Independent music is built on independent voices - and there are few more independent than Song, By Toad.
The Scottish label has built up a reputation for valuing quality over hype, with releases including rightly lauded material from Meursault, Jesus H. Foxx and many more.
Reaching their fifth birthday, Song, By Toad decided to toast this milestone with a special release. '5 Years / 5 Records' is a limited edition box set, and - as the title indicates - it contains five albums.
Limited to fifty five copies, the box set will contain complete studio albums from Animal Magic Tricks, Virgin Of The Birds, The Leg and Meursault. In addition to this, Song, By Toad also intend to bring together some of the best sessions they have ever recorded for their blog.
Label founder / el capitan Matthew Young explains a little more about the imprint's origins, their ethics and goals...
Song, by Toad actually started as a music blog back in 2004. I added more and more to the blog over the years, including regular podcasts in 2007 and the Toad Sessions in 2008. Through writing the blog I ended up becoming more and more frustrated at the stuff PR agencies sent me, most of which I hated, when I was finding more and more unsigned bands around me in Edinburgh who no-one seemed to be taking an interest in.
So eventually a drunken promise in the pub turned into me deciding to help some friends self-release their own demos and self-recorded EPs, with a hope that if I used my blog connections to get them a bit of attention, they could then move onto a proper record label to release something more formally. Our first release ended up selling a couple of thousand copies, however, so whatever we intended to be became irrelevant, we were now a proper label ourselves whether we liked it or not.
A couple of years later the workload became so overwhelming that my wife pretty much insisted that it was time to walk away from the day job - a nice, stable, ten-year career as a medical device designer - and take Song, by Toad Records full time. That was over three years ago now, and for all it's been a complete rollercoaster, I don't regret it for a second.
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'5 Years / 5 Records' is out now - buy it HERE.