There are certain record labels that toiled away for decades, releasing one solid release after another, and yet nobody ever seems to know about them. Right at the top of that list is Huntington Beach’s own Velvet Blue Music.
Launched in 1996 by Jeff Cloud, a longtime associate of Ronnie and Jason Martin (the fellows behind Joy Electric and Starflyer 59), VBM has spent the last 25 years steadily and quietly building up a truly impressive catalog that includes such artists as Brandtson, Fine China, The Lassie Foundation, Map, Menomena, S.S. Bountyhunter, and Richard Swift (to name but a few).
VBM is set to release their 200th title — a vinyl reissue of Pony Express’ 2002 album, Becoming What You Hate — next month, so now seems like a perfect time to look back on everything VBM has done to date. Synth-pop, lo-fi indie-rock, shoegaze pop, ambient post-rock, ’50s-inspired surf rock, country-fied balladry — VBM’s catalog has it all, and so much more, and you can get a taste of it via “The Bluest of Velvets,” a 25-song celebration of all things Velvet Blue Music.
Accompanying the playlist is the latest episode of my “Playlist Breakdown” podcast, in which I spotlight one of the playlist’s songs and why it’s so special and meaningful. In this episode, I talk about “Serpents For Eggs,” the title track song from S.S. Bountyhunter’s second, and last, album, which Velvet Blue Music released in 2001.
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