Published Aug 25, 2008Name: Summer Lovers Unlimited
Date of Birth: Summer 2005
Releases to Date: 19
Biggest Seller: Duchess Says Noviciat Mere-Perruche
Current Releases: The Tough Alliance The New School, the Tough Alliance A New Chance, Dandi Wind Yolk of the Golden Egg
Named after founder/owner/manager Douglas Kos infatuation with Darryl Hannahs 80s roles that portrayed a "slow, surreal, soft-focus hedonism (namely Wall Street and naturally, her 1982 film, Summer Lovers), the Montreal-based Summer Lovers Unlimited was born after Ko and some friends decided to take a break from music journalism. Thanks to overwhelming support from his friend/consultant Patrik North ("I cant really give enough respect to North or overstate how instrumental hes been in building the label), in its three years, SLU has earned a solid international reputation by introducing a number of envelope-pushing Canadian artists such as Crystal Castles, Dandi Wind, Channels 3 and 4, Duchess Says, Stop Die Resuscitate, Twin Crystals and Terror Bird, as well as international buzz bands such as the Teenagers (Paris/London), Apache Beat (Brooklyn), and recent signing, the Tough Alliance (Gothenburg).
"Id say that the label is defined by our very opposition to the strictures of genre and geography. [The goal was] breaking Canadian artists that I felt needed to be heard, breaking foreign artists that Canadians needed to hear, and making a decent living while doing it. Since Patrik and I were completely familiar with and entrenched in the online music game before we ever started working together, weve managed to get a phenomenal amount accomplished in house through internet-based promotion. We broke acts in North America that have gone on to major international success which is good in cementing our position as tasteful early adopters who know whats up, but bad because now were the label that larger labels look to when they feel like poaching/wooing the next big thing. Oh, weve got stories.
"[Contracts are] exclusive to the territories that we and the artists agree on. If an SLU release can do better by the band if SLU works with or licenses to someone stronger in a given territory, we do whats best for the greater good. We do all we reasonably can to cover our artists on the road and [its a] 50/50 split on the records, and 75/25 in favour of the artist on merch. Organic, lean and honest.
"The biggest challenge for the label and being Canadian is physical distribution. As the physical market shrinks and if youre nuts about artwork and packaging as much as we are its such a precarious and difficult undertaking to get as much of your product, no matter how amazing it is, out there when the whole physical arm of music delivery is in such a state of flux and unease. If youre from Canada, and you start small with limited resources, it takes a lot more than one would think to make inroads internationally. Even more difficult if the music you release is considered "challenging. We love doing limited-edition vinyl releases, as one look at our catalogue should tell you. The margins are tiny, but were audiophiles and sticklers for the traditions of the craft, so we do it for the love.