MASSIVE HSAL Sampler!

Over four hours of sounds from a decade’s worth of HSAL arrchives!

To finish off the celebration of TEN YEARS of doing right by Virginia, we curated a sampling of the HSAL catalog. This “Career Box” contains a track from every release – starting with HSAL #01 (a split 7″ EP between Herizon & Virgineola) & ending with a cut from the just released HSAL #56 (the second single from the new L.A. Dies album).

While digging back through the archives, we came across several submissions, live cuts, covers & other special moments from years of artists coming & going through the Hill City. We thought some of this action would be the perfect addition to our collection here.

There is also a visual collection assembled from our vault. Pics – lots of pics – from our first decade. Candid live shots, staged press photos, & more! Oh, & we put together some interesting HSAL-related video footage as well.

We thought about what we should charge for such a project, but couldn’t get away from the idea of this “box set” being a gift from us to any & all who care to receive it. Consider it our way of saying “THANK YOU” to any & all who have supported our endeavors to promote inddpendent art.

New L.A. Dies Single!

On Friday, November 29th, we are dropping the new L.A. Dies maxi-single! “Tend To Do” is the second official cut to be featured from the four-piece’s spectacular LP, “Drifting Still“. HSAL fans can the entire release here prior to the 29th!

At the album’s release back in September, we reached out to HSAL friends & family about the possibility of reworking one of the tunes. Multiple responses were that the track would have to be “Tend To Do”. For this maxi-single, which clocks in at roughly 18 minutes, the single proper is paired with remixes from Tracy Shedd (ex-Band & The Beat), Benjamin Mauch (Colin Phils) & Opin (who are currently mixing down their new LP).

The single comes across like a long-lost remnant from the last Cocteau Twins album. Slithering bass lines that work around programmed rhythms with a vocal delivery that earns allure as it escapes translation. Each of the remixes lean into the ethereal space trapped within the original. Tracy Shedd & Opin both find themselves working with processed percussive elements to augment the tune. Ben Mauch’s redux is floats away from the base, landing at an authentic recreation.


HSAL #50 (free download)

Last month, we threw a big party to celebrate TEN YEARS of central Virginia based rock action! It was a blast – thanks to all that attended & sent well wishes our way. We were able to capture sounds from the Warehouse Theater & thought it appropriate to share some of the memories that were made via a release such as this.

HSAL #50 (Digital) is available NOW!

We present to you HSAL #50 – a “Harding & Main Fest” sampler! Present on this compilation is a live cut from each performance. Many of these tracks are currently unreleased (Graven Image, Toan Team, Opin, Young Scum, Jeremaih Lloyd Harmon), which just adds to the uniquness of this document. The cover art is a collection of shots from the show snapped by Stefanie Murza, who debuted her video for L.A. Dies‘ “Circle” last month as well.

So, THAT happened!

WOW. That’s really the best word to describe our reaction to everything that went down this weekend. From the Drifting Still” LP listening party – which was attended by over 60 people – to the whirlwind that was the Harding & Main Fest, wonderful time seemed to be had by all! If you played any part in all this action (meaning you played, you carried gear, you directed traffic, you attended, you bought records, or you just said nice things on social media), we sincerely appreciate you. It’s times like these that completely reinforce why we push forward.

We are working on a proper recap of the big party & hope to share that with you all in the weeks to come.

L.A. Dies at HSAL #50. PC: Stefanie Murza

In the meantime, our heartfelt thanks go out to: Geoff (for sharing a vision), Corey, Brittany, Michael, & the team at the Academy Center (for facilitating that vision), Mike (our sound man for the event), Emma (for the killer print features), Kathy & Jason (our volunteer crew), Stef (for so, so many pics), Blake (for an open ear & a like-minded heart), Graven Image, Toan Team, Opin, TLVS, Young Scum, L.A. Dies, Nickelus F, Sound of Ceres, & Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon (for taking our stage & pouring your hearts out over the Hill City).

HSAL, by Todd Webb

As we inch closer & closer to our HUGE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVENT, we thought it would be interesting to connect with people who have been with us through various seasons. These may be artists we’ve worked with or simply friends of the label who have watched us grow.

This time around, we caught up with Todd Webb. Over the past couple decades, Webb has fronted multiple music projects (Seamonster, Fox Hands, Oahu). Additionally, Webb’s visual output has been featured in gallery shows on both US coasts, his Instagram based audio/visual series & numerous illustrations in various published comics. We asked him a handful of questions & here’s what he had to share:

Webb performing in Norfolk, June 2019 (PC: Joe Justice)

When was the first time you heard about HSAL?

I’m not positive, but I seem to recall getting a letter and CD out of the blue of (probably TLVS) stuff sent to me by Nathan way back in the early days? But then I think the first time we crossed paths IRL was in like 2012 when I did a couple Seamonster tours with Suburban Living (who I temporarily played bass for) and we played at Speakertree & stayed with Joe (Morgan, of TLVS) afterwards. It was an extremely fun show and visit and we’ve all been pals ever since, which is the best thing that can happen on tour!

How has HSAL connected with you personally over the years (either as a fan or an artist)?

I just love the enthusiasm they have for local creators across the board – and the positivity promoted by the label as a whole. Putting good vibes into the world is a lost art in these dark days, so I love that aspect of HSAL. Plus, HSAL chooses interesting music to release so its a win win for me. 

