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Inns // Topshelf Records Cassette Series

The very first release in our cassette series is Jay Som’s Turn Into and I feel it really has set the tone for the series as a whole. I only bring up this entirely different ~seemingly~ unrelated album to talk about its similarities with another one. In addition to being sonically cut from a similar cloth, the execution, overall sequencing, and the unique qualifier of having been entirely self-played and self-recorded intrinsically tie Inns’ debut album Animal to Turn Into for me. So I’m thrilled to announce that we’ll be including Inns’ debut Animal as the newest addition to our cassette series!

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Animal is the debut album from Jim O’Donnell’s Boston-based solo recording project Inns. The band’s just played their very first show just yesterday and at the time of my writing this has a mere 23, uh, “likes” on Facebook. It basically makes no financial sense to be releasing this record (or any record, really lol) until you listen to it and realize how beautiful it is and how much other people need to hear it.

My favorite track on the album, “Party Talk”, I think best encapsulates what I love so much about this the record as a whole—there’s a somberness that grows and swells into a euphoric repeating synth line that makes me feel like what little kids feel like when they roll down a hill or spin in a circle too fast. It’s a great moment that masks the somberness of the track while never fully covering it up. And I think this entire record kind of flows like that—there’s plenty of catchy and upbeat hooks, and yet an underlying reflectively somber feel persists throughout.

FFO: Hovvdy, Horse Jumper of Love, Jay Som, Bellows, Lomelda, Legs Like Tree Trunks, The American Analog Set

Inns have a few shows coming up in the Boston area and pre-orders for Animal are available now as part of our ongoing cassette series.

As always, thank you thank you thank you for listening.

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Sorority Noise // "Joy, Departed"

Today we're excited to announce Joy, Departed, the new record from Sorority Noise, set to be released June 16th. Pre-orders for the album will be available on May 12th, 2015 (sign up here to be notified when they do), alongside the premiere of the first single from the record. You can watch the Joy, Departed teaser video below, where some weird looking members of Sorority Noise talk about the writing process behind this brilliant new record.

The follow up to last year's debut record Forgettable (released by Broken World Media and StormChasers in the US, Dog Knights in the UK and Europe), Joy, Departed is a dynamic and thrilling step forward for Sorority Noise. One year, two music degrees and a whole lot of openness and expression went into the creation of this beautifully crafted record. With an album full of lovely orchestral swells, Weezer-esque guitar solos and cheery pop hits, the band shows off their versatility and talent on throughout the album, creating a perfect front to back record. The incredible sincerity frontman and lyricist Cameron Boucher puts into his songs is impressive — and when backed with this much musical talent, we're really excited to see where this year takes them.

The album's track listing and cover art are up now and the band has a pretty insane run of touring lined up in the coming months with Modern Baseball, Spraynard, The Weaks, Clique, Fireworks, Turnover, Motion City Soundtrack and The Spill Canvas — dates and info are below:

  • 5/22 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar*
  • 5/23 - Howell, MI @ Bled Fest
  • 5/24 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom*
  • 5/27 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary#
  • 5/28 - Amityville, NY @ The Amityville Music Hall#
  • 5/29 - New York, NY @ The Studio at Webster Hall#
  • 5/30 - Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East Upstairs#
  • 6/02 - Ottowa, ON @ Ritual#
  • 6/03 - Toronto, ON @ Hardluck Bar#
  • 6/04 - Buffalo, NY @ The Waiting Room#
  • 6/05 - Lakeland, OH @ Mahall's 20 Lanes#
  • 6/06 - Chicago, IL @ The Beat Kitchen#
  • 6/07 - Detroit, MI - The Shelter#
  • 7/11 - Joliet, IL @ Mojoes^
  • 7/12 - Lansing, MI @ Common Ground Music Festival^
  • 7/14 - Nashville, TN @ Exit In^
  • 7/16 - St. Petersburg, Fl @ The State Theatre^
  • 7/17 - Orlando, FL @  The Beach Theatre ^
  • 7/18 - Wilmington, NC @ Ziggy's By The Sea^
  • 7/20 - Norfolk, VA @ Norva^
  • 7/21 - Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage^
  • 7/24 - Westbury, NY @ The Space at Westbury^
  • 7/25 - Hartford, CT @ The Webster Theater^
  • 7/26 - Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall^
  • 7/27 - Clifton, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall^
  • 7/29 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House^
  • 7/30 - Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall^
  • 7/31 - Kalamazoo, MI @ District Square^
  • 8/01 - Peoria, IL @ Limelight Eventplex^
  • 8/02 - Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe^

