Last Year, Part Three

We have reached out to different people within & around the HSAL camp to find out what from the last twelve months inspired them. In the coming days, we’ll post a series of lists. Our hope is that you will get an idea of where we are coming from. Here’s what Andrew Weathers, composer, collaborator extraordinaire, & label head over at Full Spectrum, turned in:

Weathers performing in Lynchburg VA, November 2018 (PC: Nathan McGlothlin)

#1 – Hudson Valley, NY

The land is its own entity, people are places; how does a place you’ve never lived become a home; we see a glow in the forest, I wash my face in the river and feel my own self alive; to be with friends and not feel the crush of capital is rare and cherished.

#2 – Littlefield, TX

It takes at least two years for a place to be a home, and we’re not there yet; we’re learning and building slowly, the only way to do it; vision is necessary to see it, not everybody has vision; one day we’ll have a kitchen again; the sheet rock in my life.

#3 – Arches National Park (Moab), UT

Wake up before sunrise to avoid the incredible heat that sets in by 9 am; you understand water more; you understand fear more; you understand what this earth can do to us; you understand better the rapidly deteriorating climate brought on by the greed of wealthy white men; sleep on a mountain top to stay cool.

#4 – Saguaro National Park (Tuscon), AZ

The sweet smell of a rotting saguaro in the heat; the cicada brood that makes more interesting music than every fool with a $10k synthesizer; the wash looks just like the trail; two miles in 100 degree heat is not what you think it is.

#5 – Oakland, CA

A home I have left, but remains close; the powerful resistance to colonization by Tech and fake-cultured suburbanites continues to be a beacon; I still dream about the cool air from the bay; I still can feel the weight of a burrito from El Metate in my hands; I miss my friends and I am grateful that we have the work to do together.

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Last Year, Part Two

We have reached out to different people within & around the HSAL camp to find out what from the last twelve months inspired them. In the coming days, we’ll post a series of lists. Our hope is that you will get an idea of where we are coming from. Here’s what Allen Bergendahl, studio nerd & all around great guy, turned in:

Bergendahl: Music Recordist, Taco Lover, Thumb Wrestler

#1 – Friends, though…

Years ago, I met Nathan McGlothlin while recording his band at the time. We made few records together, but we slowly drifted apart – as you do. I was so excited to hear from him in late 2017 and we started laying the groundwork for a few projects we would be working on together in 2018. One of those projects was HSAL #44. I didn’t really know what to expect, but let me tell you, the bands he enlisted were incredible! L.A.Dies, Overlook Hotel, Good Dog Nigel, TLVS, and Quick On My Feet showed up and showed us how it is done! Super fast, super fun sessions with great people! Working with an old friend to make new music with new friends is such a delight for me. I will have the pleasure to work with some of these artists again in 2019 and I can not wait!

#2 – That one band, though…

Sungazer is a band that I have worked closely with in years past and this year saw us get a little closer. Marc Adams plays bass in the band and has a studio setup in his basement and they have been working on overdubs for a new record and for some solo material from the band members. This fall we began a weekly work night at Marc’s studio to make progress on any of our various projects. It is time set aside to get into the hairy details of songwriting and recording. The work sessions are primarily Marc and Matt and let me tell you, it is humbling to look inside the process of such talented musicians. I feel like you learn a lot when trying to keep up with very talented people, I know I am.

#3 – That space, though…

I began doing a lot of overdub and mix work at Kevin Cornell’s studio and we really hit it off. We started off by working on songs for his band Glass Twin and it snowballed from there. He had built a great studio, but needed some outside input. I was very happy to lend a hand to further outfit the studio and add my vision to the space and the workflow. We’re not done yet, but we are building a space that will be practical and feel like home for any artist that walks through the door.

#4 – That project, though…

Another friendship that was rekindled was with Joshua Britton and his project Psalmships. He sent me some demos of some new songs he was working on and asked if I wanted to help bring them to life. We had worked together on a previous record and I knew we worked well together, so it was an easy “yes“. We talked a lot about influences and the direction we would like the record to go. Joshua writes songs that emote in a big way, so we tried to bring that passion and size to the new recordings. We did a long weekend tracking what would be the basic tracks for *most* of the record and followed up a while later for overdubs and some rough mixes. I even got to play on it a bit!

#5 – That mutual respect, though…

I am not sure exactly how much work we did in 2018, but LJ from V.E. (Various Eggs) is a frequent collaborator and an even more frequent lunch date. We seem to have some session going at all times. In 2018 we saw the release of several singles, a video, and recording some solo piano work that will appear on new releases in 2019. I think I may be only engineer he’s worked with since he moved to Richmond and I like that. He is always a helpful ear for bouncing ideas off of and at this point we seem to speak the same language. LJ is another artist whose songwriting I am privy to all the details of how it is made and he has a deliberate and economical way that he shapes and directs songs. It’s fascinating.

Last Year, Part One

We have reached out to different people within & around the HSAL camp to find out what from the last twelve months inspired them. In the coming days, we’ll post a series of lists. Our hope is that you will get an idea of where we are coming from. Here’s what Melody Ouellette, songwriter/vocalist, & guitar player for L.A.Dies, turned in:

Ouellette performing with L.A.Dies (PC: Nick Scheetz)

#1 – ” Thirst ” by Mary Oliver

This was the first book I’ve read of Mary Oliver‘s, and it’s still my favorite.  The connection she makes between nature, humanity, and spirituality in this collection of poems is something that has really stuck with me throughout this year, keeping me mindful and reverent of the beauty in the world around us.

