Every week, a different FADER editor compiles a playlist to highlight a new release and give you a guide to that artist’s web of influences and peers. These Staff Selects live in our Spotify app, alongside GEN Fs from our archives and playlists for each issue. This week, it’s Duncan Cooper on the Toronto label Upper Class.
Today, out of nowhere, into my head came the hummed, duuuum, duh-dum-dum-duuuum intro to The Cansecos’ 2003 song “Another Ordinary Day,” from their pitch-perfect, self-titled debut, an album I vividly remember mail-ordering after a favorable Pitchfork review and listening to in my first car before high school hockey practice. I asked a former Torontonian about the band, and she remembered dancing so hard at a show she lost a sock. Ten years later, though The Cansecos seem to have petered out, their label Upper Class Recordings is still cranking out mid-tempo, brightly gloppy releases by longtime artists like The Russian Futurists, another early-2000s favorite of mine, and hip-hop outlier Cadence Weapon. Here’s a look back at a few favorites from the label’s most fruitful period after the turn of the millennium. I used to transfer most of this music to self-burned mix CD-Rs, so in that spirit, I’ve included quite a few tracks I remember squeezing around Upper Class gems, all IDM drums and melodic DIY pop. (Sadly, one of the label’s best releases, Girlsareshort’s Early North American LP, isn’t on Spotify).
Staff Selects: Upper Class Classics