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2019 Recap // LITE // Multiple

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


TSR209: LITE - Multiple words by Kozo Kusumoto.

Listen / Purchase

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

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Listen to LITE»
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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.

Listen / Purchase

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.

Listen / Purchase

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.

View Us and Us Only merch»
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View Us and Us Only tour dates»

LITE // "Double" Music Video

Just a few days ahead of their US tour with Elephant Gym, LITE have shared a new music video for the song "Double," taken from their recently released album Multiple. Enjoy the video below and mark your calendars!

LITE's Nobuyuki Takeda explains that the group's objective with "Double" was to "remove the useless to the utmost limit," effectively eliminating effects and accessory pedals to approach the truest sound of their instruments. This self-imposed limitation is meant to emphasize the physicality of the band's music, characterized by melodically disjointed, rhythmically challenging passages and unpredictable songwriting.

"This physical sound expresses the best of our style, born from the history of playing in so many various and sometimes tough environments, and keeps only what’s necessary to express ourselves on stage," says Takeda. "When we asked ourselves how to express this physical feeling visually in a music video, we came to think naturally of dance. We chose the spirited young dancer Aoi Yamada, as we believed her contemporary dance expresses in the best way LITE’s current identity."

As Takeda suggests, Aoi Yamada's swift, precise movements assertively capture the the song's agile twists and hairpin turns. Her physical prowess and the viscerally demanding nature of "Double" are underscored by the focus on LITE's hands, symbolic of their mastery of the finer "points" of composition.

East coast tour dates:

  • October 24, 2019 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
  • October 25, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA @ Milkboy
  • October 26, 2019 - Washington, DC @ DC9

West coast tour dates with Elephant Gym:

  • October 28, 2019 - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
  • October 29, 2019 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
  • October 30, 2019 - Portland, OR @ Lola's Room
  • November 1, 2019 - Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone
  • November 2, 2019 - Sacramento, CA @ Harlow's
  • November 3, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
  • November 4, 2019 - San Diego, CA @ Music Box
  • November 6, 2019 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge

View LITE merch»
Listen to LITE»
View LITE tour dates»

LITE and Elephant Gym // Fall US Tour

Coming off the release of their sixth full-length album, the Japanese math-rock quartet LITE will tour the US this fall, starting off with a three show run in the northeast before heading to the west coast and teaming up with Taiwan's Elephant Gym. Dates along the Pacific will begin in Vancouver and run all the way through to Phoenix. Check out the tour schedule below and grab your tickets before it's too late!

LITE dates

  • October 24, 2019 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
  • October 25, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA @ MilkBoy
  • October 26, 2019 - Washington, DC @ DC9

LITE and Elephant Gym dates

  • October 28, 2019 - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Ballroom
  • October 29, 2019 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
  • October 30, 2019 - Portland, OR @ Paris Theatre
  • November 1, 2019 - Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone Berkeley
  • November 2, 2019 - Sacramento, CA @ Harlow's Restaurant & Nightclub
  • November 3, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
  • November 4, 2019 - San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
  • November 6, 2019 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge

Listen to LITE's most recent release, Multiple

"truly insane and absolutely delightful"
-The Alternative


Listen to Elephant Gym's most recent release, Underwater

"the bass-led, jazz-influenced math rock trio deserves to be lauded and more, and the whole world knows"
-Bandwagon

View LITE merch»
Listen to LITE»
View LITE tour dates»

LITE // Multiple: Sixth Studio Album Released

Multiple, out today, is the sixth full length record by the prolific maximalists known as LITE. Over the past 16 years, the Japanese quartet has established itself as one of the most influential groups across a host of subgenres. Though usually referred to by touchstones such as "math-rock" or "post-rock," LITE has developed an uncanny ability to fuse their influences into their own unmistakable dialect that defies generic genre classification.

♫ Listen to Multiple today on your preferred platform.

At times, Multiple’s compositions can place listeners at the junction of unlikely stylistic intersections. Conversating funk riffs will interweave with challenging rhythmic phrasing, blurring the lines between lead sections, obscuring where passages begin and end. LITE's distinct voice is emphasized in tracks such as "Double" and "4mg Warmth," where melodies meander incessantly, constantly taking the listener to new territory.

