Starting 2020 Off Proper!

Hope you and yours made the holidays special in unique ways. We took the downtime to exhale in preparation for all that the new year will swing our way. Here’s what we know right now:

L.A. DIES ON WNRN!

The Commonwealth’s widest reaching independent radio station, WNRN, has just picked up “Feels Really Small” from the four-piece’s HSAL debut for regular rotation. We supremely proud of this record, so it’s swell to learn of it capturing the ears of others.

HSAL #52 IS ABOUT TO DROP!

Cover image for HSAL #52 created by James Wood.

Our next release comes courtesy of Blacksburg’s Graven Image. This EP, the first proper recording for the cello/synth + voice duet, was tracked at the Old City Cemetery Chapel right here in Lynchburg back in November. Joey from honeybrandy sat in on the session as well. The result is a really dark ethereal pair of long-form compositions that feel akin to the work of Julianna Barwick or Richard Skelton. The band is going to end up with most of cassette run, but we will have a handful to sell once the release drops in February. Stream a sample from the EP here.

OUR BANDS OUT & ABOUT!

Most of our acts are hitting stages in the coming weeks. Here are the dates we know about (follow the bands directly for the most up-to-date information):

  • L.A. DIES / TLVS: 01/10 @ Taphouse (Norfolk)
  • YOU’RE JOVIAN: 01/24 @ Fuzzy Cactus (Richmond)
  • L.A. DIES: 01/25 @ Nicky’s House (Richmond)
  • TLVS: 01/25 @ Speakertree (Lynchburg)
  • YOU’RE JOVIAN: 01/31 @ Meridian (Williamsburg)
  • YOU’RE JOVIAN: 02/01 @ Tea Bazaar (Charlottesville)
  • HONEYBRANDY: 02/07 @ The Academy Center (Lynchburg)

Do the bands a solid – dance, sing along and buy some merch!

Thanks, Folks!

We’re only days away from the end of the decade! It’s been a complete BLAST working with so many talented folks thus far. We are especially thankful for what 2019 brought our way:

  • EP’s from Good Dog Nigel and You’re Jovian
  • Full lengths from Andres Momentomori and L.A. Dies
  • A double CD from Oahu
  • A completely killer ten-year anniversary party at the Academy Center featuring friends old and new

We threw together this Spotify playlist as a “debrief” for all that action that we were a part of this year. Also included are some choice sounds that the Commonwealth birthed over the past twelve months. Some of these are as-of-yet unsigned acts (Emily Brophy) while others are between labels (Big Baby, KEEP, Opin). Then there is the latest single from our good buds DEMONS for good measure…

Here’s to a new year, a new decade, and a new chapter in the HSAL story!

L.A. Dies on the air!

WNRN’s 4th annual holiday showcase, featuring L.A. Dies, debuts 12/11/19!

Fresh off their “Dead Air” appearance at the Academy Center last month, regional independent WNRN has invited L.A. Dies up to the studio to help usher in holiday cheer this week. Wednesday evening (12/11) from 8P – 10P, the band will join other Commonwealth up-and-comers (Will Overman, Saw Black) to perform live. If you’re in Virginia, chances are you can find it on an old fashioned receiver dial. Everyone else can pull the show up online via the tune in app.

In related news, the station is currently running a poll for the best albums of 2019. While there are several records of note, we’d love to see “Drifting Still” come up in the final tally. Simply write in the latest L.A. Dies album and submit it with the records you returned to the most this year.

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).