[7 December 2009]
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the esteemed indie label Slumberland Records. From its humble beginnings as a collective of seminal Washington, DC-based artists such as Velocity Girl, Black Tambourine, and Powderburns to the runaway success of their current roster highlighted by the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Crystal Stilts, former Vivian Girls drummer Frankie Rose, and Pants Yell!, the imprint has proven to be the measuring stick on how to keep a small record label afloat in turbulent economic waters. One of Slumberland’s most impressive releases this year is the debut release from Summer Cats, an Australian-based garage-pop ensemble whose sound is a throwback to the label’s salad days. Songs for Tuesdays is a punchy, perky mix of amped-up melodics that recalls the Go-Betweens if it was recorded by Lenny Kaye for the original Nuggets compilation. While the Pains of Being Pure at Heart seems to have monopolized much of Slumberland’s recent focus, Summer Cats’ kinetic debut is an overlooked addition to the label’s roster that deserves far more attention than it has received.