There is an immediate and palpable sense of joy that jumps out from Next of Kin, the fifth full-length album from bedroom recording project Bellows. But the record is steeped equally in loss: loss of family, beloved dogs, friendships, romantic love, and most of all loss of selfhood. Backwardly inspired by the wealth of loss, Next of Kin sees songwriter Oliver Kalb discovering a renewed sense of appreciation for life in the face of hardship, freshly emboldened to move through the world with a loosened grip on life: “I’m not its master, I give up the fight, I want no claim”, Kalb writes in “Death of Dog”. more info→
↓ ↓ ↓
↓ ↓ ↓ orderThe majority of the nine slithery songs that comprise supernowhere’s Skinless Takes A Flight were originally cuts that didn’t make their debut Gestalt. But after collectively moving across the country from Burlington, VT to Seattle, WA, the scrapped tracks transformed substantially into florid, at times entrancing compositions. more info →
On music discovery:
When writing about a song or album, the convention is to use the present tense. A piece of music, although representative of and influenced by the era in which it was created, is ultimately always experienced in ~the present~. We built this website while pondering ways that we could, at every turn, focus on discovery by bringing music we released years ago relevantly back into the present, challenging how we collectively talk and think about “new” music. Discovering new music is exciting, but so is discovering music that’s simply
new to you.
It’s our hope that you'll enjoy digitally crate digging through this online home of ours, finding and connecting with the 231 albums we’ve released with 139 artists from all around the world over the last 15 years. Directly below are a few of our favorites to get you started.
However you’ve found yourself here presently, thanks so much for stopping by! We couldn’t do this without your support and enthusiasm.
There is an immediate and palpable sense of joy that jumps out from Next of Kin, the fifth full-length album from bedroom recording project Bellows. But the record is steeped equally in loss: loss of family, beloved dogs, friendships, romantic love, and most of all loss of selfhood. Backwardly inspired by the wealth of loss, Next of Kin sees songwriter Oliver Kalb discovering a renewed sense of appreciation for life in the face of hardship, freshly emboldened to move through the world with a loosened grip on life: “I’m not its master, I give up the fight, I want no claim”, Kalb writes in “Death of Dog”. more info →
For many, relearning how to socialize after the extended isolation of quarantine can feel like an insurmountable task. It’s no different for Lunarette, who channel this specific anxiety on the final track of their trilogy of one-offs, “Aislamiento” (Spanish for “isolation”). Over upbeat, shuffled guitar pop, Lunarette illuminate the dark corners of pandemic-inspired depression and anxiety with a bright melodic arrangement. Originally written by Brian Alvarez at the beginning of quarantine in 2020, and later embellished with vocal arrangements by Colin O'Neill and a shuffled groove by Kevin Doxsey’s choice sampling, “Aislamiento” was ultimately completed in a group setting, with the band retreating together to a quiet cabin environment in upstate New York to apply the finishing touches. Although wildly different from pandemic isolation, the cabin retreat recalled those initial feelings, creating a new, shared experience of isolation from which the band drew the needed inspiration to finish “Aislamiento”.
more info →
Produced by A Great Big Pile of Leaves and recorded primarily at their home studio, new album Pono was mixed by touring guitarist Matthew Weber at Gradwell House Recording and mastered by Dave Downham (Beach Slang, Into It. Over It.). With eight years between releases, the band recalls how the recording process of Pono felt like they were making their first record, adding “we worked at our own pace with no preconceived notion of what it needed to be.”
Olivia Kaplan's debut full-length album, Tonight Turns To Nothing, speaks to a generation of people that have been forced to find balance amidst devastation and absurdity. In 11 songs, she reflects on the pitfalls of modern intimacy and her own personal defeats with a measured self-awareness, melancholy and wit. The songs were written and recorded during the off hours of her side-hustle as a waitress in Los Angeles and made in the garage studio of the album’s producer and her band-mate, Adam Gunther. more info →
Just like our catalog, our playlists cover a lot of sonic ground. Check them out on apple music spotify
Prompted by a dream of a snake in the basement of now defunct Seattle house venue Werewolf Vacation, “Basement Window” is about expressing an accusation of harm in cumulative iterations. read more →
Topshelf Digest // November Updates
November has been absolutely stacked here at Topshelf HQ. And so the digest is here for you to... digest. This month we’ve got updates from Bellows, Lunarette, Gregory Uhlmann, and Ratboys! read more →
End of Year Sale!
Starting today, our full shop is 21% off until midnight PST Monday 11/29 ! 2021 titles will be 21% off through the end of the year! read more →
Lunarette // Behind the Album Art
"Going with Beya was a very easy and unanimous decision. The brilliance of her color choices, the soft textures and the amount of detail that spans the entirety of all of her pieces were so alluring." read more →