By Walter Price
Several things made solid impressions on me during my 2014 music experiences and loving long lasting memories. First, yeah, EPs have never been more important in the homegrown, backroom produced, kitchen table composed sounds that are increasingly easier for a aspiring poet, storyteller or riff proud axeman (and axewomen) to produce. I love EPs as a gateway drug to what an artist will eventually be on a hammered out future LP. Or screw it, just drop EPs as often as you wish. And people dig em, in the current environment you can do what you wish with your sounds, art and career. Just keep it honest and people will find it.
The second, women making sexy, raw, dirty, pop-tastic, odd around the edges and balls to the wall garage rock isn’t anything new. But has there been a year in recent times when these women were more prevalent? From California to Germany these Rock N’ Roll purveyors are pushing, rearranging, teasing and smashing perceptions with varying degrees of HELL YEAH!
Then there is the ever growing singer/songwriter, roots and back to origins country artist. A clear message to the overhyped Bro Country and pretty faced pop-tart sounds polluting American radio airwaves. People want music they can chew on, artists they can experience life’s honest goods and dingy creepouts and everything in-between with.
Fourthly, there is California. Yeah, that long slender sliver of land that has been producing some of the best music the world has known for decades shown bright in my mind once again in 2014. Particularly the Northern part. Tons of cool labels and killer music makers sparkled and amazed this year.
Then there was the DIY and indie labels. I’m not as anti-corporate as some may think but I am as pro artist as any person could be. The indie label and the DIY music maker have been around since the start of recorded music. I know with all the turmoil that large corporate label structure, streaming services and social media confusions have created I can tell you that 2015 will be the Year Of The Artist. Smaller labels who understand what it is the artists go through to make music and the artists who dare and thrive in having their souls bared for the world to hear can make a huge dent in the mega-machines that currently run the show. It is time to make opportunities happen. Artists and their friends the indie and ‘for the artist’ labels have never had it better than right now.
A bit of advice. Get proactive in 2015. As an artist you will need to figure out how to utilize what is still free to promote and optimize the reach for your music. Truth be told, you’ll probably have to spend a little to further your exposure. When you’re broke and it ain’t no joke this isn’t good news. The most important thing you’ll need to do this if you want to make music as a career is learn some basic business. If you don’t others will profit from your art way more and often way before you see any cha-ching.
That being said, 2014 was a phenomenal year for music. I loved getting to know the music and the characters behind the sounds. I am absolutely sure 2015 will be one of the best years the industry has seen. I foresee a reversal or perhaps a completely new direction(s) for how music is distributed, profited from and who has actual control of the art earnest souls are making. All of this should be guided by the artists themselves or by people who actually understand and care about the people behind the music.
Lets Make 2015 Rock!
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