Slide 1
It Can Be A Bit Terrifying: Raul Zahir De Leon on his Return with CANANDAIGUA

By Steve Dewhurst

“Who is America for?” ponders Raul Zahir De Leon when recalling the earliest knockings of what has now become CANANDAIGUA, his first musical project since the dissolution of Stamen & Pistils in 2007.

Pete Swanson
Dissect Yellow Swans: If The World Didn't End (1998-2000)

By Steve Dewhurst

In the opening chapter of the story we join band members Pete Swanson and Gabriel Saloman at the turn of the century as their musical paths converge in Portland, Oregon. Rotating around the creative hub that was promoter Todd Patrick’s 17 Nautical Miles, Saloman and Swanson were joined on the scene by fellow luminaries such as Paul Dickow, George Chen, Ethan Swan and Paul Costuros.

Slide 2
Clean is Dirty: An Interview with Flowertown

By Lindsay Oxford

The birth of San Francisco’s Flowertown makes for a good story: longtime Bay Area scene compatriots Karina Gill (Cindy) and Mike Ramos (Tony Jay) compose a song together for an upcoming show in later winter 2020, and the day before they’re slated to play it, the world stopped.

Slide 3
Needles and Pins: Derek Piotr's Journey to the Heart of Britain's Folklands

By Steve Dewhurst

“Yorkshire is not so dissimilar to my home in the Northeast of America,” Derek Piotr tells me from York, the latest stop on his great British journey. “Connecticut is part of New England, so that makes sense.”

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Stream: Neutrals – “Personal Computing”

A refreshingly upbeat-sounding Neutrals close out the SLR30 series of singles released by Slumberland Records to celebrate 3 decades in the business. Along with UK band Flowers‘ Erik 7″, Neutrals’ quick, breezy Personal Computing ends a run that has included singles by Failed Flowers, Odd Hope, Dolly Dream and Wildhoney among many others.

Where Neutrals’ first release this year – April’s Rent/Your House EP – channelled some of the gloomier recesses of UK post-punk (think Joy Division, The Jam and even, to an extent, current day practitioners like Sleaford Mods), Personal Computing nerds out, expanding on their Kebab Disco LP’s California-based flipside by adding twee vocal harmonies and jangle-pop elements more redolent of C86 bands and Scottish frontman Allan McNaughton’s fellow countrymen The Vaselines.

At once nostalgic and hopeful, Personal Computing is a fortuitously fitting way to put the seal on Slumberland’s big year. Full of fuzzing old tech and dusty manuals, the single’s title track finds its pleasure in futures past. When the Washington, DC label launched in December 1989 they will have done so with the “obsolete machines” McNaughton sings about as the height of automation. If, back then, they ever permitted themselves to dream of the celebrations they might have thirty years later, they cannot have expected the entire planet and its aspirations would be stuck on an interminable “load” screen.

Stream “Personal Computing” below and pre-order the 7″ here.