Choosing songs for the blog is no simple task. I want Noise Haven to feel curated. Call it being picky or too critical, I feel selectiveness is a good way to avoid blandness.
Here is a list of things I look for, ranked from most to least important:
- Easy on the ears (most important)- The song is not an assault on my ears. An instant reason to feature a song is if it sounds beautiful and evokes a good feeling. But if I click play and it actually hurts my ears (distasteful use of frequencies and volumes), I will shut it off and move on.
- Not a copy-cat - The song doesn't shamelessly copy another perviously established or popular artist. Inspired by someone else's music? Great. Writing songs that steal almost every aspect of their style? I'll pass.
- Lo-Fi but great songwriting - The song is recorded with all the usual indications of a lo-fi recording setup yet is still charming and a good song. These are the gems that often get overlooked.
- Interesting, original, inoffensive album/cover art - Thought went into the album art. No distasteful or gimmicky imagery that distracts from the music itself. Personally, I enjoy a simple image that leaves me wondering what the music sounds like.
- Good lyrics- The lyrics are meaningful and cohesive. Not that important to me actually. I pay more attention to delivery of the words than the words themselves. Stupid or ridiculous lyrics, however, stick out and are often cringe-inducing.
- Inoffensive band or artist name - The artist's name is not a bad joke or an insult. The song could be phenomenal, but if the artist's name is an attempt at grabbing attention, it comes off as desperate and dumb. A tip for anyone releasing music is to choose a name that doesn't offend or anger listeners.
- Recorded in a studio- Sounds well tracked, mixed, mastered, etc. I barely consider this. There are many songs out there that sound studio polished but fall short of notable because they are uninventive and boring.
- Raw, organic, unfiltered performance- The song is a raw take; a kind of performance. Not everyone will enjoy this aspect of music. But it can work well in certain cases, an example being live shows. In other cases it can detract from the music and should not be overused.
- Has gotten a lot of press and is well known already (least important) - This is last. I couldn't care less if the music is trending or is being called "the next big thing". There are already websites like Pitchfork for that.
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Noise Haven - www.noisehaven.com - 2019