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Lefse Records

Our eleventh IA mix comes from the guys behind Lefse Records. Label boss Matt has recorded a seamless mixtape for IA based on the tracks he’s digging in 2010. The mix-tape features tracks from Phillip Glass, Woodsman, Emily Neveu, Spirituals and Burning Spear. Matt’s also answered a few questions for us and he’s kindly offered some free tracks for you from Neon Indian and Woodsman.

This mix is simply a bunch of tracks Lefse Records is loving right now. The mix starts off with an inspirational Phillip Glass track. Glass is amazing to listen to really loud when you really need to hunker down and finish a tough project. Woodsman are a Lefse artist. They turned this new track which is one of my favourites by them. The song appears on a charity comp that was released a week or two ago.

Invisible Elephant is an overlooked UK band, who will no doubt start gaining some steam. Their EP “The Lights Go Out” is truly amazing. Reuben Wilson’s “Were in Love” is an oldie but goodie. If anyone can name the classic Hip Hop track that samples this Wilson song, I will send you something neat.

Emily Neveu is the front lady of Calico Horse, who is starting to branch out a bit, and this track is remixed by Waaga’s White Mountains. Shape of Broad Minds is a much slept on Hip Hop group. This track features MF Doom, so don’t pass it up! Unfortunantly I know absolutely nothing about Geotic, except for the fact that I like to fall asleep to it.

Spirituals is a Waaga artist, and this song doesn’t appear on his upcoming record. ‘A Lull’ are a great Chicago band. Lefse put out a Tape Deck Mountain last year, and this is one of the tracks remixed by Arms and Sleepers. Burning Spear! I used to listen to The Coctails about 15 years ago as a sophomore in High School. Never knew until last week that the singer was Archer Prewitt.”

IA: First of all how do you pronounce Lefse?

Matt: Leff suh

IA: How did Lefse Recordings formalise? – Who is behind the label, how did it come about, where are you based?

Matt: I started Lefse to sign Neon Indian who I discovered on Myspace. I run it with a partner, a few staff members and a handful of trusty interns. Before Lefse, we were running Banter Records. Lefse is based in Sacramento CA.

IA: What is Lefse’s musical aim?

Matt: We are aiming to put out accessible yet interesting almost experimental music. I love bands like Neon Indian, How To Dress Well, & Keepaway who are super expiermenetal in the sense that they are doing something very new…..but still appeal to almost anyone we play them for.

IA: What do you look for from musician’s before signing them?

Matt: How much their willing to tour, how easy going they seem to be…..and if their seems to be potential for more great music

IA: What artists are you currently really hyped about?

Matt: We just released Keepaway’s debut ep. They are really great! Upcoming we have Dominant Legs & How to Dress Well who are really exciting artists to listen to.

IA: What are the labels plans for the next 5 years?

Matt: To just keep doing what we are doing. Records, touring, and loving everything that comes with running a label!

IA: What limitations are you experiencing at the moment?

Matt: It would be great to have more money to do go above and beyond for our bands. Budgets for videos, advertising and tour support would be amazing. We are getting there.

IA: What’s your strategy when it come to online piracy? Is this an issue for Lefse?

Matt: I beg all bloggers: please post our tracks! Neon Indians album was leaked for months, and did not seem to slow down sales. The more people who hear the music the better!

IA: Artwork plays an important role in selling records, besides the artists themselves, who is behind the Lefse artwork?

Matt: No one. The artists always turn in their own artwork.

IA: If you met someone in a bar and they asked you what Lefse Records was all about, what would you say?

Matt: Dancing, Singalongs, mind blowing weirdness, great people.

IA: Will there be a Lefse tour?

Matt: I don’t think so…..but definitely a showcase at CMJ & SXSW!


1. Phillip Glass: Etolie Polaire (from Analog)
2. Woodsman: I Can’t Move
3. Invisible Elephant: Wind Up Bird
4. Reuben Wilson: We’re in Love
5. Emily Neveu: The Sun (White Mountains remix)
6. Shape of Broad Minds: Lets go (Spaceboogie)
7. Geotic: Time Melts Like Snow Off the Porch
8. Ganglians: My House (demo)
9. Cass Mccombs: Not the Way
10. Safe: Twenty Years On
11. Spirituals: You Would’ve faked It
12. A Lull: Weapons for War
13. Tape Deck Mountain: 80/20 (Arms and Sleepers remix)
14. Burning Spear: One Africa
15. The Coctails: Peel