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Bellows // The Rose Gardener

The Rose Gardener is the fourth album by Bellows. It was written by Oliver Kalb and recorded in a home studio in Woodstock, NY in early 2018. Listen to the record today on your favorite platform, and check out the tour dates below to see if Bellows is coming through your town. If physical media is your jam, please visit our store to peruse our wares.

Below Kalb explains the processes and circumstances that gave life to the ambitious record, describing a series of reevaluations of relationships and personal values, eventually culminating in a refusal to succumb to the turmoil of our moment.

"A lot of the album is about the idea of judgment: why we’re compelled to judge each other, hate our peers, bring competitiveness to art-making, compare ourselves to others, destroy beautiful things for an ego-boost or a feeling of political purity. The album was written in a period of intense frustration with the world of music and the dumb infighting that dominates it. Especially after the election in 2016, I found myself more and more demoralized with the state of the world. As America sunk deeply into quasi-fascism and normalized day-to-day violence, I began to wonder why our counter-cultures were paralyzed and unable to respond, so wrapped up in the narcissism of small differences that they forgot to fight the actual bad guys.

Somehow the idea of judgment felt crucial to understanding the moment we’re living in. Everyone in society the judge, the rockstar, the lead of his own private TV show, privately declaring judgment and dismissal to anyone standing in his way. I began to feel the loneliness of this moment in history. That although we’re supposedly more connected than we’ve ever been, we’ve become further and further factionalized until each person stands completely alone, unable to forge real connections or bonds, isolated within the internet booth of judgment and narcissistic self-righteousness.

I think the loneliness I see in this moment became the metaphor of The Rose Gardener — a gardener trying to tend to a single rosebush in the dead of winter. I imagined this character and his practice of tending to a rose that seems destined to perish in ice, who recognizes the futility of the work but nevertheless goes out every day to tend to the dying plant. The loneliness of this character felt akin to the feeling of trying to make art in such a loaded and violent moment. How could one possibly try to speak softly in a world filled with such deafening shouting from all sides? But rather than giving up gardening, the Rose Gardener persists — he sticks his hands into the thorny rose bush and tries to see through to what might still lie on the other side: real life."

Tour dates:

  • 3/1 - Albany, NY @ Chateau
  • 3/2 - Kingston, NY @ BSP
  • 3/3 - Boston, MA @ O’Brien’s #
  • 3/7 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
  • 3/8 - Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA #
  • 3/9 - Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong #
  • 3/10 - Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight*
  • 3/11 - Nashville, TN @ DRKMTTR*
  • 3/12 - Little Rock, AR @ White Water Tavern*
  • 3/13 - Austin, TX @ Topshelf Records Official SXSW Showcase @ Cheer Up Charlie’s*
  • 3/14 - Denton, TX @ Andy's Basement
  • 3/16 - Austin, TX @ FRIEND OASIS @ SXSW*
  • 3/17 - New Orleans, LA @ The Starlight*
  • 3/18 - Atlanta, GA @ 529*
  • 3/19 - Durham, NC @ Duke Coffeehouse*
  • 3/20 - Baltimore, MD @ Joe Squared*

# = w/ Shannen Moser

* = w/ Another Michael

designed by Oliver Kalb

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gobbinjr // Spring Tour with Adult Mom

gobbinjr will showcase their ever whimsical, savvy brand of pop throughout the northeast this spring on a short tour with Adult Mom and Long Neck.

  • May 02, 2019 - Woodstock, NY, US @ Colony
  • May 03, 2019 - Rochester, NY, US @ Bug Jar
  • May 04, 2019 - Toronto, ON, Canada @ Monarch Tavern
  • May 06, 2019 - Rollinsford, NH, US @ Sue's
  • May 07, 2019 - Somerville, MA, US @ ONCE Ballroom
  • May 08, 2019 - Middletown, CT, US @ Mac 650 Artist Gallery & Co-op
  • May 09, 2019 - Brooklyn, NY, US @ Park Church Co-op
  • May 10, 2019 - Washington, DC, US @ Songbyrd Music House
  • May 11, 2019 - Pittsburgh, PA, US @ The Mr. Roboto Project

» Find tickets for a gig near you

designed by Daniel Fishel

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First Listen // Bellows - "The Tower"

"The Tower" is the fifth and final single to be shared before the release of The Rose Gardener, the forthcoming full length record by Bellows. Stream it here a day ahead of its full release on all your favorite digital and streaming platforms, and read about the track below.

The Rose Gardener will be released on February 22, 2019.

