Label Spotlight: Listen Records

Written By Rei Barker on 03/03/2016


Listen Records was co-founded by Chloe Turner and Erica Lewis in 2015 but is now operated solely by Turner. It came out of the Listen organisation and shares a similar ethos - according to Chloe - ‘to release, distribute and assist women and queer people in the Australian music scene.

Their most recent release was Simona Castricum’s #triggerwarning40, reviewed on this very column. "She’s signed to Listen Records, but we’re doing crowdfunding for her vinyl release," says Turner. This is not a cigar-chomping money-machine label, rather a label borne of ideology and need for diversity as well as support for women and queer people in a cis-het male dominated industry.

Easily one of the busiest people I’ve met, yet I’ve no doubt that Chloe is the right person for this Herculean task. "We also signed Stina Testa and Cinta Masters and Beloved Elk. I provide press services, tour advice, financial contributions and other varied levels of managerial advice."

I had to know how the industry had responded to Listen Records. "A lot of people are really supportive and excited to see this kind of thing(queer music being championed/recognised) which is really good," she says.

"I wanna make it so the label is a reference for festivals and large events that are lacking diversity."

Listen Records has already pushed out quite a few releases for such a young label, establishing itself quickly. ‘There’s only a certain amount of time and money to use for individual releases, so the compilations are a way to support more artists, specifically on a grassroots level with bands that haven’t received radio play or editorial yet. I’m happy with Simona’s album, Beloved Elk’s “Close” EP and Stina and Cinta’s Awake and Dreaming LP which comes in April.’

Listen Records is definitely a labor of love but also of necessity in my opinion. We don’t live a post-utopian egalitarian society where everyone has the same opportunities and the music industry is no different. I think Chloe and Listen records deserve a medal for this work, and I advise you all to watch closely their output over the next few years.