New-wave pioneer Dave Robinson, co-founder of seminal British label Stiff Records, is starting a new indie, Shell.

New-wave pioneer Dave Robinson, co-founder of seminal British label Stiff Records, is starting a new indie, Shell.

Shell will have U.K. distribution by Nova, via Pinnacle. The label's first album release will be "Best Laid Plans" by Nashville-based singer/songwriter Sandra McCracken, due Aug. 2 in the United Kingdom. The single "Last Good Bye" will precede it July 26. Shell licensed the album for Europe from McCracken's self-funded eponymous U.S. label.

McCracken has released two previous self-funded albums in the United States, "The Crucible" in 1999 and "Gypsy Flat Road" in 2001. Booked for the U.S. by Third Coast Artists Agency, she has toured extensively in the Midwest. After a U.K. visit that included a show last week at London's Borderline, she resumes U.S. touring July 1 in Charlotte, N.C.

Since the heyday of Stiff, which brought such artists as Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and the Damned to prominence, Robinson has had a lower-profile involvement in various ventures. He ran his own label Phoenix for a period in the early '90s and, more recently, worked with Festival Mushroom Records on the development of U.K. label Doublethink.

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