Leeds based, not for profit, record label Come Play With Me have been championing local talent via their ‘Singles Club’, regular showcase events and their conference style events designed to promote the music being made by under-represented demographics.
Their latest project is ‘Come Play’, a 26-track compilation featuring promising artists from the Leeds area as well as some surprise collaborations and guest appearances from more established acts. We met with the labels founder and chief Tony Ereira so that he could talk us through the album’s concept and shed some light on the treats it contains.
As Come Play With Me’s reputation grows with every single they release, we wanted to know why they have chosen to spoil us with this mountain of brand new tracks and how the idea evolved. “The main reason for the album is that we are doing the singles every quarter and that only means we are putting out eight tracks a year. When we run submissions we are getting loads of brilliant music in and its just a real pity that we are not able to put it all out on singles, so we just wanted to have another platform to release them on. We identified all the artists we wanted to work with and went to all the ones we had already released from and asked if they can give us another track, either a demo or a live track or a remix, of the track you gave us or if not something completely new. Then we reached out to a bunch of the other artists that we wanted to work with but just didn’t quite make it to the singles themselves. I approached about thirty artists and probably thought we would get about twelve or fifteen back, enough for a single album. I had only had about seven tracks back, I had given everybody a deadline of the 31st of August to submit the tracks, then there was this mad flurry of activity on the 31st of August and I got loads of WeTransfer links and it ended up being a double album. It’s all the same remit as the usual platform, all bands or artists from in or around Leeds, deliberately cross-genre, the same ethos as all the Come Play With Me singles,”
The label have now released enough material to fill a compilation on its own, but as Tony explains, it is clear that this is a progressive label that aren’t interested in looking back at their achievements, only ever moving forwards. “The reason we didn’t go with a compilation of the singles we had already released is because I just thought who cares? If all you are going to do is just a compilation of the previously released singles, who is really interested? If you want them you have either already got them or they are all available on Spotify or iTunes so that is why we asked for an exclusive track from everybody. In fact, all of the tracks on there, except for the latest singles (Magic Mountain and Jon Jones and the Beatnik Movement), are exclusive to the album.”
As well as being a celebration of the artist, the scene, and the area, this album has a thread running through it. This thread is the idea of collaboration, support and development. Tony gave us just a few examples of how these artists have collaborated especially for this album. ““We had a Ceiling Demons single about a year ago, they have just released their album, they have worked quite closely with Seth from FOLD. One of the other things I wanted to do with this album was to show how people collaborate within the region. Seth and Ceiling Demons have worked together before and this just seemed like an opportunity to ask Seth if he had any interest in remixing a track from Ceiling Demons for us. He has done a great version of that, it’s a rare remix with a brass band on it, completely different from the original.” It isn’t just Ceiling Demons and FOLD who are working together Team Picture and Laminate Pet Animal also have a special, Come Play With Me inspired connection. ““Group Photograph is the pseudonym that Team Picture wanted to use for their two tracks. We paired Team Picture and Laminate Pet Animal together on a single and they both said that they wouldn’t have known of each other but they played a couple of gigs together and they have become quite good friends. This is Laminate Pet Animal remixing a Team Picture track and the last track on the album is Team Picture covering the Laminate Pet Animal track. I think that demonstrates brilliantly how bands work together and collaborate here in Leeds.”
While all the tracks are exclusive to the album one track in particular has been created especially for the release. “James Konapinski is James Smith from Post War Glamour Girls. My original intention, when I put this album together, was the collaboration between Leeds artists but I also thought it would be quite fun to commission something especially for this album. So I had a chat with James and asked him if there was anyone who he really fancied recording with, it doesn’t need to be a duet or even somebody from Leeds, just anyone you want to work with. Thomas Truax is an American multi-instrumentalist who currently lives in London, he’s famous for making these really crazy instruments. Every time Thomas just happened to be in the area he would stay at James’ house and they would just record bits here and there.”
This will be a compilation which is laden with unique moments and exciting new music, Tony gave us a glimpse of some of the other highlights on offer. “We released ‘International Waters’ from ZoZo last year, and they are just brilliant so I have been talking to them for some time about an EP that they recorded with MJ from Hookworms earlier this year. Which we are actually releasing on Hatch Records, my other label, and we just agreed with ZoZo that we would run with the lead track ‘NONO’ as part of this, we released it as a digital single at the end of September, it’s just brilliant, it’s the perfect way to open the album.” It will also be a hint toward the future of the label with a track from Crake showing what is just around the corner for the label. “Crake are one of the bands that we are releasing as a single at the end of November. It’s just stunning it’s a beautiful track. They are a fairly new band comprised of bits of Mi Mye, Sarah Statham is in there from Esper Scout.”
One touching moment wonderfully ties in the past and the future, both of the label and the music of Leeds. “We had an idea about a year ago to do an album of new Leeds bands covering old Leeds bands. At the time I got Deadwall to support The Wedding Present on some dates they were doing, they came up with the idea of recording a The Wedding Present track, and they decided to record ‘Come Play With Me’, I didn’t push them into it. They have done a beautiful version of it, they have turned it into a really scuzzy ballad which is nothing like the original at all.”
‘Come Play’ was released on the 1st of December, via Come Play With Me, and is available at all the usual places. We have had a few listens and we definitely recommend it.