Category Archives: Year-End Lists

Best Indie Albums of 2020 Year-End List

Our favorite releases of 2020

We released a lot of music in 2020, but we listened to a lot of music as well! Being stuck at home 24/7, you know how it goes… Anyway, these albums could be great discoveries or recommendations for all you Tiny Room Records aficionados. And if you like this Best Indie Albums of 2020 Year-End List, you might want to check out the beautiful records we put out this year (see the bottom of this post, with links to Bandcamp for your convenience).

Have a good holiday! Stay safe, don’t die, don’t kill. <3

1. Adrianne Lenker – Songs and Instrumentals
2. Guided By Voices – Mirrored Aztec
3. Modern Nature – Annual
4. Thelonious Monster – Oh That Monster
5. The Microphones – Microphones in 2020
6. Karl Blau – Children Of All Ages
7. Microwolf – My Cauliflower Ears
8. Mike Wexler – Mike Wexler with Synthetic Love Dream
9. Yves Jarvis – Sundry Rock Song Stock
10. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
11. Lomelda – Hannah
12. Guided By Voices – Surrender Your Poppy Field
13. Landowner – Consultant
14. Horse Lords – The Common Task
15. The Johns – Forge
16. Avery Plains – soOn
17. Lake – Roundelay
18. Elvis Depressedly – Depressedelica
19. Laura Veirs – My Echo
20. Sore Eros – Sore Eros

The records released on Tiny Room Records this year

We never add our own releases to our year-end lists, because they would replace the top 6 in the Best Indie Albums of 2020 Year-End List. It’s another league 😉 This list was compiled by label owner Stefan Breuer, who is also a musician on some of the releases. He has a big ego, but not big enough to put himself above Adrianne Lenker and Guided By Voices. However, give these albums a listen, you indie fans!

LOGOUT – ΕΔΩ/ΕΚΕΙ
Moonchy & Tobias – Moonchy & Tobias III
Sleepies – Time v Pleasure
Microplaza – We’ll Never Fit In This Poem Together
Karl Blau & The World of DustBlue Herons
Combo Qazam – Flight Music

2020 Releases Recap

2020 was a weird year. We feel lucky that we still exist. We have always been driven solely by the motivation of sharing experiences and music, rather than involving money in the label. This year, we were happy to have made that choice when we started the label. Although the experiences (hosting and booking shows, getting togethers with friends and scene members, meeting new people) were put on hold, we were still able to put out new music like before. But we feel very bad for all those people that lost their jobs, lost their ability to do what they do good, venues closing, people getting depressed. Losing money is one thing, and losing the experience of sharing live music on top of that is just plain awful. 

In this post, we’d like to focus on the six releases we put out this year. Quite a few of them would have sold better if they were promoted with tours. So if you want to support these musicians to earn back their pressing costs, head on over to our Bandcamp page and spend whatever money you can spare. All proceeds will go to the artists, as always. Here you go: https://tinyroomrecords.bandcamp.com/merch

Journalists and influencers, these are all records you can put in your year-end lists. It would help us spread the word!

Microplaza – We’ll Never Fit In This Poem Together
Great 2nd installment of the project by Arno (music) and Benjamin (words). Dark, intense, flawless indie miniatures. Sold out 7″, sorry kids. 

Combo Qazam – Flight Music
Debut album by Utrecht veterans where guitars and rhythms blend together into an exciting mix of post-punk, math, noise, kraut and 90s indie rock.

Karl Blau & The World of Dust – Blue Herons
Split 7″ with local lo-fi goodness. Very special to have Karl Blau in the roster this way. Beautiful release.

Sleepies – Time v Pleasure
This was one of our favorite releases when it came out (digitally), so we decided to honor it with a physical cassette release. The best NY post-punk you’ll hear this year.

LOGOUT – ΕΔΩ/ΕΚΕΙ
Greek psych masterpiece. Melancholy like Sigur Rós, but way more intimate. This is a must-have.

Moonchy & Tobias – Moonchy & Tobias III
Third record by Todd Tobias & Pat Moonchy, very dark, and way out there. It’s like a nightmare seen through MDMA eyes. Love it.

Stay safe, enjoy the music!

Year-End Lists

Two of our albums made it to the non-prog top 5 of ProgLog Afterglow: Moon Moon Moon‘s Help! Help!, and garciaphone‘s Dreameater. http://bit.ly/2lSITCf

The NBTMusic Radio Station also put Moon Moon Moon in their top 200: http://bit.ly/2lRiPaj

Then there are 3 mentions of Lost Bear‘s Donkey Shot and 1 mention of The World Of Dust‘s Golden Moon by the 3voor12 Utrecht team: http://bit.ly/2CK4iV7

If we missed something, please let us know. We are too busy making new plans and working on new records. Roaming the internet for mentions of Tiny Room related artists is on our to-do list, but unfortunately not at the top.

And this is our own Top 10 of 2017, excluding the Tiny Room albums:

1. Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me
2. Julien Pras – Wintershed
3. Guided By Voices – August By Cake
4. Tobin Sprout – The Universe And Me
5. Palehound – At Night I’m Alright With You
6. Aldous Harding – Party
7. Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger In The Alps
8. (Sandy) Alex G – Rocket
9. Jane Weaver – Modern Kosmology
10. Joan of Arc – He’s Got The Whole This Land Is Your Land In His Hands

Our 2017

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The year is almost over. Time for a Tiny Room recap of 2017!
I guess this was the busiest and coolest year so far. More releases, more shows, failed and successful experiments. Let’s take a second to realize what awesome stuff we released:

1. Moon Moon Moon‘s label debut. A great, addictive album that’s right up our alley. Yes, I grew up with Sparklehorse, Grandaddy et al, and this is just as good. Great guys, they keep playing better and better shows, and songwriter Mark keeps knocking them out of the park with new ways to approach writing songs (journal entries, the one-song-a-day-December-month).

