New Music Friday: December 2, 2016

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?

Follow THE NEW – a Spotify playlist that’s updated every Friday with new releases from TuneCore Artists – stream it below!

ihf
Departure
IHF

Electronic, Dance

lindsey-stirling
Spotify Singles
Lindsey Stirling

Pop, Dance

ryan-caraveo
Maybe They Were Wrong
Ryan Caraveo

Hip Hop/Rap

summer-high
I Need You Here
A Summer High

Pop, Rock

for
Oblivion (feat. Rya Park)
FØRD

Electronic, Dance

freedom-fry
Linger
Freedom Fry

Alternative, Folk

deal-casino
Human Cannonball EP
Deal Casino

Rock, Alternative

gaslight-disco
Glowing Cities On the Horizon
Gaslight Disco

Alternative, Singer/Songwriter

the-holdup
Leaves In The Pool
The Holdup

Reggae, R&B/Soul

curtiss-king-oh-gosh-leotus
Jubilee Year
Curtiss King & Oh Gosh Leotus

Hip Hop/Rap, R&B/Soul

deep-end
Deep End
Deep End

Alternative, Rock

the-rebel-roads
First To Know
The Rebel Roads

Country

November Industry Wrap-Up

By Hugh McIntyre

The end of 2016 is close enough to touch, but we’re not there quite yet. November was a big month for music, if not the business, and a number of the most popular movers and shakers in the game made waves with new projects, changed history, and tried to push the boundaries of where their art had been before.

  • The Chainsmokers and Halsey are now immortalized in charting history thanks to their shockingly-popular hit “Closer;”
  • With a new string of mixtapes on the way, it is starting to seem as if Hamilton will never go away—not that you’d want it to;
  • Beyoncé, the country music star? If she has her way, she’ll be on top of every genre.

The Chainsmokers now have the fourth longest-running number one hit of all time

After what felt like forever, The Chainsmokers finally slipped a single spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, vacating the number one spot the EDM duo had owned for months. The pairing’s hit song “Closer,” which features the vocals of up-and-coming pop singer Halsey, ruled the all-encompassing singles tally for an incredible 12 consecutive weeks, which puts the track into the history books alongside some of the greatest tunes that have ever been released.

The surprising reign enjoyed by The Chainsmokers and Halsey goes to show that despite reports, EDM is far from dead, and in fact in many ways, it has become the new “pop.” For months on end, “Closer” was the most-played song on the radio, the most streamed track, and the best-selling song in the country, proving that the masses have accepted this relatively new genre just as they have so many others in the past.

As production software becomes cheaper and easier to use, there are more remixers and dance producers than ever before, but clearly there is a market for this kind of material, and it is now entering a new era where it can compete with the biggest of all time.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is extending the Hamilton brand into a series of mixtapes

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is clearly a proponent of the idea that if something is working, keep running with it until people are tired of it. The man behind the hottest show to come to Broadway in years began rolling out the first tracks from the Hamilton mixtape that he revealed as in the works earlier this year, and already people are freaking out. The album-length project doesn’t yet have a release date, though it’s due at some point before the end of the year, but it already looks like it will be one of the biggest, and certainly the most highly-anticipated, pieces of music of all of 2016.

Miranda caused a frenzy online when he tweeted a photo featuring the tracklist for the Hamilton mixtape, complete with what artists had taken up vocal duties on all of the reworked songs. The group of names that the theatrical prodigy was able to put together is incredible, and it reads more like the lineup of which artists are set to perform at the Grammys or who has been hired to headline Coachella than a mixtape. Kelly Clarkson, Sia, Chance The Rapper, The Roots, Usher, Alicia Keys, and over a dozen others have all lent their talents to the CD, which is now even more hotly tipped than ever before (if that’s at all possible).

Around the same time, the playwright also revealed that this upcoming album was just the first mixtape, and that he was planning on turning Hamilton into not one, but a series of mixtapes. The actual cast recording of the show, which has already been certified double platinum and is still hanging on in the top ten on the Billboard 200, features 46 tracks, so it’s not difficult to understand how Miranda could continue to roll out mixtape after mixtape, keeping the brand fresh and alive for years to come.

Hamilton was creative enough as it is, but Miranda’s plan to morph it into mixtapes is a fantastic idea, not just in a creative sense, but when it comes to business as well. He’s turned one successful project into several, which is something that other musicians should take to heart.

If audiences love a song or an album, why not keep serving it to them in different ways to see how far it can stretch?

