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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into the survival of the music industry and whether or we not we can simply do without these record labels with their outdated and out of touch legally-binding contracts: which do nothing but bind the artist to the industry devil.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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ISLAND: “Yesterday Park” – Album Review

We’re no strangers with the work of ISLAND on here.

Encompassing the soothing tones of underground indie/alternative rock scenes in dingy London studios, we have felt at one with this band before with their eclectic debut, Feels Like Air in 2018 – a story directly inspired from the time on the road.

Following their success story from Feels Like Air, enters an unlikely follow-up of Yesterday Park. With the debut embracing the feeling with freedom, this one couldn’t be more of the polar opposite. Recorded within a semi-lockdown of sorts, Yesterday Park is a self-reflective and a more emotive visioning of our music industry during a time where there wasn’t technically an industry to wave the flag under.

Wishing for longer days in our lifetime (“They’re telling me the world has caught on fire/But I can’t see a single frown outside/Where did my young days go?”) to reflecting on when forgotten moments were “simpler” (“Hey, yeah, do you remember the times?/we said that the city was yours and mine/Hey, yeah, do you remember the times? /We’d forget the world and just stare at the sky,”) is nothing for a longing to dream again.

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Singles Review: “karma” by Arlie

On this relaxing pyjama-Sunday afternoon, I thought it be best to do another topical singles review by none other than alternative American misfits of Arlie.

Measuring litres-worth of ultra-alternative and dance pop works, Arlie are an American musical group that doesn’t do much by halves. Crashing down to a North America tour next year, the shimmer style of karma is yet another display of fantastical songwriting by a group reaching for new heights.

Braving the storms of breaking UK scenes, Arlie are the sparkling peach water to the surf rock sunshine. Although it’s certainly unusual to discuss a ‘summer-esque’ group deep within the December winters, it’s never too early to start getting excited for Summer all over again.

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What’s New: Your Friday Releases

So comes around another Friday, which inevitably means new music to sink our teeth into. Included, are two of the most popular musicians to surface from the industry. Let me know what upcoming project, pre-released single drops you are most excited for!

Have a gander at a few of the best picked out below:

  • Stylistic and sleek, brother of bigger sister Eilish, FINNEAS steps into the spotlight with his imperious new debut, Optimist.
  • ADELE returns to music for the first time in 6 years with her new single, Easy on Me. With a tempting new album on the horizon in November, this song has been sat on and questioned since 2019. It’s finally here – and what better way for Adele to embark on her final journey.
  • COLDPLAY brave the cold with an October release, Music of the Spheres. Imploring the narration of sustainability to ensure the future of our Universe – with a self-sourced tour to boot – their ninth studio album has an undeniably atmospheric impact.
  • Two of my faves, both THE WOMBATS and DON BROCO give us a Friday feeling with more preemptive single releases before their scheduled albums drop. A seemingly good partnership between the two, both Endorphins and Ready for the High are rife-and-ready singles – which put in a good word for the albums to do the same.

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Sleep Token – “This Place Will Become Your Tomb”: Album Review

Ethereal and chaotic all swirled into one complex creation, the shrouded mystery of Sleep Token return with their second highly anticipated album, aptly named This Place Will Become Your Tomb.”

Although not nearly as prevalent in the castings of metal as their debut of Sundowning had in 2019, TPWBYT still harks back to the chaotic rage-inducing of Gods and Offering with Alkaline and Hypnosis in this second attempt of divinity.

Where it lacks in overall oomph for a metal/rock album, it makes up for its quality through experimentation and electronics. One thing I certainly love about bands is when they don’t exactly conform to their first sounds from their debut – and start to branch out to new avenues and new possibilities of drawing new fanatics.

Lead singer Vessel has a perfect gothic tone to his voice – streaked with a guttural voice and a deep monotone to make the ocean weep. With it, comes to the experimental value of Sleep Token – inclusive of creepy piano, programmed beats and delectably delicious guitar grooves – which personally, I love. It may take a listening to get the other metal-heads on board, but I don’t personally mind the new image and poetic enchantment they’re bringing to this work.

My favourites on-repeat are certainly pop-inducing Mine, heavy-herald of Distraction and pre-amble of The Love You Want.

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The other-worldly concept of this band is simply divine, and I can’t get enough of it.

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I may very well hark over to The Night Does Belong To God every once in a while, but damn does it get me more excited to see them live next year.