Team Love Records: a profile


In my Tilly and the Wall review I briefly mentioned Team Love Records, and how they're a web-savvy label who are all in favour of free music downloads (which I'm assuming you're a fan of too, being as you're here, reading an mp3 blog...). So just to hammer the point home, here's a full-blown profile of the label.

Founded in 2003 by Conor Oberst (from Bright Eyes) and Nate Krenkel (formerly of EMI and Sony, in some sort of A+R capacity), the label grew out of Conor's frustration at not being able to sign all the bands he wanted with Saddle Creek. Conor had a hand in the founding and running of Saddle Creek, but due to the growing size of the label, and the disparate tastes of all the people involved, the smaller, less obviously accessible bands that he liked weren't getting deals. That said, Team Love is still hand-in-hand with the Creekers; they handle all Team Love's U.S. distribution, and the Team Love online shop is on the Saddle Creek website.

The thing that initially set this label apart from others was that they gave all the music away for free on their website. This (obviously) caused trouble when negotiating with other labels for international distribution, so as far as I can tell they now only willingly give away a few tracks from each release. This approach seems to be the norm with small, web-savvy labels at the moment - everyone, bar the majors, is in agreement that promo mp3s generate more interest and ultimately more fans/money down the line for an artist than aggressively hoarding all the act's music does...

In terms of label roster Team Love are definitely more supportive of smaller projects than Saddle Creek, but they do have a few notable exceptions. Tilly and the Wall are their flagship band, and they seem to be doing pretty well despite releasing a poor new album, but as far as I can tell the label's biggest success so far has been Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins (Jenny being the frontwoman of Rilo Kiley) - who made it onto Later... and thus into the hearts and minds of a certain type of English music fan. Willy Mason's first LP Where the Humans Eat was also a Team Love release, but it seems he's an exclusively Virgin act now.

So there you have it; Team Love Records. I'd strongly recommend checking out their website and availing yourself of all the free mp3s you can find there. Chances are you'll find something you like. In the meantime, though, keep yourself occupied with these little trinkets.

A Weather - Oh My Stars

McCarthy Trenching - Cassette Tape Massacre

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