While many LITE songs unfold at breakneck pace, others entertain entirely different worlds altogether. In songs "Ring" and "Blizzard," the band tests the limits of their abilities with slowed-down, genre-bending forays into hip-hop and dub. On "Ring," LITE collaborated with rapper Maco Marets and singer Utena Kobayashi, where the latter's talents were also tapped for the song's ethereal steelpan section. As LITE has shown over nearly two decades, there exists no style that they cannot master or otherwise weave into their designs.

Multiple is now out digitally on Topshelf Records. Pre-order physicals today via the Topshelf Records store, to be released on September 6, 2019.

art by Misato Iwamoto (Hello Stranger)

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Listen to LITE»
View LITE tour dates»

May Recap // New Releases and a Healthy Handful of Summer Tours

We recently announced two incredibly unique records, both of which will be out in the first week of June. Learn a little more about the records below and make sure to pre-save and pre-order if you like what you hear!

As well, a healthy handful of Topshelf artists will be on tour this summer. From Ratboys to the legendary toe, there will be loads of shows you won't want to sleep on! Check out dates and other info below.

Alfred. photo by Ethan Hickerson / LITE photo by Riki Yamada

Recently announced albums

Alfred. - LIKE YOU!!

release: June 7, 2019

LIKE YOU!! is the deeply multifaceted debut album by Richmond, VA's Alfred. Its warbly bell tones, expertly chopped melodic samples, and slow-mo hip-hop grooves form the instrumental base for the "darkgospel" singer/rapper Aaron Brown. Jazzy yet supple Dilla-reminiscent cuts contrast starkly with songs that boast Alfred.'s signature darkgospel stylings, the juxtaposition of which makes for a compelling, spectrum-crossing album.

listen to the whole album ahead of its official release

watch the double video for "Tales of a Queer Rapscallion" and "Like You! (Yes, You)"

learn more about Alfred.

pre-order LIKE YOU!!

LITE - Multiple

release: June 5, 2019

Multiple is the sixth full length record by the prolific maximalists known as LITE. Over the past 16 years, the Japanese quartet has established itself as one of the most influential groups across a host of subgenres. Though usually referred to by touchstones such as "math-rock" or "post-rock," LITE has developed an uncanny ability to fuse their influences into their own unmistakable dialect that defies generic genre classification.

listen to the latest single, "Double"

listen to the lead single, "Temple"

learn more about LITE

pre-order Multiple

Tours

Don't you love when tons of great gigs underscore the vibrance of summer? Check out our tour playlist to get a sampling of the Topshelf artists and their tourmates who are currently on the road, and read on for the full scoop on all the tours going down.

listen on spotify

listen on apple music

toe just announced two US shows in August

toe tour info

No Vacation began their full US tour this week, and will fly out to Europe for an extended tour in July

No Vacation tour info

Bellows will be on tour with Gabby's World in July, with a slew of west coast dates

Bellows tour info

Alfred. will be doing a short run of shows in July

Alfred. tour info

Queen of Jeans will hit the road with The Menzingers and The Sidekicks in July

Queen of Jeans tour info

Ratboys will begin the second leg of their tour with PUP in June

Ratboys tour info

View toe merch»
Listen to toe»
View toe tour dates»

LITE // Multiple Announced

This week we're ecstatic to announce the sixth full length record, Multiple, from the prolific group LITE, to be released digitally on June 5, 2019, and physically on September 6, 2019. Pre-order the album today via our store, and read more about the album below while you listen to the lead single, "Temple."


Over the past 16 years, the Japanese quartet has established itself as one of the most influential groups across a host of subgenres. Though usually referred to by touchstones such as "math-rock" or "post-rock," LITE has developed an uncanny ability to fuse their influences into their own unmistakable dialect that defies generic genre classification.

At times, Multiple’s compositions can place listeners at the junction of unlikely stylistic intersections. Conversating funk riffs will interweave with challenging rhythmic phrasing, blurring the lines between lead sections, obscuring where passages begin and end. LITE's distinct voice is emphasized in tracks such as "Double" and "4mg Warmth," where melodies meander incessantly, constantly taking the listener to new territory.

