A DIY INDIEPOP VINYL & CASSETTE LABEL

The Smittens

The Smittens - Infinity Pools [Digital]

Artist: The Smittens
Title: Infinity Pools
Format: Digital
Cat#: Fika067SG4
Release date: 2nd November 2018
Bandcamp | Spotify

Ahead of 3 shows this weekend with The Ballet, The Smittens release their latest single Infinity Pools, taken from this summer’s LP City Rock Dove.

Infinity Pools is a homage to Spanish tontipop, and also inspired by Max’s longstanding love of tropicália. It’s a heady mix of pretentious experimentation and the most basic, simple, silly, absurdly infectious pop. 

The digital single comes with a brand new remix of Cats for Cats, superbly re-crafted by The Ballet, and a version of Sapphire from Nixon.

Catch The Smittens and The Ballet this weekend here:

Nov 2nd: The Radio Bean, Burlington VT
Nov 3rd: C’Mon Everybody, Brooklyn NY [3pm early free show]
Nov 4th: The Fire, Philadelphia PA

The Smittens - Infinity Pools

The Smittens - City Rock Dove [12"]

Artist: The Smittens
Title: City Rock Dove
Format: 12" album on heavyweight black vinyl, pressing of 400
Cat#: Fika067
Release date: 3rd August 2018
Bandcamp | Spotify | iTunes

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The Smittens are a 6-piece indiepop band that make upbeat and introspective tunes, tinged with vulnerability and optimism. While sonically the elements of multi-layered harmonies, countermelodies and ba-ba-ba singalong hooks still play a large part in The Smittens’ approach to songwriting, as each of the 4 main songwriters has grown, the overall perspective of the songs seems a bit moodier, and more serious. They’ve long since left behind the label of being a ‘cute’ or ‘twee’ band since their debut album 15 years ago.

City Rock Dove is instead an album of transition, ennui and nihilism; honing in on personal politics and gender queerness. The album contends with the turbulent changes of modern America serving only to cement the status quo - and it’s not just the outside world that’s changing either: The Smittens are also singing about the changes in themselves and taking a hard look inside. Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor) returned to mix the new album, having been instrumental in helping develop the richer textures first seen on 2016’s Love Record Breaker EP.

The album opens with the coming-out anthem Three States, Dana’s very personal tale of change. His vocals for the song were recorded over 2 years during the course of his gender transition. It’s a window into vulnerability, fear, determination and growth: there’s beauty in complexity. Gender and sexuality are behind Cats for Cats, taking a gay dating app cliche (“masc. for masc.”) as the opening refrain, and contemplating being 40, in a long term relationship and how freedom of experimentation always comes with its own costs.

Infinity Pools is a homage to Spanish tontipop, and also inspired by Max’s longstanding love of tropicália. It’s a heady mix of pretentious experimentation and the most basic, simple, silly, absurdly infectious pop. 

Missy takes the lead on album closer Prince of Sweden, a love letter to Scandinavia. “I love Cole Porter’s song “You’re the Top” because it’s a rolling list of things that are the best-of-the-best and being the Prince of Sweden seemed like it could be one of those… at least as good as being compared to cellophane. No political innuendo intended.”

The band is friends first and open-hearted indiepop revolutionaries after that. Max Andrucki, Missy Bly, Colin Clary, Dana Kaplan, Holly Chagnon, and David Zacharis switch up instruments, song-writing, and singing to create catchy, harmony-driven pop anthems and queer love songs—always brilliantly lyrical, and often brazenly political. They’re based in Burlington, Vermont and in New York City. City Rock Dove is their 6th studio album, and third release with Fika Recordings.

The Smittens - City Rock Dove

The Smittens - Three States [Digital]

Artist: The Smittens
Title: Three States
Format: Digital single
Cat#: Fika067SG3
Release date: 13th July 2018
Bandcamp | Spotify | iTunes

Three States, the new single from The Smittens is out today!

“Three States is a coming out/transition anthem, I wrote this song amidst a need to capture the complexity of identity, politics, and everything so many of us get caught in between. There’s pressure on all of us to conform to certain standards, and it’s nearly impossible not to internalise the toxicity. The idea of three states came to me while driving back to Vermont after being at NYC Pride. It’s a window into vulnerability, fear, determination, growth, and ultimately, better living through modern day medicine. There’s beauty in complexity. What’s holding you back? What worlds are you caught between? May we all find the spaces in which we belong. Fuck the binary, baby.” The Smittens’ Dana

Pre-order the 12″ LP City Rock Dove now or listen to the new single on Spotify.

