I’ve said before that I’m a Spotify evangelist and that is completely the truth. I pay $10 a month to them for unlimited, commercial free music streaming on any device. Some people might say that’s too much to pay, and some people might say I’m getting too much for the money I’m paying. After all, I’m getting on-demand access to a metric ton of music and the amount of time I spend listening means I’m paying pennies per play. So if this post sounds too worshipful of the service, I do apologize. Hahaha, LIES, I don’t apologize for stuff.
Some parts of the Intertubes have flared up with a debate about whether Spotify is healthy for artists. Taylor Swift recently pulled all her music from the service citing unfairness to artists. I personally believe it was because Spotify wasn't sufficiently contributing the purchase of her second solid gold money palace. But that is neither here nor there.
This post from the Spotify blog puts out a $2 billion figure as the amount paid to the recording industry since its inception. I believe that, and I believe that Spotify is helping cut down on piracy by making gabillions of songs cheaply and (very importantly) conveniently available to people who might otherwise not pay a cent for it. I also believe that artists getting Spotify money probably aren’t going to be buying their very own steampunk pirate ship any time soon. There’s so much content there I can’t imagine each artist is getting that much.
So yeah, it was shrewd business move on T. Swift’s part, because she doesn’t need Spotify to grow her fanbase. She’s Taylor-effing-Swift. I think where Spotify really shines is helping people discover music they wouldn't have otherwise listened to. There are dozens of artists I never would have discovered without Spotify, many of which I would gladly invest in on Patreon or Bandcamp. In some cases I have. Because who buys CDs anymore, right?
I don’t buy music I don’t know. I’m just not one of those people who will just drop money on a bunch of albums I’ve never heard of just to find out if I like them. And I’m not the kind of person who has the patience to sort through YouTube to find stuff I like. But I can make a playlist in Spotify of stuff I like and turn on the radio and hear similar music that may or may not blow me away. More often than not the mind-blowing happens, so I thought I’d share a few musicians I would not have discovered if I had never paid for Spotify.
Miracle of Sound
Without Spotify, this guy would just be the Nord Mead dude to me. I’d heard that song on YouTube but never bothered to filter through any of the playlists of his songs because I loathe ads. But when I discovered him on my almighty commercial-free streaming service I realized what an amazing artist he was. Even though its very much rock music there’s a lot of variety in his music as well, because many of the songs are about video games and are tailored to match the style of that game. Plus he’s got an amazing voice.
This is just one of the multitudinous DJs I’ve discovered with the radio funtion. I would describe his style as not-boring dubstep. There’s plenty of wub-wub, but many layers of other stuff too. I like my electronica to have layers, since most of the time there aren’t vocals. Bad electronica is produced by the layers not working well together, but in this case the layers work together perfectly. Whenever I listen to his music I break dance in my head. Caveat: I cannot break dance in real life. But I will tell you what, in my head I have ALL THE SICK MOVES.
Air Traffic Controller
This band is a lot more mellow than the other music I’ve mentioned. I would classify them as indie-pop, I think. I could be wrong, I am not a music snob nor an archivist of genres. Their music is smack-you-in-the-chest-with-feels music. I recommend listening to it when you’re feeling melancholy and want to hear something beautiful, or if you need to feel inspired for a couple minutes. I would say the sound they produce is a wall of fascinating and feel-good art.
Imaginary Flying Machines
Its Ghibli speed metal. I will say it again - metal versions of Studio Ghibli songs! Which makes it simultaneously brutal and happy! Quick aside, if you don’t like growly metal, you probably won’t like this stuff. I developed an appreciation for the harder metals (haaa. I kill me.) over the years of living in Seattle and being friends with many metalheads. If nothing else, check out their version of the Spirited Away theme song. Here, I’ll even help with a YouTube link. You have no excuse now!
This is more indie pop, feel-good music. Their sound is less wall-like than Air Traffic Controller, its a little more in-your-face. If this music was a person she would be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, if the MPDG wasn’t a complete stereotype. Its a little quirky, very approachable, and fun to be around. And will probably bust your heart wide open because you’ll decide she’s the only one for you, but she just doesn't want a relationship right now. And she’ll dance exuberantly all over your bleeding ticker in her flowered flats, not even realizing those are your feels underfoot.
I Fight Dragons
The very best in rock mixed with 8-bit sound. Ok, I don’t know if its the VERY best, but I love their sound. Like Opiuo, it makes me dance in my head. Not only is it a great blending of sounds, the lyrics and melodies are incredibly heartfelt. I remember when this band first came up on the radio, I immediately thought “Who is this and how can I get more of them in my brain?”. Just delightful stuff. I would love to see them live. Well, lets be honest, any of these artists I would kill to see live.
In conclusion (I like to say that because I'm a liberal arts major), all of these artists have one more fan because of Spotify. And if anyone reads this blog they might get a couple more fans. And so on and so on. Because word of mouth is still the best promotional engine there is. Actually, I will probably do a little more promoting of this post that I usually do because I want lots of people to read it and discover these bands for themselves.
Also, if anyone wants any more music recommendations you know where to find me!