Producer Eric Halborg discovered The Baltic via Bandcamp two years ago, subsequently introducing them to Pittsburgh indie Misra Records. Though the label lacked the money to take the group on at that time, several rounds of investors later they returned. Label president/CEO Jeff Betten made a pilgrimage to New York to visit
The Baltic’s drummer, Graham Epstein, who’s currently attending The New School. The rest of the band, who’ve been playing together since freshman year in high school, are also pursuing higher educations. Misra was the one label that could stomach an act only touring during breaks.
Related: New Music Critiques: The Baltic
“We contacted a lot of labels,” states Epstein. “A lot of them didn’t like that we were in different colleges, but Misra believed in us.”
Although The Baltic previously maintained an agreement with LGL Records, this is the group’s first legal signing. Besides loving their Britpop, shoegaze sound, Misra appreciated the band’s dedication to craft. A listen to the young act’s independently recorded five-song EP cemented the label’s interest.
“A lot of [labels] didn’t like that we were in different colleges, but Misra believed in us.”
Being fans of Misra acts like Great Lake Swimmers and Shearwater made the offer attractive to The Baltic. Everyone except guitarist Jose Chalit was down with the move to sign, so Misra allowed him to opt out. The contract endured numerous revisions, a process made easier by the label’s willingness to alter the terms.
“It was hard for us to book shows,” admits Epstein. “A lot of clubs didn’t take us seriously because of our age. We needed someone who believed in us.” Even better, Misra is licensed by legendary Sub Pop Records, a connection that might later pay off.
Expect The Baltic’s debut EP to be released around Memorial Day, with an LP to follow later this year.
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