Bandcamp Is Waiving Its Share Of Revenue Today: Here Are 15 Great New Albums To Buy

Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Bandcamp Is Waiving Its Share Of Revenue Today: Here Are 15 Great New Albums To Buy

Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The music world, along with everything else, has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic. With tours and festivals cancelled for the foreseeable future, artists have lost a major source of income and the ramifications will undoubtedly be major. With everyone stuck at home, a lot of free time can be spent exploring new music, which is a good thing. The bad news is that streaming services pay fractions of pennies per listen, and it’s not nearly enough to offset the revenue lost from the lack of live music in the world.

There will be livestreamed concerts and other ingenious ideas from musicians in the coming months as a way to make ends meet, but the best way to support your favorite artists is to purchase their records and buy their wares. If you’re financially able to do so, it’s important to support the musicians you love so they can keep on living and can keep on making music.

Bandcamp, the music purchasing platform, is a great avenue to do this. Today (Friday 3/20) from midnight PST to midnight PST, the company is waiving their standard revenue share — typically, they take 15% on digital sales and 10% on merchandise — as a way to help out musicians during this trying time. In addition, a number of labels — Sub Pop, Merge, Polyvinyl, Hyperdub, Captured Tracks, Run For Cover, Don Giovanni, Exploding In Sound, Father/Daughter, Double Double Whammy, Orindal, Fire Talk, Sargent House, and more — are giving their digital Bandcamp revenues directly to the artist.

We here at Stereogum figured it would be a good idea to take this occasion to recommend some albums that we’ve been enjoying lately. We highlight a lot of new music on the site, from our Album Of The Week column to our daily music posts, and these are just a few selections of the many, many artists that have their music on Bandcamp. Check out our picks below, presented alphabetically, and stop by the comments to share what you’re buying today! –James Rettig

Bacchae – Pleasure Vision (Get Better Records)

On their debut album, the Washington, DC band Bacchae make bright and frothy power-punk that’s filled with sticky hooks and sweet harmonies. They sing about never feeling very big or very bright, packing songs with incisive lyrics about never being good enough. There are songs about the isolation of suburbia, the gross satisfaction of trawling through the internet, the feeling that someone is always watching. These are delivered with a breathless precision that has no wasted space. Bacchae are optimized for maximum pleasure and pain, something they echo in one of their catchiest moments: “Why does it feel so good to live so bad?” –James

Big Cheese – Punishment Park (Quality Control HQ/Triple B)

Two of the members of the Leeds band Big Cheese also play in Higher Power, whose version of hardcore borrows heavily from ’90s alt-rock radio and who seem poised to cross over to bigger audiences. Higher Power are hardcore, but they’re the cleanest, most melodic, most uplifting version of it. Big Cheese are something else. They play ugly and dirty and mean. Their fast songs will rip the teeth out of your skull. Their midtempo ones will kick you into the sky like you’re Team Rocket. Their singer is a guy name Razor Hardwick. Punishment Park, Big Cheese’s first album, is that real fuck-you-up music. Indulge. –Tom Breihan

Deeper – Auto-Pain (Fire Talk)

You might assume an album written about depression, colored by loss, and titled Auto-Pain would be a difficult listen. And, sure enough, Deeper’s forthcoming sophomore outing wrestles with a lot of demons as it dances between numbness and seeking the ability to still feel something, anything. Much of Auto-Pain initially sounds claustrophobic, but the Chicago quartet’s spin on post-punk is so emphatic, so infectious, that it also provides some kind of release. Auto-Pain chronicles our lowest moments, but it can also sound like the day you finally step back outside and the world begins to take shape once more. –Ryan Leas

Disq – Collector (Saddle Creek)

“All I wanted was some loneliness, guess I’ll have plenty of it soon,” Isaac deBroux-Slone sings on “Loneliness.” Little did he know how right he was. Built around the finely-honed songwriting chemistry between deBroux-Slone and his childhood friend Raina Bock, the young Wisconsin band Disq take all of the listlessness and angst of growing up circa right now, filter it through the past few decades of indie rock history, and emerge with punchy, hooky, irrepressibly tuneful power-pop. Their debut album Collector would make a fine addition to your own collection. –Peter Helman

Dogleg – Melee (Triple Crown Records)

If you’re spending your self-quarantine time anything like I’m spending mine, you’re probably playing a shit-ton of video games. Dogleg are probably doing the exact same thing — and if they play their video games the way they play their music, they do it hard and fast and loud. Their new album Melee is named after Super Smash Bros. Melee, but it’s an apt descriptor for their music, a visceral all-out explosion of emo-punk catharsis. If ever there were a time for some anthems to smash things and scream your lungs out and burn off some stir-crazy energy to, it’s now. Dogleg have got you covered. –Peter

FACS – Void Moments (Trouble In Mind Records)

Listening to FACS may entail leaning into your quarantine-induced claustrophobia rather than lunging toward relief. The thrill of the Chicago trio’s droning post-punk is the way they manipulate layers of noise and rhythm as if gradually tightening a screw, building up tension that seems like it could explode at any moment but instead just keeps sucking up oxygen until you can barely breathe. Void Moments is up for pre-order ahead of its release next week, but really any of their three albums over the past three years is a wise investment. –Chris DeVille

Frail Hands – parted/departed/apart (Twelve Gauge Records)

