In July we hosted an exhibition of works by talented illustrator, musician and record label founder Frances Castle. Frances' work has been familiar to us for quite some time, as we own several of her beautifully designed and illustrated LPs which have been put out through her Clay Pipe label.
Featured in the show were prints of several of those amazing Clay Pipe album covers (as well as some of the records themselves) and some examples of her other illustrative work - including her newly published graphic novel Stagdale.
Over the course of 8 years, Clay Pipe has put out some wonderfully original music by the likes of Darren Hayman, Alasdair Roberts, Jon Brooks, Vic Mars and James Green. Like any truly great label, Clay Pipe has a distinct feel, a thread that seems to join the releases together into a tapestry, each helped to fit into place through Frances' evocative sleeve artwork. Often described as folkloric, pastoral, spectral and hauntological - the music and accompanying sleeves take us on bucolic journeys - on Greenline buses, through leafy villages, to community swimming pools and beyond.
It was a real pleasure to work with Frances, and a dream come true to pretend, just for a few short weeks, that we were a record shop for one of the coolest labels on the planet.
We asked Frances a few questions about her work, the label and the artists she's worked with - check it out here