Though Bandcamp Friday has become a bit of a frantic one with inboxes full of announcements and social media feeds full of amazing artistic projects, its importance when it comes to independent artists and labels can't be understated.
Covid-19 has hit people hard, and often those making and releasing music for the fun of the creative endeavour struggle to justify the cost involved with manufacturing physical releases, or even the time it takes to make something really beautiful. The projects that you buy on Bandcamp Friday could help an artist to keep doing what they love, or even just keep the bills paid.
Furthermore, if you saw the recent upheaval about music NFTs over the last few days, you should know that artists are begging for you to buy their stuff directly. So without any further ado, here are 5 things you should definitely consider buying this Bandcamp Friday!
'Oseni - Lawrence English
On January 15th, the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano devastated Tonga and sent shockwaves around the world. The affects of the volcano's eruption have destroyed homes, buildings and villages, with around 60,000 people left at the mercy of food and water shortages.
Brisbane-based artist Lawrence English's 'Oseni explores the beauty of the Pacific Ocean through field recordings taken from the past decade and a half. With waves lapping and water swirling off the shores of Australia, Japan and elsewhere, the 30-minute long release really explores the beauty of the world's largest ocean. It's a beautiful listening experience and all proceeds generated by this edition will be donated to a number of charities supporting relief efforts in the Kingdom Of Tonga including the Red Cross and CARE.
Around 100 years ago, Karel Čapek's play R.U.R (Rossums Universal Robots) premiered at Prague's National Theatre and introduced a concept that would become one of the most crucial aspects of our modern world. At its very basis, R.U.R is the story of a creation of a robot workforce. Born into servitude, they subsequently overthrow their creators and cause the extinction of mankind. Though over a century old, Čapek's tale flows through the arteries of today's society.
To celebrate its anniversary, Binaural Space released an incredible musical interpretation of the story. Featuring moody synths and rough robotic percussion that pulsate like the very first sparks of life in a circuit-filled brain, the album is a testament to the beauty and poignance of the story. Binaural Space's release is no mere dip into the world of R.U.R but a richly immersive retelling, with samples from the script of Čapek's play.
Purchase the cassette here (there are only 5 left, so hurry!)
dreams_irl vol.1 - girl_irl
No stranger to a darker sound, girl_irl takes us deep into the twilight zone with this 5-track release, presented especially for Bandcamp Friday. With each track created in the evening or early morning, a chimeric energy flows. no birds offers a meditative aura with resonant bells and a fluid loop that seems to move endlessly, like an elusive thought appearing just as the mind falls into a more dormant state. It is not all halcyon, however. market hits with a heavy chattering beat, with short and sharp melodies leaking from a scratchy sample. Running! has a similar sensation with an emphasis on speed, a dizzying melody gliding into a vertiginous choral sequence. These two specific tracks are like a fever dream, lathered in reactive breathing and organic sound.
It goes without saying that everything girl_irl brings out is worth a listen, as each release is filled with imaginative melodies and instrumentation. But dreams_irl vol.1 offers listeners a real journey through the slumbering mind, a rare vulnerability and purity on display.
Edinburgh-based label Werra Foxma present an incredible sonic journey in Scanner's La Fenêtre Magique. Robin Rimbaud creates a truly immersive experience, as the artist unabashedly shifts from ethereal to deeply harrowing on the 30-minute long Blinking in Time. Shifts in mood are made with a diligent patience, serving as a shining example of the experimental artist's ability to world-build through improvisational performance. After Magnetism fizzles throughout its runtime, almost funereal notes reaching past a heavy downpour of feedback.
The release is available for preorder in a stunning white vinyl, with incredible design from BMH Arthouse.
Gracie Gray's single anna gifts the listener with observations on love and vulnerability. Hypnotic synth loops drift in the backdrop as the Californian artist produces an incredible falsetto vocal line over determined drums. Her voice floats gracefully over the instrumentation calling to the listener in a touching cadence. The single happiness offers a more grounded and stripped back energy, but finds Gracie pushing away feelings of positivity through a lack of trust.
These fantastic singles are only the start, as the artist releases the album anna on cassette via the record label Hand In Hive. With such poignant lyricism and thoughtful melodies, Gracie Gray's new album is sure to sound fantastic as a physical release.