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Friday, May 4, 2018

Feature Friday: Kool Things PR

Kool Things

Welcome to another edition of the Floorshime Zipper Boot Feature Friday. Today we introduce you to Kool Things PR. Read what the have to say about their business, the artists they work with and the challenges they face.

Kool Things is a PR company, run by Sebastian Lugli and Laura Iacuzio (both in shoegaze band Rev Rev Rev), offering worldwide promotion and radio plugging in the independent network. We work for the standard PR results, but we are a bit different from other PRs because we are focused on shoegaze / post-punk / indie etc., the kind of music we love and know the most. Furthermore, we feel that working with music you truly appreciate is a big asset for getting higher results. In other words, instead of defining ourselves in terms of geographical borders, we identify ourselves in terms of music genre. 

We started Kool Things in early 2017, so we're barely one year old, but we've been lucky enough to work with some of our favourite bands and labels: Saint Marie Records, Secret Shine, Pia Fraus, Lotte Kestner, Amusement Parks On Fire... 

Our “promoting credits” include artists like Dave Catching (Eagles Of Death Metal), that was featured on Vast Asteroid's first LP, and Joey Burns (Calexico), on Richard James Simpson's debut solo album, and both Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie from Cocteau Twins: the first was featured in Crash City Saints' latest album, while the latter produced the new EP by Heligoland.

At a certain point of our path, we simply felt that the indie scene was lacking an affordable, no-nonsense PR capable of targeting a new record to the right audience, regardless of where it's located. Also, having faced as a band the issue of living in a country whose music scene is very self-referential, we felt particularly the need to get across the borders. Most Italian bands hire national PR agencies which promote the band only in Italy, while bands who play our kind of music have their potential followers scattered worldwide. Our goal is to establish a deeper connection between bands and their audience, through a network of passionate journalists, bloggers and DJs. Usually artists find us through word of mouth and recommendations by former customers. We also have ongoing partnerships with some labels, for which we promote all their new releases.

One of the main challenges we have to face is of course being competitive with bigger PR companies which have bigger marketing muscle to get their artists on major media outlets; we try and carve out our space in the market by focusing on music quality and sending media targeted submissions, bands they can actually appreciate. Also, we usually work with indie bands and labels and, like we know from personal experience in the first place, it's not always possible to be perfectly organized and meet deadlines. So we have to be flexible and always ready to change our plan when needed. 


Secret Shine
Bristol outfit Secret Shine, formed in 1991, are considered among the most inspiring shoegaze / dreampop bands of the first wave, a highlight of their production being the album 'Untouched', featuring single 'Loveblind', which entered the Top 20. Out via Saint Marie Records, the new album has been referred to as "the best thing Secret Shine has released to date" and has impressed, among others, Northern Transmissions, Drowned in Sound and Spill Magazine. 

Amusement Parks On Fire
Amusement Parks On Fire came to prominence in 2004 with the release of the eponymous debut album, entirely written and played by the then-adolescent founder Michael Feerick. On the strength of the recent 'deluxe' reissue of their acclaimed LP 'Road Eyes' (2009), characterised by Alternative Press as ‘a near-perfect album’, Amusement Parks On Fire are now set to come back: after the single 'Our Goal To Realise' and an extremely successful UK tour, the band is currently recording a new EP and gearing up for a European tour next spring.

Lotte Kestner

Lotte Kestner is the pseudonym of Anna-Lynne Williams, formerly the singer in folk/dreampop band Trespassers William and featured on the Chemical Brothers' Grammy winning album Push the Button; she recently garnered international attention when HBO series The Young Pope used her version of BeyoncĂ©'s “Halo” in a pivotal scene. Her new album Off White, out on Saint Marie Records, has been praised by influential media outlets including Culture Trip, Les Inrockuptibles and Popmatters.

Vast Asteroid
Hailing from Los Angeles, Vast Asteroid is a supergroup of sorts, made up of The Warlocks former bassist Mimi Star, seminal Mancunian punk-rock band Slaughter And The Dogs drummer Mark Reback and singer and guitarist James Poulos. Their debut album, which also features the likes of Dave Catching (Eagles Of Death Metal) as a special guest, is able to instantly bring together the lovers of shoegaze, cosmic rock, britpop and heavier stuff like stoner and desert rock.

Pia Fraus
Estonian dreampop veterans Pia Fraus are back with their first full-length album in almost a decade. Released on Seksound (Europe), Shelflife (US), and Vinyl Junkie (Japan), Field Ceremony is a triumphant return for the band, bringing back their signature dreampop sounds alongside fresh takes on pop structures. The band is now about to set out for a short tour of Japan and China.