About Light
in the Attic

The story of Light In The Attic Records begins, curiously enough, with a motor crash in Madrid, Spain. Light In The Attic founder/co-owner (most of us call him Matt) was but a teenager in the middle of one of those requisites of American post-high school life―the "find yourself" hostel-hop through Europe. The journey usually involves, at the very least, a Eurail pass, a backpack, and a pair of hiking boots.

This particular sunny day in Madrid back in 1997, however, was to have lifelong consequences for young Matt Sullivan. Aside from the sight of the totaled Fiat (tin cans, they are), something of even greater interest immediately caught Matt's eye. The unlucky car he had just hit was filled to the brim with records―Stooges, Spacemen 3, Suicide, Love, Monks, MC5―in other words, REALLY GOOD records. Matt introduced himself to his unwilling yet amiable "crash mate," Iñigo Pastor, who just happened to own the stellar Spanish labels Vampi Soul and Munster Records. The shock of the accident suddenly took a proverbial backseat in the scheme of things as the two immediately began to talk music. Within an afternoon's time, a transatlantic bond based on the love of music was formed.

Matt immediately ditched his plans for the rest of his European sojourn and soon began camping out at the Vampi/Munster headquarters in Madrid. Though Matt and LITA co-owner Josh Wright's love of music began at their high school radio station, KASB, way back in ‘93, in Spain, Matt was able to see firsthand the actual BUSINESS of putting out records. He soon discovered that the thrill of finding a long-lost gem and reissuing it to a grateful public was often tempered by the more loathsome side of the music business―endless unpaid orders, flaky artists, and threats of lawsuits from myriad hustlers and frauds. But Matt remained undeterred and, with guidance from his Spanish mentors, began making more concrete plans for a record label of his own.

Once back in the States, the Master Plan began at once. The idea was to build a label which placed as much emphasis on releasing quality reissues as it did developing new talent. As the dot-com boom went bust, Sullivan was thankfully laid off from one of those shaky establishments. On that glorious day in July 2001, Light In The Attic's humble roots came to be from a little basement apartment in Fremont, Seattle. Suddenly unemployed, Matt wasted none of his newfound free time. Instead, he began building LITA from scratch. His tools? A little savings and a lot of tenacity.

Light In The Attic first became a player in the Seattle music scene by producing live concerts by rising artists like Saul Williams, Interpol, Peanut Butter Wolf, and The Walkmen. Many of LITA's shows were sold-out affairs, and the production side of the label's business quickly gained a reputation in the Emerald City.

But the plan was always to be a record label first and a production company second. Armed with much-needed funds that the shows provided, the company began to focus on the business of making records, starting in October 2002 with deluxe album reissues from hip-hop pioneers The Last Poets. With the LITA ball finally rolling, Matt soon called upon lifelong friend Josh Wright for help with the business. Josh provided the necessary energy and business know-how needed to transform Light In The Attic into the thriving company it is today.

Since that first release, Light In The Attic has proven that its company mission is simple: put out great music, wherever it may be found, however it may sound. It's this dedication to music―first and foremost―that has created a diverse and respected catalog of releases. In addition to its own catalog, LITA also distributes over 50 excellent labels and has grown to be a truly well-curated machine, selling direct to hundreds of record stores and retailers around the globe. Most recently, LITA has seen the expansion of its traditional music licensing department into a full-service, customized team of music supervisors, composers, and consultants, placing catalog tracks and original music in film, television, and advertisements.

With its commitment to quality as well as its disdain for convention, LITA has released over 200 instant classics. Highlights include Wheedle's Groove, an exuberant affirmation of Seattle's soul heritage; the reintroduction of Sixto Rodriguez, a Detroit-born artist and star of the Oscar-winning film, Searching For Sugar Man; and the critically acclaimed Native North American Archival Series. And who can ignore the reissues of funk goddess Betty Davis, larger-than-life crooners Serge Gainsbourg and Lee Hazlewood, folk great Karen Dalton, private press classics from the ultra-enigmatic “Lewis,” singer-songwriter Jim Sullivan, and teenage farmers Donnie & Joe Emerson.

The music is timeless and a must-have for any aficionado. Since those early basement days, the LITA family has vastly expanded, opening an office in Los Angeles and a brick-and-mortar record store in Seattle. LITA has also launched three additional labels: Modern Classics Recordings, a label focused on contemporary re-releases from D’Angelo to The Stone Roses, film and soundtrack imprint Cinewax, and reissue imprint Future Days Recordings.

Signings by Light In The Attic of current artists like The Black Angels and Nicole Willis only confirm its dedication to the original mission. Whether releasing classic reissues or grooming young artists of the future, Light In The Attic continues to defy convention by refusing to pigeonhole itself. It's safe to say that you can expect more surprises―and more great music―in the very near future.

And they owe it all to a badly mangled Fiat.

Well, sort of...

