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  • Writer's pictureMatt Sharp

"WAS IT TOO MUCH?" - A REFLECTION ON THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE OF RELEASING MUSIC


Cee
I am writing this just after midnight on Friday 20th of October. The majority of new music that is to be released this week has just become available on Spotify.

Upon an initial glance at what is new this week, I am struck by the vast breadth of the music that is given to listeners on a weekly basis. Bear with me whilst I unpack this. (Upon reflection, I’m unsure of the clarity of my brain at this moment in time, but I think there are some valid points to be made here).

On this Friday alone, here are some of the new releases that have arrived.

  • Sampha, one of the most captivating, unique, brilliant voices of his generation releases his sophomore album, ‘LAHAI’.

  • Afro-UK super group NSG release their long-awaited debut album, ‘AREA BOYZ’. For so long they have pioneered a unique sound, now the fruits of their labour have ripened deliciously.

  • Mustafa drops new single ‘Name Of God’, his first release since his highly-acclaimed debut album in 2021. This is an emotional, pain fuelled ballad of epic proportions.

  • The Silhouette Project, London’s organic, eclectic collective continues with its run of incredible work in the build up to their second project. They are bringing together some of the most talented artists in England to create truly special music in vast magnitudes.

  • The awe-inspiring Ego Ella May continues to amaze with another soulful single, ‘Higher Self’.

  • Following the success of his debut album ‘Universal Credit’, a project brimming with talent and apt social commentary in equal measure, Jeshi gives us his new project, ‘The Great Stink’.

  • The IDLES and LCD Soundsystem collaborate for a high-octane, guitar smashing banger co-produced by Kenny Beats.

  • The Kid LAROI releases transnational pop-hit ‘TOO MUCH’ featuring Jung Kook and Central Cee. A merging of artists from 3 of the biggest genres, and 3 countries at the forefront of music creation.

  • UK rap legend Ghetts drops ‘Laps’, completing another link-up with South African songstress Moonchild Sanelly.

  • Irish artistic powerhouse Kojaque combines forces with New York rap legend Wiki for a fun, braggadocios number complete with surreal visuals.

  • US R&B star Berhana drops an enthralling new album, ‘Amén’, in conjunction with ‘The Nomad’s Dream’. A short-film deserving of both the highest critical acclaim, and a widespread popularity.

  • YT has a new project called ‘#STILLSWAGGIN’. This is flooded with nostalgia about things I didn’t even know I was nostalgic about. A truly unique installation into the underground rap scene.

  • I also got excited by the new releases of: Feux, Barry Can’t Swim, beabadoobee, Future Utopia, Sainté, Nemzzz, Kamal., Joy Anonymous, Shaé Universe, Michael Aldag, Rio Rainz, Venbee, Booter Bee, Tai Verdes, Priya Ragu, Nafe Smallz, SOFY, Tom Rosenthal, A2, Natty Wylah, Nippa, Nino Uptown, Midas the Jagaban, MANIK MC, Still Brickin’, Moses Ideka, Fredwave... AND SO MANY MORE.

The majority of this list is made of UK artists, with plenty of American new releases likely to join that list, I simply haven’t checked everything yet.

For me, this arrives at two very clear conclusions. The first, is the incomprehensible quantity of new music that is currently being released. The climate of intense content consumption, shorter attention spans, and artists being at the mercy of social media algorithms has created this landscape. This level of turnover from creatives is unrecognisable. It poses further questions. Such as, is this sustainable? Will artistic burnout penetrate the psyche of some of our favourite artists? And what are the impacts of this on the consumers, who are becoming accustomed to this constant stream of new work? I feel as though these questions ought to be asked.

A quick disclaimer before my second conclusion. I curate a weekly new music playlist, which probably results in my nerdy fascination with music releases making me more acutely aware of the quantities being discussed than the average listener. However, I think even the more casual consumer can recognise these trends in their own music intake, and possibly identity with these findings.

My second conclusion, the music currently being created in the UK and beyond, is of a mesmerizingly high standard. This may be met with some raised eyebrows. I’m not saying everything that is being released is incredible. There are plenty of artists who dropped this week whose music I don’t personally enjoy, and they were left off my list.

However, among those I discussed, there is an unfathomably large array of talent. In this one week alone, you have so many musicians making truly heartfelt art. The topics they are discussing range from loved ones who have passed away, to Ethiopian diaspora communities, from failed relationships to having so much money in your pockets that your trousers are falling down (Thank the brilliant YT for that last one).

The boundaries of creativity are being pushed to new and wondrous places. People from a wider array of backgrounds, identities, ages, you name it, are able to express themselves. The result; a plethora of divine creations.

Is this increased output from artists a good thing? To quote the new The Kid Laroi song, ‘Was it too much?’. I don’t think it was. But there is a debate to be had. The implications for the amount of music being released ought to be carefully considered. But, for fans of music, what a time to be alive.


How will things progress from here? Of that I am unsure. So, I think I better go to bed. And when I wake up, I am going to enjoy all this incredible new music.

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