Thursday, 16 February 2012

Alpines - Gold

This blog post is about a new song called Gold by Alpines, but it’s also about part of the Breaking More Waves philosophy on new music blogging. If you’re not interested in the latter then just skip the next few paragraphs and just press play at the bottom.

Back in 2010 Breaking More Waves first featured the dark pop duo Alpines and some demos that they had put online. We were one of the first to do so (according to Hype Machine). Now being the first may not be the most essential characteristic for a music blog (we believe being entertaining, knowledgeable and having a personality that people want to engage with are just as crucial), but if the blog's objective is to focus mainly on new music it still must be reasonably important. After all who wants to look and listen to a new music blog where you’ve already heard all of the content it features?

This is why at Breaking More Waves we take a certain amount of pride in sometimes being ‘the first’ to feature something, as well as being pleased as punch when the artist then goes on to have popular appeal. Particularly as we're not an industry or label blog and therefore don't have the multitude of contacts or connections that tend to feed those sorts of blogs. When we hear something we like its only natural to want others to like it as well – that’s why we write a blog. When the artist that you’ve spotted and supported at an early stage has success it’s a nice feeling. Over the last year Breaking More Waves was, purely through accidental discovery, the first Hype Machine listed blogger to post Video Games by Lana Del Rey (leading to a huge number of hits and internet traffic towards the blog once the PR machine and ‘big blogs’ got started) and have in the past been very early on the likes of Marina and the Diamonds (back in 2008 on the back of a self released demo CD we picked up in a record store), Rizzle Kicks and Ellie Goulding who have all become popular in our own country. Of course for every soon-to-be-popular artist that we feature ahead of time there are a dozen that vanish without trace. That’s the nature of pop music – if you dig enough mines you’ll hit gold at some point but you’ll also find a lot of worthless rock. Anyone remember Tinashe or Skint & Demoralised ?

Of course we never post something just because we think it will be popular – we post it because it’s aroused our interest. Sometimes we’re fully aware that the artist has no chance of ever winning a Brit Award or Grammy – but we like their material so we post all the same and hope that someone out there feels the same way we do.

Which brings us back to Alpines. We favour what they do. We called it ‘dusk pop’ rather than the more commonly used ‘night pop’ back in 2010 and also described it as ‘cinematic, mountainous and crafted with careful sonic consideration’. We still 100% agree with those statements. Since then we’ve seen them play a number of times including a brilliantly bewitching shadowy set in a church (pictured above). They haven’t as yet found any mainstream popularity and maybe they won’t, but that doesn’t stop us enjoying them. Here’s their new song – Gold – a collaboration with Craze + Hoax who have also worked with Emeli Sandé. We’re not the first to post it, but likewise we don’t possess the indie snobbery not to post something just because other sites have already featured it. Ultimately it’s all about promoting the music we like - this is fan journalism.

Alpines - Gold


Tim said...

Interesting post. Didn't know you were the first with LDR - that traffic must be adding up!

When I actually "discover" a band through a live performance, random store buy, friend's recommendation or whatever and end up posting first - that definitely gives me a bit of pride. If I am just the first to read the email, I still appreciate the hits but there is little pride to being first as I did no discovering.

Not being first certainly doesn't preclude me from writing about something I love though. The MMOTHS track I wrote about yesterday was first posted a month or so ago for example - I had only just come across him though and loved the track - so posted.

I generally won't HypeM before posting as I genuinely don't much care if I'm first or not - but if a PR email comes through saying song/video X was premiered on Big Blog Y yesterday - then you can be sure I won't write about it. I just don;t understand why PRs do that...

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Yeah I'd agree what you'd say about 'discovery' in that its much more satisfying when its not through an email - although even then if you filtered the emails and found the 1 gem then that's still pretty good work I reckon. (Incidentally the Lana Del Rey post of Video Games was mainly accidental - I saw the video of her song Kinda Outta Luck on You Tube randomly and then searched on Soundcloud and found Video Games.) But yes, in the early days the hits were enormous particularly after Fearne Cotton started playing the song a couple of months after I posted it and Gorilla vs Bear posted it. Up to that point there was pretty much less than a page or so of references to her on a Google search.

For me I will still feature a track even if a 'big blog' has done so if I like it - my view is that a lot of the people who regularly read my blog may not read the big ones necessarily and so the track may still be new to them. Also when I do this I'll try to add something to the conversation if I can - much like this post where I don't actually talk about the music that much at all! In fact this type of post is my favourite to write. It's basically just the same as me sitting in the pub talking to my friends about music - I like to waffle around the subject and go off at tangents and see where it takes us ! (It's also what my readers have told me - that their favourite posts are my more discursive waffle ones as well as the funnier ones which I also like to do - mainly because most blogs with some sort of 'indie' bias take themselves far too seriously and I like to shake that up.

Ok waffled again. Gonna stop now.

Von Pip said...

If I like, I post. That's it. Simple. ;)

Von Pip said...

PS but please waffle , I like it . PS Skint & Demorlaised are still going new album out soon

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Thank you VP - A nice succinct comment that says all that needs to be said.