CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux Knows What it Means to Do It Yourself
When Tracy Maddux—a passionate fan of live music—joined CD Baby, he decided he needed to see a show by each of the new employees he worked with. Nearly everyone at CD Baby plays music. It meant ...
Not only is CD Baby the largest distributor of independent music on the planet, but CD Baby artists took home 12 Grammys this past weekend. It’s the home of more than 300,000 artists. The CD Baby catalog makes up an estimated 17 per cent of iTunes track offerings. CD Baby is a distribution partner for many musicians who have become icons in the new music industry. Artists like Macklemore, The Antlers, The National, and Bon Iver started off with CD Baby, and their catalog titles remain there. Other artists, like Ingrid Michaelson and Gregory Alan Isakov have maintained independent and highly successful careers even as they’ve continued their partnerships with CD Baby. Greg Brown and Grant Lee Phillips are among musicianswho’ve dropped the old label system and run their own indie careers with the help of CD Baby. But which CD Baby artists will be the next to reach household name status? The Iceberg Tip Sheet offers a quick round up of recent and upcoming releases distributed by CD Baby, showcasing breakthrough artists, as well as cult stars and up-and-comers.
01/21/2014 Julie Byrne, Rooms With Walls And Windows
A favorite of Owen Ashworth (Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Advance Base) and released on his Orindal label. Call it stripped-down, but the music on Rooms With Walls and Windows is truthful and simple, built by a clearly expert hand – a whole world visible through the shades of perfectly arranged guitar and vocals, like the love child of Leonard Cohen and Vashti Bunyan. The songs are straightforward yet deliciously weird, both intense and intimate, with titles like “Wisdom Teeth Song,” “Marmalade,” and “Attached To Us Like Butcher Wrap.” Music to fall in love with.
02/04/14 Aan, Amor Ad Nauseum
Three years in the making, this release from the experimental rock band Aan is widely anticipated on the West Coast. Expect strong elements of soul mixed with songwriting that takes strange, enticing turns. The first single (“I Don’t Need Love”) premiered on Stereogum, and the initial video (for “Somewhere’s Sunshine”) made its debut on Noisey. Fresh off tours with Built to Spill and Smashing Pumpkins, they’ll be on the road in the West and Midwest throughout February and March. Imagine a cross between the loudest Animal Collective songs and the quietest Big Black songs. Publicity is being handled by Kevin Davis at Tell All Your Friends.
02/04/2014 Lovelife, Feel EP
The last year has been good for Lovelife, the band that splits its time between Brooklyn and London. They enjoyed track premieres with NYLON and Idolator, a pair of #1 songs on Hype Machine, and a fall tour with The Neighbourhood. Backed by Big Hassle for PR and the Agency Group for booking, they’ve returned with a new EP featuring “Your New Beloved” which will be the iTunes Single of the Week in February, a pair of new songs and one track from their previous release, Stateless. Lovelife will be playing the CD Baby 2014 showcase at SXSW.
02/04/2014 Aimee Mann “I’m Cured” – Single
The new track from the almost-legendary Aimee Mann is the second single from the comedy album 2776: A Thousand Years of American Asskickery, a fictionalized celebration of the country’s first millennium. “I’m Cured” is a love song, but a twisted one, sung from Aimee Mann as the common cold to the man who invented the cure. The video for “I’m Cured” will air on My Own Damn Channel and features Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall) and David Wain (The State). The cover illustration for the song comes from New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast. This is the second single from the album, after “Toymageddon,” with Yo La Tengo, featuring This American Life’s Ira Glass and comedian Eugene Mirman. The whole project benefits the One Kid One World Foundation.
04/08/2014 Shook Twins, What We Do
The Portland duo are longtime fixtures on the folk and roots scene, building their audience the old-fashioned way: gig by gig and album by album. With a strong AAA following and impressive management team (including the Avett Brothers’ booking agent), they’re moving up a gear with this release. They’re set to appear at a number of festivals in 2014 (catch them at Folk Alliance for an early preview). With echoes of Ani DiFranco and Elephant Revival, their previous two releases have documented their strong growth. With What We Do, they’re ready for the big time.