Full Time Hobby came into life in 2004, set up by Nigel Adams and Wez. They had met while working for Mushroom Records / Infectious Records and decided to start a label when it was clear that Mushroom was going to sell out to Warners. Inspired by labels like the original Jac Holzman era Elektra Records, Creation Records and Rough Trade Records they wanted to start a label that championed original and creative new music that they loved and did not see finding a home elsewhere. The label is and always has been wholly independent.
The first release as Full Time Hobby was the EP Alive With Pleasure by Portland, Oregon based duo Viva Voce who went on to release another two albums and a compilation for the label. In 2005 the label made a pivotal signing with the band Tunng who they had known through their involvement with Full Time Hobby’s Tim & Jeff Buckley inspired compilation ‘Dream Brother’. Tunng have so far released five albums for the label as well as spawning side projects The Accidental, (formed by Tunng co-founder Sam Genders, alongside Stephen Cracknall, Liam Bailey and Hannah Caughlin) and the side project of co-founder Mike Lindsay titled Cheek Mountain Thief. Sam Genders left Tunng in 2008 and went on to form the leftfield indie pop act Diagrams, signed to Full Time Hobby in 2011 and also collaborated with Lindsay on the 2016 release ‘THROWS’ before returning to Tunng in 2017.
In 2006, FTH started working with The Hold Steady through a connection with Vagrant Records. They went on to release the band’s third album Boys and Girls in America, followed shortly by the re-release of the band’s first two albums, Almost Killed Me and Separation Sunday, via a license with US label Frenchkiss Records.
2007 saw Full Time Hobby sign White Denim, a then unknown Texan trio, having been sent demos by the band’s manager. They went on to work with the band on the debut album Workout Holiday released in 2008 prior to any US release and follow up album Fits a year later. In the same year the label started working with New York based trio School Of Seven Bells, going on to release all four of their albums, including the final release ‘SVIIB’ in 2016, released following the untimely passing of the bands co-founder Benjamin Curtis.
The Leisure Society signed with the label in 2009, and the label promptly re-issued their debut album The Sleeper, feted with two Ivor Novello Award nominations. This was followed in 2011 by the release of their second album Into The Murky Water, ‘Alone Aboard The Ark’ in 2013 and fourth album ‘The Fine Art Of Hanging On’ in 2015.