"Pop's need for speed: 'You have to drop stuff constantly'" | The Popjustice Forum

"Pop's need for speed: 'You have to drop stuff constantly'"

Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by bestinase, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. [​IMG]

    An interesting article popped up in the Guardian today that probably warrants its own thread.

    Drip-feeding content is nothing we've not been discussing/embracing/complaining about on the forum for a while, but this is the first bit of mainstream media I've seen talking to a range of artists about it – PJ faves like daddy Yannis from Foals and Kim Petras are interviewed within alongside some industry heads.

    Are you a fan? Is your fave dropping ~projects fast enough to keep your attention? Is this going to mean artists burn out faster, or get more experimental?
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
    Vixen, Island, Diet Pop! and 4 others like this.
  2. Someone @ Sky Ferreira with this
    Jersey, Island, Diet Pop! and 26 others like this.
  3. @Bobbyrae thinking about this question.
    Island, Diet Pop!, nooniebao and 30 others like this.
  4. I think this model works great for new artists or artists like Charli who work at the speed of light and tend to be more experimental, but I do think the death of the traditional album is being slightly overdramatized. To use a recent example, Norman Fucking Rockwell being so well received critically, and outdoing projections commercially highlights that there definitely still is value in a full length body of work and having it be viewed as your ‘definitive artistic expression’ for a period of time.
    Lapras, Island, Diet Pop! and 29 others like this.
  5. How is it not “artistically honest” to put out encapsulations of your own headspace on a regular basis, especially if that headspace changes? Isn’t that literally what most albums are?
    Island, Diet Pop!, nooniebao and 15 others like this.
  6. Honestly, I'm a big fan of being drip-fed content and absorbing the full album experience. Different things work for different artists. Some artists excel at one or the other.

    It's interesting that Rosalía was referenced as someone who has drip-fed content throughout the year after releasing her album late last year. El Mal Querer is an amazing example of a full body of work and era tied together through visuals, soundscape, and narrative, and her singles since then have all been just as rewarding.

    Now, if it's a case of an album being stuck in label development hell after being tossed a single or two, that's another story – but at least some artists, like Charli, have come out on the other end even better for it.
    Island, Diet Pop!, nooniebao and 13 others like this.
  7. Feed me loosies mum.
  8. This is something I've found satisfying with the Rosalia campaign – when an artist releases an album and then follows it up with additional singles that feel like an extension of the album but moves the world forward – rather than simply random singles for the sake of content – that initial album feels less like the end than it does with a lot of artists nowadays. It's a tricky balance.
  9. Really great article.

    It seems Clarity by Kim Petras is not considered an album by her.
  10. aux


    It ultimately depends on the artist or the project. A great example would be Robyn, with the Body Talk trilogy, she released a series of mini-albums each with a lead single, which ultimately led to an album, all over the course of a year. Noted there wasn't a single drop in quality between this experiment, and her self-titled album. Body Talk, a fast-paced, experimental, cold and sharp album lends itself very well to this type of rollout. Counterpart that against Honey, which is a lot slower, sexier and warmer, the long release of just two singles that led up to the album. I feel like the rollout works depending on the album and how well it fits it.
  11. I... think this is bullshit, to be honest. How is it not an album? It’s a compilation of relatively cohesive songs with a tracklist order and cover art. This also reminds me of Slayyyter calling her recent self-titled a mixtape instead of an album. What is the difference between a mixtape and an album when it comes to independent artists? With an artist like Charli, who is signed to a major, I guess you could say the mixtapes didn’t have label backing, so they aren’t considered albums, I guess. Is it the lack of videos / TV promo? That’s the reason Slayyyter gave for calling it a mixtape, she “wants her debut album to have a budget”.
    Island, nooniebao, Wishlight and 2 others like this.
  12. I really am NOT a fan of the anti-album mindset. I understand why some artists want and desire to drip-feed music to keep their profiles high, but the album as a format means so much more than just "10-14 songs released to streaming together". When done right, it can be a full experience & mean so much (see NFR!, Melodrama, etc).

    I get much more mileage out of an album that I have time to sit & spend time with than a few Spotify-length-friendly tracks spoon-fed to me every few months.

