Talkhouse Weekend Playlist: Twenty Years of Frenchkiss Records

Syd Butler of Les Savy Fav recaps some of the highlights in his label's two decades worth of releases.

Syd Butler of Frenchkiss Records and Les Savy Fav is no stranger to Talkhouse. In 2017, Butler was joined by Craig Finn of the Hold Steady on the Talkhouse Podcast. Now in 2019, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Frenchkiss Records, Syd Butler reflects on those two decades with this 20 track Talkhouse playlist of some of the label’s highlights.
—Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Operations Manager

Les Savy Fav — “Who Rocks The Party”
This became the standout single from the first Frenchkiss release. It was one of those throwaway songs that we didn’t put much thought into. One bass line that drives and cuts out through a sonic texture of blistering guitars. It became one of our anthems.

The Hold Steady — “Most People are DJs”
To me, this song sums up everything that is the Hold Steady.

Passion Pit — “Sleepyhead”
Although FKR had released some electronic pop in the past with Bloodthirsty Lovers and Enon, this was the one that took FKR to a new level as a label.

The Dodos — “Fools”
This song came out, in my opinion, during the growth and stride of Pitchfork. It is an amazing song that was all things FKR at the time of its release.

The Antlers — “Kettering”
This record is one of my favorites. The concept, the songs, the experience, and the execution are flawless.

Local Natives — “Airplanes”
The song, in my opinion, that helped Local Natives on their amazing path to stardom.

Miss June — “Twitch”
This band can do no wrong. This single from their debut LP sums it all up. Who ever imagined a song about a cadaver could be this fantastic?

Tweens — “Be Mean”
I can listen to Bridget’s voice all day long. This song captures a brutal truth about young relationships. It’s a perfect garage rock gem.

Bloc Party — “Ratchet”
We were thrilled to have the rights for this record. The song “Ratchet” was a perfect mix of old BP and the new direction they explored on the FK release.

Diet Cig — “Barf Day”
This is my favorite song on the record. Why you ask? My love for ice cream.

ISLAND — “The Day I Die”
This is such a beautiful song. It stands out for me from their debut.

The Drums — “Money”
We were lucky to release this record by the Drums. It happened quickly and I’m happy that our team was able to rally. You can’t find a bad song on this record.

Future Generations — “Stars”
This song is pop bliss.

Ex Models — “Sex Automata”
This short No WAVE angular abrasive song was the cherry on top of a time a place.

Devin — “Too Soon”
This is an amazing record. All the songs are some of my favorites, but the lyrics and phrasing are my favorite.

Freelance Whales — “Generator ^ First Floor”
This was a co-release with Mom + Pop. It was the first time we partnered up with another label to release a record. Mom + Pop are like minded and it was great to get behind the band with every support system in place.

Drowners — “Luv, Hold Me Down”
I think this is one of their best dynamically.

Valley Maker — “Beautiful Birds Flying”
“Beautiful Birds Flying” is such a delicate and beautiful song. Austin (Valley Maker) performs this song live with such a meaningful and emotional connection. It’s a perfect example of loving two different versions of the same song for different reasons.

Les Savy Fav — “The Sweat Descends”
This song, for me, represents all things LSF.

Eleanor Friedberger — “In Between Stars”
Really love the vibe of this song. It has such a feeling of time a space.