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addy // film photography gallery

In high school I remember it was in my Dark Room classes where I felt like I had found my people, the other creators and weirdos like myself. Ever since it's been something that brings me a lot of joy, something I mainly just do for myself. Most of these photos I picked out were taken 2017-2018 when I was writing most the songs that would end up on Eclipse. Maybe the oldest one featured is of the strawberries which was from an art installation I was helping out an old partner with.

"golden hour, taking photographs on the lawn...red stained heels, from stepping on strawberries, we laid down until our backs tuned green"

My old apartment is heavily featured, the window in my room, my roommate Mack on our porch at the time, we had this strange hallway skylight that I would lay under for photos and got that one of my friend Josh.

"flat-back we laid out on the floor, in the pitch-black of the early morn"

There's a lot from touring with the band as well, I love the ones from the Chinese take-out spot in Brooklyn (Kurt looking dreamy). Timmy playing bass on the dryer was from when we recorded in his basement for the album.

I used some of these in the artwork for the physical packaging for Eclipse designed by Kevin Zweerink. He and I wanted to use photos that played with light, something I'm often drawn to and plays a part in the album.

"drew the shades, woke up late in the light, bleeding in"

All the photos here were taken on my Nikon FG-20 35mm Film Camera that belonged to my mother before me.

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Del Paxton // "September, Bedtime, Ontario" EP announced

Del Paxton have released their first new track since the 2017 album "All Day, Every Day, All Night". Driven by bold hooks and harmonic riffs, the Buffalo trio make heartfelt, punchy emo reminiscent of the melodic sensibilities of the mid-90’s. Their latest are a set of singles teeming with the exuberance and excitement of being young, alive, and earnest. Already met with excitement from Washed Up and emo heads worldwide, the EP "September, Bedtime, Ontario" is available for pre-order now.

The lead single, "September”, out now, is an ode to camping in the Adirondacks, evoking vintage emo and punk nostalgia, while lyrically channelling an anti-nostalgic balm for living in the moment. Reflections on long-term friendships shine through call-and-response vocals that echo euphorically over dexterous rhythms and crunchy start-stop melodies. With their overdriven choruses of diaristic contemplation, Del Paxton's thoughtful ruminations stir up the passions of prolonged youth and the challenges of holding onto friends you could never let go.

The band have shared an equally nostalgia-inducing music video for "September", spliced together from footage of past tours. In this now fourth month of quarantine in the US, the intimacy of a basement show, and the rollercoaster of a road trip with friends are memories I'm clinging to desperately. "September, Bedtime, Ontario" arrives August 19. Enjoy responsibly :)



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Harry the Nightgown // "Pill Poppin' Therapist"

The newest addition to the Topshelf roster, Harry the Nightgown, is back today with their second single "Pill Poppin' Therapist". This "playful slice of avant-rock" premiered over on Post-Trash ahead of their debut self-titled album, due out August 7.

"Recorded live to tape in just one day, the song’s spontaneous energy clearly shines through as a result of the on-the-fly recording method employed by the band, aptly capturing the frequent ups and downs that come with depression and mania. “Pill Poppin’ Therapist” is an excellent peak into the vivid sonic world of Harry the Nightgown." - Torrey Proto via Post-Trash

In 2014, Perez met Spencer Hartling at a dive bar in Ventura when their respective bands played to a small audience of balding drunks. Impressed with each others’ performances, they forged a long distance friendship and began to collaborate on their music. In 2017, Hartling moved from Los Angeles to a farm on an off-grid plot of land in the mountains of Guerneville. Hartling set up a minimal recording space in a shipping container, and it was there, against the farm’s backdrop of manzanita trees and natural springs that Perez and Hartling began writing and demoing what would eventually become Harry the Nightgown. Learn More.


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Gregory Uhlmann // "Santa Fe", new single featuring Meg Duffy

Gregory Uhlmann has shared the second single from his forthcoming record Neighborhood Watch, with some assistance from a special friend and collaborator.

"Santa Fe" calls on youthful nostalgia with hypnotic synth and string motifs that wax and wane to the song's spacious ambience. Uhlmann enlists vocal talents from Meg Duffy (Hand Habits) on “Santa Fe,” helping turn out a charming reverie in which the songwriter warmly ponders the spring-break trips he took to visit his grandparents. Uhlmann's own vocal talents lend the song an entrancing pulse that breathes life into its idyllic verses.

Neighborhood Watch is a cozy portrait of grains of sand, cats, ants, getting colds, letting loose, feeling shy, watching movies, and being in love,” says the songwriter. Pre-Orders for Neighborhood Watch are live in our shop and on Gregory Uhlmann's Bandcamp. With three vinyl variants and cassettes shipping June 24.

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New Pressings & Restocks

We've restocked some of our best sellers in new, limited edition vinyl pressings, and added cassettes for "One Trick Pony", the fiery spring release from Alfred., to our shop. Check out these new products:

Fifth Pressing of Joy, Departed from Sorority Noise: available on light blue/yellow marble vinyl (1,000 copies)



Fourth Pressing of Crumbling from Mid-Air Thief: available on gold & white marble vinyl (1,000 copies)



First Pressing of One Trick Pony from Alfred.: available on translucent red cassette.

