Behind every favorite artist, song, or lyric, is a story you've never heard. Music is highly personal, and our experiences with it shape our memories, thoughts, and desires. So much goes into every note and lyric behind the scenes, which is why we’re bringing you Voices Behind the Music to share untold music business tales. Our guests range from artists, producers, and managers to tech creators and more, each sharing their unique past experiences, current projects, and visions for the future. Voices Behind The Music is presented by Feed Media Group, the leading B2B music licensing platform.
Looking for something fresh? Ready to veer from the usual 'themed' holiday mix? Try this eclectic collection of new and old, serious and tongue in cheek, traditional and leftfield tracks spanning a wide range of genres and sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
Today is #kidsmusicday, a day dedicated to keeping music education alive. The opportunity for children to learn about music doesn't just happen in schools, and unfortunately it is increasingly common that budget cuts limit or even eliminate music programs altogether. Every day is an opportunity to share the power of music with kids, both in formal and informal settings.
The award-winning and commercial success of Kacey Musgraves’s genre-fluid third album Golden Hour, and subsequent mainstream recognition, inevitably moved her more firmly into the pop quadrant of the country and pop crossover scatter plot. She has always been acutely aware of her position outside of the country mainstream, and many of her songs acknowledge (and even celebrate) that reality.
Music industry leader Chartmetric recently published a data-driven analysis of COVID-19’s effects on listening habits. Their primary finding? Classical and ambient are “the big quarantine winners.”
As we all struggle to find healthy outlets for combatting stay-at-home stress, classical music is a winningly creative option. The physiological benefits of music listening are well documented, and in the words of respected neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Levitin, “[music] doesn't have the unwanted side effects that many pharmaceutical products do.” Pandemic considerations aside, we’ve chosen 30 classical pieces every music lover should hear...both classical fans and those needing an introduction.
Anecdotal instances of music being “therapeutic” can be pointed to by most people. In one way or another, music has impacted our lives - almost everyone we know has had moments where the right song at the right time has improved a mood, helped repair a relationship, or even uncovered an insight that helped shape our personalities.
As we reflect on the most popular, breakthrough music of the 2010s, an interesting trend stands out. A lot of ink has been spilled over the idea of “post-genre” pop - pop that subverts traditional genre definitions and blends different styles in a way that makes it difficult to categorize. Put simply: pop songs that are genre mashups (think “Old Town Road”). We were inspired to pick 13 of our favorite “post-genre” pop songs of the decade, describing why they fall into this non-category and why we love them.
Before getting to our top picks...
What the hell is "post-genre" pop?
Let’s agree on a loose definition, that post-genre pop is popular, often top-charting music that doesn’t neatly fit the definition of today’s Billboard categories.
One of the distinguishing features of electronic music is how rapidly it changes, both in absolute terms, and relative to other genres. Modern electronic music traces back to the 80s with new wave and synth pop bringing electronic to the mainstream. The 90s saw an explosion in distinct sub genres and underground techno and the sudden access to production tools like Fruity Loops that opened up production and composition to something anyone could do.
The turn of the century ushered in the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) era and electronic is no longer just a genre, but an influential component of all mainstream music. “Electronic” is an alarmingly broad term that encompasses both the mainstream pop tracks so prevalent today, as well as a thriving underground ranging from house to dubstep to minimal techno.
In November 1988, Trent Reznor recorded a 9-track demo of songs that formed the basis of Nine Inch Nail’s first album Pretty Hate Machine. As fans of the band know–and this album bluntly states–“Nine Inch Nails is Trent Reznor.” During the 1990s, Reznor established himself as one of the most admired musicians of his generation, a reputation he’s upheld even while developing an impressive side-career as a film and television composer.
With the arrival of Nine Inch Nails’ acclaimed Bad Witch last month, it’s an ideal time to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary. Below is my list of the 30 best Nine Inch Nails (NIN) songs. But first, a little background on Reznor and NIN…
Top 15 Arcade Fire Songs of the Last 15 Years
A friend gave me a copy of Arcade Fire’s debut Funeral in a stack of ripped CDs shortly after the album was released. It happened one ordinary morning as I was walking to catch the bus for work, not feeling terribly inspired. I pushed play on my iPod. Just 3 ½ minutes later: transcendence.
Since forming in 2001, Arcade Fire quickly distinguished itself as an exceptional talent. With four trailblazing albums under their belt, it’s timely to reflect on Arcade Fire at 15 years. From the beginning, the oversize band had the ability to craft distinctive, fully engrossing albums and to perform these live in ways that capture their music’s intensity and intimacy.
Arcade Fire has successfully evolved its sound with each release while producing consistently great songwriting. In this respect, they’ve joined an elite group of groundbreaking artists including U2, Radiohead, Talking Heads, and Bruce Springsteen, whose influences have been melted down in the band’s own cauldron.
For fans and the unconverted alike, I’ve selected Arcade Fire’s 15 best songs, sequenced chronologically. Taken together, these make it clear why an unlikely band from Montreal attained global acclaim. While it’s more than we have any right to expect, to quote a favorite Arcade Fire lyric, “us kids know” their musical journey is far from complete.