We asked Sacred Bones to tell us what they’re top ten records were and why they’re so great and important to the label. Here is what they said!
Brad Sanders (label manager) picks
The Men – Open Your Heart
Every LP by The Men is a tour of rock n’ roll history. It all comes together so beautifully here, with the abrasive post-punk and noise rock stylings of their early recordings nestled comfortably up against big pop hooks and bar-band riffs. A perfect record.
Case Studies – This Is Another Life
Maybe the most underrated record on Sacred Bones. The soul-baring folk compositions of Jesse Lortz’s first LP as Case Studies are expanded upon for this sophomore effort with lush instrumentation and production a la Dylan’s Desire or Cohen’s New Skin for the Old Ceremony. Often heartbreakingly sad, but impossible to put down once you pick it up.
Zola Jesus – Conatus
All hits. You can put this up against any mainstream pop star’s best record for pure concentration of hooks. At the same time, it’s a fearlessly bold and at times very weird record, with skittering electronic beats, operatic vocals, and gut-punch lyrics. ZJ goes back farther with Sacred Bones than almost anybody, and this record feels synonymous with the label in a way few others do.
Thou – Magus
While we’ve definitely dabbled in heavy sounds since the beginning of the label, this is the first honest-to-goodness metal record we’ve released. The New Orleans doom band’s fifth LP is earth-shakingly heavy and epic in length and scope, but it moves with a grace that’s uncommon for its genre.
John Carpenter – Lost Themes
It’s been one of the great joys of our lives to work with a true hero of ours in John Carpenter. When Lost Themes came out, it had been a long time since anyone had heard any new music by him. For his first-ever non-soundtrack work to feel this alive and immediate was such a pleasant surprise. He hasn’t slowed down since.
Caleb Braaten (label owner) picks
Amen Dunes – Love
This might be the perfect Amen Dunes record. There’s still traces of past influences and recording tendencies, but this time the focus is on the songs. The songs are big, catchy, and stick with you forever.
Moon Duo – Mazes
We bugged Ripley about putting out a Wooden Shjips record on Sacred Bones for so long that he had to start another project just to stop the annoying emails. We are so thankful that he and Sanae have made this their full-time band, and Mazes is the natural starting point for their catalog. Find a bad song on there; I dare you.
Blanck Mass – World Eater
Benjamin John Power’s third effort as Blanck Mass, but this is where he really harnessed the full power of what has become Blanck Mass. At the same time it’s bleak, beautiful, dancey, and at points downright terrifying.
Psychic Ills – Hazed Dream
The SB mainstays’ first of three incredible albums. Hazed Dream was seen as a fork in the road for the band where they veered into a hazier, more laid back psychedelic direction, and they did it to perfection. Blaze one, sit back, and let this one play on repeat.
Julee Cruise – The Voice of Love + Three Demos
Julee was always a matriarchal figure in the Sacred Bones family. Being able to reissue not only this incredible second record of hers, but to be able to go into the vaults to release the demos as well was nothing short of a dream come true.