AVAILABILITY: DIG ARTWORK: courtesy of Stilyagi STREAM/DOWNLOAD: HSAL bandcamp
FFO: Mogwai‘s “Rock Action“, Pan American‘s “Cloud Room, Glass Room“, Forest Swords‘ “Fjree Feather“, Every Bono-free moment of U2‘s “The Unforgettable Fire“
This may be the most adventurous outing in TLVS’ history. It may also be the most focused. Early in the writing, drummer Nathan McGlothlin found inspiration from the writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins, namely “The Golden Echo.” From this poem, TLVS captured the album’s title and its direction. Across its eight tracks, “Beauty” floats down streams of hopeful meditation toward moments of euphoric release.
Sonically, the trio employs some new pieces to their formula. The electronic beats and programming on album high point “Mt. Zion Temple of Love” create a vibe as potent without live drums as they do with them. Members of L.A. Dies provide ethereal vocal work (a first for TLVS) on “District Interpretation” and “Fragaria Virginiana.” Kaily Schenker (Graven Image, Meridiane), offers an enchanting cello melody on “Rupert Rainelle.”
Live drums and some early tracks were recorded in Richmond with longtime friend Allen Bergendahl (ShyLow, L.A. Dies), who also mixed the record. The band sent the album off to the UK for a stellar mastering job by Simon Scott (Slowdive, Fennesz).
RELEASE: HSAL #60 RELEASE DATE: October 4th, 2020 (pre-order is live now)
AVAILABILITY: DIG ARTWORK: courtesy of HSAL STREAM/DOWNLOAD: HSAL bandcamp
HSAL is partnering with our flagship artist, TLVS, to re-imagine “Porcelain” for the album’s 10 year anniversary. Back in 2010, Joe Morgan and Nathan McGlothlin had come through a few years of experimenting with lineups and instruments to land on the two-piece model, which had debuted on the “Pebble Azalea Starfish” single (HSAL, 2009). They decided to record their debut album as “TLVS” (shortened from “The Late Virginia Summers”) at Joe’s house. The album, mastered by Chad Clark (who took on the Fugazi live archive project soon after) dropped on September 21, 2010.
With some prodding from friends and fans, TLVS opted to revisit those old sessions with the idea of not just remixing but addressing some of the “loose ends” left on the original. The result is a tighter, more present mix of each tune, cut as stand alone tracks (with the exception of “Lagoon”, which still bleeds into “Marbled Atlantic”).
We have also included a handful of remixes that have been culled from the original source material over the years. As a bonus, the digital download of “Porcelain” comes with a different master (the “dynamic” version) that TLVS received fromChad Clark (Beauty Pill, Smart Went Crazy) prior to the release of the album. It’s not the master that appears as HSAL #03, but the band feels like it may be the superior version.
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…