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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Discoverer 66: new indie findings

Today's round of group proposals is somewhat special, as it also serves me to pay a humble tribute to one of my favourite indie labels: Shelflife Records. The three bands below are all part of their amazing, never ending catalogue. This label can't do no wrong, so I'm sure you're going to like them!

Majestic. First, a rescued gem that also has introduced me to the music of not one but two bands. Let me explain. The Majestic 12 formed in Brea, California, in 1994, one of the first acts Shelflife signed. The then quintet released three 7" singles until 1997, when singer Jana Wittren left the band (joining The Arrogants). The remaining four members regrouped as Majestic, releasing two records on Shelflife (loving them too, more poppier and joyful), before going on indefinite hiatus since 2001 (Scott Schultz focused on his children's TV show, Yo Gabba Gabba). Now Shelflife presents the compilation "The Majestic 12 Years (1994-1998)" featuring everything the band's first incarnation recorded. 13 tunes that are pure perfection. Think on Galaxie 500 or Mazzy Star meeting Sarah Records, think on chiming guitars lightning dreampop atmospheres. Think on a forgotten classic you can't miss.

Dub Noir. And another rescue, now a band born in Columbus, Ohio, in 2003, by Joe Howell and Casey Immel-Brown. It's hard to find more information aside the remaining members of the band came and left, and 2010 the combo went on long-term hiatus. Now Shelflife just released what becomes their debut album, "Pick Your Century", collecting 11 tunes recorded between 2003-2006 on a very limited physical edition, just to make us run desperately to grab a copy. Indeed you should hurry, because the songs are infectious jangly wonders, recalling names like The Chills or The Go-Betweens, with scintillating guitars all over. Run!    
The Proctors. Formed by Gavin Priest in 1993, the original line-up's quartet debuted, after a demo, with "The Baby Blue EP" on Sunday Records that year, being followed by 1994' "Moon Song" 7" (as a trio after Stephen Davies left the group) until in 1996 their debut album "Pinstripes and Englishmen" was released. But in 1997, Gavin's involvement with other musical projects forced the British band to take a break. Luckily, the hiatus ended in 2009 with a new line-up (again a quartet) and an EP, on Cloudberry Records, of unreleased songs, followed by Shelflife singles "All The Books" and "I Need to Tell You" in 2011 and 2012. Delicious and delicate tunes, full of unforgettable melodies, sun-soaked choruses, that precede the forthcoming "Everlasting Light", new album due to September 24. Save the date on your calendars 'cause all signs point out we could be in front an indiepop masterpiece!

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