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Born in Toronto in 1988, Max Turnbull went through art school and spent some time as a film actor before developing the musical persona of Slim Twig in the mid-2000s. Originally a solo vehicle for his feral audio experiments, Turnbull self-released a few CD-Rs, beginning with 2005's Livestock Burn. His early sounds included patches of blues-informed rockabilly, rugged punk, fuzzy psychedelia, and even a fair amount of rudimentary sampling and ramshackle beats that sounded patched together from thrift store records. While pursuing his solo work, Slim also played guitar in more aggressive punk snarlers Tropics and worked on occasional film scores, in addition to making solo work under the name Archaic Women. In 2008 Paper Bag Records released two EPs from Slim Twig, Derelict Dialect and Vernacular Violence, repackaging them both the next year as a compiled album-length release, and also issued Contempt!, the first proper LP from the project. Twig stayed very busy over the next few years, recording various smaller-run cassette and EP releases on his own and with Tropics, as well as beginning a collaborative partnership with U.S. Girls' Meghan Remy. Twig and Remy shared a few split releases and tours before starting a label together and eventually getting married in the summer of 2012. Twig produced U.S. Girls' GEM album that year as well as his own full-length Sof' Sike. He had spent a long time toiling over his dense psychedelic concept album A Hound at the Hem, which was completed in 2010 and released in extremely limited quantities in 2012 on his and Remy's Calico Corp. label in conjunction with Pleasence Records. A Hound at the Hem was ultimately reissued in 2014 by DFA.