"'The Tower' is partially based on an interpolation of the song 'WTF' by Gabby's World, the other band I'm in," says Oliver Kalb of the penultimate track from his forthcoming record The Rose Gardener. "Those first lines are about the experience of hearing 'WTF' and having a memory of the power of touring in a band and singing someone else's beautiful songs night after night. In a moment of extreme chaos and conflict in my life, the context and meaning of the song changed for me. It suddenly felt like a rallying cry to stick with music despite it feeling like a hopeless endeavor: 'I will not back down.'"

It suddenly felt like a rallying cry to stick with music despite it feeling like a hopeless endeavor: ‘I will not back down.’

Though not an expert in tarot, Kalb concedes that the title is a reference to the tarot card of the same name. "The Tower in tarot symbolizes upheaval and change; the image on the card is literally a tower being struck by lightning. We build up towers of worldly ambition and narcissistic insistence on our own constructed images of ourselves. These towers of careerist striving, however, are built on faulty foundations – we have to destroy the towers we build up if we really want to change ourselves, or get out of the ruts we're in."

full album pre-order & streaming links // lyrics

Kalb explains further that the triumphant and hopeful song "is a declaration of defiance against a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, the recognition that although everything in my life seemed to be crumbling away, that nevertheless making art and continuing to live my life despite hardship was the most important thing. But that realization came with a caveat: that if I was going to continue with art, I needed to fundamentally change myself, and my relationship to having a life in music. 'Deep in the stars, or wherever you are, I need to find you' – these final lines, sung in the same pitched register as the quotation from 'WTF' are about the universality of music, how hiding somewhere deep in the universe is a primal force we can sometimes tap into to create beauty, and to rise above the pettiness of earthly experience. Art is the only thing that connects us to something higher than ourselves, and I need to live life in search of something greater than me."

The Rose Gardener is out via Topshelf Records on February 22, 2019.

Photograph by Richard Gin

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Ratboys // US Tour with PUP

Our beloved Ratboys will be supporting Canadian punks PUP on their upcoming full US tour, with additional support from a rotation of Diet Cig, Casper Skulls, and Beach Bunny. Tickets are flying fast, so make sure to grab yourself one sooner than later.

  • April 24, 2019 - Rochester, NY, US @ Bug Jar
  • April 25, 2019 - Boston, MA, US @ Royale
  • April 26, 2019 - Brooklyn, NY, US @ Brooklyn Steel
  • April 29, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA, US @ Union Transfer
  • April 30, 2019 - Pittsburgh, PA, US @ Rex Theater
  • May 01, 2019 - Cleveland, OH, US @ Beachland Ballroom
  • May 03, 2019 - Pontiac, MI, US @ The Crofoot Ballroom
  • May 04, 2019 - Chicago, IL, US @ Metro
  • May 05, 2019 - Minneapolis, MN, US @ Fine Line
  • May 08, 2019 - Dallas, TX, US @ Trees
  • May 09, 2019 - Austin, TX, US @ Mohawk
  • May 10, 2019 - Houston, TX, US @ Rockefellers
  • May 11, 2019 - New Orleans, LA, US @ One Eyed Jacks
  • May 13, 2019 - Atlanta, GA, US @ Terminal West
  • May 14, 2019 - Carrboro, NC, US @ Cat's Cradle
  • May 15, 2019 - Asheville, NC, US @ Grey Eagle
  • May 17, 2019 - Washington, DC, US @ Black Cat
  • May 18, 2019 - Boston, MA, US @ Royale
  • May 21, 2019 - Cleveland, OH, US @ Beachland Ballroom
  • May 22, 2019 - Cincinnati, OH, US @ Bogart's Cincinnati
  • May 23, 2019 - Chicago, IL, US @ Metro
  • June 19, 2019 - San Diego, CA, US @ Irenic
  • June 20, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA, US @ Teragram Ballroom
  • June 21, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA, US @ Teragram Ballroom
  • June 22, 2019 - San Francisco, CA, US @ The Fillmore
  • June 24, 2019 - Portland, OR, US @ Wonder Ballroom
  • June 25, 2019 - Seattle, WA, US @ The Showbox
  • June 27, 2019 - Boise, ID, US @ The Olympic Venue
  • June 28, 2019 - Salt Lake City, UT, US @ In The Venue
  • June 29, 2019 - Englewood, CO, US @ Gothic Theatre
  • July 01, 2019 - Santa Fe, NM, US @ Meow Wolf
  • July 02, 2019 - Phoenix, AZ, US @ The Crescent Ballroom
  • July 03, 2019 - Santa Ana, CA, US @ The Observatory

» Find tickets for a gig near you

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Bellows // Album Announce: The Rose Gardener

Today we are proud to share the first two singles from the upcoming record The Rose Gardener by the Brooklyn-based group Bellows, to be released on Topshelf Records on February 22, 2019.