While many LITE songs unfold at breakneck pace, others entertain entirely different worlds altogether. In songs "Ring" and "Blizzard," the band tests the limits of their abilities with slowed-down, genre-bending forays into hip-hop and dub. On "Ring," LITE collaborated with rapper Maco Marets and singer Utena Kobayashi, where the latter's talents were also tapped for the song's ethereal steelpan section. As LITE has shown over nearly two decades, there exists no style that they cannot master or otherwise weave into their designs.

upcoming tour dates:

  • May 25, 2019 - Tokyo, Japan @ Shimokitazawa SOUND CRUISING 2019
  • June 18, 2019 - Guangzhou, China @ MAO LIVEHOUSE
  • June 19, 2019 - Shenzhen, China @ B10 LIVE
  • June 20, 2019 - Hangzhou, China @ MAO LIVEHOUSE
  • June 21, 2019 - Shanghai, China @ MAO LIVEHOUSE
  • June 22, 2019 - Beijing, China @ OMNI SPACE
  • July 04, 2019 - Nagoya, Japan @ JAMMIN'
  • July 05, 2019 - Osaka, Japan @ Shangri-La
  • July 13, 2019 - Tokyo, Japan @ WWW X

art by Misato Iwamoto (Hello Stranger)

View LITE merch»
Listen to LITE»
View LITE tour dates»

2018 Recap

We all know 2018 was something else, but at least we have music to assuage the pains and anxieties of our current moment. Since we put out 16 records this year, not including a healthy dose of reissues, we wanted to recap it all for you in as succinct a manner as possible.

If life is too hectic, throw on the sampler and see what strikes your fascinations. Stylistically, our year covered a lot of ground, so if none of the names below ring familiar to you, it's a great collection to get yourself acquainted with this year's repertoire, and our roster in general.

As always, thank you for listening and thank you for supporting our label and the artists we work with.


2018 Sampler

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | tidal

recommended for the musically curious

what to expect: an eclectic, hand-picked selection of songs from each one of our 2018 titles


Ratboys - GL

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Soccer Mommy, Diet Cig, Hop Along, Big Thief, Andy Shauf

what to expect: indie rock embellished with country charm and twang


Giraffes? Giraffes! - Memory Lame

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Hella, Tera Melos, LITE, Don Caballero, Battles

what to expect: hectic, scatterbrained math-rock bursting with psychedelic tendencies and unforeseeable turns


Gulfer - Dog Bless

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Bear Vs. Shark, Cap’n Jazz, Crash of Rhinos, Algernon Cadwallader, Tiny Moving Parts

what to expect: raucous anthems that exude punkish quintessence through crafty, inventive songwriting


Thanya Iyer - Do You Dream? Mixtape

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Lomelda, Emily Yacina, Helena Deland, Bernice

what to expect: eclectic intersections of indie pop, electronic, and jazz which weave peculiarly gorgeous stories


Queen of Jeans - Dig Yourself
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Warpaint, SALES, Jay Som, The Duke Spirit, The Ronettes

what to expect: elegantly retrofitted indie pop with ethereally layered vocals


Clearance - At Your Leisure

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Pavement, Guided by Voices, Parquet Courts, Nap Eyes, Ought, Yo La Tengo, The Feelies, REM, Wire, The Kinks

what to expect: jangly indie rock fronted by reflective sprechgesang, rounded at the edges with clever pop songwriting


tricot - potage / On the boom
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Cibo Matto, Marnie Stern, TTNG, Metric

what to expect: a satisfying quick fix featuring two of the band’s more poppier songs to date


Pema - Bad Habits
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Nadine, Alex Napping, Men I Trust, Half Waif

what to expect: electronic pop that shimmers with unique production and enchanting vocals


gobbinjr - ocala wick
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: The Blow, Mirah, Of Montreal, Snail Mail, IAN SWEET, Adult Mom

what to expect: upbeat and whimsical indie pop built on earwormy, hazy melodies


mouse on the keys - tres
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: CHON, Cornelius, toe, Tortoise, The Mercury Program

what to expect: unpredictable, beautiful, and solemn compositions that pry open and rearrange the seams of jazz


El Ten Eleven - Banker's Hill
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Tycho, The Album Leaf, Battles, The Mercury Program, Lymbyc Systym

what to expect: driving yet meditative post-rock with curious and explorative guitar looping


Another Michael - Land
spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Stephen Steinbrink, Jodi, Friendship, Russel the Leaf

what to expect: subdued indie pop with infectious vocals and crispy production



toe - Our Latest Number

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: The Album Leaf, The Mercury Program, Pele, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Mono, Don Caballero, Battles

what to expect: toe, but on the more restrained, introspective end of their wildly broad spectrum


