New Signings & Team-Ups: March 1
Methyl Ethel sign to The National’s label 4AD
Methyl Ethel have joined the illustrious 4AD roster which currently includes The National, Grimes, Purity Ring, Deerhunter, Ariel Pink and many more.
The worldwide signing excluding Australia follows the band’s three booking deals (AUS, USA & UK/Europe), which it inked after performances at Bigsound in Brisbane last September. In Australia Methyl Ethel will stay with the label that discovered them Dot Dash / Remote Control Records.
Universal Music Australia hands it out
Universal Music Australia has signed Los Angeles pop rock band Hundred Handed. New single She Was The One is out, with an EP set for release on March 18.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Jordan McGraw and drummer Drew Langan played together in Stars In Stereo which toured through North America. But they realised they were “faking it with music that wasn’t true to who they are” and brought in bassist Matt Black and headed into the studios with producer Eddie Jackson, songwriter The Golden Hippie and Paramore / 5 Seconds of Summer collaborator Mike Green to make the EP.
Grimes assigns publishing to Rough Customer
Grimes is the first signing to Rough Customer, Grammy winning songwriter Jack Antonoff’s global publishing venture with Sony/ATV. It launched last year and Grimes (aka Claire Boucher) is its first inking. The agreement includes the songs on her fourth studio album, Art Angels, which was her first Top 40 album after its November release and also topped the Alternative charts. Antonoff worked with Grimes via his band Bleachers on the Girls soundtrack song Entropy.
He says the idea of Rough Customer is “to work with friends who are making important work. It really couldn’t be more special to start things with Claire. She’s one of my all-time favourite artists and a wonderful person. Her work matters on the highest level and I feel deeply proud to know her, have worked with her and now be involved here as well.”
Cooking Vinyl to release Being As An Ocean
Cooking Vinyl Australia has secured San Diego, California band Being As An Ocean for local release. It is through its distribution deal with Equal Vision Records. The act has already released a new song Dissolve, with a video shot by guitarist Tyler Ross and labelmate Daniel Wand of Capsize.
Being As An Ocean are to announce Australian dates, the label confirmed. The band is spending the next few months on the road through North America and Europe, and will record their fourth album in late 2016. The band formed in 2012.
AC/DC’s Let There Be Rock comp widens partners
AC/DC’s Let There Be Rock competition – which helps younger acts generate money to tour and record – has increased its funding pool with new partners. Initially, AC/DC planned to give $10,000 as a cash prize from the proceeds of sales of its Bourbon & Coke limited edition range. Each will be adorned with the artwork of 10 past AC/DC albums. The first was issued last December, with the remaining nine album-cover cans to be released every four to six weeks in Australia and New Zealand.
The competition now has extra financial contributions from Studios 301 and MGM Australia, with partnerships with Shazam, Triple M and Rolling Stone Australia. The first round of judges are Frenzal Rhomb guitarist Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougal, Rolling Stone Editor-in-Chief Mathew Coyte, Studios 301’s Leon Zervos, Triple M’s Dave ‘Higgo’ Higgins and 123 Agency’s Damian Costin.
From this week, Australian and NZ acts can upload an AC/DC cover song to their own YouTube or Vimeo channels with the hashtags #showusurcans and #letthereberock, more info from www.letthereberock.com.au.
During the B&C cans sale period, consumers who contribute to the hashtag #showusurcans with image or video uploads, and have a chance at a one-off prize. Hand picked bands receive the ‘Rite to Rider’ where they will be granted the AC/DC B&C for tours or recording sessions. The more images posted the larger the fund will grow.
Drake bromances with UK grimes label Boy Better Know
One of hip hop’s biggest acts, Drake, posted on Instagram that he signed his UK releases to grime label Boy Better Know. Drake’s OVO and UK rapper Skepta’s BBK are long time close crews, with Drake even getting himself a BBK tattoo earlier this year.
