Thursday, 3 February 2011

Matador Record Label Artists

After researching into ‘Matador Records’ I found this band ‘Perfume Genius’ Just from looking at the album cover it reminded me of our video the dingy colours and even the physical hand gestures reminded me of our music video. After reading the write up about this band I realised there music portrayed similar themes of exploring the darker side to the world. Knowing that this band (although they are American based) is on ‘Matador Records’ makes me realise that this is the right independent record company to use if we were to branch off into American waters.

Band: Perfume Genius Album: Learning
Even though he is only in his 20s, Mike Hadreas, aka Seattle’s PERFUME GENIUS, has a story with the twists and turns of a person who has seen a lot of darkness. Hadreas explains: “I spent my whole life hiding from the things that happened to me, to my family and friends. The entirety of all these experiences: abuse, addiction, suicide, all that cool stuff, I couldn’t bear to look at it.”

This extraordinary debut album explores that world through home-recorded songs that bring to mind early Cat Power, Elliott Smith, Sufjan Stevens and Pink Moon-era Nick Drake. Mostly simple vocal and piano, the minor-key melodies work their way into your brain and stick there. “Mr Peterson" is the seemingly innocuous tale of a high school teacher turned inside-out. “Gay Angels' is a gorgeous soundscape of layered organs and synths. “Write To Your Brother' contains elliptical allusions to a mother treating a song “like a lover.' Hadreas’s life is a catalogue of remembered pain and sadness, and this album is an indelible testament to that.

Band: Belle and Sebastian  Album: Write About Love

Back after a 5-year hiatus doing solo projects, soundtracks and more, Glasgow’s beloved BELLE AND SEBASTIAN have returned with one of their finest albums. Marrying the intimacy of early works like Sinister and Tigermilk with the production values of their more recent work, Write About Love is a varied, captivating and occasionally disturbing trawl through the mind of Stuart Murdoch and his colleagues. Tracklisting:

I Didn’t See It Coming
Come On Sister
Calculating Bimbo
I Want The World To Stop
Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John
Write About Love
I’m Not Living In The Real World
Ghost of Rockschool
Read The Blessed Pages
I Can See Your Future
Sunday’s Pretty Icons 

How is your research into institutions responsible for the production and regulation of the media influence your production work?

At first the institutions we looked at were major record company labels such as Universal and Island Records (the record company Florence + The Machine are with) However we realised that these labels weren’t very specific to our genre and were very big companies that had a variety of artists under their name. After choosing a specific genre and target audience we had to find a record company that portrayed similar artists to our band ‘The Rivals’. We researched further into independent record labels, as this would be the best starting point for us to promote our single to and independent label before branching off afterwards to the bigger labels such as Universal Records. We found lots of specific record labels in America, such as ‘Bloodshot Records’ who based in Chicago have been able to keep their independence they are interested in fresh new Indie alternative rock bands that don’t conform to the original stereotypes and I thought this was a good match for us, however we carried on looking for British based record labels as we are an English group with a predominantly British target audience. Looking at ‘XL’ record label an independent based in the United Kingdom, although started off with artists like the ‘Prodigy’ they have branched out to take the best artists in their genres including ‘White Stripes’. This influenced our decisions to try something different in relation to the themes behind our video.
The Canadian-American band ‘Arcade Fire’ have also kept to their routes of not conforming to the major record labels but kept with the independent record label ‘Merge Records’ since they first began. The band often records its albums in its own studios, to exacting and personal specifications, and retains ownership of the music, which it licenses to Merge. Its previous two albums have gone gold, or close to it, and “The Suburbs” is expected to do the same, or better. This is the same type of exposure that we want our band ‘The Rivals’ to do and as ‘Arcade Fire’ sit in the same genre of and uses a record label focusing on the manufacturing of the product similar to the independent ‘Matador Records’ although these are American based record labels, this would mean we could branch out into the American market thus expanding our marketing techniques and receiving a bigger profit and larger amount of single sales.

How did your research into audiences contribute to your production work?

Upon looking at these various artists we realised that even though the music tastes are quite different our main target audience would be predominantly  White, British females in their late teens around the 16-25 from a middle class background as this age group are already fully engaged in music and pop culture and is the main group that make up the majority of people at Festivals, therefore after researching into different festivals, we realised our target audience would all have similar interests and hobbies, one of these going to Festivals. By targeting this audience we can capitalize on our single sales whilst enhancing marketing strategies by publicising our band. As we chose the Indie rock genre we researched other artists that our target audience would want to see such as Marina + The diamonds, which play at festivals just like our main band Florence + the machine played at many major festivals last year and our target audience is the most popular age group to be seen at Festivals. Researching other Indie bands such as ‘Arcade Fire’ ‘Imogen Heap’ and ‘The Killers’ showed that the Indie rock genre incorporates a wide range of male, female solo artists as well as bands, thus giving us a bigger target audience to engage with culminating in bigger sales of our album. To reach out to our target audience we would our own experience of Myspace and Facebook to reach out to wider audiences, as these websites have thousands of members as well as trying to get TV Promotion and potential magazine coverage such as  ‘Amplifier’ and ‘NME’ and general poster distribution whether at Festivals or other social events. All of this audience research culminated into going for an alternative genre to the traditional pop or rock, and created a video that contributes to the modern world of media by giving a narrative a darker side to intrigue our audience.

How did your research into genre contribute to your production work?

My first research task was looking into Taylor Swift’s song ‘Love Story’ and analysing the music video. This was my first look into a genre of a popular music video but I knew straight away that I wanted to do something for the modern female teenage audience. Her video contributed to us creating a narrative structure for our video and using our lyrics to tell the story. Our music genre changed as we started looking at different song choices from Taylor Swift’s contemporary country style to Lucy’s striking Lady Gaga video which portrays strong characters in an artistic abstract fashion. After looking at these two juxtaposing contemporary artists, we started looking at a popular genre that is seen in England, so this is where we found ‘Florence + the machine’ an indie rock band, after listening to their album we knew this genre was right for us and we wanted to create an intense experience for the audience so taking the lyrics of her song ‘Girl With One Eye’ which gave a strong basis of a narrative. Whilst looking at Florence + the machine, we came across PJ Harvey another indie artist who also experiments with rock, pop, electronica, and folk became a prominent artist in our minds, who became a strong influence when looking at album covers and the antique mis-en-scene feel for our actual video.