You ever watch a trailer for a movie and see all kinds of entertaining or exciting bits to grab you by the wallet and “inadvertently” check your prostate at the same time. Fast forward; you drop your hard-earned money only to find out all the naughty bits that enticed your naughty bits were spoiled spectacularly as in reality, that trailer you drooled over ended up being a fucking supercut. This phenomenon happens in music all the goddamn time, and we, the consumer, drink that shit like I drink the fucking gravy at my favourite rotisserie chicken joint (big ups to Chalet BBQ. You make my dick hard and my life worth living). Time and time again, I’ve witnessed the ruin of anticipation by the absolute onslaught of “singles” meant to tease a release, often for indiscriminate amounts of time on end. A recorded effort that said singles either didn’t remotely fit or proverbially blew its fucking load in releasing. All this to say, I fucking hate singles, I hate the state of marketing in the music industry, and I probably hate you as much as I hate myself, but you’re not my therapist and holy shit, I need a job.
I do have an actual point here. The age of information has been deconstructing the concept of an album for a long time in the sense that constant consumption is supposedly the only way to make the world keep turning. Of course, this is a tale as old as time. Still, we can’t beat around the fact that this ugly method of marketing has been inflamed and engorged far past the point of “you should get that looked at” as a means to try and continue the gravy train that we’ve all thought was being a fuckin rockstar for so very long. What is meant to be the pursuit of happiness by the honest birth of art has become more akin to that of factory farming in the sense that there can never truly be enough, can there? Release after tease after release after oh fuck do I have any actual decent songs left on this record?
You’re probably fed up with my bitching, which doesn’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of my hapless fucking life, but realistically speaking, your addiction to the possibility of my unnecessarily pornographic lexicon has you clinging to every word, very much like our everyday addiction to the constant release of SOMETHING from our favorite creative avenues far and wide. Let’s take a few key examples, maybe. We all have a different opinion of the latest release, Ohms, by the incomparable Deftones. For me, the title track dropped and my expectations sank, “Genesis” followed, and hope renewed. The album dropped and I find myself still exclusively enjoying the single if at all.
Another spectacular example would be a personal favorite of mine in Bury Tomorrow and their most recent effort, Cannibal. Three fucking singles came out of that record, each more unimpressive than the last, but blast that bitch in its entirety and this record became a whole other demon to me that I still cannot put down for the life of me. This isn’t even touching on the fact that often, we see songs released months to fucking YEARS before we get a full release. Barring the happenstances of life and all the chaos in it, I can’t possibly fathom how a tactic like this could remotely benefit anyone. I could go on forever and you could shit on me every step of the way, but we need to be honest with each other. That and I’m just a voice in your head and in no way do I actually want your opinion.
I’m beating off a dead horse, but the reality here is that the constant spoon-feeding of teaser tracks and sneak peeks and individual songs are consuming the importance of a whole and complete record. The journey is being told in clips and phrases instead of the whole story that can “inadvertently” bust the whole thing to shit without realizing it. Am I saying death to singles? Of course not. Not only am I no professional but I’ve hardly put out an EP for the world to see much less a full length, meaning I have no business even giving my take on this whole shit. But mark my words, the more the world of entertainment tries to bleed its innards out into the world drip by drip, the less interested we’re going to become. Before you know it, we’ll be living the plot of a fucking Mike Judge film, which hopefully won’t get spoiled by a fucking trailer! If you’re asking me, I say you get one. Obviously, I get that we gotta promote, but for fuck’s sake, don’t make it your best effort. Or don’t drop anything at all! Surprise releases have been absolutely crushing by all indications and that move alone stuffs it to so many major industry standards that both the consumer and the provider have been hanging on by a thread from. Your efforts deserve to be enjoyed the way artists intend them and we don’t deserve to be strong-armed into pumping out like a cow in heat. By the way, Daniel Ek, I adore your app but hate your insinuation that artists have to play by your rules. Dick.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*Edited by Dominic Abate