiting for – El Ten Eleven's Banker's Hill is out now!!

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with such an exciting and talented band, and we know you're going to love this record. Delve into the 9-song masterpiece anywhere you like to listen to music: http://smarturl.it/BankersHill

Maybe you are more into the classic record-buying experience – we get that and support it! You can also pick up a copy of Banker's Hill from your local brick-and-mortar record shop. The following retailers are carrying it now:

  • All Media Supply
  • Amazon.com
  • Amoeba Music (Hollywood/San Francisco)
  • Boo Boo Records
  • Bull Moose Music
  • CD Central
  • Daddy Kool
  • Dearborn Music
  • Easy Street Records
  • Electric Fetus
  • Everyday Music
  • Fingerprints
  • Gray Whale
  • Guestroom Records
  • Independent Records
  • Luna Music
  • Lunchbox Records
  • Mills Record Company
  • Music Millennium
  • Park Ave. CD's
  • Plan 9
  • Record Exchange
  • Redscroll Records
  • Rolling Stones Record Store
  • Rough Trade Retail
  • Salzer's
  • Scratched Vinyl
  • Shake It
  • Silver Platters
  • Square Records
  • Stiff Slack
  • Stinkweeds
  • The Exclusive Co.
  • Twist & Shout
  • Vertigo
  • Waterloo
  • Zia Enterprises

The band will be heading out on tour next month in celebration of this release, accompanied by Tennis System and RLYR. Grab tickets here.

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#el ten eleven
 
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