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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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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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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Thanya Iyer // Visual Album "KIND"

Thanya Iyer has shared "KIND", a ~20 minute film to accompany her forthcoming record of the same name.

Crucial questions around healing, cultural identity, and disability are among the many subjects visited by Thanya Iyer's sophomore album, KIND. Although represented by a concise title, KIND explores an expansive universe where Iyer and her band examine interpersonal relationships, ideas of home and destination, and our collective responsibilities to one another. To aid in this journey of big, difficult questions, Iyer enlists the help of a huge cast of musicians, with guest features ranging from brass trios, vocal sextets, flautists, and harpists.

You can find the film on Youtube or on our igtv, and if you like what you hear, you can pre-order KIND in our shop now <3

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Crisman // Debut self-titled album out now

It's album release day for Crisman, their full-length, self-titled debut is available now to stream and for purchase on cassette or vinyl. The Alternative calls Crisman, "[...] atmospheric and translucent, with jutting riffs that prevent it from becoming shapeless." If you haven't heard it yet, give it a spin. We've had this record on repeat for weeks and we think you'll want to do the same \ (•◡•) /

For this album, founding members Madeline Dowd and Boone Patrello teamed up with fellow Denton musician Grahm Robinson. Contrasted against the childlike playfulness of Dowd's paintings, the band's collective experience is refracted throughout the measured ten-song collection.

Recommended if you like: Florist, Lomelda, Palehound, Hand Habits, Built to Spill, Duster, Pinback, Horse Jumper of Love

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Alfred. // New EP "One Trick Pony" & video for "PRNDL/DR. CALL"

Today marks the release of the latest and greatest EP from our very own Alfred. While frustration is inherent to Alfred.'s life and creative output, they're careful not to make it the sole focus of their work. Rather than play into others’ expectations, Alfred. opts for imaginative self-storytelling and twisted streams of wordplay consciousness, set to longtime collaborator clwdwlkr's immaculately produced beats and wavescapes. On One Trick Pony, Alfred. covers a striking breadth of styles across a mere six songs, dancing between dark gospel, Dilla-inflected sampling, and hypnotic bops. You can find these tracks now digitally and on cassette.

One Trick Pony comes paired with a stunning, ecstatic music video for track 04 "PRNDL/DR. CALL". On the video, Alfred. had this to say:

"Self-expression through several mediums is a reminder that art is the tool guiding our innards to fill a space/time. Connor is a friend who pushes and challenges me to creatively hold onto my zeal with reserve and tenderness. I’m fascinated by the world they’ve built through photography by freezing a small universe in time. Truthfully, I fear holing myself into old frames of mind moving forward on my journey of radical self-expression. Connor facilitates the stillness of this world through bleak skies and through the dances of our environments — it melts around the heat of acquiesced chaos and together we relish in an air of suspense and poise. Dealing with chronic eczema makes sharing my body as a queer artist a tricky territory (one of several reasons) —— it’s as if I should know how to celebrate myself in a world that moves around me like I am an eyesore. I shy away from physical vulnerability in my work or centering it around the body. Using myself as a picture frame through small, organized movement informs me that my body works as a cloak, as a weapon, as a presence, as several things that I fail to rejoice in. This work encourages me to embrace the roundness in my face and the boldest parts of my shadows. To be captured dancing like Death in the valley, to lounge as a scarecrow of the field, to be seethe in the red echo chamber of my imagination, to softly gaze over moving water all feel so very familiar. I feel carefully placed in a sequence of memories and dreams, I’m thankful for this shared experience."

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Crisman // Share sweet serenade "Icee Blue"

"Icee Blue" is the third single from Crisman's forthcoming self-titled debut album. The song shares in the experience of love and the infectiousness of a new romance, a thematic reproduction of the song's infectious composition. Appeals to this fresh love slowly unfurl over ambling drums and sugary acoustics, accentuated with flashes of glockenspiel and keys which reimagine the spritely energy of newfound affection. We promise you'll wanna listen to this one over and over again \ (♥‿♥) /

If (like us) you just can't get enough Crisman you can pre-order their record before the April 3 release ~ available digitally, on CD, cassette, and 3 special vinyl variants including 180g black (limited to 75), blue (out of 125), and tri-stripe primary (out of 300)

Find Crisman on Spotify // Bandcamp // Instagram // Twitter // & Facebook

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addy // "Eclipse", the anticipated debut LP, out today

Today is the day! The debut LP "Eclipse" from addy is now out in its entirety, and we're so excited for you to hear it. This record is like a hot cup of perfectly brewed coffee on a cold, quiet morning; take it in, sit with it, let it warm you up.

