In a time where music is so insanely accessible, it may seem like we have it better than ever. Every album we could ever want to listen to is a just a click away, sharing music with friends is easier than ever and social media has given emerging artists access to a world of potential fans, without even needing to leave the house.
But aside from these pros, there are a few things that I deeply miss from the pre-digital age and one of the biggest things missing for me, is the excitement.
Now, that’s not to say music isn’t exciting anymore, far from it, but it’s certainly not the same as it once was. Finding a new band you loved used to be like finding a rare Pokemon at times. You would take a risk and buy an album purely because you liked the cover art, or just because you liked the band name and then the walk home to listen to your latest purchase was full of excitement as you awaited to see if they could become your new favourite band.
There were no previews – well, unless you asked the shop owner to play it for you – you just dived in and hoped for the best; and that was half the fun. We took risks on new bands and so many of my favourites were discovered this way. I remember buying the album ‘Honey I’m Homely’ by the Dance Hall Crashers purely because I liked the cover and that I remember reading they supported NOFX once. They became the soundtrack to my entire summer that year and I still listen to them to this day.
When you did find gold, it felt like you had something really special in your hands that the world was yet to discover. It felt exclusive to you and, in a weird way, you kind of hoped they would never get too big so they could remain your little secret that only you knew about.
Today, music is now so accessible that it’s almost become disposable. Where in the past we would listen to every album we bought at least three times before making a decision on it, if a track or album doesn’t impress within the first five seconds, it’s game over and onto the next. We don’t value music in the same way at all. When you put your hard-earned money into a purchase, you really gave it a chance.
So is all the excitement now lost forever? Well, not completely!
Buried deep in the independent music scene are the stars of tomorrow, the acts that you can call your own and the acts that could truly bring back that excitement of times gone by. Within the flood of bands home recordings, rappers recording tracks on their iPhones and DJ’s getting inventive remixing royalty free music beats are those moments that we thought were once lost.
With the flood of music only getting bigger our main issue is that these moments are now buried deeper than ever, but I guess that only only makes each find even more special right? And, for those willing to take the risk and dedicate themselves to the hunt, finding that treasure can potentially bring excitement like never before.
It’s out there, I just hope we don’t all become too lazy to dig.