The New (and Old) Music Thread for 2016


Yow. Receiving transmissions!

I’m liking that Flyying Colours quite a bit also.

My friend George way out west at GoPro just turned me on to The Soft Gang, specifically this killer tune:


New LVL UP full length is out and it’s pretty good, @Banzai I think might like them as they remind me a little of Say Hi To Your Mom at times


Also, Kestrels (not The) have a new album out, this is some shoegaze from Nova Scotia. I feel like they are moving more to Ride and away from MBV.


That Kestrels is good! Very tuneful in a 90s Weezer sort of way, but with the MBV noise bits too. I like.


Oh yeah forge, this is right up my alley. Thanks for the heads up!

BTW, if anyone is in Austin for ACL, I’m off for the next few nights and all of next weekend if anyone wants to grab a drink with a local and chat about music.


I’m still reeling over the loss of Other Music. The neighborhood feels empty without it and my work routine is a whole lot less fun without having a record store nearby to kill time between classes. So I was feeling blue about it last week and clicked the old bookmark and ended up making a big online purchase of Other Music Recording Co. artists (Boogarins, Mutual Benefit, Shintaro Sakamoto, etc).

Among those, Ex-Cops! Just heard The Millionaire again and had to share it because, well, I love it. The mood of this thing, just perfect for this grey and drizzly autumn day.


Ex Cops are/were so good! It’s unclear whether they’re a going concern anymore or not. Their last show was summer of 2015, and Brian Harding, the male half of the group, has a new band called Blond Ambition. This has the feel of there being some interpersonal relationship within the group that kind of isn’t, anymore, causing the band to sort of not be.

If there’s a glimmer of Ex Cops hope, it’s that BA is described as a side project of Brian Harding of Ex Cops on the web page, so maybe.

And if there’s better news, it’s that the first two Blond Ambition songs to get pushed out there are really, really good!


So thanks to a t-shirt worn on an episode of Parks and Rec it looks like Letters to Cleo are back together for a bit, doing a reunion tour and producing a new EP. The first song of which can be heard here


Thanks for the info. You’re right, those are good songs.


I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt that way. I loved Whole Love so much, Star Wars was a real let down.


It’s official. I love her right down to those turquoise Reeboks.


That new Weyes Blood track is amazing. I also am infatuated with Natalie Mering.


Hm. I liked that other song a lot. This one’s not bad…a little too Enya-esque for my taste, maybe.


OK, different question time.

Let’s say that you have a band. You play material that is, ostensibly what folks would have called “alternative” at one point. Perhaps edging into indie rock at times, Guitar-based rock that definitely isn’t classic rock I guess.

Let’s also say that you’ve got a career that isn’t rock oriented. Like, you work in an office. You’re married. You have two college-aged kids. A mortgage. You do all right. Rock is not your career.

Your band does play live gigs, and even does the occasional mini-tour. Coordinating work schedules can be an issue, but is manageable.

OK, with me so far? Now then. Let’s say that over the course of the last ten years, you’ve recorded about 3 records’ worth of material. And it’s good material. Very good in fact. You’ve made three really good records.

And you’ve done nothing with them. They sit on a hard drive. People who have heard that music tell you to put it out there already. You’re not shy about sharing it…but you also are aware of the music landscape today and wonder…how?

So that’s the question. You’ve got three records that you can put out. 36 songs or so. How do you put them out there? Are there such things as music labels anymore? Do you go the SoundCloud/BandCamp route? Is that self release model a dead end? What does it take to get your music available via spotify/itunes/google play, and is it worth the hassle?

Thanks, I’ll hang up and listen.


You at least setup a Bandcamp page, it’s super easy to do, and for smaller artists that’s likely where the bulk of your income will come from I think.

Getting on Spotify and Itunes/Amazon is pretty easy too but will cost a small amount of money to setup. CDBaby or a few other services basically handle it for you, taking a cut.

You really wont make any money on Soundcloud but putting some songs up there for sharing is probably a good idea, also upload a track or two to Youtube.



How serious are they? If they just want to get the music out there, there are plenty of low-cost options. Soundcloud, of course. An aggregator like Tunecore will get their record on Spotify/Apple/etc. It’s paid, but the cost is fairly nominal.

There are still indie labels, of course, though they seem more picky than they used to be. There’s a music glut, after all, so they can afford to be. That’s always an option if they’d prefer to just hand it off to someone else to deal with, though obviously, the label will keep most of whatever profits there are.

Do they have a pre-existing base of fans that they might be able to interest in buying something? If so, are they willing to spend some money that they’ll almost certainly lose most of? IMO, putting out a physical release along with streaming/digital is always preferable. Vinyl is the best, but cheap cassettes are still pretty fun…CD, if you absolutely must. It shows they believe their material is worth investing in. Anyone can just bung some tracks onto Soundcloud.

If they just want to get it out to the public, that’s the way I’d go. It’s a little more work, but they get to control how it’s presented and if it’s as good as you say, might even be worth it.


Also, they might want to stagger their releases depending on what their goals are. If it’s just for posterity you can dump them all at once, but if they are trying to build something it could be better to hold back.


For 4AD-heads, Caroline Crawley of Shellyan Orphan and This Mortal Coil has passed. If you haven’t heard those 80’s SO albums (and that gorgeous cover of The Apartments “Mr. Somewhere” on TMC’s Blood), now’s a great time to do so!


BTW, thanks for the info and knowledge sharing. It kind of dovetails where I was leaning in my own thinking in advice to offer, but there’s some good concrete reasoning there I hadn’t been able to articulate well. Will pass it along!


Really looking forward to the new The Pretty Reckless album out this month. Will also check out the latest from Green Day I think…