In August, Portland-based The Domestics were preparing their album Little Darkness for release, but rather than celebrating a milestone in their burgeoning music careers, they had to scramble to pick up the pieces of a marketing ploy gone awry. As first reported by Paste, 63 cassette tapes purporting to contain recordings of conversations between Donald Trump and ex-FBI director James Comey were anonymously mailed to media representatives with the return addresses for the KKK, Westboro Baptist Church and InfoWars.
The tapes were eventually traced back to the band’s label, Tender Loving Empire, who explained that the tapes were meant to drum up press for The Domestics’ then-forthcoming album. The label apologized to the band, placing blame on a rogue employee who acted without permission. Following the controversy, frontman Michael Finn confirmed the band’s split with the label, sharing the band’s perspective in an interview with Paste in order to preserve their reputations.
In an attempt to do right, The Domestics delayed the release of their album indefinitely and donated the proceeds of their scheduled record release show to two organizations dedicated to fighting hatred. Now, they’re making further amends for their former label’s transgressions. Almost three months after the debacle, The Domestics are finally releasing Little Darkness in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which will receive 50 percent of the proceeds.
The band shared a statement to explain the decision: “With complete ownership of our album, we have the freedom to redirect the revenue that would have gone to our label into the hands of an organization dedicated to the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity.” They continue, “It feels so great to finally put these songs out into the world, and we couldn’t ask for a better organization to call our partner.”
“We’re grateful to The Domestics for their commitment to justice and equality and to finding creative and generous ways to support those ideals,” the SPLC added in a statement. “It’s especially important that The Domestics are mobilizing their communities in a way that creates strength and solidarity in numbers behind the causes they believe in.”
Little Darkness is available for purchase digitally, with vinyl copies expected to ship in January. Read the band’s full statement, and purchase and stream the album here. Listen to the band’s Daytrotter Session circa 2015 below.