Over the years, ‘indie rock’ has become a more blurry term because artists like Arcade Fire, MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix and Bon Iver, to name just a few, have gone a long way in making ‘indie rock’ increasingly mainstream, even if their music remains dedicated to the indie rock parameters.
That said, there is still a thrilling and thriving unsigned and indie rock movement featuring talented artists and bands that are completely DIY or affiliated with small record labels. Indie rock maintains its own special identity because as an umbrella classification, it is incredibly flexible and wide-reaching, and able to incorporate, and create new, musical genres – from garage rock and folk to pop and electronic and psychedelic – including an ever-expanding tree of sub-genres, whether it be math rock, blogcore, neo folk, or dream pop, to name just a few.
There is plenty of room for new artists recording fresh, exciting sounds, and composing deep, compelling stories. The question is, and one that does not require much analysis, “is it any good?” It is original?
Is it creative, memorable and enriching? Does it make you take notice and want to hear it again? Those are the questions we consider in deciding whether or not to cover an artist or band that is seriously under represented online.
On this page:
Submission Guidelines and Form – Please read carefully. Failure to follow submission requirements precisely will result in us not being able to review your submission.
IRC has profiled independent musicians and bands from around the U.S. and the world since 2006. Much of the terrific music we’ve heard over the years has been sent in to us directly by the artists and bands themselves, or recommended by friends, bloggers, and others. We encourage talented musicians to submit their music for review. Due to the enormous number of music submissions we receive each month, and the incredible amount of time it takes to sort through them all, it has become necessary to create submission guidelines to streamline the process.
In your submission, make sure to include at least one (preferably two) .mp3 link(s) (i.e., http://linmod.mx/cosas/ericoy/ny.mp3) of your music. The music must be from the current or upcoming year. Do not add a link in the MP3 link box that points to a file-sharing site, music downloading service, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, YouTube, etc. These are not .mp3 streaming links.
It’s important to never delete your Dropbox MP3 links after they’ve been submitted because we may end up posting your music months, sometimes even a year or more (when creating certain playlists). If you delete the mp3 files, that means we can’t review your music and more importantly, potential fans, A&R reps, label owners, managers, licensing companies, gig agents, and others will not be able to hear your songs (and 9 out of 10 times they won’t go looking for them elsewhere). We see it happen all the time where deleted song links hurt a band’s promotional opportunities.
Make sure the MP3 links you submit don’t start with dl-web.dropbox.com – those are only the type of links that YOU (the Dropbox owner) can listen to signed into Dropbox – meaning they are not publicly accessible.
Please do not write an entire biography in the bio box of the submission form, just the kind of details of the artist or band that would be a good overview (how formed; accolades; performances; style; band evolution, etc.). If you need a professional biography written, please indicate that in your bio section response. Do not copy and paste reviews or profiles published on other websites. Bios are one of the most important aspects after song links and an official band website.
– Help spread your music, build your fan base and following
– Create a professional, official music site for your band
– Get the attention of record labels, A&R reps
– Create a professional EPK with an expertly-written biography
– Be picked up and featured by music press and blogs
– Increase your online visibility so people can find you easily in search engines
…we can help you with one or more of those – just indicate in the submission form by answering “Yes” to the question about if you need publicity and promotion. If you’re an artist or band whose music we like and that we feel we can help get more visibility and attention among music lovers, music industry professionals and press and bloggers, we will contact you and go from there.
Writers, Photographers and Illustrators If you are a writer and would like to contribute album reviews, write up features about bands and artists or contribute your own concert and other photos, or illustrations, please contact us via Twitter or Facebook after joining our network (so that we can respond directly to you for more information). We can sometimes get free tickets to concerts and passes to festivals for serious writers and photographers.
You Guys Rock! We just want to say thank you to everyone for sending your music, regularly visiting, shouting out on social media, and in general giving us the encouragement to keep doing something that is nothing less than a labor of love.
After submitting, make sure to follow IRC on Twitter and Facebook. You can also link to IRC from your own site, blog, FB page, Twitter account, Instagram and wherever else. We encourage you to vote for posts by clicking Like, Tweet, Pin, Google+ and more.
You can our Feed Me Indie RSS feed and choose to receive emails or feed notifications whenever we post a new feature to the site. Thanks to the thousands of you who have already over the years!
We also encourage you to leave comments on posts, reTweet posts, share the playlists and mixtapes on your own web accounts and whatever else you can think of to let us know how we’re doing.
What started out in 2006 as a way to more easily share music with friends and family, eventually got the attention of more and more music-loving people, and each month, and then each year, IRC grew and grew in audience, featured more and more stellar indie and DIY artists, and with hundreds of thousands of music lovers, people from California to New York, Paris to London, South Africa to Iceland, and everywhere in between, became one of the most popular indie blogs on the web. Music is the language of the world. The heartbeat of the planet. The common thread across the world that ties all people together, and which allows all people to express themselves in constructive and creative ways, break down barriers and share the common human experience that has been central to civilization for thousands of years.
As Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh) told the NME, “it is very exciting time” for indie music. Jay-Z said that hip hop and rap artists should look for inspiration in the “indie rock movement.” Those, and many other examples, are evidence enough that indie rock is legit and here to stay, even though there are as many opinions on what exactly constitutes ‘indie’ as there are sub-genres. Every two years or so, the proverbial declaration that ‘indie is dead,’ makes the rounds, but it never sticks. The independent and DIY movement – from self-publishing bedroom artists to small record label bands – is very much alive and thriving, and it will continue to for a long time no matter how much the mainstream music world manages to take over the radio waves. That’s because there will continue to be under rated and incredibly talented artists and bands putting out impressive music. We hear them every day and do our best to profile, and even work with, as many as possible.