The Smittens - Love is a Word [Digital]

Artist: The Smittens
Title: Love is a Word
Format: Digital single
Cat#: Fika067SG2
Release date: 29th June 2018
Bandcamp | Spotify | iTunes

Love is a Word is the second track taken from the forthcoming City Rock Dove from The Smittens.

The Smittens’ Missy Bly says: “This song came after I heard the buzz and learned personally, that love is and requires action. This one could potentially be written forever because the list of love metaphors is never ending. Love is potential, love is forethought, love can be cruel, exalting and regular and love is definitely fun to sing about!”

The Smittens on tour with Owl & Mouse

AlloDarlinFlyer The Smittens are heading over from Vermont to play a week of shows in the UK and Norway. Joining them will be Owl & Mouse, playing in support of their debut album, Departures.

Catch Owl & Mouse and The Smittens here: July 3rd: Cardiff – Four Bars at Dempsey’s [Owl & Mouse only] Tickets July 4th: Brighton - The Hope & Ruin (w/ King Of Cats, Moscow Centre) Tickets July 5th: Leeds - Wharf Chambers (w/ The Seven Inches) July 6th: Oxford - The Library (w/ Jess Hall) July 7th: London - The Shacklewell Arms (w/ Tigercats) Tickets July 8th: Moss, Norway July 9th: Bergen, Norway July 11th & 12th: Indiefjord, Bjorke, Norway (w/ The School, The Just Joans and more)

The Smittens "Love Record Breaker"

It's finally out! Love Record Breaker is the new 10" record from The Smittens. We've gone all out hand screenprinting six different cover designs, each numbered and limited to just 50.

“The vocal arrangements sound great, the reverb 1950s guitar sound wonderful. There will be no dancing at the indie disco to this and its all the better for it… Arguably their most important album to date.” Neon Filler [8.5/10]

“there is nothing really to compare the Smittens with which is good in itself, so you just have to let you hair down a bit if you have some and listen to the simple sounds, chuckle at the naughty lyrics, pour yourself a dry martini and morph into a whore. Marvellous!” Penny Black Music

Order Love Record Breaker here.

The Smittens - Love Record Breaker [10”]

Artist: The Smittens
Title: Love Record Breaker
Format: 10” vinyl album limited to 300 copies (6 hand screen printed covers in editions of 50)
Cat#: Fika039
Release date: 18th August 2014
Bandcamp | Spotify 

Love Record Breaker is a transitionary record for Burlington, Vermont’s The Smittens

They’ve grown to a 6 piece with the incorporation of New York soap maker Missy Bly, who having made a guest appearance on their previous LP, Believe Me, contributes the title track here and appears throughout the 8 tracks on vocals, providing a melodically fuller sound. It’s also the last record from The Smittens to feature Dana Kaplan’s vocals pre-transition and pre-testosterone, prior to his new voice and new vocal arrangements.

This is the most forward album from The Smittens so far: sluts, whores, dead pets, not wanting to live and a rather explicit discussion of indie politics all feature as part of this record. It includes a cover of US folk duo Indigo Girls’ Closer To Fine, a homage to their queer forebears as well as their geeky pasts; The Smittens describe the original as an “80s lesbian campfire anthem”.

The title track, Love Record Breaker, was written as a response to a friend’s cold hearted Conquistadorian conquests around town, from the perspective of someone who had been through his conveyor belt of gal pals. “I wanted to convey the anger and frustration that happens in that situation, but keeping a sense of dignity despite feeling like a slut in a long line of ‘sluts’ in waiting”.

This is also a record that has taken The Smittens back to their roots, completing the circle. Writing the track These Lips returned them to their collaborative and improvisational past, not as simple as it used to be with members now living in Philadelphia and New York. Growing from a jam about a lip infection preventing Dana from kissing his partner, The Smittens twisted and turned the meaning into something far saucier, implicating both the narrator and the listener.
Closing the album is a remix of These Days from Death Team’s Johen Rafael Tilli, a Swedish producer The Smittens met on a cruise ship in the Baltic Sea: “I wanted to create a sound that could combine Scandinavian queerness with Moog syntheziers, but at the same time breathe a sense of expectation”.

The album was recorded by The Smittens at Twee Valley Manor and mixed by Gary Olson (The Ladybug Transistor) at his Marlborough Farms Studio in Brooklyn, NY.

Love Record Breaker comes on 10” black vinyl in one of 6 different hand screenprinted sleeves, each hand numbered and limited to 50.

The Smittens are friends first and open-hearted indiepop revolutionaries after that. 

Max Andrucki, Dana Kaplan, Colin Clary, Missy Bly, Holly Chagnon and David Zacharis switch up instruments, song-writing, and singing to create catchy, harmony-driven twee ballads, pop anthems, and queer love songs. Always brilliantly lyrical, and often brazenly political.

