Sub Pop signs big-name mystery act, is it Radiohead?

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Radiohead at Coachella in 2004. Photo by Travis Hay

Radiohead at Coachella in 2004. Photo by Travis Hay

Friday afternoon the Sub Pop blog became a big tease with a post announcing the label’s latest signing without actually announcing the signing.

Here’s a small snippet of the post, titled “Can you guess who/what artist(s) we signed?”

“… every once in a while, we take a break from all that t-shirt stuff and we get to sign an artist that we’ve been HUGE fans of for years—artists with an established fan base who would be welcome at any record label that they please (why they choose us, we’ll never know).

Well, this glorious and career-justifying event has just happened to us …”

The post features a 15-second snippet of a track from Sub Pop’s mystery signing and leaves readers to guess who Sub Pop signed. A majority of the guesses in  the comments section are Radiohead and after listening to the 15-second snippet, which is embedded below, it’s hard not to think that Radiohead’s new LP will be released on Belltown’s finest record label.

While Sub Pop signing Radiohead sounds pretty unbelievable, it is in the realm of possibilities. Radiohead is currently without a record label and Sub Pop is a very artist-friendly operation. An artist-friendly label is attractive to any artist but one with a reputation like Sub Pop’s, which has managed to stay small while working with several big-name artists (Fleet Foxes, Postal Service, Nirvana, etc. ), seems like a very good fit for a band like Radiohead. Sub Pop’s small size could work to their favor if Radiohead went knocking on their door (or vice versa) since Sub Pop wouldn’t need a huge cut of money from the band to stay afloat considering Radiohead will automatically sell tons of records. Factor in the tease that the blog post says the signee is “an established fan base who would be welcome at any record label that they please” and, well, it’s really hard to think it is not Radiohead.

So, did Sub Pop sign Radiohead? My gut says no, but it’s definitely hard not to rule it out. Thankfully we won’t have to wait long to find out who the mystery act is because the post states all will be revealed on Tuesday.


Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 14 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, and others and was the founder and editor of defunct music site Ear Candy.