    That being said, when it becomes a Sky Ferreira situation of endless purgatory, yeah -- might as well just release a song per year as you go.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
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  13. matthew.

    matthew. Staff Member

    Charli XCX proved that the anti-album mindset is ultimately bullshit (in other artists that is, she's never really had it bar a few asides during times of frustration). She's spent 3 years working to get an album out, drip fed singles, dropped two mixtapes, and all of this was to get to the ultimate goal of an album. I don't think she has ever been happier in her career at this moment with her full-length out.
    Lapras and Mr.Arroz like this.
  14. I do feel the drip feeding approach can often be an excuse for a lazy, unfocused campaign. Just chucking new stuff out to see what clicks (and then having no album ready when something does click). Basically: Liam Payne.
    slaybellz likes this.
  15. I think that in hip-hop a mixtape would still be a compilation of relatively cohesive songs with a tracklist order and cover art. There could be several reasons for distinction, such as being home/self-produced, licensing re: samples/covers/remixes, lack of label/budget like you said. With Slayyyter, I think mixtape is fair when she was recording vocals in her closet nñ. There's a level of scrappiness to it.

    When you get to major label artists is where it gets dicey for me. Like Drake, for example – why is If You're Reading This a mixtape, More Life a playlist *eye roll*, and Views an album? Especially when If You're Reading This is a better collection of songs than Views and was highly impactful. Or Charli... those were basically just albums to me. I guess if you compare Number 1 Angel and Pop 2 to the Charli rollout, you could say it's down to the lack of videos or promo? I would have pointed to the collaborative aspect of the mixtapes, but she's replicated that on the album.

    Also, mixtapes used to be something that would be shared or downloaded for free whereas an album would be paid for, right? The streaming era has kind of thrown that into disarray. I remember that being one of the points of contention with Drake's If You're Reading This being labeled a mixtape, because he was actually selling it on iTunes, etc.

    I guess at the end of the day it's the artist's choice, but I think the distinction can sometimes be appropriate... and sometimes be a matter of hand-wringing and semantics to avoid being a flop and save face with the label. I think Kim might be in the latter camp, where Charli once lived.
  16. Also, the difference is no one is checking for an album from Liam Payne. Dddddd. Not even an EP, clearly.
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  17. Well Slayterrr explained it best by saying she wants her debut album to have a budget. Albums exist in a capsule that personifies the artist's work forever. Mixtapes are something on the side, not as 'official'.

    In some of the examples given there is literally no difference to their albums, other than the artist (i.e. Drake) wanted Views to be in his repertoire of albums and he didn't want If You're Reading this or More Life to sit alongside. There's also more clout to releasing an album. It's the album. The big one.

    In other cases, like Charli, I suspect it's more the label's influence and allowing her to throw out a body of work but not wanting to commit to the budget of an album. I'd go as far to say that they didn't see those mixtapes as album worthy. There is a more commercial shift with what we eventually got as the 'album' that I assume they were happier with, and she's clearly had more budget and had help getting booked for TV etc.

    Lizzo for example now refers to her first two albums as mixtapes, which in this instance would be purely a status thing. She wants Cuz I Love You to be her first album, her first body of work in her back catalogue. Unfortunately they were released as studio albums so they always will be even if she refers to them otherwise ddd.
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  19. It’s a double edged sword. As a fan I like the constant drip feed of stuff but only if I know it’s part of a larger considered project.
    It was a last minute thing because of the leaks but I absolutely loved the four stage roll out of Madonna’s Rebel Heart. Those first six track kept me so well engaged. There was enough to feel the journey but there was still plenty to come.
    That album was unusually long but standard 12-16 track albums could easily do this with three 4-6 track drops. Each with a lead single.
    The Katy Chapters or Seasons model would work if it wasn’t just one song.
    Plenty of artists career have been derailed by one bad single. Say Small Talk was a part of an EP there’s be more to enjoy and push the lead aside.

    It would also be a great boost to the return of 12 inch vinyl EPs. Which I am always here for!
    Glitterizer likes this.
  20. I am a big fan of the album. I understand every artist is different but it’s so rewarding to listen to a body of work every couple of years as opposed to quick lil singles that don’t really lead to anything bigger. Just look at how Lana has cemented herself this decade.
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