Indie music is something that is now getting a front seat and the entertainment world. For so many years people have overlooked the way that Indie music was bubbling on the internet. It did give more artist a chance to express themselves and get their music out, but mainstream artists were still the most dominant players because they had more marketing. The advertising world of television and print ads gave major label musicians at greater platform to get the word out about new albums.
There has been quite a shift in the music industry now that streaming services play such an intricate part in the way that people hear music today. The reality is that millions of people that wants built music collections with physical music that resided on a disk or an album are turning to the cloud and creating virtual playlists.
For the Indie music artists that would have never had the ability to pay to get records produced and distributed through a chain of music stores the cloud is easily the next best thing. It puts the musician in a place where the music can be distributed without actually being put into a cycle where the artist is losing money.
When an album was produced through a traditional method this would be such an extensive process. The record label would have to fund the production of the album. Once a physical product was made there would have to be a distribution of the album to music stores. Even before the album was put into stores there would be a marketing campaign with posters and print ads. All of this would be just to promote the album. There were times where albums would flop and the artist would be in debt to the record label. With cloud streaming the artist has a chance to get more of the money for themselves and they do not break the bank with advertising for their albums.
Coaching new talent for music shows has become the save, but it is a rarity for any of these artists that win to actually become mainstream artists. They all tend to fall in the Indie music genre even if they have won the contest. The obvious reason for this is that they do not connect with people as other artists that have come up through a mix tape circuit or an internet sensation type of vibe.
These singers that are on shows like this are often people with great voices that imitate others, but they rarely have their own songs. This makes it hard for them to build a reputation and get taken seriously so quickly. It has become much easier for people to find these Indie music artists because they have a social media presence.
Every now and then someone from the Indie music scene crosses over and becomes a mainstream artist. It is so rare that it almost seems accidental when it happens. People that may have had songs that were only popular on the internet may suddenly find themselves getting radio play. This is the Indie music scene. This is where people are paying their dues and getting a fan base in place.
The odd thing about this is that these are artists that may have pounded the pavement for years with mix tapes and YouTube videos where they utilize their own money. They put their own money and time into getting studio time. They had someone to engineer and master their tracks so they could sound professional. They did a lot of things that that actually made it hard for them to find regular jobs. They put so much time into the music and their art because they wanted to create something that music lovers would enjoy.
The music business has been owned and controlled lock, stock and barrel by giant record companies for decades. Most artists today who have “made it” were lucky enough to get a record deal from the likes of Capitol Records, MCA, Mercury, Sony music Entertainment and a few others.
Nashville, Tennessee, arguably the greatest music city in America, is strictly the realm of the corporate music giants. Any band that hoped to get a song played on the radio had to go through one of these gatekeepers.
But times seems to be changing for Nashville’s rock music scene. Indie rockers are flourishing in the Nashville environment like never before. Dozens of acts are creating their own albums and finding their own audiences – and they relish bypassing the greedy corporate middleman.
DIY artists are recording music in their basements. They’re being helped along by advances in personal computer music mixing technology. Now anyone with a laptop and a few extras can command the power of a studio and create an end product that sounds as sharp and shimmering as a professional studio product.
But Indie bands still need to perform live and find audiences. That means booking gigs at physical locations – again, an aspect of the music industry under control of the music label giants. Even this isn’t stopping new bands from breaking out of the mold, however.
House parties, neighborhood venues and slap-dash arrangements for putting on concerts in back allies or empty lots are proliferating across Nashville. Cash from tickets sold goes directly into the pockets of the artists, bypassing the corporate ticket sales and distribution companies, such as Ticketmaster.
In a sense, music has come full circle from the time when major labels had far less power and organization as rock ‘n’ roll began to rise in the late 1950s.
If you’ve listened to any of the tracks from Big Thief’s new album entitled Capacity, then you will recognize the trademark poetic imagery set against a canvas of haunting melody. It will surely come as no surprise that this indie band from Brooklyn is playing to sold out crowds in the United States and Europe throughout their 2018 tour.
It may also go without saying that Big Thief is enjoying positive reviews. Will Hermes described Adrianne Lenker as “a romantic folk-rock poet of the first order” in his review for Rolling Stone. Her words are at once captivating, unnerving, and soothing. The lyrics’ subtle twists combined with Lenker’s delicate vocals are driven by dissonant chords that connect each image. The juxtaposition of the elements in the title track do, in fact, remain bound to one another much like the consonance that introduces the first stanza.
It’s a tricky combination of pieces that flow together but are difficult to pin down. “Capacity” is, according to Lenker, based on a dream she had the night before writing this piece. There’s a stream of consciousness effect that leads the listener from one moment to the next in a series of vignettes. It’s the capacity of imagination that binds them.
Perhaps that’s why it is difficult to find an exact label for Big Thief’s style of music. Asked in an interview for Newsweek if she identified the band’s music as folk-rock, Lenker responded, “I don’t identify with genre.” Their music, like genre, is challenging to pin down. You get in the neighborhood of identifying what it might be, but finding the exact street, let alone the house number, is a matter of interpretation. As Lenker states in the same interview, “Any time you bring something out of an intangible space . . . into the realm of words . . . You lose something when you try to communicate belief to someone.” Riding through Big Thief’s landscape is an intriguing journey.
British producer and performer Kwes is back in the recording studio, and this time he is working on his own material after five years of producing for other musicians. The first song released by Kwes, whose 2013 debut album featured a new and exciting strain of R&B, is completely devoid of vocals. “Midori” is the first song in a forthcoming EP tentatively named “Songs for Midi,” and it suggests an electronic music departure for the talented musician.
