Local label makes space for new music

Emergency Umbrella is trying to save space by selling records.


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Justin Nardy, co-owner of Columbia-based record label Emergency Umbrella, has decided it's time to clean his room. Now, through the label's latest promotion, you can lend him a hand and come away with some new music.

With storage space in Illinois and Nardy's room rapidly filling up with records produced by Emergency Umbrella's bands, the company is facing a major storage crunch.

"If stuff sits too long in the warehouse in Illinois then there is a threat of it being destroyed and we don't have room at my house to store it," Nardy said. "So we had to come up with an idea."

Inspired by another independent label in a similar situation, Emergency Umbrella recently launched an online campaign to liquidate the stockpile of CDs and LPs. Through the label's page on kickstarter.com, the public can make a pledge of any amount and receive a wide array of music from the warehouse.

"This is your chance to be introduced to the amazing bands on our label," the Kickstarter page reads.

The catalog features artists with varying styles, notoriety and roots. The musically diverse label features the indie pop sounds of St. Louis's Gentleman Auction House and the psychedelic madness that is Dark Meat of Athens, Georgia. The label, harkening back to its roots, also features several bands from Columbia, including Bald Eagle, The Foundry Field Recordings and Witch's Hat.

"We have been a big part of Columbia's music scene for years," Nardy said. "We gave Columbia bands that we thought were important and were making great music a chance."

Co-owner and lead singer of The Foundry Field Recordings, Billy Schuh also shares the desire to make an impact on Columbia's music scene.

"One thing we've always kept in mind is our community and where we're from," Schuh said. "We're not based in New York. We're in our own little area here."

Even with a roster and distribution that spans the U.S., Schuh takes pride in providing local bands with "information, resources and direction."

So far, Nardy said the response to the liquidation campaign has been successful. Still, some of the label's supporters initially took the clearance sale the wrong way.

"A lot of people are in panic and think the label is shutting down or that we are in some serious trouble," he said. "We are not shutting down and we aren't in any real trouble. We just need to clear some space (for new releases) and sell some records."

Needless to say, the owners of Emergency Umbrella see this as a great opportunity for those in the market for some new music.

"We're giving people the chance to get our back catalog and some new stuff for a great price," Nardy said.

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