Beyoncé runs the (country) world—or at least she wants to

Beyoncé, or as many know her, Queen Bey, has already conquered the worlds of R&B and pop, but someone as ambitious as she is always looking for new challenges and new ways to come out on top.

When the singer launched her second surprise visual album earlier this year, fans were excited and shocked to hear a bit of twang on the new CD. Lemonade featured a country song entitled “Daddy Lessons,” which saw Bey going in a new direction with her music. Fans and critics applauded the effort, and it has been noted as a standout track from the album alongside singles like “Formation” and “Sorry.”

Now, with Lemonade slowly working its way down the charts, Beyoncé has launched a full-scale promotional campaign to make her mark in the country music world with “Daddy Lessons,” but surprisingly, it isn’t going as smoothly as the star is used to. Just days before the CMAs (Country Music Association Awards), it was announced that Bey would join forces with the Dixie Chicks to perform “Lessons,” which excited both country fans and the Beyhive. The aftermath of her stellar showing was mixed, with many complementing the excellent performance, while others commented that she seemed out of place at the CMAs, which are focused solely on country.

Not long after her time on stage, a live version of “Lessons” made its way onto Spotify, becoming the first track off of Lemonade to be made available to the public outside of either Tidal or iTunes. Up until late November, the only way the public could hear the superstar’s new collection was to buy it in full or sign up for Tidal, a streaming service co-owned by Bey, her husband Jay Z, and a few dozen other musicians. Her acquiescence shows that while she might be one of the biggest stars in the world, even Beyoncé needs to be on Spotify, where millions around the world access their music.

Reinventing yourself as an artist is difficult, especially when it comes to switching genres, though it’s not impossible. Bey was smart enough to go country in her own way, and not simply copy what the chart-toppers in the genre do. “Daddy Lessons” may have more guitar than the world is used to hearing from her, but she was able to discover what she could bring to the table that other superstars weren’t, which is a Louisiana vibe and a charisma and voice no other artist can match.

Transitioning from one style to another is possible, but it needs to be done intelligently and correctly if it’s to work out.

Wednesday Video Diversion: November 30, 2016

Did you know today marks the 34th anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller?! That’s right – a casual 50 million copies sold, almost 200 weeks on the charts, and some of the most iconic pop singles of all time. And do you remember the music videos?! Well. If that’s not a reason to fire up some audio-visual distraction, we don’t know what is.

Miya Folick, “Pet Body”


Ryan Caraveo, “Real Right Now’


Lowland Hum, “Older, Wiser”


Icelandia, “Paper Suns”


Kenny Holland, “Matter To You”


Jamie Grace, “Party Like a Princess”


India.Arie, “Breathe”


Marco Pavé, “Cake”


Mystery Known, “Fly Music”


Mystic Braves, “Desert Island”

How To Prevent Psyching Yourself Out Before a Show

[Editors Note: This article was written by Anthony Cerullo and originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog.]

It’s a quiet Thursday night, and you’ve just gotten home from a long day of giving music lessons. Now that the distractions of the day have dissipated, it’s just you and your thoughts. Yes, those pesky thoughts that bounce off the empty walls in your room, teasing you with every chance they get.

This time, they’re focused on the big gig tomorrow night. It’s at a high-profile venue and a large turnout is expected. The opportunity is substantial, but instead of excitement, your brain focuses on the stress. Memories of last week’s show haunt you as every wrong note, missed cue, and voice crack dance around your brain.

You try to block out these negative feelings by thinking of rainbows and unicorns, but even that’s helpless. Sleep becomes a wasted attempt as the sensation of public humiliation before a large audience is all but a burning reality. Worst-case scenarios continue to repeat themselves throughout the night and even the next day leading up to the show.

Some may think feelings like this are nothing more than a little anxiety, but psyching yourself out can have a major impact on a performance. If the bulk of your time leading up to a show is filled with negative thoughts, that will likely lead to a poor performance.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. A solution exists for even the most anxiety-plagued musicians around.

Seeing is believing

Say what you will about visualization, but there’s some truth to it. That’s not to say that just by thinking about a boat, you’re going to get it, but thinking positively can certainly help with a musical performance.

If you still are skeptical about this, though, introduce yourself to Michael F. Scheier and Charles S. Carver. These two men brought the science of optimism to the forefront in 1985. Before that, this type of thinking was nothing but theory, but now researchers have embraced the research and have confirmed the powers of positive thinking.

