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by Jon E. Lynch

Various Artists, “Our Voltage”

Available: Now, via Girlsville as a digital download on various high-quality formats (MP3, FLAC, and more), and on compact disc. It is my hope that a vinyl version will eventually become available with high demand, but considering the impetus behind the record, I would advise against holding your breath. One might be able to pick up the compact disc version at your hometown independent, local record store, though the most assured way is going directly through the label.

Generally speaking, I believe comps are a fantastic way to explore a label’s artist roster, or perhaps even to get an idea of the direction a label is heading. Compilations are also a killer way to raise money for a cause. Girlsville is a Chicago-based label that has been releasing music that shares the DIY ethos of art-noise, punk, garage, post-punk, and all styles associated within that wide and varied spectrum since 2015. Their inaugural release was a compilation called “Stupid Punk Boy” that was a benefit for Chicago’s TransLife Center, an organization that helps transgender individuals find housing, legal support, and employment.

“Our Voltage” features many artists on or formerly on the label, as well as those who, presumably, believe in the cause. The proceeds from album sales will benefit legal aid for anti-racist activists and a new community self-defense gym in Chicago called Haymaker. There are too many gems from the record to list, but contributors to the album include Coachwips and Thee Oh Sees front man John Dwyer’s Damaged Bug, Olympia, Washington’s UK Gold, and Mr. Airplane Man from Detroit.

Recommended for fans of well curated compilations that lean into modern garage punk, the bands mentioned above, and that warm feeling you get from donating to a worthwhile cause.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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