It’s no secret that the music industry is wild and frenzied and can even be cutthroat, but we’ve been lucky here at The Music Mermaid. Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know tons of amazing individuals in this business from fellow music journalists to hardworking publicists to passionate labels and so many more. If you support The Music Mermaid, we think you should support these folks too!
Atwood Magazine: Led by editor Mitch Mosk, Atwood boasts a crazy talented team of writers who are constantly putting out A+ content. Their site design is beautiful, but their words are even more so. I’m inspired by (and totally jealous of) Atwood every day.
Sounds Good: Built by Adam Reeve, Sounds Good is the place to go for his adorable enthusiasm for whoever he’s writing about. He’s always working hard to give underrated artists the love they deserve. Catch him on Twitter if you want to witness his antics — and trust me, you do.
GoldFlakePaint: Tom Johnson and his team are saving music journalism as we know it. Their digital content is remarkable, but they recently went to print, crafting stunning love letters to music you can hold in your hands.
Peanut Mixtape: No matter which post you click on PM’s homepage, you’ll end up finding something new and exciting to listen to. Dale’s always on top of PM’s success, so they’re always shining a light on underrated work.
MusicNGear: Primarily a gear recommendation site, MusicNGear also has a bustling section of thoughtful editorial, specially curated playlists, artist spotlights, and tons more. Plus, I’m an editor there!
The Wild Honey Pie: One of the first music sites I ever read religiously, TWHP aren’t doing things like everyone else. They’ve got sweet illustrations, killer mixtapes, and they’re not afraid to get real about important subjects, all while giving us awesome music.
BrooklynVegan: BV has been providing valuable commentary and quick music news for over a decade — they’re consistent in their reporting so you can always stay right on top of what’s going on in NYC’s music scene.
Indientry: Run by Abby Jeffers, this Columbus-based publication is crazy committed to connecting a music-loving community through frequent reviews and other fun features.
SMALL ALBUMS: Think smaller than small when you’re thinking of SMALL ALBUMS. Think micro. They’re offering punchy, itty bitty, one-sentence reviews on their Twitter and Instagram (all of which are perfectly on-point), while being a frequent supporter of fellow music endeavors.
Full Volume: The guys behind Full Volume just want to talk about music — so they do and it’s awesome. They’re staunch supporters of underrated acts and always take the time to give them a little love.
For Hits and Gigs: Every day, I’m more and more impressed by Emily and Elise of FHAG. They’re ridiculously professional, organized, and have tailored their music enthusiast site to the community, bringing on board tons of passionate folks to talk all things music.
Lemonade Magazine: Launched a few years ago, Lemonade has since interviewed some big-name acts but they’re still modest, always coming back to their mission of supporting up-and-comers with reviews and interviews.
IHeartNoise: Led by music lover Ilya Sitnikov, IHeartNoise is constantly devouring all of the goings-on in the industry, plus they have their own label where they release limited edition tapes of some of their favorite music.
The Grey Estates: A music publication is only as good as its team, which founder Lauren must know. She brings her sunny personality to every post, building up a community of fellow music lovers who come for the music but stay for the passion.
For The Rabbits: Another impeccably designed site, For The Rabbits is super easy to navigate, but also offers a ton of thoughtful features on new artists.
Elmore Magazine: I was lucky enough to be an editorial intern for Elmore for two years, so maybe I’m biased, but it’s truly an amazing publication led by a team of music-loving folks who work hard to make it a great hub for Americana music news.
phluff: Launched by arts management (that was my major too!) student Delaney Motter and aided by a team of passionate content creators, phluff works to introduce new music by primarily marginalized voices. Plus the site is adorable.
Rob Sheffield: I always dreamed of writing for Rolling Stone, but when I read music journalist Rob Sheffield’s moving memoir Love Is A Mix Tape, I figured I’d best leave him to it. He is a remarkable writer able to extract both fact and emotion with every piece, a worthy voice in our industry.
Brandon Stosuy: Founder of The Creative Independent, a brilliant site in which creative professionals are invited to get real about their emotional and mental health, Brandon has contributed words for Pitchfork and Stereogum and proves to be not just another important voice in music journalism, but one who allows other voices to join in.
Marissa R. Moss: Nashville-based freelance journalist Marissa R. Moss has written for a ton of major publications like Rolling Stone, Billboard, and so many more, and she somehow always knows what she’s talking about. Plus, she’s got a knack for Twitter.
Allison Hussey: A music editor and writer with a prolific body of work across many major music publications, I really admire Allison’s thoughtful attention to detail, reporting, and narrative.
Sam Shepherd: Sam’s written for a bunch of places but is currently sharing his sonic insights for musicOMH and Nightshift Music Magazine. He’s always ready with A+ new music recommendations.
Biblioteka Records: Led by the insanely talented jack-of-all-trades Sofie Mikhaylova, Biblioteka is a badass experimental label working to provide a bigger space in the industry for LGBTQ, POC, trans, and women producers.
SoundEvolution Music: Formed by Rob Janicke, one of the most passionate and hard-working movers in the industry I know, SoundEvolution is constantly working to foster underrated artists and get the industry rolling again.
Topshelf Records: Every day, the talented team at Topshelf work hard to cultivate a label built on support and passion. Their roster is killer, so it’s not hard to love them, but they deserve a shout-out for the supportive and creative environment they’ve built.
Crafted Sounds: Pittsburgh-based independent label Crafted Sounds do everything themselves, putting out cassette tapes and seeking coverage for the roster they love. It’s a passion project, and they make that clear in all their hard work.
