July has been a busy month for music!
SXSW 2012 performer and notable Hip Hop icon Jay Z released his 12th studio album, Magna Carta... Holy Grail, on Independence Day to one million lucky Samsung device owners for free only to receive a bit of bad news from Billboard. The chart keepers decided not to recognize the artist's initial one million sales, as they were not paid for and, therefore, do not count.
In music sales, according to a recent study by Neilsen Soundscan, vinyl album sales have been climbing and will continue to climb in 2013. A trendy phenomena! However, digital album sales are significantly lower and are predicted to continue dropping in the coming year.
Thom Yorke recently created a stir with Spotify when he and bandmate Nigel Godrich took the Atoms For Peace album, AMOK, and Yorke’s 2006 solo album, The Eraser, off the popular streaming service. Yorke and Godrich are opposed to Spotify because they believe it doesn’t benefit new artists. On the subject, Yorke stated, "Make no mistake new artists you discover on #Spotify will not get paid. meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it. Simples."
Several music festivals occurred all over the world including Pitchfork in Chicago, T In The Park in Scotland, Roskilde in Denmark, and Latitude in Suffolk, UK. Despite their obvious sporadic locations, this summer’s festivals included past SXSW acts like Frightened Rabbit (pictured above at SXSW 2013), Kendrick Lamar, Grizzly Bear, and Toro Y Moi.
In the spirit of festivals, on July 9, Austin’s annual Fun Fun Fun Fest released their lineup for Fun Fun Fun Fest 8. Some of this year’s artists who have played SXSW include Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion), Bonobo, Delorean, MGMT, The Walkmen, Mac DeMarco, and more!
Among this July’s new releases, there were a few stand outs. Austin natives The Octopus Project released their fifth studio album, Fever Forms, on July 9 to positive reviews. Consequence of Sound called the album “A step closer to their comfort zone...a weird, wonderful place.” Denver duo Gauntlet Hair released their sophomore album, Stills, on July 16. Pitchfork gave the album a 6.8 and on the album’s opening track said, “If Gauntlet Hair’s debut sounded like it was recorded at the bottom of a well, “Human Nature” is the geyser that shoots Stills above-ground into the great wide open.”
To hear these artists and many more, tune into SXSWfm! You can listen to SXSWfm on your iPhone, Android, or desktop. To launch the SXSWfm player, please click here, or you can visit us at sxswfm.com and click the “Listen Now” icon at the top of the page.
Photo by Jordan Naylor/Getty Images