"His contemplative, moving material sounds simultaneously warm and intimate, and these organic and synthetic sounds contrast each other spectacularly, awash in Adam Watkins's sugary, quavering vocals."
-Gold Flake Paint

"Watkins’ style is a folky acoustic sort of thing, but he surrounds his voice with gooey synths, giving himself a homespun orchestral sort of grandeur. His music is pretty and chilled-out, but it’s not really lo-fi. It’s got more confidence than that."

If you haven't done so yet you can order a copy of any of our 3 special vinyl variants, or grab a cassette or CD to take with you anywhere \ (•◡•) /

'Eclipse' on red in cloudy clear vinyl (limited to 150 copies)

& catch addy on a few tour dates this spring:

  • March 7, 2020 - Richmond, VA
  • March 15, 2020 - Nashville, TN
  • March 17-21, 2020 - Austin, TX (SXSW)
  • March 23, 2020 - Baton Rouge, LA
  • March 24, 2020 - New Orleans, LA

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Ratboys // "Printer's Devil" LP released today

Today we are thrilled to officially release the third full-length album from Ratboys, Printer's Devil. So far they've shared three brilliant singles from the record, "Alien With a Sleep Mask On", "I Go Out at Night", and "Anj", and today you finally get to hear Printer's Devil in its full glory.

Once you give it a full spin, or six, order Printer's Devil and any accompanying merch that strikes your fancy ~ We hope you enjoy this one as much as we do (▰˘◡˘▰)

Printer's Devil in Sandstorm (limited to 600)

Ratboys are hitting the road beginning February 28 to celebrate the release of Printer's Devil, and you can catch them just about anywhere in the US this Spring with Ellis, Another Michael, and even Wilco. Full dates are as follows:

  • February 28, 2020 - Chicago, IL, US @ Lincoln Hall - get tickets
  • March 14, 2020 - Urbana, IL, US @ Rose Bowl Tavern - get tickets
  • March 15, 2020 - Kansas City, MO, US @ The Riot Room - get tickets
  • March 24, 2020 - Manitou Springs, CO, US @ Lulu's Downstairs - get tickets *
  • March 26, 2020 - Salt Lake City, UT, US @ Kilby Court - get tickets *
  • March 29, 2020 - Seattle, WA, US @ Barboza - get tickets *
  • March 30, 2020 - Portland, OR, US @ Mississippi Studios - get tickets *
  • April 02, 2020 - San Francisco, CA, US @ Bottom of the Hill - get tickets *
  • April 03, 2020 - Santa Ana, CA, US @ CONSTELLATION ROOM - get tickets *
  • April 04, 2020 - Los Angeles, CA, US @ The Echo - get tickets *
  • April 05, 2020 - La Jolla, CA, US @ Che Cafe, UC San Diego - get tickets *
  • April 07, 2020 - Phoenix, AZ, US @ The Rebel Lounge - get tickets *
  • April 09, 2020 - Denver, CO, US @ Larimer Lounge - get tickets *
  • April 15, 2020 - Jackson, MS @ Thalia Mara Hall - get tickets +
  • April 16, 2020 - Mobile, AL @ Saenger Theatre - get tickets +
  • April 18, 2020 - St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheatre - get tickets +
  • April 29, 2020 - Pontiac, MI, US @ Pike Room at the Crofoot - get tickets ^
  • April 30, 2020 - Lakewood, OH, US @ Mahall's 20 Lanes - get tickets ^
  • May 01, 2020 - Pittsburgh, PA, US @ Club Café - get tickets ^
  • May 02, 2020 - Toronto, ON, Canada @ Monarch Tavern - get tickets ^
  • May 05, 2020 - Allston, MA, US @ Great Scott - get tickets ^
  • May 07, 2020 - Brooklyn, NY, US @ Rough Trade NYC - get tickets ^
  • May 08, 2020 - Philadelphia, PA, US @ Johnny Brenda's - get tickets ^
  • May 09, 2020 - Washington, DC, US @ Songbyrd Music House - get tickets ^
  • May 10, 2020 - Richmond, VA, US @ The Camel - get tickets ^
  • May 12, 2020 - Atlanta, GA, US @ The Masquerade - get tickets ^
  • May 13, 2020 - Nashville, TN, US @ Mercy Lounge / the High Watt - get tickets ^
  • May 14, 2020 - Columbus, OH, US @ Rumba Café - get tickets ^
  • May 15, 2020 - Louisville, KY, US @ Zanzabar - get tickets ^
  • May 16, 2020 - St Louis, MO, US @ Duck Room, Blueberry Hill - get tickets ^

    * with Ellis + with Wilco ^ with Another Michael

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    Topshelf Records // 2019 Recap

    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

    TSR190: Us and Us Only - Two Songs words by Kinsey Matthews.

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    After the release of Full Flower, we found ourselves with a few opportunities to perform songs from the album in a different light than how they were originally presented. Since we tend to take our time between releases, we thought that Two Songs would serve as a wonderful opportunity to revisit these songs, give them some new life, and to share them with collaborators (which has always been my favorite part of making music) like Han Offman of High Bloom/White Wreath.

