In a backyard in Bloomington, Secretly Canadian's physical and spiritual home, Jason Molina once jammed part of a broken guitar into a maple tree. Rather than break the tree or shatter the neck, the maple absorbed this shrapnel, frets and all, patiently forming an unexpected and unlikely totem for Secretly Canadian's own story. That story is, at its core, an Odd Couple story. It is the story of a label with an otherworldly mind and midwestern heart: Avante-garde and Americana, high art and high plains, patient growth b/w wild leaps of faith. Unexpected partners and unlikely pairings, all.
Throughout Secretly Canadian's history and its landmark releases, there is a sense of utility driving both work and art made with few boundaries and limitless imagination. It's in the way Molina writes about the moon. It's in Anohni's transcendent, urgent I Am A Bird Now. It's in the motorik beat and celestial solos of the War on Drugs, and it's in the emphatic love declarations of serpentwithfeet. It's in the way Secretly Canadian puts a grounded, midwestern lens to art made with towering ambition. That urgent but earthen sense of purpose unifies Secretly Canadian's story as a label.
SC25 celebrates Secretly Canadian's story through a campaign articulating the label's senses of purpose, place, and imagination. At the center of SC25 is a campaign to raise $250,000 for New Hope For Families, an organization that provides housing and other services to families experiencing homelessness in Bloomington and Monroe County, IN. Bloomington's homeless problem is a real but tractable one, with a reported 334 unhoused people in the town, including 81 children and 34 families. A donation on this scale will provide enough money to serve 20 to 40 families. The goal is not just to give back, but to find measurable meaning in what is ultimately an abstract, if impressive, milestone. What does it mean to celebrate one's work when that work is in many ways an act of service? What good is it if it isn't generous, ambitious, artful and useful?
SC25 will feature reissues of a sprawling set of the label's classics, as well as an exciting new singles collection. Limited merchandise, creative partnerships, and other surprises will arrive along the way. And, crucially, SC25 will connect Secretly Canadian's past and present to its future, linking what's known and loved to what's newly imagined -- for us, our artists, and our home.
Jens Lekman, When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog (25th Anniversary Exclusive)
Opaque Green Vinyl
Secretly Canadian Records