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HMV launches 1921 Records, signs India Arkin

By | Published on Thursday 22 September 2022

India Arkin

HMV has announced that it’s getting back into the record label game, launching 1921 Records and signing its first artist, India Arkin.

Arkin was apparently spotted when she played an in-store at HMV in Newcastle earlier this year, and is described as a cross between Laura Marling and Billie Eilish. That in-store performance was part of the music retailer’s Live & Local programme, which has seen more than 1000 grassroots artists play in HMV shops since the start of the year.

The musician’s debut album, ‘Home Truths’, is set to be released as part of HMV’s National Album Day activity on 15 Oct. The theme of this year’s event being debut releases, it’s all very apt, see?

“I’m THRILLED to be releasing my debut album with 1921 Records, and it’s almost unbelievable that gigs in the store in HMV Newcastle would lead to this”, says Arkin. “I can’t wait to see my record on the shelves and tour the country performing with my band”.

HMV boss Doug Putman adds: “India’s music is absolutely incredible and we’re THRILLED to make her our first 1921 Records signing. She has such passion for her craft, and she’s a true musician who writes, plays instruments and performs”.

“We’re really proud of our HMV Live & Local programme, which sees artists like India given the same platform as the international artists who come to our stores, like Charli XCX and Yungblud”, he adds. “India’s performances in Newcastle got rave reviews from our staff and led to her being signed today”.

“With our new label, we want to do what we can to help debut artists make their mark in a tough industry”, he goes on. “Streaming algorithms mean it’s hard for new artists to get their voices heard, so we’re giving them the chance to get their albums in our stores where music fans can discover them for themselves”.

If you thought that this was the last you’d ever hear of this new label by the way, it appears that you’re very, very wrong. Putman concludes: “This is just the beginning for 1921 Records – it’s our mission to get more fantastic albums by debut artists into the homes of music fans. HMV is leading the way in the vinyl revival, so it makes sense for us to create our own label and promote the music we know our shoppers care about”.

Is it? Does it? I don’t know. But it’s all happening. Who will next be plucked from between the shelves at an HMV store and then have their music placed on the shelves? We just don’t know. But there are going to be plenty of opportunities to become the label’s next signing. On National Album Day alone there are going to be more than 100 performances in HMV stores. What fun.