Ryan Foley

Ryan Foley

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Stylus Magazine

Disposable Pop: A History of the Flexi Disc

Flexi discs? Ah yes, the things that put the snap and crackle into pop...except they didn’t snap, obviously...that was the whole point...they bent...” -- Matt Haynes, founder of Sarah Records

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Stylus Magazine

There and Back Again: A Guided Tour to Sarah Records’ First 50 Singles

It’s rather fitting Sarah Records’ headquarters in Bristol were just minutes away from the Clifton Suspension Bridge, one of England’s most notorious suicide spots. Because for eight years, this independent label’s gossamer paeans and against-the-grain sensibilities had many indie pop fans wanting to take a flying leap.

070822 nick drake article
Stylus Magazine

Visiting Nick Drake

The visits made Gabrielle Drake apprehensive. Strangers in off-putting attire from places like America or Australia, arriving unannounced at her parents’ brick, Queen Anne home. They climbed out of vans in groups, or sauntered up individually on foot, never put off by Far Leys’ rather uninviting characteristics: the dark Georgian windows, the large, wooden gates at the foot of the driveway, its location at the end of a hushed, leafy Bates Lane.

Article070716 article
Stylus Magazine

Irish Folk: The Bluffer’s Guide

Why Irish folk? Why now? The easy answer: the ubiquitous summer Irish festival. Somewhere in America, there’s one place taking right now. Music, of course, is thoroughly showcased at such festivals, though it’s frequently done so without any context. The hope is this bluffer’s guide will provide the uninitiated with enough background should they find themselves enthralled with a particularly thrilling set of reels at such a summer festival.

061017 nme c81 article
Stylus Magazine


NME’s C86 cassette was promoted with a week-long series of gigs at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, spawned a genre of the same name, and is feted on a regular basis by blogs such as Indie MP3 – Keeping C86 Alive! Twenty years later, the compilation remains firmly entrenched in the indie pop enthusiast’s consciousness.

Article070917 article
Stylus Magazine

Brave New World: The Indies Go Digital

Named after a gang of miscreants in a B movie and run by a woman (Bettina Richards) once profiled in the New York Times under the headline, “It’s Her Label and She’ll Sign Who She Wants To,” Thrill Jockey has always been rather left-of-center when it comes to catalogue and convictions. So last November’s industry-shaking move came as a surprise to very few.

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Stylus Magazine

Mining the Niche: Indie Labels and the Internet

Last year, in a piece for the Guardian Unlimited, American writer Dave Eggers reveled in the delight of meeting an adolescent hero: Phil Wilson, one-time singer/songwriter for the ’80s pop band June Brides. Eggers regales, in I-walked-to-school-uphill-both-ways style, how he and fellow Anglophiles would puff 20 miles on beat-up Huffys to Evanston, Ill., to procure near-impossible-to-find vinyl and then bike back, albums snug inside cardboard-lined backpacks, safe from any pothole-induced creasing.

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Stylus Magazine

The Sound of Leamington Spa

During the early 19th century, affluent Britons suffering from maladies of all sorts trekked to the tiny hamlet of Leamington Priors. There, ailments such as gout and rheumatism were soothed (or, it was whispered, even cured) by the town’s multitude of mineral, saline springs, which had been rediscovered by residents in the 1780s. Bathhouses such as the grandiose Royal Pump Rooms and Baths—featuring the world's first gravity-fed piped hot water system—were constructed upon the springs, allowing vast throngs of the opulent to “take the waters.”