With Umbrella Winter City Sounds showering the city with live music events of all shapes, sizes and sounds right now, what better time to meet two passionate supporters of homegrown tunes and get the low-down on their new business venture – Part Time Records.
Emma Coyle and Joel Byrne will be known to many in the Adelaide music industry already. Between them they’ve racked up about 30+ years’ experience working off the stage in artist development, management and event production and – in Joel’s case – onstage as singer/guitarist with local rock act, Wolf & Cub.
While the pair first crossed paths backstage at 2012’s Splendour in the Grass, it wasn’t until 2015 – when fate had them both working at Music SA (Joel’s still on staff as an Industry Development Coordinator) – that they started knocking around the idea of teaming up somehow.
In 2017 the duo opened artist management business Sundial Productions, and they’ve just launched Part Time Records (PTR) – an independent record label with its sights set on shining the spotlight on one of the key reasons Adelaide was designated a UNESCO City of Music – our wealth of local musical talent.
As Emma and Joel prep for the official PTR launch party* on 26 July (yes – you can be part of the celebrations – read on for ticket info), we popped by their city office above Clarity Records to talk about the new label and their first signing, Siberian Tiger: a local project between Chris Panousakis (Timberwolf) and Bree Tranter (The Middle East & Matt Corby).
Nice digs. Tell us about your new city space.
Joel: “Thankfully Renew Adelaide has been able to provide us with a home base for the time being, and it’s something we’re eternally grateful for. I couldn’t applaud the efforts of that company more. Previously we were based in Emma’s home and while it was a great environment, there’s something about our current space that enables us to be more immersed in the Adelaide scene and makes things that little bit more tangible. Being above Clarity Records feels appropriate as it helps create a bit of a record label ‘hub’. There’s an energy you can’t help but feed off and be revitalised by.”
Apart from your local music experience, Emma, you worked in the game on the east coast. What struck you most about Adelaide’s scene when you returned?
Emma: “Yes, I lived and worked in Sydney for five years (2009 to 2014). In that time a lot changed! There was a new energy buzzing around when I returned. People were working together to implement change, the feeling of community was strong, the government support (particularly that of industry practitioners) had increased and that support had seen new companies emerge, and from that new artists supported. I’ve only seen things improve since then.”
So, what motivated you to launch PTR together?
Joel: “Well, the short answer is we felt there was room locally (and nationally) for another record label from Adelaide. While there are a couple of great labels existing already (Hobbledehoy, Clarity, Swirl), it still feels like it’s an aspect of the local scene that’s relatively unrepresented – compared to the broader industry that is. Personally, it feels the most natural way for Emma and I to put our skills and experience to best use. The other impetus for the label starting would be attributed to us hearing the record that Siberian Tiger (our first release) were making, for the first time. Similarly, with Heaps Good Friends, who we started our management company for, the idea for the label was really born out of necessity because we liked the record so much and wanted to help Bree and Chris release it. In that sense, the need for a label is indicative of the quality of the material that’s being created.”
What services does an indie record label provide?
Joel: “Well I think that, while the means to self-release music is more accessible and a very practical option for many artists these days, there’s definitely room for some to go that one step above and partner up with a label that can provide services that may facilitate a more successful release campaign.These include things like: servicing to radio (nationally and locally); manufacturing and distributing physical copies (CD/vinyl) and marketing.
“I think the strength of any independent label is very dependent on the network they can tap into, as that enables these services to be more effective for new release. Based on this, a major advantage for PTR is the fact our distribution partner is Remote Control Records from Melbourne, a label that’s very established already and has a proven track record of managing the local releases of some of the world’s biggest artists (Queens of the Stone Age, Adele, Radiohead, Courtney Barnett).”
How can people wrap their ears around the music of Siberian Tiger?
Emma: “You’ll be able to hear this duo’s debut single on Thursday 8 August at the places one might find a new single. And stay tuned for more PTR artist announcements!”
With Umbrella Winter City Sounds in full swing, how would you rate the passion of locals to get out and experience live music?
Joel: “Well given my day job is with Music SA I have first-hand knowledge about exactly how much live music there currently is in Adelaide, because it’s kind of my job to know! Given that, I’d have to say the passion is quite high. The strength of this passion however is relative to what’s being created – the demand is only there if the supply is of a high enough quality to feed it and thankfully Adelaide artists are creating some pretty amazing music, so its justified that people are hungry for it! The Adelaide music scene is in an especially favourable situation at the moment because projects like Umbrella have the full backing of local government and given the resources to be successful. We’re also fortunate that legislation is still currently geared towards sustaining our live music scene and valuing it as an important industry.”
Help celebrate the opening of Part Time Records at their official Launch Party featuring the live debut of Siberian Tiger and a taste of Wolf & Cub’s next release. Tickets available through eventbrite (be quick, numbers limited) – and check our out Adelaide Winter Guide to discover a whole range of other things to do, see and explore in the city this season.
*The City of Adelaide supported Part Time Records to get started through a Live Music Enterprise Grant – one of several funding opportunities available through City of Adelaide’s Arts and Cultural Grants Program to help enterprising locals realise their creative ideas. Find out more by clicking here.