The new song by Kwes sounds as if he has an ongoing love affair with older synthesizers spliced with analog recording equipment. “Midori” is a fun instrumental track that evokes a musical landscape without being pretentious. The sound effects that Kwes compiled for “Midori” include a hint of a human voice, but that is as close as the song gets to any vocals.
Kwes is not known as a solo artist; his 2013 album “ilp” was released on a smaller label when it could have been published by just about any major record production house that he has worked with in the past. As a music producer, Kwes has worked with Damon Albarn, Bobby Womack and Solange Knowles. He has also collaborated with Dan the Automator and Gorillaz on critically acclaimed recording projects. In 2011, Kwes was part of an ensemble that traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to record the “Kinsasha One Two” album, a special project with Damon Albarn that mixes traditional African music with electronic beats.
By the sounds of “Midori,” Kwes seems to be ready to return to his Kinsasha electronic phase, and this may not be the most ideal direction for fans of his R&B crooning. Kwes has always been attracted to experimental music; “Midori” makes this very clear, and he stands to gain many new fans who enjoy different takes on electronic music.
Showcasing North Texas’ hottest local talent, Dallas’ Homegrown Music Festival is proving to be a popular venue for local indie music fans.
The Dallas area music scene has wanted a festival that features their music talent for quite some time.
Unofficial rival Austin has captured a reputation as the music capital of the lone star state, some would argue of the world, but that characterization dismisses a lot of the premiere up and coming talent that Dallas has to offer.
Whereas Austin’s three day psychedelic rock festival has been building a lot of buzz within that genre, Dallas’ Homegrown Festival lives up to its name, catering to the wide range of musical tastes of the area’s music scene.
Main Street Garden Park will host this year’s Homegrown Festival. meeting the needs of the event’s large audience with it’s 1.75 acres. As a side note, the public park was funded through the city’s bond initiatives in 2003 and 2006 for the amount of $17.4 million.
Set to begin on May 12th, Explosions in the Sky, Alvvays, The Black Angels, Roky Erickson, UME, Medicine Man Revival and Acid Carousel will be among the featured performances this year.
Josh Florence, the festival’s promoter, emphasized the deliberate efforts taken to keep the music scene diverse and hip. This year’s lineup features acts from funk, R&B, indie, psych, dance and good old fashioned R&R.
The two acts made up of teens, Sad Cops and Acid Carousel, will cater to the younger audience that the festival has attracted.
Homegrown shifts the spotlight back onto the Dallas area talent and as the event’s popularity over the past three years has demonstrated, there’s plenty of demand for it.
Tickets can be purchased through the Homegrown website. The website also features an FAQ section and info about the artists.
Indie music scene enthusiasts in the area or able to make it out on May 12th will definitely not want to miss out on this intense Dallas music festival.
Throughout the history of music, there have always been artists from different musical genres that partner together in order to create something completely new. For many, singer Channy Leaneagh is synonymous with singing in indie rock band Polica. However, it appears that the current Polica line up has slightly changed. Fans of Polica should know that his band has no plans on splitting up. To the contrary, Polica now has plans to partner with neoclassical group Stargaze for both an upcoming album and tour.
The new collaborative album is called “Music for the Long Emergency.” Many are noting that the blend of both neoclassical and indie rock have made for a worthwhile collaboration. Interestingly, the idea for the collaboration between these two bands came from the suggestion of the founder of St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music. Considering that, The new album maintains the rhythmic qualities of Polica while the addition of strings and other forms of musical experimentation gives way to an entirely new sound for the band.
The tour starring Polica and Stargaze will be taking place throughout the next few months at locations all throughout the United States. The Star Tribune reported that Channy was quoted to say that it is what happens “when musicians of different backgrounds get together.” Both bands have noted that all band members continue to create music and get along very well with each other.
To summarize, legendary indie rock group Polica recently announced that they will release a new album and go on tour with neoclassical band Stargaze. The new album titled “Music for the Long Emergency” has been gaining positive reviews and many fans and critics alike are excited about the upcoming tour. This tour will take place throughout the United States.
Critically acclaimed indie rock band Belle and Sebastian have released a new album, and Rolling Stone Magazine has a positive review of it on its website. The album’s grandiose title “How to Solve Our Human Problems” is entirely in keeping with the band’s outlook and attitude, which is a combination of humorous and hopeful.
The review is a positive one and points out the band’s strength of being able to perform multiple styles of music. They’ve written songs that sound much like Thin Lizzy, for example, and ones that sound like vintage Motown, and pretty much all of them sound great. Stuart Murdoch, the band’s chief songwriter, is now in middle-age and is writing lyrics that speak to his generation.
The Rolling Stone piece includes a recent photo of the band – an unpretentious shot of the six musicians in the hills of their native Scotland. Personally, I like how Belle and Sebastian have always shown pride in coming from Scotland and haven’t tried to seem like a hip London act. Having said that, they’re also able to use settings such as downtown San Francisco in their lyrics to great effect. In short, they’re a band that represents where they’re from but have been around.
According to the review, this new record is much more in the pop vein of recent offerings than the pure indie of the act’s earliest efforts. As far as I’m concerned, this is great news because I think that the most recent lineup of Belle and Sebastian has come up with some of the catchiest tunes released since the Beatles broke up. Moreover, they’ve been consistently putting out music since the 1990s with absolutely no filler.