Doe - Grow into It

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: The Breeders, Rozwell Kid, Weezer, Speedy Ortiz, The Sidekicks, Charly Bliss, Swearin’, Great Grandpa, Hatchie

what to expect: assertive indie rock hooks and riffs that brim with crunchy tact


LITE - Blizzard

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: Tera Melos, Hella, Pele, Don Caballero, Battles, mouse on the keys

what to expect: the classic, tight noodling and controlled explosiveness that this band is all about


Elephant Gym - Underwater

spotify | bandcamp | soundcloud | youtube | tidal

recommended if you like: American Football, toe, tricot, Chon, TTNG, Yvette Young

what to expect: deft and immersive math-rock featuring a host of international vocalists

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New Music from Elephant Gym, Annual Label Sampler & Holiday Sale

Greetings! It is about that time, people. We've got a few deals going to help you with your holiday shopping (much more on that below). Now's probably also a good time to recap you on what we've put out this year, incase you've missed anything. We've also got Elephant Gym's new album Underwater available for purchase—details on all of that below.

This year's been awesome—I'm so psyched on the diverse titles and exciting group of artists we've gotten to partner with in 2018. For a quick glimpse of everything we had our hands in this year check out our discography page, or just peep our label sampler that features a track from every artist we released music for in 2018:

Oh yeah, the sale!

  • Take 20% everything in our shop with the code HOUSEKEEPING (excludes pre-order items)
  • Take an additional 15% off everything in our sale section (prices already marked down)
  • Our Bandcamp subscription is temporarily lowered to just $6 a month—get everything we release instantly digitally delivered to you, plus bonus downloads and behind-the-scenes updates all while supporting us and our roster in an ongoing, sustainable way!
  • we've re-stocked crewnecks, beanies, hats and shirts
  • For every $50 you spend in our shop, get a free random test press with your order
  • All digital items on our Bandcamp are 50% off (use the code HOUSEKEEPING)
  • Lastly, if you're shopping for someone and not sure what to get them, we have gift cards

A few notes and clarifications: The 50% off Bandcamp code *will* work on physical merch. We won't honor that though. Please do not try to buy physical merch with this code—YOU WILL BE REFUNDED and we will cancel your order if you do this. It is intended for digital items only. Thanks!

To redeem your free test press for every $50 spent, you must add this item to your cart.

In other news, you can finally listen to the new Elephant Gym album Underwater! It'll be on streaming platforms December 7th, but until then, you can stream or download it from Bandcamp (psst you'd already have it if you were subscribed!) or simply add it to your cart here on our shop.

That's it for now—thanks so much for your continued interest and support! <3

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LITE // Blizzard

Blizzard, the latest from LITE, is a 7" single that indulges in the band's renowned style of cinematic, melodically rampant math rock. Side A explores a host of stylistic influences, with skittering call-and-response guitars building over an electronic drum loop into a shimmering climax that consumes the listener like a blizzard. B side, "Zone," returns to the signature urgency of LITE, crashing straight into a breakneck, noodling ostinato that perfectly captures the group's rambunctious yet controlled style of composition.

LITE will bring their cerebral sounds to both the UK and US this fall and winter, starting next week in Bristol. In December, they will support Chon on a small run of shows along both the east and west coasts.

Listen to Blizzard today on your favorite platform, here.

Order the Blizzard 7" today here. Available in bone and opaque purple variants.

UK tour dates:

  • October 08, 2018 - Bristol, UK @ Exchange
  • October 09, 2018 - Manchester, UK @ The Ruby Lounge
  • October 10, 2018 - Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
  • October 11, 2018 - Belfast, UK @ Foundry
  • October 12, 2018 - Dublin, Ireland @ Bello Bar
  • October 13, 2018 - Sheffield, UK @ The Foundry Sheffield
  • October 14, 2018 - London, UK @ The Garage

US tour dates with Chon:

  • December 05, 2018 - Boston, MA @ Sinclair
  • December 07, 2018 - Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
  • December 08, 2018 - Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes
  • December 14, 2018 - Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone
  • December 15, 2018 - Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
  • December 16, 2018 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom

Tickets for these shows can be found here.

Art by Yoshiaki Miura

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