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Let’s Talk: Will we ever run out of music?

Liable lawsuits, copyright claims … and only so many notes to play with – will we ever run out of music?

It’s an important topic to discuss after all – as popular music confirms to the usual and sticks to a particular format of notes because it works, will we see more and more music take “inspiration” from those before them and ultimately wind up a disarray among other artists?

I always feel that there will come a time when – certainly for the popular genres – we will indeed run out of conformity and the comfortable. Here, we will more likely re-introduce old genres forgotten or venture into unknown terrority of writing music we’ve never heard of before. Even that will be a mighty feat to comprehend. After all, there is only so many notes, right?

It is still fairly respectable that these music artists and their corresponding songwriter teams, are still drudging up songs that do not formally slip into songs that have already been made. There is certainly an adaptation of the rules at play here. With so many popular songs within the same key, same note configuration and ideas, I’m surprised that this hasn’t happened already.

Either way, let me know your thoughts below on this one.

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Alt-J: The World of Experimental Sound

Subtle eccentrics of indie rock with complacent sound-experiments, bring Alt-J into the spotlight as critically acclaimed and award-winning.

An Awesome Wave

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Alt-J: a name raised from the delta symbol that is made when hitting Alt and J on a Mac keyboard, their smoothie blend of folky dub-pop became their signatory work and was first brought to attention in such singles, Matilda and Fitzpleasure in 2012.

Oddly arranged in structure and the ample choosing of percussion, we were pleasantly surprised to find out they had done a full-length debut album using those same sounds.

An Awesome Wave was released in the same year of 2012, and amassed a worthy following instantly –

including myself.

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Being one of the first to purchase the album via iTunes … trailing through the Earth’s atmosphere or merely jumping amongst cityscapes with your earbuds in … is how I would describe Alt-J’s music tellings.

Musically, it’s simple but it’s genuinely clever.

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Doing something that hadn’t really been done anything on this scale before – certainly not from an original quartet of artists – An Awesome Wave allowed them to earn their first prestigious Mercury Prize in the world of music – not to mention three nominations from the The Brit Awards.

With a 14-piece artwork that does not require a single skip – favourites including Something Good and Dissolve Me – it has soon become a staple of this pleasurable folk-indie vibe sort of music.

Its such a rarity to explore experimental sounds, odd in structure and percussion to deliver such an album that resonated with so many people. I think the sheer simplicity of it and the ever-so-present relaxing setting you get in there music has been there from day one. Wherever the band manages to end up on their next work, their art of morbid curiosity is a sight to behold.

This is All Yours

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Despite the temperament changing in the Alt-J camp after the bassist of Gwil Sainsbury’s departing in 2013, they remained true to their colours and followed up with their second, This is All Yours, in 2014.

Rhythm and space were their desired bread and butter – and that certainly didn’t change or deter at all with this follow-up.

Whilst This is All Yours did not share the same involvement concerning numbers or critical acclaim compared to that of the first, it just so happened to feature elements of extended beauty in songs that stretched for more minutes, which left the band to experiment more, without the worry of having to hold back to suit the status quo with the dreaded second album. It hinted at moments from their debut, with playful Left Hand Free and Every Other Freckle

… but also hinted at a changing landscape for the band, a maturity to their music, almost. Elluring two-parter, Arrival in Nara and Nara, which draws up a playing time of 9 minutes, allowed the band to create conceptual moments that translated well in a far deeper song structure. Overall, This is All Yours had an 8-minute longer playing time than An Awesome Wave, but you could say had a deeper meaning behind it.

Relaxer

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In early 2017, they soon departed ways with their vibrant colours and approached their third studio album with a somewhat darker presence, with the release of the trio 3WW, In Cold Blood and Adeline in 2017. Same year, in June? Enter, Relaxer.

Although short in a track listing of just eight, it certainly makes up for its playtime of 38 minutes. Although not doing as successful as the prior two, Relaxer is a diluted version of their sounds – but nonetheless equally ambitious. House of the Rising Sun and Deadcrush are beautiful moments that I will always wish were longer, despite them being long enough as they are.

It may also feature future sounds that we may expect to hear from their potential fourth studio album? Last Year and Pleader delves into far more traditional sounds of other orchestral instruments – including the uproar of a choir during the lasting moments in Pleaser – and even has a female vocalist adding elements into the fold that we hadn’t really heard of before.

