Always You, the latest release from Edge Hill University’s own innovative record label, is the first to be made entirely by current students.

Charity Shop Pop is the performing identity of David Hughes, a second year on BA (Hons) Music Production degree. Also featured on the release from The Label Recordings are Scott Charlton (drums), Rob Grey (backing vocals), Lynden Philliskirk (keyboards, vocals) and Kelvin Banks (backing vocals) from the same degree.

Early reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. As well as getting attention in LA and New Jersey, music blog Caesar Live ‘n’ Loud described it as ‘a groovy piece of sun-soaked, dream-pop music’ that ‘sounds like a perfect song to be played on a movie, or as a soundtrack to a chill out weekend at home’. George Holland of K2AV commented that ‘If Charity Shop Pop continues on this upward trajectory this one-man-and-a-MacBook-band could yet prove to be stiff competition for the Liverpool indie pop scene.’ Airplay is lined up with BBC stations and a gig at Liverpool’s iconic Cavern Club is being arranged.

Label Creative Director and Media lecturer Carl Hunter said:

“The ethos of the Label is to find the best emerging talent to work with. There is absolutely no requirement for artists to be connected with Edge Hill in any way, so it is a tribute to David’s abilities that his music has been selected to be developed professionally and launched into the world.”

David said:

“Thanks to the support of the University, I was given the opportunity to go to Parr Street Studios (where Coldplay and Blossoms have recorded) and record my new single for release on The Label Recordings. Spending the day in the studio recording and perfecting my track with industry experts, while having my course mates helping out, was very beneficial and I learned a lot about how a record gets put together. The day was long and tiring, but it was literally the best experience I’ve ever had and has meant that I have ended up with a song that is now getting national radio and press coverage and gaining new listeners and fans.”

One of the Label Recordings activities for students is occasional trips to Liverpool to experience the city’s live music scene. For David this was a key opportunity, leading to an offer to perform himself at another gig.

David said:

“This gave me belief in my own to music and the impetus to keep doing what I’m doing. From there I’ve been a part of Merseyrail Sound Station and played many other gigs at iconic Liverpool venues, which wouldn’t have been possible without attending that first gig with uni.”

Image taken by Natalie Cannell

First year Film and TV Production student Natalie Cannell documented the recording session with video and still photographs, one of which has been used on the CD version of the single.

Next steps include making a video to promote the single. Students will work with Director Clare Heney who lectures in film at Edge Hill.

Clare said:

“The process of creating striking moving images to visualise a music track is a fascinating one and students benefit immensely from being involved. A lot of music is consumed via channels like YouTube and being able to use the video medium is a vital element of the music industry. Previous films have included location shoots as far afield as Portmerion where The Prisoner was filmed and studio productions using Edge Hill’s industry-standard facilities.”

The Label Recordings is Edge Hill’s independent label without contracts, which has been set up by the University to promote existing new music and provide students considering a career in the competitive industry some real hands-on experience. It offers a musical journey that invites musicians and bands to collaborate with students, who will be given the opportunity to learn about the music industry by becoming part of the music industry. They are involved in all aspects including searching for emerging talent, music production, video production, releasing tracks and organising live events.

Always You is officially released on 7 December 2018. Listen now on Soundcloud.

Follow the Label on Facebook.