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

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