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Cambridge indie label Trapped Animal launches record club for fans

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Cambridge-based independent record label Trapped Animal Records has launched a record club to get more music into the hands of fans and to support artists impacted by Covid-19.

During the pandemic, live gigs and festivals have been cancelled and many independent artists have also lost out on revenue, unable to sell their merchandise at gigs or their music at independent record stores, which have also been closed.

Trapped Animal Records has decided to launch the record club, which will send out new vinyl releases from their artists quarterly in a bid to help out bands and to invest in future artists and projects.

The Baby Seals (37701503)
The Baby Seals (37701503)

Members will be able to get their hands on vinyl and other merchandise at a discount while getting access to exclusive releases, such as a limited-edition seven-inch record to be released in the spring.

One of the label’s directors, Jaz Robinson, told the Cambridge Independent: “It was something I’ve been meaning to do for a while with the label because I love getting stuff in the post. I have tried subscription boxes in the past for various products and always thought they were really lovely, so it was something I was considering for us.

“Then when Covid happened our income stream was cut off and that had an effect on our artists as well, so we were trying to think of ways to keep in touch with fans and this was the catalyst for launching the club.

“We have a back catalogue of albums and new releases so we have to get those sold so we have money for future projects and artists have more money to invest in themselves. It’s also a great way to keep fans engaged with the artists.”

Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something (37701524)
Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something (37701524)

All members of the record club will also receive high-quality digital access to the Trapped Animal Records back catalogue, early access to single streams, exclusive online gigs, plus a Trapped Animal tote bag and badge.

The team behind Trapped Animal Records has spent the last three years building an impressive roster, featuring RTÉ Choice Award nominee Maija Sofia whose album Bath Time has garnered critical acclaim from The Irish Times, Gold Flake Paint, The Line of Best Fit, and many more.

Joining Maija are fenland folkster Kerry Devine and space-folk crooner Jeremy Tuplin. Bringing a bit of punk to the line-up are Cambridge all-female band The Baby Seals and psychedelic rockers Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something.

The most recent signing comes from Cambridge stalwarts, Sunday Driver, who will be releasing their new album Sun God on the label at the end of the year.

Kerry Divine (37701510)
Kerry Divine (37701510)

Jaz, who is a member of Cambridge band The Baby Seals, continued: “We have a distribution deal with Cargo Records who tend to distribute a lot of indie labels and they are quite integral to the indie scene. We get sales in the US and UK and all around the world through Cargo, but our sales have been a good deal lower than normal because the shops have been shut during the pandemic, although we are still selling stuff online.

“The record club will just be work from artists on our label, half of whom are Cambridgeshire based. We also have one in New York, a band in Japan and the rest are in London.”

The Baby Seals describe themselves as a punk-pop trio and have quickly become a favourite of the local scene in Cambridge, picking up national and local supports with the likes of Martha, Dream Nails, Petrol Girls, The Districts and PINS. They have toured all over the UK and appeared at Rebellion Punk Festival, Manchester Punk Festival and this year will be appearing at Shambala and returning to Rebellion.

Trapped Animal Records (37701506)
Trapped Animal Records (37701506)

“I think there’s something special about getting a surprise in the post. I’m also planning some nice extras to send them and we’re going to do an online gig that they can have access to. People can choose whether they want to receive vinyl and CDS. A lot of the music industry can rip people off, but we are trying to forge a more ethical path so artists will get paid properly – we will do a profit share with them and plough money back into the artists.

“It’s been really tough for artists who gig all the time to have no work in lockdown. But also not being able to go to gigs, even for myself, has been a really big cut off from your social life. And when you get to perform gigs you can be that other persona that you’re not in your normal life. Unfortunately, I think it will be a long time before we’re allowed to stand next to strangers at a gig again. I’ve been at gigs at The Portland where sweat literally drips off the ceiling – I don’t suppose that’s advisable at the moment.”

The record club has three different membership options: digital, physical, and ultimate; with members opting to pay yearly upfront or monthly by direct debit.

To find out more, visit https://www.trappedanimal.com/store

Artists on the Trapped Animal label include:

Sunday Driver (37701508)
Sunday Driver (37701508)

Sunday Driver (Cambridge, UK) - Album ‘Sun God’ due out early 2021 available on CD and vinyl

Sitar-driven indie mutineers Sunday Driver return with their ensemble of rock, sitar, orchestral harp and clarinet, hot on the heels of earlier single ‘Mechanical Angel’ reaching over 1 million streams on Spotify. Sunday Driver will release their first single for six years, 'Time Machine' on Trapped Animal Records, July 24, 2020. The single is taken from their third album, 'Sun God' - due out early 2021.

“a Dickensian Kate Bush” ★ ★ ★ ★ - The Financial Times

The Baby Seals (Cambridge, UK) - The Baby Seals’ EP available on CD only

The Baby Seals are a punk-pop empower band from Cambridgeshire. Formed in 2016, the band quickly become a favourite in their local scene, picking up national and local supports with the likes of Martha, Dream Nails, Petrol Girls, The Districts and PINS. They have toured all over the UK appeared at Rebellion Punk Festival, Manchester Punk Festival and Shambala, plus headlining two European tours.

Jeremy Tuplin (37701517)
Jeremy Tuplin (37701517)

Jeremy Tuplin (London, UK) - Albums ‘Pink Mirror’ and ‘Violet Waves’ available on CD and vinyl

Jeremy Tuplin writes witty, otherworldly songs. With his deep velvet-like voice and sultry, hazy guitars he has created a truly beautiful record. 'Pink Mirror' has rich, deep layers both within Jeremy's song lyrics and structures and his slick production style. His brand new album ‘Violet Waves’ comes out on Trapped Animal Records on 7th August, with black and limited-edition ‘purple rain’ coloured vinyl available.

“A distinctive, deep vocal that has hints of Leonard Cohen and Bill Callahan” - The Telegraph Culture

Kerry Devine (Cambridge, UK) - Album ‘Away From Mountains’ available on CD and vinyl

Multi-instrumentalist, writer and producer Kerry Devine have been compared to the likes of Beth Orton and Joni Mitchell. ‘Away From Mountains’ (released 2018), is lyrically honest and musically bewitching. Kerry has turned in an album that roams in a beguiling wilderness rather than the familiar and comfortable urban territory of regular popular music.

"One of the stand out performances at the Cambridge Folk Festival" - Fatea

Maija Sofia (Dublin, Ireland) - Album ‘Bath Time’ available on CD and vinyl

Sofia took inspiration from story-driven traditional folk ballads and shone them through the lens of a punk DIY ethos. The album name comes from the ritual of daily bathing, a whimsical place where most of the lyrics were written. The album deals with the ways in which women's voices, stories and desires have been sidelined and misrepresented throughout history. From Edie Sedgwick to Bridget Cleary, Sofia's songs imagine a world in which silenced women speak back.

"There is a timeless quality to Sofia’s songwriting style that becomes more crucial with each listen.” - The Irish Times

T. Full details of what is included can be found here.

Co-founder Joel Clayton said “So far, we’ve had a great response and can’t wait to show members what we have in store for them. It’s good news for our artists too, so we’re happy!”

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