New music: The Comet Is Coming, Colorhythm, Christoph de Babalon

Welcome to our weekly round up of new music. This week it’s a super trio of new releases. Remember you can keep up to date with the latest independent music by following our Spotify playlist.


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Prophecy, The Comet Is Coming (The Leaf Label)

Cosmic and polyrhythmic jazz  delivered by the ingenious trio Danalogue the Conqueror, Betamax Killer and King Shabaka.

You can catch the band live at the EP launch at The Shacklewell Arms in London on Wednesday 25th, supported by the excellent Snapped Ankles.

Available on vinyl and to download from the The Leaf Label’s Greedbag store now.

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Short Eternities, Christophe de Babalon (Love Love Records)

Wall to wall intense, glitchy rhythms and haunting electronics. Another seriously good release from Love Love.

It’s available on CD and to download from the Love Love greedbag store. 

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Here’s the mesmerising video to Wait For Me / Haunting Past.


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Spectrum, Colorhythm (Slime Recordings)

With roots in the golden era of rave, this debut album from the Russian producer binges on juke, house, breaks and dubstep. Eclectic and atmospheric. Nothing less than you’d expect from Slime.

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Stay tuned right in to the latest new and independent music by following our Spotify playlist.

New Music: Inland Knights, Free School, Mr. Vast, A.J. Holmes and the Hackney Empire

Here’s this week’s round up of our favourite new and independent releases.


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The Pollination, Inland Knights (Drop Music)

Four-four hard house beats and deep grooves. What more could you want? Get dancing.

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Get The Pollination direct from the label’s Greedbag store


Dancing On the DarkFree School (Static Caravan)

Elastic, ecstatic, eurphoric… Free School hit a purple patch with this record, released on the ever brilliant Static Caravan.

“Their second album bubbles over with euphoria and catchy tunes” The Arts Desk 4/5

Buy direct from Static Caravan’s Greedbag store.

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Touch And Go, Mr. Vast (Cack Records)

Mr. Vast (Ex Wevie Stonder) flops out music like Ariel Pink breaking up a fight between Prince and David Bowie.

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Just Retribution SingleA.J. Holmes and The Hackney Empire (Singing Dune Records)

Sublime Afropop vibes from London’s finest.

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You can keep bang up to speed by subscribing to our New and Independent playlist, updated weekly with the finest new music.

Spotify Promotion

10 Tips for Spotify  

The number of people paying for a music subscription service such as Spotify, at last count, was estimated at 41 million globally – growth of around 40% from 2013. By contrast, download sales have declined in virtually all established markets.

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(IFPI, Digital Music Report 2015)

In this post we will look at how labels and artists can adapt their marketing strategies. We outline 10 simple rules that will help you get the most out of streaming. We focus on Spotify since their overall reach across all tiers is largest – currently about 75 million worldwide.

Finding and keeping your streaming fans

Before streaming, the value of each fan in the digital world could be fairly easily quantified as a single sale on iTunes. It’s unlikely a fan would buy the same piece of music twice digitally.

Now that revenue is generated each time a piece of music is played, the value of each fan is harder to quantify.  

Will Hope, director of label relations at Spotify, explained at The Great Escape this year:

Now a fan equals someone who’s going to play something a lot over a long period of time, and the economic value of each fan is variable… It’s a far, far longer-term scenario. It’s not just down to specific units and smaller chunks of time. It’s something that happens slower, but can be far more impactful…

So, the question is no longer just how to encourage someone to listen to your release on Spotify, but how we can encourage them to listen, engage and become an advocate for your music. This will help you find longer term value from each release and reach a much wider audience.

The playlist

In the land of Spotify, the playlist is king. Or perhaps, the kingmaker!

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Whilst editorial space on digital services becomes more and more focused on each user and their listening habits, playlists can act as the ultimate discovery and archiving tool. Ultimately, inclusion in one playlist can snowball into inclusion in others, boosting plays and generating revenue.

It’s worth bearing in mind too that users on Spotify’s free mobile tier cannot listen to music on demand and are only able to shuffle artist discographies or playlists. So, for the 40 million free users, playlists are really important.

Digital housekeeping: 10 simple rules for streaming promotion

To be best placed for consideration on the top playlists, and to get  the most from your catalogue on Spotify, you need to make sure you’ve done your housekeeping. Here are the 10 rules to follow.

  1. Get your artist account verified

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A verified account gives you better profile artwork, the ability to create branded playlists with images and descriptions and makes it easier to manage your discography. You’ll also get a nice blue tick telling the world it’s the official artist account. This all helps you engage with your fans on Spotify.

First, you’ll need a basic Spotify user account before you can get your artist account verified.  Your user account and artist profile will be merged once verification has been completed.