Frail Hands play unhinged screamo that will appeal to fans of Birds In Row, the similarly named Frail Body, or any number of basement hardcore bands that decided to bash their feelings out back in the ’90s. On January’s parted/departed/apart the Nova Scotia quartet burns through 10 tracks in 20 minutes, each song blasting outward to epic proportions despite the quick runtimes. It’s cathartic and invigorating, and as a bonus, violently thrashing around to it will inevitably establish social distancing. –Chris

Initiate – Lavender (Self-released)

Hardcore is a bit like blues. You can borrow all you want from older music; you just have to sound like you mean it. Initiate mean it. The Southern California band’s sound is a variation on the late-’80s/early-’90s youth-crew style. It doesn’t even attempt to break new ground. But they play this music with a righteous and feverish urgency, like getting these riffs out is the only thing that could possibly keep them alive. On the Lavender EP, they crank through six songs in 11 minutes, and frontwoman Crystal Pak screams down the sky. Even if you have to mosh alone in your living room, a record like this can help you stay sane. –Tom

JFDR – New Dreams (White Sun Recording)

Jófríður Ákadóttir’s second album as JFDR, New Dreams, is rooted in tumultuous times — relationships fragmenting, life on the road, trying to redefine a sense of home. But JFDR’s music has never reflected drama directly. Above glacial, soothing synths and searching vocals — first whispered like gentle winds, then answered by processed echoes, like a warped internal monologue trying to work itself out — Ákadóttir instead focuses on moments of stillness, the tiny turning points in which you might finally reach clarity and, maybe, some form of peace. It seems we’re all about to have a lot of time to stare out the window and consider the directions our lives have taken. New Dreams is the kind of album that might give you space to reach your own small revelations, too. –Ryan

Katie Gately – Loom (Houndstooth)

Here are just a handful of sounds sampled on Katie Gately’s Loom: earthquake, metal car crash, teenagers screaming, men grunting. Nose sniffles, wolf howls, bowling balls smashing pins. Various metal door slams, dropping suitcase, slamming down telephone. Bull whip. The Los Angeles-based producer works this textural grit into experimental pop odysseys that are sweeping but focused. Written following the death of her mother, Loom is often harrowing and dark, and Gately turns her grief into breathtaking towers of sound. It’s filled with an unshakeable anxiety that feels more than fitting for the current moment. –James

Mutually Assured Destruction – Fever Dream (Edgewood)

The members of Mutually Assured Destruction are all veterans of Richmond’s hardcore scene; they’ve been in bands like Break Away, Down To Nothing, and Fire & Ice. But M.A.D.’s music is basically metal: Gigantic stomping guitar crunches, deliberate neck-snap tempos, theatrically wailed baritone vocals. The precedents here are some of the monsters of ‘90s metal: Danzig, Pantera, Life Of Agony, Type O Negative. M.A.D. use those sounds with a vengeful intensity and a big-room flair. Beavis and Butthead would love them. You might, too. –Tom

Nation Of Language – Introduction/Presence (Self-released)

Each song on Nation Of Language’s Introduction/Presence does something different, as Ian Devaney refracts a whole history of new wave and synthesizer music through his own experiences. Between the gorgeous slow-burn pulse of opener “Tournament” and the end-credits catharsis of closer “The Wall & I,” you have the feral post-punk and space-voyage synth jam of “Indignities,” the infectious motorik throb of “Automobile,” the cascading arpeggios of “On Division St.” glimmering like the NYC lights under which it takes place. In the past year, I’ve listened to Introduction/Presence more than anything else, and I’m still not sick of these songs; they hold up, they reveal new things. We’re all going to need albums like that in the near future. –Ryan

Okay Kaya – Watch This Liquid Pour Itself (Jagjaguwar)

Kaya Wilkins’ approach to bedroom-pop spurns classification, but January’s Watch This Liquid Pour Itself boasts an unmistakable identity nonetheless. The Swedish singer-songwriter tends toward raw minimalism and even rawer self-expression, whether big-upping Jon Bon Jovi’s rosé over a synth-pop beat on “Asexual Wellbeing,” wryly chronicling the institutionalized life on the languid slacker-rock sing-along “Psych Ward,” or easing her way into disco mirage “Mother Nature’s Bitch” with a nervous cackle. “Here I am, desperate for attention,” she croons. Give it to her! –Chris

Peel Dream Magazine – Agitprop Alterna (Slumberland/Tough Love)

Peel Dream Magazine is a mostly meaningless sequence of words, and yet it still somehow manages to perfectly encapsulate the band’s sound. Part My Bloody Valentine, part Stereolab, and all themselves, their upcoming LP Agitprop Alterna perfects a cosmopolitan, playfully experimental form of dream-pop powered by motorik rhythms, bloopy synthesizers, and fuzzed-out guitars. The swirling, intertwined vocal melodies from group leader Joe Stevens and Jo-Anne Hyun might just be the soothing balm you need in your life right now. –Peter

Worriers – You Or Someone You Know (6131)

Worriers’ songs sound like they’re being projected onto a huge screen, miniature slights and stray thoughts about the great big universe blown up to epic proportion in front of your very eyes. Lauren Denitzio has one of those voices that make you feel every word deeply. For the band’s latest, You Or Someone You Know, they linked up with indie rock stalwart John Agnello, who blows out their already blown-out songs in sparking precision, like striking a match and letting it burn. –James


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