Now Announcing New Natural Velvet Merch!
We've updated our online store with new Natural Velvet merch and Mirror To Make You bundles! Order the album together with a shirt (on either LP or CD) and save. Hurry though, these shirts and posters are limited! Check everything out here or click on any of the products below for more information.
NEW RELEASE // Natural Velvet "Mirror To Make You" LP + CD
It’s finally here! We’re so excited to announce the release of Natural Velvet’s third album, Mirror To Make You today. Recorded by Martin Bisi and mixed by Rob Girardi, Mirror To Make You finds the band at their raging sonic best.
Come celebrate the release with Natural Velvet tonight, 6/2, at the Ottobar in Baltimore, MD with a very special, one off show before they depart for their US tour. You’ll catch the band doing songs from their new record, along with performances from Blacksage, Halloween Tres, Infinity Knives With Randi, and DJ Pancakes. This is not to be missed!
Mirror To Make You is available now on LP and CD. Get it on gorgeous, limited edition red vinyl here exclusively before it’s gone. It’s also available today on all digital and streaming services. Watch the video for It’s All Mine below and order today!
PRE-ORDER: NATURAL VELVET "Mirror To Make You" LP + CD
Today we’re so excited announce Natural Velvet’s upcoming album Mirror To Make You. They’re back again with their third full-length record, this time recorded by Martin Bisi and mixed by Rob Girardi. And they’re as loud, aggressive and as intoxicating as ever. Featuring gorgeous album art and design by Nolen Strals. Draw the blinds, put on your makeup and get ready!
Mirror To Make You will be released on June 2nd on vinyl, CD and digitally via Friends Records. Pre-order it today and receive a free laser-etched Natural Velvet compact. Turn your speakers up and listen to the first single It’s All Mine below!
FRIENDS RECORDS SPRING SALE
From now until May 18th we're having a spring sale! Hurry to get big discounts on our entire catalog. Shop here. 🌸
NEW RELEASE // WAE "Glimmer" Tape
Caleb Moore has reformed the live Wae band, which is now in it's third incarnation, featuring bass by Beau Cole (Citrine, Lands & Peoples, Raindeer), keys by Dan Whatley (Other Colors) and drums by Eric Rosario (Shinji). Previously, Caleb has released albums with Lands & Peoples, and various ambient works under the name Dead Drums.
These songs are stream of conscious diary entries: moods and moments that needed to be exploded, inspected and reformed. Most of these songs were multi-tracked by Caleb onto a tape machine some time between 2013 and 2016 in various dusty basements and borrowed spaces, using generally bad recording techniques.
The end result is a messy, swirly, pop of lo-fi psychadelia. Get it here.
NEW PEALS BUBBLE BATH APP IS NOW ONLINE
Originally recorded for the Fermata contemporary sound art exhibition, the web app was created in collaboration with artist Dina Kelberman, who programmed the interface and designed the mesmerizing visuals.
Bubble Bath lets you mix your own sounds and set length of play—perfect for listening in bed while falling asleep. The auto-randomization feature builds dynamically changing soundscapes from combinations of the loops (roughly 2,432,902,008,176,640,000 + infinite volume variations).
Experience Bubble Bath at pealsmusic.com/bubble-bath
Peals’ new LP Honey is now available via Friends Records on LP, CD, Cassette & USB submerged in honey.
PRE-ORDER: PEALS "Honey" HONEY JAR + USB
Friends Records and Peals are excited to announce that the band's second album, Honey, will be available again on a USB stick submerged in honey. For this second batch we're using our own Friends Records brand honey. Pre-order here!
NOTE- Our first batch sold out immediately, so don't sleep on this! These are limited to one per person. Orders will ship 12/16, just in time for the holidays. 🍯🎁
From now until 12/8 we're having a holiday sale! Hurry to get big discounts on most of our catalog and merch. Shop here. ❄️
NEW RELEASE // BOND ST. DISTRICT "A Church On Vulcan" LP / CD / Tape
The first full length album from Bond St. District is here. After more than a year of hard work, Friends Records is so proud to finally be able to put this album into your hands, your ears and your heart. A true labor of love, "A Church On Vulcan", was recorded and mixed by Rob Girardi at Wrightway Studios and features guest spots from some of Baltimore, Maryland's best and brightest- Katrina Ford, Josephine Olivia, Ashley Alexander, John Dierker, Matthew Lampart, Wendel Patrick, Eze Jackson, Samuel "Hemlock Ernst" Herring, Ben Frock and Nicole Connelly all contributed to this effort. It's the two artists on the cover though who really pulled this project together and held it there throughout this whole process. Unkle Lulu AKA Emmanuel Williams and Paul Hutson are Bond St. District. Together they take us head first into a new frontier of hip hop and music in general. That is no exaggeration. Listen for yourself below.
