Browsing Tag

Australian Singer Songwriter

Spotlight Feature: Australian singer-songwriter, Ted, sang an insurgent indie-psych-folk lullaby in his latest single, Revolution Then

The Australian Indie-Folk singer-songwriter Ted’s latest single, Revolution Then, is definitive proof you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

The artfully quiescent call for sense to coalesce with postulation resonates like a semi-lucid lullaby, affirming enlightenment doesn’t always need to be synonymous with anger and despair. Sometimes, it is just enough to be on the right side of history.

While Elliott Smith’s records will always be there to soothe us in our darkest hours, he’s no longer here to transcribe humanity’s darkest hours. That crown has evidently fallen upon Ted, who is fearless in his quest to hold a mirror to the most tragic facets of our existence before reflecting them through his psych-tinged arrangements crafted in the mellifluous framework of his music, constructed by guitars, bass, drums, sax and keys – all recorded from his bedroom studio to feed us the intimacy we never knew we craved in these polarity-defined times.

“The song is loosely based on the French Revolution. I was inspired by some more recent political events which occurred in the US. I wanted to convey this in a way that was like telling an old story to a child, like in a nursery rhyme.”

Stream Revolution Then via Spotify.

Follow Ted on Instagram and TikTok.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jacob Lee: How I Garnered >240 million Spotify Streams as an Independent Artist

Jacob Lee

With no label, management or booking agency behind him and only his mystique, tenacity and lyrical passion to drive his success, Jacob Lee deservedly became a viral artist at the age of 24. He found the unicorn of independent artist careers through his amalgamation of determination, talent and gratitude for his fans. The connectable warmth he brings to his haunting sound is nothing short of exemplary. His commitment to creating a community bolstered by his fans is equally attractive to his millions of international fans. 

Just a few of the career highlights for Jacob Lee have included independently touring across Europe, the UK, Asia and Australia and garnering over 240 million streams on Spotify alone. He is also the owner and creator of Philosophical Records and Lowly Labs. Through his Lowly Labs art project, he’s creating an intimate universe for his fans that consists of a virtual garden, library, venue and gallery. Shortly after the launch of his community-driven NFT on January 21st, he caught up with the Head of Artist Development at A&R Factory and Director at Offbeat Cultures, Jax Dee, to discuss the changes in the industry that made him, and what enabled him to thrive. 

 

Jacob Lee

Jax: Thanks for joining us today. Let’s start with a big question – you have gained over 240 million Spotify streams and a quarter of a billion YouTube views; how did you do that!?

Jacob: That’s a very big question! I would say it’s happened mostly through consistency. I know I’m biased, but I think the music touches a place that other modern music doesn’t. It’s primarily based around the lyrics and story; it seems a lot of people resonate with that. However, if you remove that aspect, I just distribute a ridiculous amount of content – non-stop, all the time. If I release a song on the first Friday of the month, then within that month, there will be a music video, lyric video, live session, official audio, and behind the scenes content on my socials. 

The only platform I never really adopted was Tik Tok, although I definitely should have. I prioritized Instagram and went hard on stories, posting on the feed twice a day for several years. As of late, I’m putting more of my energy into Twitter, which is something I never thought I’d say. At the end of the day, if I were to take an overarching view of my career and why I am where I am, it’s all through consistency, authentic music and engaging with everybody. Like, everybody.

Jax: I’ve seen that you reply to all your comments. 

Jacob: I try – lately, it’s been more difficult as I focus on the business side of my music. The balance is delicate, and I’ve seen a slight drop in engagement on certain platforms. I need to schedule that back in and re-implement what I was doing to create that hype again.

Back when I was actively generating interest, managers and record labels kept hearing my name and were like, why does this guy’s name keep showing up in my inbox? How is he managing to generate these numbers, when he’s not played anywhere mainstream? 

I never went the traditional music industry route to get where I am. It seemed more intuitive to speak straight to my listeners and build my audience that way. I think Australian artists need to remember that Triple J isn’t the only blueprint to national success. Yes, that’s one legitimate avenue, though it’s not the only route. A more international approach can really prove beneficial if you find out what works. YouTube, blogs and independent Spotify playlists for example. But hey, who am I? I’m still not where I want to be, and there very well may be a ceiling on my approach. Even so, the challenges I’ve had to overcome in doing this solo have allowed me to feel comfortable in pretty much any professional situation, and that’s something I always carry with me.

Jax: Going back to the music, when you’re putting out content, do you make sure it’s perfect first or do you just get it out there? 

Jacob: I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit of a perfectionist, but I’ve been lucky to find a group of friends who help me audit and navigate that. My team and I are all perfectionists to some degree, though we also know when to zoom out so we aren’t going in circles. My general rule is that if there are changes at the end of the process, and no one but me would notice, I leave it. If there’s something a little more obvious, I’ll go ahead and tweak it.

Jax: Of course, the quality of content is subjective. What you think constitutes a ‘good’ track could vary massively from your fans, or the edit that you don’t feel is the strongest is the one that actually pops. Do you find that in what you put out?

