Spoon were once a ’90s-era major-label cautionary tale, but they’ve found a steady home at Merge Records ever since 2000, where they’ve released five albums and gradually become indie stars. But now they’re trying out the major-label world again, sort of. Billboard reports that the bad has signed to Loma Vista, the Universal Republic-distributed label that former Warner Bros. Records chairman and CEO Tom Whalley has founded. They’re joining a label roster that already includes people like St. Vincent and Little Dragon, and they’ve got a new album on the way; they’ve already posted a couple of teasers. Also, the band is hitting the road, playing festivals like Governors Ball in New York. And you can expect to hear new songs at those shows. In a recent Rolling Stone feature on the summer-festival economy, Spoon manager Ben Dickey says that the band “is going to play to tens of thousands of people at each festival — that’s a pretty huge promotional platform for new songs.”

Comments (8)
  1. The business of indie rock.

    For some reason, I always thought Spoon had some sort of major label distribution anyway in the same way Arcade Fire stayed on Merge but used Capitol to promote it. I’d love to see the stats on how well that has paid off for AF several months later, by the way, because aside from the original promotional blast with the TV specials, KROQ airplay and award show appearances, I’d say their long-term visibility hasn’t improved by much.

    • Arcade Fire’s visibility and long-term prospects don’t seem to be doing that badly.

      • I didn’t say they were doing that badly, I just said they hadn’t improved much with Reflektor (and to their credit, they’ve been in a very good position since The Suburbs. I’d love to see how the investment in Capitol’s promotional help this time around offered a big payoff.

        • Interesting points. I think one big payoff is that their image is now much more experimental and fun and arty. Whereas before their image was of a band that’s amazing, but also self-serious and sexless and stark. But the Reflektor campaign probably did turn a lot of people off – “Costumes? Count me out” – Patrick Carney.

  2. I know at the end of the last decade Metacritic declared them to be the most prolific band or something along those lines, but I can’t help but feel that Spoon are incredibly underrated. An incredible live band too, can’t wait to see them a few times this year.

  3. For all the money spent carpet bombing the world with Reflektor promotions, it sold less than The Suburbs. So, it seems major labels are still able to spend piles of money which is then deducted from the artist’s earnings.

  4. I think Spoon is easily the most under-rated band. Not sure if that’s b/c they have no desire to get bigger, or Merge’s fault, or just the way things go. Granted, they played SNL, and I heard singles from Transference played on commercial radio, so maybe Merge helped with that stuff. But I think that based on the quality of their songs, they should be headlining Coachella and stuff. Loma Vista sounds like a great fit b/c there’s some major-label muscle, but they’d be the biggest band on the label.

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