From its small beginnings in Woodstock, New York, in 1997, CD Baby has grown to become the world’s largest distributor of independent music. Now it’s the home to over 300,000 artists, generating a remarkable 17 per cent of the offerings on iTunes. CD Baby is the distribution partner to many who’ve enjoyed incredible success in the music business - both Macklemore and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon started out by releasing albums on CD Baby and the company still offers their back catalogue. There’s also a growing number of other artists, such as Willis Earl Beal and Mary Gauthier, who have turned their back on the traditional business model and now enjoy flourishing careers with the help of CD Baby. And there are plenty more CD Baby artists on their way to the big time. The Iceberg Tip Sheet gives a glimpse of some of the releases just out and those soon to appear through CD Baby, an inside track on those coming up as well as cult stars and breakthrough names.
01/13/15 Kingsley Flood, To the Fire
Since their breakout appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in 2013, Kingsley Flood’s star has been quickly rising, and 2105 will be a huge year for them. To the Fire builds on their recent recognition on NPR’s World Café as one of the next big bands, and they’ll also be releasing another EP in the summer, followed by a full album in the fall, along with a heavy touring schedule. Produced by Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Pixies), To the Fire sizzles with their trademark horn/violin combination and keyboard textures behind singer Naseem Khuri’s engaged, passionate vocals.
01/20/15 Sadat X, Never Left
Celebrating 25 years in hip-hop, Never Left is the 10th solo album for former Brand Nubian member Sadat X. Beautifully crafted and detailed, it’s a disc that illustrates hip-hop can be for adults as well as kids. Starting with lead single “On Fire,” Sadat X deals with the real issues that affect people in their everyday lives. He’s still very much part of the alternative, conscious hip-hop scene. But the beats kick as hard as ever; growing older doesn’t mean growing soft. The crowning jewel in a long career, Never Left delivers everything Sadat X has ever promised.
02/03/15 Paul Mercurio, It’s Not Me, It’s The World
Rhode Island-born Paul Mercurio has a remarkable resume, with Emmy and Peabody awards for his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as having his own comedy series, regular stand-up appearances, and a Comedy Channel special. He graduated to comedy after gaining a law degree and working as an investment banker, and currently hosts The Paul Mercurio Show, an iTunes podcast. With all that under his belt, it’s perhaps a surprise that it’s taken so long for his recording debut to appear. Expect plenty of the humor that’s made him a household name.
02/17/15 Seryn, Shadow Stars
It’s been highly-anticipated, but the sophomore album from Seryn is finally almost here. The six-piece from Denton, Texas is known for their stunning harmonies and songs that start out folky then grow into walls of sounds. Those are still major ingredients in their sound, but this time around they’ve expanded their palette, amping up the folk-rock and pushing toward psychedelia. With an eclectic mix of instruments, their take on music is different, but always absolutely arresting, with inspired songwriting and performances.