Independent Music Reviews For Your Single Are Challenging
Why you can’t get independent music reviews of your single. So in music, in the music industry, we’re all trying to cut costs. And we’re all trying to find ways to make an impact, grow an audience, be awesome.
How do you increase exposure in music?
And one of the best ways to do it is not to record a full length album and then wait two, three years and then record a full length album and then wait two, three years. How are you supposed to build an audience like that? The internet happens every day so you need to be able to feed people stuff all the time. You need regular content.
Single > EP > Album
And the best way to do that is to release one song, one song, one song, one song. It may be one song every six weeks, every eight weeks, might be four weeks. Sometimes that single is leading to your EP, a full length album release, and trying to generate momentum and excitement. And all that sort of thing. But one thing that I see happening in pop and hip hop more and more often are people who will release singles one every month or two months or so for like a year or two years trying to build an audience. And then they get signed and then they put all those songs out as a full length album.
You’re going to see this happen more and more. I am growing more and more interested in this idea as a pathway to building your career. I’ve I’ve written a bunch already about how I think that replacing the full length album with the EP is absolutely key. But one of my thoughts for 2020 that I’m working on is this idea that don’t even do the EP. Instead, build the audience song by song.
How do I get my music reviewed?
Now, one of the impediments to that really working is the fact that the media is not catching up to what’s happening in music from the artist’s perspective. Media is not, blogs, will not do independent music reviews of single songs. And it’s my opinion that it’s because they just hate change. And this is a major change in the way that the music works. I think some of them think, well, we’re already doing independent music reviews of full length albums.
Now we’re going to do reviews. A single’s too much work.
Music blogs haven’t caught up with musicians… yet
There’s an argument for that. Personally, if I’m a digital marketing guy running a blog, thinking about how I’m going to score well on SEO, I’m thinking more and more about the idea of writing about single writing alone, about a single writing, about a single, because that’s going to drive traffic based on that. Those keywords and all that other digital marketing gobbledygook.
So I think it’s going to evolve and it’s going to change, but it hasn’t changed yet. That doesn’t mean that the idea of releasing a single, releasing a single and only focusing on singles bad idea. In fact, I think it might still be the best way.
So it’s still a new and fresh idea, this idea of just releasing singles. But I’m seeing it happen more and more and I really like it as a strategy towards building your career. In the early days, you’re able to keep your costs low. You’re able to even like creatively try new and different things without audiences disowning you.
But if you tried it, do something creative on a full length, like the next three years are shot, and you’d probably lose fans along the way who were just like, well, no, I’m not, I’m not down with what they’re doing now. I’m out. But if you just put out a song trying to do something interesting, I think people are going to be more forgiving. They’re going to go, “nah, it’s not for me, but we’ll see what happens on the next one.”
Or they might kind of go, “this is the fricking greatest.” And now you have an idea as to what you want to creatively do going forward that excites your fans.
If that is a component of how you’re thinking about composing and would like to know how people will react to this, I think a song by song strategy is a great way to do it.
How do I submit a single for review?
So how do you get people in the blogosphere, for example, to write about a song and do some sort of independent music review?
There’s two ways. There’s the one way where you tie the song to something newsworthy. So if you already have the attention of a blog and you’ve got a major lineup change keep that major lineup change under wraps. Don’t tell anybody, swear everyone to secrecy and then boom, hit everybody with the lineup change.
Single + News = Independent Music Reviews
And here’s the song. Now people are going to write about the song because it’s tied to something major, a lineup change or, another example would be a tour announcement. It could be, I hate to say it, but you could have a bunch of stuff in your pocket, songs in your pocket, just waiting for something newsworthy to kind of happen. You know, like it could be something terrible like a bunch of gear stolen out of the van. “We need to raise money. Here’s our new single.” People write about that. Now you’re getting people writing about your single when they wouldn’t before because you’re tying it to some sort of newsworthy item.
How can I get my band noticed?
Another thing that can do it, and this is a lot, lot more challenging is, and this is mostly with lyrics.
Is there something in the lyrics that is something that they will talk about? Is it something personal perhaps, where you could tie to a charity or some sort of drawing attention to an issue. Things like that. When you’re able to pitch the blogs, talking about your single in that context, then you’ve got something where they think about it.
Even your single review needs to generate clicks
Again, you’re thinking about it from the point of view of the blog. What they want is something people will read and click on. And if someone reads the subject line and click on it. If you can imagine, Hey look, nobody knows who your band is and you pitch it to a blog and the subject line that you’re going to come up with, there’s like nothing that will entice people to click because they’ve never heard of your band before.
That’s not going to hit, they’re not going to write about it. But if you’re able to put together a headline that makes people go, “I got to read about that.” And that might not necessarily be your band or be your single, but the moment that they click on it and read and you are entwined with that topic, now they are reading about you because they were interested in what you’re entwined with.
It’s pretty powerful when it works and it’s pretty cool. I have gotta tell you, I’ve got a couple of albums that I’m a huge fan of these albums. And I didn’t listen to these albums because I’d heard of the band before. I listened to them because I had read something that went, yeah, that’s something that I can relate to as another topic that the band or album was tied to something that was a passion to me.
I got to hear this album. They’re talking about the stuff that I’m thinking about. The best example of this I have is the album I refer to as my personal “Sergeant Pepper’s”. It’s called “We Are All Where We Belong” by the band Quiet Company. Go check it out. It’s brilliant.
So the same thing can happen for you.
How can I grow my band?
But back in the day, way back in the day when I was a touring musician myself and between tours I was going to college and I was working, one of the jobs that I had was in this gift store. And the gift store used to sell Disney crap like figurines and tchochkes.
Tie yourself to something valuable
And it was during the beanie baby craze. And the beanie babies were cool because the beanie babies had a price max. Stores were only allowed to sell a beanie baby for like seven bucks or eight bucks or 10 bucks, whatever it was. I have no idea. No store was allowed to sell the beanie babies for more than the price they were maxed at.
So what would happen is they’d have a release day on these beanie babies and all the beanie babies would sell out in like minutes flat. So the owners of this gift store that I worked at had the coolest idea. They tied the beanie baby to a piece of chocolate. If you wanted to buy the beanie baby, you had to buy the chocolate. That was some of the most expensive chocolate you’ve ever seen. They were not selling the beanie baby, they would argue. “We’re selling the beanie baby tied to the chocolate.” And so they would sell the beanie babies for like 40 bucks, 50 bucks, and people bought the snot out of them. They’d sell out in a day.
My point is to tie yourself to something else that people want. You’re the chocolate and something else is the beanie baby. Tie yourself to it.
When people go into the store, which is the blog, and they see it and they want to buy it or they click it, boom. There you are tied to it. And that’s a pretty, pretty cool thing. Pretty powerful.