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27 years ago, Deep Elm released its first record...a white vinyl 45 on October 16, 1995. It's hard to believe that was two and a half decades ago. Two hundred and sixty releases later, I still remember it like yesterday...along with the ups and downs, the triumphs, the struggles, the glory, the gunfights and everything in between. I started Deep Elm with a bike, a backpack and a dream on the streets of New York City. I stuck to my guns in the face of adversity, never abandoned the principles on which I founded the label and always believed in the emotional power of the music Deep Elm continues to share with the world. These records, they're like true friends. They are there for us when we need them, they console us, they fill the empty spaces. I often think this music is the only thing keeping me alive. When time and life moves on and Deep Elm is only an afterthought in the rear view mirror, we will at least have these records. Something to say we were here. That we fought the good fight. And that we did it for all the right reasons...
This milestone is not about us, it's about You: the Bands who have entrusted us with their music; the Fans who have supported us; the Writers who have been so thoughtful with their reviews; the Clients who have chosen our music for their film, television and video projects; and the awesome Team of people behind the scenes that share our vision and work hard every day to give our bands a voice...you know who You are. It's because of all of You that we have been able to exist on a purely independent basis for twenty-five years. Thank You from the bottom of my often broken heart. Indie 'Til Death. Happy Silver 🤘🏽🖤 - John
Fiercely independent Deep Elm Records continues to build a better label - one that operates for glory, not gold. Deep Elm is about bands and fans coming together as one and experiencing music's awesome ability to inspire, comfort and console. Founded on respect for music, the creative process and the development of new artists, Deep Elm strives to further its reputation as one of the world's most reliable sources of quality independent recordings. A small but dedicated team provide all label services on an in-house basis including worldwide promotion, marketing, licensing, publicity, design and all internet-related operations including our hi-res digital download store (deepelmdigital.com) powered by Bandcamp.
Deep Elm is responsible for seminal releases by Lights & Motion, Christoffer Franzen, U137, The Lions Rampant, Carly Comando, Floating In Space, Athletics, Everything In Waves, The Appleseed Cast, Dorena, Moonlit Sailor, Latterman, Kid You Not and many more. Deep Elm is also recognized worldwide for our 12 volume compilation series "The Emo Diaries" featuring Jimmy Eat World and 150+ other amazing artists. You may be surprised to learn that Deep Elm's entire artist roster has been built solely by bands submitting their music to the label. Our bands call Deep Elm home because they want to, not because they have to. This is the way to build a record label. We release albums that move our hearts and for no other reason. Fairness to the artist and undying integrity in all that we do have been guiding principles at Deep Elm since day one. We're not just making music together, we're making history.
Deep Elm is recognized as one of the industry's premiere indie music licensing resources and has provided pre-cleared, cutting edge music to tastemakers worldwide from our catalog of 3,000+ original songs for 20 years. Our music has appeared in feature films, indie films, movie trailers, TV commercials, TV shows, movie soundtracks, video games, trade shows and online promotional campaigns. Our clients include Apple, Google, The Oscars, Warner Bros, NBC, Universal, Red Bull, Monster, Microsoft, Four Seasons, Audi, Aston Martin, Billabong, Barclays, BMW, Boeing, Rip Curl, Budweiser, Canon, Chevrolet, Comcast, Dell, GoPro, Fiat, Hershey's, Mattel, Met Life, NHL, NFL, Nissan, Hilton, Nike, Princess Cruises, Tesla, AMC, IBM, MSNBC, MasterCard, Make A Wish, USA Network, MTV, HBO, Vans, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, CBS, The CW and many more.
In 2020, Deep Elm proudly celebrated our 25th year as an independently owned and operated record label. Deep Elm is part of a threatened breed of "true independents" that exist for the love of music. Most so-called "indie" labels are, in fact, funded by major record labels and their affiliates. Not Deep Elm. On a completely self-sufficient basis, Deep Elm competes in an industry dominated by corporate giants...and wins. We have proudly remained 100% independent since our humble beginning. So if you like what you hear, spread the word. And we'll make sure these bands are there when you need them.
