Full Time Hobby
Full Time Hobby came into life in 2004, set up by Nigel Adams and Wez. They had met while working for Mushroom Records / Infectious Records and decided to start a label when it was clear that Mushroom was going to sell out to Warners. Inspired by labels like the original Jac Holzman era Elektra Records, Creation Records and Rough Trade Records they wanted to start a label that championed original and creative new music that they loved and did not see finding a home elsewhere. The label is and always has been wholly independent.
The first release as Full Time Hobby was the EP Alive With Pleasure by Portland, Oregon based duo Viva Voce who went on to release another two albums and a compilation for the label. In 2005 the label made a pivotal signing with the band Tunng who they had known through their involvement with Full Time Hobby's Tim & Jeff Buckley inspired compilation ‘Dream Brother’. Tunng have so far released five albums for the label as well as spawning side projects The Accidental, (formed by Tunng co-founder Sam Genders, alongside Stephen Cracknall, Liam Bailey and Hannah Caughlin) and the side project of co-founder Mike Lindsay titled Cheek Mountain Thief. Sam Genders left Tunng in 2008 and went on to form the leftfield indie pop act Diagrams, signed to Full Time Hobby in 2011 and also collaborated with Lindsay on the 2016 release ‘THROWS’ before returning to Tunng in 2017.
In 2006, FTH started working with The Hold Steady through a connection with Vagrant Records. They went on to release the band's third album Boys and Girls in America, followed shortly by the re-release of the band's first two albums, Almost Killed Me and Separation Sunday, via a license with US label Frenchkiss Records.
2007 saw Full Time Hobby sign White Denim, a then unknown Texan trio, having been sent demos by the band's manager. They went on to work with the band on the debut album Workout Holiday released in 2008 prior to any US release and follow up album Fits a year later. In the same year the label started working with New York based trio School Of Seven Bells, going on to release all four of their albums, including the final release ‘SVIIB’ in 2016, released following the untimely passing of the bands co-founder Benjamin Curtis.
The Leisure Society signed with the label in 2009, and the label promptly re-issued their debut album The Sleeper, feted with two Ivor Novello Award nominations. This was followed in 2011 by the release of their second album Into The Murky Water, ‘Alone Aboard The Ark’ in 2013 and fourth album ‘The Fine Art Of Hanging On’ in 2015.
FTH releases haven’t been restricted to just US, Canadian or UK acts. In 2012 the label released the debut album ‘Free Time’ by Danish collective Pinkunoizu. The album was a collection of their first two EPs and was quickly followed by the release of their first album proper ‘The Drop’, a work of mind-expanding creative genius that long-awaits a follow up. The label has gone on to spread the musical map further still, working with Dutch psych-popster Jacco Gardner and Norwegian electronic artist Farao.
2013 saw the label release an album of covers of the late singer/songwriter Tim Hardin. Entitled Reason To Believe, The Songs of Tim Hardin, it features covers from Full Time Hobby artists such as Diagrams and Pinkunoizu, and other covers from Mark Lanegan, Okkervil River and The Phoenix Foundation.
In 2014 the label released "Hot Dreams" by Canadian act Timber Timbre, their third album for the label. The Guardian awarded the album five stars, praising the "surprises and delights on this smoky, Lynchian retreat" and the band went on to sell out high profile shows at the Bataclan in Paris and Berlin’s, Astra Kulturhaus.
2015 saw FTH release "Under Branch & Thorn & Tree" by Samantha Crain, her second for the label and fourth in total. The Observer gave the album four stars, praising "the richness of Crain's voice and the elegant simplicity of the musical arrangements". In 2016, alongside School Of Seven Bells emotionally charged, breathtaking ‘SVIIB’, the label released the European debut from Aidan Knight titled "Each Other" and The Magnetic North's second album, the new-town concept titled "Prospect of Skelmersdale" which The Observer covered in an in-depth two page feature, penned by novelist and screen writer, Frank Cottrell-Boyce.
Having spent a decade recording, releasing and touring albums in the US under the guise of Page France and Cotton Jones, Michael Nau’s Mowing was his first truly solo album and first proper European release on Full Time Hobby in 2016. With a wealth of songs up his sleeve, Michael followed this with second album ‘Some Twist’ in 2017, alongside The Load EP, featuring guest vocals from Natalie Prass, swiftly starting work on third album ‘Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread’ soon after.
2017 saw Katie Von Schleicher join the label. A Brooklynite, signed in the US to the famed experimentalist label Ba Da Bing! (where KVS had started out as an intern) Katie’s brand of strong melody and cracked production bloomed in the form of her gloriously titled debut Shitty Hits.
2018 is a big year for FTH with the return of Tunng, a band woven into the labels history, with their first album in 4 years, and first with co-founder Sam Genders, in a decade. New bands on the horizon include the minimalist croon of The Saxophones, with their debut release Songs Of The Saxophones and future releases from Michael Nau, Micah P Hinson and Jacco Gardner circling overhead.
The label continues to search out inspired, intriguing musical gems and is now in it’s 14th year.