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Standard Candle Demos by Cindy


Standard Candle Demos
Sloth Mate

***"Sloth Mate bring to vinyl the impossibly limited cassette of Cindy demos that were recorded to 4-track just before the release of the 1:2 album, and add an extra track for good measure. Some of these songs did then appear in a slightly different form on the recent Why Not Now? LP, but demo or otherwise, our official line on the issue is unequivocal: any Cindy is good Cindy. If you share such a view you'll not be disappointed by these eight flickering transmissions. On their albums, Cindy is a full band, but here it's just singer-songwriter Karina Gill, her inescapably distinct vocal accompanied only by close-mic'd guitar, basement reverb and tape hiss. Given how poetically intimate and confessional Gill's music often is, it feels like a privilege to hear her songs in this nascent form, both spectral and suggestive, yet more than enough just as they are. For the first time, and somewhat unexpectedly, I hear traces of Leonard Cohen in Gill's songwriting—perhaps it's the line 'haven't you heard, no-one can serve two masters?'—which is as grandiose as praise comes I realise, but it's there somewhere in the DNA, a desire to express the ineffable or just some miniature truth. And as desires go, there's few more compelling. Surprising, then, that it's the instrumental opener that stuck with me longest. It's a slip of a song, hardly anything to it, a person in a room with a guitar playing around at the edges of their instinct. Delicate, pretty, alone,...

LP $20.50



Why Not Now? by Cindy


Why Not Now?
Mt. St. Mtn.

***“Everyone’s hoping that nobody sees/all our little efforts at dignity” This last line of the title track from Cindy’s fourth LP Why Not Now? works as a slogan for Karina Gill's evolving musical vision. Her music is simple out of necessity and introverted in delivery, but the songs contain vivid worlds and are quietly ambitious. With this latest batch, Gill pulled the process of making Cindy music even more inward. “Some of these songs were first recorded as demos alone in my basement. I think that process set the tone for the record…Maybe it set up a kind of starkness,” she says. Moving on from the fixed quartet that performed the first three albums, Gill worked alongside original keyboardist Aaron Diko to develop the songs and they enlisted players from the ever-blossoming SF pop scene to realise her minimalist vision -- members of Flowertown, Telephone Numbers, April Magazine, Famous Mammals, and Sad Eyed Beatniks to name a few. The collective sounds fill out the record perfectly with John Cale-esque viola on ‘August’, lo-fi fairground organs, and a tasteful full-band sound that crops up throughout. ‘A Trumpet on a Hillside’ is the most triumphant Cindy has ever sounded, all ascending chords and a wedding march melody tumbling out of an old synth. Still, some of the best moments are Gill alone, as on ‘Playboy’, just naked guitar and voice, and when the forlorn whistling solo kicks in, it feels like the loneliest star is imploding in a distant galaxy. ...

LP $17.75

05/19/2023 795154139293 

MTN 44 

***"Karina Gill. She became a musician only recently, having sat on the sidelines while ex-partners and friends made their stabs at it. Gill describes a chance encounter with an abandoned Squire Strat left in the basement by a previous tenant, 'mummified in electrical tape with the remnants of a burrito on the head stock', that led her to begin carefully strumming her way through simple chords and making her own songs. After one interesting self-released LP, still finding their footing, the band made the masterful and buzzed-about Free Advice, which went from a limited cassette on local SF label Paisley Shirt to vinyl pressings on Tough Love (UK) and Mt. St.Mtn. (USA). Cindy’s third LP arrives in quick succession, the quietly devastating 1:2. Jesse Jackson on bass, Simon Phillips on drums and Aaron Diko on keyboards weave the perfectly thin web behind Gill’s slow Velvety strums and murmured melodies. The rhythm section brings the crude flow, while the keys add subtle and surreal counterpoint to the withering world Gill depicts in her lyrics. 'Songs tie together seemingly disparate things by the logic of mood,' Gill tries to explain. This isn’t dream-pop sunshine bliss; half-closed black drapes hang on the window where the narrator stares into the middle distance. 'Sometimes you say you’re feeling small/You plan all day for your own funeral', she intones in Party Store. Gill has a way of halting her phrasing that makes it feel like her thoughts are gently tumbling into the abyss. It’s this unsettling...

LP $16.35


MTN 32 

***BACK IN STOCK!!!  "It's that name again... Cindy have been (amongst a few others) the Hot New Discovery of this year, their Free Advice LP doing for the current San Francisco scene what the Big Supermarket record did for Melbourne a year or two back—i.e. a totemic outta-nowhere DIY statement of rare vision. Turns out, though, it's not quite without precedent, since there's actually a self-released debut record from 2018, which we've been lucky enough to acquire a handful of. These ten tracks display the ruminative formation of the minimal indiepop sound perfected on Free Advice, skeletons of the same ideas with a little less flesh on dem bones, nonetheless struck with a naive wonder, like you're afforded the opportunity to hear the band stumbling upon their own charms in real time. And that is 100% the appropriate word here - charm, a quality perfectly captured in that front cover, too. I can't overstate how endearing i find this music, so independent is it of outside influence and free of self-consciousness. Is this the birth of the new Paisley Underground? Or maybe something better..." (World of Echo)

LP $16.35


CND 01 

Free Advice by Cindy


Free Advice
Mt. St. Mtn.

***BACK IN STOCK!!! Free Advice offers a somber-yet-uplifting take on sobered dream pop. Imagine if Galaxie 500’s On Fire didn’t have a guitar solo or if The Trinity Session was stripped of its folk & blues roots; it’s just pure mood. Like sitting in a half-empty movie theater that’s playing Alphaville or Wild Strawberries and watching patron’s heads briefly illuminated from the screen; Free Advice (and all of the CINDY output) transfers you to these momentary worlds. CINDY is KARINA GILL on guitar/vocals, AARON DIKO on synth/keys, SIMON PHILLIPS drums/percussion, and JESSE JACKSON on bass/keys, plus Simon and Jesse on backing vocals. The songs on Free Advice are these moments in mood: Phillips & Jackson’s rhythms create the foundation, while Diko’s keys rise and fall. Gill’s guitar rattles, vocals brood, and lyrics create these narratives that depict observers, not necessarily wronged rather, cautious and investigative of the world around them.   “…Others have mentioned Galaxie 500 in reference to this, but this is bleaker in tone, more quizzical, maybe closer to Low’s harrowing take on slowcore. The vocals are intoned, murmured while the music moves steady and minimal behind it. The occasional loopy synth sound rises up in the mix, but it’s all very restrained.”—Glenn Donaldson, Freeform Freakout

LP $17.75