2019 Recap // Us and Us Only // Two Songs

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.

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