We are equally excited and scared to announce the launch of the Sonic Cathedral Singles Club. Between February and December this year, we will be releasing 11 incredible 7” singles by some of our favourite artists, new and old – beginning with the debut by Buffalo Postcard, on February 6.
Each month, subscribers will receive an exclusive package which will come with additional artwork (designed by Marc and Stuart Jones and featuring the painting Dead Zone by the artist Warren King) and another surprise bonus item. The first release will also include a starter pack of a gold pin badge and a Sonic Cathedral Social Service card, which grants members free entry to our new club night of the same name, which takes place at The Social in central London once a month. Also included before the end of the year will be three copies of our yet to be announced newspaper. More of that soon, but all of this can be yours for £100 (plus postage and packing).
There are only 200 of these subscriptions up for grabs. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. (Full disclosure: 300 copies of each 7” will be pressed, but the remaining copies will go to the artists and be sold at gigs and events such as the Independent Label Market; some copies may be sold via record shops. Only the subscriber copies will have the additional artwork and elements.)
There are no part subscriptions, it’s all or nothing. You won’t regret it…
Why on earth are we starting a Singles Club in 2019?
Sonic Cathedral turns 15 this year and, with Brexit bearing down on us, we can’t help but wonder what the future holds. All of our vinyl and CDs are manufactured in the European Union and prices have already gone up considerably since the referendum in 2016, so it’s fair to assume they will continue to do so as the value of the pound plummets. If we have to start paying import duties to cover the cost of those blue passports, then running an independent record label will become even less viable than it already is and, let’s face it, vinyl will probably start slipping down in people’s list of priorities below such things as food and vital medical supplies.
Faced with this potential dead end, we panicked and came up with the most irrational solution possible – pressing more vinyl in one year than we ever have before. If we go down, at least we will go down fighting (and drowning in debt). The Sonic Cathedral Singles Club is a shamelessly self-indulgent, 11-course final meal as we await our destiny on Discogs death row.
But this isn’t just a petty protest or a confused cry for help, it’s also about generating cashflow. One of our main influences for doing this is the classic Sub Pop Singles Club, which ironically relaunches later this year; there’s even a nod to this in the design of the outer sleeves. They were always explicit about their motivations as they demanded that all the losers “SEND US YOUR MONEY”. If you send us yours, we are hoping that it will help to keep the label ticking over and stave off the inevitable for a bit longer; after all, there are some great new releases by the likes of Mark Peters, Moon Diagrams and more already planned for this year.
It will be nice, too, to generate the cash for ourselves for once, rather than propping up Discogs sellers and eBay flippers. (To stop these people getting involved and ruining everyone else’s fun, anyone who subscribes more than once will be refunded and blocked.) Yes, of course we’re probably playing into their hands, as for once this is all about making manufactured rarities, but not in a cynical and barrel-scraping Record Store Day kind of way. The Sonic Cathedral Singles Club, like the label as a whole, is a carefully curated labour of love and these 7”s are keepers.
There’s a beautiful symmetry to all of this, too. We started out as a 7” only label, and these 11 new singles mirror the initial 11 releases on Sonic Cathedral between 2006 and 2008, as we found out the hard way how the music industry really works. The first ever release on the label was The Tamborines’ ‘Sally O’Gannon’; the first release on the Sonic Cathedral Singles Club is ‘Morning Chimes’, the debut single by Buffalo Postcard, the new band formed by ex-Tamborines frontman Henrique Laurindo. There will also be plenty of other reflections of those first 11 releases along the way, so subscribe now and keep your eyes and ears peeled…