haven't been on VC in awhile. just read this whole thread and had a wave of emotions. IMMENSELY appreciate all the support y'all have given us over the years. there were certainly hiccups in the transition to Awesome Merch. Overall, they're still a very new, small staff here in the US. But they handle our UK and Europe mail order and customer service EXCELLENTLY over in Leeds, so we're confident that we'll get this right together over time once they bring in more staff. We did pull the plug on the sub for 2019, yes, because it became apparent we'd be doing a huge disservice to everyone who purchased it by not having our mail order in tip top shape. We've been a label for thirteen years now, and done our own mail order out of our own space for the first twelve of those. So this is a HUGE change for us. There's some TLC that we and @MyEnemy used to be able to provide—we'd recognize names, start to know what certain people liked, threw in freebies and extras that we knew would be relevant to YOUR tastes, etc. Eventually though, rent costs to warehouse all of our inventory in San Diego just got really outrageous over the course of the few years since we relocated there. We couldn't justify doing it ourselves anymore when weighing the costs. So a few really difficult decisions were made. With this transition, a lot of the more personalized touches are gone—for now. In the meantime, I'm trying to come up with things we can be doing to replace that experience. If you've ordered from us recently, you've hopefully noticed our free swag game is really good right now (and not just throwaway bullshit—like actual free vinyl and pins and stickers, and CDs, etc.)!! Once the staff at Awesome gets more acquainted with our catalog, our customers, how we do things, etc. I think things will smooth out and we'll maybe revisit the sub idea. But all the same, thanks for riding this little experiment out with us to the end.
As a more general update, outsourcing our mail order (and thus de-anchoring Topshelf to any set physical space), allowed us all to pursue different things in our personal lives. I've since moved to Portland, OR, Seth has moved up to LA, Danielle has moved on to work for Marathon Artists in LA and we've hired two new employees: Sofi Padilla in LA and Will Osiecki in Seattle. The little Boston-based label you remember from years ago is now spread out down the whole west coast lol! Combined with the Awesome Merch thing, this is a HUGE shift for us. With a lot of new blood in the fold, there's a lot of new ideas and energy, but also, a lot for Seth and I to teach and instill before I feel like we are off and running again on all cylinders.
I think it's an exceptionally volatile time to be running an independent label that relies heavily on selling physical media so, again, thank you for any modicum of support you have given us to this point. It's hugely appreciated!!
While there is no sub, I wanted to let you know about some of our upcoming 2019 titles. What I am most excited about is that Topshelf is an extension of Seth and I's music tastes over the years—but also the people who we have worked with as well. Our tastes and interests have evolved just like anyone elses. This year more than any other I think will be reflective of that in what we release. There are no rules!!!!!! Here's some of what you can expect from us:
Bellows - "The Rose Gardener"
Elephant Gym - "Underwater"
Ratboys - LP3
Queen of Jeans - LP2
Another Michael - LP1
Alfred. - "Like You!!"
Field Mouse - LP3
No Vacation - EP
Us and Us Only - EP
Mid-Air Thief - "Crumbling"
and everything else is TBA for now ❤️
If any of y'all ever wanna hit me up about anything directly—a mail order problem or anything, really: kevin at topshelfrecords dot com.