Hopefully getting the story right London’s No Pain In Pop started out a few years ago as a music blog, before getting in touch with certain artists who they liked in the hope of releasing some of their material. These acts included big American names such as Grimes and HEALTH among others.
They have now become more focused on the record releasing front, and have recently provided the world brilliant LP’s like last year’s weird and mysterious Xaacsso record of glitchy-tronics from Patten– one of my favourite’s of 2011, and one that deserved to be written about and highlighted more– and more recently a debut of dream-like wonder from Echo Lake entitled Wild Peace (see below). Both of these items have been big hits with reviewers– Radio 1′s Huw Stephens included– all helping NPIP garner a name for itself as one of the best DIY indie labels out there. It’s pleasing that in 2012 small independents can still grow and put out really good and interesting music; using the internet to their advantage. NPIP is not interested in resting on its laurels or even settling for a kind of identifiable sound. And this must be appreciated.
Another band on its roster I’m quite fond of is Proper Ornaments, a really good melancholic 60s-sounding band with an obvious knack for a tune who have to date released a couple of really good singles with the label. Long may theNPIPl continue to discover interesting new music for our listening pleasure.
We at the blog quite like Echo Lake because some of what it is they do recall that now cult independent label from a couple of decades ago, Sarah Records. Sarah put out a string of seven-inch singles– and some albums– of lovely introverted and melodic guitar pop. There is also elements of shoegaze to this album, which includes plenty of use of reverb, and general subtle experimentation.
Recently the wind seems to be blowing in the direction of picturesque and pretty indie again in the shape of Wild Nothing, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Seapony and others. Echo Lake are maybe different in that they prefer to experiment in a more left of field manner and seem to want their music to aspire to an almost reverie haziness. With their debut LP Wild Peace the Londoners do indeed prove themselves adept at creating thoughtful, well-crafted indie-pop. Released via No Pain In Pop, this is one of the winning debut albums of 2012.