My latest column for Drowned In Sound is up online now. I like to think of it as my 'coming of age' piece, where I finally recognise the fact that I'm growing up, both in terms of the way I run the label and indeed my life. That said, on the way into London yesterday, when I finally finished marvelling at the spaceship-esque new fleet of Oxford Tube coaches, my iPod was set to 'obscure early 2000's emo'. Here are some of the bands I enjoyed, stop me when you know one: Billy, Blue Checkered Record Player, Cassino, Christiansen, Christie Front Drive, The Copperpot Journals, A Day In Black And White, Denver In Dallas, Dewey Defeats Truman, Dugong, Errortype:11, Fear Before The March of Flames, Hooray! For Everything, In Pieces, Judetheobscure, Jupither, Keepsake, King Lifting, The Miracle Of 86, Only If You Call Me Jonathan, Outsmarting Simon, Rockets And Bluelights, Silver Scooter, Speaking Of Heroes, The Stryder and 93 Millions Miles From The Sun.
Seriously, I don't use the term "obscure" lightly.
I find it strange to think that although the majority of those bands were unknown in their own time, thousands of miles and years later they still mean so much to me. When I pressed play I wondered if there was another person in the whole world listening to the same song at that moment and felt pretty confident there wasn't. Every track sounded so fresh and important, as if I was hearing it for the very first time all over again. I took my phone out of my pocket and added to the end of one of my many draft text message 'to do' lists: "One day, release a compilation of amazing bands nobody ever heard"