What do Adele, Radiohead, Dizzee Rascal, The XX, Basement Jaxx, The Prodigy, and The White Stripes all have in common?
They all signed albums to the same record label - XL Recordings - the leading independent in the UK responsible for breaking the careers of some of Britain's most iconic music acts.
So why does this matter?
This week's Blueprint focuses on Ed and Tom Russell - the Welsh brothers better known as Overmono.
On May 12th, Overmono released their incredible debut album Good Lies, reaching #11 in the UK album charts and missing out on the top 10 by 17 sales.
So what have Overmono done on social media during the album campaign that has caught my eye? Let's take a look.
Are Overmono dance music's next iconic dance duo?
The UK music scene did rather well when it comes to discovering iconic music duos. The Chemical Brothers. Underworld. Pet Shop Boys. Coldcut. Goldfrapp. Fabio and Grooverider. Maribou State. Disclosure. Bicep. I could go on..
Could we be adding Overmono's name to this list one day?
When you listen to Overmono's music, you can hear influences from all of the artists listed above. Overmono fuses together elements of head-spinning electronica, garage, hardcore and techno to create big-room bangers that you can listen to anywhere from underground clubs to public transport.
Can they do it without selling out?
Good Lies appeals to the diggers on Bandcamp and the everyday BBC Radio 6 listener. But their worldwide growth as artists means they are now having a crack at international stardom after supporting The Chemical Brothers in Seattle and Santa Barbara and packed-out dance floors across both weekends of Coachella.
What all of the artists who have previously released on XL Recordings have in common is they all have managed to maintain their credibility. You would think considering Overmono's humble backstory, they can do the same.
More of The Blueprint…
Single releases work as a waterfall system
As with any album campaign from a leading artist in 2023, the campaign was built around key singles ahead of the album launch. Overmono released four singles throughout the campaign (Is U, Good Lies, Calling Out and Walk Thru Water), with the popular hit So U Kno added to the album despite its release on their fabric compilation in 2021.
These four singles account for over 12 million streams on Spotify.
Dobermans play a huge role in Overmono's branding
Dobermans regularly feature in Overmono's artwork and music videos. The German dog breed was first featured in Overmono's 'Everything You Need' music video in 2020 and has been a regular character in the artist's brand ever since.
Good Lies artwork features a Doberman staring optimistically towards the sky, tongue wagging from the side of its mouth.
You could say that a Doberman and rave culture have a lot in common. Both are notoriously misunderstood and made out to be dangerous despite their gentle spirit and lovable qualities.
Every album campaign needs merch
Now here is where Overmono and XL Recordings have done something different.
Good Lies dropped on the week of the King's Coronation. As a celebration of British culture, Overmono released two pieces of merchandise that are as British as it comes - a tea towel and a plate. Yep, you read that right. You can purchase an Overmono tea towel and plate.
Is there anything more British?
What else did they do?
Well, there's more.
You could purchase these tea towels and plates at a pub named 'The Two Dogs' - where the whole team hung out to celebrate the release of the album.
Here you could also purchase Overmono lighters - if you're gonna take over a British pub, you need a branded lighter, right?
So what about a launch party?
Just like every album needs a merch campaign, it now also needs an unannounced DJ set in a unique location. Overmono did three.
The first took place in Bristol on Coronation Day. A few hundred young ravers turned up just a few hours after the duo announced the location on their Instagram Stories. Bristol's notorious 'Beat Pit' is an urban space in the middle of a roundabout outside the city centre and right next door to Bristol's police HQ.
The next two pop-up events took place in London with Overmono playing at Rough Trade East and fabric. The fabric event was an invite-only, with the brothers playing b2b with Joy Orbison to celebrate the album launch on Spotify at midnight.
That's it for this week's Blueprint. You know where to find me with your questions or feedback on this week's Blueprint.
Let me know what took from this and if anyone can make me some Socially Sound tea towels, I'm keen 🫖
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