Image via Unsplash.
Indie Shuffle App
FREE — On Google Play
Indie Shuffle App
FREE — On iTunes
Dec 13, 2016

Spotify. Apple Music. Deezer. Google Music. Tidal. Oh, and YouTube Red.

The above are massive streaming services that, on the surface, seem to have put the final nail into the coffin of the music blogging industry. Where once the internet was overwhelmed by enthusiasts trying to uncover the best new song, today's focus seems to trend toward playlisters and channels.

So... are music blogs dead? Nah.

Do I have any evidence to back that up? Sorta.

What follows is an analysis based on my 7 years in the industry -- backed up by very little hard evidence. You're just gonna have to trust me -- and if you don't, feel free to tear me apart in the comments at the bottom.

When did music blogs start their demise?

I think there are two major factors that contributed to the fall of music blogs.

1) Streaming services

2) The way YouTube shows up in search results

Regarding number 1, I doubt I have to go into much detail. Most people already understand that Spotify, Apple Music, etc. have made accessibility to music incredibly easy, and when you're already paying $9.99/month to subscribe, you're probably going to centralize your listening behavior around that service.

The less obvious answer is number 2, and I think it has had one of the biggest impacts in music. Specifically, I'm talking about the way that YouTube shows up in search results on Google when you look for a song.

Back in 2012, if you searched for a hot new indie song on Google, you'd be presented with a familiar page of simple links. Many blogs generated a lot of their traffic from those search results (and, by proxy, fans).  If you were the first to cover an obscure song, chances are you'd show up in the top 3 of the search results.

Things changed in ~2013 though, when YouTube started to embed massive previews of their videos as the first search result in Google.  Here, I'll show an example:

Given that roughly 56% of clicks go to the first result in a regular search query, I'm willing to wager that YouTube taking up 90% of the real-estate results in an even higher click-through-rate. And where does that leave the blogs? Hah! Short answer: fucked.

Okay so moving on, where do blogs fit in today?

Good question! While most of us are losing our traffic (actually, Indie Shuffle's doing decently), I think music blogs have established a very important "niche" in the music industry: that of modern-day A&R.

To quote Wikipedia, "Artists and repertoire (A&R) is the division of a record label or music publishing company that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists and songwriters."

Basically, the modern era has allowed labels to replace their army of A&R staff with a select handful who are good at monitoring the internet for early trends. Perhaps the easiest way to do this today is to watch Hype Machine, a website that "aggregates" (collects) all the latest posts from a select group of blogs and identifies who is getting the most traction.

It goes further than record labels, it seems...

Many folks are familiar with Spotify's Fresh Finds playlists -- but few realize that they're largely automated. Here's an article about it, where the important takeaway (in this context) is that: "For the last few years, Spotify has been gathering data from music blogs and review sites, and culling out the most talked-about new artists."

In conclusion...

I've had a few beers, so I'll cut this short: blogs might be losing their day-to-day users, but they're stronger than ever when it comes to their impact in the "early discovery" game. Thanks to sites like Hype Machine and SubmitHub, their collective consensus continues to shape the industry of up-and-coming acts, and I don't think that's going to go away anytime soon.

If you're an artist, label, or publicist looking to get your music heard, music blogs are still one of the most-important tickets to building up the momentum you need for the big time.

Jami Selikow

Jami Selikow

Jun 21, 2017

Cage the Elephant is an indie rock band known for tracks like "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" and "Shake Me Down," which you can listen to down below. They released their first album in 2008 which had a few successful radio singles, generating a massive following in both the US & UK. Last year Cage the Elephant toured alongside indie rock bandsFoals & Silversun Pickups

In what seems to be an album announcement, Cage the Elephant have taken to Twitter posting about a possible release named "Unpeeled." If you're as excited as we are, then keep reading for information about the band's history.

Cage the Elephant's "Unpeeled"

Cage the Elephant have been fairly quiet since the release of Tell Me I'm Pretty in 2015. They've been playing at festivals and releasing music videos to songs from the fourth album, that is until now.

A fun(ish) fact: The band has tweeted the following: 


It looks imminent that we'll get new music from the band in a release called "Unpeeled." Could it be a new album? Seems like it, let's have a look at some of their past work!

The First Album: Cage the Elephant

Their self-titled first album, Cage the Elephant, was influenced by classic rock, funk, and blues. When performing the singles live, the band became well-known for their hugely energetic shows. 

The Second Album: Thank You, Happy Birthday

In 2011, they released their second album–Thank You, Happy Birthday. This album had a slightly different sound as it was heavily influenced by punk rock. They drew inspiration from bands such as the Pixies and Nirvana.

Fun(ner) fact: this album was meant to be released in 2009 under the name Computer Says Move.

The Rest

Melophobia, the bands' third album, was distinctly their own, featuring (for the first time) a distinctly Cage the Elephant sound. This won them a Grammy Award nomination in 2015 for Best Alternative Music Album. It was the last album to feature lead guitarist Lincoln Parish who left to attain a producing career. 

The band's third album seemed to send people in a new direction: longtime producer Jay Joyce, who had worked on all the previous albums, was no longer involved.

Fun(est) factDan Auerbach from The Black Keys produced their fourth album–Tell Me I'm Pretty which won a Grammy Award for the Best Rock Album. 

Image Source: Uncensored Interview

Cage The Elephant - Ain't No Rest For The Wicked

Cage The Elephant - Ain't No Rest For The Wicked

Cage The Elephant - Shake Me Down

Cage The Elephant - Shake Me Down

Jami Selikow

Jami Selikow

Jun 21, 2017

LCD Soundsystem are heading out on a world tour following the release of their comeback album American Dream. Seven years after 2010'sThis Is Happening, the band have come together once more to release with a string of releases including "Calle The Police" and title track, "American Dream." When is the album, you ask? The release date is scheduled for September 1st, 2017. 

American Dream

On the back of a very mild social media controversy the band are gearing up for American Dream, which is to be 10 tracks in total. The already-released singles, 7th and 8th on the album respectively, "Call The Police" and "American Dream," can be heard below, as reviewed by Indie Shuffle.

American Dream Tracklist

The tracklist currently reads as such: 

1. "Oh Baby"
2. "Other Voices"
3. "I Used To"
4. "Change Yr Mind"
5. "How Do You Sleep?"
6. "Tonite"
7. "Call The Police"
8. "American Dream"
9. "Emotional Haircut"
10. "Black Screen"

LCD Soundsystem Tour

Following a much-anticipated album release, LCD Soundsystem are heading out on a world tour. Venues include Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris, and more. The tour also involves another residency at Brooklyn Steel -- which you can read more about this below.

LCD Soundsystem Tour Dates

LCD Soundsystem Tour Dates

LCD Soundsystem Tickets

You can find out more about the gigs and tickets on their official website

LCD Soundsystem at Alexandra Palace & Brooklyn Steel 

Part of their tour involves a UK & European tour in September, where the band will headline at Alexandra Palace. This will be their first headlining show since 2011. 

Following a UK & European tour, the band will tour the states. After the immensely popular first iteration, LCD Soundsystem have recently taken up a second residency at Brooklyn Steel, which ends toward the latter stages of June. The band will return for yet another residency there at the end of the American leg of their tour in December this year. 

Image Source: Matt Biddulph

LCD Soundsystem - american dream

LCD Soundsystem - american dream

LCD Soundsystem - call the police

LCD Soundsystem - call the police

PAGE 1/1