NEW RELEASE // PEALS "Honey" HONEY JAR + USB
Friends Records and Peals are excited to announce that the band's second album, Honey, is now available as a vacuum sealed USB stick submerged in honey. The honey is from Baltimore’s Oak Hill Honey apiary and is available at friendsrecords.com while supplies last. Each jar is hand numbered, limited to 75. NOTE- THESE ARE SOLD OUT!
HONEY JAR + USB (SOLD OUT)
NEW RELEASE // NICKY SMITH "A Smugglers Bible" Tape
A couple of weeks ago we introduced you to Nicky Smith by debuting his first single. Today we are back with a full album of new material. Born in Manhattan in 1992, Nicky Smith is a musician, writer, and filmmaker who has lived in Baltimore since 2003. Before playing in bands like Engine, Raindeer and Sherman Whips, he performed and recorded as NARC and released one album under that name in 2011 called Mister Hands. He's been a writer for Splice Today since 2008, directed music videos for Co La, Ecstatic Sunshine, and Roomrunner, along with several short films about the Baltimore music scene.
"A Smugglers Bible" is the first proper solo album from Nicky Smith. It was recorded by Jordan A Romero and mixed by him and Nicky between May 26th and July 3rd of this year. Nicky plays everything that you hear on the album with the exception of the drum programming on "Little Satchels" and keyboards on "White Noise", both contributions from Jordan. Mickey Freeland mastered the whole thing and here we are, playing it for you. Order it here.
NEW BLACKSAGE AND FRIENDS RECORDS MERCH AVAILABLE NOW
Now you can rep Friends Records with our new shirt and canvas tote bag! We also just got new Blacksage shirts in from our printers too. Pick them up in the new merch section of our online store!
PRE-ORDER: BOND ST. DISTRICT - "A Church On Vulcan"
Today we are pleased to announce the debut full length release from one of the most electrifying groups out of Baltimore in some time, Bond St. District. "A Church On Vulcan" has been a true labor of love for more than a year now. Rapper DDM and producer Paul Hutson hold nothing back on these 11 tracks. Recorded and mixed at Wright Way Studios with Rob Girardi, the group set out to make a hip hop record that doesn't sound or look like all of the other hip hop records out there and they succeeded in every way possible.
Bond St. District called in a few friends to help out on "A Church On Vulcan." Katrina Ford (Celebration, Mt. Royal) is featured on the album opener. Hemlock Ernst (Future Islands Sam Herring) and EZE Jackson contribute verses to "Terror Era." Josephine Olivia (Blacksage) finds herself singing the chorus on "Hey Arnold" and Ashley Alexander (Don Henley, Joe Walsh) sings the irresistible hook in "Yesterdays". Other contributions include the unbelievable Wendel Patrick laying his keys across a couple of songs, John Dierker (Microkingdom) blows his sax on Yesterdays alongside Ben Frock (trumpet) and Nicole Connelly (trombone) and Matthew Lampart (drum and synth programming).
"A Church On Vulcan" will be released on November 4th, 2016 on CD, cassette and digitally via Friends Records. Pre-orders for the vinyl will ship November 28th. The first single, "Technicolor" will be released later this month. Please join us November 5th at The Ottobar for the release show to end all release shows!
NEW RELEASE // STRANGE TIMES PEOPLE BAND "Strange Times People Band" Tape
Brand new music from Strange Times People Band coming at you today! "Aye Tu" is the first song on the forthcoming Strange Times People Band release on Friends Records. The self titled effort will be available on cassette and digitally on Friday, September 30th, 2016.
Strange Times People Band consists of Caroline McCrystle Marcantoni, Dan Breen, James Johnson and Jen Kirby. The new record was recorded by Craig Bowen and Jared Paolini and it was mastered by Mickey Freeland. The band is based out of Baltimore, MD and has a previous release on Chris Day's phenomenal Marginal Products tape label. Order it here!
