AN ODE TO INDIE LABELS: MOM + POP

After taking something of a sabbatical from music’s mainstream, alternative music is making a comeback. With new alt acts charting on radio and streaming, Michael Goldstone’s Mom+Pop Records is on the front lines. M+P was born in New York circa 2008 of a desire for more autonomy in signing and breaking acts—something Goldstone hardly struggled with, having signed legendary alternative acts like Pearl Jam and Rage Against The Machine. His partner Thaddeus Rudd is behind the signing of their most recent success, Alice Merton.

Merton’s been making a splash with her debut single “No Roots.” She's been on our radar and continues to impress with her climb up Alt radio’s chart, where she’s currently #10, in addition to being #6 at AAA. The track started in Europe, where it reached #1 on French charts and #2 in Germany before hitting U.S. airwaves.

M+P also saw some profound success with Flume earlier this year. His track featuring Kai, “Never Be Like You,” peaked in the Top 10 at the Top 40 and Dance formats. Harley Streten—the man behind the moniker—went on to take home a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album for his set Skin. This year he released Skin: The Remixes; he's currently on a world tour in Asia.

M+P's latest inking is Sunflower Bean, an indie-rock trio out of Brooklyn. Just this month they’ve released “I Was a Fool” with an accompanying video featuring swoon-worthy fringe you can check out below. They’re now on tour in Europe.

Tash Sultana is another newcomer to look out for, having just released “Mystik” in October and garnering 3m+ Spotify streams. She recently performed on Late Night with Seth Meyers and wrapped a North American Fall tour, but she’s headed back to her native Australia for a Winter lineup.

Lastly, my favorite of M+P's soon-to-break acts, Alina Baraz. Her dreamy collaboration with Galimatias, Urban Flora, has earned 105m+ Spotify streams since its release. She’s recently released “Electric,” featuring Khalid and has already racked up over 36m Spotify streams. She played the inaugural Tropicalia Festival, which we’ve recapped here.

Mom+Pop has previously been home to some acts that really shaped my later tastes, like Andrew Bird and Tokyo Police Club. Years later they’re consistently bringing in acts that become my new obsessions, like Alice and Alina.

In getting artists like Alice Merton and Flume to top radio spots with global recognition they’re shifting the culture of what an act has to sound like to be mainstream, and they’re making room for all kinds of artists. They’re just one of the labels making slow but certain moves in assisting the comeback of alternative, something fans are obviously ready for.

I Was a Fool by Sunflower Bean on VEVO.

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