The Instagram post was made after the Brit awards where he joined Rhianna onstage for Work. Rather than go to the star-studded after parties, Drake headed to a small East London club where he joined Skepta playing backup to Section Boyz. BBK was set up by Skepta, with his brother JME in 2005, signing Wiley early in the piece. It operates more as an artist collective than a label, performing together at shows under the BBK umbrella.
Byron Bay eateries team for Boomerang funding
In a first of its kind, Byron Bay chefs, Harvest owner Tristan Grier, and Three Blue Ducks Principles Jeff Bennett and Darren Robertson, are jointly holding Ja Nghari (Bundjalung for food gathering), a night of mostly indigenous food, country and culture to raise funds for the Boomerang festival. The three are the first of local business people who’ve become First Friends of Boomerang. It is held on Friday March 18 at Coorabell Hall.
Ja Nghari includes a three-course menu inspired by local native ingredients, personally foraged by Bundjalung man, Clayton Donovan (Wild Kitchen, SBS). Head chefs Darren Robertson and Bret Cameron host a multi-media presentation on the menu and then join Boomerang Director Rhoda Roberts and Natural Resources Manager Rob Appo. East Journey from Arnhem Land will perform. Bookings at https://events.bizzabo.com/boomerang. Boomerang, currently staged as part of Bluesfest, is working at being a stand-alone event.
Straalen through SWP Music
18-year-old Gold Coast-based singer-songwriter Straalen launches its latest single Be Mine Tonight through his long time manager Stephen White’s label SWP Music, which is distributed by MGM. The one time NSW Central Coast based Straalen is a relative veteran of the scene at 18. When he was 12, he was heard singing the national anthem at a Queensland State of Origin game, and become the youngest ever signing to Sony Music Australia through which he released an album of covers A Little Faith. After touring the album, he stepped out of the spotlight to hone his songwriting and learned guitar and keyboard.
Manager Stephen White – whose clients have included Leo Sayer, Lee Kernaghan, Marc Hunter, Angry Anderson and The Wolfe Brothers – says: “Over my career I have been fortunate to manage the careers of some of Australia’s most iconic and unique entertainment legends. Straalen has that elusive and rare X-factor about him. I see a superstar in the making.”
Jesse Kent with Capitol
Sydney singer songwriter Jesse Kent recently firmed a US deal with Capitol Records. She becomes their fourth current Australian act, including 5 Seconds of Summer, Little May and Troye Sivan although Little River Band were on it years back. Kent was discovered by Australian A&R exec Andrew Klippel.
Danger Mouse nibbling at Kobalt Music Publishing
Kobalt Music Publishing (KMP) finalised a worldwide administrative publishing agreement with acclaimed producer and songwriter Danger Mouse. It covers the his future works, including those released via his own label, 30th Century Records, with Danger Mouse retaining full ownership and control of his rights.
Danger Mouse is renowned for eclectic collaborators, including Gorillaz, Gnarls Barkley with CeeLo Green, Beck 2008 and The Black Keys. In 2009 he formed Broken Bells with The Shins’ James Mercer. A creative partnership with Sparklehorse also led to the star-studded studio album, Dark Night Of The Soul with Iggy Pop, Julian Casablancas, David Lynch and Wayne Coyne.
Tropfest strategises future with EY
Short film festival Tropfest, which includes a music scores competition, has come to an agreement with management consultancy EY to develop strategies to ensure its future. It’s part of the latest move by festival founder John Polson and supporters to build it up again and keep it a free event. Last December it was cancelled after Polson discovered a financial hole attributed to its operating company. But it was held mid-February drawing a crowd of 90,000. Sponsor CGU has come in as a lifetime supporter, even though a crowd-funding campaign by Tropfest to pay off consultants, failed.
ARN partners with Easter Show
Australian Radio Network will utilise its assets to provide promotion for the Sydney Royal Easter Show this month. Its three Sydney stations KIIS 1065, WSFM 101.7, The Edge 96.ONE and digital entertainment and live events platform iHeartRadio will give away tickets or provide live broadcasts.