‘Live performances may be a long way off, but great music is returning to centre stage.’
It has been some time, in fact the best part of four months since any new posts were added here at Listen to Discover. The reasons, in the main, are of course obvious to everyone reading this. The world has changed so much in 2020, in ways none of us could have imagined and plans left, right and centre have disintegrated. At the start of the year, Listen to Discover’s 12 Big Questions began. The plan was to pose a new question every month that looked at a different area of the industry. However, the plan for this quickly changed and ceased to exist as it had no place in what was happening.
Likewise, the Ones to Watch post last December, where artists for whom I felt 2020 would be their year now acts as a sad reminder of what music could have been like for them in what has turned into a worldwide gap year. Of course, some of those artists have continued to make music and push on as much as possible from a social distance. But it’s been incredibly tough so to those who have kept going, I applaud you from an equally social distance. However, as the past few weeks have gone by, and lives have begun to head back to some form of normality – dare I say, a ‘new-normal’ – much like the everyday lives of people, music making has started to show a return.
It was so weird that almost immediately at the end of March, emails slowed to a pace that highlighted how the music industry was being affected by the early stages of Covid-19. The most interesting part of this though was not the drop off itself, but the way that through the artists getting in touch, I could almost track the way the world was being affected. Ever since the start of Listen to Discover, the UK, Ireland and America have provided a constant flurry of new music but as the UK and Ireland was hit more and more, the submissions reduced. A few weeks later, the submissions from America did likewise and in the space of a few weeks the number of requests I would sometimes get in a day became the weekly figure. But a few months on, the music is already beginning to make a return.
Slowly but surely the numbers are increasing, new tracks are being released and the socials of artists that I’ve followed for months, and in some cases years, are starting to become active once more. It’s exciting. It’s life-affirming. And it’s incredibly promising. Sure much like a car that’s been hardly used for weeks on end the restart is a little bumpy, but the glimmers of new music momentum is getting going again. So, while it will be some time until we are able to experience live music again, we can begin to experience new music from the artists we know and love as well as restart the discovery of finding new ones. Which is why the focus from now until the end of the year will be firmly on sharing as much new music as possible, in as many ways as possible.