The past 12 months have been jammed packed with awesome over here at TLE. We released 9 records, 4 new Tender Loving Empire brand products and our own seasonal beer. Our bands went on a collective 10 national tours, and played at some of the nation’s finest music festivals and venues. Our little shop in downtown Portland received twice as many visitors as years past and all 5 employees (and 10 amazing interns) are as happy and healthy as ever.
January, 2013 – Y La Bamba – Oh February - At the end of January, we released Oh February, Y La Bamba’s captivating follow-up to 2012′s critically-acclaimed Court the Storm. Tracked and mixed by the Decemberist’s Chris Funk, this 6-song EP was regarded by many as their finest work to date. We released Oh February digitally and on CD.
▸ Pick up your copy here.
February, 2013 – BRAINSTORM – She Moves – On their way down to Austin’s SXSW music festival, BRAINSTORM released these 2 summery jams. NPR jumped on board immediately and met the band in Texas. “She Moves” and it’s b-side “Black to Bright” are available digitally.
▸ Download here.
March, 2013 – GoPro SXSW Underwater Photobooth at the Portland Party – While in Austin we invited our friends at GoPro over to the Portland Party. It seemed like a good idea at the time to set up an underwater photobooth. It was.
▸ Check out the pics from the photobooth here.
April, 2013 – Tender Loving Empire Northwest Pale Ale by Fort George Brewery – As typical northwestern residents, naturally we love beer. It made perfect sense when our favorite NW brewery, Fort George in Astoria, hit us up with the idea to release a collaboration beer. We did the art, they made the beer. These cans set the tone for an entire year of hoppy, sloshy good times.
▸ Portland’s video powerhouse INTO THE WOODS video-taped a few TLE bands performing in support of the beer. Check those and more here.
May, 2013 – Radiation City – Animals in the Median - Perhaps the most anticipated of 2013′s releases, Radiation City knocked it out of the park with their sophomore record. A distinct evolution in song writing and production practices shine through on this record. This epic video for “Zombies” and this amazing live performance of “Foreign Bodies” help set the tone. For now vinyl is sold out, but there are still some CDs left.
▸ Grab your copy here.
June, 2013 – Radiation City x G_Force – A Different Animal – Not long after the release of Radiation City’s Animals in the Median, Portland producer G_Force had chopped and screwed the whole album and created a different work all it’s own. A Different Animal showcases MCs from all over the country rapping on top of original beats made from elements of Radiation City’s songs. It came out so well, even Jay-Z posted about it.
▸ Download it here.
July, 2013 – The Family Crest – The Headwinds EP – At the end of July we welcomed the newest member into the Tender Loving Empire family. The Family Crest, hailing from San Francisco, came at us with an extremely powerful debut that we couldn’t possibly pass up. The Headwinds EP immediately made the band scores of new fans across the country and ended up getting them the spot on this incredible launch video for GoPro cameras. 2014 will surely be this band’s year as it will see the release of their next full-length album.
▸ The Headwinds is available here.
August, 2013 – Typhoon – White Lighter and the back catalog reissues – In August Typhoon released their second full-length album. White Lighter stunned receiving accolades from all who listened. In honor of this new record we reissued vinyl copies of their two previous releases in new color combinations.
▸ A New Kind of House and Hunger and Thirst and White Lighter are available here.
September, 2013 – New Portland Skyline Tees hit the shelves – Paying homage to the city we love we designed and printed these shirts depicting the Portland skyline at sunset. These shirts were just one of a whole host of new products developed in house by Tender Loving Empire including bottled Portland Rain, Rainy Cloud Tees, and a set of Portland postcards.
▸ Check out the tees here.
October, 2013 – Friends and Friends of Friends Vol. 6 – Each year we release a compilation consisting of songs from all of our friends’ bands, their friends’ bands and their friends’ friends’ bands. It always comes out awesomely and this year was no exception. Songs from STRFKR, Typhoon, Delicate Steve and Y La Bamba dot this mix making it unquestionably our best ever.
▸ Pick up your copy here.
November, 2013 – Portland Smiles: A Tribute to the Beach Boys - It really makes one proud to say they’re from Portland when 11 incredible bands from this city decide it’s a good idea to cover an obscure, arty Beach Boys album. We decided it was a good idea to release it.. and an accompanying koozie. Portland Smiles is this town’s take on 1967′s Smiley Smile.
▸ Grab the download and the koozie here.
December, 2013 – The Weather Machine – Back O’er Oregon – Former TLE intern Slater Smith (The Weather Machine) spent his 2013 summer traveling to every state park in Oregon and singing the same song. Every time he stopped he recorded a video of each performance. The result is this damn-that-was-a-lot-of-work video. Check it out.
▸ “Back O’er Oregon” is available here with it’s accompanying b-side, “Slow Dance Slow”.
And with that, we conclude 2013. Don’t forget to come visit us downtown! Have a happy holiday and cheers to a prosperous 2014.
- The TLE Family