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!
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.
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.
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.
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 Landis Wine, longtime RVA rock dude. His band White Laces were an early addition to the roster. His current act, Opin, has a single-sided 12″ through HSAL. We asked him a handful of questions & here’s what he had to share:
When was the first time you heard about HSAL?
The first time HSAL crossed my radar was on November 27, 2009 when my friend PJ forwarded me a press release detailing their first two releases. I was the music editor for RVA Magazine at the time and scanning through an endless sea of music arriving daily, but I distinctly remember receiving those first two 7″s and promptly wearing down the groove on TLVS‘ “Pebble Azalea Starfish” that winter.
How has HSAL connected with you personally over the years (either as a fan or an artist)?
HSAL were crucial in helping out White Laces as we started trying to crawl out of the morass. The special edition 12″ and split 10″ were huge deals for us and they were extremely encouraging. More recently, after Opin had a bit of a label reshuffling, HSAL stepped in to help release our Drifters EP (HSAL #43), which was a huge vote of confidence for us while we were touring and trying to plot our direction. As a fan, I’ve enjoyed dozens of their releases over the past decade, many of which I still tie with very specific/important moments in time.
What do you think HSAL has meant to “the scene”?
I think one of the most important things that HSAL has done, which has hopefully impacted what it has touched in Virginia and beyond, is stand by its roots in quality, craftsmanship and discernment. It has always served as a healthy reminder to other operators that you can survive by holding close to your guiding principles without chasing some obscure promise down one path or another.
Which two or three HSAL releases would you use to recommend the label to a friend?
As we come to the end of our first decade as a label, we thought it prudent to cook up a new look. The site will work the same way as before. We’ll do our darnedest to keep you up to speed with the comings & goings of our roster.
Speaking of the goings on, you HAVE TO KNOW that we are throwing a huge party in our home town next month to celebrate TEN YEARS STRONG! We have assigned catalog number 50 to this event. We also invited a killer lineup to commemorate this milestone. It’s a total friends (Young Scum, Nickelus F, Toan Team & Sound Of Ceres) & family (Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Opin, TLVS, Good Dog Nigel & L.A. Dies) affair! Oh yeah – YOU’RE INVITED! Tickets are available now. Hope to see you there…