For as long as I can remember, I have been personally fascinated with album artwork and the ways we visually present and perceive the music we create and listen to. Topshelf released ten records in 2019—EPs and full lengths spanning a sonically and geographically diverse spectrum of sounds and locales, respectively. With the year coming to a close, we wanted to highlight each of them. So I opened up the artwork files and went to work creating digital collages for each, utilizing and re-purposing elements from each album’s artwork into a visual release retrospective of sorts.
We also asked each artist to provide some words on their mindset in creating the music—we left the prompt pretty open, and the responses vary a good deal! Hopefully you learn something new about an album you already enjoy or discover something ~ new to you ~ that might have gone overlooked from earlier in the year.
Thank you for taking the time to check out the music we release and the artists we work with! We had a great 2019 and are already well underway in planning our 2020 for you. Should any of these 2019 titles resonate with you, we’re currently running a 20% off sale for all 2019 releases—use the code BUBBLEMONKEY in our store or on bandcamp for the discount.
Thanks from all of us at Topshelf!! <3
TSR205: Alfred. - Like You!! words by Aaron Brown.
I actually ended up using a very old song that I wasn’t a big fan of at the time. I tried making an album called “Like You!!” when I was about 19 and I think even then I didn’t feel ready to put out a body of work like that. I was unhappy with how I was recording music at the time and I don’t think I really understood how I wanted to string projects together. I do my best to make projects my chance to tell a tale via a sound Journey (as best as possible).
Before the tour I went on with Pockets last year, I pulled out that song “Like You (Yes, You!)” and rapped it aloud for the first time in about three years and was like, “Holy shit was this song always that good??”
I never thought that I’d write something at 19 that I really fucking needed to hear now, and I hope someone can understand. Bitches is damaged and lonely and need someone there, and in one way or another we are all bitches.
In a series of months I added on songs that I’ve pieced together over the past few years of living in Richmond. My process is often creating the lyrics before the music and holding onto them until I find the right beat or sound that emotes to the lyrics that I’ve written. I work with my close friends, all so very unique with their flavor and soundscapes and with their help I am able to give context to the stories and woes of coping with the bullshit.
Like You!! Is the natural desire to want to know someone and the complicated results and feelings that come from that.