Though music journalism might be changing, there’s arguably no replacement for a good press write-up when it comes to spreading the word and building buzz around an artist, single, tour, or campaign.
“One of the most viral and high-exposure ways for your music to be shared and heard is through online publications,” says Michele Riggi, a Los Angeles-based AWAL Label Manager. “Specifically, if the publication has a significant social following. One retweet of the article can hit thousands of people who otherwise may not have heard your song.”
“Blogs have been our real champions,” say British rock band Sea Girls. “Having them write about our music is hugely rewarding. There is just something about them that people trust as they have an authentic voice based on the merits of the music. Your songs are only written about if they like them. Blogs are tastemakers and they influence the public and other like-minded souls.”
While an album review in Rolling Stone or NME might be on the horizon, there are a ton of up-an-coming, niche, and independent blogs out there that show love to artists at all levels on a daily basis. Here are just a few of many that our roster has seen great success with and how you can submit your music for coverage.
What it is: As part of COMPLEX media, Pigeons and Planes is a daily publishing, self-described “music-discovery site” covering new music from underground, independent artists to mainstream superstars. In the past year, it’s featured AWAL artists including Ashley Koett and MarcLo.
How to get featured: Shoot an email over to email@example.com.
What it is: Clash is both a digital and print magazine out of the UK, although its coverage isn’t limited to just UK-based artists. In fact, it features everything from film to fashion, although many of its reviews, features, and interviews mainly focus on music. Among its regular columns is “Track of the Day,” which has featured AWAL artists including Black Gold Buffalo, Ms Banks, and RuthAnne.
How to get featured: All contact info for the Clash staff can be found here; general press inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What it is: Self-proclaimed as the UK’s biggest independent website devoted to new music, The Line of Best Fit has spent the better part of a decade growing its audience to around two million readers per month. They also curate a Spotify New Music Discovery playlist that’s updated weekly with their favorite tracks. Over the past few months, they’ve featured AWAL artists like WESLEE, Francobollo, and Mina Rose.
How to get featured: Fill out this form.
Ready to submit? Make sure you’ve got everything you need with these 6 must-haves when pitching music journalists.
What it is: Per its sleek and modern website, Atwood is “an independent music journal dedicated to providing authentic writing, engaging, insightful editorials, and unique perspectives on music.” Along with seeking out artists from all genres and levels, the mag prides itself on a diverse roster of writers from all over the world. Last November, Atwood premiered AWAL artist Jordan Mackampa’s anthemic “Battle Cry” and reviewed Pink Flamingo Rhythm Review’s “On a Night Like This.”
How to get featured: Email email@example.com
“I love blogs like Atwood magazine because they focus on new and emerging talent,” says Michele Riggi. “They’re open to giving new music a listen and write about it even if the artist’s socials and fanbase are still growing. Subsequently, the people who follow those publications tend to be more engaged and involved.”
What it is: Born from writer Kevin Bronson’s column in the Los Angeles Times in 2008, Buzzbands.LA lives up to its name, turning readers onto the newest and hottest bands on the LA music scene. It also offers honest live reviews, tips on who’s passing through town, and premieres from rising musicians, like AWAL artist Monogem.
How to get featured: Submission guidelines can be found here.
What it is: A magazine with an international perspective on pop culture (including music, film, fashion, and beauty), Wonderland prides itself on not only unique coverage of “the best new and established talent,” but also high-end photography and imagery. Its “New Noise” section has featured AWAL artists including Sea Girls, Mia Gladstone, and Millie Turner in the past year.
How to get featured: Contact the magazine’s editorial staff directly.
What it is: As an online publication covering forthcoming trends and news in fashion, art, music, and culture, HighSnobiety covers everything from new music to the latest sneaker designs. In its 12 years of publication, it’s grown to 100 employees writing out of offices around the world and has become a recognizable name in both the fashion and pop culture worlds. Last March, AWAL singer/songwriter BAUM was included on its 10 Under-the-Radar Artists to Discover This Week list.
How to get featured: Fill out this form on its parent company’s website.
8. The Quietus
What it is: Operating independently for over a decade, The Quietus is a digital publication that includes work from prominent music journalists who’ve written for everyone from NME to Melody Maker. Beyond music, the site features sections on art, literature, film, and a variety of podcasts blanketed under “The Quietus Radio.” Their musical fare runs the gamut from reviews and interviews to features and premieres, like this one for AWAL artist Lamb’s new single.
How to get featured: All staff contact info can be found here.
What it is: A longtime favorite of the online music-journalism scene, blahblahblahscience (or B3SCI for short) covers great music — past, present, and future. Working with “a team of handpicked taste-makers positioned throughout the globe,” the site prides itself on thorough coverage that includes breaking new bands, including those on its offshoot label, B3SCI Records.
How to get featured: Submit your music via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each of these blogs has its own audience of regular readers who turn to its digital (or physical, in some cases) for the latest music coverage. Although the publications listed here are only a sampling of outlets out there that cover music, niche outlets are a great way to build your press page or get the word out about your latest release to people who trust that blog as a tastemaker. And even though an independent publication might not have the traffic of a major music site, it has a lot to offer artists at every stage.
“While a Noisey premiere is an amazing selling point and adds credibility to any marketing plan,” says Riggi, “you’re going to find super passionate and engaged fans on the growing publications.”
Beyond smaller or niche music blogs, it’s worth asking any partners you’re working with if they have blogs that regularly feature artists. Here on the AWAL Blog, we showcase our own roster of artists in our My Journey series and in Artist Spotlights. We love spreading the word about any important milestones, new releases, or simply shouting about what AWAL artists are working on.
“Blogs are a key tool to help an artist tell their story,” says Anna Mason, an AWAL Label Manager based in London. “Not only is it good to try and garner support from key tastemakers to help reach new audiences, it’s an opportunity to present ‘the bigger picture’ to help fans old and new connect with an artist.”
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