It’s another Bandcamp Friday, and we love this day because it puts us in the spirit of supporting musical artists, wether they be local, national, or international. If you’re not aware, on Bandcamp Friday, which for the length of 2020 and also 2021 has been the first Friday of every month, the streaming platform donates 100% of profits directly to the artists themselves. Such is especially important right now as we continue into the current pandemic, and many bands and musicians are still out of touring or performing due to live music restrictions.
Here’s one way to think of it: If holidays like Christmas and Valentines Day are socially acceptable excuses to spend money on gifts for your loved ones, BandCamp Friday is like the holiday that gives you an excuse to spend that money on some cool new music!
If you’re like us, you might be spending time today just cruising BandCamp at random, hitting up the site’s recommendations and discovering for yourself the tons of new releases coming out from artists all over the world. But, if you want to hear a few of our favorite new releases, check them out below!
1. Mimi Naja — Nothing Has Changed
It’s for many reasons that Fruition continues to shine at some of the country’s most premier bluegrass and rock festivals, among the likes of close musical friends like Billy Strings and Railroad Earth, but not least of all because they have songwriting superpowers. The new single “Nothing Has Changed” from the band’s lead singer Mimi Naja proves this yet again. Consisting of nothing else but a piano, some guitar and Naja’s humbled and humbling voice, this song shimmers in the same earthy, no-frills power that makes Fruition’s songs music some of the best around. While it is only one song, the track is the title to a forthcoming solo record from Naja that we are eager to get our hands on.
2. The Mighty Good Times — Belly Laughs & Broken Bones
For a level of emotional sincerity and rawness similar to that of Fruition, but from a very different sonic approach, try on the amazing new record Belly Laughs and Broken Bones for size. Coming from the mind and life of singer and guitarist Tim Beavers II (formerly of the hardcore power trio Peoples’ Blues of Richmond), BLABB is a full force delivery of americana rock that grabs you from note one, shakes you around a bit, and gets into your heart as much as it gets into your bones.
3. Escaper — Live at Nublu
If the ethereal guitar tone and crunchy drum and bass on the opening track “Vista” aren’t enough to hook you into riding out the rest of Live at Nublu, you might want to get your eardrums checked. This live release sees the space-rock dance quartet Escaper trying out some brand new material—that they would release as their self-titled a few months later in June 2020—in front of superfans at a sold out show at one of their performance hot spots, Nublu in Brooklyn. Come for the incredible originals, stay for the towering cover of Floyd’s “Set The Controls.”
4. The New Motif — Live at Soundcheck Studios
Despite the odds and the challenging circumstances of this ongoing pandemic, many bands just hit a real stride in the the tumultuous time of 2020. One such band is The New Motif, eastern Massachusetts’ premier up and coming jamband. The band played several sold-out drive-in events in 2020, all of which are streamable and purchasable on their BandCamp page. With intricate compositions meeting a litany of solos that would make the likes of both Bootsy Collins and Dweezil Zappa do a double take, these are some jams you should really check out (fair warning, you might need a stool softener after digesting these).
5. Muscle Tough — Tough Transmissions Vol. 1
Nobody communicates through their instruments like the three wizards making up the Philly jazztronica trio Muscle Tough. In their hands, jazz and funk and rock becomes their own bizarrely beautiful language. While this versatile band has been known to crank out some meaty improvisations, time in quarantine presented them a totally different, novel concept: serve up one minute to one and-and-a-half minute microdoses of musical compositions that are just long enough to sink you ears into and groovy up your day a bit. It’s like Tik Tok but instead of something that makes your brain feel deflated afterwards it’s something that makes your brain feel like buzzing—a strong cup of musical coffee, really. Dopapod’s own Eli Winderman joins the trio fort two songs of the compilation, and his unmistakable sound on the ivories fits into these grooves like a jazzy, funky group hug (a tough hug, though, a hug of muscles).