universal friend rays

Starting off 2016 with another new cassette - The UVF Rays, DC's scion of psychedelia Ryan Witt, is back with a fresh batch of introspective bliss. This new elixir takes the listener for a guided meditative exploration On The Sense Of Self, both shining down from the swelling sun as serene beams of reflective poetry and rising up from tranquil depths as euphonious waves calmly crashing on far distant shores of the imagination.

Each translucent purple tape has its own unique cover and was hand-dubbed-with-love right here at DZ HQ. Come celebrate the release with Adult Mom, Jawbreaker Reunion, Bad Moves, and Julian on January 6 at Above The Bayou in DC (click flyer to RSVP).

Here's a couple more shows coming up that should be on your calendars:

Friday, January 8 at CD Cellar in Arlington, VA
The Final Shows (R.I.P.) w/ Nice Breeze and more
(click here to RSVP)

Sunday, January 10 at Hole In The Sky
Escape From DC Brunch X: Long Beard, Lunch Cult, and Pisca
(click flyer to RSVP)

Wednesday, January 13 at Comet Ping Pong
Romantic States w/ Free Cake For Every Creature and Boon
(click flyer to RSVP)

2015 was great for music, and the final year-end accolades have trickled in. Special shout out to WAMU Bandwidth and Gimme Tinnitus for including some DZ artists on their lists of favorite songs from last year, and to Nooga, Post-Trash, and Washington City Paper for their recognition as well:
"Big Hush, with “Who’s Smoking Your Spirit?”, have cemented their status as one of the most exciting, moody and intricate bands to come out of the DC scene in recent memory. It is not often that a band can almost entirely change, speed up and distort their sound but remain entirely entrancing to listeners. Fans of ‘Wholes’ may need a little time to adjust to Big Hush’s new sounds but it is worth the wait." - Post-Trash 
"[Big Hush] knows how to submerge a great melody in a viscous slick of crunchy guitar riffs and thundering percussive blasts, while still allowing it to rear its head from time to time without throwing off the balance of the music. Everything is cranked up to 11, but that doesn't mean they've forgotten how to be subtle in their own raucous way. Despite their punk exuberance, these songs reveal themselves fully only after repeated listens. There are movements and slight shifts in rhythmic perspective that can be easily overlooked because of the ferocity of the band's creative drive, but they're able to maintain a cohesive melodic determination without sacrificing their heady and often-unexpected interpretations of their collective influences." - Nooga
"What’s most impressive about Big Hush’s Who’s Smoking Your Spirit? is the band’s fierce drive to reinvent itself. On last year’s Wholes, the local quartet explored a twangy, reverb-heavy sound, as if it had just completed a Ph.D. dissertation in shoegaze. With a shoegaze revival in full swing, it’d be easy for the band to keep milking that sound, but instead it forged ahead, exploring new sonic soundscapes that are far noisier—and poppier—than anything it’s done before." - Washington City Paper 
"In 2015, Hemlines glowed from its pedestal as one of the best bands in years to hoist the flag of feminist punk in D.C. Its blistering five-song EP, All Your Homes, announces the band and vocalist/guitarist Katie Park as an artery pulsing with rage and power. There’s real dexterity here; Hemlines shifts from easy to rough, from sunnier no-wave guitar work from Park and fellow guitarist Ian Villeda, to roaring distortion and big chords, all backed by Dana Liebelson’s bass high in the mix and the rock-steady drums of scene veteran Julie Yoder." - Washington City Paper
Since we last spoke, the Big Hush and Hemlines tapes have both sold out from the merch store, so before signing off, one more huge thank-you goes out to all of you who have supported the label as it approaches its five-year (!) anniversary in 2016. To show my thanks, I've picked 15 lesser-known releases from 2015 that I enjoyed and made a playlist - don’t let the year end without checking these out if you haven’t already (click image below to download).

Cheers to another trip around the sun set to a soundtrack of fantastic new music! ツ