Mother West: Home to some of my most favorite artists, Mother West started out as a small indie label and has since evolved into a full-service music company specializing in music licensing, production, promotion, and so much more.
Forged Artifacts: Matt Linden started FA a few years back and the team has since become a respected resource on label management. They work hard to do what they love, but they always have time to provide helpful insights for musicians to succeed with.
Citrus City: Split between Virginia and Brooklyn, this sweet label is selling products, sure, but they’re also selling passion. They’re just a bunch of pals putting out the music they want people to love — a commendable goal in an industry that can often be corrupt.
Team Love Records: I still remember the first day I wandered into Team Love’s doors just an hour away from my house. I loved (still do) their roster and co-founder Conor Oberst is one of my favorite songwriters, but I had no idea it was situated in one of my favorite towns. The thrill was palpable. This label is a gem, boasting endlessly talented folks on its roster and led by a team of passionate people.
Artist Formula: Musician and entrepreneur Tyler Boone founded Artist Formula just last year, knowing exactly what musicians today need from artist services companies. He works insanely hard every day to help fellow musicians succeed through scoring playlist nods, radio play, promotions, and more.
Lost + Found: Based in Philly, Lost + Found is a touring and management company fostering a killer roster of indie talent. The founders know their music and they love their music so they’re qualified to convince us to too.
Under The Counter Tapes: Texas tape label UTC is led by Travis Shosa, a music lover and writer working passionately to give a little support to the bands he believes in who you probably haven’t heard of just yet. Some of his sales go to various charity organizations, too, so he’s in this for the love of it — seriously.
Grimalkin Records: Based in Richmond, VA, Grimalkin is operated by musician Nancy Kells who has built a creative collective and label raising money for social justice + civil rights organizations while focusing on queer, women / WOC, non-binary, + non-gender conforming artists. Together, they raise voices and they get loud.
Black Tube Socks: A new label out of Mesa, AZ by Bryce Kepner, Black Tube Socks is working to foster brand new bands just being born. Bryce is spinning his passion into business with this effort and I’m looking forward to working more with him and his roster.
Donut Sounds Record Co.: Founded by Brendan Walsh and J.R. Gast, Donut Sounds is a label built by super professional people who aren’t afraid to have a little fun in between all their hard work. Plus they make for great Twitter pals.
Jasper PR & Radio Music Plugging: Jasper is one of those companies you’re surprised by because they’re not in this for the money or the fame. Their one goal is just to help musicians, which they do whether they’re clients or not, an admirable quality. They offer real help and endless insights constantly because they care. We care right back.
Impulse Artists: Founder Nate Sirotta is fueled by a love for what he does — he is what makes working with Impulse Artists so fantastic, aside from their roster chockful of incredible talent. Nate is hard-working, passionate, kind-hearted, and prompt, all of which make it so easy and enjoyable to collab with his company.
The Press House: Another PR firm boasting a great roster, The Press House operates out of several huge music hubs with a team of super sweet publicists, all of whom make it a pleasure to connect with them.
Mystic Sons: Another PR agency I love working with is Mystic Sons, mostly because of their awesome team including James, Johan, Liv, and Jim. They are always professional, quick on their responses, and grateful.
Auteur Research: What I love most about Auteur is their tagline: telling people about great music. That’s exactly what they’re doing, but they’re far too modest — they boast a great roster, have a crazy kind team of publicists, and their website is immaculate.
Tallulah PR & MGMT: It’s probably weird to say this, but I’ll do it anyway. If I could be anybody, I’d probably be Ava Tunnicliffe, founder of Tallulah. She’s a badass, brilliant, creative professional who works so hard for her clients. I’m impressed by her and her team every time I work with them.
HIP Video Promo: Jersey-based video promo company HIP have been helping to promote tons of artists’ visuals for nearly two decades, and they’re always enthusiastic about doing it. Plus, publicity director Mike Kundrath is always prepared, kind, and grateful!
TAG Publicity: Led by seasoned publicist Tom George, TAG is a company that works endlessly, day and night, to make their clients happy and to convince new listeners to give them a shot. They’re one of the most diligent teams I watch succeed day by day.
Shawna Hudson: A publicist for Sideways Media in Los Angeles, Shawna’s been consistently great to work with and always so kind and appreciative. She makes me want to be a better publicist!
#WomenCrushMusic: I just learned about this organization recently, but I am beyond excited to get involved with them in any capacity. A non-profit organization designed to support women songwriters, #WomenCrush put on tons of great events and workshops all meant to support women in music, AKA the best initiative ever.
Adele Sakey: I see tons of photos as a music journalist, all of them sent over to me in a flurry the night before a review’s set to go live, but some of the ones I love seeing most (often on Twitter) are from Adele. Her photos are so special, beautifully framed and captured — it’s a gift.
Soundseeker Records: On their YouTube account, the music-loving team behind Soundseeker upload several videos a week to introduce undiscovered gems of music across all genres.
Sofar Sounds: Sofar changes the way music is seen and heard today. With branches all over the world, they plan and put on gigs for big-name artists and up-and-comers in intimate settings with passionate audiences. It’s a brilliant move in today’s music world and I can’t wait to see them continue to flourish.
No Earbuds!: When marketing specialist, PR guru, and overall music industry superstar Jamie Coletta launched her newest project, she purposely left it a little vague. All you need to know about No Earbuds! is that it’s a badass music discovery tool that makes searching for music more personal and more collaborative.
Ross Barber-Smith: Owner of Electric Kiwi, a company offering design and marketing services for musicians, Ross Barber-Smith is another clever music lover combining his passion and creativity to aid the industry.