Music Blogs That Want Your Music!

Getting your music heard is hard. Getting your music heard by the right people is even harder. You hear so many blogs, journalists and other industry big names complaining about unsolicited PR emails from bands, so it’s difficult to know where to tread. This is why we have set up this blog post, containing info and links to all the influential sites and blogs who not only accept these emails but welcome them.

But before you start emailing, here’s a quick word of warning. Never under any circumstances send a group email. It may save you time, but putting all these addresses into a BCC field and firing over a group email would burn more bridges than it would build. Spend some time looking at each site individually, see what sort of music they are into and try to relate. If you are a sensitive singer songwriter crooning over an acoustic guitar, don’t contact a hip-hop blog. Find them on Twitter, look at their recent articles, and try and find common ground between them and your music.

Below is a list of blogs that are accepting submissions.

A&R Factory

A&R Factory is a popular music blog with a wide-ranging readership, including record label owners, publishers, radio stations, PR executives, managers and sync licensing firms from all over the globe. 

Aurgasm

Aurgasm is an essential destination for passionate music lovers around the world, featuring an eclectic range of tracks from unsigned bands and solo artists all over the globe.

Aquarium Drunkard

Aquarium Drunkard is an music blog with reviews, interviews, features, mp3 samples and sessions. It accepts all sorts of submissions and covers contemporary sounds with vintage garage, psych, folk, country, soul, funk, R&B and everything that falls in between.

Birp.fm

BIRP is a playlist aggregator and blog devoted to new and unsigned artists. The site also acts as a hub for a growing community of people that love to share and talk about music.

Consequence Of Sound

Consequence Of Sound is a leading Chicago music publication and the missing link between mainsteam pop culture and the underground, accepting submissions from a diverse selection of bands and artists.

Country Fried Rock

Country Fried Rock is a one-hour, weekly radio road trip that features some of the most exciting off-the-radar artists talking about and playing the music that moves them. 

Drowned in Sound

Drowned in Sound has everything to keep you up to date with reviews, music news and community posts. The site commisions around 15 album reviews a week from submissions by unsigned artists.

Emerging Indie Bands 

Emerging Indie Bands is dedicated to showcasing the very best up and coming independent musicians from across the globe, review and promoting hundreds of exciting unsigned artists.

FACT

FACT has built up a reputation for featuring some of the biggest up-and-coming artists. They have offices in the UK, US and Australia and their own online TV channel!

Gorilla vs Bear

Gorilla vs. Bear writes about relevant artists of the day, with no particular genre-specific focus, and has been featured in leading publications including Rolling Stone and the New York Times.

HearYa

HearYa is an indie music blog that gives indie music enthusiasts a destination to cut through the clutter when discovering new music. They’re a community of fans that want to see the music they love reach the ears of new friends and survive.

HighClouds

HighClouds describes itself as the Music Junkies' Holy Bible. Originally an online radio station, the site now focusses on album and EP reviews for emerging artists of all genres.

Indie Music Filter

Indie Music Filter is Toronto-based music blog dedicated to finding the best new music available on the internet from the best new up and coming indie bands.

Indie Music Life

Indie Music Life is an online music archive filled with awesome new bands, featuring a shuffled new music playlist each time the site loads. The site also accepts submission from unsigned band and artists.

IndiePulse Music Magazine

IndiePulse Music Magazine is an advocate for the independent music scene, featuring news, interviews, reviews and video. IndiePulse also offers a platform for artists to be heard with its online radio station IPM Radio.

Indie Shuffle

Indie Music Shuffle is run by a diverse group of people excited about sharing new music. They don’t write bad reviews, so everything you read about is something they like and believe is worth checking out.

King of A&R

Kings of A&R is a one-stop shop for information about new music trends and finding new music. The site accepts music submissions from all types of bands and artists.

Knox Road

Knox Road is your ideal music fix, and sometimes more. Support what you like. It's pretty simple, really. The website also accepts submissions from unsigned artists looking to promote their music.

Metal Injection

Metal Injection offer the latest news and reviews from around the metal world, mainly for metal videos. You can also upload your own videos for the site moderators to consider for promotion.

Music Emissions

Music Emissions was created to present one person's critical thinking on independent music. Up and coming musician can build a profile on the site in the hope of getting featured review.

The Music Ninja

The Music Ninja is a multi-genre music discovery site based in the deep, dark and melodic shadows of the internet.

