On Stones Throw's website there is a company history written by founder Peanut Butter Wolf, in which he says, referring to the act of running the label: "Is it challenging? Of course… Is it fulfilling? Of course." In lieu of a direct mission statement, maybe the label's mission statement is just that, to challenge their own boundaries. They've been doing that by releasing non-hip-hop artists for a while, but those artists usually work in styles that influenced hip-hop anyway; the new LA duo Boardwalk, who'll release their debut LP via Stones Throw this year, is a bigger stretch. Boardwalk's first track, "I'm to Blame" has much more in common with soft indie rock people like WALL (check the chord progression) or Beach House, with whom they share not just a sound but a two-syllable, oceanic naming sensibility. So, bit of a surprising direction, but the song's great so it's hard to imagine the label is going the wrong way.
July 25, 2013