Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Black Coast - New Waves

“Do people still start music blogs? They should. 2015 needs more variety. Sick of the same sites posting the same s**t every day, tweeted American music blog Pigeons & Planes a couple of days ago.

Certainly from our perspective as a blog reader as well as writer it certainly seems that there are less new music blog start-ups these days. Or rather, they seem harder to find. Maybe the blog ‘market’ is saturated, the new kids on the blog block quitting earlier, dissatisfied with the small level of readership they are able to attract?

But as for “the same sites posting the same s**t, every day,” we’re inclined to disagree. On a daily basis we read a handful of our favourite blogs – mainly UK based ones, (Von Pip Musical Express, Scientists of Sound, Just Music That I Like, Alphabet Bands are all regular reads, plus we try to fit in a few more if we have time – see our UK blog roll on the right hand site of the site) rarely do all these sites post the same thing. Sure, sometimes there’s some overlap but the amount of great music that blogs are writing about on a daily basis is incredible. Maybe there’s a greater homogeneity with larger sites and larger artists (for example if Arcade Fire release a new single you can pretty much guarantee it will get blanket coverage on the big websites and blogs), but there’s still hundreds of smaller blogs focussing on other stuff as well.

But sometimes, many blogs, even the smaller ones, will cover the same song or artist. Is this such a bad thing? Last week Holly Lapsley Fletcher, better known just as Låpsley won the UK Blog Sound of 2015 poll. Holly tweeted “Grateful for winning Blog Sound of…..wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the blogs.” Over the course of 2014 she’s gone from being a relatively unknown recording artist to receiving wide spread blog support and getting a deal with XL records. She also finds herself on the BBC Sound of 2015 longlist and has been tipped by many (including ourselves here) as One to Watch for 2015. Now, we’re not suggesting that this was all down to blogs. Obviously it’s Holly’s talent as a musician (and a bit of good timing / luck / help from others) that has got her to where she is, but the fact that Holly has acknowledged the blogs shows that the exposure they gave her music were one small important step for her to get the first foot on the ladder to being a professional recording artist. Of course this may have all happened without blog coverage anyway, but if it did help, there’s no doubt that the mass of coverage, or as Pigeons & Planes say “the same sites posting the same s**t every day,” was for Holly, a good thing.

The bottom line is this – from an artist’s perspective we doubt there are very few who would complain if every blog in the world posted about them.

Also another advantage of many blogs posting the same thing is that it acts as some sort of filter for readers. If you visit several music sites and see the same track being posted time and time again and you trust those site’s judgement, the chances are at some point you’re going to stop and listen. If every blog was posting something different every day blogs would lose their impact. They actually work best as a strong collective / community. 

What we would like to see however (and where we agree with Pigeons & Planes tweet fully) is blogs not just posting the same sh***te in terms of their commentary and context. Too often, even now, we see the same ‘here’s a song, by a band, released on this date’ type commentary coming from blogs or one liners that add no value. What we’d really like to see is some original thought, commentary, a voice coming from the blogs, to make each out stand out with its own unique personality. This is what draws us back to our favourite sites time and time again. We might not like everything that Von Pip posts musically, but we love it when he gets ranty and angry. Likewise when Alphabet Bands loses himself in the music and goes for it with the similes and metaphors as if they were going out of fashion. 

So with that in mind, here’s a track that we’ve totally stolen from some another blogs. Namely Oblivious Pop, HillyDilly, Indie Music Filter and something we saw tweeted by Popjustice (OK arguably Popjustice is way more than a blog and HillyDilly is going that way as well). Yes, we’re posting the same shIte as everyone else. It’s good shite though. It’s a proper pop song in the old fashioned verse chorus verse chorus sense and reminds us a tiny bit of a cross between Taylor Swift and Fickle Friends. 

Black Coast is the solo project of New York based producer Stan Rapoport and he’s been collaborating with New York poet and songwriter M Maggie. We can't get enough of Enough etc etc etc....

Black Coast featuring M Maggie - Enough


Scryst said...

Very well said sir, couldn't agree more.

Bruce Warren said...

Right on. Well said.

Anonymous said...

Nice use of twitter to attract attention to this post.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. I post stuff no blogs post and also post stuff that every blog posts (that I too love). Personally driven.

and yeah, cream rises. The fun, interesting, GOOD stuff will obviously resonate around the blogs.

Felipe Macia said...

as far as new music blogs go, I've been rocking mine for a little and do my best to make sure the tunes are really varied. Agreed that a lot of them show the same boring tunes. Hope you like mine - do my best to make it fun


I came across yours while researching Black Coast as I'm sending them out as my Track of the Day!