This Saturday, April 22, music aficionados from all over the world will rejoice with the tenth annual Record Store Day. A day dedicated to the appreciation of vinyl records and the shops that carry it. However, this will also be the first day that House of Strut, a store that focuses on vintage clothing, will be launching their own record label, releasing a seven inch of Twisty Cats first record.
As Erica Cobb Jarmon, the owner of the House of Strut, explains, it wasn’t something ever planned. Rather, the idea was an “evolution.”
Since she appreciated music and loved records at a young age, Jarmon used rock stars and musicians of the Savannah hemisphere to promote her own brand. In fact, the models she used in her first photo shoot were female musicians.
Since then, she has invited artists of all different genres, like the Craybacks and Mother, to play inside the House of Strut.
The idea to launch a record label arose during New Year’s celebrations in Nashville with music industry professionals.
Jarmon said, as she was driving home, “I turned my phone off and played the CD Player. And I just let my ideas bubble for those nine hours… It didn’t just happen in one fell swoop…I just started brainstorming ideas to highlight Savannah’s music scene. There’s such a depth of talent musically, I asked myself, ‘How can I help elevate and align myself with these bands and how to encourage their opportunities?’… That’s when I thought promotion; merchandizing…I was just formulating ideas…That’s when I decided I can create a record series for Strut; have it styled and record some videos.”
The first musicians she presented with the idea were the band Twisty Cats — whose sound and style has been called “Darkwave Glam Punk Rock with New York City Grit –” comprised of Peter and Blake Mavrogeorgis. Jarmon thought their vintage style would be a perfect match the House of Strut brand.
Another band, Capsula, asked Twisty Cats to join them on tour, creating a time crunch for Jarmon. What followed was mixing and mastering eight songs, as well as creating the artwork, all in the span of 17 days.
When asked about the hardest challenge she faced, Jarmon said dealing with the perception of record companies screwing with the artists. “From what I know, loosely, is that record labels, they pigeon-hole bands and put restrictions on them and they want them to be whatever that they envision them to see, like the record label, instead of letting the band do what they do best…They try to call the shots and it’s usually about money. And I don’t want to be about that. It’s [House of Strut Records] about encouraging and fueling the opportunities for the band instead of putting expectations on them.”
They will be ready and coming soon, with the record release party being scheduled at 9-11:00 this Record Store Day, April 22. Jarmon appreciates Record Store Day and believes that it does help bands. As she says “It’s an appropriate day to release the record…in honor of our partnership.”