    "My Mouth" was written at a turning point in my life where I had been stuck in a rut for years with little to no progress to show for it and finally, there was hope and intrigue being allowed back into my life. There were new friends, new environments & feelings, but it was still difficult to process any change through any other lens than trauma and discomfort. Where the album version relies on a groove and attitude to pull through the haze of reluctance, this version gives itself fully to weariness - even though there is light on the other side.

    "Veiled/Forming" further explores the same space as "My Mouth", but through more of a fog. When I find myself on the other side of significant changes in life, there are times where I finally think to take a step back and realize that I've maybe spent a short time just floating by - taking a breather without consciously doing so. You drift through the mundane tasks of everyday life; going to the mall, going through the car wash. At the end of it, I felt like a new person (new attitude, new haircut, simple things) and that I was growing. I felt veiled compared to an old self and I felt that I was forming.

    TSR199: Bellows - The Rose Gardener words by Oliver Kalb.

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    The year of releasing an album is always a weird thing to experience because you’re sort of catching up with a previous self. My new record The Rose Gardener came out in February of this year, but it was written and recorded a whole year before that, in early 2018. After more than a year removed from the writing process, it becomes an unforeseen task of touring to find new meaning in the songs after their original dramatic subject matter isn’t such an important thing in your life. Touring new Bellows albums always feels like discovering the true nature of the songs — since I write and record mostly alone, the band only learns the songs after the album’s finished and the live arrangements are usually pretty different from the recordings, sort of like we’re covering my songs.

    Our first tour on The Rose Gardener was this last March. I found that there were some songs, like “The Tower”, that felt like they achieved a new life as live songs, like they’re able to strike emotions in a live setting that are different from what they’re doing in the recording. Other songs like “Housekeeping” feel like they sometimes aren’t appropriate for every venue, like the lightness of the guitar playing and the particularity of the samples doesn’t always come across in smaller house show or DIY spaces. Right now I’m on my first full U.S. tour on the new record, and I’m still in the process of discovering how these songs go. On the previous Bellows album, Fist & Palm, we toured the songs heavily for two and a half years, and by the end of the touring it felt like every song on the album had a completely distinct quality in the live setting, almost like we’d made the album all over again as performers. I’m excited to be in the process of re-making this new Bellows record in the live world.

    TSR201: Elephant Gym - Underwater words by Tu Chia-Chin.

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    A Japanese manga called The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.. This story is talking about an abnormal high school student Kusuo Saiki who was born in a ordinary family. He has many super powers whatever you can imagine since he was born. But he just want to be a normal person, that's the only thing he is unable to do. Once he teleported into the deep ocean for escaping his annoying daily life. That reminds us the experience of wearing up the earphone and push the play button. Music has the power to change the vibes immediately wherever you are.

    We want to make a album which can give listeners this kind of power, help someone creating a private and peaceful space. That's the reason which inspired us to write the album Underwater.

    TSR202: Queen of Jeans - If you're not afraid, I'm not afraid words by Miriam Devora.

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    A little less than two weeks before we went into the studio to record, my mom passed away. The year and a half that I spent writing the songs for this album was probably the most difficult time of my life personally. Simultaneously, it was the first time as an adult I ever really felt afraid to be myself in my country. I found myself in fear not only of losing my mom to her illness, but of losing my space within society as a queer woman, and watching space get taken away from so many others.

    Much of this album is a reaction to all of these emotions stirred from these events as I tried to navigate my relationship with my partner, friends, and family without the guidance of my mom or a stable grip on what was and continues to happen in our country. My hope is that openly sharing my story and expressing myself through my vulnerabilities will help others that might feel lost right now, and that it might also help them find the strength in themselves to listen to and embrace their own stories, while also opening up and finding common ground with those around them.

    TSR203: Field Mouse - Meaning words by Rachel Browne.

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    A lot has happened in the three years since our last record came out. While there is far too much to say about it all in one place, we wrote this album anyway. What are the broad strokes, you ask? It's more or less about the end of the world and all of the ways that it seems to be happening, but also about making peace with former selves and growing as a person despite the feeling of global entropy. Also: strange internet versions of our friends and selves, bouts of insomnia and picking through the dreams that followed, the importance of forgiveness, and creating meaning in a world that increasingly feels like total chaos.

    What is the function of art in a place like this? Is anything we make going to last? I am not sure, but here are 11 songs looking for the answer. What I do know is that art connects us to each other and to our feelings and our selves. It is a liferaft, and I hope that we can all continue to put it into the world, appreciate it, and share it indefinitely.

    TSR205: Alfred. - Like You!! words by Aaron Brown.

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    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.

