Past Releases

Cooper Wolken "Chapters"

Due June 9th via Earth Libraries, Cooper Wolken’s debut solo album Chapters translates the duality of darkness and sublime beauty with intimate personal vignettes. This collection of songs, written across 2018 and 2019, are tied closely to moments in his relationships and personal life, but all point to something universal. Realizing he’d accrued an album’s worth of new music, Wolken brought together guitarist Steven van Betten, bassist Marcus Högsta, drummer Nick Hon, and trumpeter/producer Louis Lopez to round out his compositions. The group set up camp at Theo Karon’s Hotel Earth, cramming an album’s worth of tracking into a weekend. The resulting Chapters honors that familial coziness, a record at once diaristic in its familiar warmth and profound in its resonant emotionality.

Big Blood "First Aid Kit"

While any fan of the band will tell you that no two albums sound very much alike, First Aid Kit displaying for the first time their affinity for the emotional effects of bands like The Cure, Bauhaus and The Clean, there’s a clear thread throughout all their records. First, there’s Kinsella’s voice, which pivots from upbeat fun to pure dread, presumably based on how she was feeling that day she recorded. Secondly, Mulkerin’s production preserves layers of could-have-beens by keeping the ghostly presence of past takes alive in the background of tracks like subliminal thoughts. Their songs achieve the double satisfaction of being immediate, catchy and memorable, while also revealing inner depths at repeated listens. Some of the best experimental music is cloaked as mundane.

First Aid Kit was recorded entirely at the family’s home onto 1” eight-track tape. It achieves the magic of capturing a moment and making a lasting impression. There aren’t many family bands, and there’s definitely no other band like this.

 

Scoville Unit "See What Can Be"

In March of 2020, Scoville Unit was riding an unusual high. The ‘90s-inspired guitar-pop quartet led by longtime friends and ex-college roommates Drew Isleib and Gandhar Savur had just released their third, self-titled album and received some unexpected accolades. Of course, the album cycle was cut short for obvious reasons, resulting in the cancellation of the remaining shows supporting the release. Unable to rehearse or perform, Isleib, a doctor, braved the storm, donning a white coat and an N95. Savur, on the other hand, fulfilled a lifelong dream and moved to Costa Rica, where for the next year-and-a-half he admittedly spent the bulk of his existence “surfing and eating rice and beans.”

He didn’t leave the U.S. empty-handed, though. Prior to his departure, the band got together for the first time since the start of the pandemic and managed to very quickly record the basic tracks for a new album. The whirlwind session, with Isleib manning the boards, captured ten newly-written tracks played together for the first time as a band during these sessions. “I honestly wasn’t sure what we’d end up with when we started recording, but when we heard what played back out of the monitors, we knew we were onto something,” says Isleib. The songs themselves deal with topics from that lost year, with a few giving descriptive insight into Savur’s decision-making process and desire to leave the country. Once the recording session had ended, he took off.

Savur’s lyrical musings on his decision to move to Costa Rica resonate with anybody who has ever decided to leave the grind of a big city to go to the idyllic landscapes of the suburbs, upstate, or out to the country. “In the Shade” details the dichotomy between city life and the bliss that he longs to experience in the alternate reality that he refers to only as “over there.” The uplifting, punk-inspired manifesto “Pure Energy” lays out his well-thought “new blueprint for our lives.” “You’re Right” is a reflection on the transition, and the consequential separation from the band, reassuring himself matter-of-factly, “now our home feels light years away, but I can fly into Philly, PA.” Costa Rica itself is never specifically mentioned, resulting in lyrical themes that are both personal and relatable.

For Savur, the move to a foreign country eliminated a lot of distractions and provided an opportunity to really focus on the album, and life. Although he was tempted to make his move to Costa Rica a permanent one and struggled with the dilemma during his entire stay, the album itself was largely influential in his final decision. “The day we got the final master back and I heard the finished album, that was the day I decided it was time to move back home,” he summarizes. And it is with this return home that the title of this new album takes on an even deeper meaning for both the band and the future of each member.

Surprise Chef "Friendship EP"

Since the release of Surprise Chef’s 2022 album, Education & Recreation they have been touring across the US, Europe, and Australia selling out shows and cementing themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Releasing three albums and a string of successful 7” singles since 2019, their output is nothing short of prolific and they show no signs of slowing down with the announcement of their new Friendship EP.

Friendship is a six song 12” EP that picks up where the last album left off and pushes their sound in new directions as they take on different energies and make them their own. The EP opens with “Rosemary Hemphill”, a gorgeous yet haunting tune that takes the listener through a myriad of musical changes and moods. “Friendship Theme” is a bouncy and energetic number with an infectious and driving topline that is sure to move dancefloors around the globe. “Over The Moon” is pure mood music that puts Surprise Chef’s restraint and tasteful use of space front and center while “Spiky Boi” is a frantic upbeat number drenched in percussion and keyboards.

With a year of heavy touring plans in front of them in 2023 this EP will bridge the gap while they write and record their next album due out in 2024.