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 beats” sound with drumming/rhythm-section driven. 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.
Just a heads up for musical artists who are looking to promote their tunes on Spotify as well as for people running niche playlists who want to promote that list, there’s a place for that.
The Spotify Community is a message forum area devoted to the Spotify platform, covering a lot of areas of the field including playlists. The Playlist Exchange is the specific forum in the community where playlists are promoted and curators look for new songs to add to their lists. Many music genres get covered, but so do many niche areas such as topics, moods, musical arrangements and what have you.
Mind you, the Exchange may be an avenue for promotion but it doesn’t guarantee songs getting added to playlists or people actually following a playlist you post. I’ve submitted music by little known groups to playlists (songs by artists I am not associated with, I’m just a fan of) and got passed over while I’ve also posted my Underexposed Soft Rock and Easy Listening list with little gain.
Marketing is a chore. The Playlist Exchange is simply a potential contributor to goal achievement.
I’m taking things a step further though I don’t know if this will lead more people to check out this music or what. I’ve created a Spotify playlist of the 2016 Music Tampa Bay Top 100 list.
In trying to aid the exposure of the artists and their music, I don’t know if it did the job so much. Let’s see if a Spotify playlist can help things along.
From my experience researching three different Top 100 lists, I’ve learned it’s a tradition for not all the songs to be available through online streaming. In this case, only 57 of the Top 100 songs from the listing were available… They represent a mix of music genres: Rock, Reggae, R&B, Folk, Pop and Country. The performers herald from the Tampa Bay and west central Florida area and while their sound may be taken as unique, they are all very much of the genres they are derived from in music.
This is an ongoing playlist build of songs by indie musicians that are unknown or not widely known of in pop culture. It’s also a variety of music – pop and rock of a more casual variety – that doesn’t get the kind of exposure it once did in music.
Click above to go to the playlist. If you are an indie musician who would like one of your own tunes considered for the list — either leave a comment or contact me and send a link to your work. You have to be listed on Spotify to get included on this list (though another version of the playlist is on YouTube).
“Relaxing, easy favorites… with less talk!” That radio pitch from how-many stations in collaboration or owned by the same company? Maybe I’m wrong on that, but “Warm 107 FM” / “Warm 107.3 FM”, “Warm 94.9 FM” all pushed he same type of easy-listening, or a toned-down variety of music from the past few years or longer. It wasn’t that distant to the past that the stations trekked from what I remember… except in rare events for shock or approval. Seeing I’m referencing stuff I heard on the airwaves in the 80’s and 90’s, basically those throw-back numbers were from the 60’s… if they happened at all.
A few years ago I started putting together a personal playlist on my iTunes that mixed together a number of songs that weren’t rockers, or necessarily pop… Then again, some are legendary (Yesterday by the Beatles, Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton, Hotel California by the Eagles). The song list grew as I remembered certain tunes from the past as well as picked up some indie songs by way of listening to Lonely Oak Radio.
That’s led to a playlist of 224 songs spanning a total of 13 hours and 49 minutes. Not all of them perfectly fit the motif of “relaxing, easy favorites” but that’s the title of the playlist. And my own recreation of it is available on Spotify.
The Spotify list doesn’t perfectly recreate things as I’ve taken certain songs off my personal list, I was unable to add others (such as Paul McCartney’s (I Want To) Come Home, Michael Stipe’s mixed-group performance of U2’s One, as well as others). It’s still 182 songs in length…
I could see people arguing “relaxing” does not describe performances by the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s (Under the Bridge and Soul to Squeeze) and of course there are songs you may never have heard by artists you’ve never heard of. Some may seem all right, others may make you turn your nose up entirely upon hearing (which is a standard with radio airplay, ain’t it). Whatever, they’re on the list along with a lot of others. And unlike those Warm FM stations, the time span of the tracks covers songs of the last 60 years of pop music. There aren’t that many from the 1950’s, I’ll admit, but there are also few from the 21st century at current. In time, that might change. That, or I’ll be further stuck in silence (for the rest of my life) and not mess with music that I miss. Who knows? The point is – the playlist is public on Spotify and maybe you’ll be interested in looking into it or – gasp! – listening.