Second, you will need at least 250 followers before you can begin the process. If you don’t have 250 followers, read through the rest of this article and you’ll reach the mark soon enough.

If you’ve got 250 followers, you can verify your account by following the instructions on the Spotify guide here.

  1. Spread the word

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It’s important that you are actively promoting your releases. Don’t expect people to stumble across your music.

If you’re used to sharing SoundCloud links, remember that you’re not earning money from SoundCloud outside of the US.

First of all, share Spotify links on social media. It sounds obvious but it’s important to remember that sharing links on Facebook and Twitter is fundamental to directing people towards your music.

To find the sharable URL for your music from Spotify:

Click the 3 dots next to Save and choose ‘Copy Album Link ‘

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Spotify’s Embeddable Player is another great way of getting your music heard. It helps you put a Spotify player for a playlist or album on other websites like Facebook or your blog.

Lastly, followers will automatically be notified each time new music is added to your artist account so the more followers you have, the better! Follow Spotify’s guide to get the most from the follow button.

You can also tweet a link to your music to us @state51 and we’ll retweet for you.

  1. Make your own playlists

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This is a really important part of promoting your music on Spotify.

Successful artist playlists help to tell a story and engage your fans. A good starting point would be playlists of your influences, music you’re listening to on tour, or your favourite tracks from a certain era, place or genre. To help the users on the free Spotify tier, it doesn’t hurt to create playlists of your latest albums.

Remember, users can follow playlists in the same way they follow artists. If you create interesting and well thought out playlists, then you are likely to attract followers. Each playlist follower will be notified when a new track is added – don’t be afraid to throw in one or two of your own songs once you’ve reach a good number of followers.

Here are a couple of good artist playlists on Spotify to get you started:

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Melt Yourself Down

It’s advisable to build playlists which you can update regularly. Start with around 25 tracks and aim to add around 10 each week. It’s best not to have too many playlists exceeding 100 tracks.

It takes time to build playlist followers, so stick with it and keep adding tracks regularly.

  1. Promote engagement

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The term ‘engagement’ is thrown around quite freely when we talk about promotion on streaming services.

Spotify’s editorial teams, who are responsible for curating the playlists promoted on the Spotify main pages, are more concerned by engagement than by individual track plays. But what does engagement mean?

Simply put, it means the number of times a track has been played, shared and playlisted within the Spotify ecosystem. Are people responding to this music – spreading it amongst friends, saving to their library and slotting it into their playlists?

This is what you should be encouraging amongst your fans and actively doing yourself using social media, newsletters and every other tool at your disposal!

  1. Release singles

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It is difficult to promote an album on Spotify if there is no other music available from the artist.

We would always encourage a new artist to release a single or two ahead of a debut album, so you can begin the process of building awareness of the artist and generate followers as early as possible.

See how Melt Yourself Down staggered the release of singles in the lead up to their album here.

  1. Link your account with Songkick

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Songkick is a website that shows people when and where bands are playing live. It is integrated with Spotify, which means that a list of upcoming local gigs is shown to users within Spotify.

Be sure you have all your upcoming gigs in the Songkick database. Click here to update your gig listings – these should populate into Spotify automatically, let us know if this doesn’t happen.

  1. Share playlists across services

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Once you’ve created your artist playlists, it’s simple to transfer them to Deezer and Rdio – saving you the time you’d spend recreating them.  

To transfer your playlists from Spotify to Deezer, you can use http://spotizr.com/

To transfer them to Rdio, you can use http://resp.in/

The same rules for promotion apply on these services.

  1. Use Facebook

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 20.15.19Over half of Spotify users connect their accounts with Facebook. This means those users can find out what their friends are listening to and share their listening habits.

For artists and labels it allows for ever more focussed promotion. You can use Facebook Adverts to target users who ‘like Spotify’, live in the area you’re touring in or match your Spotify demographic – if you’d like to find out what your Spotify demographic is based on past releases, we can tell you! Just ask 😉

9. Submit your information to AllMusic

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Similar to many of the digital music services we deliver music to, Spotify pull their artist data, including images, from Rovi/All Music.

Spotify explain how to obtain a Rovi ID to update your artist image here.

In addition to obtaining a Rovi ID via the Spotify portal, it’s a good idea to send All Music an artist biography. This will be used by Spotify, iTunes, Deezer and many other digital services as the source of information they display about your artist. You can submit artist biographies to All Music via email: http://www.allmusic.com/product-submissions

10. Use Spotify ads

If you’re on our Conspiracy deal, then we can help give you the extra push on Spotify using audio adverts.

Audio ads play for users on the free tier, often encouraging them to subscribe to a premium account.

Thankfully if you’re with state51 you can use these to help promote your music! We can provide these for free on a case by case basis. You’ll need to prepare them yourselves, so contact us to discuss booking one in and get some tips on what works best.

