Busy times at Sturdy Records at the moment… on November 12th we will be releasing a new single from The Seven Inches, and a new single from The Wind-up Birds, AND our first-ever compilation album, By Hook or By Crook.
The concept of the album is straightforward – twelve tracks, unbound by genre, all previously unreleased, from some of the best bands working in Leeds at the moment. Some of them (like Post War Glamour Girls) are proud members of the Sturdy roster; some (like This Many Boyfriends, who’ve rapidly, and quite rightly, whizzed from tiny DIY gigs to 4-star reviews in Q) are close friends of the family; others are brand new. It’s all fantastic stuff – it feels like a real privilege be putting this out, and hopefully you’ll be able to see why!
A quick rundown of the tracks…
T.O.Y.S ‘When I Was a T.O.Y’ – something of an indie supergroup, taking in members of Manhattan Love Suicides, The Acutes and Downdime. T.O.Y.S make a glorious noise with fuzz bass and tiny keyboards through huge amps, kicking things off in suitably rollicking style
The World Service ‘Katherine’ – a very new combo who have been compared to Belle & Sebastian, Trembling Blue Stars and the Cocteau Twins, chiming in here with a slice of oboe-powered ‘60s melancholia
The Wind-up Birds ‘Two Ambulance Day’ – flagship Sturdy act with a brand new piece of darkly funny post-punk miserablism, hot on the heels of acclaimed debut LP ‘The Land’ – not to mention new single ‘The Mild Awards’, out on the same day as this compilation!
The Seven Inches ‘A Letter’ – the latest addition to the Sturdy roster, this is an exclusive preview of the debut album from these indiepop legends – the rest hopefully to follow in 2013. Meanwhile, ‘Peruvian Poncho’, another brand new single, will also be out the same day as the compilation!
Men Only ‘Summer Girls’ – a great piece of poignant janglepop, included here as a tribute to Pete Sykes, Men Only’s singer/guitarist (also guitarist with This Many Boyfriends) who tragically died last year.
Racket Ball ‘When They Walked In (live)’ – an electronic tour-de-force of irascible lyrical ennui, brilliantly delivered and expertly timed. This is what The Fall would sound like now if Smith had looked after himself.
The Birthday Kiss ‘Choking’ – Swoonsome, driving pop melodrama. The Birthday Kiss is an amalgam of what used to be The Lodger, enhanced by the golden tonsils of Sarah Williams who eagle-eyed readers may remember from The Research.
The French Defence ‘Comedy’ – The French Defence is Owen Lloyd who, when he’s not propping up The World Service, is a purveyor of gorgeous, angry acoustic heartbreak like this.
Loqui ‘We Drown on Dry Land’ – the band that started it all, Loqui were the first-ever Sturdy release back in 2009. Featuring guest lyrics and vocals from The Wind-up Birds’ Paul Ackroyd, this bodes well for the debut album should they ever get round to finishing it…
Downdime ‘In Space’ – one of the most loved bands to have come out of Leeds’ DIY indie scene in the past decade, Downdime have graced the rosters of legendary labels like Squirrel and Dufflecoat with some quite brilliant Pavement/Sonic Youth/Grandaddy slacker pop. Next stop? A single on Sturdy in 2013, naturally.
This Many Boyfriends ‘Young Lovers Go Pop (original demo)’ – It’s been a thrill to watch TMB grow from their noisy, shambolic (but still brilliant) roots into a proper pop band, now about to release their debut LP on Angular Records. This is the previously unreleased first version of their breakthrough indiepop hit.
Post War Glamour Girls ‘Ghost in the Tape Recorder’ – PWGG released their first single through us barely a year ago, since which time their rise has been stratospheric and deserved. Expect the debut album on Sturdy in 2013, if nobody else snaps them up in the meantime…