Just like intense negative thinking can lead to a dramatic decrease in quality of your playing, the same is true for the opposite. By reinforcing positive thinking, an actual increase in performance quality is possible. That’s right – simply imagining how you’re going to play will translate into reality. It sounds crazy, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

For example, think about when you practice an instrument. You’ve probably heard the term “muscle memory.” By practicing the correct patterns repeatedly, it’s as if your fingers remember the movements easily. Eventually, by practicing these good habits, they become more natural until you’re hardly thinking about the notes in a given scale. Now, think about when you practice a pattern incorrectly. Poor habits are developed which are much harder to get rid of.

Well, it turns out this same occurrence can be found in our mentality. By reinforcing your brain with positive thoughts, it becomes a more natural feeling until positivity practically bleeds from your pores.

Again, this may seem like some mumbo-jumbo made up by some two-bit psychologist, but there’s truth to it. A few years ago, psychologists at Purdue University tested this theory out among professional golfers. Their conclusion showed that with positive thinking, golfers’ performance actually increased. If it can work for them, it can work for you.

What not to do

Now that you have some idea of how to think positively, it’s important to know what not to do.

When you have negative images in your head, it’s not just a matter of blocking them out. In fact, blocking them out actually makes the situation worse. You may think you’re thinking about them less, but suppressing negative thoughts mean you’re only increasing the chances of them invading your head once again.

For example, for the next minute, try not to think of a metallic purple magic school bus. So, how long did that take before you thought of it? Using that logic, you have to reinforce the ideas that you actually want, not what you don’t want.

When you’re thinking about an upcoming performance, it’s important to think about specific words you want to use. Avoid words like “don’t” (e.g., “Don’t play the chorus too fast this time”). Instead, say something like “Be mindful of the tempo during the gig.” That way, you aren’t just focusing on the thing you want to avoid and therefore making it more likely to occur.

Put a stop to that evil voice in your head

We all know that evil voice – its sole job is to pollute your mind with negative images, but it’s really up to you whether you want to put up with it. You’re going to see images, both good and bad, no matter what the situation is, so you may as well make them positive ones.

When a thought pops up in your head, ask yourself if this is a constructive thought or a negative one. If it’s a negative one, then simply redirect your focus to something that will help you become more successful.

The thing is that negative thoughts tend to be more natural. We can thank our survival instincts for that one. According to Clifford Nass, a professor of communication at Stanford University, negative thoughts are processed more thoroughly than positive ones. As a result, we tend to contemplate unpleasant events with stronger words than we do with pleasant events.

Because of this, we have to try a lot harder to direct our focus to positivity. Over time, your ability to focus on good images will become better conditioned, not unlike practicing an instrument. Eventually, you won’t have to try so hard to think positively, and you’ll have more control over your mind during important moments like that big gig coming up tomorrow night.

New Music Friday: November 25, 2016

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?

Follow THE NEW – a Spotify playlist that’s updated every Friday with new releases from TuneCore Artists – stream it below!

icon-for-hire
You Can’t Kill Us
Icon For Hire
Alternative, Pop

buchanan
The Beep Test
Buchanan

Alternative, Rock

india-arie
Breathe
India Arie

R&B/Soul

jamie-grace
Party Like a Princess
Jamie Grace

Christian/Gospel, Pop

nashville-indie-spotlight
Nashville Indie Spotlight Christmas
Various Artists
Holiday, Singer/Songwriter

sanni
Thinkin’ Bout You
Sanni

Pop, R&B/Soul

bexar
Last Name
Bexar

Country, Pop

kenny-holland
Begin Again
Kenny Hollan
d
Pop

icelandia
Kinship
Icelandia

Electronic, Pop

bottleneck
Keep ‘Em Spinning
Bottleneck

Hip Hop/Rap, Country

maryanna
Wash My Hands
Maryanna 

Singer/Songwriter, Folk

angelhaze
Resurrection
Angel Haze

Hip Hop/Rap, R&B/Soul

Wednesday Video Diversion: November 23, 2016

It’s almost Turkey Day here in the States and we know you’re ready to be celebrating! But alas, you’re still more than few hours out from that time off – so kill some time while you wait and enjoy this week’s round-up of TuneCore Artist music videos!

 

Karlson, “Zwei von Milliarden”


SHEL, “Sleigh Ride”


Jay Nash, “Barcelona (Live)”


Cody Chesnutt, “Jam In The Van Session”


Curtis Grimes, “Smile That Smile”


HEMBREE, “Can’t Run Forever (Chapman Sessions)”


Jelly Roll & Lil Wyte, “Demons”


Anonymuz, “Vice”


Shallow Side, “Renegade”