Bandcamp Waived Their Revenue Share For a Day, So I Bought $200 Worth of Music

Oh god. OH GOD.

Yeah. So I said that.

We’re all dealing with Coronavirus right now. COVID-19. Thee Big C, as it were.

We’re getting pretty fucked up right now, and by we, I mean all of us. Independent music especially hard. Cancelled gigs, layoffs from nine-to-fives, etc. Streaming revenue sucks. It sucks big fat dick and Spotify, Apple, Deezer, Tidal, your 25-year-old son’s Silicon Valley startup DO NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU. We know this, it isn’t new. But Bandcamp kinda does. They kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinda do. So, in a very cool gesture, they’ve made the decision to waive their revenue share today to help out artists a lil bit, which made me a lil more inclined to buy a bunch of music on this day in particular. Thing isn’t that I can’t part with $200: it’s that $200 goes a loooooooooooooooooong way. I could just buy the music and be done with it, but I like to make things more difficult than they need to be, so I’m breaking down every single thing I bought today.

Every. Single. Thing.

So strap in, here’s a buttload of music:

 

Intrusive Thoughts – A Pristine Wilderness

What is it: Refreshing ambient vapordrone (?) that usually relaxes but occasionally confounds with bizarre beauty that polymerizes the naturalistic and alien. It has almost a ‘new age’ atmosphere to it, but the compositions are far more dense and complex, affording the listener to let it settle into the background and passively set a mood, or to peer in closer at the finer details of its soundscapes.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $9 + shipping

 

April Magazine – Tape for Japan

What is it: Warm and gentle lo-fi dream pop from San Francisco, characterized by a lot of cozy tape hiss and hazy, echoed tones. Cute but not cloying, soft but not mushy.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1 (name your price)

 

frosty palms – the arid interval

What is it: Folksy, psych-tinged singer-songwriter material out of Austin, TX. Really strong throughout, but “lagging” in particular is something special.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $7 + shipping

 

Water Wingz – Sick Songs

What is it: A varied collection of songs that could loosely be referred to as soul, thematically tied to together in pairs of contrasting tracks: “Alive” and “Dead”, “Late Night” and “Morning”, “Nature” and “City”. A laid-back attitude persists, but the assembled package is a far cry from lazy.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $3

 

Malocculsion – Personal War Machine

What is it: An anxious and abrasive collection of instrumentals that blend the suspense of horror synth (think John Carpenter) with more apparently jarring and terrifying elements of industrial. Recommended by Malocculsion to fans of Tetsuo: The Iron Man, which really tells you more about this than most things I could write would.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $2

 

Daniel Romano – Visions of the Higher Dream

What is it: Canadian songwriter who hooked me on country a decade ago churns out a really solid power pop record. A whole other album is coming really soon, apparently. Damn.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $2.06 ($3 CAD)

 

Suko & moduS – Watch Your Step

What is it: Collaboration between Madrid based singer/songwriter Suko Pyramid and Los Angeles instrumental composer moduS ponY. Both STR alumni, you know what it is. It’s weird shit. It’s great shit. Go buy it.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $7 + shipping

 

The Curls – Bounce House

What is it: *Tastefully* funky rock from Chicago. There’s a poise to this that’s hard to briefly nail down. I’d almost recommend to fans of Reflektor, but that’s not quite right either, because it’s a lot zanier than that album. Maybe existing somewhere on some bizarre Arcade Fire —> Devo spectrum? But more ‘funk’? I dunno, you tell me.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $10

 

Two Meters

What is it: Follow up single to last year’s The Blue Jay. Kinda indie rock Deafheaven but not really. Very Jazzed puts out cool shit. Also picked up The Blue Jay and his self-titled on cassette, because I needed them.

What I bought: Digital + 2 cassettes

What I paid: $6 + shipping ($1 (name your price) for the single, $5 + shipping for the cassettes)

 

Pink and Yellow – Rosy Retrospection

What is it: Tunes from our very own Dharnyk!

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $5 + shipping

 

WAKE IN JUNE – 1998

What is it: Debut EP from our favorite Italian jangle pop artist. Nostalgia. Needs a tape, but I’ll make due for now. Enrico has a bunch of recent singles too, but I know the album’s coming so this took priority.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $2.17 (€2)

 

Alec Critten

What is it: Burlington, VT artist (say hi to Bernie for me!) making “drones as Evergreen Avenue, songs as Diskont, dance music as Cartel Client”. Two quarters will net you 73 releases between his projects, but I spent a bit extra here.

What I bought: Full digital discography

What I paid: $5 (as low as $0.50)

 

Heart Eyes – Unassuming

What is it: Lo-fi bedroom pop single with an emo bent. Kinda twinkly, but largely exhausted, those playing off of each other in interesting ways.

What I bought: Vinyl

What I paid: $10 + shipping

 

Romeo Diablos – TRAGICOMEDIA

What is it: Industrial witch house (?). Weird, but closer to pop than you might expect. If Cyberpunk 2077 has GTA-style radio, this would snuggle right in on the Spanish-language station.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1 (name your price)

 

Caleb Landry Jones – The Mother Stone

What is it: A pre-order, but I’ve already been sold on the insane singles that recall the likes of Zappa and Syd Barrett in their vivid lunacy. One of my most anticipated of the year, without a real back catalog to base that off of: a testament to just how much I love these preview tracks.