* with Modern Baseball, Spraynard, The Weaks & Clique
# with Fireworks & Turnover
^ Motion City Soundtrack Commit This To Memory Tour w/ The Spill Canvas

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Boys Life // Topshelf Records

Back in 1996, Seth and I were in middle school. While, completely unbeknownst to us, one of our favorite records of all time was being recorded. Nearly twenty years later, and here we are re-releasing Boys Life's seminal Departures and Landfalls. Taking cues from greats like Drive Like Jehu and Fugazi, melding that with the sounds of a flourishing midwest scene and incorporating their own take on things to arrive at a truly unique and defining sound, the band wrote what is now considered to be a landmark album for a genre that Seth and I care dearly about.

Being released August 14, 2015, the re-issue's packaging will feature a double LP, gatefold jacket with spot gloss and slightly updated artwork — with two vinyl colors to choose from. You can sign up to be notified when pre-orders go up now.

The band will also be playing a reunion show of sorts with fellow Kansas City band Giants ChairDetails for that are here with more shows to be announced at a later date.

Thanks!

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The Jazz June // New album this year

We hinted at this earlier, but today we're making it official: influential Philly indie/emo outfit The Jazz June will be recording a new full length LP at Gradwell House in New Jersey with Into It. Over It.'s Evan Weiss producing. The record will be released later this year through us.

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Photo Credit: Mike O'Shea

The Jazz June will also be playing an intimate show in Philadelphia on April 12 with special guests Into It. Over It. (solo) and HeartwellWashed Up Emo will host the festivities. Tickets for the show can be purchased from Boot & Saddle and Ticketfly.

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The band is also releasing a split 7" with Dikembe in May via Tiny Engines and ourselves. Pre-orders for the 7" will launch in April. The band's contribution to the split marks their first official recorded material since their last full-length, 2002's Better Off Without Air.

In a recent Noisey feature titled "The Possibilities Are Endless:An Oral History of The Jazz June", writer Paul Blest sites the band as one of the, "benchmarks of emo", along with their contemporaries such as Cap'n Jazz and Braid.

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Wild Ones // Topshelf Records

Today we're thrilled to finally announce that we'll be working with Portland, OR's Wild Ones. The band originally caught our attention last summer from something as simple as a tweet on Duck. Little Brother, Duck!'s Twitter timeline. The internet, you guys. We gave them a listen and were instantly hooked (including them on our 2013 sampler shortly thereafter).

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The band has a lush, fully developed and well-rounded sound that is incredibly infectious. When listening to Keep It Safe, the band's debut LP, I am a smarter, sexier person for those 48:46. The record flows effortlessly from start to finish, pulling and tugging, lifting and sinking along the way — in all the right ways at all the right times. SPIN seems to agree:

"The melodic grace of singer Danielle Sullivan is undeniable, while the band's mix of buoyant synth-pop and familiar indie-rock keeps things moving ever forward."

Time Magazine also hailed Wild Ones as a Band to Watch in 2014, saying of the album:

"Keep It Safe is filled with impeccable arrangements and a mature pop sensibility that hits you from the first note. The songs are anchored by Danielle Sullivan’s distinct voice, which brings to mind both The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan and Harriet Wheeler from The Sundays. Her mesmerizing vocal melodies work well with the inventive synthesizer compositions of Thomas Himes — fused with supple guitar and bass work you get a grandiose and melancholy pop sound that is both novel and retro, innovative and comfortable."

We'll be releasing Keep It Safe on April 1 of this year (no foolsies). We'll have pre-order and packaging details coming soon but you can sign up to be notified as soon as we make them available.

