Date Signed: July 2012
Type of Music: Indie Rock
Band Members: Gary McFarlane, vocals, guitar; Will Purtill, drums; Adam Browne, bass.
Management: Brian McKinney / Crooked House Management, 312-532-2013, [email protected]
Legal: Tim Boris / The Boris Group, 805-280-9001
Publicity: Brian McKinney / Crooked House Management, 312-532-2013, [email protected]
A&R: Justin Sinkovich
By Rob Putnam
Dublin, Ireland’s Autumn Owls landed their deal with the label arm of music website Epitonic when they made an impression on the manager of another band at South by Southwest. He soon thereafter reached out to Autumn Owls, which led to their song “Spider” being included on the Epitonic compilation Epitonic saki Sessions.
Sometime later, the band were working on a record with producer Brian Deck (Counting Crows, Modest Mouse, Tortoise) in Chicago. Epitonic had set up an in-store performance for the band at Chicago’s saki, a music and book store. They played some of their new material and Epitonic dug it.
“They’d been tinkering with the idea of turning Epitonic into a label,” says vocalist Gary McFarlane. “We’d been in contact with Justin [Sinkovich, Epitonic head] and he kept checking on how we were getting on. Ultimately he asked us if we’d like to be the first band to sign to their label. America is what we’re interested in and where we want to play so it was a great link into the US.”
What’s interesting about the band’s deal is that there’s nothing in writing. The agreement is merely oral—done on a handshake. But such deals are not unknown. Remember New Order and their famous non-deal with Factory Records? “It’s a partnership, really,” McFarlane observes. “There are benefits to both parties. It helps us because of their experience, contacts and distribution. It helps them by shining a spotlight on the label. There’s a belief that the album is going to have an impact. It’ll turn people on to Epitonic and their website.”
Epitonic was established in the late ‘90s as an indie music website clearinghouse. Autumn Owls are the first band they’re working with as they expand into the role of record label.
Between Buildings, Toward The Sea had a European release on Oct. 16, Oct. 23 in the States. The band are currently playing a number of shows in and around Dublin.