    TSR207: No Vacation - Phasing words by Nat Lee.

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    The Last Dance left Changes between us for the rest of our Days. Now we are Estrangers; Out of Place and forever Phasing.

    As we grow and change as people, our writing inspirations and styles develop as well. Over the last 2 years, we became more mature as people and in turn started thinking more about what we do. In turn, Phasing became a collection of songs, we emphasized, that needed to be done thoroughly and with patience. Some of the songs started with us before Intermission was even released while others began after we relocated to Brooklyn. We are constantly changing. After we all graduated from university and moved on to the next stage of our life, it was natural for our songs to mature in that way too. Before we finished this last EP, we realized we are phasing into the next chapter of our lives, thus naming the EP Phasing was fitting. This EP could be a metaphor for No Vacation’s Last Dance.

    TSR208: Mid-Air Thief - Crumbling words by Mister Thief.

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    The great Richard Swift said in an interview that he sends the whole track into a 4 track Tascam. I was inspired to try exactly that with this album, but the result was mixed I guess. It did hold together some elements with some webs, but overall the sound became quite washy and a little bit dull? If you listen to songs that went through Richard Swift's hands, they are still very solid and have weight. They really are in a perfect middle of "baked" and "hardened" type textures.

    It's really amazing how he was able to do so using such unusual technique and it shows the greatness of his talent!

    TSR209: LITE - Multiple words by Kozo Kusumoto.

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    As its title Multiple may indicate, this album is born from the will to demonstrate that, by using 4 different sound engineers to create layers of sounds, and by multiply them with LITE’s own sound, we can generate something entirely original. We tried to make it the master piece of LITE’s all time history.

    It’s easier to enjoy it if you know a little bit more about the stories behind the tracks, so here it is:

    "Double" is the representative song of the album, a very important one as its creation decided the direction of the whole album. From the juxtaposition of thin sounds is born one sound, the one only LITE can do. Rec: Takaaki Mino (ex. toe)

    "Deep Layer" is composed mainly by our bassist Jun. That’s the most math sounding song of all the tracks. Rec: Takaaki Mino (ex. toe)

    On "Blizzard" we invited on poetry Tom Watson, guitarist of the American legendary punk band Mike Watt. Nobu wrote the poem and Tom arranged it. That’s the first time we used electric drum in earnest, it opened a new stage for us. Rec: Kozo Kusumoto (LITE)

    "Maze"’s main composer is Kozo. There’s a bit of Battles in the song’s chopped sound. Rec: Kozo Kusumoto (LITE)

    "One Last Mile" has been composed with J.Robbins as a recording engineer in mind, with the image of post hard core from the 2000’s. Rec: J. Robbins

    "Ring" is the result of a collaboration with the Hip Hop artist maco maret. Maco arranged the original lyrics, but to tell the truth, this song was actually supposed to be the last one of our previous album, Cubic. There’s even a version with Nobu on vocal. But as it didn’t fit Cubic’s whole work, we decided not to use it. The song has been reborn thanks to this collaboration with maco. Rec: Kaoru Miura

    "Zone 3" is the track with the most technical guitars. The title comes from the fact that it’s the 3rd version of the song Zone. The 1st version is on the EP “Blizzard”, and the 2nd one is the result of playing it live and changing it for the stage. Adding some arrangements on the last part of Zone2, it became Zone3. Rec: Takaaki Mino (ex. toe)

    "Temple" is also a track that has been made on the basis that J.Robbins would record it. It took a very long time to compose it. We revived the past, darker math rock sound of LITE, and combined it to our current one in the latter half. Rec: J. Robbins

    "Nobu" started composing 4mg Warmth 5 years ago. For a long time, he thought that it didn’t fit LITE, but it happened to be just right for this album as the 9th track. So he completed the song, with a particular fondness for the melody of the chorus. Rec: Kozo Kusumoto (LITE)

    Jun is the main composer for "Clockwork". It has been a long time for LITE to try a change in key from the second part of the chorus. Rec: Kaoru Miura

    TSR210: Boyscott - Goose Bumps words by Scott Hermo Jr.

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    The album consists of songs all written at different times and most of the time in different places. I wrote and even recorded the majority of a few of the songs in Montclair, NJ, I wrote + recorded Marco Polo all in my dorm room in Nashville, TN. Nova Scotia 500 was mostly recorded in my dorm room in Nashville, TN + then in the house I lived in off campus. Depending on the song, there are many different states of mind present.

    Its kind of shocking that this album came together the way it did, how it totally works start to finish, yet some of the songs are so drastically different in my opinion. But I think the fact that we recorded them all DIY w/ the same voices + quality makes them all flow very well. I think many of the songs were created in quiet times of reflection, but whenever I come up with an idea there is so much excitement involved even if the song is initially a more melancholy thing.

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