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29 Oct
One year old…

I just noticed that the Shelflife blog is a year old today! Wow, time sure flies when you’re not posting regularly (ha!)… Anyway, I hope everyone has enjoyed our posts over the last year. It’s been so much fun sharing the music we love.

So let’s start “year two” with a preview of a song that Laura and I have been working on called “Let’s Go”. It’s another exclusive track that will appear on her “Songs From Dreams” release, which is very close to being completed (another month I’d say). Laura wants you to know the mix is still “rough” and not mastered, but to me, the song is so darn good none of that matters. Enjoy it and here’s to another year!

Listen to Laura Watling “Let’s Go” (rough mix):

27 Oct
Katsen – It Hertz!

Today we’re pleased to announce the official North American release of “It Hertz!,” the debut album from Brighton’s synthpop heroes Katsen. From the moment I heard “Chequered Flag” and “Where Nobody Can Find Us,” I was instantly in love. Katsen’s sound reminds me at times of a casio-driven version of Section 25’s “From The Hip” or the upbeat moments of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s “Architecture & Morality” re-recorded by Altered Images. And unlike many modern synthpop groups today, they don’t hide behind their electronics. They simply know how to write really fantastic pop songs and it shows on “It Hertz!”

The UK version of the album was released to rave reviews last month by Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation. Our version has a slightly different track order and instead of The Pixies cover “Cactus”, we have their version of Black Box Recorder’s “Start As You Mean To Go On.” It’s pressed in a 6 panel digipack with amazing (and mind-blowing) cat collage artwork done by singer Donna Grimaldi (and modeled alongside our own cat, Xabi, below. He’s a Katsen fan!).

Listen to “Where Nobody Can Find Us”:

Watch some videos:

$10.00 + shipping

1. Let’s Build A City
2. Chequered Flag
3. Start As You Mean To Go On
4. Island In An Island
5. What You Want
6. Drax
7. German Film Star
8. It Hertz!
9. Constellation
10. Where Nobody Can Find Us
11. I’m A Doctor
12. Florian

22 Oct
New Arrivals: July – October edition

Gasp! “July – October edition”? It’s been that long. Oops. I suck. I’m hoping to get with it and start posting on a regular basis again (although I say that every time). We’ll see… I’ve been getting heaps of great new records (even on my “budget”). Here’s some that I’ve been listening to quite a bit.

Sail A Whale – Find Me A Boy 7″ – Fastcut Records
I’ve been super curious about Sail A Whale ever since I saw one of their strange videos. They’ve been described as M83 meets Air France and that’s pretty accurate. Although they did a remix of Memory Cassette’s “Surfin” that I actually thought was Moscow Olympics when I first heard it. So who knows… I was happy to see Fastcut have released their debut single and if these two songs are a glimpse of what’s to come, I’m very excited!

The Golden Dawn – No Reason Why 7″ – Heaven Records
Thankfully Heaven Records has re-opened their mailorder and we can all finally own a copy of this lost Golden Dawn single! I think it’s been about 10 years that I’ve been after it. Yes, I can finally sleep at night… Get a copy here.

V/A – The Garage Pop EP cd-r – Please Rain Fall Records
Stephen’s second release featuring songs by Andus (The Cudgels and Oporto), The Proctors, Spencer Roberts (Steamtown and Oporto), and Oddsocks (who are from Sweden). All and all another excellent cd-r compilation.

Epic45 – In All The Empty Houses cd – Make Mine Music
I’ve really fallen in love with this release and I’d be shocked if it didn’t make my top 10 of ’09. It’s like if members of Hood and The Sugargliders got together and started a super pop group.

Lake Heartbeat – Trust In Numbers cd – Service
“Golden Chain” might be one of the songs of the year for me.

Maribel – Aesthetics cd – Quince Records
After being in love with their “Taste The Trash” 7″, the “Aesthetics” album is equally great. I usually tend to not like shoegaze bands who sound anything like MBV “Loveless” era stuff, but somehow this one works for me. (For those who read my older posts, I did end up with the Quince version after convincing myself not to spend $27 on the Norwegian import.)

The Depreciation Guild – In Her Gentle Jaws lp/cd – Kanine Records / Fastcut Records
My infatuation with The Depreciation Guild continues. I’m so happy “In Her Gentle Jaws” was properly released on both lp (US) and cd (Japan) and of course I had to have both. Somehow it just sounds like an entirely new record even though I’ve listened to the free mp3 version a million times. Oh and the artwork is also beautifully done.

Sally Shapiro – My Guilty Pleasure lp/cd – Paperbag Records
I had such super high expectations for this Sally Shapiro LP and it’s more than surpassed them. It’s easily ahead of the pack for album of the year for me. “Looking At The Stars” is INSANE! Perfect in every way. So Cloetta Paris last year, Sally Shapiro this year. Makes perfect sense.

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