I look upon indie labels with admiration: those solo-parents with a dozen-or-so exceptionally talented, illegitimate children spread about town; whose kids variously suffer the inability to decide who is going to do their artwork; or, who will talk to the local journo (’cause he stopped listening to new music around the time of Hotel California); or, have a ‘political dilemma’ when a gig is in the offing at the corporate branded pub on the high street (probably far enough). Aye, it takes a good deal of parenting to keep the family together; forever the diplomat and guardian, a jack-of-all trades, and always in the background.
I was stoked then to realize, after writing about Slow Down Tallahassee recently, that their stable-mates are Standard Fare (another band that has become a favourite this year). Both bands appear on Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation, an independant label based in Sheffield, England. I first heard Standard Fare’s song Standard Fare through Austin’s 2010 South by Southwest Music Showcase, it was their song Philadelphia that made me a fan…
Standard Fare – Philadelphia
I bought both Slow Down Tallahassee’s album The Beautiful Light and Standard Fare’s Noyelle Beat from iTunes as Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation isn’t distributed in New Zealand. Shame really, because I do like my music even more when it comes with ink.
Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation’s current bands range from the sing-along-pop of Monkey Swallows The Universe to the speedy-post-punk of the The Interiors, the messed-up guitars and synths of Heartyeah to the wacked-out-lyrics of synth-folk duo Katsen.
Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation have a nice bunch of downloads from their current roster and their label guy Darren Chuck delivers a podcast worth listening to. I have listed some of the label’s samples here, should you need convincing to head their way.
Monkey Swallows The Universe – Florence
The Interiors – Without Style
Heartyeah – Chris Huelsbeck
Katsen – Catus
Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation roster:
Cats For Peru
Charles E Cullen
Meat For A Dark Day
Monkey Swallows The Universe
Slow Down Tallahassee
Smokers Die Younger
The Bon Bon Club
The Long Blondes
The Mardy Bums
The Scarlet Tuesday
This Many Boyfriends
Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation website
Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation profiles
A good interview with Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation’s Darren Chuck is at Drowned in Sound by Rob Webb
South by Southwest Music Showcase Austin, Texas