PRE-ORDER: BLACKSAGE - "Shivers" LP / CD / Tape
Here is what alot of you have been waiting very patiently for. The brand new Blacksage album! It is available digitally starting today while the physical release has been moved back to October 14th.
We originally met Blacksage in November 2013. By April 2014, we were releasing the groups first EP, "Sixtape". A year later we were working on what would become the first Blacksage full length, "Basement Vows". The band spent the next year writing what would become "Shivers". In April 2016, we entered Wright Way Studio with Rob Girardi and recorded and mixed the record. Sarah Register masterfully mastered the final mixes and what we present you with today is the most refined and detailed Blacksage release so far. We here at Friends Records couldn't be more proud of Blacksage or the time and work put in on this record. Chris Day went above and beyond with the artwork and layout of this record.
Today you will find the album available on all digital services (iTunes, Spotify, Amazon.com, TIDAL, etc.). The tapes and CDs are out October 14th. There is a very limited green Glow In The Dark variant of the vinyl that is selling quickly and won't be available for very long. There is also an opaque white variant as well as the standard black 140 gram vinyl. The LPs will ship November 24th.
NEW RELEASE // PEALS "Honey" LP / CD / Tape
Today we are so pleased to announce the release of the new Peals album, "Honey" on Friends Records. "Honey" is available now on vinyl, CD, cassette, digitally and in a limited edition honey jar from Oak Hill Honey with a submerged, sealed USB stick. Order your copy on LP, tape, and CD. LPs will ship November 9th.
Honey, the second full-length album from Baltimore-based duo Peals, elevates their exploratory sound to majestic new heights of otherworldly instrumental pop while preserving the intimacy of their live shows and earlier recordings.
William Cashion (Future Islands) and Bruce Willen (ex-Double Dagger) recorded much of Honey in Willen’s Baltimore home. Together they build rapturous melodies of interlocking and looped guitars that channel kosmische musik, ‘70s Eno, and new wave hooks à la Robert Smith into above-the-clouds dream soundtracks. Unexpected and delicate textures—wind, bells, the whirs of a film projector—situate listeners in the elemental immediacy of Peals performances, which take place in art galleries or open fields as often as traditional music venues.
Recorded over a three-year span (late 2013 to early 2016) and mixed by Chester Endersby Gwazda (Dan Deacon, Future Islands), Peals’ sophomore album triumphantly refines and expands the sound palette they mapped out on their 2013 debut, Walking Field. Each of Honey’s nine tracks brim with emotional resonance. A journey at once meditative, transportive, and eminently accessible, Honey is one of those special albums that creates an entire world—and then invites the listener to populate it with thoughts and dreams of their own.
- Eric Allen Hatch. Photos by Monique Crabb.
Watch the video for "Become Younger" and download the track below!
NEW RELEASE // MOSS OF AURA "WE'LL ALL COLLIDE" LP / CD / Tape
It has been more than 5 years since we last had a solo release from Gerrit Welmers aka Moss Of Aura. In 2011, we released his 6th full length album entitled "Wading" on LP and cassette. "Wading" continues to be one of the pillars of Friends Records and we couldn't be more proud than we are today, to introduce you to his follow-up, "We'll All Collide". If you are familiar with his sound then you have a good idea of what to expect. There are playful new dimensions that we haven't seen before and real growth as a musician and as an artist. Gerrit has woven electric guitar into some of his arrangements and really brought his sound into laser sharp focus. "We'll All Collide" is Moss Of Aura's strongest record to date and showcases his many extraordinary talents.
"We'll All Collide" is available now on vinyl, CD and cassette. Order your copy today! Look for more news about Moss Of Aura soon.
NEW RELEASE // WING DAM "GLOW AHEAD" LP / CD / Tape
We are so pleased to announce the new album from Wing Dam. "Glow Ahead" is the third full length from the band as well as our third release from them following 2014's "Shifter Bliss" and 2012's "Thick Phase/No Splash". "Glow Ahead" began when in October 2015 the band stepped into WrightWay Studios with Rob Girardi to record 3 songs for a possible 7" release. They ended up recording 4 songs and enjoyed the experience so much that they went to work writing an entire album. By February 2016 they were back in WrightWay and turned out 8 more killer jams. These 12 songs would become this album.
