Label of the Week – Saddle Creek Records

Label of the Week

Saddle Creek Records is one of the finest American independent record labels around. Based in Omaha, Nebraska it began as a college class project on entrepreneurship in 1993.

Founded by Robb Nansal and Justin Oberst in 1993, what is known today as Saddle Creek began as Lumberjack Records.  Taking the name from Saddle Creek Road, a street that cuts through the east side of Omaha, it is the where the beginnings of the scene that propelled the label to early success can be found. Local residents such as Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, and Monsters of Folk) along with Tim Kasher (Slowdown Virginia, Cursive, The Good Life) were given the opportunity and support to showcase their talent from a very early age.

Saddle Creek Records is credited with creating a style of music known to many as “The Omaha Sound” which in many ways could be attributed to Mike Mogis, whom has produced and performed with many of the labels mainstay acts.

The first release credited to Lumberjack/Saddle Creek was in fact cassette by a 13 year old Conor Oberst in 1993, but it wasn’t until 2001 that the label really began to experience heightened interest. The Faint released their breakthrough album ‘Danse Macabre’, which took them playing to 300 people in their home town to supporting No Doubt on a national arena tour in a matter of weeks. The following year Bright Eyes released his commercial breakthrough, titled ‘Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil Keep Your Ear to the Ground’ which saw him touted as the “new Bob Dylan”. Last but not least Saddle Creek released ‘The Ugly Organ’ by indie rockers Cursive, whom also received a positive reception.

Not restricting themselves to local acts, Saddle Creek have released artists from all over the States, such as the Jenny Lewis led Rilo Kiley Eric Bachmann (formerly leader of Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers),  Two Gallants, Tokyo Police Club and The Rural Alberta Advantage.

In 2005, ‘Spend An Evening with Saddle Creek’, a documentary detailing the first ten years of the record label’s history, was released. The DVD features extensive interviews with the Saddle Creek bands, archival footage, and rare live performances and in 2007, the label opened their own music venue named Slowdown (after the group Slowdown Virginia), located in the very heart of Omaha.

PUJOL – Providence

Releasing a plethora of gritty, garage rock singles and cassettes over the past two years on Jack White’s Third Man Records, Nashville’s Infinity Cat Recordings and Turbo Time Records among others, PUJOL has now partnered with Omaha’s Saddle Creek.

Click HERE for a free download of “Providence”

The Mynabirds – Body of Work

Indie pop act The Mynabirds return with ‘Body of Work’, a new track from their eagerly awaited upcoming album ‘GENERALS’, out June 5th via Saddle Creek Records.

Click HERE for a free download of “Body of Work”

Icky Blossoms – Perfect Vision

Icky Blossoms is Derek Pressnal (of Tilly and the Wall fame), joined by singer Sarah Bohling and guitarist Nik Fackler.  The produce slow-burning pop melodies infused with dreamy electronics.Their self-titled debut LP, which is produced by Dave Sitek, will be out July 17 on Saddle Creek Records.

Click HERE for a free download of “Perfect Vision”

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