Hometapes has operated from Portland for four years. But unlike many of the small labels that make the city an indie-music hotbed, you don’t trumpet yourself as a “Portland” label. Why?
Adam Heathcott: We didn’t want to show up and be, “We’re the new record label!” I’d rather make connections naturally, through the weird streams of life. Sara Padgett Heathcott: And, really, we work globally. We have roots everywhere. Little Rock, where we’re from, is just as important to Hometapes as Portland is.
You release and market 10 albums a year from your house. How does that work?
Sara: We have speakers in every room, including the shower. Beyond that, the house is a hub of activity: people who work for us, visiting artists, and our own creative frenzies.
How goes the matrimonial division of labor?
Sara: Adam and I comanage the label. I work full-time to run the day-to-day activities—everything from artist management to visual art to print production to PR to accounting. We get additional assistance from friends willing to spend a night watching a movie and stuffing envelopes. Adam has a day job at Wieden & Kennedy, and that’s a factor, too. He brings home influences from there, and that affects my work.
And now you’re releasing your first Portland act, the anthemic art-pop band AU. Why them?
Adam: I heard their last album right about the time I had the job offer from Wieden, so I said, “When I get to town, we should hang out.” When I finally met them, it was all hugs and smiles, and I thought, “If we ever sign a Portland band, it will probably be AU.” That’s kind of how it works with most bands. It’s more than a business relationship.
How does living in Portland differ from living in Little Rock?
Sara: I don’t feel as nutty here—I feel like we share a nuttiness with the city. And when I travel, I now realize what a weirdo I’ve officially become.
Five Hometapes Artists
From East to West
- Slaraffenland Copenhagen, Denmark: Electronica meets art-rock in peaceful, free-form anthems.
- Megafaun Durham, North Carolina: Folk collides with jazz and sound collage.
- Shedding Louisville, Kentucky: Eerie vocals atop birdsong and sci-fi hum
- Nick Butcher Chicago: Evocative loops of notes and found sounds
- Ormonde Seattle (and Texas): Lush, laconic duets that modernize the desert ballad