There’s probably only a handful of labels that I’m ride or die for of late, but certainly have to admit that Paisley Shirt Records is one of them…especially with this new Tony Jay on the horizon. My joy comes here in listening to the recordings, like bedroom pop for the outsiders; the pop made at home for no one else, with the occasional friend throwing in a note here and there. In listening through a few times on repeat, there’s this really subtle little movement around the 1:30 mark where a faint little guitar line sort of flutters around like a moth looking for light. I’m just totally mesmerized, and can’t wait to hear the whole LP; Hey There Flower drops on May 14th.
Our list of albums to look forward towards as the year ramps up includes this forthcoming LP from The Telephone Numbers. While the track may feature the slightest of acoustic jangles, its the work behind Thomas Rubenstein’s voice that really elevates the song. String arrangements are the most obvious, like a hand from the the heavens sprinkling magical melodic dust, sweeping across the song to coat it in this textural warmth. Behind that light jangle you can also hear another guitar line, sort of dancing a jig around the front of the mix, but it adds punctuation to both vocals and guitar notes, giving Thomas a pop hero’s welcome. The Ballad of Doug is out June 25th via Meritorio/Paisley Shirt.
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve done a proper run with Rock n’ Recipes, so wanted to return this year with a banger; we were fortunate enough to catch up with Mike and Karina of Flowertown. They recently announced that they’ll be putting two of their recent EPs for Paisley Shirt Records onto one great LP for Mt. St. Mtn. If you’re not familiar with the duo, you might have heard lots of buzz about their other projects like Cindy or Tony Jay, but jump below to catch up on the current work! Pre-Order the LP HERE.
I think most people who buy records and tapes tend to have their go-to labels, and it’s great to have a reliable source for good tunes. The last few years, Paisley Shirt Records has been bringing us a pretty solid catalog of great pop tunes, and now they’re adding Oakland’s Blue Ocean to that mix. For me, listening through to the album’s opener, it’s like listening to DJ Screw, only if you were into really heavy shoegaze and indiepop. The song’s core is this bouncing rhythmic pop pulse, but its been chopped and screwed by this thunderous wall of feedback and noise; I get that that analogy does not work for everyone out there…but the tune speaks for itself! The whole self-titled album is out on April 16th (though you can find some of the tunes elsewhere!).
If you are hip enough to follow Paisley Shirt Records then you might already have Flowertown on your radar, and in fact, you might have already heard versions of the song from the band’s self-titled LP. But, Mt. St. Mtn. has announced they’ll be compiling these songs and remastering them in proper format for a first ever vinyl pressing. The band is comprised of Karina Gill (Cindy) and Michael Ramos (Tony Jay) and together, they’re dropping breadcrumbs all the way back to the early days of K Records and Flying Nun. Guitars twist and turn around the steady percussive element; it sounds at times as if the band’s finding their footing together in the a live space for the first time…giving that lo-fi aesthetic that can’t be faked. My favorite moment, in a very weird strong Nathan only way actually comes at 1:25-1:43; its this guitar interlude that has these perfect tones that sort of breathe air into the vocal duet, giving more charm than one man can handle. The LP will be released on April 23rd!
Wouldn’t you believe it? Two great labels unite to bring a great new band from San Francisco? The Telephone Numbers just announced The Ballad of Doug via Paisley Shirt Records and Meritorio, two labels we’ve written about numerous times. Oh, and is that a Glenn Donaldson sighting in the credits? That’s like the hottest commodity in songwriting right now. But, all hyperbole aside, the light circular ring of the guitar strum and harmonizing in the vocal work is just the delightful side of pop I’d like to call home. Thomas Rubenstein’s vocals on his own do have this heavy indiepop tinge, not unlike our friends in Tres Oui, which seems fitting given both bands adoration of Prefab Sprout. Required listening? Duh! The record’s out on June 4th!
Out in San Francisco, Paisley Shirt Records is doing a great job releasing tunes we’ve been enjoying quite a bit over here, like the R.E. Seraphin LP from earlier this year. But, just recently, they also dropped Big Love, the latest LP from Burner Herzog. Sure, it’s been out a few weeks, but maybe you weren’t aware, so here I am. Herzog has worked with artists we adore like Bill Baird and Tony Molina in the studio, and he admits he’s been influenced by Tony’s work, at least in how he came about crafting this album. I think my favorite tracks are a toss up between “Prayer Candles” and “Bob Dylan is a CIA Man,” particularly the vocal melodies that sine through in the latter tune. Plus, you get a nice little Silver Apples cover with “You and I.” Let’s all walk together, friends, and listen to Big Love!
The pandemic shutdown has allowed a lot of artists to sit down and just write, so it’s no surprise that R.E. Seraphin has returned so quickly with his follow-up to Tiny Shapes (which is highly recommended). It’s six great new songs, fleshed out with a little help from friends like Matt Bullimore (the Mantles). Musically, Ray always seems to patch up his work with a collage of various elements, be it post-punk, dream pop or bedroom lo-fi, they always play on your need for pop nuggets to make your world better; I’ve been really into “Leave Me in the Tide” today! Plus, if you pick the digital album up, all proceeds are going to People’s Breakfast Oakland, helping bail protestors out and providing food/aid to the homeless. You win twice here! Grab A Room Forever from Paisley Shirt Records now!
R.E. Seraphin was a staple in the Austin music scene for years, even working with ATH Records own Mean Jolene…but, life led him out to California where he’s just released a really wonderful new collection of songs: Tiny Shapes. I reached out to Ray to see if he’d be willing to share a playlist of tunes that influenced his latest release…and he kindly obliged. After the jump you’ll get 10 songs that helped R.E. Seraphin make a great new record. And if you’re so inclined, go grab a copy from Paisley Shirt Records!
R.E. Seraphin has Austin roots, as songwriter Ray Seraphin spent time in Talkies and our own Mean Jolene, but now he’s living the dream in California. The new project will soon be releasing Tiny Shapes, so why not get this single on your radar. Little guitar stabs and intricately pick notes set the landscape for Seraphin’s voice to deliver these smoky whispers. However, the selling point is definitely the chorus; the song seemingly stops, guitar chords ring and all your emotions crash into one another as Ray delivers the line “I want it all.” Tiny Shapes will be released this Spring by Paisley Shirt Records.