Four record labels making headway in Pittsburgh
With new and exciting bands frequently popping up in the city of Pittsburgh, it can be difficult to keep track of every new release. The city is home to some truly great and vastly different record labels. These four Pittsburgh-based labels are keeping listeners informed of what’s next in music, releasing music from famed local acts and internationally known artists. If you’re in need of some new music to add to your playlist or you just want to find the next big thing, here are four labels you should know.
A-F Records has been a music mainstay in Pittsburgh since 1997. Created by members of the band Anti Flag, A-F Records has released music from a number of Pittsburgh and nationally-based acts. For those new to the label, you may want to start with Early Riser — a duo based out of New York City that makes sunny, folk-pop — or Lawn Care — a Pittsburgh-based group that makes “kinda-mathy, sorta-punk band with horns.” Regardless of where you begin with your A-F Records listening experience, you’re sure to find something to love.
Established in 2016, Crafted Sounds is one of the newest record labels in Pittsburgh. And while the label — started by Connor Murray — might just be getting its start, Murray has already amassed an impressive catalog of releases. Working with local acts including The Zells, Short Fictions, and Bat Zuppel, Crafted Sounds has released music with noted act Wildhoney, the Baltimore-based Pinkwench and Eyebawl, a garage rock band from Delaware. If you’re looking to discover what’s going to be the next big thing in music, Crafted Sounds should be your first place to start.
Get Hip Recordings!
This Pittsburgh record label — created by members of The Cynics (Gregg Kostelich, Michael Kastelic, and Bill von Hagen) — has quite the history. Founded in 1986 as a means to release their band’s music, the founders have since gone on to work with dozens of bands from around the world. Along with previously releasing music from Nox Boys, a locally-based group of garage rockers, Get Hip has worked with BOBKAT’65 from Spain and Paint Fumes, a punk act from North Carolina.
For nearly a decade, Misra Records has been working with local legends — including Chet Vincent and the Big Bend and André Costello and the Cool Minors — and the biggest names in indie rock — Destroyer and Torres. Currently led by general manager Jeff Betten, Misra Records has continued to evolve, most recently signing hip hop artist Mars Jackson. The label — which was previously located in Dayton, Ohio — became Pittsburgh-based in 2015, and since then, Betten has added a number of additional labels to its label group worth checking out, including Keeled Scales, Dadstache Records, and Crafted Sounds.
Lauren Rearick is a freelancer.