Octagon Records celebrates its first single release by Department of Music band

The Department of Music's new record label, built by students to share new music from the University of Sheffield community, celebrates its first release by the band 'Autumn of Nothing'.

Singer for falling down

Octagon Records was established in 2023 by a proactive group of students looking to gain experience of working in the recoding and releasing music industry.

Supported by Neil McSweeney and Victoria Berry from the Department of Music staff team, the label have launched several exciting projects since September. This has included a weekly open mic night - attracting talent from across the city and creating a vibrant community of performers. 

Due to the growing interest of local artists and label members, Octagon Records has begun releasing songs onto the UK major streaming platforms. 

The first release by the band 'Autumn of Nothing', came out on 3rd November. 'Autumn of Nothing' is an alternative singer-songwriter group duo consisting of Tom Dallimore and River Ciccone, who started working together whilst in their first year of studying music at the University of Sheffield. They take inspiration for their original music from folk, jazz, musical theatre and electronic music.

'Falling Down' is their first single that has been released in anticipation of a full album release. View the music video:

Stream 'Falling Down'

Behind the Music

The band's vocal style is musical-theatre influenced, whilst also borrowing from artists like Lizzie McAlpine, Hozier and Jacob Collier. Their lyrics are poetic and somewhat cryptic - creating very beautiful yet haunting songs. Together the two bring lots of different sounds and styles to create a versatile, emotive and compelling band.

The signs around the Soundhouse music facility included asking students to turn the lights out when leaving the room, which inspired the line “Turn the lights out before the break of dawn”. Given the improvisatory style of writing with this song, it only took the pair about an hour to compose.

Tom recorded the instruments in his university accommodation, leading to a bathroom fan being heard in the background of the song. River’s vocals were then recorded in just three takes. The production turn over rate is high, so there will be more songs in quick succession for us to look forward to.

It's been a joy to work with the Octagon Records team as they have got the label set up and begun to shape the contribution it will make to the university community. Through my work setting up Hudson Records, I can appreciate the graft involved in getting to the point where you can actually start releasing music. I take my hat off to them. I'm sure this first schedule of releases is only the start of an exciting journey for the label and can't wait to find out what music projects might be possible when musicians and creatives across the university begin to make use of this valuable new resource.

Neil McSweeney

Senior University Teacher in Music Management 

Upcoming releases

Arthur Scrivener is a multi-instrumentalist currently focusing on music production in his Bachelor’s in Music at the University of Sheffield. He primarily focuses on creating a unique balance between accessible pop melodies with unique instrumentation and harmony, with notable inspirations from bands such as The Beatles, Talking Heads and Tame Impala.

His first solo release See You Strange will be coming out on November 24th. It is a song incorporating a strong drum groove matched with overt experimentation with synthesiser sounds, fusing a range of different genres and ideas into one tune.

For all media enquiries and further information about how to get involved, please contact octagonrecords@sheffield.ac.uk. 

Man playing guitar and singing into mic
Album cover with bird falling

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