It’s Art is Hard Records first birthday this week, and they certainly know the best way to celebrate: with a new release, of course!

Dry Road to Devon is a compilation record of the South West’s best bands, and every day for the next week a different band will be featured on the label’s favourite blogs, podcasts and webzines.

Always the guys to be the most creative with their releases, Dry Road to Devon is no exception: the compilation will be released as an illustrated map of the South West, on which each band is marked with a QR code. When scanned with a smart phone, it will take listeners to an individual page where they can stream the song, read exclusive interviews, find lyrics and other exclusive info.

The first track on the compilation comes from Bournemouth’s Make Believe Ballroom. A strange name; it could from the 1949 film about a fast-talking press agent and a musical contest, or alternatively the man behind it all – Bos Angeles’ Richard Board - may just want to create a fantasy dance party for you all to get down to. If we ask the vibes his track Rock Hudson spews for the answer, he is definitely aiming for the latter.


Full of sparkle and glitter, Board transports you to a fancy, otherworldly buffet where the only rule is that you get up and dance. Big beats and heavy drums collide under his craftwork, causing an explosion of melody that fans of Passion Pit will feel right at home with. You can also hear some Tall Ships in there, what with the way the layers dazzle amongst each other and progressively build up to an inevitable – yet desired – crescendo.

It’s hard to believe a man involved in a band whose aesthetic and sound promote slacking and lazing about on the beach could create such a lively and refreshing track, but it’s true. This one will be going round in your head for weeks to come.

Keep your eye on the Art is Hard website for details on how you can get yours hands on the compilation.


The release will be available as just the map for £3.50 or a map and limited edition t-shirt bundle for £15. For those who don't have a smartphone a box can be ticked where they will receive a digital version of the map.