First off, I'd like to really thank the folks over at Impose Magazine, who were very kind to Volar Records all year and recently ranked the label as #13 on their Top 25 Labels of 2012 list, amongst great company like our friends at Burger Records, Woodsist, Captured Tracks, and Sacred Bones. You can check out the full list here, and read their flattering remarks below:
13. Volar Records
Craig Oliver gave formulaic pop the finger with releases running the gamut from Audacity, Big Eyes, Eat Skull, Far Corners, Stalins of Sound and Window Twins. Volar champions the artists you will be reading about on every indie press outlet before it happens. Volar is blessed with some of the best intuitive fortune telling forecasts in the label game.
We definitely rely on the support of folks like Impose, and we can't say thank you enough. (thankyouthankyouthankyou)
You can also read a feature they ran on the label a few months ago (I wrote this, so feel free to make fun of me all you want) over here, and you can read an interview I did with Get Bent earlier last year here.
So, another year's gone by, another apocalypse averted. Things around the Volar offices (i.e. my BEDROOM and DINING ROOM and GARAGE) didn't feel quite as overwhelming this year as last; the attempt to put out fifteen records in 2011 (!) mostly on my own dime proved a much greater effort than imagined, and my own naivety almost got the best of me. I spent early 2012 still catching up on releases from last year and repressing enough records for proper distribution, and waiting to release new stuff later in the year, finally nailing down digitial distribution (which means we're all over your Itunes and Spotify and whathaveyou) and college radio play (with Shannon and the Clams ending up on the CMJ charts in the last weeks of 2012), and generally trying to keep more organized. (For the record, I'm a bartender at a place I love, and work quite a bit, with most of my money going towards putting out these records. It can be a trial, to say the least.) Volar Records is coming up on four years since its inception, three-and-a-half since its first release, Beaters' "Fishage" 7", a split release with Single Screen Records. "Fishage" was the perfect call-to-arms for the start of this whole endeavor, a song I still consider one of the best representations of the Volar roster.
Earlier this year marked the long-in-the-works release of Beaters debut LP, Fishage, and their first new material in a while comes in the form of the upcoming "Jester"/"911=11" 7" in early February, which is also available as part of the limited Strange Mutations 7" set along with Eat Skull, Far Corners, Audacity/Big Eyes, and Stalins of Sound.
After we spent the year catching up, we released the Shannon and the Clams "Gremlins Crawl" b/w "White Rabbit" (Jefferson Airplane cover) 7" and Tropical Popsicle "Ghost Beacons" b/w "Skulls in the Stars" 7", both still available in limited, mailorder-only color copies.
We spent all year in conjunction with Crash Symbols pushing the Window Twins Wish LP, the second collaboration between Tim Cohen of Fresh and Onlys/Magic Trick and Jon Bernson of Exray's/Ray's Vast Basement, that we all love so much, which was released digitally and on cassette back in October; we'll have the vinyl on hand in the coming weeks. You can read a collection of favorable reviews from the likes of Pitchfork, Consequence of Sound, and more, over here.
We also spent all year obsessing over the upcoming Soft Riot No Longer Stranger LP, due out in February, and Soft Riot main dude Jack Duckworth was kind enough to contribute a "version" of "Don't Let Me Down" by Window Twins, which debuted over at Fader. Read about the No Longer Stranger LP over here.
The beginning of the new year will mark the release of the debut LP by my good friends Tar Halos, Wine Hand, which you can read about over here.
Among the things to look forward to in 2013? The aforementioned Soft Riot LP, Tar Halos LP, Window Twins LP, Strange Mutations 7" set, all due early February, followed later by Tropical Popsicle's debut LP Dawn of Delight, Soft Riot's second LP, Fiction Prediction, the Strange Mutations 7" set Vol. 2 & 3 featuring the likes of Cosmonauts, Lenz, Painted Mirror, and Dirt Dress, among others, the special Aspects of Physics LP we've been sitting on for a while, and plenty more. As well, thank you everyone for your support and patience, to my close friends for a lot of their very-necessary and much-appreciated help, and anyone else out there trying their hand at this thing. Support your arts and all that good stuff.
--Craig Oliver/Volar Records