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Passing The Torch: Should “Aged” Musicians Retire?

Good morning, folks. My friends shared some “exciting” news today. Green Day are expected to release new music and a new album in the year 2021. To my surprise or shock, this news to me was anything but the sort. It may be my lack of interest over the years for a band who were in their prime, but have seemingly “past it” – or it could just be the simple fact that there are far better, and far stronger upcoming artists and bands who’d I gladly listen to instead.

HERE COMES THE SHOCK – No shock at all, retire already!

In the music industry right now, with the rise of streaming lurching us into the scary thought of not being able to control our music in the future, there are more artists and more bands than ever before on the Internet. Striving for our undivided attention – which is always divided, mind – the industry has desperately become convoluted and over-saturated. And it seems to be music with a tarnished reputation or music with no reputation at all.

Is it time fo rthose “old” musicians or “retro” artists who have had their moment in the spotlight to stand down, postpone making new music and make way for those upcoming artists who equally deserve their moment on the stage? In a perfect swan song, it may seem fitting for these experienced professional musicians who have actively made music going on 20 years, to retire and share their pearls of wisdom to the next generation. That’s the cycle of life, no?

If it is a case of these musicians simply doing it for the love then (it won’t be for money, that’s for sure), by all means, showcase tours and gigs, but do not litter the rich music media already with talks on how ‘this old band that we used to listen to in the 90s are back making new music’, because it does nothing but clutter the clogs of communication again. Leave those opportunities for the younger generations who work just as hard to make it somewhere in the music industry. I mean, there’s plenty of them, right?

Foo Fighters have been a fine example of this. An album that is lacklustre throughout with no inkling from the “Wasting Light” era – and yet, it still tops the album charts. Why? For the simple fact that consumers buy it for the name of Foo Fighters. The name will continue to carry them to stardom because of their impactful reputation within the industry.

Now, I’m aware of how controversial a topic this is among the community, as these are some of our favourite bands who we’ve grown up with, and their legacy will never be forgotten, that’s for sure.

But is it time to pass the torch?

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Hidden Gems (Week 11)

Here we are, we are picking up some momentum now. Enter the fold for the eleventh week of the Hidden Gems series. By all means, venture into last weeks’ Hidden Gems with the tenth instalment below, where we entered double figures for this series.

The Strangers Club

Despite their residency name, the band are certainly no strangers to writing a collection of songs that are equally impressive lyrically and melodically. Where other bands have remained dormant throughout this time, The Strangers Club have capitalised on their time, and are not only continuing their songwriting process with feel-good Suede – with many more releases to come in 2021 – but are continuing their dominance in the live world when we return, landing them a top spot at Barcode Festival supporting glossy-indie favourites Bastille.

Model Family

Previously known as another alias as The Shoals, model family have certainly been busy behind the curtain developing a whole new fresh take on a vast array of influences. Bordering on the line of natural post-punk, with the classics of hard-hitting rock, they have proven themselves to be a jack of all trades and have been taken a liking amid fans across every aspect of genres – and rightly so. Their most recent EP, Are We Calling This Art? is just a glimpse into what elements that this band can bring us.

Pensacola Mist

Synth-pop sleuths Pensacola Mist are among those to venture into the unknown world of synth-wave, 80s alternative pop – and come out alive and well the other side. Strong, progressive and trend-setters of the retro, the duo have explored depths to their sounds in unimaginable ways, delving into synergies of 80s romantics and bitter-sweet nostalgia. Some go as far to call it the perfect soundtrack to the modern Neon City.

PLAY DEAD

With tongues as sharp as their wit, raucous garage-punk bundle, PLAY DEAD, are lashing down on us with their dirty take of our favourite hell-bent genre of breaking-shit-in-the-parking-lot. With three singles that are just as fitting and cutting as the genre they reside in, they have been championed by artistry alike, and undoubtedly earned their place on BBC airwaves. Daring to go all the way, they are set to release their eponymous debut, “Skint” on the 26th of March.

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Let’s Talk: Are we over-saturated with music?

G’morning all, let’s talk. Are we engulfed with too much music? In what seems like an album release every week, it can be very hard to keep on top of everything in today’s industry.