Wing Dam is Sara Autrey (bass, vocals), Austin Tally (guitar, vocals) and Abram Hodge Sanders (drums). After a successful few years playing in Baltimore and around the country, Wing Dam have released their new album, "Glow Ahead" on LP, CD and cassette via Friends Records, supporting it with their second national tour – seeing 60 shows in 75 days.
Below you will find the first single from the new record, "I'm Wild", as well as your chance to pre-order the new record! (Photo by Valerie Paulsgrove.)
NEW RELEASE // OTHER COLORS "Natural Motion" LP / CD / Tape
Other Colors has been hard at work on their 2nd full length album for almost 2 years now. Beautifully recorded and mixed by Chris Freeland at his Beat Babies Studio, you can really hear the time and care put into these recordings. Will Ryerson and Dan Whatley have written and recorded a beautiful record that begs to be revisited over and over again.
"Natural Motion" is available on vinyl, CD and cassette from Friends Records. You can listen to the first single, "You Know The One" below.
NEW RELEASE // AMANDA GLASSER "Purrer EP"
Amanda Glasser is no stranger to Friends Records. Over the past few years she has lent her voice and her cello to a handful of Adam Lempel's albums. Most recently, you heard her sharing vocal duties on Adam's most recent album, "Still Life". Now we are bringing you Amanda Glasser's "Purrer EP". "Purrer EP" is a glimpse of things to come from this talented and amazing singer songwriter.
All of these songs are written by Amanda Glasser. Amanda plays guitar and sings on each song. Josh Frazier plays bass and drums on "The Tree That Bears The Golden Fruit". Amanda sang and played everything else. Josh recorded "Wolves". Craig Bowen and Jared Paolini recorded everything else.
Amanda has a new band named Purrer that consists of her, Jon Birkholz and Jarrett Gilgore. You will find them playing many shows around town and around the US this year!
WELCOME TO THE NEW FRIENDS.
Welcome to the new Friends Records. Same great ideals and ideas with a brand new look and approach. Today we are announcing the changes that brought us to where we are now as well as unveiling our new website, web store and a slew of new releases for you to gobble up. As a few of you may know, 2015 was a very transitional year for Friends Records. One of our original founders, Brett Yale, who was instrumental in the inception and development of Friends Records, made his way west to follow a new employment opportunity. After some time, Friends Records took on a new partner in Bruce Gearhart. Beyond the insight that 30+ years in the music industry brings, Bruce has been a source of great inspiration and drive in pushing Friends Records to live up to its fullest potential. As of today, we are happy to announce that we have secured distribution deals through Sony in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and all European Territories. We will be widely distributed in the U.S. for the first time in more than 3 years and we are hoping to announce even more partnerships with distributors before the summer is through. We will be using this website to keep you up to date on all Friends Records label and artist happenings, from releases and videos to show dates and tours. We have employees for the first time ever. Will Pesta came on board to handle our in house art and design as well as being the main man behind this very website. Dana Murphy also started with us back in February and is doing our in house show promoting/tour booking and support as well as helping out with some of our press needs.
To those of you who are new to the site, we welcome you. To those that have been hanging around waiting for us to make moves for the past few years, thank you for your patience and it is a real pleasure to tell you that today is the day that you have been waiting for. First and foremost, we are really pleased to present you with our first ever proper pre-orders through our new store. Wing Dam "Glow Ahead", Moss Of Aura "We'll All Collide" and Other Colors "Natural Motion" are all being made available on vinyl, CD and cassette. Ami Dang's "Uni Sun" and Jenny Besetzt's "Tender Madness" are being released on CD and cassette and there is a "Purrer EP" cassette coming from Amanda Glasser. In the coming months we will announce new records from Bond St. District, Peals, Blacksage, Microkingdom and Nicky Smith. In 2017 we will be bringing you brand new releases from Natural Velvet, Garcia Bros, Amy Reid as well as reissues of the earlier Moss Of Aura catalog and much much much more.
Through our new site you can keep track of all of these releases, listen to whatever you like, pre-order our releases, buy our older releases and keep up to date on shows and tours from your favorite Friends Records artists. There is a full archive of all of our releases as well as a new email list to sign up for. Each artist will have its own page which will be updated from time to time with their releases, their bio and any accompanying music videos or relevant links. Please spend some time surfing around and seeing all that we have done over the past 7 years while getting ready for what is to come in the very near future. If you like what you see, please sign up for our email newsletter to get weekly updates on all of our happenings.