The power of social media is growing in the music industry. Does it sell records? In rare cases, yes, but I believe that since it’s already become a significant factor in how music is discovered, sales aren’t too far behind. For example, my friends know my basic overall taste in music. If they don’t, a quick look at my social media channels could easily give them a few ideas. Charlie sends me a message saying, “What up man!? How have you been? I was listening to a band the other day and I thought you would enjoy them too. They are fairly new and are gaining traction quick. http://www.last.fm/music/The+Neighbourhood I think it’s pretty good stuff.” That personal recommendation (not a flashing message on the side of my screen or ad on Pandora) got me to open a new tab and listen to their music. It’s not rocket science people, it’s simply quality music that does the job. When bands take the time to make good music, it will eventually find their audience.
The Neighbourhood’s music video for “Sweater Weather” has already gathered over 1.3 million views on YouTube. The indie pop group started in Los Angeles just over a year ago, but already have steady attention from two EPs released in 2012. The band is composed of Jesse Rutherford (vocals), Jeremy Freedman (guitar), Zach Abels (guitar), Mikey Margott (bass), and Bryan Sammis (drums). Their first EP, I’m Sorry…, dropped in August 2012 and has quickly spread because of the band’s quality production and unique sound. Much of the focus has naturally centered on frontman, Jesse Rutherford. You may think that he looks like a regular 21-year-old with ink up to his skull, but you’d miss the attention to detail. The band dresses only in black and white for photos, and according to MTV: “He won’t eat in a restaurant that has a menu printed in Comic Sans or Papyrus.” Obscurities aside, it’s no doubt that The Neighbourhood has found their style, confident in the sound dreamed by Rutherford and brought to life by producers Justyn Pilbrow and Emile Haynie. Here’s “Female Robbery.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfnzRarY6Jg
“I always have a strong vision before I go into anything,” Rutherford says. “I don’t know how to make music any other way. It was all in my head, and that vision for the music was to make hip-hop beats with guitars and I was going to sing and rap over them. We wanted to do that hip-hop aesthetic on an indie platform.” There’s a method to the madness. The heavy beats, mid-tempo consistency, vocal flow, and ambient textures are all essential in the melodramatic vibe that has produced two quality EPs so far for The Neighbourhood. “It’s not just words being said; it’s about how the words are said,” explains Rutherford. Through their “black and white” style and mystique, along with some solid touring, the band has produced quite the buzz in 2012. With a full-length debut in the works, it’s no doubt that they will be able to expand on their success in 2013. It’s a combination of determination, persistence, quality, sacrifice, art, and a little help from their friends (you) to share it. Check out the official music video for “Let It Go,” from their Thank You, EP, released in December 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l91u752OCPo
By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC