Barsuk Records

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pronounced bar-SUKE by those in the know (it's a Russian word that means 'badger,' and is the name of the dog that appears in the label's logo)--is perhaps most recognized for having put out the first several albums by Death Cab for Cutie, the last of which, the classic Transatlanticism (2003), is one of very few indie albums to have sold the half-million copies required to be certified Gold in the United States, and which, along with the three other DCfC studio albums and a handful of EP and archival releases in the Barsuk catalog, continues to be a touchstone of Northwest indie rock.

Death Cab's success both on and off the indie, however, is hardly the only noteworthy musical achievement from Barsuk's nearly 10-year history, during which the label has released music by a startling array of many of the most acclaimed artists in indiedom, including Nada Surf, Menomena, Mates of State, The Long Winters, John Vanderslice, Jesse Sykes, They Might Be Giants, Rocky Votolato, and Rilo Kiley, alongside a handful of younger bands such as Viva Voce, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Aqueduct, Smoosh, and others. Not bad for a label started as a hobby that remains to this day entirely independently owned and operated, outside the financial influence of the major label system.

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