What do you think HSAL has meant to “the scene”?

I think they’ve provided a central hub for music in this area that is indispensable – a lot of stuff might not have continued to grow and evolve if HSAL wasn’t there to cheer-lead it onward. I know I personally probably wouldn’t have started releasing Oahu stuff publicly if it weren’t for Joe and Nathan’s encouragement. 

Which two or three HSAL releases would you use to recommend the label to a friend?

Anything by these three gets my full recommendation!

HSAL, by Aaron Jacks

As we inch closer & closer to our HUGE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVENT, we thought it would be interesting to connect with people who have been with us through various seasons. These may be artists we’ve worked with or simply friends of the label who have watched us grow.

This time around, we caught up with Aaron Jacks, who has been an Lynchburg art & music scene enthusiast for over half a decade now. Most know him these days as a member of L.A. Dies, whose “Drifting Still” drops this weekend! We asked him a handful of questions & here’s what he had to share:

Aaron Jacks tracking guitar during “Drifting Still” sessions.

When was the first time you heard about HSAL?

I first encountered HSAL when I went to Speakertree for the very first time back in early May of 2013. Nathan, who was behind the counter at the time, invited me to the show that was happening that weekend. Naturally, being entirely unaware of what I’d be in for, I went back to my dorm and sampled every artist on the bill I could find on YouTube. After some digging, I finally found a video of TLVS performing the then-unreleased “TV-MA-LSV” somewhere in Norfolk. I was blown away (and also surprised to see that the very same gentleman who invited me to the show was behind the drums absolutely killing it!) I needed to go to that show after watching that video. Luckily, I managed to secure a ride with some friends after some enthusiastic begging and we all went to the show. I left with a copy of TLVS’ “Porcelain“.

How has HSAL connected with you personally over the years (either as a fan or an artist)?

Had it not been for Nathan’s invite or that video of TLVS, I don’t think I would have been so insistent about going to that show; a show that I, without exaggeration, give credit for changing my life. From then on, I went to any local show and immersed myself in as much local music as I could. Almost four years later, this would ultimately lead me to attending a couple of L.A. Dies shows and subsequently tricking them into letting me join the band. In 2018, L.A. Dies was asked to participate in HSAL #44, which led us to Allen Bergendahl, who would later be at the helm of our upcoming LP “Drifting Still”. To be a part of the HSAL truly means the world to me.

What do you think HSAL has meant to “the scene”?

HSAL’s unending support for Lynchburg’s music scene has been integral to its growth and persistence. With every release, Lynchburg further secures itself as one of the most lush and eclectic music scenes any college town has to offer. We are extremely fortunate to have HSAL taking it upon themselves to ensure that the scene is both thriving and preserved.

Which two or three HSAL releases would you use to recommend the label to a friend?

  • TLVS, “I Can Dream All Day“: I had to wait TWO YEARS for “TV-MA-LSV” to finally come out, and it was worth every second. If you’re a post-rock fan of any degree, this is essential.
  • Benjamin Mauch, “Golden Bay Garden“: This is a tough contender for the most beautiful sounds HSAL has ever pressed.
  • L.A. Dies, “Drifting Still“: Completely unbiased here! You should totally listen to this album!

HSAL, by Allen Bergendahl

As we inch closer & closer to our HUGE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVENT, we thought it would be interesting to connect with people who have been with us through various seasons. These may be artists we’ve worked with or simply friends of the label who have watched us grow.

This time around, we caught up with Allen Bergendahl, who most recently produced the new L.A. Dies album. Over the years, he’s been involved with lots of Virginia based indie rock history from the K Word to Shy, Low, to Psalmships. We asked him a handful of questions & here’s what he had to share:

When was the first time you heard about HSAL?

I heard about Harding Street Assembly Lab so long ago. So long, in fact, I don’t recall when exactly. I had gotten to work with Nathan on (maybe?) the earliest TLVS recording, but that was pre-HSAL.

How has HSAL connected with you personally over the years (either as a fan or an artist)?

I can say for certain that I was distinctly aware of the label when Snowy Owls (a band I was in at the time) released a split EP with White Laces (HSAL #17) on the label. It was very cool. The artwork features a dude with a club in some sort of brutal battle with a many headed dragon/beast. Pretty cool! The bands are good too.

I had the honor of working on the (forthcoming) L.A.Dies record ‘Drifting Still’ and I cannot wait for that to find the ears of Virginia music lovers. It was an amazing experience with a supremely talented band. Their soulful, swirly, shoe-gazey, powerful music moves me and resonates with the sounds I love. Grandeur gives way to sparseness. Beautiful.  I first worked with them while making the HSAL compilation ‘History Lesson Vol.1‘. (Which, if you haven’t heard, you should check out.)

What do you think HSAL has meant to “the scene”?

HSAL is unique in the way they conduct business. I personally have gotten to see behind the curtain and know that everything they do is completely deliberate, carefully planned and deeply loved. Serious and forward-thinking. Practical, professional, driven. Joanna and Nathan are the real deal – hands-on, heavy lifting collaborators.

Which two or three HSAL releases would you use to recommend the label to a friend?

White Laces & Snowy Owls, “HSAL #17“; Various Artists, “History Lesson, Vol. 1; L.A. Dies, “Drifting Still