  • Jackie_allen
    Jackie Allen

    I'm LITA’s Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager and LITA Podcast producer/host. When I’m not tirelessly tweeting, my interests include kouign amann pastries, Barhi dates, taco truck huaraches, Cel-Ray, matzoh ball soup, and pita with labneh & za'atar. I enjoy murder mysteries, ghost stories, sit-coms where nothing changes, and folk/old country songs I know all the words to. I grew up in LA, went to college in NYC, got lost in the fancy food world in the Bay for a while (livin' the cheesemonger life) & wound up back in LA writing for the best little record label in the world.

  • Morgan_chosnyk
    Morgan Chosnyk

    Howdy, my name is Morgan and I am the Online Sales Manager/Customer Service Rep here at Light In The Attic. I'm the one you'll be speaking with if you have any questions or issues with your order. I also work on creating and maintaining all of the release pages on the site among a multitude of other duties. I have a second job here in Seattle at the radio station 90.3 KEXP, where I have a show on Saturdays 12-3pm. In my free time, I like to go bowling and sew photo-realistic pictures of celebrities.

  • Willa_goettling
    Willa Goettling

    Started my time with Light in the Attic as an intern, worked in the warehouse for a year, and now I work as a part time administrator with the Seattle team. You can find me working on creative projects of all shapes and sizes both at LITA and outside of work. I currently play in 2 bands and recently started DJing at local radio station, Hollow Earth, where I host a show dedicated to exploring the underground music and arts scene in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Chloe_gilinsky
    Chloe Gilinsky

    A Southern California native who sold my soul to the devil on a dusty backroad for this here prestigious position as Project Assistant. Outside of that, you'll find me at your nearest warehouse venue hanging out with a bunch of people dressed in all black either playing records, selling cassettes, or babbling about music. If I'm not there I am almost certainly singing jingles to my cat, purchasing peacoats and pointy black shoes, making a salad, hanging out on a patio or….no I'm definitely hanging out on a patio with a whiskey.

  • Michael_wells
    Michael Wells

    Head of Sales and Distribution Operations, they call me The Situation (west coast version), no Jersey shore boy here, but close… New Yorker by birth, someone once said Dylan patted me on the head while I was toddling in Central Park but it may have been a dream… family migrated to Los Angeles where I taught myself how to play the bass guitar… learned to swim in the Venice canals, left town to find my fortune, made it as far as Seattle, joined a band called The Walkabouts, started a family and nowadays I spend my time tirelessly working to deliver the music to the people.

  • Len_enders
    Len Enders

    Pack Master/Shipping Lord. I was born in the damp and dreary Pacific Northwest, the result of research my father was conducting into what he called “superior breeding.” The local authorities called it a gross misuse of science and technology but no matter, he was never a real scientist anyway. Grew up in a bizarre little town on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. An area populated, for the most part, by Earth hippies, red-necks and retirees. Strange vibrations indeed. Music has forever been my jam and I’m deeply dedicated to getting the vinyl to the kids who so desperately need it!

  • Brad_tilbe
    Brad Tilbe

    Central, N.Y. transplant, lover of all things waxy & vinyl. Record label owner and self-proclaimed Nirvana addict. Misunderstood minimalist who enjoys a good Black Metal record, a good pour, a cuddle, and a RomCom.

  • Patrick_mccarthy
    Patrick McCarthy

    Project Manager and Reissue Producer. Always punny, rarely funny. Grew up on an island in Florida, spent 10 years on an island in New York (BK/QNS), now in L.A., where everyone is an island unto themselves. I juggle a lot, so if this music business thing doesn’t work out i might try my luck at the circus.

  • Stephanie_weiss
    Stephanie Weiss

    I'm LITA's Director of Publicity. I was born and raised in Los Angeles (West Side represent) with an undergraduate degree in History & Music from the University of Southern California. Over the last several years, I've worked at various music PR firms in Los Angeles before landing my dream job here at Light In The Attic. When I'm not pitching the media, some other hobbies include my husband Joey, Boston Terriers, the ancient Minoans, The Sopranos/and or The Wire, Seinfeld marathons, hats, and Jewish bakery crawls because who doesn't love a good chocolate babka?

  • Pat_thomas
    Pat Thomas

    For the past several years I've been an A&R consultant at LITA - helping to assemble and license various projects, most notably the companion soundtrack to my book Listen, Whitey! the sounds of Black Power 1965-1975. Working on reissues at LITA is perfect for me because I never listen to any albums recorded after 1990. For reasons my colleagues have never understood, I have a penchant for making CD-Rs and drinking Bloody Mary’s during work hours, but I don't hold that against them.

  • Seth_warren
    Seth Warren

    Warehouse duder and record shop pop pop. I play electronic fiddle and sing in weird rock and country bands. I like videos of baby animals. Brad is my best buddy. Favorite Johns: Fahey, Coltrane, McLaughlin, Cale, Fogerty, Sloop B, Lennon, Renbourn, Martyn, Entwistle, Cage, Adams, Papa Creach. Ask me about my favorite Brians.

  • Abby_goldsmith
    Abby Goldsmith

    Abby Goldsmith, new Salesgrrl in town, Midwest af. Born and raised hell in Indiana. Spent my days slingin records at LUNA Music, operating an art space, booking and promoting. For 26 years I was a teenage runaway. Now I've moved to Seattle to live out my childhood dream of sharing rad music with you... yeah, you.