Posted by: Amy – Nov 28, 2016
After a banner year in 2016, local label Egghunt Records has their eyes set on 2017 with the announcement of a new subscription service featuring releases from four Richmond artists.
Egghunt's Hatched will see the arrival of four EPs over the course of 2017, released each quarter on both digital and cassette formats, as well as other artist exclusive add-ons and other member perks. With only 50 spots available, this extremely limited subscription service will surely be a must-have for the local music lover, and a great holiday gift for anyone lucky enough to snag one early.
"We wanted to add several new artists and bands to the Egghunt roster because Richmond is overflowing with talent right now, but we had to find a way to do it strategically," Egghunt co-founder Adam Henceroth explains. "We didn't want to release them without any type of fanfare so this project just came out, pseudo-modeled after things like the Sub Pop Singles Club."
The label landed on four artists to bring onto their label, each unique in their own right and notching their own place in Egghunt's growing canon. Neo-soul electronica artist Dazeases will kick-off Hatched in Q1 of 2017 followed by beloved rock outfit Camp Howard in Q2, lo-fi indie-pop trio Big Baby in Q3, and bellowing alt-punk quartet Doll Baby in Q4.
"The best part is that each really do bring something new to the table for us at Egghunt," says Henceroth. "Doll Baby and Camp Howard are more traditionally rock, but each occupy totally different areas of that word with Doll Baby being much more grunge inspired while Camp Howard is very much tapped into this chill rock movement happening. Dazeases and Big Baby on the other hand are totally new for us with Big Baby giving us some pop charm and Dazeases adding some electronic-infused avant-garde hip-hop. We could not have picked four better sounds in Richmond for this."
Pre-orders for Hatched are available now at HatchedRVA.com starting at $30 with the service kicking off in early 2017 with the first EP release, as well as some artist and label extras. "We'll set the specific dates out as they get closer," Henceroth continues, "but the digital release will be delivered a month in advance of the physical release so you'll already know and love the songs before getting your hands on a tape. On top of that, we'll offer discounts on our Egghunt catalogue to subscribers and each artist has their own special thing planned." These bonus items will include limited edition t-shirts and lapel pins, USB drives with exclusive content, and even a special 45 RPM 7" record. "Some of these bonus items are going to be as coveted as the releases themselves," Henceroth adds.
Hatched even has a VIP treatment for $50 for the more lofty consumer, which includes guest spots at each release party, a signed show poster, and a personalized letter. Henceroth himself even admits there may be more. "We're toying around with loot drops of various Egghunt merchandise to our subscribers," he reveals. "There's a lot more we're playing around with because we really want Hatched to make the subscribers feel like part of the Egghunt family."
When pressed about the future of Hatched, Henceroth gave a more conservative outlook. "It's definitely on the table for 2018, but we want to make sure the first year goes off smoothly before even thinking about it. Plus, a lot goes into building it. This aren't one-off releases from bands we just happen to think are cool. Each band is part of the Egghunt family now and this is a great way of introducing them to our following and hopefully to more out there."
Hatched's first release has Egghunt expanding their roster in a much more experimental manner as Dazeases, the self-described Witch Of Oregon Hill, brings her melodic eccentricities to the label. "She's incredible," Henceroth gushes. "She's tapping into something really visceral that not a lot of people in the area are. She's certainly in a class of her own."
After one EP release in 2015 entitled Lame Parties, Dazeases (real name London Perry) really began to turn ears in town with the release of two EPs this year, July's Welcome Back and November's C R U M B S, both of which have established her as a musical powerhouse in town. Her latest EP especially has been lauded for its overpowering themes of love and sex that often clash with the sparsely designed instrumentation.
"C R U M B S is definitely a calling card or maybe more of a sampler as I continue to explore and experiment with my sound," Dazeases ponders. "Lyrically though, all of my work as of yet is connected in theme. The intersections of love and sex and their emotional and existential consequences."
Dazeases will explore more of these themes and styles on her upcoming EP for Hatched that will be comprised of new, never-before-heard material that she describes as being "darker in lyrical content" with "more movement to it melodically." It will also be her first foray into the current cassette revival, something she says makes her glad she never discarded of her Hello Kitty boombox.
Besides finally entering the tape market, the inimitable artist is also excited to join Egghunt (who she described as doing "big things" in town), especially at the same time as three other talented bands. "The Hatched line-up is truly amazing," she states. "I'm very flattered to be [next to] such talented musicians. I think their music is destined to reach many ears and I'm excited to hear what they're cooking up for the coming year."
One of those artists Dazeasas is excited to hear is rock outfit Doll Baby, whose Hatched entry will be their first release since their roaring June EP Polliwog. "What a sound," Henceroth exclaims as he shakes his head. "I mean, we can talk about [lead singer] Julie [Storey]'s voice for hours, but the band is every bit as good and really match that voice perfectly for a great alt sound."
The admiration is equal between Doll Baby and Egghunt as Julie Storey is quick to return the compliments that Henceroth gave them. "I think Egghunt is a great label that has signed some of the most talented musicians in RVA," she states. "We were pretty excited when we were asked to be a part of that."
For their second proper EP, Doll Baby look to build on the success of Poliwog and further explore their powerful sound that have made them a quick favorite in Richmond's local scene. "We're going to spend more time on this EP," Storey reveals. "We recorded Poliwog in one day with Bryan Walthall, but with this one, we'll have three days to complete it so that's great. Having more time, we'll have more fun with it."