"A label primarily known for championing the emo movement through the late '90s and run by |
one of the more transparently stand-up label owners in the entire industry, John Szuch." - Chicagoist (Oct 2017)
"The best label in the world." - PostrockStar
"Everything they touch turns to gold..." - Golden Age
"The world's most reputable indie rock label." - Chord
"The best indie record label in the world." - Alternative Tone
"Deep Elm is still fucking killing it so hard. Awesome." - Bethlehems
"Deep Elm have once again proven themselves as a vital record label at the forefront of the post-rock movement." - Will Not Fade
"Deep Elm's lineup of post-rock talent never ceases to amaze me. The label just seems to have a knack for finding some of the best talent around." - Post-RockStar
"Deep Elm will always be a record label that I trust, because they just simply know where to find all the best talent, and time and time again releases great albums." - Absolute Punk
"The number of things Deep Elm Records has been over the past 21 years is impressive: an upstart label of emo bands before they were cool, the premier emo label in the world, an elite indie-rock label, the source for some of the finest post-rock in the game, and now a hub of dramatic piano-led music (and some dramatic acoustic-guitar-led folk-rock, too)." - Independent Clauses
"Deep Elm Records has become as much a mark of quality as it is a record label. Especially when it comes to post-rock, you know any release that has Deep Elm's name on it is going to be good, such is the plethora of talent on their roster that we have become accustomed to." - Rockfreaks
"You have the corporate sell-out, pseudo-indie labels who work hand in hand with major record companies for distribution and publicity, and then you have the keepers of the true faith, as exemplified by Deep Elm Records: untainted by commercial interests, true indie labels undyingly devoted to the music with a singular passion. Deep Elm has made a name for itself as champion of the independent artist." - Power Of Pop
"One of the most legit independent labels going." - Record Rebellion
"The 15 years that have passed since John Szuch launched the Deep Elm label must seem like a lifetime. During that span, not only has the music industry undergone a seismic shock to its once long operating system, but the emo that Deep Elm long fostered has gone from denoting a sound in the lineage of Sunny Day Real Estate to being used as descriptor for fashion. The label has weathered both with great poise, preparing itself for the future while also not abandoning the music or principles by which the label has long defined itself." - Limewire
"The number one independent label...Deep Elm." - Truepunk
"Deep Elm Records has built a label that is home to countless amazing bands and helped a passionate community of music fans discover new artists while remaining 100% independent. In fact, it's nearly impossible to find an article talking about Deep Elm without the words "best" and "reputable," arguably the two most important adjectives to earn as a record label." - Soundsupply
"Seeing the Deep Elm Records logo attached to any release is an automatic seal of approval for me, and is it any wonder why? When it comes to indie and post-rock music, there isn't another label out there in possession of a stronger arsenal than what Deep Elm boasts. And they haven't just provided us with some of the seminal albums of the past decade, but also with bands that could set the benchmark for the next..." - RockFreaks
"Here is a proper indie label par excellence. Oft times 'indie' labels are just affiliates of some crushing international corporation but sometimes they are from the real deal, like the wonderful Deep Elm. A label of passion and conviction, relying on the quality of its artists and their music and not a bunch of over-hyped puff, this is the stuff we all should support. If there is nothing here that excites you then presumably you have already passed to the other side." - Music Always Gives Me A Lift
"Deep Elm furthers its long-running reputation with epic, emotional ambient rock." - The Big Takeover
"Deep Elm Records has catalogued an impressive arsenal of under-the-radar musicians and bands for more than a decade. This year's crop though just might be their strongest." - Absolute Punk
"An untarnishable reputation for delivering legions of great music." - Go211
"Having built an immaculate reputation through the discovery and fostering of a cascade of impressive punk and alt-rock acts, Deep Elm is one of America's true great independent pioneers." - The Downloader
"Deep Elm Records has one of the best catalogs I have seen in a record label in quite some time. From known bands like Moving Mountains and The Appleseed Cast to upcoming stars like Desoto Jones, Moonlit Sailor and Goonies Never Say Die, Deep Elm knows what good music is." - MuzikDizcovery
"One of THE legendary underground record labels in the USA." - Die Shellsuit Die
"A super-hip independent label..." - Punk Planet
"One of the world's most respected independent labels." - Evening Gazette UK
"Deep Elm Records has an amazing track record of consistency. While labels around them seem to adopt genres, change styles, break, fold and sell, this independent enterprise has never once wavered and for years now, has released some of the most intriguing and captivating indie rock and emo records." - Marshalltown
"Only Dischord can match Deep Elm for earnestness." - New Noise
"Deep Elm is at the forefront of the underground scene and never takes their fanbase for granted." - Zink
"When you sign to Deep Elm Records, it must pretty much confirms that your band is good." - Pure Music
