My pal James Meija has been running this little label out of Toronto called Hand Drawn Dracula for a few years now, and I fucking love everything it releases. I really do. In a very short time, HDD has established itself as one of those imprints whose (very cool) logo on the back cover of a record (or a cassette in this case, I guess) is an instant signifier of carefully curated quality. You want to snap up every single thing Hand Drawn Dracula puts out because, put quite simply, Hand Drawn Dracula has demonstrated – again and again and again, right from the beginning – that Hand Drawn Dracula has immaculate taste in music. From the neo-shoegazer sparkle of Beliefs, Bishop Morocco, Breeze and Praises to the nascent, battering-ram rock-god-isms of Cousins and Greys to the starry-eyed, psychedelic mysticism of Bruce Peninsula and By Divine Right to the warring muscularities and vulnerabilities demonstrated by Holy Fuck’s Brian Borcherdt in his solo and Dusted guises, Hand Drawn Dracula has consistently championed the right stuff for the right, honest, love-of-the-game reasons. And don’t even get me started on the output of its recently minted sub-label, Artificial Records; with the likes of Weeknight, Tiers and the almighty Doomsquad already on its young roster, Artificial pretty much has the grim, grimy, electro-industrial sound of our looming Blade Runner future nailed down flat before that future actually happens. Time, hindsight and the judgement of pop history will be very kind to Hand Drawn Dracula, mark my words. It might not have reached the masses just yet, and maybe never will, but that’s just fine. The people who have picked up on its output to date have likely already discovered a record or two they’ll carry with them to the grave. I know I have. And yet I still suspect, to invoke a very tired cliché, that the best is yet come. ~ Ben Rayner, Toronto, June 10, 2014.