A disheartening fact any unsigned musician reading this should know is that most A&R scouts will NEVER listen to your demo disc or Myspace songs. That’s because most demos/emails are sent unsolicited, which is a term record labels use to describe material they haven’t invited you to send.
But how can you be invited if they don’t know who you are? Well, the twisted logic behind this policy is that because there aren’t enough hours in the day for these professional talent-spotters to listen to all the new music they get sent, they prioritise what they do choose to hear by ensuring it meets one of the following criteria:
1. I discovered this band myself: best case scenario (A&R person feels smug sense of satisfaction that they may have found the next big thing and will happily do all the chasing).
2. This band was recommended to me by someone I know: second-best case scenario (A&R person trusts the judgement of an acquaintance whom they are sure wouldn’t dare bother them unless absolutely necessary).
3. There is already a buzz surrounding this band: third-best case scenario (A&R person fears they’ll look like a tit if band comes up in conversation among peers).
Incidentally, The Pop Cop can help unsigned acts with all three since we regularly share tips with our friends in the music business whenever a new Scottish band catches our eye. But effectively the entire foundation of this system relies on the f0llowing premise: No matter where you live, no matter how much money you have, no matter what you look like…
If your song is good enough it WILL get noticed.
And so this brings us to BAND OF HORSES and why this indie rock band among hundreds in Seattle, and hundreds of thousands in America, has defied all odds to make themselves heard despite having a frontman who was not only recently homeless but also has complete disregard for personal grooming. The answer, reassuringly, is in the power of a song so strong it cannot be ignored.
When a band has conjured up something as stunning as The Funeral – five and a half minutes of euphoric bombast and sonic satisfaction – you just have to sit back and wait for Darwin’s natural selection process to do the rest. And that’s why, in the past 18 months alone, Band Of Horses’ first single has been uploaded to 89 of the most popular music blogs.
Make that 90.