"Deep Elm have proven themselves as one of the founding fathers of contemporary independent music...the leading light of the indie / emotive scene that progresses to a new level with every new release." - Big Cheese
"Deep Elm has long been one of America's most prolific and most consistent indie rock labels." - Ice Magazine
"Deep Elm continually blows me away with the quality and depth of bands it seems to effortlessly pluck from local punk scenes around the globe." - Pee
"Like Epitaph, Sub Pop and Dischord, Deep Elm continues to trace the expansion of one of punk's many offshoots. This is indie rock, make no mistake. Deep Elm is admirable in it's DIY-spirit." - Kerrang
"Deep Elm is THE label. The main reason is that none of their bands play without originality. It's a beautiful thing. Deep Elm no longer has anything to prove..." - Lollipop
"While so many labels are sinking lower and lower into juvenile trends and cashing in on faux-fads, Deep Elm is expanding their roster in the opposite direction with fiercely one-of-a-kind, credible indie bands." - Wreck The Place
"Deep Elm just happens to represent most of the best indie rock bands in the scene. Every band has their own sound, personality, songwriting style and musical focus. The diversity manifested is inspiring to say the least. An onslaught of what is truly respectable in the underground." - Bandoppler
"Deep Elm is one of the most eclectic and adventurous record labels around right now." - Punktastic
"It's hard to say a bad word about anything that comes out on Deep Elm, a label that's 100% independent in the tradition of Dischord. Not only is their mission to put art before profit and create a non-exclusive music scene, but their execution is unparalleled as well. You can bet your bottom dollar that care and attention have gone into anything that bears their logo, from recording quality to artwork to promotion." - Rockpile
"Deep Elm continues its legacy in being the best post-punk rock label out there." - DogPrint
"I can't think of another indie rock label with a track record like Deep Elm's. One release after another kicks my ass with a certain brand of melodic, tense hardcore. Deep Elm has tapped into a vein of post-punk that doesn't quit." - Option
"Deep Elm has become a beacon in the ever-expanding sea of independent rock." - Ear Pollution
"My respect and admiration has shifted to Deep Elm. The fact of the matter is that they are putting out good music while doing one helluva job of staying away from the politics that plague the scene. A label that remembers why we're all doing this in the first place." - Action Attack Helicopter
"Deep Elm has an amazing back catalog...easily one of the best in existence." - Pastepunk
"Deep Elm has the solution. Amazing bands writing amazing post-hardcore songs. I can't stress the care with which Deep Elm has taken in signing their acts, the talent and ability that they look for, and the incredible musicians that they have showcased. Support this amazing label. " - Smother
"Expect to be impressed by a label that is the finest at what it does." - Jersey Beat
"Keep up to date with the multitudes of faultless indie rock records that Deep Elm kindly throws your way..." - Fracture
"Deep elm is one of the very finest labels around you MUST buy their releases, if not at least their samplers - and having bought them you WILL buy all their records." - Steve Lamacq, BBC Radio One
"I dig nearly everything I hear from Deep Elm Records. The diversity keeps you eagerly anticipating what the next band might sound like. All in all, Deep Elm comes out more solid than ever as an unpredictable yet highly consistent label putting out unique and passionate music." - Pastepunk
"Deep Elm has developed an uncanny knack for releasing some of the most impeccably melodious yet edgy music the underground is capable of producing." - Drowned In Sound
"These days brands are little more than visual pollution, but Deep Elm reminds us that a logo can, in the best circumstances, be a stamp of quality." - Deep Fry Bonanza
"Deep Elm has established itself as one of the most reliable curators of indie music. A label that can be trusted to deliver a sound they believe in, Deep Elm always comes through with bands that rock as though it were a new art form..." - Splendid
"One can't deny that Deep Elm is the most consistent record label in existence or that their bands are simply the best in creating textures and moods. One can't deny Deep Elm's importance and respectable 'do-it-together' philosophy." - Law Of Inertia
"These bands are some kind of unbelievable; they are young and fresh, with very original ideas and more importantly, good songs. The Deep Elm Records roster is one of the finest around today." - Truepunk
"In a time when the term 'independent' is loosely applied to subsidiaries of giant conglomerates, Deep Elm stands as one of the most durable, important and truly independent record labels. It is beholden to no other company and continues to be shaped by the enthusiasm and vision of its founder." - Action Attack
John Szuch, Founder / Owner
From thousands of messages Deep Elm has received from fans, we selected the ones below to share with you. When the going gets tough, we find ourselves re-reading these letters. They make it all worthwhile for our staff, band members and all the other people that make Deep Elm possible. Knowing that we've made a difference or helped someone breathe a little bit easier...well, we can't ask for more than that. Without fans like You, none of this would be possible. |
"Deep Elm Records is the benchmark for what we believe in about music: passion, integrity and independence."
