Lightning Records taps Pontiak, Chris Forsyth, and more for massive fall/winter batch

Lightning Records taps Pontiak, Chris Forsyth, and more for massive fall/winter batch

There is a growing body of creative channels in America, relief for the young people frustrated by the country’s lack of sexual inertia and impulsive “rock & roll” spirit (not to mention nostalgia for a time when creating music that sounds like a Coke ad wasn’t subversive or even ad-worthy — it just sucked). Lightning Records is one such outlet, a “modern multi-media channel” — a tape label, print magazine, apparel company, “adventurous” event planner, and counterculture journal of bold photography and narrative journalism — launched in 2012 by Seth Olinsky (Akron/Family, Cy Dune) and his group of cool friends who surf and bike and do other rad shit.

TMT has the pleasure of helping Lightning announce its F/W 15 releases, a set of five tapes + print magazine that continues its 20 Artist Series, where the channel asks musical peers to contribute work from a “unique side project or edge creative statement.” This season puts an emphasis on noisy folk songwriters from ‘murica, and the forgotten dynamism of an imperfect guitar. All the artists in this batch are known for their strong creative impulses, certified in Rock & Roll CPR. There’s nihilistic, crusty jams from Pontiak and Algae & Tentacles, pariah-dog porch music from Chris Forsyth and Sam Amidon, and bitter, sugary punk from American Culture, who are either lazy suburban stoners or a Silicon Valley startup.

The business of curating an aesthetic is a fickle one — today’s discerning listener has a better bullshit detector than Chris Hansen, but Lightning’s collaborators are veterans to raucous, experimental rock, and they know their audience well. They sell a $1000 surfboard alongside a custom (black) fuzz pedal. They’ve even started a mixtape pen-pal project! And if the good vibrations weren’t enough to make your denims warm and wet, this season’s magazine has interviews with Southern Lord Sir Richard Bishop alongside ultra marathoner Dominic Grossman. There are so many folks in on this that I wish they were my friends. I’m reevaluating my entire young adulthood. It’s electrifying stuff. THERE, I said it.

Check out a premiere track from each release in Lightning’s F/W 15 batch below, and head here for more info.

[Photo Credit: Brett Howell]

• Lightning Records:
• American Culture:
• Chris Forsyth:
• Sam Amidon:
• Algae & Tentacles:

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