Today BBC 6’s Amy Lamé’s declared The Umbrellas’ self-titled Slumberland Records debut one of the best records of 2021. To celebrate, Slumberland has the record back in stock on limited white vinyl and CD. Click here to purchase the LP. Also available in a very limited quantity via Slumberland is the Monorail Music edition of the vinyl. In case you missed them, check out the singles from the record: “Near You,” “She Buys Herself Flowers,” and “Pictures.”
The San Francisco bay area has long been an important outpost of the International Pop Underground, from the 90s heyday of The Aislers Set, #Poundsign# and The Fairways to the string of legendary popfests in the early 00s and more recently to a DIY pop resurgence with bands like The Mantles, Flowertown and The Reds, Pinks & Purples. Now we’re very happy to welcome into this rich pop tradition The Umbrellas, who, after one well-received tape/single, are sure to dazzle with their new self-titled debut album.
Classic indiepop influences are very much in evidence here, from The Byrds to Orange Juice, The Pastels, Comet Gain and Belle & Sebastian, along with a noticeable garage-pop/Paisley Underground flavor that is a hallmark of San Francisco’s best bands. The Umbrellas’ area DIY roots run deep, from previous bands to jobs at local record shops and venues to their warm, distinctive home-recorded sound. Brilliantly catchy lead-off single “She Buys Herself Flowers” introduces us to a band that’s both intimately conversant with indie-pop history but also unburdened by it, a band with the song-crafting chops and spirit to take familiar elements and create for themselves a fresh new sound.
The album goes from strength to strength, studded with pop gems like “Near You,” “Lonely” and “Pictures.” They’re tunes that sound like classics from the first listen, and when taken all together give you the distinct impression of a group of friends who write and play for their own pleasure, with a sense of ease that’s readily apparent with every note. Songs like “Summer” and “City Song” are at once heavily evocative of SF but also universal, the work of a terrific young band who have struck on something as timeless and elemental as all great pop.
THE UMBRELLAS TOUR DATES:
12/08 – Cleveland, OH – Mahalls
12/09 – Hamtramck, MI – The Sanctuary
12/10 – Chicago, IL – Cobra Lounge
12/11 – Springfield, MO – Odyssey Lounge
12/13 – Oklahoma City, OK – 89th Street Collective
12/14 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad
some recent press quotes on the band:
“Though they’ve clearly studied the groups they’re enamored with, the Umbrellas’ songs are all their own, with lyrics about homesickness, ennui, and struggling to connect ringing true in a way that feels universal.” – AllMusic
“The Umbrellas make classic jangly guitar indiepop in the tradition of NME’s C86 cassette.” –BrooklynVegan