2&3. The World Of Dust released Golden Moon, a CD with lo-fi experiments and a collage book. I knew this wasn’t gonna do much, but it sure was more a ‘niche market’ product. Maybe that’s why the Popronde adventures weren’t really, eh, adventures. Cool stuff, for the few interested.

4. Sven Agaath‘s End of Latin. Superbe college rock, fun grunge. VERY nice release party in dB’s, with so many friends playing. Limited cassette + bag run. Not sold out, but because of the releaseshow, a cool video and some nice media attention this was definitely a satisfying release.

5. The re-release of Bhava by The World of Dust, a co-release with Snowstar Records, where it was released as a book+cd in 2013. Now only a CD, it’s a great album to have in the catalogue for anyone who likes their prog gritty and their grit poppy.

6&7. Babalong released a single, Longer, and a full length album called Greatest Hits. Different stuff than we’d done before. Really good. Yeah, I was hoping for a miracle, and that it would have a radio hit, become a hype, do something. That didn’t happen. I learned not to go for miracles, but next time just make it happen by working harder.

8. Donkey Shot, the last album by Lost Bear for the moment. Another slab of vinyl with 11 postpunky indie rock. A great release party, a great last show (hiatus), a great year for the bears all around.

9. garciaphone‘s Dreameater was released in collaboration with Microcultures. The Frenchmen played the Le Mini Who? festival on a mini Dutch tour and the album is a stunning piece of work for slowcore / indie folk aficionados.

And that’s only the stuff we released! We organized the release shows for Lost Bear, Moon Moon Moon, The World of Dust, Garciaphone and Sven Agaath. We did label nights, or shows with more than one Tiny Room band, in Utrecht, Maastricht, Amsterdam. We were there on the Onafhankelijke Label Markt. We booked a tour for Queen of the Meadow. We worked on the Howart LP sleeve. We organized small underground shows in Studio Patrick. We made artwork, videos, wrote bios, and promoted real music. Many thanks to anyone supporting us by buying records, writing about it, talking to me about it, releasing music on it, giving Tiny Room a reason to exist.

THANK YOU!
Stefan

 

 

2016 in releases

15492174_1152123401551390_5107455419252521652_nIn 2016 we released five amazing records. It all started off on the 1st of January with the new, weird Lost Bear single Craaash! b/w Captain Salt. The electronic pop/new wave song marked a departure from their previous indie rock sound. They also made a really cool video for it, starring Eline Karstens, Yorke Mulder-Bhangoo and a lot of pink cakes:

In May we released the long forgotten masterpiece by Master Solo, a singer/songwriter extraordinaire from Norwich, UK. He finished this album 8 years ago, but it was never released. He came over to Utrecht for a one-off release show, where Lost Bear played as his backing band. It was a magical show. We still have some cassettes left.

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Shortly after that, the debut album Aligned With Juniper by Queen of the Meadow was released. Helen Ferguson & Julien Pras recorded this very special folk album in Bordeaux. These were the first songs Helen ever wrote.

This was our statement at the time: Really, the whole record makes us smile and cry at the same time. It’s a heartbreaking, beautiful, timeless indie pop/folk album. It changed our life, and our perspective on music. We think that this is an album that should be heard. That’s why we release it, that’s why we think you should give it a listen too. There is no point in releasing okay-ish albums, and this one is right up there in our favorite-albums-ever section. You might think we’re exaggerating, but it’s the damn truth. Or at least our truth.

Here Comes The Flood put the album in their top 20 of 2016.

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After the summer, lo-fi indie rockers Lost Bear made their real comeback with Inside The Dragon, a massive double album containing 30 songs and over 70 minutes of music. Received well by press and public, they finally managed to capture their enthusiasm, creativity, sadness, and alcoholism in their recordings. A special document.

And Theo Ploeg put it in his top 20 of 2016.

14188120_10154518743285799_7887391095159654345_oTo top off a great year (for Tiny Room, not in general), Todd Tobias released his new album Gila Man. A psychedelic sci-fi western, for the first time with (beautiful) vocals by Chloë March. We know Todd Tobias is serving a really small niche market, but we are – as his biggest fans – extremely proud to be a part of that. Anyone who likes Popol Vuh, American Analog Set, The Residents and Ennio Morricone should give this record a listen. As long as Todd keeps making these awesome, haunting records, we keep releasing them.

Thank you for listening, see you in 2017!

 

Bewaren

Year-End Lists

In 2015 we released 5 records. Two of them were made by Ohio based artist Todd Tobias (Tristes Tropiques and Moorea), and are sold out at the moment. The other three releases were all from artists (This Leo Sunrise, Lost Bear and The World Of Dust) based in Utrecht. We are very proud that all three are featured in the Album Top 15 of 2015 by 3VOOR12/Utrecht. You can listen to a playlist of the whole top 15 in the embedded Spotify player below. If you want to read the article (including the separate lists from the staff), click here.

The show by The World of Dust during the Boyle Release Festival was mentioned in the Best Utrecht Show of the Year list, also from 3voor12/Utrecht. During this show, Stefan Breuer’s daughter Marie participated, which resulted in this beautiful photo by Dorien Hein (that, to top off the year, ended up in the Best Utrecht Photo of the Year list):

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