Sound of 2018

sound of 2018If current music musings on social media are any indication, the “sound of 2018” will be that of petty squabbling and pretentious ramblings. As the year draws to a close and the industry slowly shuts down ready to hibernate over Christmas, there comes the customary last hurrah of end-of-year lists and ones-to-watch for the year ahead. There’s always an element of one-upmanship in these proceedings every year, but this year in particular has been notable for the amount of unnecessary vitriol being thrown around. I’m hoping this year will be the straw that broke the camel’s back, rather than a sign of further pointless bickering to come.  Continue reading

Advertisements

How Not to F*** Up a Festival

hope-and-gloryTo say that this year’s festival season has been a bit of a shambles would be a massive understatement. That’s like saying the Sahara Desert is “a bit warm”. Between Y Not being totally unprepared for rain (i.e. a normal British summer) to Hope and Glory being several thousand over capacity, it’s been one hell of a year for shamefully poor organisation… and the less said about the horror show that is Fyre Festival the better. All of them cut corners when it came to security and facilities, all of them showed utter disregard for their patron’s safety, enjoyment and well-being. Anyone who has been to a half decent festival will know that all these problems are easily avoided. Continue reading

What Bands Would The Different Parties Be?

political bandsIf you somehow haven’t yet decided who to vote for in the UK’s most important election in generations, then here is a handy guide. It’s also important to remember to register to vote while you still can. Belwood doesn’t claim to be an expert opinion on many things… except, of course, music! So what would the country’s political parties look like when translated into band form?  Continue reading

Unnecessary Albums: The rise of deluxe editions

deluxe albumsYou all know the type; once an album has been released the record label will keep flogging it for every penny it’s worth. In today’s modern music industry, during what is probably the most unpredictable time since it’s inception, the business side of things plays a bigger role than ever before. With streaming becoming the dominant form of music consumption, but offering little in terms of monetary rewards, labels have to go to greater lengths to try and push sales for physical copies of albums. One of the biggest, and most irritating ways that they do this is by releasing “deluxe editions”, packed to the brim with content that, if we’re honest, no one asked for.  Continue reading

Stop the solo concert shame

Jubelnde Konzertbesucher auf Rock-Konzert

I will admit, I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to live music. I didn’t attend my first proper gig until I was in university and it wasn’t until many many more down the line that I discovered that there is a stigma attached to going to concerts on your own. A great many more concerts later, both solo and with friends, and I still must profess that I don’t understand what the problem is. I think it’s high time people grow up and embrace the idea of going solo to live music events. Continue reading

2016 in Hindsight

hindsight

Original photo: Joe Mabel

There are many times I wish I could have some special sixth sense to detect when amazing music is released, that way I could catch all those albums that would otherwise slip past my radar. Granted it certainly wouldn’t be my first choice for a superpower, but it’s up there! To err is human and there are bound to be a few albums that we miss that are worthy of a mention. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the best music of 2016 that sadly slipped through the cracks and never found its way onto the site.  Continue reading

What will music be like in the future?

nomacIn today’s fast moving world the path that the future will take can be very difficult to predict. Fads come and go faster than ever before and music is not immune to the fickle nature of modern life. Someone can be on top of the world one day and then be all but forgotten the next. (Remember Gotye? Anyone heard from him lately?) Likewise acts can be plucked up from obscurity and thrust into the limelight seemingly out of the blue… I bet Rick Astley’s bank account is looking nice and full after all those millions of rick rolls! But even in the disorderly world of pop culture there are patterns to be found. Perhaps the best way to make predictions is to look at how the industry itself is set to change and think about what effect it will have on music. Continue reading

Cut and Paste Crisis: The problem with sampling

samplingIt’s no secret that when you look at the credits and personnel on certain albums, with hip hop, manufactured pop and modern R&B being the most notable culprits, you will see a long list of writers and producers. Albums from such artists as Beyoncé and Kanye West which have made big waves in the industry this past year seem to practically have an entire office block worth of people credited with making the music that made them famous. I imagine few of these people have made conscious contributions, many of them simply have had their work sampled. Continue reading

Stagnant Streams: How streaming killed the charts

spotify-logo

Let’s be honest with ourselves, for as long as the charts have existed they have had to be taken with a pinch of salt. “Chart topping” music and good music rarely coincide, and any institution that gives Mr Blobby a number 1 single can’t be said to represent the best music in the country. Even so chart placings remain a source of pride for up and coming artists who rightly celebrate them as a milestone. However with the new rules in place to allow streaming figures to contribute to chart positions it could end up being the final nail in the coffin for this longstanding music institution. Continue reading