Happy Diving

Download: Mixtape: The Bay Area’s Best Record Labels (Podcast #325)

It’s conventional wisdom nowadays that bands no longer need record labels to release music into the world. Still, it would be foolish to think that labels no longer matter. A label association can be a critical stamp of approval for potential new fans; the best labels build audiences’ trust to the point that they’ll support new artists even before hearing them. All of this is to say nothing, of course, of the distribution services labels can offer, and any financial or booking support they might also provide.

In recent years, many great local bands have been snatched up by labels around the country, but there remains an important and vital role that Bay Area labels play in incubating and championing local talent. This mixtape collects songs from fourteen of our favorite local labels. It’s by no means a comprehensive collection — exciting recent or upcoming releases on Melters, Voltaire, Icee Hot, Greenova, and the impressive reissue label Superior Viaduct all come to mind — but it offers a survey of many of the important companies working to put out great local music.

Take a listen to the mix and check out some record labels!

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About the Bands and Record Labels

Happy Diving – “Sincere”
Label: Father/Daughter Records
Location: San Francisco / Miami
Other Artists: Running in the Fog, Body Parts, Cocktails

The Mallard – “Crystals & Candles”
Label: Castle Face Records
Location: San Francisco / Los Angeles
Other Artists: Thee Oh Sees, Pow!, Warm Soda

FWY! – “Anaheim Nightlife”
Label: Moon Glyph
Location: Oakland
Other Artists: Clipd Beaks, Bill Baird, The New Lines

Pure Bliss – “Thine Eyes”
Label: Polyvinyl Record Company
Location: Champaign, IL / San Francisco
Other Artists: Xiu Xiu, Painted Palms, Sonny and the Sunsets

Magic Trick – “Crazy Teeth”
Label: Empty Cellar Records
Location: San Francisco
Other Artists: The Cairo Gang, Cool Ghouls, Dylan Shearer

The Blank Tapes – “Coast to Coast”
Label: Antenna Farm Records
Location: Oakland
Other Artists: Social Studies, Dana Falconberry, Emily Jane White

Meanest Man Contest – “In the Dark”
Label: Gold Robot Records
Location: Oakland
Other Artists: Monster Rally, Dim Peaks, Conveyor

The Hot Toddies – “Summertime Blues”
Label: Tricycle Records
Location: San Francisco
Other Artists: Rich Girls, Teenage Sweater, Geographer

Terry Malts – “Walking Without You”
Label: Slumberland Records
Location: Oakland
Other Artists: Weekend, Tony Molina, Joanna Gruesome

Twin Steps – “Son of Sam”
Label: 1-2-3-4 Go! Records
Location: Oakland
Other Artists: Synthetic ID, Zero Boys, Uzi Rash

8th Grader – “Heavy Without You”
Label: Aerobic International
Location: San Francisco
Other Artists: Yip Deceiver, Kishi Bashi, D E N A

Bézier – “Templar”
Label: Dark Entries Records
Location: San Francisco
Other Artists: Max + Mara, Patrick Cowley, INHALT

Wreck and Reference – “Nausea”
Label: Flenser Records
Location: San Francisco
Other Artists: Botanist, Bosse-de-Nage, Grayceon

Permanent Collection – “Another”
Label: Loglady Records
Location: San Francisco
Other Artists: Part Time, Grandma’s Boyfriend, Legs, Woolen Men