Pigeons & Planes

Pigeons & Planes is a music discovery and the perfect place to go to uncover lots of fantastic new music, whatever genre you're looking for from anywhere in the world.

Potholes In My Blog

Potholes In My Blog is an award-winning hip-hop blog based in Phoenix, AZ, and “your lifeline to good ass music” as they say.

The Line Of Best Fit

The Line Of Best Fit champion new music that they love and for their efforts were awarded most influential music blog in the UK in 2014.

If you have any suggestions, please post in the comment section below! Good luck!

Posted on February 13, 2017 .

How To Submit Your Music to Blogs

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Over the years, we've put together a few articles on how to get posted on music blogs, but this time we're getting specific about one of the most important parts of reaching that goal: the email submission. When you're sending music to a blogger, what should you put as the subject line? What information should you include? How many songs should you send? What should you do when you get ignored?

There's no way of guaranteeing blog support, but if you've got a solid email submission you'll be one step closer to making the internet pay attention.

 

Do your research.

Make sure you know the site you're submitting music to. Sending a rap blog your new tech-house track is never a good move, and suggests you haven't even taken the time to read the site you're contacting to make sure it's a good fit. This research is especially important if you decide to include the much overused phrase, "I think this will be perfect for your site!"

It's simple, but if you put in a little effort and mention something specific about the blog that you're submitting to (like a recent song posted that you like, an article you enjoyed, or why you think your music would fit), it will make the pitch more personal and make you look like you're taking this seriously.

Follow-up emails will inevitably annoy some people, but if you think about it, they're only going to annoy the people who wanted to ignore you. There's a good chance that your email got lost in the flood of daily submissions, so a polite follow-up can't hurt. Just don't overdo it, please.

 

Don't make promises you can't keep.

It's unbelievable how common it is for artists to send in music and include something along the lines of: “If you just give this a chance I promise you won't be disappointed!”

Having confidence in your music is good. Tell us why you think it's good, how much it means to you, and what you hope other people take away from it. But don't promise us that we're going to like it. We could argue all day about what makes music "good" and whether or not "good music "even exists, but it's always going to come down to opinion.

Instead of selling yourself like some new sponge-mop vacuum cleaner on a 4 a.m. infomercial, be honest. You can't possibly promise that we won't be disappointed in your music, but you can tell us why you think we'll like it.

 

Start with the highlights.

If you're emailing someone who isn't familiar with your music, start with a few highlights. Include a SoundCloud link to your best song, or the song you think is a good starting point to make it easy for a blogger who's scrolling through 100 submissions.

We know, we know—ALL your songs are good and we should listen to the entire project as a whole. Stop it. Stop, stop, stop it. It's 2014, and nobody has the attention span for that. Nobody is going to blindly download your entire mixtape, and if  they do decide to randomly press play on a song and it happens to be the ONE shitty song on your album, there goes that chance.

Give yourself a shot and pick one song. Or ask a friend whose taste you trust to pick the one song that you send out. Call it a "single." If it's awesome, everyone will want to hear more.

 

Provide the information.

When sharing your music, make sure to include hi-res artwork (a good press photo can make a huge difference), the proper streaming or download links, and information on the release. It's difficult to write about your music when we don't have the proper information. The more we have to share, the easier it is to write a good post. Tell us if you have an album coming out, where you're from, if you're a band or a one-person act, if you produce or play instruments, etc.

Mystery is cool—it's a path more and more artists are going down—and that's fine. But rather than just sending a video link and the words "new song," think about what the ideal post one your song would look like and provide enough information to make that possible. Most of the acts that successfully start off as mysteries have PR companies or record labels pushing them. If you try to do that as a no-name independent artist, you're probably going to get ignored.

 

Make it interesting and share your story.

In an age where things are almost always impersonal, sharing the story behind your song helps writers better understand why this song—your song—is so important. While being to the point is always appreciated, generic emails that contain no thought are easy to pass. We read hundreds of similar emails every day, so think about what you can do to stand out, whether that's by making us laugh, getting us invested in you as a person, or carefully using an element of mystery.

Make it interesting for us, give us something we want to share with the world. When you're passionate about your work, it'll show, even in an email.

 

A well-made comparison can be helpful.