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Wild Ones will embark on a spring tour in March, combining headlining dates alongside a supporting spot with Typhoon. Wild Ones singer Danielle Sullivan recently teamed up with Typhoon's Kyle Morton to record and release a cover of John Pryne's "In Spite of Ourselves" — view dates the bands will be playing together below:

  • 03/07 - Phoenix, AZ @ VIVA PHX
  • 03/08 - El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace^
  • 03/09 - Denton, TX @ Dan's Silverleaf^
  • 03/10 - San Antonio, TX @ Korova^
  • 03/12 - SXSW
  • 03/13 - SXSW
  • 03/14 - SXSW
  • 03/15 - SXSW
  • 03/18 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle%
  • 03/19 - Washington, DC @ 930 Club%
  • 03/20 - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right
  • 03/21 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground%
  • 03/22 - Boston, MA @ The Sinclair%
  • 03/23 - Boston, MA @ The Sinclair%
  • 03/24 - Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall%
  • 03/25 - Hamden, CT @ Spaceland Ballroom%
  • 03/26 - Philadelphia, PA @ Boot and Saddle
  • 03/27 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall%
  • 03/29 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom%
  • 03/30 - Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
  • 03/31 - Louisville, KY @ Headliner's%
  • 04/02 - Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall%
  • 04/03 - Chicago, IL @ Metro%
  • 04/04 - Champaign, IL @ Mike N Molly's
  • 04/05 - Madison, WI @ UW Madison%
  • 04/06 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
  • 04/07 - Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose%
  • 04/08 - Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room%
  • 04/10 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird%
  • 04/11 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge%
  • 04/12 - Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory%

^ = w/ In The Valley Below
% = w/ Typhoon

You can follow the band on their Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, Tumblr or Instagram. Thanks, everyone!

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Donovan Wolfington // Topshelf Records

Leading up to our SXSW showcase last year I had a slew of emails from friends asking if there was any room for a band to play our show (there 100% wasn't, at all). I listened and liked it and caved and decided to squeeze them on the bill opening the show. That band was New Orleans' Donovan Wolfington. They were awesome and by far the nicest, most courteous people I'd come across in awhile. That day stuck with us and when we heard their new material it was a no-brainer to try and work together on releasing it. 

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photo by Ben Davis.

So today we're excited to announce that we'll be releasing a new EP from the band, Scary Stories You Tell In the Dark, later this spring. Noisey has the premiere of their new track "Keef Ripper" today, saying:

"fuck[ed] us up. In a good way. It’s a scattered mix of about a dozen genres rolled into one. Some parts party punk, other parts post-hardcore, even a little 90s alterna-rock and grunge mixed in. We dug it."

Donovan Wolfington will also be doing a short tour with Pope and Dowsing on the way back from SXSW. Dates and info for that are below: 

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poster by Danny Rutledge.

  • 3/12/2014 - SXSW - Topshelf Records Party
  • 3/13/2014 - SXSW - Topshelf Records Showcase
  • 3/14/2014 - SXSW
  • 3/15/2014 - SXSW
  • 4/11/2014 - Birmingham, Al @ The Forge
  • 4/12/2014 - Nashville, TN @ Neuhau5
  • 4/13/2014 - Chicago, IL @ Township
  • 4/14/2014 - Grand Rapids, MI @ The House of Pancakes
  • 4/15/2014 - Pittsburgh, PA @ The Mr. Roboto Project
  • 4/16/2014 - Philadelphia, PA @ Gold Tea House
  • 4/17/2014 - Brooklyn @ Death By Audio
  • 4/18/2013 - Baltimore, MD @ Charm City Art Space
  • 4/19/2014 - Richmond, VA @ House Address

Details on the release of the new EP will be available soon — for now, though, be sure to check out their last record Stop Breathing which Broken World Media and Community Records previously released and follow them on Facebook.

Thanks!!

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Cut Teeth // New LP in summer 2014

After a quiet 2013, Chicago, IL's Cut Teeth will dust off their gritty, hook-laden indie-punk playbook and begin recording their full-length follow up to 2012's Televandalism EP.

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(photo by Hilary J. Corts)

The band will record with Pete Grossman at Bricktop Studios on January 18 where they will be tracking bass and drums. They'll then be recording everything else with drummer/engineer Matt Jordan (Stay Ahead of the Weather, You Blew It!) at his studio in Crystal Lake, IL in the following weeks. The yet-to-be-named album will be released in early summer — more information will be announced soon!

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You Blew It! // Keep Doing What You're Doing

Orlando, Florida quintet You Blew It! are set to release their sophomore LP Keep Doing What You're Doing with us on January 14, 2014. The follow-up to 2012's critically acclaimed Grow Up, Dude was produced by Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It. and engineered by Matt Jordan (Stay Ahead of the WeatherCut Teeth) at Atlas Studios in Chicago.

