Bloomington, Ind.-based record label Secretly Canadian will celebrate its first 11 years with the compilation “SC100,” due April 10. The 18-track disc finds the label’s artists covering one another’s songs; a digital version will also be available with 18 additional tracks.
Secretly Canadian has released more than 150 albums but as label co-founded Chris Swanson tells Billboard.com, the retrospective was originally intended to coincide with the label’s 100th release, well before it signed artists such as Antony and the Johnsons and I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness.
“We had a few artists we really wanted to be a part of it, but we had to have some constraints,” Swanson says. “The bands didn’t choose the songs — we married the bands to one another. We actually had each band cover two songs; that way they’d maybe choose the obvious one as well as the dark horse. We wanted it to be a double-disc, but we thought that’d be too intense, so the digital version will be twice as long.”
Swanson is particularly partial to Marmoset’s cover of Jens Lekman’s “Sky Phenomenon” and the late Nikki Sudden’s version of June Panic’s “See(ing) Double,” which opens the album. “He recorded that maybe a year-and-a-half ago. It is just killer. It’s beautiful, but also very sad,” Swanson says.
Details for the digital bonus tracks are still being finalized, but expect them to feature Danielson covering Dave Fischoff’s “For the Ones Who Fall Asleep on Buses” and Ativin covering Marmoset’s “The City.”
Secretly Canadian and sister label Jagjaguwar have a busy 2007 in front of them with new and upcoming releases from David Vandervelde and Richard Swift (who will tour together in May), Okkervil River (summer) and the Besnard Lakes (who Swanson likens to “Low with Beach Boys harmonies”). A new Antony and the Johnsons record is due in early 2008.
Here is the track list for “SC100,” with original artist in parentheses:
“See(ing) Double,” Nikki Sudden (June Panic)
“The Last Bandit,” Songs: Ohia (Nikki Sudden)
“Structure: Necessity,” Suzanne Langille (Songs: Ohia)
“The Escape,” Early Day Miners (Suzanne Langille and Loren MazzaCane Connors)
“Upstate,” Damien Jurado (Early Day Miners)
“Abeline,” Dave Fischoff (Damien Jurado)
“Propaganda for a Comic,” Danielson (Dave Fischoff)
“Fruitful Weekend,” June Panic (Danielson)
“Soft Evenings,” Ativin (Marmoset)
“Lungs for the Race,” Swearing At Motorists (Havergal)
“Riding and Romaing,” Havergal (Ativin)
“The Real Thing,” Racebannon (Swearing At Motorists)
“Clubber Lang,” Cornelius Boots (Racebannon)
“We’re All Gonna Die,” Jens Lekman (Scout Niblett)
“Sky Phenomenon,” Marmoset (Jens Lekman)
“40 Years of Our Family,” the Impossible Shapes (Japonize Elephants)
“Birds,” Panoply Academy (the Impossible Shapes)
“Highlight and Marginalia,” Japonize Elephants (Panoply Academy)