SLR30 Singles Subscription Series


If you know much about the history of the label, you know that Slumberland began in 1989 as a 7" label and was always inspired by the ephemeral and often electric pleasures to be had from the perfect single. Featuring a concentrated taste of what an artist has to offer, the 7" was traditionally the format of choice for young bands just getting their feet under them, as well as for chart-bound efforts by established bands. Over the last 29 years Slumberland has released 126 7"s, and even though downloads and streaming and playlisting have stolen a lot of the "you heard it here first" thunder from the vinyl single, we think that there's still something pretty magical about the not-so-humble 7".

To help start the celebration of our 30th birthday and help folks reconnect with our favorite vinyl format, we are launching the SLR30 Singles Subscription Series, featuring 12 13 singles to be released over the next eighteen months, the final entry slated to appear right around Slumberland's birthday in December 2019. The goal is to work with a group of artists not traditionally associated with the label, to showcase bands' best material and, as always, to help get some of the finest music around out there in a tangible format.

The plan is to release a pair of singles every three months and to hit subscribers' mailboxes with something truly special. While the singles will be available to record shops, subscribers will get exclusive color vinyl pressings, fun goodies throughout the series, and finally a bonus Black Tambourine single at the conclusion of the subscription that will not be available elsewhere. All of the singles will be subject to one pressing only, in quantities we might reasonably call "very limited."

The first two pairs of singles have already shipped, featuring future classics from The Suncharms, Rat Columns, Dolly Dream (featuring Meg Remy from U.S. Girls and members of other crucial Toronto bands), and David Lance Callahan (from SLR fave bands The Wolfhounds and Moonshake). Upcoming entries will include records from Wildhoney, Pale Lights and Lake Ruth from NYC, UK faves Flowers, Failed Flowers (featuring pals Anna Burch and Fred Thomas), Odd Hope and Smiles. Expect more surprises, loads of classic tunes and what we think will be a very fun ride. Do note that while we are planning as regular a shipping schedule as possible, vinyl production can be pretty unpredictable and delays might pop up at some point. Please be patient; we'll definitely make this a very cool series to be a part of.

And definitely stay tuned for more 30th birthday news coming soon!

BREAKING NEWS, August 20 2019: Singles 5 & 6 in the series from Wildhoney and Smiles have now all shipped to subscribers. If you subscribe now we still have a handful of the David Callahan and Dolly Dream singles on color vinyl too, and you'll get the rest of the series on color vinyl -- and of course the Black Tambourine 7" at the end. The Rat Columns and Suncharms singles are sold out on color vinyl.

The price for all 13 singles is $100 in the US, postage included.

Because postage outside the US is so expensive, we're offering a few options to consolidate your order and save a LOT of postage. You can either get the singles two at a time on the normal release schedule, all at the end of the series (MUCH CHEAPER!), or split into two batches if you can't wait until the end to get them all. If you want to get multiple subscriptions (perhaps to split postage with a friend) we will do the math and refund you the extra postage. We know overseas postage costs are bonkers and want to do what we can to help!

Out/shipped already

Smiles "Gone For Good"

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Gone For Good

Smiles Gone For Good 7"

The Bay Area's Smiles are back with their second 7" and what a blast it is. Superbly-crafted pop is the order of the day here, with echoes of everything from prime Teenage Fanclub to Big Star to the southern power-pop of folks like Dwight Twilley and Tommy Hoehn. "Gone For Good" is 3:33 of pop perfection, with a marvelous melody, heavenly harmonies and a bit of a triumphant guitar solo sneaking in at the end. On the flip side we get another gem in "This Boy," a brief tune that still feels fully-formed, rather in the style of fellow West Bay songsmith Tony Molina. It's developing into quite the scene they have down there, and as long as the results are as thrilling as this single we can't wait to hear what's next. Part of the SLR30 Singles Series.

Wildhoney "Naive Castle"

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Naive Castle

Wildhoney Naive Castle 7"

Formerly based in Baltimore, Wildhoney have moved to the west coast and are now releasing their first new music in over two years. "Naive Castle" shows a new side to the band, dialing down some of the shoegaze haze in favor of gorgeous, chiming pop that recalls the finest from bands like The Sundays and The Cranberries. It's the perfect soundtrack to these melancholic days as summer turns to fall. Pay extra attention to the lengthy ambient outro, a lovely touch that points to more new directions for this terrific band. On the b-side you'll find a dreamy, late-night cover of Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me" that brings a wasted weariness to this tale of teenage yearning. It's a beautiful, earnest take on a tune that turns out to be a perfect match for Wildhoney's swooning style. Part of the SLR30 Singles Series.

Dolly Dream "The Way To Heaven"

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The Way To Heaven

Dolly Dream The Way To Heaven 7"

Dolly Dream dwell in a cryptic space where love meets danger, and where enigmatic song can lead one to ecstasy or onto more ambiguous terrain. The dark and dreamy "The Way To Heaven" could be a lost classic from a sock hop in a David Lynch film. Featuring a stellar, heart-tugging vocal performance, the effect is rather like a ballad from a young Brenda Lee or Wanda Jackson. It's the song that made them fall in love. Says Dolly: "It's hard to make an honest love song. What's the most honest thing? Death. Lovers don’t wanna think about Death. Yearning is the flip side of mourning. Yearning is the feeling of some future ghost. Dolly Dream is the sound of that ghost."

David Lance Callahan "Strange Lovers"

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Strange Lovers

David Lance Callahan Strange Lovers 7"

Over the course of his 30+ year career, David Callahan has charted a distinct course. From the angular pop of The Wolfhounds to the experimental post/art rock of Moonshake and back to the sharper-than-ever recently reformed Wolfhounds, Callahan is always known for smart, unsparing lyrics, a fierce DIY ethic and an ever-inquisitive sonic adventurism. Now for Slumberland's SLR30 Singles Series Callahan is set to release his first official solo recordings. Minimally recorded at home with an acoustic guitar, sampler, glockenspiel and a couple of friends guesting on harmonies, the double A-side cuts of "Strange Lovers" and "Waiting For The Cut-Off" reveal a subtler, though still intense, side to his songwriting.

Rat Columns "Sometimes We're Friends"

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Sometimes We're Friends

Rat Columns Sometimes We're Friends 7"

Rat Columns, the ever changing musical project of David West and friends, emerged from the desert outpost of Perth, Western Australia in the late 2000s, influenced by largely anglocentric forms such as post-punk and jangle pop and emitting a steady stream of 7"s, EPs and three full length albums along the way. The songs included on this EP were recorded at the same time as their 2017 album Candle Power in Guildford, Western Australia, in a back shed studio on a rambling riverside property. Well-crafted, literate pop in the best tradition of 3rd album Velvet Underground, the Postcard label, early Creation label and The Go-Betweens.

The Suncharms "Red Dust"

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Red Dust

The Suncharms Red Dust 7"

Sheffield's The Suncharms formed in 1989 out of an indie scene that was just expanding from straight indiepop into territory that would soon be known as shoegaze. Two EPs were released in 1991 on the Wilde Club label; the Slumberland Records crew LOVED those two EPs -- they had all the guitar overload we craved, but wrapped around some unusually crafty pop tunes. Less ethereal or abstract than a lot of shoegaze, accurate reference points might include early Ride or The Boo Radleys. We first approached the band about the possibility of releasing something way back in 1992, but the band broke up soon thereafter and it's taken 25 years and a timely band reformation to finally make this single happen. And it's an absolute corker - melodic and psychedelic, 'gazey but tough and not at all gauzy. It's great to have them back!

The bonus 13th single!