Of course every musician wants to be unique. But let's be real, every musician also listens to other people's music and is influenced by certain sounds and styles. Bon Iver doesn't have a copyright on falsetto-filled indie with an electronic twist, and The Weeknd isn't the only person who can make a dark and moody R&B track. To that end, if your sound is similar to an artist that the site covers heavily, a well-made comparison can really help your chances of being posted.

We're not saying that you should call yourself the next 2Pac, but try to think of a few artists whose music has something in common with yours. Saying something like, "If you like Future, Young Thug, and Lil Wayne, check this out," should get any fans of Thug, Wayne, or Future to press play.

 

Don't be dishonest.

This should go without saying, but people often go too far trying to get us to listen to their music.

There is the blatant lying—saying you just got signed to GOOD Music and have a track coming out with Pusha T next week will eventually get found out, and will ensure future emails are immediately deleted. But almost more annoying is the subtle subject line dishonesty. We see "NEW!! Drake ft. Yung Truthful - THOTS DOWN" and we click, excited by the prospect of a new Drake track, and the fresh new artist that he's putting on.

But no. No, no, no. Of course Yung Truthful isn't on Drake's new song, instead he's remixed a Drake song, rapping over a low quality instrumental he found on YouTube. It may not seem like much, but when you have hundreds of emails to sort through, that little bit of dishonesty is especially annoying. Don't do it.

 

Remember: it's all about the music.

Even if you follow all these directions and spend hours a day submitting your music to blogs, there's still a chance you won't get posted. At that point, you have a couple of options. You could get on Twitter and rant about how bloggers are bitches and how nobody supports good independent music and how it's all about connections.

Or you could consider that maybe it's because your music isn't quite ready. At the end of the day, getting posted all depends on how much bloggers like your music.

[courtesy of Pigeons & Planes]

Posted on February 10, 2017 .

Stop! You're Doing It Wrong: 5 Tips To Market Your Music

What is Marketing?

Marketing is how artists generate fans and awareness of their music. This goes beyond retweeting tweets, posting on facebook, & or just posting it online.

In this article we are going to touch on 5 creative ways to get your name out there and drive fans to your music.

The first step in effective marketing is creating a marketing plan for your music. This is a comprehensive understanding of your audience, the marketplace, and a plan to accomplish whatever goals you’ve set for yourself

 

Tip #1: Define Your Audience

Knowing your audience is the key to success.

With this understanding you’ll know where your fans exist and engage online. You’ll know how to communicate with them and, more importantly, how to keep them coming back for more by building value.

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself when defining your audience:

  • “How old are my fans?”
  • “What gender are the majority of my fans?”
  • “Where are my fans located?”
  • “Are they intellectual?”
  • “Are they partiers?”
  • “What other things do my fans like outside of music?”
  • “What are my fans favorite social media sites?”
  • “What are my fans willing to pay for?”

This is one way  you can go more in depth about your fans and truly figure out who your ideal fan is.

 

Tip #2: Analyze Your Market

Once you know who your fans are you can now learn what's happening in their local community as well as what’s happening in your genre globally. Having this understanding will help you to establish where you fit in and what unique value you can offer to your fans.

To find out more about about to build your audience and to learn the remaining 3 tips subscribe to theartistrefinery.com for more updates on how to achieve success in the music industry.

 

Tip #3: Establish goals

As I stated earlier in the article, marketing has to have a purpose. At this point you should have established why you need to be marketing your music, but now it’s time to set goals around that purpose.

For example, let’s say you’re marketing a new album. Ok, great. But what’s the goal here?

Is it to sell more albums? Sure, but how many more albums? And how long do you want to give yourself to achieve this goal?

Every goal should be actionable, measurable and timed. This way you’re not just aimlessly ‘marketing’ without a true understanding of how successful you are.

Setting these goals is certainly easier if you’ve done this before. In the example above, let’s say you released an album two years ago, you can use this as a baseline of how many albums sold last time around and how long it took, so you can set reasonable goals for this new effort.

If you’ve never done this before, that’s ok too. Everyone starts at zero. Simply refer to your market research and base your goals off of what’s been done by others similar to your experience level.

 

Tip #4: Develop an action plan

With your actionable, measureable, timed goals in place, it’s now time to create a plan to achieve these goals. There are several components to include in your action plan, including:

  • PR
  • Advertising
  • Content creation / curation
  • Touring
  • Social Media / Community Management
  • Networking
  • (whatever you need to achieve your goals)

Map out how you’re going to approach each of these on a monthly basis. But word to the wise, only map out a calendar one quarter at a time so you don’t spend time on a plan for 6 months from now when things can change very quickly.