Keep an eye out for more repress options coming soon for some of our all-time best sellers and favorites!

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There is no business as usual anymore

As part of the music industry, Topshelf Records will be judged by our actions and we must never go back to business as usual. We should be held accountable for lifting the voice of others, educating ourselves, and always fighting injustices. Topshelf Records will be shifting our dialog on social media platforms to focus on educating and lifting voices that need to be heard. We will promote music through our newsletter (please sign up if you haven’t yet) with limited public facing promotion of music for the near future. We would not exist without the supportive community around us and our artists and in order to keep that community strong we are refocusing our priorities as a company because these injustices must be stopped.


This week we made donations to Black Lives Matter LA, Racial Justice Action Center, Women on the Rise, Philly Liberation Center, and Urban League of Portland. Our employees have made personal donations to multiple other organizations and we will continue to make more. We will aim to highlight more organizations over the next few months (see previous news posts for ones that have already been highlighted!) in an effort to raise awareness and educate ourselves and others. Kevin, Mack, Will and myself are discussing what our role in this fight for equality is and how we can be making a continued impact. We are opening the door to all of our artists for conversations on how we can work together through this important time.


I urge anyone reading this to look in the mirror and ask yourself “what am I doing to make a change”. I ask you to register to vote and become involved in your local elections. Pay attention to local policies, budgets, and voting rights legislation, because in most places those are directly impacted by your city council, mayor, and state reps. Here is a tool to find out who represents you and how to contact them. Black Lives Matter, your vote matters, and together we can create a better future.

Seth Decoteau

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call to action #2

Mack here, thanks in advance for reading this. We as Topshelf employees wanted to each take a turn to highlight what this movement means to us, and ways that we would encourage our friends and peers to participate in any way we can. We are a small staff, and a small company, but everything we do we try to do with love, care, and intention.

We all believe deeply in the Black Lives Matter movement, and in listening to black leadership. We are all people who have lived in multiple cities across the country and witnessed the atrocities of violence committed by the racist, militarized police against our black and brown neighbors. I’m from Richmond, VA, the once capital of the confederacy, and perpetual hotbed of racial violence. This violence takes place in the form of massive monuments to confederate generals strategically placed throughout the city, through white supremacists staging heavily armed demonstrations in public, through police brutality and killings of innocent people like Marcus David Peters, who was murdered by Richmond police in 2018 while experiencing a clear mental healthy crisis in which he was endangering no one but himself, through the economic inequality that had been forced onto the black community for decades, including the demolition of sections of thriving black neighborhoods, to the now rampant gentrification perpetuated by VCU, the city, and the real estate developers that leech culture and replace it with high rise apartments. I could continue this list for far too long.

I am a queer woman with a conservative, southern, racist, white family. My stepfather is retired DEA. If any of this sounds familiar I implore you to have uncomfortable, confrontational conversations with your family members. I’ve gone through so many periods of alienation from my family, but I’ve also seen incremental change in them through the years. My mother is recently open to universal health care, and has unprompted called out governor Ralph Northam for his racism, these are baby steps. It’s not easy to confront the ugly reality of this world, and the ways that you and those closest to you contribute to that reality, but it is necessary if anything is to change. This is the first step. Join any hands on contribution to your community that you can, talk to your neighbors, volunteer your time to a local cause, capitalist alienation is real and it is contributing to your nihilism, you can do something about that. Also read! Start an antiracist bookclub with your white friends, there are great threads going around with recommendations, but if you want any personal recs email me: mack@topshelfrecords.com

I believe that Black lives matter, I believe in the full abolition of prisons and police, I believe in the reinvestment of funds from the militarized police force and from the military itself into community building. I believe in investing in education, in mental health care, in safe and comfortable housing for everyone, in the environment, in healthy food for our communities, in healthcare, and in the countless other initiatives that will make all of our lives better. I believe in the dissolution of surveillance and the state, and that we can and will take care of each other. I always come back to “another world is possible, if we fight for it”, and I urge you to fight for it.

Topshelf has allocated funds to donate on each of our behalf, and for this donation I chose to send money to the Covid Relief Fund organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation in Philadelphia, who stress two cornerstones of the struggle for liberation: "People Over Profit", and "We Take Care of Us".

