SONG­WRIT­ERS NEED TO FOR­GET THE NUM­BERS

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It’s no se­cret that right now mu­sic is chang­ing, and how mu­sic is be­ing lis­tened to is also lead­ing to fur­ther trends and quirks in the writ­ing of songs them­selves.

Back when records set the length of the sin­gle to three min­utes, through to CDs lead­ing to longer al­bums and songs, the medium has al­ways af­fected the art in the mo­ment. With the fur­ther con­stric­tion of samey day­time main­stream ra­dio, and the sub­seµuent di­v­fi­culty ov al­ter­natiÛe bands to get their mu­sic out there, song­writ­ers’ re­liance on Spo­tify is lead­ing to shorter or miss­ing in­tros, cho­ruses start­ing songs, and even one- or two-word song ti­tles. It’s bad.

All this leads to ho­mogeni­sa­tion, bland­ness, and songs sound­ing like other songs to fit the stream­ing al­go­rithms.

Stand­ing out from the crowd when all the streams are flowing in one di­rec­tion may make bands feel like is­lands, and of course some­times there is a safety and com­fort in sound­ing just like ev­ery­body else. If the fu­ture seems like a dark time for cre­ativ­ity, it’s in dark­ness we feel our way: this whole Spo­tify and stream­ing cul­ture should not be some­thing to re­strict us, but a means to more free­dom.

In­stead of bands feel­ing like they are trapped, send­ing SOS mes­sages to playlists and chas­ing num­bers and shares, it’s more im­por­tant than ever to go deep into the heart of their mu­sic, and do some­thing spe­cial to stand out. When you play the shar­ing game, you’re chas­ing some­thing that’s al­ways ahead of you – but if you fol­low your own path, the in­ter­net gives you the op­por­tu­nity to have a direct link with peo­ple who like what you do. It also af­fords you the space to go where they are and talk to them di­rectly.

The rea­son we all be­gin mak­ing mu­sic is for the feel­ing and the re­lease that it gives us, not the ad­min and the an­a­lyt­ics. In­stead of adapt­ing your mu­sic to the trends and sys­tems out there now, you can use them to get the best au­di­ence for your songs, your cre­ativ­ity, and your in­di­vid­ual di­rec­tion.

What­ever songs you write, what­ever your view­point and genre, if you’re do­ing some­thing hon­est, ex­cit­ing and in­ter­est­ing, there are peo­ple out there who will con­nect with it. It feels like there is a move­ment against the in­sipid bland­ness of the songs on the ra­dio, and this stormy weather feels like it could lead to the rise of a new al­ter­na­tive mu­sic scene, like punk in the ’70s or grunge in the ’90s – led by the mu­sic, pas­sion, and peo­ple who love mu­sic for what it is.

With so many ex­cit­ing bands com­ing up who take the stream­ing cul­ture for granted and ig­nore the num­bers, mu­sic might be on the cusp of some­thing amaz­ing.

Deloren­tos play McHugh’s, Belfast on No­vem­ber 8; the Spirit Store, Dun­dalk (9); the Olympia, Dublin (10); and Oslo, Hack­ney, Lon­don (17).

SOAP­BOX KIER McGUIN­NESS DELOREN­TOS

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