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I remember repeatedly asking Evan, Matt and the band for updates throughout the recording process and got nothing in response nearly every time save for the same video clip of AXL Rose repeatedly asking of his backing band, "Gimme some reggae!" — which I took as an omen for the entire album.

Fortunately, Keep Doing What You're Doing sees You Blew It! instead dialing back on their more raw influences to create complex song structures, intricate guitar lines and cleaner vocals with a healthy dose of fuzz riding over it all. The ten tracks on the album call to mind The Get Up KidsAmerican Football and Death Cab for Cutie but maintain the integrity of the sound that the band has built their name on. Pre-orders are now up for the album with several package deal options available.

Yesterday, Pitchfork said of the band,

noticeably cleaner and more purposeful ... the grown-up sonics only make the underlying, pound-the-dashboard, yell-to-yourself sentiments all the more loud and clear.

Stereogum also weighed in on the new song:

Big feelings, big sound.

You can listen to the band's new song, "Award of the Year Award" directly below:

The band is also slated to hit the road with The Front Bottoms and The Wild in January and February for a full US tour (all tour dates below).

w/ The Wild

  • 1/6/2014 Atlanta, GA @ Under the Couch
  • 1/7/2014 Nashville, TN @ The Owl Farm
  • 1/8/2014 Indianpolis, IN @ The Hoosier Dome

w/ The Front Bottoms & The Wild

  • 1/9/2014 GRAND RAPIDS MI @ THE PYRAMID SCHEME 
  • 1/10/2014 PONTIAC MI @ CROFOOT BALLROOM
  • 1/11/2014 PALATINE IL @ DURTY NELLIES
  • 1/12/2014 OMAHA NE @ THE WAITING ROOM
  • 1/13/2014 FORT COLLINS CO @ AGGIE THEATRE
  • 1/14/2014 SALT LAKE City UT @ CLUB SOUND
  • 1/16/2014 OAKLAND CA @ OAKLAND METRO
  • 1/17/2014 SANTA CRUZ CA @ THE CREPE PLACE
  • 1/18/2014 HOLLYWOOD CA @ TROUBADOUR
  • 1/19/2014 VENTURA CA @ VENTURA THEATRE UPPER DECK
  • 1/21/2014 ALBUQUERQUE AZ @ THE GASWORKS

w/ The Front Bottoms

  • 1/22/2014 OKLAHOMA CITY OK@ THE CONSERVATORY
  • 1/23/2014 DALLAS TX @ CLUB DADA
  • 1/24/2014 SAN ANTONIO TX @ THE LIMELIGHT
  • 1/25/2014 NEW ORLEANS LA @ ONE EYED JACKS
  • 1/26/2014 GAINESVILLE FL @ HIGH DIVE
  • 1/28/2014 CHARLOTTE NC @ TREMONT MUSIC HALL - CASBAH
  • 1/29/2014 ALEXANDRIA VA @ THE LAB
  • 1/30/2014 PATCHOGUE NY @ 89 NORTH
  • 1/31/2014 BETHLEHEM PA @ BLAST FURNACE @ ARTSQUEST CENTER
  • 2/1/2014 PAWTUCKET RI @ THE MET

You Blew It!

  • 1/15/2014 RENO NV @ NVWR Radio 
  • 1/20/2014 MESA AZ @ THE NILE UNDERGROUND

Thanks so much, everyone!!

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You Blew It!'s "The Past In Present" on vinyl

This is the record that got us to pay attention to You Blew It!. Not because it's a great record (it's not). The Past In Present is riddled with imperfections and quirkiness throughout. There are truly great moments on this album, while others stumble and fall just short — the markings of a band that knew what they wanted to do, but wasn't quite there yet (they'll be there in early 2014, though, I assure you). Mostly, this record is special because it captures a snapshot of the early stages of a promising band's modest missteps and triumphs over the course of a heart-on-sleeve album. It's altogether endearing and youthful. It's You Blew It!.

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The original artwork was made for CD and frankly, was really, really pixelated even at that size. Realizing this wouldn't work for a 12" LP, we enlisted the help of long-time goto art guy, Ben Sears. The result is an homage to the original with Ben's trademark touch. He's also done the rest of the album layout as well.

You can pre-order The Past In Present on vinyl now in the Topshelf store. It is also available for free download on bandcamp.

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