It’s been rumored and denied recently that Apple is killing off the download portion of iTunes, but assuming that this is true and Apple’s just trying to not show their hand, and assuming that the trend of physical album sales will continue downward, does this mean the end of being able to purchase music? Will subscription-based services soon be all that’s left, our only option?
We of course love Bandcamp, and they’re gonna try their best to not let that happen. Why? As they outlined in a recent blog post, streaming services aren’t really sustainable as a business model yet (and they potentially never will be), and artists make a lot more when selling their albums than when they offer them up for streaming. Ultimately, a streaming-only future has the potential to choke out smaller artists from being able to make a living. So kudos to you, Bandcamp, for fighting the good fight.
Speaking of smaller artists, let’s check out a few of them in this week’s Bandcamping:
5. Sad Town by Run Squirrel
Genre: indie rock, alternative rock
If you like: Stereophonics, Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon
This Australian group has the anthemic grit of ’90s alternative rock, which is something of a rarity nowadays as many bands always try to loosley incorporate that sort of thing as in influence into their sound. For Run Squirrel, they use it as their foundation, which results in a record that’s both new and refreshingly nostalgic.
4. Lo-Fire by The Poison Sisters
Genre: punk, indie rock
If you like: The Men, Parquet Courts, Cloud Nothings
Starting with album opener “Chicane #2,” you can tell that The Poison Sisters are up to something. The whispered bridge into the chorus, “Maybe it’s not such a good idea,” and the ensuing falsetto wail, are slightly disarming in the midst of the raw energetic punk, but it’s also a perfect knife to break the tension. They’re trying stuff, but not enough to betray the inherent simplicity upon which punk thrives.
3. Eating Berries In The Dark by Go Tiger Go
Genre: indie rock
If you like: INXS, Oberhofer
Right off the bat, “Inhale” is extremely reminiscent of INXS’ “Don’t Change,” and that’s a beautiful thing. Go Tiger Go achieves a sound that is both timeless and contemporary, incorporating a pulsing rock sound with more modern surf pop influences, making for a sunny and engaging 4-track listen.
2. The Delicate Arch by Snow Panda
Genre: electronica, synth pop, alternative
If you like: Animal Collective, Hot Chip, Memory Tapes
When an album is hard to classify, that probably means it is successful in its experimentation. Snow Panda’s latest release accomplishes something new on each track, but never strays too far away from a palatable path to encourage disinterest.
1. JFK Boulevard EP by JFK Boulevard
Genre: indie rock
If you like: Foals, Vampire Weekend, Young The Giant
The jittery, dance-punk energy of Foals’ debut album Antidotes is surviving and thriving thanks for Belgian four-piece JFK Boulevard and their self-titled debut EP. The songwriting is strong, the instrumentation is tight, and the aesthetic is propulsive. This release is hopefully just a taste of what’s to come, because there’s plenty of promise here.
And now for a few that were also good:
In the Shade by Carmine
Genre: instrumental hip-hop, trip-hop
If you like: Blockhead, Pretty Lights, Sound Tribe Sector 9
Mały Wilk by Stray Ghost
Genre: soundtrack, classical, ambient
If you like: Stars of the Lid, Harold Budd
Hawaiianischer Schnee (Instrumental LP) by Umse
Genre: instrumental hip-hop
If you like: DJ Shadow, Blockhead, Pretty Lights
That’s all for today, but until next time, let us know in the comments which of these albums were your favorites, what we missed, and what we should look forward to. If you missed out on last week’s list, you can find it here (and the complete Bandcamping archives are here).