As far as Australian music scenes go, Melbourne continues to reign supreme.
Producing some of the best talent the country has to offer, punters can experience live music every night of the week in a variety of pubs and venues.
But if you can’t make it out for a night of great tunes, you can still support the local scene by purchasing records. Melbourne has an incredible DIY culture that’s responsible for some of the best labels, helping highlight the city’s fruitful music scene.
Here are just a few of the local labels you should be buying your records from.
Roster includes: Courtney Barnett and Jen Cloher.
Formed in 2012 by a then-unknown Courtney Barnett and Melbourne legend Jen Cloher as a way to release Barnett’s debut EP I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris and Cloher’s third release In Blood Memory, Milk! Records is responsible for re-energising the local scene. With a roster that also includes Sleater-Kinney, Tiny Ruins and East Brunswick All Girls Choir, Barnett and Cloher have created a community spirit with the label, often releasing limited edition vinyls, unique collaborations and curating special events alongside traditional album releases.
Find out more about Milk! Records on their website.
Roster includes: Lucianblomkamp, Eliott and Baths.
Founded by Huw Nolan and Hugh McClure, Good Manners is an emerging label and artist management agency based in Collingwood. Specialising in experimental electronica and pop, Good Manners has a diverse roster of acts that represent the best new music from across Australia. They also recently launched Here For Good, a sister business offering promotional services for artists and companies.
Find out more about Good Manners on their website.
Roster includes: The Temper Trap, Dan Sultan and Vance Joy.
Although it comes under the umbrella of Michael Gudinski’s mammoth Mushroom Group, Liberation Records takes new and exciting acts and helps nurture them into stadium selling behemoths. Along with helping shape the careers of newcomers Vance Joy, Emerson Snowe and Julia Jacklin, Liberation is responsible for the likes of Aussie favourites The Temper Trap, British India and Adalita.
Find out more about Liberation Records on their website.
Poison City Records
Roster includes: Camp Cope, Georgia Maq and Cable Ties.
A staple of the Melbourne music scene since 2003, Poison City Records have been massive supporters of the local punk and hard rock scenes over the years. Priding themselves as an “independent record label, distributor and skateboard/music store”, Poison City is best known these days for bringing Camp Cope to the masses. They often hold in-store concerts at their Fitzroy store where you can also grab records and other band merch.
Learn more about Poison City Records on their website or find them at 400 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.
Roster includes: Tim Shiel, Happy Axe and Donal Hugh.
An artist-run label created by musician and broadcaster Tim Shiel and Goyte mastermind Wally de Backer, Spirit Level release music from a diverse range of artists from across the globe, with an emphasis on local talent. Operating out of North Melbourne, many of the releases are produced and mixed there, with Spirit Level having put out an eclectic mix of albums and singles from the likes of multi-instrumentalist Happy Axe, experimental electronic figure Kcin and electro-pop duo Hemm.
Learn more about Spirit Level on their website.
Roster includes: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Amyl & The Sniffers.
Similar to Milk! Records, Flightless was started by King Gizzard & The Wizard drummer Eric Moore as a way to distribute his band’s music. Since then, it’s grown to become one of Melbourne’s best independent labels, not only releasing King Gizzard albums but records from the likes of pub rockers Amyl & The Sniffers, 70s sirens Stonefield and psychedelic wonders Tropical Fuck Storm. Catering to those who like their music hard, fast and dirty, Flightless recently opened their first bricks and mortar store in Brunswick East where you can pick up albums and other merch.
Learn more about Flightless Records on their website or find them at 168 Lygon Street, Brunswick East.
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