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Label in Focus: Cardigan Records

In the latest installment of our Label in Focus feature we caught up with Shane Kelly from the excellent Cardigan Records….

How did the record label start?

I’ve spent about half of my life involved in the entertainment industry in some facet. When I was younger the idea of having a label seemed really exciting to me but I didn’t go out there with the idea that one day I would eventually start one.  It happened pretty organically.  I missed being involved in the actual music side of the industry and found myself going to more and more local shows.  I came across a couple of artists that I thought were really talented and I eventually became their manager.  We decided that we were going to release a couple of EPs and I decided I would create an avenue to put out those EPs and that is when Cardigan Records was founded.  Shortly after that another band that I knew for a while approached me and we decided to release their album and then the next thing you know Cardigan Records has been in the music game for 3 years now.  We currently have 10 artists on the roster today and a number of release quickly approaching.


Is there an ethos or mission statement behind the label?

“To create breath taking moments and life long memories.”


What key things does your label look for in a band?

When I am looking at a band I ask myself 4 questions.  Does the music make me feel an emotion when I hear it?  Is their live energy contagious?  Are they hard workers?  Are they good people?  If I answer each of those questions with a yes then I start digging a little deeper into their social presence and tour history.  If one of the answers is no, then I will pass on it.  We all learn from our mistakes. haha


Is there anything that would make you not sign a band?

Life is too short to work with people that make your life difficult so I think I would have to pass on a band that was difficult to work with.  I would also have to pass on a lazy band.  If you won’t give 110% effort to your dreams and/or art then why should we exhaust resources to help you achieve that.


If you had to pick out one the signing of one band as a highlight, who would it be?

I would have to say it was Time Spent Driving.  It’s not every day that you get to sign a band that you listened to just about every day in college and on every road trip with your friends.


Release wise; is there a particular you’re most proud of?

That’s like asking which child you are most proud of… I will have to plead the fifth on that one.


What upcoming releases on Cardigan Records are you most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to the sophomore release from Youth League that will be coming out this fall.  They just wrapped up an east coast tour with Greaver last night and they are growing more and more as a band each time I see them.  You can really get lost in their music.  We haven’t set the release date for HundredftFaces yet but I am really excited for their EP to come out.  HundredftFaces is the most recent signing to Cardigan and they feature members of To Speak Of Wolves, Sullivan and Unifier.  They are probably the most straight forward Rock N Roll band on the label right now.  I just heard some of the rough mixes of the new Bear Girl album this weekend.  It’s always fun to hear the progression of a band as they begin to find their “sound”. Bear Girl is due out this fall as well.  I am also looking forward to an EP we have coming out from a band that I can’t mention yet…  We will be announcing the signing and the release in the next few weeks so be sure to follow us on social media!


**5 key songs released on Cardigan Records

In no particular order…

  • Must Be The Holy Ghost – “Immoral Support”

  • Professor Toon – “The Elephant”

  • Greaver – “A Poisoned Well”

  • Time Spent Driving – “I’m Not Done With You”

  • Youth League – “For John”

**5 key songs that made Cardigan Records come into existence

  • Nirvana – “Lithium”

  • Makaveli (Tupac) – “Hail Mary”

  • Silverchair – “Emotion Sickness”

  • Norma Jean – “Creating Something Out Of Nothing Only To Destroy It”

  • Further Seems Forever – “The Moon Is Down”



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