Michael Gudinski's Mushroom Group Revamps Liberation, Launches Bloodlines Label

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Vance Joy performs during Lollapalooza at Grant Park on Aug. 5, 2017 in Chicago.

Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Group will launch a new label, Bloodlines, as part of a relaunch of its flagship label Liberation Music. 

From this point on, the 15-year-old Liberation Music will be rebranded Liberation Records and led by A&R ace Damian "Damo" Slevison, who is elevated to managing director. The Melbourne-based music man’s promotion is reward for identifying and nurturing a string of homegrown success stories, including The Temper Trap and many others on the Liberation roster. 

“When my father and Warren Costello started Liberation Music in 2000 it was the only recorded music label within the group. As a result it, by circumstance, became ‘home’ to a wide variety of artists,” comments Matt Gudinski, executive director of the Mushroom Group, on the re-brand. “In the past decade, under the A&R direction of Damian Slevison, Liberation has forged a path domestically and internationally as a real force in the development of Australian music.  The time feels right to cement the musical philosophy and development focus that Damo has brought to Liberation.”

The indie label’s revamp comes after a period of growth and the expansion of its domestic artist roster, which has enjoyed local and international breakthroughs, industry awards and hits with the likes of Vance Joy, Dan Sultan, British India, Husky, Emma Louise, D.D Dumbo, Gordi and, of course, The Temper Trap.  

With a focus on current and younger acts, forthcoming releases on the Liberation slate include albums by British India and Slum Sociable, and new singles from Julia Jacklin and Mansionair. Also, expect a new album from Vance Joy in 2018, the first single from which, "Lay It On Me," has gone gold Down Under.

“It’s an exciting new phase for the label and an honor to move into this next chapter with such an inspiring collection of diverse artists,” notes Slevison, who joined the company in 2004. “With Michael and Warren’s support many of our artists have achieved wonderful success on Liberation, and we’re proud to honor the strength of their past Liberation links as we move forward to this exciting new stage. Our label team couldn’t be more focused on this opportunity to re-vitalize our branding and further enhance our development of new Australian music talent.”

Founded in 1973, Mushroom Group is now home to more than twenty companies which reach into touring, booking agencies, record labels, publishing, merch and marketing services, venues, exhibition and events production and now branding, through its recently launched agency, Mushroom Creative House. On the company's 30th anniversary in 2013, Mushroom Group founder and chairman Michael Gudinski realigned his indie music powerhouse and promoted his son Matt to executive director.

When it launches in late 2017, Bloodlines will offer a full range of creative services to its stable of heritage acts. 

“Warren Costello and I chose the name ‘Bloodlines’ because it reflects ‘family’ and ‘pedigree’ and honors the past but, equally importantly, looks to the future,” Michael Gudinski explains in a statement.

On the changes at Liberation, Gudinski had this to say: “The Liberation name has been in and around Mushroom for a very long time and has under-pinned the successful careers of many musicians and performers. Equally, Liberation has always enjoyed a great reputation globally, and I couldn’t be happier that Damian Slevison will continue to grow and develop it for many years to come.”