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Music news, concert reviews, analysis and opinion by music writer Andrew Matson.

February 21, 2012 at 9:53 AM

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Before Widowspeak, there was Tacoma's Dear Records

Image courtesy Dear Records

A treasure trove of Dear Records recordings — 12 albums and EPs — has been uploaded to bandcamp by Dylan Treleven, a key figure in the Tacoma label's music and organization. It's all worth listening to, especially "Dear Records Vols. 1-4" and individual releases by Haircuts and Greenfield, bands whose singers Molly Hamilton and Paul Dally now front Widowspeak and Jeane.

The story of Dear Records in a nutshell: Tacoma teenagers started the label in the aughts to put out their own/peers' moody rock and singer-songwriter music. Several players happened to attend high school at Tacoma School of the Arts. Stars of that TSotA scene then expatriated to New York City after high school, where they now gaze at sunsets from the tops of skyscrapers, and comprise a parallel indie rock version of the famous American writers who lived in Paris in the 1920s, substituting Treleven, Hamilton, Dally, I Low and Oberhofer, among others.

By virtue of Treleven streaming Tacoma-era material from the clique, then-and-now listening is newly possible. Check out two cuts starring smoky-voiced Molly Hamilton, below. The excellently-titled "Tacomatose" confirms once again Dear Records was on it:

"Tacomatose" by Haircuts (2007)

"Puritan" by Widowspeak (2011)

Relevant link: Station Record Club, Treleven's new compilation featuring I Low, Greenfield, Makeup Monsters and more

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