The top 50 charts of music today are filled with an endless amount of vapid drek. The music reflects the culture and for the most part, people don’t use music like they did in the 60s and 70s, as a means to find their identity, learn and discover about themselves and see what was going on in the world. Instead, people use music as a means for escapism, or passive noise to drown themselves in sound whilst other media forms have come in to the fray to take up our attention.
It’s a shame in some ways, and I can only see the music business as a race to the bottom. But I remember that that’s the music business and not music.
And I’ve gotten rather resourceful when it comes to finding the music for me. I go out of my way to discover new music I love and my favourite records of the last few years comprise of artists that no else I know directly, knows of.
Caroline Polachek, Arooj Aftab, Julia Holter, Natalie Prass, Steven Wilson, the list goes on. I love the work these people do, and so do a lot of others out there, but they are not popular by any stretch of the mainstream media focus.
But they resonate with a viable audience. And this can happen on an even smaller scale.
There are over 300 million people in America. Target 1% and you still have 3 million. Even 0.001% is a large audience to someone!
Sometimes, it’s easy to obsess over the stats and the numbers but we should never let that supersede the quality of that which we like and admire. And it doesn’t have to be popular for us to like or engage with it.