It was back in July of 2021 that fans of Aussie music received word that they were witnessing the veritable end of an era, with beloved indie label Popboomerang announcing it was shutting up shop for good.
However, while label founder Scott Thurling noted in what was ostensibly his final Facebook post to fans that he was proud of Popboomerang’s output across the last two decades, neither he nor supporters of the iconic label realised there was still a little more left in the tank.
“Being locked up can do funny things to you,” Thurling explains in the liner notes to the label’s penultimate release. “I will admit to feeling a little frustrated on July 24, 2021, when I made the announcement to end Popboomerang Records.
“The news might have been a surprise to some, but it was one I had been contemplating for a while.
“Covid-19 challenges to running a label were the tipping point after 18 months of cancelled live events and the gigantic increases in the price of international postage which was making exporting physical products almost impossible.”
Having kicked things off with Sarah Sarah’s Sing Til It Hurts back in 2002, Popboomerang unveiled a seemingly never-ending array of releases over its 20 year lifespan, with artists such as Tamas Wells, Frente!, Bryan Estepa, Skipping Girl Vinegar, The Steinbecks, D. Rogers, and The Sugargliders serving as just some of the names to have releases material on the label over the years.
However, it seemed that both fans and artists weren’t content to let Popboomerang end with the release of The Bell Streets’ Monument, and before long, plans were put in motion for a farewell compilation.
Dubbed Marching Out of Time, the 40-track compilation is set for release on April 1st, and features rare and unreleased recordings from the roster, including names like Remake Remodel, The Aerial Maps, Four Hours Sleep, Mick Thomas, Livingstone Daisies, Little Murders, The Gaze, and much more.
The compilation takes its title from a song by beloved Melbourne outfit The Killjoys, who penned the song about the label and the battles to survive in an indie label landscape.
“We wanted to write a song about Scott and the Popboomerang label; about people who do things differently,” explained Anna Burley and Craig Pilkington of The Killjoys.
“In a lot of cases people like Scott do all the work, their passion keeps the music scene alive and they are often out of step with friends and family who lead more conventional lives. Of course, it had to be a pop song too.”
Though the tracklist can currently be viewed via Bandcamp, Popboomerang is in the process of revealing one song per day until the compilation’s release on April 1st. Limited edition numbered CD sets are also available for pre-order now.
For those worried that Thurling might be disappearing entirely from the world of releasing music, there’s no need to worry just yet, with his efforts also being utilised by the Sound As Ever label, which spawned from the inexplicable popularity of the Sound As Ever (Australian Indie 90-99) Facebook page.
While Marching Out of Time is slated to be the label’s final compilation, it is however noted as being the penultimate release under the Popboomerag name, though no details have been announced as to what the final one will be. Could it be the elusive PB:077? Only time will tell.
Popboomerang’s Marching Out of Time is set for release on April 1st, with pre-orders available via Bandcamp.