Communion signs with UMG’s Caroline International, exits Island deal

Popular independent label Communion Records has signed an exclusive global partnership (ex-US) with Universal’s label and artist services division Caroline International – bringing to a close its official relationship with fellow Universal UK company Island Records.

The news comes two months after another Universal entity, Capitol Records Group, signed a partnership with Communion for the US.

Formed in London in 2006 by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett, Bear’s Den member Kevin Jones and producer Ian Grimble, Communion has discovered and developed a roster of internationally successful artists including Ben Howard, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Gotye, Michael Kiwanuka and Daughter.

The debut album from Ivor Novello-nominated Bear’s Den, who recently announced a European tour culminating in a gig at London’s Roundhouse on October 27th, was released via Caroline International in November and the new partnership will build on that relationship, with all future signings being released through Caroline.

Previous Communion signings such as Gotye, Catfish & The Bottlemen and Ben Howard have been released via Island for the past three years.

Universal Music UK chairman & CEO David Joseph said: “The team at Communion have an extraordinary track record in discovering and nurturing unique new talent; our joint venture means the label can build on this success, with Caroline providing an outstanding international support network as they do so.”

“Michael Roe and Jim chancellor have assembled an exceptional team. We’d like to thank our friends at Island – with whom it has been a pleasure to work with for the last three years.”

Jamie Emsell, Communion

Communion Managing Director Jamie Emsell said: “We are thrilled to be moving into a new phase of our partnership with Universal Music, and expanding what is already an excellent working relationship with the team at Caroline.

“Michael [Roe] and Jim [Chancellor] have assembled an exceptional team, both in the UK and internationally, who take an approach to artist development and marketing that fits very naturally with our culture at Communion.

“We would also like to go on record to thank our friends at Island, with whom it has been an honour and pleasure to work with for the last three years.”

Caroline International Joint Managing Director Michael Roe said: “In the short period of time we’ve worked together, Caroline International and Communion have formed a mutual bond of respect through a shared love of music and a determination to develop and break artists internationally.

“When Jim and I first sat down to build Caroline, Communion, due to their success and demonstrable good ears were at the top of the list of labels that we agreed we would love to work with.

“The time spent working with Jamie, Kev, Ben and their positive approach to working in a partnership have only reinforced that view.”

Caroline International, winners of the Music Week Award 2015 for Label & Artist Service Company, provides services including marketing, promotion, A&R, commercial, sync and admin whilst utilising the global reach of Universal Music’s sales and distribution operations.

Caroline’s label and artist partners include Glassnote, Century Media, Peter Gabriel, Turnstile, Fiction, Laura Marling, Kaiser Chiefs, St Vincent, Glass Animals, Ben Watt, Oh Wonder, 50 Cent, Seasick Steve, Natalie Prass, Brody Dalle, Gaz Coombesand Sophie Hunger.

[Pictured: Back row L-R: Dominic Louth (Caroline International Head of Digital), Michael Roe (Caroline International Joint MD), Jamie Emsell (Communion General Manager); Front row L-R: Emma Greengrass (Caroline International UK Head), Helen Sims (Communion Label Manager), Kevin McCabe (Caroline International Head of Promotions)]Music Business Worldwide

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