Catch the two music videos premiering today at Stereogum alongside a US tour announcement. As well, don't miss pre-orders for The Rose Gardener, which are now live on our webstore.

Of the two videos, Oliver Kalb (lead force behind Bellows) explains that, "'Denouement' and 'What Can I Tell You About The World?' are the two center-piece songs of the album — I think of them as representing two opposing emotions the album deals with. The first is a bitter, angry song, obsessed with the past and the misdeeds of others. The other is a song about peace, and about trying to live life without passing judgment on everything you see. They’re a duo because neither tells a full story: the world is neither as messed up as it is in 'Denouement' nor as simple and problem-free as 'What Can I Tell You About The World?' but together they form a worldview: feeling out the anger it takes to acknowledge when you’ve hurt, but not allowing it to overwhelm your ability to find happiness where it comes."

Tour Dates:

  • 3/1 - Albany, NY @ Chateau
  • 3/2 - Kingston, NY @ BSP
  • 3/3 - Boston, MA @ O’Brien’s #
  • 3/7 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
  • 3/8 - Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA #
  • 3/9 - Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong #
  • 3/10 - Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight*
  • 3/11 - Nashville, TN @ DRKMTTR*
  • 3/12 - Little Rock, AR @ White Water Tavern*
  • 3/13 - Denton, TX @ J&J’s Pizza*
  • 3/14 - Austin, TX @ Cheer Up Charlie’s*
  • 3/16 - Austin, TX @ Topshelf Unofficial SXSW Day Party*
  • 3/17 - New Orleans, LA @ The Starlight*
  • 3/18 - Atlanta, GA @ 529*
  • 3/19 - Durham, NC @ Duke Coffeehouse*
  • 3/20 - Baltimore, MD @ Joe Squared*

# = w/ Shannen Moser
* = w/ Another Michael

art by Oliver Kalb

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In Film: Topshelf at SXSW 2018

Last March, we had Queen of Jeans, Ratboys, No Vacation, Special Explosion, Gulfer, and Poppies all down in Austin for two awesome parties we hosted. We gave everyone a disposable camera and collected got them all developed afterward. Here's what turned up:

Part 1:

Part 2:

photos by: Danielle Leonard, Kevin Duquette & an impossible to keep track of amount of other people.

This March, we'll have an awesome lineup down in Austin for 2019's SXSW: Elephant Gym are coming all the way from Taiwan for their first ever US tour, Ratboys are jet settin' down from Chicago, Another Michael and Bellows are touring down together from the Northeast, Doe is crossing the pond from the UK again, and Really From are coming down from Boston. INSANE line up! We'll have more details soon—for now, sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of this page to make sure you don't miss anything! <3

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#gulfer
#no vacation
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Elephant Gym // US Tour and Album Pre-Orders

As part of their world tour in support of the release of their second full length, Underwater, the Taiwanese trio Elephant Gym will embark on their first US tour this March, also making their way down to Austin for this year's SXSW festivities. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, January 11, 2019.

The recently released Underwater is an expansive cohesion of diverse songs which flow in and out of one another like water. Vocal cameos by international collaborators provide another compelling dimension to the record, emboldening a group usually known for their instrumental compositions.

The band explains that "Underwater is an idea about a kind of private, mysterious space." It's a place where one may go to ponder or concentrate, to clear one's head, or to just blow off some steam in solitude. So, too, is Underwater fundamentally about immersion: immersion in the chaos of feeling, living in the throes of being human-sized in the infinite expanse of existence. Elephant Gym deftly weaves this universal concept into their signature sound without ever pulling you out of your personal space, leaving you to yourself underwater.

Pre-orders for the physical editions of Underwater are now available via our store.

Tour Dates:

  • January 18, 2019 - Singapore - TBA
  • January 19, 2019 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Live Fact
  • March 7, 2019 - Boston - Middle East (Upstairs)
  • March 10, 2019 - New York - Mercury Lounge
  • March 13-16, 2019 - Austin - SXSW
  • March 18, 2019 - Chicago - Empty Bottle
  • March 20, 2019 - San Diego - Soda Bar
  • March 21, 2019 - Los Angles - El Cid
  • March 22, 2019 - San Francisco - Slim’s

photo by Puzzleman Leung

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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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#mouse on the keys
#pema
#queen of jeans
#ratboys
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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

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

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