We are starting new series where we introduce indie labels. They will recommend 3 releases from their catalog and share 3 things they have learned by running the label.
The first feature is with Outcast Tape Infirmary.
3AM – Life’s Hard
The perfect album for late summer nights. What I love most about this album is the storytelling, from an uncomfortable chance encounter outside a convenience store (“Life’s Hard Lemonade”) to growing older and missing your old friends (“3AM”). Mix this introspection with a unique blend of Midwest Emo and a healthy dose of banjo, and you have yourself a great album for hanging out in the backyard and watching the sunset.
Static Palms – 4 Slices
When I started this label, this was exactly the kind of album I hoped to release. Mid-tempo pop-punk that’s fun, but just angsty enough to hit heavily at the right moments.
Quiet Commotion – Hallå, Kära Flod!
This was the first official release for Outcast Tapes that wasn’t my own weird music, and what an awesome way to start a label. The musician behind Hallå, Kära Flod was, I believe, 13 years old at the time of recording, but you would never guess that while listening to this album. There is a musical maturity on display here that would make artists 2-3 times older jealous. Sad, melodic bummer folk a la Elliott Smith, but with its own unique twist. Quiet Commotion has subsequently branched out into shoegaze and experimental noise albums, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with in the future.
3 Things I’ve Learned
1. It Helps to Have Friends
The biggest thing I’ve learned while running this label is the importance of building solid friendships with others in the industry. When you start a label from scratch without any real connections, it can be difficult to put yourself out there, but it’s also the best way to learn about the scene and meet up with people who may have been in the same position and can offer advice. I have only been doing this for a little over a year and have already met many helpful people. On a related note…
2. The DIY Scene is Super Cool
Meeting new people can be as scary online as in real life, but I can honestly say that I’ve never had a negative interaction with anyone in the scene online. There are so many kind people (bloggers, musicians, and other labels) that are doing this purely out of their love for music, and it shows.
3. Don’t Expect Immediate Success
Unless you are already super well-connected, it’s unrealistic to expect to sell thousands of albums and score big features on all of the popular music sites. It’s tempting to start a label with dollar signs in your eyes, but that’s not really what DIY is about, is it? I believe that if you take it slow, build up a solid community around the label, and treat your artists right, things will eventually fall into place.