#2 – March 9th @ The Spot On Kirk, w/ Dover & The Elevators, Def.GRLS

I was really nervous to play this show.  We had just come back from tour with Dover and I think we were all pretty sad to see it end.  It’s easy to get caught up in the anxiety of showing a crowd of people something you made, but it ended up being one of the biggest turn outs we’ve had.  I remember looking into the crowd and feeling proud that we had made music that resonated with people–all the work we had put into L.A. Dies felt worth it.  We had shared a connection with people and made so many friends that regardless of where we would go with the band, we had made it to that point and I was proud of us.

#3First Time Recording In Studio

We recorded in a studio for the first time this year.  Going into it we were all apprehensive because we had only ever recorded at home. We were nervous to put ourselves in the vulnerable position of entrusting our idea with people we barely knew, as well as to put our project, and its production, in someone else’s hands. But after eight hours and a trip to Chipotle, all those anxieties subsided, and the music and new friendships we left with that day could not have been recreated without the collaboration and openness of other creative minds.

#4Tennis

Even though I moved in with three my closest friends earlier this year, we’ve all been so caught up with working and keeping up with our families that we’re rarely all home at the same time–when we are, I try to convince everyone to play tennis with me. We’re so busy trying to be productive and accomplish whatever task is next on our list, that the time we have for doing things simply because we enjoy them is (increasingly) limited. When we’re playing tennis, all we can do is play tennis, together, present in the moment.

#52018 Mid-term Elections

This was the first year I was really excited to vote.  I felt more informed and connected to this election than I ever have.  Regardless of the stress in the current political climate, as I’m sure everyone, no matter how they see things, has been worn out by our seemingly unending cultural divisions, seeing the voter turn out and the diversity of candidates inspired a hope that we were headed in the right direction.

Nigel 12″ Pre-Orders Are UP!

Pre-orders are now up for our next project! HSAL #48, in cooperation with Crozet’s Infinite Repeats may be purchased through the label bandcamp page. This is the latest in a line of several announcements surrounding this 12″ EP (a first for Good Dog Nigel), which is set for a late February reveal**! Score your copy today & stay tuned for future developments as they unfurl…

** NOTE: the 02/22 date listed on the page is a moving target at this point **

PS: Pre-ordered copies of “The Implied Sunrise” will include a download of a cut from the record to tide hungry fans over until the wax drops!

As 2018 Comes To A Close…

There’s still time! We’re shipping all orders on Monday…

FRIENDLY REMINDER! We are running the 30% sale through Monday (12/31/18). With the “HSAL2018” coupon, you get the discount on any/everything you order. We will be packing all orders & dropping them at the post office Monday. Oh, & the boss says we’ll be shipping extra vinyl-based goodies in every box that ships during this sale.

We have asked a handful of folks from the HSAL family to share their 2018 highlights with us. Starting Tuesday, we’ll be dropping the new chapters in our Last Year series. Stay tuned – 2019 is gonna be HUUUUUUGE!

WELCOME: Good Dog Nigel

PC: Nick Scheetz

Who is Good Dog Nigel?

This entire thing swims around in the psyche of Parker Emeigh, who has surrounded himself with a rotating cast of players (live & in the studio) for about two years now.

What made them attractive to HSAL?

Songwriting. Relentless energy. Ambition.

What will 2019 hold for the band?

Alongside of Crozet’s Infinite Repeats, HSAL is co-releasing Nigel’s first foray into vinyl in the spring. “The Implied Sunrise” is nearly a half-hour’s worth of spry psych pop written by Emeigh & captured to tape by Albermarle svengali Thomas Dean (New Boss). Look for pre-orders to drop after the new year gets underway…

With a consistent troupe of musicians en tow, expect Nigel continuing to scrounge up smart supporting slots on bills around the mid-Atlantic while working out details for a tour in support of “Sunrise“.

So, what DOES the band sound like?

…rather than namedrop a bunch of acts RIYL style, we decided to let the tunes tell the tale. Here’s a few cuts from the 2017 EP with their two tracks from HSAL #44 mixed in to begin fashioning your ears for what is to come…

WELCOME: L.A. Dies!

PC: Stefanie Murza

Who is L.A. Dies?

(pictured from L to R) Joe Palame: Bass Guitar, BGV; Melody Ouellette: Vocals, Electric Guitar; Aaron Jacks: Electric Guitar, Keys, BGV; Myra Goodman: Drums

What made them attractive to HSAL?

100% their live show. It was only after seeing them grow into their sound on stage after stage around our hometown that we decided to pursue. Additionally, their DIY recordings showed a willingness to drive beyond simple living room demos. Oh, we should also call out that they’re a super fun bunch…we’re into fun bunches!

What will 2019 hold for the band?

The band will be cutting their new album with Allen Bergendahl (Shy Low, Psalmships) this spring. After tracking, look to catch ’em out on the road before the LP drops at the onset of autumn. 

So, what DOES the band sound like?

…rather than namedrop a bunch of acts RIYL style, we decided to let their songs tell the tale. Here’s a few cuts from their self-produced album with their two tracks from HSAL #44 mixed in to begin fashioning your ears for what is to come…