It is 70 degrees in Los Angeles right this second. It feels like autumn. If you strain your eyes you can actually discern the city skyline through the gray haze of smog. There’s newness in this foul air we breathe.
That doesn’t have anything to do with the launch of Chocolate Lab Records, a new LA-based indie label, but we felt like sharing. Chocolate Lab Records is shiny-fresh, genre unbiased and excited to announce its inaugural release schedule. Founded by a former concert promoter and publicist, Brian McKinney, Chocolate Lab puts an emphasis on quality and profundity. All genres from folk to metal to shoegaze will have equal focus at CLR. Fresh out of the gates are new releases from two UK artists, Andy Yorke and Paper Round Kid.
Andy Yorke may be a familiar name and for good reason – he’s the former frontman of Unbelievable Truth, author of amazing songs like “Stone,” “Almost Here” and “Higher Than Reason.” He’s also brother of the Radiohead guy, but don’t let that bias your opinions – Andy more than stands on his own merits. His debut solo album, Simple, retains much of the same emotional and thematic richness found in the UT recordings, but with an intimacy of self awareness. Simple will be available for digital download on September 30 and on CD November 18.
Paper Round Kid is the moniker of one Darren Filkins, who once played lead guitar in Damon Albarn’s pre-Blur outfit, Seymore. He soon left the band to explore the world on his own terms. Since then he’s kept busy as a world class photographer whose resume includes Lenny Kravitz, Simon Pegg, Nick Hornby and Wilco. Some 20 years later find Filkins back in the studio with a brand new release, Submarine, a legitimate pop record with easy comparisons to Dylan, Devendra Banhart, Yes and funky ‘70s key parties. Submarine will be available on September 30 as a digital only release. National and international distribution is being taken care of by Burnside Distribution Corporation and IODA.
Future releases and additional signings are in the works and 2009 is slated to be the Year of the Lab.