Based in one-of-a-kind Whitehorse, Yukon, Headless Owl Records is a one-of-a-kind label whose mission statement reflects the distinctiveness of their hometown. Founders/musicians Andrew Stratis, Kyle Cashen and Mathias Kom set out to make “Unique and exciting music you won’t find anywhere else”, by engaging artists in a way that serves them best rather than having the artist serve the record company. “You might say we want to uphold the apple while upsetting the apple cart,” they claim on their website.
Headless Owl achieves this paradigm shift through releases that are personal to the artists, and have fostered non-exclusive relationships that allow for one-offs and special projects (for instance their upcoming collaboration with By Divine Right that sees Headless Owl release their cover/tribute to Depeche Mode’s Speak & Spell album) that manifest as physical music you can hold as well as hear.
The Headless Owl catalogue is small but noteworthy for its diversity and depth. These three records speak to the spirit of the label and the relationships they’ve fostered.
HOR008 Community Theatre, Northern Register
The best example of Headless Owl’s collaborative approach to record releases comes by way of a “happy accident”. Last year they teamed up with You’ve Changed Records to put on a pair of shows dubbed “The Cost of Doing Business” (one in Whitehorse, one in Dawson City) that paired artists who’ve worked with both labels on one bill. Little did anyone know that in between performing, the artists were also collaborating on a record. Initially, the idea was that the artists would collaborate on each others’ songs; instead, Community Theatre, Canada’s newest supergroup emerged, bringing together Mathias Kom (The Burning Hell, Headless Owl founder), Kyle Cashen (Old Time Machine, Radars, Headless Owl founder), Chris Adeney (Wax Mannequin), Colleen Collins & David Tranaman (Construction & Destruction), Michael Feuerstack (Snailhouse), Steve Lambke (Baby Eagle, Constantines), Ian Kehoe (Marine Dreams), Richard Laviolette, and Jim Kilpatrick (Shotgun Jimmie) as one band.
Quick Before It Melts is honoured to be joining this impressive and massive collaboration by premiering Community Theatre’s first single, “Snailhouse”, written by Richard Laviolette.
HOR002 The Burning Hell, People
Headless Owl co-founder Mathias Kom has toured across Canada and Europe as The Burning Hell since 2007, bringing a highly kinetic live show to festival stages, dive bars, living rooms, and the occasional mental asylum. The Burning Hell’s 2012 release People was co-released by Headless Owl , (weewerk), and BB Island, and perfectly reflects their death-can-be-fun-to-dance-to attitude and biting lyrical wordplay.
The LP edition of People comes in a brilliant green 180 gram vinyl edition, and is available from Headless Owl’s online store.
HOR007 Jon McKiel, John Mckiel EP
Another East Coaster who’s found a welcoming home on Headless Owl is Jon McKiel, whose self-titled EP is a succinct summation of his experiments in indie rock with collaborator with producer Jay Crocker. The EP represents McKiel’s recollections, a backward look at where he’s come from, and how he ended up where living Sackville, NB, just across the marsh from his boyhood home of Amherst, NS. McKeil and Crocker holed themselves away with just an 8-tack and a couple of microphone, and a handful of songs that smell of smoke, tastes of rain, and feel like deja vu in the best way possible.
Keeping with their philosophy of presenting beautiful music in a beautiful package, Headless owl pressed Jon McKiel on stunning 10′ clear vinyl, which you can add to your collection from their online store.Tags: Community Theatre, Headless Owl records, Jon McKiel, The Burning Hell