Today marks the very first Atlanta Record Label Fest at Aisle 5 in Little Five Points. Juliett Rowe of Blood Drunk Records organized the event to help bring together and build the community within our home town of Atlanta’s music scene.
The small independent record labels are the lifeblood of any city’s music scene. They are the ones that give talented artists a place and the ability to put out their music to an audience. Without these labels, working on the locals behalf, some of these extremely talented artist’s music would fall on deaf ears.
Atlanta has a multitude of talented artists, we could list off band after band here in Atlanta that has made national noise, or is well deserving of being heard on a larger scale. The community here is very diverse, with everything from hip hop to folk, to punk, to hardcore and everything in between. Depending on your choice in music we can guarantee there are some locals from Atlanta that deserve your ears that you may not have even heard of yet. Yet they are here in this crazy community, pushing the boundaries, creating, experimenting, and just generally making great music.
Today at Aisle 5, Juliett Rowe has brought together some of Atlanta’s best independent record labels to showcase some of the bevy of talent located right here in our backyard. The day starts at 6PM at the beautiful, still fairly new venue Aisle 5 in LP5. Come over, walk around to the different tables and talk with all of these great labels about their offerings, perhaps they will even let you hear something totally new and unreleased. Discover what they have to offer, and buy something to take home. Then starting at 7PM the live music starts, showcasing more of what our great city has to offer.
For more on the festival, head on over to our friends at Immersive Atlanta for an exclusive interview with Juliett Rowe of Blood Drunks Records and Jay Cooper of This Is American Music.
As for our recommendations, these are some of the albums we will be looking for:
So far The Cottage hasn’t released a bunch of quantity, but they have released plenty of quality. They have 4 records out currently, and at least one more already up for pre-sale before it’s official release. Every one of these records comes highly recommend by OpenEars, in fact early this summer we released our The 35 Best Albums of the Year (so far), and 2 were on it at the half way point of the year. If you’ve followed OpenEars at all, you also know that Sydney Eloise & the Palms is one of our most anticipated albums of the fall.
– Book Club: One Way Moon – Rural Pop at it’s finest. Otherwise known as folk music. Book Club is a collective of talented musicians let by Robbie Horlick’s lyrics and a bevy of instruments to make some of the most wonderful music around.
– Hare and the Hounds: A Moth, A Flame – Led by an extremely talented lyricist in Luke Smith, that creates spacious, intricate indie rock, the production here is off the charts. An album you can listen to over and over.
– Small Houses: Still Talk; Second City – Michigan’s Jeremy Quentin is a prolific folk songwriter that made the trek down to work with the fine folks at The Cottage.
– Slow Parade: Big Plans – A group headed by Matthew Pendrick, this collective of talented musicians come from the Atlanta/Athens areas and consist of members of Cicada Rhythm, Grand Vapids and more. One part shoe gaze, one part a little bit country, this group is bringing their own unique style that we can’t get enough of.
Bear Kids Recordings is one of the best little labels around that is combining with other labels to put out their artists’ music onto tape cassette, giving you excellent collectors items to add to your haul.
– 100 Watt Horse: EAFAFAFATTTA – George Pettis released 100 Watt Horse’s debut full length record on Bear Kids and Deer Bear Wolf earlier this year to much fanfare, especially from this site as it’s easily one of our top 5 albums of the year. Check out our review of this great experimental folk album here.
– Coma Girls: Coma Girls – As we finish up summer, need the perfect summer album? Coma Girls has you covered with a throwback album of 50’s and 60’s pop rock and roll songs with a little bit of a surf rock edge.
– Small Reactions: Similar Phantom – Small Reactions much celebrated debut full length LP brings the energy via their post punk “pop” sound. If you’ve ever seen these guys live, you know they kill it every single time with hard drumming songs. Pop in this cassette to get your day going right.
Deer Bear Wolf isn’t afraid to curate the weird of weird and put the albums. And yes, by weird we mean totally amazing, experimental, and just plain out good. Everyone needs labels like these to find those out their pushing the boundaries. Everyone on their label brings something unique that deserves your attention.
– Highlander: Weird Future – Highlander has been gaining traction in the national press with their experimental synth pop sounds creating one of Atlanta’s best releases.
– Mara: Mara EP – “Garage Gaze” as it’s called, Jordan Parker has released a haunting EP with an ethereal sound that takes you into another world.
– Sealions: Number One Lover – Catchy indie pop in the mold of an M83 with slightly more rock ‘n’ roll, this EP was released last year and we still can’t put it down.
– Oryx & Crake: Marriage – This album isn’t out till 9/25, but perhaps they will have something special today at the label fest. Either way, if it’s just a preorder for the album, do it, trust us. You can go ahead and mark down this album as one of our most anticipated of the fall. We may have already heard a sneak peak, and well, it’s a brilliant indie rock album with perfect songwriting and perfect musicianship alongside from this collective.
This has long been one of our absolute favorite labels since we first discovered them. With an Atlanta address, yet distributed across the southeast, and a moniker of “Southern Indie”, if you are into the folk, country, alt-country, americana realms at all, this will be your new favorite label as everything they put out is quality.
– Have Gun, Will Travel: Science From An Easy Chair – This full-length concept album is based entirely on British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and his 1914-16 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Named after a book by Ray Lankester on popular science from which the Crew would read aloud, the album delivers its own interpretation of this amazing story of survival and endurance. This band combines a perfect blend of folk, pop, rock and classic country.
– Blue Blood: This Is The Life – Athens’ Blue Blood released their debut of psychedelic indie pop rock where folk meets pop, and creates a blend of excellent soundscapes.
– Great Peacock: Making Ghosts – One of our absolute favorite currents bands, Nashville’s Great Peacock released their long awaited, much anticipated debut album earlier this year and has a solid hold in our albums of the year list. Little bit country, but see them live and you know they are plenty rock ‘n’ roll, don’t leave the fest without this in your hands.
– Caleb Caudle: Paint Another Layer On My Heart – The Huffington Post recently called Caleb the next Jason Isbell, whoa, those are strong words right there and we couldn’t agree more. This album was in our favorites of 2014 and we are already looking forward to the next. If you don’t know Caleb yet, start with this one.
– Fire Mountain: All Dies Down – Another favorite from 2014, this Troy, Alabama band plays much bigger than their hometown. Full of heartfelt tunes, their country fried rock is perfect for any Sunday.
Besides this small sampling of some of our favorites to look out for, there will be a ton more great Atlanta labels represented. Go chat with them and discover something new. The full list we have so far of labels participating:
Bear Kids Recordings
Blood Drunk Records
The Cottage Recording Company
Clandestine Ritual Records
Deer Bear Wolf Records
Eskimo Kiss Records/Pretty New Songs
Gospel of Rhythm Recordings
This is American Music
They will also have a great lineup of local live music, per the Facebook event page from: