Two years ago at the Burger Records shop, a scrappy storefront in a suburban SoCal strip mall, I found a peculiar tape. It had an odd drawing of perhaps a woman scribbled violently onto the cover. I asked the folks at Burger about this particular cassette, and they had no clue what it was. Out of sheer curiosity, I dished out a five on the tape. To date, it’s one of my favorite cassette purchases. The first side of the tape is a collection of garage rock gems including songs from Captured Tracks‘ Christmas Island and the UK’s Best Friends. The B-side contains a delightfully surprising amount of lo-fi dream pop from mostly unknown bands. The only information on the tape was some illegible writing: Cheesus Chrust Records … In Crust We Trust. After months of listening to the tape endlessly in my car, I found a mp3 download of both sides of the tape.
As it turns out, Cheesus Chrust is the name of an underground UK label, and a few days ago they released yet another similarly amazing compilation, NOT QUITE GROWN – BEDROOM POP/AMBIENT COMPILATION. They included this message with the release:
This album is a collection of bedroom pop/lo-fi/experimental/ambient side-projects from quite a lot of people I have come to know and appreciate. I found myself regularly checking Soundclouds and Bandcamps of completely obscure and completely awesome musicians who I had become friends with over time, happy to see so many young people building a portfolio of demos and attempts at songwriting. I wanted to compile a compilation to celebrate the independence in writing solo music, taking the disadvantage of not being able to make a band of stuff and turning it into a dedicated solo venture. The loner-hood of the solo musician is one to be respected, there is strength in it.
Not Quite Grown is filled with sentimental bedroom jams as well as amazing ambient anthems. Some of my favorites are Captain Samurai’s “all I need is uuu” and UUUUU’s “iv.” One is definitely just some bass, guitar, drums and vocals recorded in a what I can only assume is a messy bedroom. The other is a 7-minute soundscape, but both bring across a similar feeling of love, longing and loss. That is one of the best things about bedroom music—it cuts through all of the intricacies of mastering, mixing and producing and plays straight into your heart.
You can buy the tape from Cheesus Crust via Bandcamp, or stream the comp below.