Press for Love Record Breaker

"The vocal arrangements sound great, the reverb 1950s guitar sound wonderful. There will be no dancing at the indie disco to this and its all the better for it... Arguably their most important album to date." Neon Filler [8.5/10]

"there is nothing really to compare the Smittens with which is good in itself, so you just have to let you hair down a bit if you have some and listen to the simple sounds, chuckle at the naughty lyrics, pour yourself a dry martini and morph into a whore. Marvellous!" Penny Black Music

"To pull off diversity in sound is a feat in itself, but to do so with a coherent sound is pure magic. Somehow, The Smittens do just that without any sign of strain. May they continue with equal exuberance." The Big Takeover

"There’s a certain sense of innocence in this song; it harkens back the the gifts of girl-groups of days gone by, accented by nice male backing tracks. You can’t listen to a song like this and not feel your emotions swell with joy." Austin Town Hall

"I love this!" [Upper West Side] Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music

'Burlington band backs transgender singer' [interview] Burlington Free Press

Sydsvenkan feature

Fika Recordings 'Barely Legal' North American Tour 2013

We've been back in the UK for a few days now from our 8 day tour around the East Coast of Canada and the USA with The Smittens, Tigercats and Making Marks. Readjusting to normal life has been somewhat tricky - I'm seriously missing getting on the road and venturing to a new city, stopping off a swim in a river on the way, or just chilling outside the motel until 5am with 14 of the best people I've had the pleasure to work with on Fika. Thankfully, Jørgen, drumer for Making Marks, filmed much of the trip and edited it down to the wonderful video below. Have a look and see what you missed out on. See you stateside in 2014 maybe?

BBC Radio 1: Huw Stephens' Label Of Love

This week we were delighted to be asked to join Huw Stephens on his BBC Radio 1 show to talk about Fika Recordings and play some tunes from the catalogue. You can listen again here:

Here's what we played: Tigercats - Harper Lee Lisa Bouvier - Andreas Red Shoe Diaries - Ice & Snow Moustache Of Insanity - We Need More Awesome Darren Hayman - Photos Like Postcards The Smittens - First Bus Making Marks - Hard To Be Good

The Smittens - Believe Me [12"]

Artist: The Smittens
Title: Believe Me
Format: 12" album on transparent vinyl
Cat#: Fika020
Release date: 23rd July 2012
Bandcamp | Spotify 

Formed on a whim at a party in 2002 the Smittens have emerged as one of America's best- loved underground indiepop quintets, releasing 3 full-length albums, a remix ep, and a handful of singles and compilation appearances. Their fourth studio album, Believe Me, is due out on London's Fika Recordings in summer, 2012. 


As a fixture on the international indiepop festival circuit, with appearances at the Indietracks festival, Athens Popfest, NYC Popfest, Popfest New England, San Francisco Popfest, London Popfest, and the Cosy Den Festival in Stockholm, the Smittens have been bringing their lively, melodic sound to new fans every chance they get. In summer 2012 the Smittens are heading back to Europe for their most ambitious adventure yet, this time with the fabulous help of backup singer/soapmaker Missy Bly. 


To date the Smittens have toured across the US and in Canada, the UK, France, Sweden, Germany, and Denmark and have shared the stage with many bands they admire including Allo Darlin’, Math & Physics Club, Tullycraft, The Mountain Goats, The Undertones, Ballboy, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Mates of State, We Are Scientists, Mirah, The Butchies, Kimya Dawson, Dub Narcotic Sound System, Tender Trap, Bishop Allen, The Essex Green, Comet Gain, Standard Fare, Bunnygrunt, The Manhattan Love Suicides, Cats On Fire, Dear Nora, James Kochalka Superstar, and even Richie Havens! 

Press for Believe Me

"each and every song they write is a rampant musical pleasure - they could force a smile on the sourest face. 'Believe Me' is a delightful album, perfectly timed for the sunshine and full of that summertime innocence" Bearded Magazine

"They craft bittersweet indie pop" Neon Filler

"Sounding like a Belle & Sebastian brought up solely on Tullycraft instead of all that Bob Dylan and ‘60s soul stuff" Norman Records

"‘Believe Me’ is twee pop in the best possible way – jolly, carefree and full of character" Shout 4 Music

"Burlington, Vermont's most lively bubblegum group have gone all Magnetic Fields - synthesised 80s pop references, baritone vocals, lyrical gay playfulness" Sweeping The Nation

"The Smittens have carved out a unique underdog niche built around happy tunes peppered with surprisingly melancholy, socio-political-influenced lyrics" Burlington Free Press

""Believe Me" is sometimes tongue in cheek amusing, and always entertaining." Examiner "an indiepop disco floor-filler" Adequacy