Wayside & Woodland Recordings Ltd

Location: Staffordshire, England Est: 2007

Potted History: “The roots of the label began with Epic45, a post-rock/dreampop band I started at school with my friend Rob Glover in the late 90s,” explains co-founder Ben Holton. “From releasing on various indie labels in the UK and internationally, we became part of the syndicate Make Mine Music. This gave us the introduction to self-releasing, and after a few years, Rob and I got the urge to have a label based on our own aesthetic and ethos and so Wayside & Woodland was born. The first release, in 2008, was a 12-inch vinyl featuring remixes of Epic45 songs by our friends Bibio and Bracken. Before we even released W&W001, though, we made some super-low-run mini CD-Rs. One an edition of four, the other an edition of one! 

“The last couple of years have seen huge changes. I left a job in psychiatric healthcare, and Rob and I parted ways in the business, although we’ve not parted in friendship or with musical collaborations. Now I run the label on my own and can really dedicate my time to it. I’ve been able to expand on the initial ideas and redefine what Wayside & Woodland means and produces.”

Mission Statement: “As with the ‘mother project’, Epic45, the main drive is a preoccupation with reflecting landscape, place and memory in the music and artwork. Quite often, forgotten, abandoned or even just overlooked places feature heavily. This is very apparent in the Epic45-related projects and is something that’s a massive consideration when I work with other folk too. It’s important they understand and share this sensibility. 

“I like to call it ‘edgeland music’ and it can cover anything from the strange undercurrents of suburbia, the weird power of the ancient countryside and those areas in between that cause such a stir in my heart.”

Key Artists & Releases: “I’m really proud of the Epic45 release, ‘We Were Never Here’ which featured a 12-inch book of my photography. 

“We’ve also worked with members of Hood and released work by Mark Van Hoen – Seefeel and Locust – and Richard Youngs. Upcoming for 2024 is the second album by my project The Balloonist, a beautiful album by a US band called Bell Monks, a return to the ‘Haunted Woodland’ series by Karen Vogt and EPs by my talented friends MENOWTHERETHEN and EL Heath.”

Future Plans: “I’ve moved into the world of photo books and calendars with my Birds In The Brickwork project, but I’d love to publish some word-based books too,” says Holton. “More photography and design prints, more collaborations with like-minded people. A Top 10 hit wouldn’t hurt, I must say. There doesn’t seem to be much call for pop songs about red-brick estates and pylons right now, but maybe my time will come.”

Any Other Business? “Have confidence and conviction in the things you believe have meaning. You’re often not alone.” 

For more, visit waysideandwoodlandrecordings.bandcamp.com

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