AVAILABILITY: CASS / DIG ARTWORK: courtesy of William Stichter STREAM/DOWNLOAD: HSAL bandcamp
FFO: Jamie XX (A side), The Books (B side)
In a fortunate turn of events, HSAL found itself with some DIY inventory, including some blank cassettes, in the fall of 2022. Averse to squandering neat opportunities, we reached out to some friends to see about doing a split single. Benjamin Mauch, whose “Golden Bay Garden” still ranks as one of our favorite releases, took on the A side. Stilyagi, drinking the same potions that inspired his recently dropped, funky self-titled EP, took on the B side.
The physical copy of this single is magnetic tape housed in a clear shell contained in a “Maltese cross” style case. Each case has been printed by Grammy-nominated artist William Stichter.
First off, today is the official release date for the new honeybrandy record, “Deaton Forestbrook“! You can now stream the entire thing (all 39 minutes & 20 seconds) wherever you’d typically listen.
We’re pushing everyone we know to stream/purchase the new single, “Not In Our City” this weekend! We think the message couldn’t be more timely. It features a speech given by Dr. Keith Anderson to the Lynchburg VA City Council in prelude to the formation of the Alliance for Police Reform. Help us communicate this example of powerful things going on in small towns all over our nation!
Earlier this month, L.A. Dies were featured on a benefit compilation whose proceeds will benefit the purchase and continued operation of mobile shower units for the homeless community in the city of Birmingham, AL. There are also hopes or hiring homeless neighbors to clean and maintain the showers. Their track, “A Year In My House” predicts further exploration into the darker pop sounds of HSAL #49…
Ever the composer, Benjamin Mauch just dropped a new album into the digital landscape. “A (C)able Tethered To The Sky” is a collection of pieces that Mauch wrote and performed using only the Novation Peak. All the trademark duality of bouncy melodies and contemplative tones you’ve come to expect from the Richmond-based artist are here. Proceeds from the purchase are being donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Given how difficult it’s becoming to readily acknowledge which day of the week it is any more, we went ahead and pushed HSAL #57 out this morning. Truth be told, we know what day it is (March eleventeenth, right?) – we just couldn’t wait to deliver this collection to you all. Birthed out of the myraid feelings isolation has caused / is causing, this set presents over an hour of introspective, contemplative pieces loveingly crafted by some incredible Commonwealth-based artists. Each act has not only provided music, they have written out what this season and this project has done in and around them. Take some time to read through the content with each track. Oh, the download comes with bonus material as well (extra track, videos).
Above all, we hope HSAL #57 will provide head / heart space to work through feelings and land at a posture of peace. There’s no need to fear. LOVE DEFEATS FEAR!
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.
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 Ben Mauch, who not only turns heads with his solo work, but as the drummer for Richmond-based post-rock outfit Colin Phils. We asked him a handful of questions & here’s what he had to share:
When was the first time you heard about HSAL?
I first heard about HSAL when I was in college around 2010. I was living with a bunch of people on Yeardley Ave. in Lynchburg that were involved with the band Alaska (HSAL #10). I eventually met Nathan and Joe somewhere around town.
How has HSAL connected with you personally over the years (either as a fan or an artist)?
HSAL has always been a constant source of interesting music for me, and I always look forward to listening to the releases that come out. As an artist, HSAL has pushed me to create meaningful work that I feel can have a lasting effect on a listener, and I am proud to be a part of the community.
What do you think HSAL has meant to “the scene”?
HSAL is a big part of the western Virginia music scene and is important to Virginia overall, because of the aesthetic of the music and the DIY nature of it all.
Which two or three HSAL releases would you use to recommend the label to a friend?