Introducing Significant Other: a new series for 2018

Significant other blog image Barely Regal turns seven years old this month, and to celebrate we're dead excited to finally announce a project we've been working on for a good while now.

'Significant Other' is our first ever singles series, bringing together two of our main passions - music and comics. Over the course of the series, we'll be pairing musicians and illustrators, the latter creating a comic in response to a track.

Each month, we'll be releasing a new single by a different band or artist, along with the accompanying comic (a different pairing of musician and illustrator each time), available as a pay-what-you-what digital download. Maybe we'll do some kind of fun physical product at the end, and there'll possibly a few surprises along the way - we'll see.

The first single in the series is one that's especially close to our hearts - a new track from Parisian post-hardcore trio Bitpart, who we've wanted to work with for a very long time. The accompanying comic is by David Brohet, one of my favourite current illustrators. Listen to the track and read the comic below, and you can download both here.

Significant Other 1: You Matter by David Brohet Not familiar with Bitpart, or David Brohet for that matter? You can listen to Bitpart's previous releases here, and view more of David's illustration work here. Here's a photo of Bitpart lookin' cute (note the sick PMS tee): Bitpart press photo 2018

Happy birthday to us…

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So this week Barely Regal turned five years old. FIVE YEARS. That’s probably not really even all that long in the grand scheme of things, but considering we were shocked we even made it to five months it seems like a long time to us.

We’ve been pretty terrible at celebrating our birthdays to date (mainly because, at 30 years old any acknowledgement of aging is a bit of a sore subject), but seeing as this feels like something of milestone, we’ve worked with Welsh coffee roasters Coaltown Coffee on putting together something that brings together two of our biggest loves - coffee and music, releasing a new 16-track compilation as a bag of coffee with a download code.

Featuring tracks from Barely Regal OGs like Olympians and Theo, plus recent additions to the Barely Regal family including Arkless and Weddings, stream the compilation in full HERE, buy the thing HERE.

Five years ago, we put out or first release, a zine/compilation called ‘Zero Years of Barely Regal’ (a joke that, like our name itself, seemed funny at the time). We were inspired to start a label in the first place by the incredible community of musicians, labels and promoters we met while living in Cardiff, and while we’ve since moved away from the city, dragging the label kicking and screaming with us, both Cardiff and indeed Wales remain places that are very important to us. As such, we’re really pleased and honored to able to work with a Welsh coffee roasters on the release that marks us miraculously somehow having made it to five years as a label – particularly one that shares our grassroots ethics.

The coffee bags are super-limited - we've only done 20, and once they're gone they're gone, so you'd be wise to grab yourself one now if you're keen.

Here's to five more years, I guess. Oh, and if you see us around you're more than welcome to buy us a pint. Or a coffee, we're not picky.

Welcome to the family: Arkless


Remember when emo wasn’t a dirty word? When it was the kind of term you’d associate with bands like Rites of Spring and Hoover, rather than terrible bros with tight t-shirts, straightened fringes and lip piercings, or more recently rubbish twiddly nonsense* and boring grunge ripoffs?

Bubbling under the surface of all the hype around the various ‘emo revivals’ that have waxed and waned in recent years, a growing community of bands have been quietly pushing the genre in new and interesting directions. I say ‘quietly’, there’s nothing quiet about the likes of Carson Wells or Plaids, but you get what I mean It’s a community of bands that have never chased nor bought into the hype, who’ve managed to draw tastefully on influences from different aspects of the emo/post-hardcore canon without ever falling into the tropes of the genre.

Hopefully you’re already acquainted with both the aforementioned bands, alongside the likes of Human Hands, The Blue Period, Kin Shot (to name just a few of the good ‘uns), and now we’d like to introduce you to one of the latest bands to emerge from the fruitful scene – Arkless.

A few things you should know about Arkless:
  • They’re four excellent humans that all have a long history of playing in great OG emo bands from the UK, including Bird Calls, What Price Wonderland and Losing Sleep to name a few.
  • They’re named after an excellent track by Wilderness (who Arkless’ bassist Andy actually introduced me to recently – turns out they're incredible, where have they been all my life?)
  • They basically sound like a UK version of the Van Pelt mixed with other 90s emo goodness, and they’re really fucking great.
We’re dead excited that they’ve asked us to be involved in releasing their debut EP, which will be out next May on 12” vinyl and digital download (the packaging for the vinyl is going to be bonkers, watch this space). They’ve got some tour dates in the works too, which we’ll have more news on in the future.

In the meantime, they’ve got a few live demos up online from their set as Fire As A Metaphor festival in Nottingham, which you can listen to here.

*Disclaimer: some twiddle-mo is actually totally ok, but equally there's a lot of rubbish out there, and there was a particular deluge of crap in 2013/14, which luckily seems to be a phase that has passed now.

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