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standards // Signing and album announce

We're extremely excited to share that the band standards have signed with Topshelf Records and will release their debut full-length, Fruit Island, this summer.

standards is a two-piece math rock band fronted by guitarist Marcos Mena and featuring drummer Brody Taylor Smith. Their self-described "fruity" melodies and technical musicianship have earned them somewhat of a cult following over the years, owed in part to Mena's proclivity for guitar-based video content. But the band's ebullient songwriting is the true source of their popularity among guitar-music fans, who laud standards for their uniquely danceable brand of complex instrumental rock. Since the group's inception in late 2017, standards have released two beloved EPs, played with the likes of Polyphia, Covet, and Delta Sleep, and toured in support of emo group Tiny Moving Parts.

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follow standards:

art by Liam Hopkins

standards will also be on tour soon, first with the band Floral through the rest of February, and then with Shin Guard in late March/early April:

dates with Floral:

  • February 15 - El Paso, TX @ Love Buzz
  • February 17 - McAllen, TX @ Yerbia Cultura
  • February 18 - San Antonio, TX @ Limelight
  • February 19 - Austin, TX @ Cheer Up Charlie's
  • February 20 - Houston, TX @ Secret Group
  • February 21 - Dallas, TX @ Rubber Gloves
  • February 22 - Amarillo, TX @ Pondaseta Brewery
  • February 23 - Denver, CO @ 7th Circle
  • February 25 - Phoenix, AZ @ Sun Room
  • February 26 - Las Vegas, NV @ Cheba Hut
  • February 28 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Smell
  • March 6 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill

dates with Shin Guard:

  • March 23 - Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
  • March 24 - Minneapolis, MO @ The Garage
  • March 26 - Chicago, IL @ Wire
  • March 27 - Detroit, MI @ The Sanctuary
  • March 28 - Toronto, ON @ Baby G's
  • March 29 - Cleveland, OH @ Mallhalls Downstairs
  • March 30 - Pittsburgh, PA @ The Mr. Roboto Project
  • March 31 - Philadelphia, PA @ Creep Records
  • April 1 - New York City, NY @ The Kingsland
  • April 2 - Glassboro, NJ @ 4333 Collective
  • April 3 - Baltimore, MD @ The Undercroft
  • April 5 - Charlotte, NC @ Milestone
  • April 6 - Atlanta, GA @ The Bakery

art by Mostyn Griffith

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View Standards tour dates»

addy // Debut album 'Eclipse' announced with the uplifting lead "Planted"

Yesterday we shared the news of yet another addition to the Topshelf roster in Richmond VA's addy. Led by Adam Watkins, addy dabbles in contemplative bedroom musings of friendship, heartbreak, and growth, brought to life through songs that are equally familiar and refreshing.

addy's first action as a newly minted Topshelf artist is the unveiling of the uplifting lead single, "Planted," taken from their debut full length, Eclipse, to be released on March 6, 2020.

listen to addy's "Planted"
pre-order Eclipse on vinyl, CD, cassette, or digitally

make sure to give addy a follow on socials as well!
instagram
twitter
facebook

art by Kevin Zweerink

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View addy tour dates»

Crisman // Welcoming Crisman to the Topshelf family

The Denton-based slowcore group Crisman has joined the Topshelf Records family! Their self-titled studio debut will be out on April 3, 2020, available on vinyl, cassette, and digital platforms.

Sign up to be notified when pre-orders go live

We're not sharing new music from Crisman quite just yet (stay tuned for that)! But in the meantime we encourage you to check out their previous work on Spotify and Bandcamp (where all previous work is currently available for free download).

Listen to and follow Crisman on Spotify
Listen to and follow Crisman on Bandcamp

Heck, follow Crisman on your socials too!

Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

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View Crisman tour dates»

Ratboys // "I Go Out at Night"

Today we're stoked to share the video for the newest Ratboys single, "I Go Out at Night," directed by coool and taken from their upcoming album, Printer's Devil.