Their Hatched entry will be a five-song offering featuring previously composed material as well as new material that should let fans both new and old know what to expect from the quartet moving forward. "We definitely want to release a full length," Storey remarks, though at the moment the band is eager to continue exploring their alt-punk sound with a smaller, focused release on a format Storey both loves and sees the humor in. "They can definitely take a beating compared to CDs," she laughs. "I love the way they sound. Maybe's it's nostalgia, I don't know, but aside from all that, they are also very affordable for the band and the fans."
Whether fans listen to this release on a tape or through a digital player, they'll still be in for a treat with Doll Baby's addition to Egghunt's catalogue. The inventive drumming of Dan Kelly is sure to expand while the stormy bass playing of Chris Carreon will keep each song churning. Storey's voice will continue to establish dominance in each song, but her guitar work alongside Eric Kelly might just usurp that dominance at some of the more explosive moments leaving Doll Baby as key act for Egghunt's roster moving forward.
Following a raw energy with a more mellifluous sound will be Richmond trio Big Baby, a band that proudly carries the twee umbrella wherever they go. "Just like Doll Baby, they have a sound that early '90s fans should really connect with," Henceroth explained. "It's twee for the modern fan though. Lo-fi and gritty, but really catchy and sweet. You can't beat that combination."
The trio, comprised of lead singer and guitarist Ali Mislowsky, guitarist and singer Chris Smith, and drummer Brian Dove, initially began as a side project with a brief, but memorable EP back in May entitled Dumb Guys. The three-song offering showcased the band's lo-fi pop brilliantly in a way that the band intends to continue for their Egghunt debut.
"We want to keep the lo-fi pop sound," Mislowsky says, "but with some better quality recording and mastering. Dumb Guys was very DIY. We recorded in our practice space and mastered it ourselves." While the sound is a vital part of the band's identity, the songwriting of Mislowsky is equally praiseworthy and may benefit as well from better recording, and even focus. "The Dumb Guys EP has three of the first songs I've ever written," she continues. "I think I've grown a lot just from writing more, and that we've all gotten better at writing them together. They'll still be lo-fi pop songs, and they'll be on tape, not CD, which is my indie dream."
Though Mislowsky was eager to join Egghunt ("I'm still really flattered and excited to be involved") and the other artists in Hatched ("All are so talented... It's awesome to be together in the same project."), her excitement for Hatched comes down to mostly being part of a tape release series, as she describes herself as the target audience.
"I really love tapes, and Richmond has such an awesome group of tape labels," Mislowsky admires. "Since we started Big Baby, I've just wanted to put out a tape. Not that elusive, but still something to work towards. So now that I am part of the tape resurgence as an artist, I feel complete."
For Hatched, the feeling of completion comes in the form of local band Camp Howard, a major acquisition who will release their sophomore release on Egghunt. One of 2016's most talked about Richmond artists, the young quartet's mix of laid back bedroom compositions and punk ethos make them a true grab for Egghunt, something not lost on the label itself. "Camp Howard was a big snag for this project," Henceroth admits. "They have this great sound, awesome record, huge following, and have worked on-and-off with so many cool labels that being able to call them an 'Egghunt artist' means a lot to us all."
Despite working with multiple labels as Henceroth stated, Camp Howard was perhaps best associated with Citrus City Records, a local tape label who has released albums and EPs by artists across the world. "Those guys over there do a great job," Henceroth admits. "They deserve alot of credit for some amazing releases." For Citrus City, Camp Howard's self-release record in March was their true Richmond arrival: a celebrated full-length from a young band that had every music fan in town on the same page. Camp Howard seemed to benefit from Citrus City's already growing reputation too, leading many to believe the band would stay on for future releases. To frontman Nic Perea though, this wasn't necessarily the plan nor was it something the band grappled with in relation to Hatched.
"It wasn't really a hard decision," Perea remarks. "I don't even feel like we made a 'jump.' We're close friends with Manny from Citrus City and a good amount of the bands on that label, but we already did our debut release with them and Crystal Pistol Records, so we wanted to try something new. [We're] excited to see how the Egghunt release works out."
For the band, something new will also be something old as Perea admits that their next release will have all the makings of a regular Camp Howard record, just with different starting points. "This release is inherently going to be different since we're recording at a different place, working with different people, and releasing it with a different label," he explains. "But as far as our approach goes, I don't think we're doing anything really that different."
According to Perea, the new release on Egghunt in 2017 will be songs the band has written in the time since their self-titled release that the band thinks "are worth putting out." It will join releases from the other three artists, all of which Perea himself is excited to be associated with now.
"I've seen all of them live at least once," he states. "We're pretty close with Big Baby and they're sweet and I'm glad they're doing this Hatched series with us. Doll Baby's sick, they rip. Dazeases just put out an album, C R U M B S, which is super expressive and really interesting. Genuinely excited to be released alongside all three of them."
Local fans should be just as excited as the bands themselves about this new project. The success of Hatched could very well ensure a yearly springboard for up-and-coming musicians down the line, a goal local artists can strive for in order to reach the next level in town and hopefully onwards. Hatched offers a myriad of possibilities to the local scene, some of which won't be understood for years to come, but in the meantime, sit back and enjoy Egghunt highlighting local artists in a spectacular manner. Days removed from another Record Store Day where hundreds of Richmonders lined up to catch limited runs of special releases, Hatched is surely a success waiting to happen, and a success that celebrates Richmond music in a way like no other.
For more information on Hatched, the new subscription service from Egghunt Records, make sure to visit HatchedRVA.com.
Words by Doug Nunnally