I’m running a playlist on Spotify trying to highlight soft rock and easy listening by indie artists that aren’t well known. The UnderexposedSoft Rock and Easy Listening playlist is just shy of 6 hours in length as of this writing and the sound holds consistent with some songs going a little stronger than others. That’s been soft rock radio for decades though, hasn’t it?
That playlist compiles songs from over recent years of the indie and small label variety. I’m announcing a new playlist that will focus squarely on 2019.
TheSofter Side of Indie 2019 will highlight soft rock / soft pop / blues /folk / country and other songs that fit the listing, all released by indie artists. Some may be well-known others may be enigmatic… Whatever, the playlist is open to song submissions for songs published on or after December 15, 2018. Submissions start this early for 2019 simply because it’s unfair to count out songs published this late in the year.
While the intent is to take a variety of songs and offer them to the public for listening – and that’s a catch: actually having people listening to the playlist — one thing I’m not looking for is the “chill” sound with drumbeats and a slowed-down dance jive. I’m looking for the more traditional sound of music. I’m also not looking to add a multitude of foreign languages; if what you have isn’t in English, it’s not appropriate to submit it as a song.
I’m also not looking for songs with explicit lyrics. Think of it as a general-audience appeal I’m going for here, not the 18+ year old adult segments who accept that stuff.
I’m posting the playlist itself below. It’ll remain barren or mostly empty for I-don’t-know.
If you want to submit a track for consideration, please use the contact form. Make sure the subject reads “Softer Side 2019 Submission”. If you’re on Facebook, you may also try contacting me through the Johnny Fonts Facebook page.
I’ve assembled a playlist on YouTubbe (and I may try to copy it at Spotify but no guarantees on that) of songs that I’ve heard from various artists through various sources that I consider “soft rock”. They’re not all rock songs, they’re not all adult contemporary, and they’re from a mix of years within the 21st century (not all recent releases but mot are from the past decade).
One thing is for sure though: They’re underexposed numbers that will likely never explode in popularity. Independent artists don’t get that kind of exposure from the mainstream media or at least it rarely happens. Yet, that’s a truth for all music out there — even if people catch your tunes on the radio or at a live show, there’s only a chance that it’ll click with them and gain an ounce of popularity.
The underexposed soft rock playlist has only 29 songs at the moment but my intention is to keep growing the list as time goes by. It just depends on when and where I cross the music and if I feel it fits or not. Mind you, it’s the arrangements that make me add the songs to the list. The lyrics may or may not fit.
If you’re a performing artist and have a song that you think might fit in, or if you’re a listener who knows of a song by a small-time act that doesn’t exactly have a huge audience checking out one of these lighter songs, you’re welcome to contact me through the site form with a link to the song’s YouTube page. I can’t guarantee submissions will get added, but it’s worth a shot.
I also suggest to artists to consider submitting their music to Lonely Oak Radio, it’s the most straight-forward indie music submission site. It’s not Pandora or Spotify in open-listener popularity but it is a unique mix of songs from various artists out there.
Update May 11, 2018:
I’ve been made aware by Europeans that not all tracks on this playlist are accessible.. While this playlist is crafted by an American with access to everything, I have no control over what is not accessible for those overseas. It may put more weight on me trying to re-create this playlist on another platform (Spotify).
update May 13th 2018: The Spotify Version of the playlist is now up. Not all of the songs are on the list and not all of the songs are able to be added (such as Grease Fire by the Pretty Voices or Arms Around It by Ricky Wilcox) because those tracks aren’t on Spotify. Others aren’t included because I haven’t gotten to them yet, but they will be added and likely others.
Just a tune by an indie artist on his debut album, Thoughts, that I discovered on Lonely Oak Radio last year. While his SoundCloud post of the song has been widely discovered, I was the first to cross it on YouTube this evening. Enjoy.
I was on the Music Tampa Bay website yesterday. For those of you who don’t know, it’s an indie rock/music station in the Tampa Bay metro area (96.7 FM). I’ve interacted with the site before as I helped get the Pretty Voices on air on the station.
One key element on the Music Tampa Bay website is a Top-10 list of songs from local artists. It’s also directly tied to voting on the Top-40 of the station. I was looking at the list specifically to see if the Pretty Voices had any tracks listed at the time (nope). None of the listed artists or bands were familiar to me and that’s regularly the case with me and indie music.
What’s also regularly the case with me is checking out an indie artist because… why the hell not?
So, listed at #1 at the time on the Top-40 list was Gypsy Star, “I Feel Love”. I jumped to Google and typed that in and instead of pointing to a version of “I Feel Love” on YouTube, it pointed to the song Paramour:
All too often what I hear and what I see is bland rock. It’s not the lyrcs that make it bland, it’s just the non-riff of guitar and everything layered on top of each other to make the tunes forgettable. This was not that. I was taken aback by a violinist and accordion being part of the arrangement. Gypsy Star describes themselves as being “dynamic folk / rock” and this sure as shit felt like it. It transfixed me through Monday night.
It reminded me squarely of a song that “you can check out any time you like, but you can never” leave:
Don’t take that as a criticism, folks. I highly recommend checking out more of their tunes; they just released the album Under the Moonlit Night in January. Listening to “Paramour” and checking out some of their other songs (like the previously mentioned “I Feel Love”, you can find “I Feel Love” here, it is on YouTube… Not in concert version) I’ve been left curious and surprised. Gypsy Star is only a Tampa Bay local group? They sure as hell look an sound like a group that should be seeing a broader playing area in Florida, in the US and perhaps around the globe.