2021 is a year that could be summed up with my favourite quote: ‘a constant battle, a ceaseless struggle in the face of adversity is the cost of all great achievements.’ As our community approaches its 100th drop, to have done this during such a time of upheaval has meant most days have been spent overcoming barriers that are constantly being presented.
Personally, this is an all-consuming mission that has given me purpose during a time where it feels like life has been otherwise put on hold. The current supply chain issues that are plaguing the music industry (along with many other industries) are no great secret. With demand for LP’s continuing to increase coupled with raw material shortages, worker isolation and trickier importation guidelines post-Brexit it’s become a tremendous undertaking to get records shipped to tight deadlines. I owe a great deal to all of our customers who have been patient and allowed us to work through rejigging of some of our releases as lead-times spiralled.
And although the situation currently has shown little sign of improvement I do think that we’re better placed going into next year. Campaigns will be dropped closer to their release date so there’s less time between ordering and receiving Blood releases and we would foresee that by the middle of next year, providing the pandemic does not once again shift, there should be some ongoing improvements in the situation globally.
I’m really proud that during this mad-year we’ve managed to be involved in a string of chart-topping breakthrough releases with the likes of Wolf Alice, Royal Blood, Inhaler, The Lathums, Architects and many more. We also managed to continue work on some fantastic charitable campaigns in the first part of the year; Voices For The Unheard; a collaboration between ourselves, Nova Twins and Dr Martens showcased a range of alternative P.O.C artists whilst raising money for The Black Curriculum and adding support to the Music Venue Trust’s ‘Save Our Venues’ fund via releases with This Feeling and Close-Up. As the supply chain issues begin to (hopefully) calm, we’re aiming to continue this work in 2022 and have already partnered with a major international charity on a compilation release that will be launched during the second half of next year.
We have a string of big releases planned during the first six months of next year which we’ve been quietly working on for a while behind the scenes, representing another big step forward for this community. In the last year I really feel like we’re honing in on what is great about Blood Records. A balance of major and emerging releases that are entirely exclusive and feature art direction that pushes the boundaries of what is currently possible in the format.
Ultimately, none of this is possible without our supporters, artists and community. None of this was easy but it would have been made much harder without your support and encouragement. Like everyone, we’ve had a lot of release dates chopped and changed and your patience, support and encouragement has given us all the will to keep moving forward. I hope you all have a great New Year and as always if anyone is having a tough time our DM’s are always open.