Easiest way to do this is to set up a spreadsheet with the overall components listed down the left hand side and the monthly breakdown of the quarter across the top.

This will help you to see a full picture of say, all of your planned PR efforts, or how you plan to create and release content across the next few months. This clarity can help to remove some of the stress and make each aspect of this roadmap easier to conquer.

And remember, everything you do here should have some sort of a performance indicator (often Key Performance Indicators) so that the effectiveness, or lack thereof, can be measured properly.

Here are some KPIs to consider, again using the ‘album sales’ goal as the example:

  • How many album sales were generated through clicks from your mailing list this week? How does that compare to the week previous?
  • How many mailing list sign ups did your social content generate this week? How does that compare to the week previous?
  • Which sources to your website are leading to the most store clicks on your?

Again, the list can go on and on. Always consider what your goal is and focus your KPI on an action that directly reflects your goal.

At the end of each quarter (and really each week), you should review your efforts against your goals, and make changes as necessary – stop or change how you’re doing things that are not moving the needle, and do more of the things you’re doing that are.

 

Tip # 5: Create a budget

Taking a career seriously in music is no different than trying to set up a new business in any other industry. It takes time and money to see growth.

At this point, you should have an action plan created for the next few months. But before you set this in stone, you should go through each action item, and determine the cost both in terms of time and money.

Make sure that the action plan is realistic, otherwise you’ll quickly find yourself off the rails and unable to achieve your goals.

Posted on February 10, 2017 .

DIY: A Guide To Purchasing Instrumentals On The Internet

“Good production is like a beautiful marriage, it makes a happy home”. These words come from the 4x Grammy winner, multi-platinum super producer, Timbaland. For artists, music is the yin to their yang. What most upcoming artists don’t know though, is how to go about properly obtaining the music they wish to use or release. The following is a guide on how to conduct proper business, and good business at that, when purchasing instrumentals off of the internet.

The first step is undoubtedly going to be locating the music. Once you’ve found the music you wish to purchase you’re going to most likely run into one of 3 situations. Either they have a contact to request pricing, they have a link to purchase a lease, or they have a link to purchase exclusive rights. We’ll save the email etiquette for another article and focus specifically on how to lease or purchase the exclusive rights to the music you want and what that means to you as an artist.

“What is a lease?” is probably the most common question a new artist will ask themselves. Leasing an instrumental means you have non-exclusive rights to use the music to a certain extent or capacity. The cost is generally low and it may just be an mp3 of the music. The composer of the music may choose to allow you to sell up to a certain amount of the final product you create but they will retain their ownership and royalties from those sales. There is generally a limit set to the amount you can sell before they require you to purchase the exclusive rights.

Now in theory, if your song reaches heights that you always dreamed of there’s a high probability the composer will reach out to you in order to come to an agreement where they receive their royalties. For beginner artists a lease will most likely be your best bet. You’re able to get a high quality form of the music you want, and test the market while building your fan base. And if your song blows up you can work out the more pressing details on the back end.

“Why do I need exclusive rights if I can just test the waters with a lease?” A phenomenal question that artists struggle with everyday. Purchasing exclusive rights from a composer means you are buying them out of their royalties and you will 100% own all rights to the music. It will be the most expensive option when purchasing music from a composer. This option is usually best suited for the more advanced artist.

You’ll most likely need to speak with the producer and have a contract set in place for what exactly you get when you purchase the exclusive rights. You’ll generally get a tracked out version of the music for mixing purposes. The benefit of this is when you are having your project mixed and mastered your vocals won’t sit on top of the beat, but rather feel like it is apart of the beat.  This option is recommended artists who have built somewhat of a fan base and are looking to receive more income out of their sales.

Keep in mind, music is a business not simply a form of entertainment. Don’t ask for free music from composers. They may already have free versions of music that you can use to record demos over. You don’t expect people to listen to your music without paying for it so don’t expect the composer to give anything away. The relationship between artist and composer is the ultimate bond when creating music. Don’t taint the relationship by expecting them to invest in your career if you aren’t willing to invest in yourself.

With all that being said, go out there shop around to check for pricing and create a budget for your project. The more prepared you are on your end for your project the smoother things will go when purchasing music

Posted on February 10, 2017 .