Saint Marie Records is primarily a Shoegaze, Dreampop and Electronica label. It started to come together in mid 2010, but it had been bouncing around in my head for many years prior. It all started with two things. First, my fascination with a extremely limited CDR label named Secret Furry Hole. It is run by Tommaso Belletti from Milano, Italy and Jukka Reverberi from Reggio Emilia, Italy. Jukka is from the Italian Noise Pop band, Giardini Di Mirò. Second was my friendship with Swedish artist Patrik Torsson. Patrik had recently released his latest album in a digital format only, and that somewhat bothered me. I have a huge preference for physical media over digital.
I spoke to Patrik about the want to have his album released physically. He agreed, and so I reached out to a friend who runs a record label about the possibility. Although he was a fan, his release calendar was full. Then, I thought of the possibility of doing a limited CDR release myself, much like Secret Furry Hole. This started the talks between Patrik and me. He then introduced me another Swedish artist by the name of Niels Nielsen, who had also released his latest record in a digital format only. I agreed to also release his record.
After coming up with many options for the limited CDR packaging, I soon realized that this is going to cost more than having the discs professionally manufactured. This was the moment we went from limited CDR label to “LABEL”. It was at this point that I had a few medical issues arise that kind of thinned out the wallet and put a hold on the label for about 6months. I discussed abandoning the label with my wife who pushed me to continue with it.
In December of 2010, I made the decision to move forward, and by February of 2011 had announced the label. Within days, I had established distribution within the USA, Canada, SE Asia and been interviewed by a local weekly paper in Dallas. To be completely honest, the hardest part up until this point was coming up with the name and the logo. I chose SAINT MARIE RECORDS after a track from one of my favorite artists, Piano Magic. The logo…a simple teardrop within a black circle. I wanted something that was bold, yet simple and would look great whether large or tiny, like on the spine of a record.
From there, I planned several more releases with the financial help of some friends and received great press from local media and abroad. In mid 2011, I met a gentleman at my day job that is a venture capitalist and would eventually become my business partner. With his and my wife’s help, SMR has risen to a total of 27 artists today with worldwide distribution. We have also released records by some of my favorite artists, including Piano Magic of which the label was named after.
There are many hours spent contacting press for PR, packaging records for radio, press, sales, designing artwork, updating social media and the SMR site. I would not have it any other way. We have a busy end of 2012, and a full 2013. We have our first compilation coming out on 11/27/12, named Static Waves, that includes 2 CD’s with a total of 26 tracks. Many of the tracks are unreleased and exclusive to the compilation. We also have records by Spotlight Kid and Keith Canisius in November.