Whatever they have in store for us in the coming year or so, I’m sure it’s set to be a delight for all of us.

Equally delightful in sound and presentation, Alt-J are a folk-inflected, indie-smooth topping that is perfect for any casual music listener.

Give their track-load a listen below.

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podcasts you should listen to …

  1. George Ezra & Friends

Despite being unable to record and share delightful music stories during this year because of the pandemic, the tales they have sought on this podcast so far has been unmeasurable. A delightfully convulsive and insightful listen to the world of the music industry, it portrays amazing music stories (and ramblings, I should mention) of some of the music greats: Elton John, Tom Jones, Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi to name a few.

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I hope you find it as interesting and fun to listen to, as it was to make.

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Most recent:

2. Soundcheck

Showcasing themselves as the ultimate platform for fans of all music, Soundcheck is under new management, under new names and rigging up a highly attainable podcast that is worthy of a listen. Formulating interviews with past and present music artists, and keeping you up to date on all music news including festival line-ups, new album reviews and personal thoughts and ever-present industry standards that come out.

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Featuring interviews with your favourite artists, this is the place to hear it first.

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Most recent:

3. Load-In Podcast

From the unheard music tales and talks, the Load-In has the best works to date for being not the road in the music industry. Charming and rustic interviews within the music industry brings episodes every two weeks of the same greats and legends in the world of classic rock. Driven straight from the inspiration of using Zoom during lockdown, ambition has created a brand new podcasts for us to listen to on our commutes.

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From tales from the road to upcoming projects …

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Most recent:

4. Music and Life Podcast

After highly anticipated followings from the Music and Life blog, its original format and discussions are turning to the form of listening as opposed to reading. Enjoy insightful and topical discussions in the world of music from all aspects of industry genres. Drawing more so on particular concepts within African-American culture and communities and their music styles, Music and Life brings a fresh take on what’s beating on all things music.

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Remember the motto: Music IS Life!

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Most recent:

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Let’s Talk: Can ANYONE be a Musician?

The rise of musicality stature, record labels and music business organisations tell us no.

But, the transparency of social media, the number of bedroom artists rising to fame, the term of ‘music’ losing its meaning as each day passes, tells us a different story.

I believe that anyone can be a musician. Putting in the practice is the first step, your musicianship will then carry you the rest of the way there.

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If you have the perseverance and determination to succeed, you can be more than a musician but a businessman, too. But, I think being a musician takes more than picking up a guitar. It’s learning the ins and outs of the music industry, making sure you know you every loophole, every important name in the industry and making sure it’s who you know and what you know. That all too familiar catchphrase that is so present in creative sectors – and that is no different with the music industry.

I think it’s also more to do with your audience. The hardest thing about being a musician is having a decent audience. Playing an instrument or being able to rap and make a good beat is only the half of it. The ability to market and campaign yourself almost as if you’re running for office yourself is the difficult half. You could argue that if you’re good enough, then the audience comes to you. But that’s not strictly true at all, now is it? I know thousands of talented artists, singers and rappers who are making their way slowly to an audience – despite making amazing music. The audience is hard to achieve, especially within such an over-populated and over-saturated industry that is the music one.

For me, I’m a drummer. We’ll leave the drummer jokes at the foot of the door, thank you. But, it took me 10 years of practice to get to the skill and quality as a drummer where I am today. In no way to represent in numbers of my social media fanbase or a following on this blog, and so it’s important to know your achievements and success, I think.

For me, being a drummer is amazing, fun and downright beautiful. Anyone can be a musician if you have the energy and time for it. I wouldn’t say the talent for it, because I think everyone has talent. The right amount of practice and you’d be up there with the greats. After all, how do you think they got up there?

Anyways, I’ve rambled on enough about this topic – clearly a lot to say! Let me know your thoughts on this one below. And above all else … let’s talk. Because it’s good to talk.

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MY Favourite Band is…

G’morning folks. I hope all is well – we have another conversation starter with you today – what’s your favourite band? The controversial, the favourites, or the questionable; it does not matter, no one is judging you here with your favourite music bands. Let me know!

For me, I couldn’t possibly narrow it down to just one band. I would have to say some of my favourites worthy in the collection would be St.Albans Alt-rockers Enter Shikari, artsy-jazzy Jamie Cullum and of course, it’s got to be the best rock band in the world – Queen. Tell me otherwise if you don’t agree …