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Music » Sound Stories & Interviews

The Best of Bandcamp: Get in on the ground floor with these sell-it-yourself bands

A few awesome bands to check out on Bandcamp.com.

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So maybe iTunes threw you a bone and upped your sampling time to 90 seconds a song. Even then, there is no way you can truly sink into an album before you buy it. And with iTunes in the pocket of mainstream music, forget about discovering something unique or paying a fair price for a digital album.

Enter Bandcamp.com—the website that lets upstart bands post entire albums so that you can stream them, share them and, in many cases, pay what you want for them. Web developers and friends Ethan Diamond, Shawn Grunberger, Joe Holt and Neal Tucker launched Bandcamp in 2008 as a way to help bands release albums affordably and efficiently. Today, it serves as a window into true indie music.


Get ready to feel the sting of embarrassment over your stale music collection and check out these great Bandcamp finds.

Newman’s Own Choir

Catch Bees

Label: On Joyful Wings

Fort Collins singer/songwriter Philip Waggoner records beautiful orchestral pop as Catch Bees. On his debut album Newman’s Own Choir Waggoner addresses everyday events and life milestones blending them with questions and thoughts for the big guy upstairs. Instrumentally, the album has a lot of moving parts and discovering them is very enjoyable.

Sinking Islands

Absofacto

Label: unsigned

Though writing about Jonathan Visger’s project Absofacto will render his Twitter bio claim—that he makes secret music-—invalid, the experimental pop-rock on his debut album is too good to ignore. Songs on Sinking Islands have a sugary-fun flavor to them, yet provide enough dark synth to be taken seriously. It’s a rebellious album that embraces the unknown future.

 

Cabinet

Heather Christian & The Arbornauts

Label: unsigned

Brooklyn singer and pianist Heather Christian, along with her band The Arbornauts, successfully funded their debut album Cabinet through Kickstarter. The avant-folk and flowing melodies make the album one of the more interesting Bandcamp offerings and add a timeless character to the record. Songs skip along merrily enough with traditional Americana perched atop brave forays into noise-rock.

 

About The Author

Ethan Maffey

Both a writer and a fan of vinyl records since age 5, it wasn't until nearly three decades later that Oregon Native Ethan Maffey derived a plan to marry the two passions by writing about music. From blogging on MySpace in 2007 and then Blogspot, to launching his own website, 83Music, and eventually freelancing...

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