Listen to the new single today on your platform of choice and check the video below
Pre-order Printer's Devil on vinyl, CD, cassette, or digital

In addition to the new video, a little reminder that Ratboys will embark on a headlining tour this year, kicking things off with a release show for Printer's Devil in Chicago on February 28. Find the dates below, and have fun at the gig~

  • February 21, 2020 - Madison, WI, US @ Memorial Union Terrace, University of Wisconsin
  • February 28, 2020 - Chicago, IL, US @ Lincoln Hall
  • March 14, 2020 - Urbana, IL, US @ Rose Bowl Tavern
  • March 15, 2020 - Kansas City, MO, US @ The Riot Room
  • March 24, 2020 - Manitou Springs, CO, US @ Lulu's Downstairs
  • March 25, 2020 - Boise, ID, US @ Treefort Music Fest
  • March 26, 2020 - Salt Lake City, UT, US @ Kilby Court
  • March 29, 2020 - Seattle, WA, US @ Barboza
  • March 30, 2020 - Portland, OR, US @ Mississippi Studios
  • April 02, 2020 - San Francisco, CA, US @ Bottom of the Hill
  • April 03, 2020 - Santa Ana, CA, US @ CONSTELLATION ROOM
  • April 04, 2020 - Los Angeles (LA), CA, US @ The Echo
  • April 05, 2020 - La Jolla, CA, US @ Che Cafe, UC San Diego
  • April 07, 2020 - Phoenix, AZ, US @ The Rebel Lounge
  • April 09, 2020 - Denver, CO, US @ Larimer Lounge
  • April 29, 2020 - Pontiac, MI, US @ Pike Room at the Crofoot
  • April 30, 2020 - Lakewood, OH, US @ Mahall's 20 Lanes
  • May 01, 2020 - Pittsburgh, PA, US @ Club Café
  • May 02, 2020 - Toronto, ON, Canada @ Monarch Tavern
  • May 05, 2020 - Allston, MA, US @ Great Scott
  • May 07, 2020 - Brooklyn, NY, US @ Rough Trade NYC
  • May 08, 2020 - Philadelphia, PA, US @ Johnny Brenda's
  • May 09, 2020 - Washington, DC, US @ Songbyrd Music House
  • May 10, 2020 - Richmond, VA, US @ The Camel
  • May 12, 2020 - Atlanta, GA, US @ The Masquerade
  • May 13, 2020 - Nashville, TN, US @ Mercy Lounge / the High Watt
  • May 14, 2020 - Columbus, OH, US @ Rumba Café
  • May 15, 2020 - Louisville, KY, US @ Zanzabar
  • May 16, 2020 - St Louis, MO, US @ Duck Room, Blueberry Hill

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Listen to Ratboys»
View Ratboys tour dates»

Boyscott // Tour with Vundabar

Boyscott will tour with Vundabar along the East Coast in the new year, with a few appearances in the midwest, as well as a lone Canadian show in Toronto.

Not familiar with Boyscott? Get a sample of Boyscott's metamorphic rock on their album Goose Bumps anywhere music is heard.

  • 3/18 - Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place^
  • 3/19 - Toronto, ON @ The Garrison^
  • 3/20 - Cleveland, OH @ Grog^
  • 3/21 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall^
  • 3/22 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St^
  • 4/11 - Orlando, FL @ Soundbar*
  • 4/12 - Atlanta, GA @ Purgatory*
  • 4/13 - Nashville, TN @ High Watt
  • 4/14 - Asheville, NC @ Mothlight*
  • 4/15 - Raleigh, NC @ Motorco*
  • 4/16 - Washington, DC @ U Street*
  • 4/17 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church*
  • 4/24 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club*
  • 4/29 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade*
  • 4/30 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom*

^ w/ The Ophelias

* w/ Dehd

View Boyscott merch»
Listen to Boyscott»
View Boyscott tour dates»

2019 Recap // Boyscott // Goose Bumps

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


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 Boyscott merch»
Listen to Boyscott»
View Boyscott tour dates»

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

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

2019 Recap // Mid-Air Thief // Crumbling

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


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!


View Mid-Air Thief merch»
Listen to Mid-Air Thief»
View Mid-Air Thief tour dates»

2019 Recap // No Vacation // Phasing

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


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.


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