The soft “click” of a needle dropping on a record marks the starting point of an intimate listening experience, a journey that could be solely personal or shared with others. Whether it’s between musicians and fans at a live show or friends huddled over a spinning record, intimacy is what drives start-up Pulse Music SF.
In an effort to forge a sense of community, Pulse Music SF issues records, throws monthly house shows, puts out weekly newsletters and promotes bands through social media and apps. “Pulse seeks to create experiences that unify senses and people through music,” co-founder Elea Carey says. “A vinyl record you touch, an album cover that's an original work of art, or an intimate party where you make new friends.”
Integrity is a driving element of their ethos. As an artistic channel, Pulse Music SF looks for artists that value creativity, sincerity and mindfulness when they curate record compilations and book bands for shows. Founders Elea Carey and Ella Cooley brought Pulse Music SF to life in February of 2014. Since its early stages it has dug its hands into a variety of promotional platforms.
One platform the company uses is iOS apps. Pulse Music SF's parent company and lead investor, a software developer that wishes to remain anonymous, advises them on app-related projects that are currently in production right now. An example that’s currently in demo is an interactive app of music videos. “It’s like having a TV screen with nothing but videos and you change the channel with your finger,” Carey said. The app would update automatically every week with music videos of artists playing shows in the Bay Area.
Another idea founders Carey and Cooley are working with is to build an app for an artist that releases disassembled song bits to multiple users. The users then have to get together in order to play the full song. “Our team is technologically advanced,” Carey says. “Yet as a company we're very adept at creating real intimacy with real folks, sometimes using retro-technology.”
By retro-technology, Carey is refering to vinyl records; Pulse Music SF has issued two so far this year. Their first was a 7” single with artists Lyttle King and Tino Drima.
The company's second vinyl release is a compilation titled Serendipity, featuring eight Bay Area artists, including Coo Coo Birds and Kara Hesse, which had a limited, 300-copy release.
The third, currently in the works, is a Christmas-themed 7” by local band Happy Fangs.
While the company’s primary products are apps and records, its most popular outlet is regular house show. Pulse Music SF books artists to play a small show at a San Francisco residence roughly once each month. Their last show on September 15 filled out an apartment studio in the Richmond District. Eight-piece folk orchestra Patchy Sanders from Ashland, OR will headline an upcoming show in November.
Keeping their hands busy in multiple promotional channels may be an arduous undertaking, but such versatility is a key component to Pulse’s identity. “Pulse will always use technology hand-in-hand with human connection,” Carey says.
For more information about Pulse Music SF's upcoming releases and shows, visit pulsemusicsf.com and sign up for their newsletter. Pulse Music Presents Patchy Sanders on November 20, 2014 at a San Francisco location TBD. For tickets and information, visit eventbrite.com.