So, I’m addicted to making music and have put out anywhere between 4 and 30 tracks each month for the past few years.
They tend to fall into two categories:
1. Music I made because I enjoyed it and wanted to share it.
2. Music I made because some otherworldly passion and determination effectively took control of my body and if I didn’t make it I felt like I would die.
I’m working on one such “passion” album right now, but it’s a bit painful to make that distinction. To face the fact that I believe in these songs more than my other ones, or to phrase it even more painfully, that my other songs are all “worse” than these.
Then again, the last time I was so consumed with passion in my work was over two years ago, when I was writing and recording Autumn - and what else should I have done since then but make all of the stuff I have, which I 87% rather than 100% believe in?
The other painful distinction to make is knowing, at least to some degree, what’s going to be popular. I had a great gut feeling and a lot of incredible feedback about Love #1, Never, Lantern and many of the other songs on Autumn, so I knew it was going to be a personal landmark. The viral success I had with a lot of Songs To Wear Pants To material speaks for itself.
The few people who’ve heard what I’m working on right now agree with me that it’s got all the emotion of Autumn with almost as much fun as STWPT (though maybe not so silly) and more pop sensibility than anything I’ve done before. Basically, we can all wager our souls that it will get more listens, sales and new fans than, say, the ambient/soundscape album I put out last month.
So I’ve been thinking about bringing these songs to that wizened king of music formats… VINYL. Accompanied by downloads of course. Why is vinyl the king? Maybe I will discuss that in another post. But anyway, all of this makes me wonder…
Is it weird to have my music distributed in inconsistent formats? Autumn was a book, Songs To Wear Pants To just got a best-of compilation CD, most of my stuff is on Bandcamp but only a portion is on iTunes, etc. Furthermore, if I make a big deal about an album and give it a physical release, does it diminish anything about the other music? Do you agree that vinyl is awesome? Would you buy it just because it’s so awesome even if you don’t have a record player and would just be admiring the lovely art while you listen to the mp3s? Do you even care what I do with my songs as long as you enjoy them and can listen somehow?
I know some of you do care because you ask me about doing CD releases for things that you’ve already downloaded. But that only confuses me more.
Anyway, this post got long and I tend to overcomplicate things, but please respond here or feel free to write me (befriendswithandrew@gmail) if you have any thoughts about music formats, the nature of pop appeal, the degree of passion necessary in one’s work, the relationship between artist and art, etc etc etc.
And if you actually read this whole thing I love you for two forevers.