What I bought: Vinyl

What I paid: $26 + shipping

 

Collections of Dead Souls

What is it: Homeless artist out of LA making dense, unsettling electronic music on an iPad. Visceral, uncompromising stuff.

What I bought: Full digital discography

What I paid: $6

 

BlueWind – Radio Terror

What is it: Conceptual producer record featuring narration and dialogue, like some mad film sans the picture. Pink and Yellow (Dharnyk) provides some dialogue on one of these tracks, fun fact.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1 (name your price)

 

Cross Wires – A Life Extinct

What is it: UK power pop very much in homage to the late ’70s/early ’80s style. Great songs, meaty recordings, pandering hard to my personal tastes and succeeding with flying colours.

What I bought: Vinyl

What I paid: $17.38 (£15) + shipping

 

The New Pollution – Live!? at Creative Corner

What is it: Live album bridging the gap between late ’70s no wave and modern New York club post-punk. It’s got a Bowie cover too, and it doesn’t suck. It’s actually quite good.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1 (name your price)

 

Sustains – Sick Ones

What is it: A short set of tight pop tunes coated in thick walls of noisy fuzz. No Age worship done well: so well in fact, it’s likely stronger than anything their inspiration has done in a decade.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $6.52 (€6)+ shipping

 

Artifiseer – Syncretist

What is it: Self-described as “melancholic experimental pop steeped in glitched electronic psychedelia”. Definitely not immediate stuff: really heady compositions and no traditional hooks, it slowly burrows its way into your subconsciousness. Until then, it sounds. real. cool.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $1.37 ($2 CAD) (name your price)

 

yllwblly – Land Lover

What is it: Indie folk rock so good it directly references Instagram in a lyric and I’m not damning it to hell, but actually spending money on it. Reminds me of The Mountain Goats a bit for some reason, even if objectively the comparison isn’t super close. Similarly straight-forward and focused on depressive and bitter stories though.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $7

 

Sunset Grid

What is it: Vaporwave-leaning netlabel with an absolute embarrassment of riches in its catalog. 325 releases, to be exact. I will never make it through all of this, and that’s ok.

What I bought: Full digital discography

What I paid: $4.20

 

Bats – There’s a River Up High

What is it: Gorgeous alt-country backed by noise soundscapes. In some ways reminds me of Wilco’s A Ghost Is Born, but also very much its own thing.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $6.66 + shipping

 

Fire-Toolz – Rainbow Bridge / Field Whispers (Into the Crystal Palace)

What is it: Rainbow Bridge is a pre-order, but lead single “It’s Now Safe To Turn Off Your Computer” is a nutso slice of synth prog with black metal shrieks, field recordings, glitchy power electronics, and swathes of soft new age ambiance that against all logic works brilliantly. Been meaning to scoop up last year’s Field Whispers for a while and it was cheap, so no-brainer there as well.

What I bought: Both albums on cassette

What I paid: $21 + shipping ($12 for Rainbow Bridge, $9 for Field Whispers (Into the Crystal Palace), + shipping)

 

business casual

What is it: Another insanely prolific netlabel, again vaporwave focused. Whereas Sunset Grid is often more experimental, business casual is more frequently about straight up good times, exemplified by CHANCE デラソウル’s infectious future funk.

What I bought: Full digital discography (249 releases) + CHANCE デラソウル’s Besides on cassette

What I paid: $9 + shipping ($1 for discography, $8 + shipping for Besides)

 

Ty Sorrell – At God’s House

What is it: Stellar hip-hop that strikes the delicate balance between soulful and experimental. Exhibiting influences from glitch to trap, Sorrell rides off-kilter, relaxed beats with a dynamic flow.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $6 + shipping

 

Needless Ghost – I’m sorry for everything

What is it: Slow moving, darkly tinged alternative rock. Almost a doom metal approach in spots, dream pop in others. Gloomy, occasionally political, often hauntingly pretty.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1

 

pastel

What is it: Evocative alternative soul featuring intimate and inventive production and some of the most stunning vocal performances I’ve heard in recent memory.

What I bought: Full digital discography, plus Bone-Weary cassette

What I paid: $18.70 + shipping ($15.20 for discography, $3.50 + shipping for cassette)

 

 

The George Costanzas – George

What is it: Stupid, but not nearly as stupid as the Seinfeld-reference band name and Simon & Garfunkel parody cover art suggest. Often solid ‘light’ novelty punk, but when they stretch beyond that framework, they begin to show their hand: that being of deft versatility. The 11-minute “This Must Be Space” is far better than it has any right to be. Lump ’em in with Frozen Pizza Disaster and the like as another band with loads of upside who’ll be dismissed unfairly by people who take themselves too seriously.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1 (name your price)

 

There you have it. So how much did I get for $200?

711 releases. And that’s with a couple of pricey ones.

A better day to blow your proverbial cash wad on Bandcamp isn’t going to come around again anytime soon, so go spend some money on the artists you love. And to those who sent along music but didn’t get a buy today: I got a bunch of you wishlisted, but today’s spree had to stop somewhere. Thanks for reading, and SUPPORT THE ARTS ESPECIALLY IN THIS UNCERTAIN AND SCARY TIME.

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