Bella Union is a British independent record label founded in 1997 by Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins. It is now run solely by Raymonde.

Bella Union
Founded1997; 27 years ago (1997)
FounderSimon Raymonde
Robin Guthrie
GenreIndie rock, alternative rock, folk, experimental, psychedelic
Country of originUnited Kingdom
LocationBrighton, England

History edit

After releasing records with 4AD for a large part of their career, Cocteau Twins decided to start up the Bella Union record label in 1997, through which they could release their own work as well as any collaborative efforts. The band had a difficult relationship with 4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell and also regretted signing with Universal Music Group's Mercury Records.[1]

The band split up not long after, but instead of letting the newly formed label go under, Robin Guthrie, Simon Raymonde and their former manager Fiona Glyn-Jones decided to take charge of it. One of the earliest bands to sign on was the Australian trio Dirty Three, who continue to release under Bella Union. Other early signees include Françoiz Breut and The Czars, who were the first American band signed to the label.[2]

Since 2000, when Guthrie moved to France to concentrate on his own music, Raymonde took the reins at Bella Union.[3]

In 2007, the 10th anniversary celebrations saw Bella Union host a two-night showcase at London's Royal Festival Hall featuring their artists such as Beach House and Midlake, along with guest appearances from Paul Weller and members of Editors.[4] That year, Fionn Regan's debut album was nominated for the Mercury Prize.[5]

The label underwent financial troubles in 2007 and Raymonde considered shutting it down. While in Oslo, Raymonde received a link to Fleet Foxes' Myspace page, who at the time had only released a demo version of "White Winter Hymnal". He immediately expressed interest and had to fight off Sub Pop in order to secure a European distribution contract with the band, which was ultimately agreed to. Fleet Foxes' 2008 self-titled debut became Bella Union's first platinum-selling album in the UK.[6]

The label has subsequently released music by Father John Misty, Beach House, Department of Eagles, Karl Blau, Explosions in the Sky, Fleet Foxes, The Acorn, Mercury Rev, Peter Broderick, PINS, M. Ward, Philip Selway, John Grant, Lawrence Arabia, The Low Anthem, Hannah Cohen, Laura Veirs, The Flaming Lips, Lanterns on the Lake, Inventions, John Tavener, Marissa Nadler, Arc Iris, Clarence Clarity, and Jambinai.

The label won the Independent Record Company Of The Year award at the Music Week Awards, as voted by the UK independent retailers, in 2010, 2012, 2014[citation needed] and 2016.[7]

In 2012, for the 15th anniversary the label took over the curation of one day at End of the Road Festival.

In 2014, signee John Grant was nominated for a Brit Award. In 2015, Raymonde signed the Yorkshire-born singer Holly Macve, releasing the single "Corner of my Mind".[8][9] In 2016, artist Father John Misty was also nominated for a BRIT Award. In 2016, following his sold out show at Royal Albert Hall, artist John Grant received a Silver disc for the album Pale Green Ghosts.

The label's releases are distributed by the wholly independent distributors PIAS worldwide.

Artists edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Ingham, Tim (29 March 2016). "Bella Union: 'We only sign artists that we like as people'". [PIAS]. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  2. ^ "Simon Raymonde talks through nine pivotal moments of Bella Union". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  3. ^ "FEATURE: Bella Union: Twenty Years of Music Gold". Music Musings & Such. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  4. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (13 July 2007). "Bella Union 10th Anniversary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  5. ^ Barton, Laura (22 February 2010). "Fionn Regan: My way or the highway". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  6. ^ Clayton, Richard. "Fleet Foxes are in harmony with success". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  7. ^ "Previous winners". Music Week Awards 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Holly Macve speaks to Best Fit about her new single ahead of Latitude". Archived from the original on 16 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Welcome, Holly Macve - Bella Union". Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Chimes & Bells". Bella Union. 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 22 June 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Poor Moon". Bella Union. 19 January 2012. Archived from the original on 20 August 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Someday, Buddy - the Trouble with Templeton | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". Archived from the original on 9 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.

External links edit