At that point, it was February 2010, and Garcia was just starting at Captured Tracks as the label's sole intern, working three days a week, mostly answering customer emails and shipping orders. This was shortly after she'd moved to Brooklyn from Boston, where she studied film at Boston University. (She grew up in Miami.) Garcia went to New York to pursue work for a set designer, and then a fashion designer, until one day she found herself on the phone calling up record labels in search of one that would let her help out. "I didn't have a job," she remembers. "I almost moved home. I decided to start calling record labels for internships. I called Matador, but they weren't hiring." She was already a Blank Dogs fan, and she realized Captured Tracks was located right around the corner from her apartment.
"My first impression of Mike was that he was extremely mysterious and evasive," Garcia remembers, sipping a cup of water, sitting on a stool in the kitchen. "Mike was kind of like the Wizard of Oz. I didn't meet him for the first three weeks that I interned there."
Garcia's apartment is full of records and tapes, amps and guitars — some of which belongs to her boyfriend, Dustin Payseur of Beach Fossils. She met Payseur during her first month at Captured, when he came in to pick up copies of the Beach Fossils' Daydream 7-inch.
The release of Payseur's debut full-length Beach Fossils in May 2010 — combined with the release of Wild Nothing's Gemini on the same day — were a turning point for Captured Tracks. "That was kind of what 'broke' the label in a way," recalled Garcia. "I was the only intern for maybe two or three months, and finally I said, 'Listen, I can't be the only intern. The label's growing really fast; we need to get more people in here.' So they hired more interns, and I became sort of the 'head intern.' " By September she was hired as the label's full-time manager.
As the label’s manager, Garcia is responsible for, among many other things, putting records into production, acting as a liaison to pressing plants and distributors, and answering emails from bands, who will often come to her for advice. (Many of the label’s bands are young and without actual managers.) Garcia also helps search for new bands to sign — Widowspeak and Holograms are two she’s brought to the label. “I consider all of the bands we work with to be my friends,” she says. “I want to work hard for them because I feel connected to them as people, not just as musicians. I feel like that makes our label unique. A lot of other labels seem to have a more detached way of operating.”
Making it personal
"I just sent the demo in the physical mail," remembers Payseur, sitting on a couch at the Captured Tracks office. He only sent the demo to one other label — Woodist. "I didn't expect to hear anything back. I had already planned to move back to North Carolina to go to school because I couldn't make my rent."