Since slowly getting back into the record game a couple years ago, Slumberland seems to have been loading up for a huge display of fireworks in 2008. The years spent in inactivity haven't dulled their knack for finding great pop bands and putting out great records, one after another.
The Lodger - Life is Sweet
The Lodger's debut album, Grown-Ups, was a fine slice of indie pop that called to mind stellar groups like Orange Juice, the Wedding Present, and Heavenly, while making a case that they might someday be mentioned in that same class. Life Is Sweet is a step forward in both sound and song, and goes a long way toward making this thought a reality. (Read full review and hear samples here)
Crystal Stilts - Alight of Night
......a perfect blend of psychedelic gloom and garage rock punch, of indie pop hooks and girl group drama, of noise and candy. It's obvious from the first few seconds of Alight of Night that Crystal Stilts aren't doing anything shockingly new or innovative, and that's alright. They give the old noise pop formula enough of a kick to make this a very worthwhile addition to any noise pop fan's collection. (Read full review and hear samples here.)
Cause Co-Motion! - It's Time! Singles & EPs 2005-08
The tinny, live-wire sound the quartet sends shooting through the wires is reminiscent of the clatter and hiss of Henry's Dress, the strutting songcraft calls to mind Jane Pow, and the reverb-soaked recording style is a hallmark of the label's approach from Black Tambourine to Aislers Set to now. (Read full review and hear samples here.)
Along with these albums, Slumberland's been crazy busy releasing singles all year. Starting with their excellent Searching for the Now 7" series (which features songs from top poppers like Summer Cats, A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Bye!, Archie from Velocity Girl's new project), continuing with the return of the June Brides' Phil Wilson with an EP of interesting covers called Industrial Strength, and finishing with a one-two knockout punch from Scotland by a couple bands formed out of the wreckage of the Royal We. Bricolage's orange-y, juice-y single "Turn You Over" is all elbows and knees up, Sexy Kids' "Sisters Are Forever" is a brilliant indie rock anthem with a huge, heartwarming hook. Both leave the listener desperate for more!
All this and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart full-length coming in early 2009 too. Check the video for the first single "Everything For You" now and check back often to see what other magic tricks Mike Slumberland has up his sleeve.