15 Local Songs You Should Download from Bandcamp on May 1
you'll be putting $15 in the pockets of local artists
Eric Christenson, photos by Jesse Johnson |
So you want to support some local musicians during a pandemic. Sure, you can stream local music a million different ways. Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal (remember Tidal?) … Go for it, ’cause every little bit helps. But even 1,000 streams on something like Spotify trickles down to mere pocket change for the creators. That’s why when it comes to direct support for musicians, there’s not much out there better than Bandcamp. Bandcamp lets you buy mp3s and physical merch directly from the artist, and Bandcamp’s cut of the deal isn’t nearly as big as what’s taken by the Spotifys of the world. For one day on April 1, Bandcamp waived its cut, so 100% of proceeds went into the pockets of artists; response was so huge the site had to temporarily shut down that day. Bandcamp is offering the same deal on May 1, June 5, and July 3. With that in mind, we pulled together a list of 15 songs you can buy from Chippewa Valley artists on Bandcamp, not just on May 1, but anytime:
“Walk On The Walls”
by Adelyn Rose
A standout track from a brand-new full length from Adelyn Rose that dropped in March. The album switches from full-band energy to sparse solo offerings from Addie Strei, and it’s fantastic.
by Orenda Fugue
The blistering rock vibes of Orenda Fugue are on full-display on “Hard Learner,” a huge track from 2017. The chugging guitars and pummeling drums feel appropriate for a weird time.
“Nothing Changed (ft. Bezz Believe)”
Mistah is one of the hardest-working rappers in the bustling Eau Claire hip-hop scene, and the young talent dropped a 12-track album in March called Executive Class. His collab with Florida rapper Bezz Believe is a clear standout.
by Matt Vold
A brand-new solo effort from Pit Wagon’s Matt Vold has the singular songwriter backed by a supergroup of Eau Claire musicians. Vold leans heavily into some seriously summery country vibes, and the result is really, really great.
Late last year, Hannah Hebl (Hemma) put a six-track project out into the world called Tomorrow River, and its penultimate track is the real deal: Shining guitars and fluttering synths swirl around steady brushed drums for a transportive feeling. “You know it’s just a dream, but what really does that mean?”
Pay what you want for the Naalia single “Brown Eyes,” which spotlights Aliana Sigala’s blessed vocals around solid gold R&B instrumentation.
The mainstay Eau Claire rock band FMDown dropped the single “Snow Blind” in November of last year, and it’s a slow burner with hammering drums, driving piano, and soaring guitar work.
“What A Time To Barely Be Alive”
by Arms Aloft
“What A Time To Barely Be Alive” indeed. The Eau Claire punk band’s 2016 album of the same name is full of hard-hitting tunes and righteous lyrics that pretty aptly encapsulate the weirdness of existence, even more so in a time like this.
“Hit The Ground”
Eau Claire rapper Cudlino’s new concept album W.I.T.S (Written In The Stars) has plenty to dig into, but sometimes when you’re stir-crazy, you need a certifiable dance floor banger. If you’re looking to shake some booty during the pandemic, “Hit The Ground” is essential.
Colin Grossbier builds crushing ambient loops under the name Nostromo, where piles of guitar lines stack up into dreamy soundscapes that are perfect for getting lost in. “Ballad” is a meditative offering from the young songwriter that should bring you some calm.
“Don’t Worry Baby”
by Cait McGarvey
Songwriter Cait McGarvey does some of their finest work on “Don’t Worry Baby,” a single that dropped last summer. McGarvey’s emotion-stirring vocals interpolating the Beach Boys’ classic hit are a great reminder that maybe things will be alright.
“It Was the Worst of Times, It Was the Worst of Times”
by The John Buxton Experience
John Buxton’s knack for turning devastation into high-energy, even positive-sounding, rock songs is never more present than on “It Was the Worst of Times, It Was the Worst of Times” off his 2017 album Buxton II. There’s even a nice drum solo in there. Dig into it.
“The Unwitting Man About Town”
by Sue Orfield
Once the opening tune for The Sue Orfield Show, on “The Unwitting Man About Town,” Orfield extrapolates a great groove for a full-length breezy jazz tune that gives you warm fuzzies even in the strangest of times.
Eau Claire producer Luc Larson (westkorea) chops up a killer Chet Baker sample, adds his own muted horns and a fuzzy boom-bap beat to make a spacey, meditative instrumental that’s good for long drives or morning walks.
“I Want It”
by Velvet Groove
Velvet Groove is somewhat of a hidden gem in Eau Claire, but they stay making some of the catchiest DIY pop-rock tunes to come from the Valley. “I Want It” is a mere 90 seconds long, but its lo-fi fuzzy guitars, and doubled vocals make for a pleasant escape.