Music has a lot of power over us. It can bring us to tears, help us fall in love, comfort us when we’re at the end of our rope, and make us feel like we’re on top of the world. Though we all connect with music on a personal level, in the wider scheme it can also bring people together and unite them behind a common cause. In these ways a song can become the voice of a generation, a call to arms against injustice, an inspirational voice for positive change. There’s certainly no shortage of causes for artists to rally around, especially given the current state of the world. We have the abhorrent rise of far-right ideologies, the ever growing division caused by racism and xenophobia, the worst wealth inequality the world has ever seen with the richest getting richer and the poor dying needlessly, and of course the looming threat of an ongoing climate crisis. There’s enough ammunition there to spark a golden age of protest music… so why does it feel like protest music has lost its bite? Continue reading
While not every song that graces the charts is worthy of derision, it’s no secret that the charts do very little to properly represent both music and the music industry as a whole. Songs that are just products of lazy corporate entities designed to make profits, that constantly clog up the single charts, do nothing to alleviate the age-old mentality of “modern music is rubbish, music was better back in my day!“. But why are the charts so broken and can they be fixed? Continue reading
For years I had the same routine every Saturday. I would head into town for a spot of lunch, look around HMV and the record stalls in the market, buy the latest copy of NME and chill for an hour or so in my favourite cafe. Over the course of a very large pot of loose leaf tea I would read every last article and feature. That seems like an age ago now. Pardon the nostalgia, but with the announcement that Britain’s most iconic music publication will cease printing by the end of the week after 66 years in circulation, I’d rather remember it as it used to be rather than what it became. Continue reading
Hear me out on this one! Granted, the orangutan in the Oval Office may be a lying fascist, racist and misogynist, his rise to power has been littered with controversy and he has set the world on a tense knife’s edge, but at least one good outcome seems certain to come from his reign of terror… albeit inadvertently. Continue reading
In 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
According to BPI, music sales in the UK in 2015 came to a value of £1.06 billion, compared to 2014’s £1.03 billion. This is the first rise in music sales since 2004. The sales increase is due to the rise in streaming and the vinyl resurgence. Streaming use rose 82% and vinyl sales rose 64% in 2015. The biggest money makers for the industry are home grown artists, with Adele’s ’25’ being the best selling album of the year and Ed Sheeran being the most streamed artist.