Over the years, ‘indie rock’ has become a misnomer because artists like Arcade Fire, MGMT, and Bon Iver, to name just a few, have made ‘indie rock’ increasingly mainstream. However, there is still a thrilling, and more underground, indie rock genre 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.
Looking to submit your music for review? Scroll below for the submission form.
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 – in the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands – putting out impressive music.
There is plenty of room for new artists recording fresh, exciting sounds, and composing deep, compelling stories, to capture our ears, hearts and minds. In the end, the bottom line is the music. 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 most people have not yet heard, but should. We could care less where a band is from, what they look like, how young or old they are, what their first language is and so on – all that matters is the music. Still, we lean towards providing a platform for DIY and small label artist and bands that rarely get noticed.
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. On this page: – Music Submission Guidelines – Writers, Photographers and Illustrators – You Guys Rock! - Band & Artist Promotion & Marketing – Help Spread the Word! Submission Guidelines and Form - Please read carefully. Failure to follow submission requirements precisely will result in us not being able to review your submission, especially if you don’t include .mp3 links (not download links) as outlined below.
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 form, 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 (see below to learn how to make your own .mp3 files).
A good band with great .mp3 links of their songs will get the notice they deserve just by following the instructions (it also helps in submitting to other blogs). And it’s also important to keep those links alive for as long as possible because people can still hear your music a year or two years from now. We see it happen all the time where expired song links hurt a band’s promotional opportunities. If creating an MP3 link with your own website is difficult for you, and you don’t already have .mp3 links of your songs, see how to create .mp3 links with DropBox in just a few minutes by following a few easy steps as displayed below.
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Once you have successfully created your .mp3 links with DropBox (the link should start with https://www.dropbox.com/song.mp3, or more correctly https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/song.mp3 – the later is the streaming link we need; make sure to test in different browsers; if “dl-web” is in your link, it’s the wrong link and only the link you can listen to signed into your Dropbox account; so it’s the wrong type of link), fill out the submission form below, and make sure to include all of the information requested.
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.); the same please with the favorite bands box – please do not list more than six artists. Your bio must also be original and NOT previously published anywhere else on the web. We cannot consider submissions with no bio or bios with just a couple of copy and pasted sentences – that’s why an original bio is important (we’ll never published it as is, but it makes it easier to edit and for accuracy – unless of course you end up being a band we represent – then we’ll write the bio(s) for you, but still will need the basic information). Plus, this is all good practice for learning how to make it in the super competitive world of music production.
If you or your band is looking for professional promotion and publicity to help spread your music, build your fan base and following, create a professional music site, get the attention of record labels and of the press and blogs, please indicate by answering “Hell Yes” to the submission form question if you’d like IRC to help with your publicity and promotion. If we feel you’re an artist or band that we can help progress in the music industry, with our connections and our assistance, work and consultations, we’ll contact you.
IMPORTANT: Links to SoundCloud, YouTube, Bandcamp or any other non-MP3 link in the Song Links boxes CANNOT be considered for review
– Too many bands are submitting these links instead of .mp3 streaming links such as from Dropbox, and as described how to create about.
Very IMPORTANT: Never delete your Dropbox MP3 files from your account after submitting them – that can result in not being featured on IRC (we sometimes don’t feature a band we dig for many months after the submission is made and songs we publish on the site should be available to the public forever (or at least more than two years) because bands’ music has gone viral even months or years after being featured on IRC. Any chance to make a new fan should never be squandered.
Important: You must use the American date system when inputting the release date of your work. The proper format you should enter in the Release Date box is MM/DD/YYYY. For example, for August 5, 2012, you would enter – 08/05/2012. Any other date format (like the UK DD/MM/YYYY) means we will not see your submission when we search our database for date-based releases. It’s amazing how many submission make this mistake.
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 to thank you to everyone for sending your music, regularly visiting and in general giving us the encouragement to keep doing something that is nothing less than a labor of love. I personally could only dream of this somehow becoming one of the biggest music and culture blogs covering the ‘indie scene’ – getting some funding to expand and offer more for indie rock fans, covering all the festivals and having bands come and do sessions and interviews. We’re working on that. Dreams drive the human spirit and keep hope alive. Help Spread the Word!
We appreciate your help in promoting the site on the web, sharing it with friends and whatever else you can think of. We don’t make any money doing this, so your volunteerism, if you will – like adding any post from IRC to Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Stumbleupon, MySpace and linking to IRC from your own site, etc, is appreciated greatly. You’re participation helps give us the juice needed to keep our faith that this endeavor is all that much more worthwhile. You can also help by adding links from IRC posts to your favorite social networking sites (like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, etc.) and signing up for the “Feed Me Indie” RSS feed and sharing the site with friends. Thanks to the thousands of you that enthusiastically support and encourage what we’ve been doing in sharing the best music we hear with so many people. It’s such a humbing honor.
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 with the limitations we have (it would be awesome to have a staff like Pitchfork, SPIN, Rolling Stone and others have – maybe someday).
Band & Artist Promotion and Marketing Services
If you’d like professional help for publicizing and promoting your music or band, indicate “Hell Yes” on the submission form for the question related to publicity and promotion. If we find you, your band and your music are a good fit for our publicity and promotion business, we’ll contact you for a consultation.
We are always excited to hear great music that we have never heard before and sharing it with hundreds of thousands of people. It never ceases to amaze us just how many really talented artists and bands there are “out there” who we’ve never heard of before, and probably would not have if they didn’t send us their music. If you are the really earnest type, you could explore IRC for hours – building your playlists along the way – and see evidence of this yourself. So many artists and bands that have submitted their music to us over the years have helped to make this a go-to place for new indie music not being covered anywhere else on the web. Additionally, we also serve up plenty of the more well known and popular indie rock bands, songs and album releases.