Deep Elm Records are an independently owned emo-biased indie rock record label that was set up in 1996 by a disgruntled investment banker, John Szuch.
The name comes from a part of the city of Dallas, called Deep Ellum, which is the arty boho area. This name impressed Szuch who visited the city, and eventually led to the name Deep Elm when he set up the label months later, while living in New York. At the start, it was primarily for the release of 7-inch singles for NY bands, the first being the now defunct Curdlefur. The first release proper on Deep Elm was Camber's "Beautiful Charade", which was the first to be put out on CD, in March of 1997.They have grown over the years from humble beginnings to the point of having over 80 releases to their name.
One of the notable features of the label, and the albums that fully established the label's reputation, is their output of a series of albums, The Emo Diaries. As well as featuring artists fully signed to the label, other bands have also contributed. This series, starting in September of 1997, features a good selection of material from the Emo music scene, from the shouty, hardcore sound to the mellow, sometimes even acoustic branch of emo rock. Rather impressively, the first album features tracks from big names Jimmy Eat World and Samiam. Importantly, all the tracks have to be unreleased. It's not a "best of", but rather all new songs.
The label prefers to define itself by the music it puts out - "the music that moves us" - rather than any fixed label, but refreshingly, they are not afraid to confirm they're emo. It's this attitude that has led to the success of the Emo Diaries series and is what keeps them fresh over the 10 albums that currently make it up. More are being added on an on going basis, and they take submissions from anyone.
Curent signed bands:
The music I've heard from the label does have a rather unique sound - and the label as a whole shows a certain philosophy that successfully comes out of the albums they put out and the bands they sign, in a similar way to labels such as 4AD or Warp Records. The website is a good example of how to put across a record label on the internet, and as well as mail order or merchandise, there are sub-sites for the bands, details on the releases they've put out, and also message boards, all lending the label more of an air of a community rather than a business. This, of course, is the key to indie record labels.
They're certainly worth checking out if you want to get hold of some quality emo type indie punk/rock.
The website, at www.deepelm.com, was where some of this info was from. Go there and check 'em out