New Music: The Leaf Library, Julia Kent, Victories at Sea and more

Another bumper week for new music. What a selection this time round. We are blessed!


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Daylight Versions, The Leaf Library (WIAIWYA)

This is a lovely album. Woozy drone-pop that channels Yo La Tengo, Talk Talk and Movietone.

Featuring Matt Ashton of Singing Adams and backing vocal cameos from Steven James Adams.

Standout track for us is the album opener Asleep Between Stations.

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Asperities, Julia Kent (The Leaf Label)

The fourth solo album by acclaimed Canadian cellist Julia Kent, and it’s a thing of beauty.

This is an album about conflict, friction, modern guilt and modern fears. Looped and treated cello meets electronics and found sounds.

“one of the most stunning, emotive and downright incredible cello albums this side of arthur russell.” Resident Music.

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Everything Forever, Victories At Sea (Static Caravan)

Victories at Sea deliver an electro-pop classic, blending high energy electronics with spikey guitars and forlorn lyrics.

Special mention for label Static Caravan, who are on quite a roll having dropped TVAM’s Porsche Majeure a few weeks ago.

“…serves as an overdue reminder about what’s really to love about good, honest, British electro-pop; they’re a band reminiscent of Erasure and Depeche Mode at their finest” Hooting and Howling 

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Fear on the Rise, Field Studies (Denizen Recordings)

Another powerful anthem from Field Studies, equal parts noisy guitars, crashing drums and paranoid, unnerving lyrics.

We would suggest you also check out their earlier, equally excellent single Money of America.

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You’ll Never See Me Cry, Ephemerals (Jalapeno Records)

Ephemerals’ stock continues to rise. Invest! For this release, Jalapeno have allowed this track to be experimented upon by an A-list of remixers, giving us an EP of vibrant, diverse and funky iterations of You’ll Never See Me Cry.

Beatport love it; we love it. You probably will too.

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Check out their new, neon official video:


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Yuta, Aslamin (Slime)

Brooding but not downbeat, Aslamin’s EP is hustles with pacy beats, snatches of lush vocals and arpeggiated synths. BSN Posse and A.Fruit provide excellent remix support.

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Drug Submarine, Drug Submarine (Upstairs Recordings)

Recorded on islands off Canada’s east coast, Drug Submarine – made up of the founders of Upstairs Recordings – have created an album of flowing, abstract soundscapes from electronic, electric and acoustic sounds. The perfect accompaniment to a rainy, cold Autumn afternoon.

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Yankee, HOO HAs (Lost in the Manor Records)

Bluesy, punky, raw guitars with a distinctive slacker indie vibe. Another fine release from Lost in the Manor.

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Esmerelda, Seas Of Mirth (I’m Not From London Records)

Seas of Mirth describe themselves as a bawdy bunch of bellowing buccaneers, which gives you a great steer on this EP, out on I’m Not From London.

It’s piratical and rambunctious sea-folk. You can almost taste the rum.

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XXXI, You The Living (Obscure Alternatives Music)

Eleven tracks of darkwave electronics; the sounds of despair and frustration filtered through machines.

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Tighten Up, Atomphunk (3am Recordings)

An overdue return for one of Manchester’s classic UK deep house producers, bringing us a tight, funky and warm track given a nitro-boost with three electric remixes.

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You can keep bang up to speed by subscribing to our New and Independent playlist, updated weekly with the finest new music.

Postcards From Jeff – Modern Language

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Artist: Postcards From Jeff

Title: Modern Language

Genre: Alternative/Rock | Indie/Pop

Formats: LP // CD // Digi

Release Date: 23rd October 2015


*** AVAILABLE ON WHOLESALE *** 

(For prices, e-mail: support@state51.com)


After the self-titled debut EP from producer, songwriter, and multi instrumentalist Postcards From Jeff, comes this debut album Modern Language – a bold, cinematic statement that puts Postcards From Jeff in his most extroverted role yet.

Whilst Modern Language has moments that recall the full-sized 80s pop production which captured Worthington’s attention during his formative years (like the New Order-tinged ‘Samaritans’), it’s the wild imaginations of big screen greats that also informed the album’s vivid nature.

Tired Wings’ reflects a penchant for the skilled soundtracks of Angelo Badalamenti, David Torn, and Alexandre Desplat, whilst further influences include David Lynch (‘Suburban Girl’ is a direct reference to Twin Peaks character Laura Palmer), the relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren whilst filming The Birds, and Jonathan Glazer’s sci- fi thriller Under The Skin.

Helping to visualise Modern Language’s concepts, Postcards From Jeff turned to kindred spirit and Brighton-based filmmaker-photographer Steve Glashier (Primal Scream, Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, and Julliette Lewis).

