A DIY INDIEPOP VINYL & CASSETTE LABEL

Indiepop

Making Marks - Like Spinning

We've one more treat from Making Marks' debut album for you: a video for Like Spinning. A version of the track initially appeared on their very first release as Making Marks, as the b-side to the Ticket Machine single, back in 2012. Here, songwriter Ola Innset has filmed and produced a video for the album version of the track, which will give you an insight into the side of Oslo he sees within the song...

A Thousand Half-Truths is available to buy now on heavyweight 12" vinyl and as a digipack CD; also available as a digital download. We have a few copies left of their first 7" singles, Ticket Machine and Barcodes, and a few copies of their Norwegian single Uten En Tråd.

They'll be touring Europe in May, catch them here: 22.05.14 – Ohibo, Milano (IT) 23.05.14 – Café Kairo, Bern (CH) 24.05.14 – Ostpol, Dresden (DE) 25.05.14 – Theatron Festival, München (DE) 26.05.14 – Konrad, Luxembourg (LX) 27.05.14 – Astra Stube, Hamburg (DE) 28.05.14 – Antje Øklesund, Berlin (DE) 29.05.14 – Feinkost Lampe, Hannover (DE)

Distro

We're starting to do a little bit of distribution. Currently, it'll mainly be releases from artists working with Fika Recordings, who've released records previously/simultaneously on other labels. We want to help you explore their back catalogue, save on postage costs and enjoy more excellent music!So far, we've got the debut 7" single from Victoria and Jacob. We've just a handful of copies left of their single With No Certainty / There's A War - once they're gone, they're gone forever. And when they do, you'll need to keep your eyes peeled for their next digital single on Fika in April and their 7" single in May. As well as that, we've an LP and a CD from My Little Pony, who went on to become Making Marks having lost a member of the original band. Pick up a copy of their debut 12" LP Think Too Much, which features one of my favourite songs, and favourite lines:

And she said.. "Your love is like nuclear energy- it leaves a lot of stuff I don't know what to do with. And do you really love me or am I just in your network?"

We've also got a handful of copies of their second album, called Making Marks, available on CD.

Making Marks

Making Marks
Making Marks

The newest addition to Fika Recordings is Making Marks from Oslo, Norway. After 5 years as My Little Pony, they've slimmed down to a 4 piece to become Making Marks. They've gigged with the likes of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Asobi Seksu and Marit Larsen, toured extensively around Europe and the USA, including appearances at SXSW.

The debut single from Making Marks, Ticket Machine, will be released by Fika Recordings in October 2012 on 7" vinyl. They'll be in the UK playing some shows in September - full details to come.

We're celebrating our new signing by giving away a sparkling example of the joyous, sweet pop songs you can expect coming from Making Marks. So go download Hard To Be Good, watch the video, and keep your eyes peeled for more coming soon!

http://vimeo.com/fikarecordings/hardtobegood

Making Marks

"upbeat, lovely soulful indie pop. Think Belle & Sebastian sprinkled with Motown, jazz, and far more instruments, including the banjo, classical strings, brass and the glockenspiel. What keeps [them] an indie pop band as we know it is frontman Ola Innset’s serene, Paul Simon-esque voice" MTV

"Citing Neil Sedaka and Chris Isaak and possesing the gift of tenderness like Belle & Sebastian, Making Marks, [are] rich and varied, with strings, trumpets and electric guitars" Rolling Stone

"Wonderful twee-like qualities makes them sound like one of those legendary Labrador bands that have been perfecting this craft for years and years" Panic Manual

Red Shoe Diaries - Ice & Snow now out!

Ice & Snow, the lead single from Red Shoe Diaries' 10" EP, is out now! It is available as a free/pay what you can download from the Fika Recordings webshop.

