Main Image: Emma and David Kruse of Enemy Love Records (supplied).
Run the clock back a few years and Brisbane singer songwriter Emma Fradd is working on a new song called Invisible Ink.
It’s a song showcasing all of Emma’s charms that were on display when I first discovered her music in 2017, opening at Ashgrove’s Junk Bar for Lydia Cole of New Zealand.
Invisible Ink, with guitar lines and layered vocals that Elliott Smith would be proud of, was in the early stages of its recording when it was suggested that the song could use some cello. Emma subsequently turned her eyes to the US.
“I had a friend called Mairin who lives in Minnesota, so I asked her if she would play some cello on the song,” Emma said.
As luck would have it, Mairin needed help recording her cello parts, so in stepped musician and engineer David Kruse.
“We emailed a little bit, just transferring files and then one day David asked if he could run an idea about a Catholic record label by me.”
“We spoke for two hours,” says David. “The first five minutes of that conversation were about the label and the rest of the conversation was us falling in love!”
Long distance relationships can be difficult at the best of times, but a global pandemic thrown into the mix meant that David and Emma didn’t meet in person for 13 months. The pair tied the knot in June.
David and Emma have now taken the idea of a Catholic record label and run with it, forming Enemy Love Records as a vehicle for both of their solo careers, but also as a way to help develop contemporary Catholic musicians.
They see their label as an indie label run by artists for artists, with their first signing being Valere; a R ’n’ B, soul and new wave artist hailing from New Zealand.
Enemy Love Records will be launched officially on Sunday December 11 with a label release party that celebrates new albums from both David and Emma.
Emma’s latest record Fun Sad released earlier this month, led by 80’s tinged single ‘The Last You’ll See of Me’.
David will also be celebrating the release of his album Just Listen, an eclectic mix of songs that take in life’s experiences… including falling in love.
“We share the same work ethic for music,” says David when asked how the recent marriage has shaped their music.
“We just bounce off of each other now – the biggest thing is if I have an idea, I feel like Emma drives me to do more with it than if I was by myself.”
With the simple idea of Enemy Love Records now a reality, both Emma and David say that there are multiple goals they want to achieve with the label.
“We’d love for people to come to Enemy Love and find music that is both good music, but true and wholesome,” says David.
“But a lot of the motivation for the label is ministry to musicians as well and that’s kind of twofold.
“Musicians often can have a hard time integrating their spirituality and their art because the music industry can be difficult to survive in as a Christian. We want to give our artists the chance to be themselves as musicians, but also to be themselves as Catholics.”
“With this label we’re really trying to build a community of people who can support one another,” adds Emma. “If you want to write contemporary praise and worship music that’s good, let’s go there.
“If you want to write music that’s not so overt; yes, you’re Catholic but you could perform mostly in music venues then we’ll support artists in that way.”
Enemy Love Records launch with a label release party on Sunday December 11th at O’Skulligans in Fortitude Valley.
The show features the labels three current artists: David Kruse, Emma Fradd and Valere. Tickets available here.