It’s almost unbelievable to fathom how relevant Sub Pop Records has managed to stay over the course of a quarter century of loving music and supporting original artists. In fact, if you count the company’s roots as a fanzine called Subterranean Pop that co-founder Bruce Pavitt first published back in 1979, it’s been a lot longer than that. But the label, which recently began its official 25th anniversary celebrations with a free Silver Jubilee concert in its birthplace of Seattle, continues to be a focal point for unique and assertive music. Sub Pop’s early history is synonymous with names like Nirvana, Mudhoney, and Soundgarden, which have grown into legacy artists, and the label’s current marquee names like Washed Out, No Age, and The Head and the Heart all have new albums coming soon and are also working toward similar longevity.
The Sub Pop catalog is bursting at the seams with wonderful music, so it can be intimidating to know exactly where to begin. Rdio’s got your back — we point out some of the key highlights below if you are searching for a place to start your own listening party.
FIVE ESSENTIAL SUB POP ALBUMS
Nirvana - Bleach
Before Kurt Cobain and his band became forever music icons, their debut hinted at epic ambitions.
The Shins - Oh, Inverted World
This important rock debut brought enduring cuts like “Caring is Creepy” and “New Slang” to the forefront.
Postal Service - Give Up
The boundaries between indie rock and electronic dance music were crystallized and shattered with this release long before the term EDM was invented.
Beach House - Bloom
A dream pop duo from Baltimore, Beach House has captured the world’s imagination with this acclaimed album.
Washed Out - Paracosm
It doesn’t take long to experience a state of being blissed out while listening to the chillwave sounds of Sub Pop’s latest acclaimed artist, also known as Ernest Greene of Georgia. According to the single, “It All Feels Right”.
You should find something here to stir your soul whether you’re new to the label or have been down since day one. Follow Sub Pop on Rdio to take in the Sub Pop Label Quiz Cliff’s Notes and many more hand-picked playlists.