If you’ve got 27 minutes free and a spare $7.08 AUD to match it with, there’s an incredible band who released an awesome record and it’s on Bandcamp.
This is awesome for two reasons: firstly because Modern Baseball are sick: they’re like if The Killers met up with The Shins and The Front Bottoms, and they chilled over coffee and then went and saw Modern Baseball and heard tiny snippets of themselves in the music while having their minds blown.
Secondly: because Bandcamp is the digital equivalent of shunning a shiny shopping centre outlet and going to an indie record store instead.
Bandcamp is cool, it’s really cool. Launched in 2008, it’s a site that sells and hosts the music of 1000s of indie and signed artists. With Bandcamp, you can purchase, collect and play music from within your web browser or via the app and it’s accessible everywhere. You end up with a library you can share. It’s ad free. You have the choice to stream or download – or both. And it doesn’t care whether you’re a Mac or a PC. “Hi, I’m a Mac.” “Hi, I’m a PC.” “Hi, I’m a music fan.”
Through Bandcamp you can follow music fans from all over the world who have similar taste in music to what you do – and you can choose to be alerted when they purchase music, because there’s a chance you’ll like it too. You can follow record labels and get alerts when they have new releases.
The best part? The band gets a bigger cut than they would do through iTunes – paying 15% commission per sale instead of Apple’s reported 30%.
Reduced prices make you more likely to purchase the band’s entire catalogue, become completely enamoured with every song, and buy the t-shirt when you go to see them play.
Modern Baseball is also cool. Really cool. Signed to Run For Cover records (which has one of the most solid artist rosters going, as well as a genuinely supportive online community), they’re a Philadelphia band who, with Holy Ghost, have now released a trio of truly stunning albums.
The first album, Sports, released in 2012, is catchy, honest, and wide-eyed. It’s got the classic Coals which plays like a modern lullaby with the prophetic lyric, “Never once did I expect it not to tear me in two” (which is not a bad motto to adopt when it comes to adulthood.)
You’re Gonna Miss It All, their 2013 album, is a little more highly strung. A tiny bit more grown up. Frustrated, maybe. Brilliant, still.
With Holy Ghost, you can hear that they’ve ended up in a better place, a stronger place. Becoming a tiny bit less wide-eyed; putting your guard up a little more – these aren’t bad things when this is the result.
An early highlight is Just Another Face.
But try picking a favourite – just try it.
It’s cool that for $7.06 you can support an indie company and a cool band. That’s the price of a (very) large coffee at a chain cafe – and only one of these purchases will likely change your life.