Jacob: Yeah, every time. With each record, my team and I reached a consensus on which songs are the singles, though we’re rarely right. My listeners find beauty in things that we tend to overlook, which in itself is beautiful. I think we get so caught up in the process that we tend to hear the music too scientifically near the end of the process. My listeners are hearing it for the first time and respond in a more emotional manner.

Jax: How important do you think getting on big Spotify playlists was to joining the multi-million streaming club?

Jacob: It was really important. I did a lot of Spotify marketing at the start, which mostly revolved around finding independent playlist curators and pitching to them. I would sit for weeks (my mum can vouch for this), sending email after email to people who’d mostly not respond. Eventually, some did I would take that success and use the momentum to raise the chances of my next pitch. Eventually, I was featured on multiple well-known publications and playlists and it became easier to pitch from there.

My method on Spotify would be to find independent playlist curators, look at their profile picture and go find the one to match on Facebook. (When people sign up to Spotify via Facebook, it is usually the same picture). I would scroll through hundreds of accounts with the same name until I matched the picture. Once I’d pinned them down, I’d send a friend request and drop them a message if they accepted, saying something like, “hi, I’ve been listening to your Spotify playlist and I think this track would provide your audience value. I love your taste in music”. 

I always tried to position my pitch in a way where the benefits were mutual, instead of saying, “Hey, please feature me”. A lot of the curators would feel appreciated and thank me for liking their playlist, then add my music. I did that consistently until I started landing algorithmic playlists. I still to this day don’t have any personal connection with Spotify; I don’t have any contacts for them; they placed me on those playlists based on algorithms. 

Jax: So, they were algorithmic Spotify playlists that you were placed on?

Jacob: Yep, I’d wake up almost every other day to an email saying something like, “congratulations, you’ve been featured on ‘insert playlist’, a lot more people are about to hear your music”. It’s the auto-generated Spotify emails that let me know I was heading in the right direction, and I’d freak out when I checked the following and it had something like 10 million followers.

Jax: It’s definitely a good approach. Do you find that it still works in 2022? And are you still actively doing that now, or is it purely organic momentum?

Jacob: It, unfortunately, doesn’t work as well anymore. I’ve had a number of people confirm this for me. Honestly, it’s a little harder to attribute my streams to certain marketing methods with how many different strategies I’m running right now. My streams could be coming from my Twitter followers, interaction on Discord, my YouTube channel, my blog, live streams, TikTok posts or reels on Instagram. What I do know is having a reputable distribution company pitching you directly to Spotify is a great help these days.

Jax: Yeah, it’s definitely a lot harder. Playlist pitching has changed a lot. It used to be that you could tap curators and ask if they think the music is a good fit. Now, curators are thinking about how they can squeeze the most money out of their playlists. That’s before you even consider the bots and all of the other shenanigans. 

We’ve seen amazing playlists that we could place quality tracks on turn bad overnight, all because they’ve started taking payments. They think if I made $50, why can’t I multiply my traffic by four and get $200 and then it’s a race to the bottom. 

Also, the way you find curators has changed too. Initially, they were just fans making playlists for themselves and didn’t need to be contacted, then they wanted to be contacted and dropped their details in their bio or playlist description. Now, most of the curators that drop their details are not genuine. A lot has changed. 

Jacob: Yeah, it’s difficult. Though it makes sense. If curators made their contact details public, they’d get thousands of messages a day and who wants that.

Jax: That’s all the time we have. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today.

Jacob: Thanks, Jax. It’s been an absolute pleasure. 

 

Jacob Lee

Explore more of Jacob Lee’s world at jacoblee.art

To prove that Jacob Lee isn’t a music industry anomaly, with their insider know-how and determination to see independent artists thrive in 2022, the award-winning artist development team at on:beat are helping artists have the impact they deserve thanks to their brand new artist development platform. 

With new monthly courses and 1-1 help from an expert music promotion team available at an accessible rate, artists can learn how to improve their streaming stats, get more media attention and widen their fan base. 

With on:beat, artists have a team of industry experts at their disposal for every new release. Want in? Sign up here

LT – How Would it Feel: The Ultimate Melancholic Dream-Pop Track

Award-winning singer-songwriter, LT (Leanne Tennant), has poured her spellbinding talent into yet another evocatively ensnaring single, How Would it Feel; by all accounts, it’s the ultimate melancholic pop track. Expect a similar sonic palette to the likes of Beach House, Deerhunter and Slowdive through the shoegazey angular guitars and hazy reverb paired with uplifting elements of folk.

LT delivered familiarity and alchemic distinction in the same package; her soulfully provoking, tender indie vocals command the soundscape in the same hypnotic way as London Grammar, Daughter and the XX. The reminiscences are great for reference, but to truly appreciate her exceptional songwriting skills, you’ll need to experience the soul of How Would It Feel first-hand.

