The Teskey Brothers’ rare deal

Sam and Josh Teskey playing guitar

After 10 years of playing around Melbourne’s north eastern outer edge the four are an impressive band live but the public beyond, even in Melbourne, are oblivious to their talents.

This soon changes.

In September 2016 The Teskey Brothers upload their song Pain and Misery to Triple J Unearthed.

Marihuzka Cornelius, A&R Manager at Ivy League Records, is sitting at her desk in Woolloomooloo, Sydney, trawling the Unearthed website then, hearing their song, sits up.

“When I heard them, I thought, Oh my God, if I love this so much, you know, off the bat, surely other people will love this too.

“And I just never had a doubt that it would cut through because, you know, I always say you can’t fake good in my gut, I knew. I mean, and it’s so rare that you feel that.”

Marihuzka calls bass player and then-manager Brendon Love. His phone number’s on their website.

He mentions that she’s the first record label person they’d ever spoken to.

Then asks, “What is a record label? What do they even do?”

Marihuzka’s explanation is enough for Brendon to send a zip file of the forthcoming album, Half Mile Harvest.

The Teskey Brothers album cover for Run Home Slow

By mid 2017 with an album out, a manager and live booking agent on board, The Teskey Brothers aren’t in a hurry to court labels.

But labels continue to call. Not so much Brendon anymore, Jeremy Furze is their new manager who fields the inquiries.

“I was very quick to encourage the band to take it slow in terms of label to see took me a while to work out exactly what was going to be the best path for them label wise.”

There’s a growing buzz about the band from industry people in Los Angeles, New York, London and Berlin. There’s interest in label deals but the band isn’t jumping at anything.

A typically relaxed Josh Teskey remembers the hubbub.

“With all these little different spanners in the works, someone else would call in and give us an offer…you know, around the world and stuff (laughs). So we were kind of we, you know, we were thinking, Okay, we’re just going to go down this path now and then someone else would sort of swoop in and say, ‘Hey, how about this?’”

Off a recent album and without another in the works there’s little pressure to take a deal.

So the band take their time.

What they get is something rare, and something rather complicated.

They’ve navigated large label ambition in the territories of USA, Europe and Australia to get favourable local representation in each.

It’s a long process. Thankfully, for early adopter Danny Roberts (then) at Decca Records in London, it’s been worth it.

“Let’s get this clear, signing the Teskey Brothers — I’ve signed many acts in my career — but signing the Teskey Brothers was without a doubt the proudest moment of my career, partly due to the fact that it took so long and it took so much work in so many conversations.”

The Teskey Brothers’ Australian label, Ivy League Records, gave them this cake after Run Home Slow was released on 2 August 2019.

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Featuring Marihuzka Cornelius, Jeremy Furze, Danny Roberts, The Teskey Brothers and many more.