"You guys put out some of the best records! I've been following you for a while and just wanted to say thanks. Thanks for helping one push through hard times, and being there during the celebrations, nothing but great music coming out of Deep Elm. I appreciate the depth in the music that gets produced, and it continually gives me an uplifting push towards my own goals. You guys rock, keep pushing the boundaries. Much love!"
"Thank you for doing what you do. You're making a beautiful contribution to music with Deep Elm..."
"I really love what you guys are here. Keeping music honest, keeping listeners honest. You guys are a bright light in an otherwise murky industry. I recommend you to everyone. Keep doing what you guys do. You have my sincere respect and support."
"Just wanted to tell you how much i appreciate what you do..the fact that you remain 100% independent and consistently put out so much mind blowing music is truly remarkable. As an independent musician myself i understand the struggles all too well. I dream to one day have something released by a label such as you...in the meantime keep doing what you're doing and I'll keep supporting it!"
"With every new release I am falling deeper into the Deep Elm rabbit hole. Thank you for putting these amazing bands out there!"
"Music has always been the one thing to consistently make sense in life this far. Thank you for introducing me to some of my favorite bands while remaining independent. Keep up the incredible work you're doing. Much love from Ontario!"
"Greetings from Greece! I want you to know that I really like deepelm! Great music-great prices- amazing attitude! So glad I found you!! I heard many preview-demo-tracks from deepelm and I was so excited that I've ordered many of them! The music of Moonlit Sailor, U137, Lights & Motion, Appleseed Cast, etc became my everyday life soundtrack! I drive my car by listening to this music, daydreaming with this music! Your music opened new-amazing horizons from me! Your music is so amazing and refreshing! Thanks for your amazing music! Keep on! Bravo!"
"I don't have the words to thank you enough. Thank you to the musicians for crafting beauty, the technicians and producers for allowing it to be heard, to everyone at Deep Elm for spreading love through music, you make the lives of many so deeply enriched and positive, THANK YOU xx"
"Amazing work. As an aspiring audio engineer, I am pretty astounded by this label. One to spread the word about, for sure. Everything from the amazing collection of artists to the 'sounds like' feature on your site aligns with my personal mentality, and your unique professional fibers are refreshing. I wish you all the best, keep up the great work!"
"It doesn't take an expert to see that music business has changed over the past years. Today so much music exists, yet less records are sold than ever before. Music is still very much alive inside of us, however there is a significant lack of economic support for today's artists. As both a musician and fan in my small town scene, it's clear we can not survive professionally on unpaid gigs and unsold albums. Professional artists are fewer and fewer, and yet we refuse to stop making music. And in these modern times, I understand that keeping an independent label such as Deep Elm afloat isn't an easy task. You're right. The paragraph at the top of your fan-mail page says it all. Some days, it really does feel discouraging. And yet, here we are. So here I am. Neglecting my university paper due tomorrow morning, exhausted after working all weekend, listening to The Appleseed Cast's 'Low Level Owl' volumes on repeat and regretting absolutely nothing. My faith in music has been restored. I've said it before and I'll say it again: kudos to you, Deep Elm!"