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The Case to Define our Industry: Fighting for a Better Economy

You may have heard the news spreading regarding the fight for a more equitable music economy with a greater emphasis on the economy of music streaming to artists…

.. aaand another one has been added to the roster. A UK artist, who goes by the name of Kieran Hebden (artist alias of Four Tet) has instigated legal action against his record label, Domino Records for 20 years. Many contracts associated with music artists often precede streaming services and – more importantly, the power role they’ve come into the 21st Century.

According to Hebden’s 2001 contact agreements, Hebden is entitled to an 18% royalty rate from physical sales and a 50% cut from licensing income. However, the music streaming moguls of our Internet bonanza have become ambiguous and less considered to their artists whom they “provide” for and as such, has allowed record labels to apply the same 18% rate as their physical counterparts in sales. But, like many, artists simply don’t believe that physical sales and streaming are one and the same and should be placed in the licensing income bracket – worthy of a 50% cut.

While many other artists before Tet have brought forward the case of music moguls tearing the legalities of artistry independence – the likes of Ye and Taylor Swift to name a few – it may be the first discussion that brings it forward to a full public hearing, which is a huge development in changing the course of royalty revenue on streaming platforms.

As such, after Hebden’s litigation, Domino records have responded. The declaration of what he owes transpires to the albums that Domino own the rights to, which is another 50 years or so. With that in mind, the record label have simply removed three of his most popular albums from streaming services altogether thus giving him no royalties in streams .. and no leg to stand on. Their recent move has solidified what we already know about the monopoly of record label in our industry – callous and greedy.

But it has also widened the scope into the survival of the music industry and whether or we not we can simply do without these record labels with their outdated and out of touch legally-binding contracts: which do nothing but bind the artist to the industry devil.

Hopefully, we’ll hear more about this as news progresses into the Spring of 2022.

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Twin Atlantic: Transparency – Album Review

FIRST WEEK, PLENTY OF NEW 2022 MUSIC: From a change in era to another, there seems to be an apparent monsoon of new music in our midst this week, with the 7th of the day the first Friday into the new year.

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Emblazoned in the comfort of remote recording during the time of a pandemic, the album is more of a happy accident rather than that of a cultivated design. Still, the album is bold, abrasive and another synth-inducing powerhouse inciting that of our past tenures from 80s synth-pop and early 00’s dance electronica.

Despite the rapid change in electronica for Twin Atlantic since their underwhelming POWER turned the tide in 2020, this album steers a band in a more compulsive direction with fun one-timers One Man Party and Bang on the Gong simply being ordered to play loud.

It may be a stretch to conclude that the Twin Atlantic of 2011’s Free and 2021’s Transparency are the same band but alas, for a band faltering for new material in their past state of songwriting, any change is a good change. At least they’re evidently making music they love making.

Despite the album being somewhat safe and flat in some places however, the narrative is a feel-good setting with the lads just merely experimenting when forced into a studio during lockdown.

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Sharing fulfilling stories on the absurdity to social media in parenthood, the album is an intriguing and exciting prospect for a new dawn eclipsing onto one of our favourite Glaswegians

LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS BELOW! Any ideas coming to mind?

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New Year, New Music: What’s in Store for Music in 2022?

As we bypass the festivities of Christmas and chart a course to New Years, it is ample opportunity to think ahead into the new year of 2022 and see where we are at with music and our industry.

WITH NFTS AND TIKTOK ABOUND in amenities and rife pipelines for artist directory and workflow, live music will plan a course back to its 2019 numbers and regain momentum again as we ramp up to the summer season with festivals stretching far and wide across the UK.

With uncertainty among variants emerging in the winter months, time will tell if Glastonbury is going to be held this time at Worthy Farm. With Glastonbury emerging as a necessary funding asset to the funds of our industry and our artists – aswell as our worthy charities, many are hoping that the festivals alike will return next Summer.

As more and more licensing deals are made and more and more artists begin to sell their catalogues in one swift swoop, would you hedge a guess that they know something that us as the general public do not?

If it’s any year to take the plunge and strive forward with your music, it’s this one. With prevalent artists like Arctic Monkeys and Machine Gun Kelly confirming a return to form – but no date set – we look to those artists that should really be on your radar come the first quarter of 2022:

Audacious indie-rock trio of The Wombats return with their sickle album, Fix Yourself, Not The World in January. The likes of Band of Horses and Billy Talent follow shortly after with Things Are Great and Crisis of Faith respectively. Bastille bring up the rear leading the forefront of a electro-synth wave pop cacophony with Give Me The Future and Korn’s Requiem sees the hard metal eyeglass in February. For fans alike, Alt-J‘s The Dream and Frank Turner‘s FTHC sees excitement build as the three-year hiatus for both artists come to a wonderful end.

As we enter the Spring season of March, we see familiar favourites with The Stereophonics and Bryan Adams rekindling old flames and charting history into another year of music. April comes and go with Jack White’s Fear of the Dawn and Bloc Party’s Alpha Games, while we start to see the list become shorter and shorter as we near the start of Summer. Undecided and unannounced, there is certainly more to come that we’ve been waiting for from our favourites. Including Liam Gallagher’s third studio work with C’mon You Know in May.

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Let me know what you’re looking forward to most in 2022!

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LabBaby, Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s Christmas Hit: Going for the Christmas Quad

In an attempt to become the first music “artist” to earn the Christmas Number 1 single for the FOURTH year in a row, Internet personality and blogger of LadBaby (better known as Mark Hoyle) and his wife Roxanne are earning their weight in sausage rolls by donating all proceeds to Trussell Trust UK, an immensely important charity during this time of the year, providing the nation with necessary and life-saving food banks. This time … they have two colossal names in the world of music to fit the roster – and to get them over the line in emphatic fashion. Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran.

The song is a zany and heart-warming take on Sheeran’s and Elton’s original Christmas release of Merry Christmas For Everyone which plays into the nation’s utter adoration for sausage rolls. It may be interesting to note if both Elton and Ed gave away their earnings from their own song to charity too … Anyway, I digress. With Christmas being a particularly difficult time for many across the nation, this comes at a much-needed time for during both Christmas and a global pandemic that has caused hurt, anguish and despair over the past two and a half years we have endured the work of COVID now.

So please … even if you don’t buy singles anymore, do it for this one because it’s all going to a good cause. Merry Christmas, folks.

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Return of the Tale: More concerts are cancelled in amidst COVID surge

From punk-idled Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes cancelling their two intermittent London shows off the back of their ‘Sticky’ tour to Harry Styles’ Pre-Orange Bowl concert being cancelled in Florida overseas due to a variant surge amongst the prevailing pandemic, the live music sector is amongst fears yet again as we enter a ‘new year’ in 2022.

We may very well be venturing into a lockdown in January 2022 too, so a lot of cancelled concerts will more likely return for Spring and Summer seasons next year, which means more months postponed in a music industry – already trying to adjust and amend itself from the 10-month lockdown closure that we saw at the start in 2020.

Should we be expecting to live with these COVID variants moving forward? Even with vaccinations strife among our population, these variants are still running rampant with positive cases throughout Europe and the US. Will we ever evolve to normality again with us attending live music events for a full working annual year? Only time will tell.