Especially with the amount of time we’ve got on our hands now, bands, musicians and artists are finding it more and more difficult to grab a listeners’ attention just for a few seconds of our time.

Music streaming catalogues and libraries hold over 50 million songs as it is – and with 40,000 new ones being added every day, that’s a lot of music to get through. Consumption is certainly outweighing musicality, in this regard.

Now, with popular music becoming a “glamorous wallpaper” instead of regarding it for what it is – art, I’m finding one or two worthy releases of my time where I would repeat over and over because I like them so much, and then, I would often overlook all the ones I’ve missed that would have the same treatment as the first one or two good releases.

But, is it worth arguing over having too much of something as paramount as music? Surely not, right? Where I would overlook these releases, there would be a niche group or collective that most certainly wouldn’t. You can’t have too much of a luxury or better yet, an art form that helps us through our daily lives. When you put it like that, I’m sounding simply ungrateful posing this question in the first place.

However, is there simply more choice and options, simply because we’ve made it what it is? Streaming services – and its ability to have everything at a touch of a button – has made the market so densely populated. And it’s all this new material from new artists just wanting to do the same as their predecessors before them. We’ve brought on our own downfall, as we’re at risk of over-saturating our own market!

This is the question I’m posing to you on this Tuesday morning, then.

Are we over-saturated with music? Let me know.

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Let’s Talk: How much does a cover art matter to you in music?

Does the cover art reflect your general mood to the music?

Does it influence how you listen to the music?

Or does it simply annoy or not benefit you when the music does not match the cover art at all?

… And when does the cover become more important than the music itself?

Hey all! I decided to introduce a new segment into my daily uploads on here, deeming it a title of “Let’s Talk” where we well, talk. About? I’ve not idea. Whatever comes to my mind first, to be honest. But it’ll mostly all about music and its industry. This week, I figured we could start out with a very opinionated subject in the music world. Music and the importance of cover art.

Often, I sit there wondering with an album and its related cover art, how it reflects the feel and the sound of the album so flawlessly. Obviously, cover art in itself is meant to represent the music behind them, and regardless of the point of playing music in the first place, their involvement is not all that important, but surely some must point you in a general direction, right?

Let’s talk. Let me know if you have a fond passion of cover art to its reflective music …

or if you simply just like the pretty colours they picked.

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Love Story: Why Taylor Swift is a Genius

One of the biggest female artists in this decade, Taylor Swift is the rarity in pop phenomena.

With the ability to cross from country to the music of mainstream, Swift soon become the populist singer/songwriters of our generation. With recent releases, willow, champagne problems and cardigan becoming instant favourites among the fans, it seems that for Taylor, writing love songs is just too an easy trait, impossible to get wrong. And after her record label refused to release her music, she’s bounced back bigger than before.

’tis the damn season: Love and Loss During Lockdown

Ever since her Lover tour was evidently postponed due to the pandemic, Taylor seemed to write and write, hit after hit, til her hands hurt. In what seems to be a new release every week, Taylor Swift has taken to being productive during lockdown like a water off of a ducks’ back. With folklore in 2020, and evermore, that soon followed just less than 5 months thereafter, Swift has been a major artist to not only capitalise on the unexpected time on our hands, but to also earn herself an album that went straight to the top of the Billboard 200. And we’ve got one more re-recording coming, too. Oh, and a documentary, too!

It is the perfect formula for the music industry. Produce melancholy acoustic sweetheart-tales and you’ve got media attention because nothing else is going on, and avid listens from old fans and new, because well,… nothing else is going on. It has undoubtedly been the much-needed medicine for everyone to get through this difficult time, too. And she’s a genius because of it. It certainly makes you wonder as to why more artists haven’t done it, though. With the ability to produce music from the comfort of your bedrooms – with the major artists in the industry actively having recording studios in their own homes, might I add – it is worth noting why no other artists have followed in her footsteps, and produced song after song. Especially when it is so easy for everyone to be in touching distance with listening to music.

It may be Swift’s work ethic, production team or her simple strive for perfection that trumps her above the rest of the major mainstream artists – but, you’ve got to hand it to her. She’s not been waiting for this to just blow over, planning old tours and relying on pay-outs from old records, she’s made three new ones.

And the response has been emphatic. Have you been enjoying this as much as I have?