I was born and raised in Richmond, VA, lived in Chicago, and now live in Philly. Here is a list of mutual aid funds that I would like to highlight, please donate if you can:

In Philadelphia:

In Chicago:

  • Chicago Community Bond Fund: “Inability to pay bond results in higher rates of conviction, longer sentences, loss of housing and jobs, separation of families, and lost custody of children. By paying bond, CCBF restores the presumption of innocence before trial and enables recipients to remain free while fighting their cases.” https://chicagobond.org/
  • No Cop Academy: ”Join the effort to stop the construction of a $95 million dollar Cop Academy, and fund youth & communities instead.” https://nocopacademy.com/donate-now/

In Richmond:

Other:

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call to action #1

hello topshelf friends and family. william here. you may not know me. i'm usually behind the scenes doing pr stuff for our artists. nice to meet! i wish it were under better circumstances.

yesterday, in solidarity with those protesting against anti-Black state violence, kevin & seth allocated $500 for our staff to split to funds of our choice. because i'm from atlanta and spent the majority of my life there, i chose to split my allocated $125 to Racial Justice Action Center and Women on the Rise, two orgs who co-lead a movement called Close the Jail ATL.

Close the Jail ATL is working to close the Atlanta City Detention Center, which is sucking up millions of dollars every year, dollars which could be better spent uplifting people and communities. bonus: it's also where the APD is booking those arrested for participating in uprisings across the city.

donate to Close the Jail ATL and/or sign the petition to defund and repurpose the jail as a community wellness center.

while bail funds are extremely important, many are currently overwhelmed with support. needs change fast in this kind of situation. i strongly encourage you to find people in your city who have *been* on the ground doing the work for a while. i promise you there already exist orgs in your city working toward the necessary goals of decarceration, abolition, and defunding police. state-sponsored anti-Black racism did not begin last week with the murder of George Floyd.

i'm sharing below a few other ATL-based efforts to help those affected by state violence, as i believe specific recommendations to our audience are more actionable than broad-focused resource dumps (although those are great resources!)

Redistribute ATL

"You're here because you have access to resources you want to redistribute to protect Black lives. Be willing to upset your current social structures to redistribute resources and help Black life. Put as much identifying contact info that you feel comfortable sharing along with what access to resources you have. Resources can be anywhere from monetary support to trade specialties."

Atlanta Solidarity Fund

"Experienced volunteers track arrestees through the criminal justice system, helping to ensure that their rights are respected. As funds allow, the Solidarity Fund provides cash to get arrestees released from jail as soon as possible. We work with arrestees to help them get access to a lawyer, and assist them in navigating the legal system."

Homeless Black Trans Women Fund ATL

"This is fund for the community of Black Trans women that live in Atlanta and are sex workers and/or homeless. So far, we have been able to get 5 girls cell phones, gotten them hotel rooms during vulnerable times, and got 2 housing in a rooming house. This fund also covers food and necessities. Atlanta has almost no resources for Transgender women, so I took matters into my own hands."

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Pong

We're excited to announce the newest addition to our roster: Harry the Nightgown

At the age of five, Sami Perez was lonely enough to befriend a tree that sat catty-corner to San Francisco’s Alamo Square Park and directly below her bedroom window. Due to its ever growing ivy, she named the tree “Harry the Nightgown”.

In 2014, Perez met Spencer Hartling at a dive bar in Ventura when their respective bands played to a small audience of balding drunks. Impressed with each others’ performances, they forged a long distance friendship and began to collaborate on their music. In 2017, Hartling moved from Los Angeles to a farm on an off-grid plot of land in the mountains of Guerneville. Hartling set up a minimal recording space in a shipping container, and it was there, against the farm’s backdrop of manzanita trees and natural springs that Perez and Hartling began writing and demoing what would eventually become Harry the Nightgown.

In late 2018, Hartling and Perez began to record their debut self-titled album, Harry the Nightgown at Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco. The album is a showcase of their experimental engineering and production styles, as well as their shared love of playful sonic deconstruction. The songs are a meditation on the struggle of continuing a creative collaboration with an ex-partner.


"We were nervous picking a first single, because it’s our introduction to the world as Harry the Nightgown. We’re so excited to share Ping Pong because it is a pretty raw exhibition of what we are. This song sat for a while as just a repetitive guitar part over a drum machine. It took us some time, but the song eventually grew into a representation of our ability to collaborate, which, as ex-partners committing to a merged creative outlet, is a painful yet fruitful process."

The self-titled debut album from Harry the Nightgown arrives August 7th ~ cassette pre-orders coming soon.

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Thanya Iyer // "Always, Be Together"

On Friday, Thanya Iyer shared the lead single from her forthcoming album KIND. On the track, "Always, Be Together", self-reflection resounds over syncopated pulses and fluttering flute, interwoven with quick strikes of tumbling keys. Layers of strings embed themselves throughout "Always, Be Together" in the form of nimble pizzicato and meandering swells to lend the song a suspenseful rhythmic intrigue, all crescendoing slowly into the song's final breaths of wispy ambience.


KIND will be released July 31, and is available for pre-order now on three special vinyl variants, CD, and cassette. You can view the accompanying visual album of the same name in full now on Youtube.

"All the little details are meticulously thought-out, electronic and orchestral flourishes adding up to more than the sum of their parts, bending and changing the shape of the room with sound.”
-The Alternative
"Fall into the lyrical lull and this record will elevate you to another level. Intricate, wistful, observant and beautiful."
-Circuit Sweet

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