Whimsical originally sprang to life in 1999, when Edinburgh band EMPORIUM began issuing limited edition promo cd’s to radio and press.
The previous year , while sending out demo tapes for reviews and airplay, Emporium’s music had been described by one journalist as ''whimsical pop with an adventurous sound''. This quote in Front magazine prompted the band to create a label name, and as the format for presenting their music was changing from cassette to cd , it seemed like the ideal time to create Whimsical Records.
The very first promo release was the single e.p Zombie (EMPS1) which won great acclaim on BBC Radio Scotland’s Beat Patrol. In fact, featured song Sleeping Dogs made the show’s year end top 10 tracks, as published in NME during December. The Emporium album A fine fine line (EMPCD1) was also issued at the tail end of ’99, along with a second promo single Elevate (EMPS2), much loved and much played by indie music champion Jim Gellatly on Scotland’s Beat 106.
In 2000, via a demo targeting service ad in the NME, Emporium’s music was mailed out to 15 record labels and publishers. One of these companies just happened to be a sister to distributors Shellshock, and, as they liked what they heard , it was suggested that the band should release a single (via Shellshock) on their own label.
Email Eddie (EMPS3), the first nationally distributed Whimsical release appeared in the shops on January 22nd 2001.It was followed by a second e.p Lisa on the screen (EMPS5), and an album Hallucinations (EMPCD3) which was made album of the month on 2 European radio shows, including the much loved Popscene.
Between 2001 and 2005 Whimsical issued 3 Emporium singles and 2 albums via the Shellshock deal, generating copious amounts of critical acclaim and a large catalogue of radio plays for the band and label, at the same time helping to create a hefty database of media contacts, whilst building up valuable business experience in the technicalities of releasing music to the market place.
Using this experience, it was decided during 2005 to develop Whimsical further, with a view to contracting artists, not only to the label, but to the newly created Whimsical Songs publishing arm.
And so, via a licensing and publishing deal, SUNSHINE VARIETY CLUB were the first signing in September 2005. The girl with the crooked smile / Bone idle pop idol (ICAL1) was released on January 17th 2006, achieving airplay on BBC Radio 2 and becoming Steve Lamacq’s single of the week on BBC 6 Music, where it was also given a glowing review on the long running BBC show Roundtable.
Further physical release and digital download licensing deals were then secured including
ALFIE KINGSTON’s I will wait (ICAL2) and BIG LIFE DESIRE’s debut single Your love is (ICAL3) which was also contracted in July to an American company for inclusion on the dvd release Project Everlasting, the first synch placement for Whimsical.
The label/publisher signed its first recording deal in May ’06 with Scottish band
JACK BUTLER. Their debut single Velvet Prose (ICAL4) was released on September 25th to rave reviews, and was playlisted by XFM London, helping to propel it into the official UK indie charts - the pinnacle to an exciting and encouraging 12 months in the continuous growth of Whimsical.
2007 saw the release of a 21 track various artist compilation
ELEVATE (ICALCD1) which met with rave reviews, and featured 2 tracks licensed by Whimsical to the American feature film 'Pinko's Place'.
ADAM TEDDER's debut single It'll be soon (ICAL5) followed along with Jack Butler's second single, the highly acclaimed Boy vs. Beast (ICAL6). Recording of their debut album continued.
A new subsidiary imprint was formed in summer 2007 - PLATFORM RECORDS - which also offered a label service to artists. First release was by THE SHERMANS, their debut single Calling it wrong reaching UK indie chart no 23.
NATASHA ENGLAND's UK top 10 single also got a re-release on Platform. Iko Iko, a summer hit in 1982, has sold almost one million copies worldwide, and Platform are delighted to have given this classic it's first ever digital outing.
BIG LIFE DESIRE aka the multi-talented Keith Harbottle issued his debut album dribs and drabs in the latter part of 2008, another Platform release. This followed NATASHA ENGLAND's 42 track double cd anthology Back from the mists of time which contained her complete set of 80's recordings, delighting fans who'd waited 2 decades to see her vinyl albums transferred to cd for the first time.
Whimsical expanded from it's Edinburgh birthplace into London towards the end of '08, and saw it's first new signing in 2 years with new wave 4 piece THE FIRM recording 2 tracks for their debut single (and video) Dismal Results (ICAL8), scheduled for release on March 9th 2009. JACK BUTLER also returned in December '08 with the single Are you a hustler? (ICAL7), which is taken from their 13 track debut album Fit the paradigm (ICALCD3) - due to be unleashed on April 27th 2009, and preceded by the single (and video) Hit it out the park, son (ICAL9) on March 9th 2009 - set to be our busiest year to date...