Hello America Stereo Cassette is a record label for writers established February 5th, 2021. We release cassettes of poetry, short fiction, and memoir. The releases are curated by Adam Gnade and the label is based out of the Ruby Teeth Homestead in rural Kansas. We are looking to build a scene of audio literary artists. If that's you and your work is good, we want to be friends.
Important note about submission:
Due to the enormous amount of submissions we are getting at the moment we are not able to respond to all the messages. We do however listen to all the tracks.
If you don't hear back from us in a week's time, that means a no.
We wish we were able to respond to all submissions but at this point it's not humanly possible. Please understand this is a small company. Most tracks don't fit the very specific thing we're trying to do, but just because we turn something down doesn't mean it's bad or that we don't like it. We turn most tracks down, to be honest. Keep writing.
What we are looking for in general:
We're now looking for submissions for our Spring 2021 Collection compilation and our ongoing Stories Mixtape and Hello Poetry Mixtape. We're also scouting out artists for full-length cassette releases but mostly just single tracks. If we like your submission well enough we might pitch a cassette idea. Showing up on one of our comps is a good way to get your foot in the door and allow us a chance to get to know you and see how you are to work with. We don't offer full-length releases often or lightly.
What we are looking for more specifically:
1) Short pieces of writing (fiction, memoir, poetry, scenes from your life, weird shit that's on your mind) as well as short pieces of writing backed by original music (no public domain or unlicensed backing tracks please). Usually we look for poems and stories at around 1-5 minutes. Submit in .wav file to email@example.com We don't take submissions via social media. VERY IMPORTANT: We don't accept tracks that aren't recorded as .wavs. Even if you've recorded it as an mp3 then converted it to a .wav file afterward, we can't use it. Record it in .wav format to begin with.
2) Artists who do this sort of thing regularly and would like us to sign them to a record deal to release a cassette. Send samples of your work to the above email address. Please listen to the stuff we release before submitting.
3) Realism. Stuff about your life.
4) Artists from all around the world. You don't have to live in the US to be on this label.
5) We encourage writers of color, women, and nonbinary authors to submit work. This place is for you.
6) Wild, noisy, transcendent shit.
7) Artists who tour. We can help you build an audience, but it also helps if you're planning to tour your album post-COVID.
What we're not looking for:
1) That awful, swingy-voiced spoken word poetry slam delivery with unnatural emphasis on random words. Fuck that shit. A little theatre is fine in your delivery but extra points for conversational tones and using your natural, nonaffected voice.
2) Racist, sexist, transphobic, ablest, fascist, homophobic, and/or right wing writers please go elsewhere aka go fuck yourselves.
3) Bands that don't feature a talking vocalist. There are plenty of great labels for those.
4) Tracks that have already been released. Even on Bandcamp. Can't stress this enough. You can send us your Bandcamp links for reference, but, barring some special circumstances (and they're out there), we're not going to release something that has already been released.
5) Tracks with vocal mistakes. If you stumble over a word, record the track again.
6) YA writing. Sorry. Our audience is mid 20 to early 30s.
7) Tracks you spent like five minutes on. Try harder. This is something people will hear. Don't fuck around.
Here are things we like that are in line with the sort of work we release:
Jesmyn Ward's audio books, Patti Smith, Ebony Tusks, Black Creatures, Ocean Vuong's readings and interviews, film voiceovers, Moss Icon, the band Black Country New Road, "A Dream" by John Cale and Lou Reed, the Velvet Underground's track "The Gift" off White Light/White Heat, "Travelin' Blues" by Slim Gaillard, some of Tom Waits' talking tracks, "Mean Talking Blues" by Woody Guthrie, "When the President Talks to God" by Bright Eyes, "History Lesson Part 2" by the Minutemen, "Back and Forth" by the Dismemberment Plan, and "Where the Darkness Began" by EMA.
Here are things we like that don't have much to do with the sort of work we release:
Neutral Milk Hotel, Neutral Shirt, At the Drive-In, Roberto Bolaño, Karl Ove's seasonal cycle, Frances Quinlan, Proust, Three One G, Saddle Creek Records, Big Thief, Townes Van Zandt, the first two Joanna Newsom records, the Cure, the New York Dolls, Devendra Banhart, Pokez, Verbatim Books, Vicente Fernandez, Black Dice, Mills Records and Wise Book Booksellers, Modern Love Omaha, Swing Kids, Chad Valley, Trident Press, the Modern Lovers, The Relics, X, Marissa Anderson, Planet B, recipes from Vegicano aka Rudy Ramos, Wonder Fair, GSL, Gravity Records, Cattle Decapitation, Maggie Nelson, Joy Division, Richard Hell, Dickens, a good pair of boots, San Diego (our hometown before moving to Kansas), living rural, writing letters, reading a lot, good tequila, good red wine you can afford, the Locust, Youthmovies, Louise Erdrich, Bread & Roses Press, mutual aide, being kind, and being quiet.