How Would it Feel was officially released on September 13; you can check it out for yourselves via her website or SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ceylon Rose has made their debut with the psych-laced RnB pop-rock track, ‘Bubbles and Reflections’

Melbourne-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ceylon Rose released their debut single ‘Bubbles and Reflections’ on March 12th and shared some of the epiphanous thoughts that led to his transition from their anxiety-riddled state into someone with confidence in their ability.

One of the many stunning aspects of this track is how it reminds the listener that darkness can be overcome. Then there is the soundscape itself which unravels as a melodically soulful mix of RnB, pop, psych-rock and hip hop. The Hendrix-style solo gives you plenty of time to let the preceding introspection sink in and appreciate the multi-faceted nature of Ceylon Rose’s talent.

Bubbles and Reflections is now available to stream via Spotify.

To keep up to date with news on the artist’s following releases, connect via Facebook.

Rya Park has released her compassionately candid single “The Lucky Ones”

Rya Park

From the first lyric in Rya Park’s latest Funk-soaked feat of stylistic Pop “The Lucky Ones,” you’re hooked. Her scathing wit perfectly pairs with her romantic air and the vibrance offered by this tonally stunning single.

The chorus is guaranteed to stick to your synapses like superglue. The concept which Rya Park plays around with in The Lucky Ones is enough to shift your own perspective when it comes to dissecting your romantic tragedies and successes.

It’s a flawless radio-ready Pop hit. If anyone has got what it takes to climb the Pop charts, it’s Rya Park. The Australian-born singer-songwriter and instrumentalist is never afraid to tackle issues which delve far beyond the surface. With her tracks touching upon mental health, toxic relationships and melancholy, she’s everything the airwaves need right now.

I wish there was someone so compassionate, candid and insightful releasing records when I was younger.

You can check out Rya Park’s single The Lucky Ones via this link

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Australian singer-songwriter and cat lover Zellda sings with such beauty on ‘Like You Do’

Zellda brings us a ray of sunshine on the love-sprinkled new release ‘Like You Do‘.

Like You Do‘ is the second single from Western Australian singer songwriter Zellda. This is a superb music melody that captures the fear and excitement that begins when finding a new love. In Zellda’s folk-inspired tone, ‘Like You Do‘ is a raw and honest account of the self-talk that comes into play when wrestling with the emotions of wanting to dive head first into something new but also holding back to avoid potential heartbreak.

‘My few steps back into the dating pool were misguided, feeling that familiar flicker begin to spark only to be let down’. After a decade of writing songs, Zellda decided to let her creations wander beyond the walls of her bedroom, launching her debut single ‘When I Was Younger‘ in 2019.

Like You Do‘ re-imagines the love song, refreshing “butterflies in the stomach” by adding a depth and compassionate relevance to the idiom and capturing within this endearing single.

I love how honest this song is and it is sung with such beauty. After telling herself that she would be alone with her cat forever, things changed and I’m so glad that she found love. A very passionate lover too. The lyrics are real and the story is so lovely, this is a singer with heart and soul.

Like You Do‘ from Zellda is one of the cutest songs you will hear all year. From being alone to being happy just like that. Life changes quickly sometimes and we are just here for the ride.

Click here for the Spotify page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

 

Elegant Australian singer-songwriter Darcy has a voice that heals on ‘Ill Be There for You’

Darcy sings with such poise and class that you can’t teach. Her voice guides you into her world and keeps you close.

Sparkling alien fantasy fan and singer-songwriter Darcy is a 20 year old from sunny Australia, After being on The Voice Australia and since then has been writing, collaborating and performing around her home city of Melbourne in Australia.

This is all about making that change and healing the world. You try and find the words to describe what is going on and it takes time to full take it all in. You are now ready to hold the hand of those close and make that real change, with hopes to spread your feelings. The time for keeping quiet is over.

Darcy impresses highly here on ‘Ill Be There for You‘ and she has a very special voice that we all hope to hear more of. There is a special sound to her, with the crisp and dreamy vocals on this fine new track.

Stream the Spotify link here.

Click here for the Facebook link.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Alt Country Rock artist Siobhan Cotchin has released her nostalgically-inspired, stylistically-crafted Just the Way It Is

Once you get West Australian singer-songwriter Siobhan Cotchin on your radar, you’ll hit play on her tracks for the very same reasons you keep spinning iconic Alt Folk and Rock records.

Siobhan Cotchin may get her inspiration from the likes of Bob Dylan, but her ingenuity ensured that plenty of contemporary resonant appeal was instilled in her latest single Just the Way It Is.

With distorted crunching guitars behind her hauntingly visceral hard-hitting vocals, there’s a fresh intensity to the soundscape. It’s unpredictable, it’s evocatively seductive, and more importantly, it offers deeply connectable lyrics which will compel you to give the track repeat attention. Any fans of Angel Olsen definitely won’t hang around making Siobhan Cotchin a firm fixture to their playlists.

You can check out Just the Way It Is for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Her next single is due for release on September 12th. Follow the artist via Facebook to keep up to date with all new releases.

Review by Amelia Vandergast