Since before they knew how to talk to girls, guitarist Ashley and singer Thomas have been writing songs and playing music together, and now, years down the line, these teenage bedroom rumblings have matured into a sophisticated blend all of their own. The missing links were added gradually, with long time college friend, Michael playing drums and adding musical direction. Singer Leanne came next, introducing herself at an early gig as “what you need”. They needed bass too, and Rob didn’t have one yet, but he had what they wanted, so, he got this guitar and he learned how to make it talk. They were complete. So they started gigging more seriously, playing with the likes of The Wave Pictures, Ballboy, Allo Darlin, Nouvelle Vague, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, and playing at festivals such as Indietracks, Edinburgh Popfest and Summer Sundae.

“Nottingham favourites Red Shoe Diaries make sophisticated indie pop that joins the dots from Jacques Brel to Darren Hayman in epic, Morricone-esque broad strokes. Possibly the most exciting glittery-literary indie pop band to come from Nottingham since Tindersticks”. - Fists

“Outside of The Melons Nottingham hasn’t really had a great pop band. But that might change with Red Shoe Diaries getting everyone’s hearts a flutter” - A Layer of Chips

Red Shoe Diaries have a few gigs coming up. Catch them here: Feb 27th - The Musician, Leicester, w/ Allo Darlin, & Tigercats March 26th - The Chameleon, Nottingham, w/ The Wave Pictures June 1st - Ireby Music Festival, Ireby, Cumbria

Fika008: Ed Greene

Blimey, these releases are coming thick and fast. Our eighth cassette release will be from Ed Greene, a 5 piece alt-country band from Sweden. I stumbled upon them through the wilds of the internet and fell in love with the second track on this Fika EP, Love (She Tells Me There's A God Above). These four tracks are all beautiful: from the delicious country drawl on the melodies of the title track and all that optimistic bitterness that I love about "country", to the lush sound of What We Never Were We Will Never Be. And have listened to these tracks extensively over the past few months, Simon Edgreene's voice still has the power to send shivers down my spine. This may not be our most "indiepop" release, but I'm sure you're going to enjoy it...

Pre-order and listen here.

Fika007: Petter Seander

DESTROYER
DESTROYER

If you haven't heard of Petter Seander, you are 1. not interested in swedish pop music or 2. not very observant. While touring with swedish pop stars, DJing at cool clubs, fronting countryish popbands (I haven't stopped listening to this song for three years! It's also my favourite video ever) and writing for hipster magazines, he also managed to produce a solo album last year. It involved recording vocals in someone elses wardrobes and dressing up like a bird in a museum. You should listen to it, it's brilliant.

Anyway. This post is not about the past. It's about the future!

Petter moved from Gothenburg to Stockholm and picked up a drum machine somewhere on the way. While (most presumably) eating hazelnut cookies in his countryside cottage in his new hometown, he created this lovely little EP for us (and for you!). It doesn't involve dressing up like a bird unfortunately, but it involves elderflower tea and dancing with a destroyed heart. Dressed up like anything you'd like.

Pre-order and listen here. You get the cassette when I've folded the sleeves properly.

Fika004: Horowitz - The Knitwear Generation EP

Horowitz Cassettes
Horowitz Cassettes

Horowitz and cassettes have a long history. Back in the early 2000s, Pete was a member of Trilemma, a self-professed “glo-fi” outfit headed up by Rob Jones (Venus Beads/Exit Condition). Most of the Trilemma stuff, including their amazing Crowded Wilderness 7” EP on Kitchen Records, was recorded on a Tascam 8-track cassette machine.

At the time, I was playing in a punky new wave band called The Mittens. The Stoke indie scene was and still is microscopic, so it was inevitable we’d get together at some point and start making music. Who else in Stoke understood D.I.Y aesthetics? Only the handful of souls who came along to the one decent night the city had to offer back then – John Owen’s Music Room. At the Talbot Hotel, we saw glitch electronica followed by math-rock, psychedelic pop (Of Montreal before they became Prince-aping sex monkeys were particularly good), jazz, grindcore – the lot. All the bands and artists were united by the common thread of D.I.Y. Amongst the multitude of records bands would be selling, I remember a fair number of cassettes on the merch table. Including my own. Influenced first by Trilemma and then the heady days of the Music Room, I started bashing out as many songs as I could on a 4-track cassette recorder. These were then dubbed onto more cassettes and distributed to whoever would listen.

