Labrador Records spotlight in well-standing: Radio Dept., Club 8, The Mary Onettes, and Sambassadeur
I can remember having first heard The Radio Dept. through a friend, and then later gaining a new peek at the band through their beautiful track "Pulling Our Weight", which was included on the Sofia Coppola soundtrack to Marie Antoinette (which some may loathe, but to which I absolutely adore). And of course, sometimes it's hard to perk up your antennae when the only way to pick up items by specific artists is through mailorder, copying it from a friend, or tour dates. Most often, dutifully, we must continue this tradition of consuming and supporting releases that come from these smaller labels by purchasing to keep the love of hearing a new release (a new release that not many may have heard) alive and well (and of course, adding it to our collection).
Labrador is one of the many slowly expanding boutique labels out there (Slumberland, Matinee, Shelflife, and so on...) that has a long tradition of picking their artists to go with their "sound", fitting the look and appeal to brand their name ever so carefully (over ten years now for Labrador, who actually released the "Labrador 100" in 2007 to commemorate ten years). It becomes a trust to be able to go to them and know that you can expect the best sound in their arena and locale to come from this compatibility between label and artist.
Based out of Stockholm, Sweden, Labrador records has had an unwavering knack for finding that pure, 'chiming-and-charming-pop-and-new-wave,' sound and has more recently been showing up on radars everywhere for label artist The Mary Onettes, whose fantastic release "Islands" has been making a splash in the last year. The album is also one with which the group will again be touring for later this Spring in the US (for a second time). We've included some updates below on what the label has to offer and what we can look forward to seeing released this Spring.
The Mary Onettes Upcoming April 2010 Tour:
19 April - Philadelphia, PA @ Marathon Bar
20 April - Washington, DC @ DC9
21 April - New York City, NY @ Mercury Lounge
22 April - Boston, MA @ Great Scott
23 April - Columbus, OH @ Summit
24 April - Chicago, IL @ Schubas
25 April - Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
26 April - Portland, OR @ Holocene
27 April - San Francisco @ Rickshaw
28 April - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
29 April - Los Angeles, CA @ Viper Room
The Radio Dept. - Heaven's On Fire
THE RADIO DEPT. - CLINGING TO A SCHEME (Release Date: April 21, 2010)
The first track to preview from the third full-album release by Lund, Sweden's The Radio Dept. is a track called "Heaven's On Fire". Using a Thurston Moore soundbite, "People see Rock and Roll as “Youth Culture” and when “Youth Culture” becomes monopolised by big business, what are the youth to do? Do you have any idea? I think we should destroy the bogus capitalist process which is destroying “Youth Culture”" to begin the track, the music forms an oddly light synth and beat programming pastiche that centers around the shy vocals and endearing lyrics of singer Johan Duncanson "When I look at you/my Heaven's on fire/Heaven's on fire...". With most of the song sounding like a long lost Style Council backing track, and with all of the overlapping elements; we could practically spin this track all day long.
The single for "Heaven's On Fire" includes the Sade cover "All About Our Love" which we haven't heard their version of, but which we're looking forward to hearing. Labrador had this to say about the expected new album: "Now, the 20th of January 2010, as we're sitting here with "Clinging to a scheme" in our hands we’ve waited four long years for this new album to materialize. And we only need a simple press on Play and to know it’s been worth every second. The band has combined the most unequalled components from their previous albums “Lesser matters” and “Pet grief” with soul guitars, P-funk, glittering, distorted synthesizers, cut/paste-beats, 70’s futuristic orchestra sounds and sounds you don't know what they are. Things you've never heard before. "Clinging to a scheme" is way beyond pleasing - it's absolutely breathtaking."
CLUB 8 - THE PEOPLE'S RECORD (Release Date: May 18, 2010)
For a duo whose music catalogue seems to have largely centered around the breathy dream-pop medium bringing to mind other artists such as Dubstar, The Cardigans, and Innocence Mission; Club 8 have taken a giant leap forward in their sound with their latest upcoming single track, "Western Hospitality". Western Hospitality is due to be released on Labrador as a single on April 7th, 2010, and is one of the tracks highlighting their upcoming full-length release, "The People's Record". Getting together with producer Jari Haapalainen (The Concretes, Camera Obscura, Ed Harcourt) seems to have opened up the sound for Johan Angergård (Acid House Kings, The Legends, Poprace) while making Karolina Komstedt's (Poprace) vocals really pop in the mix quite literally morphing them into a sultry Debbie Harry. With a smattering of air organ, Brazilian inspired beats, and flare from 70s Western Africa all the way to a collaboration with a Cuban percussion player; this has to be one of Club 8's more wilder slices of pure-fun pop!
SAMBASSADEUR - EUROPEAN (Release Date: February 23, 2010)
We are in love with Sambassadeur's third LP, "European" and its soft palette of beautiful tracks. One of the albums greatest advantages is how easy it shifts from their fuller instrumental numbers using whole horn sections and strings, to easy and quiet tracks that build or stand-still without becoming overwhelming or rich. Everything moves so seamlessly that there isn't a bad word that we could fit in (or that we would want to) to describe, or want to keep you from experiencing through-and-through, a wonderful album. This is the group's second album produced in a studio by local Mattias Glavå.