INDIEPOP with the most resonant of political points for an industry beleaguered by the pandemic and one in which anyway, let’s be frank, artists are being screwed all ends by the dominant digital business ‘models’. Now that kind of indie is a wholly good thing.
Step forward Swansea Sound: Amelia Fletcher of Heavenly, Talulah Gosh, et al; teamed up with Hue Poo, formerly of The Pooh Sticks of this parish, and thus a man well-versed in a tune laced with irony in addressing the state of the scene (“I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well”); Rob Pursey on guitar and bass, Ian Button on drums.
They’ve already laid down a bounce-along but hellishly seriously statement of intent with “Corporate Indie Band”, railing against the machinations of production-line indie stardom, social media teams, part of the plan; the kinda new-generational musical sausage factory that The Monkees railed against on “Ditty Diego War Chant”, as they bust free of the puppetry on Head.
Now for real pointed truths wrapped up with high concept: their latest, “I Sold My Soul On eBay”, is out now. You can buy it for a quid on Bandcamp. Or, if you like, there’s one – one solitary – vinyl 7″, and that’s up for auction on eBay here; you won’t be able to put it onto your Spotify playlist. It won’t be there. As their Facebook page declares, “you’ll only find them on Spotify, Amazon, etc, once they are old enough to be library music.”
Amelia says of the solitary 7″: “So far it has reached a surprising £205, and there are still nine days to go.” [£310 and just under six days at the time of writing – it’ll be more now].
“This is already around 6 million per cent of what we would receive for one Spotify stream.
“‘I Sold My Soul on eBay’ is the first physical release by new label SKEP WAX. [It’s] a song about the predicament of the contemporary pop group. Unable to earn money from playing live, they are forced to rely on the digital giants to distribute their music.
“They wonder if Spotify, YouTube, Apple and the rest will offer them a fair share of the proceeds. Or just a lot of ‘likes’.”
And doesn’t that tell you everything: 6 million per cent of a streaming royalty – on one part-bid 7″?
Follow Swansea Sound on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; maybe think about following that #brokenrecord hashtag on Twitter too, on which artists are speaking out against ruinous digital royalty rates. Oh, and bop to some proper indiepop on your way.