Fast-forward to 2004 and the first Horowitz EP. 30 cassette copies. We just couldn’t let it lie. I wonder if anyone still has one? If you do, let us know! Anyway, we hope you enjoy this record as much as we enjoyed making it. A lot of love has gone into the Fika recordings project – a passion that mirrors our own love for cassettes – and we think it shows. Tack Tom & Lisa!

The Knitwear Generation

Fittingly, this song was on the first cassette album I ever put together back in (I think) 2002. The lyric probably sounds a bit twee, but I’m sure if you’re able to make out what I’m going on about underneath all the fuzz, you’ll see the humour! I love the chugging rhythm we managed to achieve using a drum preset on a Casio keyboard and some shaker and tambourine overdubs. Crunchy!

Summer Promised Me Too Much

Another old song from the cassette years (see what we’ve done here?) with one or two different words and guitar parts. I’m really proud of this. We were going for a Thames Valley vibe, specifically early Ride. We’ve never used an echo pedal on a Horowitz record but I think it works well, particularly at the end of the song when it really takes off. You might hear more of this sort of thing from us in future.

Play Me Your Song

A little pop song. Couldn’t resist doing some Malkmus guitar bits in the verses (all improvised on the spot, btw.) Went for a snotty vocal delivery and I’m glad – I think it fits well in the noisy chorus. Might do this one live :-)

Fika002: Lost Summer Kitten - Not Another Sad Song

LSK Cassettes
LSK Cassettes

Not another sad song

Believe it or not, but this is actually a serious attempt of writing not-so-deppressive songs. Lost Summer Kitten had been a duo for quite a while, and we wanted to do something more, something still melancolic, but not as quiet as usual. We brought in drums (Lars Diurlin). We brough in cello (Johanna Hydén), accordion (Amanda Nordin) and mandolin (Petter Seander). We tried to make it a bit bigger, a bit louder and a tiny bit faster.

In the end, we realised we didn't like the fast songs. Or the loud ones. So it turned out to be and EP that contains all the things you usually get from Lost Summer Kitten. Just better!

Lost Summer Kitten
Lost Summer Kitten

Fika001: Lisa Bouvier - Indien Ar Dod

LisaBouvier cassettes
LisaBouvier cassettes

The first time I met Andreas, he was late. It was my first lesson in acoustic physics, and I was quite surprised by seeing the ex-drummer of Quit Your Dayjob suddenly open the door and quite unsuccessfully try to sneak into the classroom without being noticed.

As the term went on, we explored our mutual love of weird indiepop over the gross excuse for coffee you could buy for 20p at the cafeteria. I listened to his solo project Allt Ar Musik on his Ipod and instantly liked his twisting and turning swedish lyrics. I’d had the idea of swedish indiepop songs about swedish indiepop for quite some time, and Andreas was the perfect partner for this project.

We translated our favourite namedropping songs and wrote some of our own (as you might have noticed, the song Andreas is a cover of my song Andrew, I thought I was quite witty when I came up with it).

I can’t remember who played what when and where, but I have a strong memory of Andreas playing saxophone in a hearing test room in the basement of our school, and I know I was quite happy with my bass playing somewhere at my work one late night. Does it really matter? We did it together, with a little help from Lars Diurlin and Emmy Hogstrom-Tagesson. Thank you!

Three years later, Fika president TomA dug up these tracks and we could finally release them properly. I still think they’re quite good.

//lisa

You can buy Lisa's EP at our shop.

Fika003 & Fika004

We're rather excited to be able to announce our next two artists as Horowitz and Moustache Of Insanity. Both are complete indiepop legends and we're rather chuffed to be able to release new material from both. Yay! They'll be joining Lisa Bouvier and Lost Summer Kitten to play at our launch gig in London on February 12th... we'll be announcing full details very shortly.