Thanks to everyone who helped make 2012 a special year for Fishrider Records!

Happy New Year! Unexpectedly 2012 was a strange and eventful year for Fishrider Records. Our accidental underground label became a bit more like a real one. We had a lot of help from Marc Riley at BBC 6Music and Nick Halliwell at Occultation Recordings in the UK in that. And we also had a huge amount of support from fans and customers around the world for which we are very grateful.

On January 1 2012 the only plan for Fishrider for 2012 was to release The Puddle album ‘Secret Holiday/ Victory Blues’ and try to find ways to persuade people to listen to that odd album by Opposite Sex we released late in 2011.

By the middle of the year we had released The Puddle album, and also The Shifting Sands “Feel’, a UK co-release of the Opposite Sex album (after the NZ release sold out by April), and also a co-release of a 10” mini-album ‘New Sacral’ by The Fall/ Blue Orchids founder Martin Bramah’s band Factory Star. We could not have made that up in our wildest dreams at the start of the year.

The year started with Marc Riley in January describing the Opposite Sex album as ‘absolutely brilliant’ and playing it regularly for 4 months. He revisited it in one of his pre-Christmas best-of-the-year shows a few weeks ago saying “I did say at the beginning of the year when I started playing that, that I would be very surprised if it didn’t end up in the Top 5 albums of the year for me, and it is there, it really is, it’s a great record…”

Positive reviews and more radio play in the UK, Europe, USA and here in NZ followed throughout the year with the album even making an unlikely brief appearance in the CMJ Top 200 for college/ non-commercial radio station play in North America in August. US website Popmatters even listed Opposite Sex as one of their “Best Hopes to Break Out in 2013”. All a bit weird for an accidental and unplanned album resulting from some demos recorded quickly in a Dunedin basement by a band no-one had heard of ouside of their small hometown of Gisborne.
Opposite Sex in Auckland, July 2012

The albums by The Puddle and The Shifting Sands and Factory Star were also well-received here in NZ and overseas with reviews and radio play. Wonderful videos from Jim Cooper (The Shifting Sands’ ‘Pixies’), Pat O’Neill (The Puddle’s ‘Decline to Fall’) and Dan Wagner (The Puddle’s ‘Secret Holiday’) helped to spread the word on these releases too.

Many thanks to all those who have helped – to all the songwriters, musicians, recording engineers, video makers, video editors, supporters, writers, music organisations, websites and especially to everyone who has bought an album or shared music or helped spread the word about the label and the bands – you all make what we do possible.

What do we have planned for 2013? Absolutely nothing yet. But there are a few things floating in the aether at the moment and no doubt this time next year we’ll be looking back on another busy year. Thank you for keeping the music alive and all the best for the year ahead.

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