Starting my journey in specialist and student radio promotions, I traversed much of the music industry’s various terrains. Through label management, European promotion liaison, becoming UK press agent at Southern Records and subsequently independently running UK/EU press at SRD. Eventually came to the logical decision to declare a state of independence and set up my own PR Business. Rarely Unable was born.
I specialise in music PR of all kinds; whether it be album campaigns, tour promotion, PR consultation, European promotion, press junkets or social network development. Happy to adhere to conventional workable timelines, even happier with opportunities to work more unconventionally.
Some of my many highlights include visiting Dial House on my first day of independence back in 2010 and attending the life-affirming Last Supper show in Dublin that same year; spending quality time with musicians for whom I have deep admiration, such as Wino, Dylan Carlson, Efrim Menuck, Penny Rimbaud, Scott Kelly, Steve Von Till, Duane Denison, and the late Vic Chesnutt; watching Sunn 0))) and Eagle Twin on a boat in Budapest for a Mojo press trip (still one of my fondest memories); involvement in promoting Supersonic Festival; meeting lots of like-minded people from across the world; promoting the music of Godspeed in a somewhat unorthodox fashion; the many, many shows and festivals I have had the privilege of attending… The list is endless.
Beyond the PR world, the “Spirit of Radio” has stayed with me – I have been known to co-produce a show on London’s Resonance FM. My love for the written word has likewise been exercised by my articles for the Mass Movement zine. I also play electric guitar – or should I say, try to? My musical tastes are varied, homing in on things I instinctively love. Here’s the bottom line, something that I learnt at Southern Records and will take with me wherever I go in this wonderful business of ours – you cannot be an effective PR unless you believe in the music and the people behind it. Might I add, I am proud beyond words of the labels, bands and musicians I represent and count myself as very privileged.
Lauren Barley – Rarely Unable
“I have been working with Lauren for a loooong time (the early 1800s I believe.) She is a breath of fresh air in the publicity world. She has great patience and always has a progress report or update ready for you. More than anything….she is honest! You can’t go wrong with Rarely Unable.”Greg Werckman - Ipecac RecordingsIpecac Recordings
“There can be a tendency among the less well-informed in the music industry to look down on those in PR as at best a necessary evil and at worst money grubbing snake oil salesmen. The truth of the matter is that no one does a band more favours than a good PR however and Lauren Barley is one of the best in the world. More than most writers or colleagues or pundits or opinionated guys on a message boards, Lauren ensures a constant stream of weird and wonderful music to my inbox and through my mail slot. She is always on hand to arrange guest list spaces for gigs and interviews no matter how odd or difficult the circumstances and because I trust her taste in music and her independent/ethical instincts, music she sends me always goes to the top of the listening pile. If there were more people like her in the industry, it’s my opinion that it would be in a much healthier state than it is.” John Doran - Editor/Founder The Quietus/VICE/Metal Hammer/NOISEYThe Quietus
“The world of PR is unfortunately peppered with companies and individuals who do a great job of selling you a service, but rarely deliver the results they allude to. Lauren is a rare exception to this – she is driven by her incredible integrity and stunning work ethic to provide a service which is equal to the promises she makes. I have worked with many PRs in my time and I would recommend none higher than Rarely Unable. I trust no one else with my projects.”Allison Schnackenberg - Owner at Southern RecordsSouthern Records
“Lauren hired me in 2008 as an intern at Southern Records. I can honestly say that Lauren was, and still is, a complete inspiration to me – passionate, dedicated and extremely knowledgeable. As well as working tirelessly for the bands and labels she represented, Lauren went out of her way to ensure I got the most out of the internship and to make me feel welcome.” Kelly Bennaton - Events Coordinator at Association of Independent MusicAssociation of Independent Music
“Great results. Lovely to work with, goes above and beyond PR. She’s imaginative, works hard and gets results, which in public relations is not always the case. A+.” Little Annie Bandez - Tortured Soul Singer/Actress/ Painter/ Writer & Ordained Minister Little Annie
“I’ve been working with Lauren for a number of years now and it’s a refreshing change to be in touch with a representative who actually replies to emails, she’s professional, yet passionate about the music she helps promote and does her upmost to make sure we have everything we need to cover the bands/labels she represents, be it promos, guestlist places for gigs or hooking us up for interviews, and off the back of this, when I started my label, she was always the number one choice for PR as she understood my needs and was flexible to work around my available budget, thanks Lauren, long may it continue!”Lee Edwards - Editor at The Sleeping Shaman / Founder of Shaman RecordingsThe Sleeping Shaman
"Tirelessly committed - this is the impression that emanates from Lauren if you should ever have the privilege to work with her. I was hired as an intern for Rarely Unable in 2014 and when I reflect back on the experience I'm always inspired by Lauren's determination and her refreshing positivity. Lauren clearly believes in the artists she's promoting, and also believed in my abilities as an intern, which was highly appreciated. The work I was doing was largely tailored to my interests to ensure the experience was mutually beneficial and she was always patient, helpful and constructive in her feedback. The internship was done remotely however we maintained in almost constant online/phone contact so I was never left in the dark, on the contrary - i was kept very, very busy!"Guy Hirst