Welcome again to the Mumubl.com newsletter and my thoughts on the goings on in the music industry.
Yet again I’m coming back from an unintentionally long break between emails, which has partly inspired today’s musings. Maybe I should start gathering everything into seasons so I can just call these gaps mid season breaks like all respectful podcasters do nowadays.
I always enjoy the feedback I get from anyone – on any aspect of the content produced at Mumubl.com so please don’t hesitate to get in touch – and of course spread the word – as Grant Nicholas sang on Feeder’s “Echo Park” album “tell all your friends”.
Thanks as always
Currently checking out – “Salt” by Half Moon Run
Recently, if you’re into film journalism, or I guess even if you’re not, you’ll have seen Marvel Studios lustre very much fading and the quality of the studio’s output being called into question. Part of the underlying speculation for the decline in quality is that the studio is producing more and more content, focusing on getting projects made rather than focusing on getting good projects made. Getting stuff out to artificial deadlines rather than letting stuff take the time it needs to so it comes out as good as it can be. The same criticism has been levelled at other franchises like Star Wars and no doubt franchises that aren’t owned by Disney but escape me at the moment. Churning out new content to stay fresh and relevant is seemingly the priority.
The same feels true in music, the landscape has changed and where artists used to vanish for a while, off to work on new material, then coming back to release and tour it before heading off for a break again. This seems to be the preserve only of established “legacy” artists or major superstars. New artists, lower rung artists, now seem to be stuck in this constant rotation of tour and release, the drip, drip, drip of “content” whether that’s new music or TikTok videos or other social media posts. The pressure seems to be on to be constantly present.
Not only can this be draining, especially for artists pressured into producing content they aren’t comfortable with, it can often feel like content for content sake and much like Marvel you end up declining in quality and not giving things the time they need to breathe.
The philosophy most likely finds it’s origins in social media, the algorithm that knows and remembers everything but prioritises new content so much higher leading to the constant churn. Everyone trying not to be forgotten. You’ll see social media and marketing strategies built around regular posting and it is draining as someone who produces content for this website can verify. Sometimes I’ll have stacks of stuff to say, I’ll have too many recommendations for the “For Your Ears, For Your Eyes” newsletter. Then other times I’m forcing it, and it just doesn’t feel right. Sometimes it’s better to just not have a schedule and let things flow as and when they come. But then sometimes that leads to writing nothing at all.
There has to be a happy medium somewhere, after all a deadlines can force you into producing great work as well, it can focus things. It seems though that the churn is rumbling along too strongly at the moment and wearing people down too much.
As ever you won’t find answers from me, just pontificating. But maybe all it needs is to be talked about so people can become self aware, so they can identify when they’re in that churn and they need that break. The most important thing may well be giving people the confidence and support to be able to take those breaks.