Milk Records! Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett | Photo by Dave Simpson/WireImage

Milk! Records to Close at the End of 2023, Announces Final Release

Beloved Melbourne label Milk! Records have announced they’ll be shutting down operations at the end of the year. The news was announced in a short statement on socials earlier today, with the label writing they were “so grateful for the last decade of love and support”.

“We are super proud of all the amazing music we’ve had the honour to be a part of releasing,” the team wrote. “Thank you to everybody who has been a part of this journey, you know who you are, you are all legends and we will see you out at a show somewhere!”

Courtney Barnett: ‘Start Somewhere’, ‘Life Balance’ and ‘First Slow’

Milk! Records will be going out with one final release: a new instrumental album from founder Courtney Barnett. Titled End Of The Day, the album consists of music from the 2021 documentary about her career, Anonymous Club. Barnett scored the film alongside longtime friend and Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa. Three of the tracks – ‘Start Somewhere’, ‘Life Balance’ and ‘First Slow’ – have just been released; the full album will arrive on Friday, 8th September.

Milk! Records was launched by Barnett in 2012 as a way to release her first EP, I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris. In an interview with The Guardian, published today, Barnett says it was a scrappy operation from the beginning. “There was no other support or money,” Barnett recalls about the early years. “The only thing was the logo.”

The label would go on to release music by some of Australia’s best talent, including Liz StringerJen Cloher, Jade ImagineTiny Ruins, Loose ToothHachikuEvelyn Ida Morris, and many more. Cloher, Barnett’s former partner, jointly ran the record label until a couple of years ago after the two split.

“Somebody referred to me as creative director and Jen as label manager,” Barnett told The Guardian. “It was so DIY… We were just trying to get things done. And making it up as we went.”

Earlier this year the label released a compilation album titled Milk! Records Remixed Vol. 1, in celebration of their 10th anniversary. When asked by Double J why now is the time to close the label, Barnett admitted she didn’t really know.

“I don’t completely know the answer to that question yet,” she told the station. “The why, the how, or any of those things. But I just know now just seemed like it was the right time.”

Further Reading

Courtney Barnett, Jen Cloher, Jade Imagine Remixed on Forthcoming Milk! Records Remix Compilation

Milk! Records Announces 10th Birthday Shows feat. Courtney Barnett

Sleater-Kinney Share First New Song Since 2015, Sign With Milk! Records

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