As fantastical as any Tinstletown tale, Modern Language’s melodic twists and turns are played out by a full cast of characters. Sometimes tragic, at other times beautiful, each eyelash flutter or slow walk along a dark hallway is marked with romance and grandeur through a simple guitar strum or drum roll. Take the temperate tone of ‘Lay Low’; recalling Sparklehorse with its pensive mood and lyrics about a Viking-style burial at sea, it expertly complements ‘A House’s uplifting ambience that explores the dream of leaving a small town behind for the greener grass of ‘a lost land’.

Conceived in his ‘Distant City’ Studio located in the midst of Yorkshire’s rolling landscape, alongside live band members and EDM vocalist Clare Stagg, Modern Language is the product of a true purist at work. Written, played, recorded, mixed and mastered himself, it marks the point at which world outside has become a new sonic playground for Worthington’s vast melodic exploration.

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New Music: ephemerals, Postcards From Jeff, Pintada and more

The cream of this week’s crop includes big releases from The Chap, Ephemerals and plenty more…


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chasin ghosts by ephemerals (Jalapeno Records)

The follow up to their breakthrough album nothing is easy, chasin ghosts is more evidence that ephemerals can turn out bona fide modern soul classics.

chasin ghosts combines soul roots with jazz, hip hop and rock, tied neatly together by top musicianship and the outstanding vocals of singer Wolfgang Valbrun.

Available on 12″ vinyl, CD and digital direct from Jalapeno’s Greedbag store.

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See You Tonight by David Pher (Gruuv)

This is a deep, mesmerising beat for when your late night gets serious.  Relentless and minimal percussion and bass, infrequent stabs of brass and arresting vocals. Tune in, stand back, dance it out.

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Modern Language by Postcards From Jeff (Alien Boutique)

Cinematic indie pop with melancholia coursing through its veins.

Available on vinyl, CD and digital from the Alien Boutique greedbag.

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Waves by Pintada (Architects Of Paradise)

Mid-summer vibes, gorgeous vocals and body-warming bass.

An EP that is clinically proven to banish your worries about dark mornings, inclement weather and catching everyone else’s mild cold.

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The Show Must Go by The Chap (Lo Recordings)

We love The Chap. So we’re delighted that on their return with this new album, they’re as inspirationally, ironically political as ever. It’s an antidote to tedium, a celebration of what rock music is and is not, joyous and angry all at the same time.

Out on Monday 26th October. You can pre-order on iTunes now.

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Street Love by Dee Brown (UK) & Ufuk K (Svogue Muziq)

A three track EP of pure and classic house music from start to finish. The title track will kick start your party and the remix by Dee Brown keep it flying when people start to flag.

Out on Monday 26th. You can pre-order it from iTunes right now.

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You can keep up with the latest releases by following our Spotify playlist.

New Music: Shape Worship, Elle Exxe, Thee Headcoats, Skinny Girl Diet and more.

There are too many amazing records out today. So here’s a round up of the very best…


A City Remembrancer by Shape Worship (Front & Follow)

Beautiful production – visceral shapes and colours in this debut record. Collage, bricolage, beats and mechanical structures, all covered in tall green grass.

“Gillett’s work is sweetly charismatic, with fullsome production, well-crafted drums and warped keyboards of several species” – The Wire

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Home With you (Radio Edit) by Elle Exxe (LX Records )

They call this electroclash – but it’s far greater than that: this is straight up big production pop smash brilliance with all the unmistakable edge of a fiercely independent artist.

Headlining at London’s Koko on release date, it’s sure to be a a show of pure neon.

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Elementary Headcoats by Thee Headcoats (Damaged Goods)

Three chord garage rock madness that will send you into a whirl of slurred down pogo pouncing.

This record takes all the singles from Thee Headcoats illustrious career: 1990-1999 and is part of Damaged Goods‘ Billy Childish series of 11 albums.

Vinyl and CD versions available from the Ghost Box Greedbag store.

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Escalation by SPD (Slime Recordings)

Slime releases get bigger and bigger. Tight beats and loops make a spaced out two-step chill wave firecracker.

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Here I am, I Always Am, Kyra (Damaged Goods)

Even more outstanding indie punk garage rock (it’s so good it needs four genres). This time from Kyra, from Thee Headcoats, backed by Thee Headcoats.

Don’t let anyone tell you that Damaged Goods’ Billy Childish coverage is anything other than comprehensive.  They would be lying.

Available from Damaged Goods’ Greedbag store.

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Porsche Majeure, TVAM (Static Caravan)

We love TVAM. No Explanations blew our minds earlier in the year. And new single Porsche Majeure us another loud and crunchy delight. Take it for a spin. 

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Reclaim Your Life EP, Skinny Girl Diet (Fiasco Recordings)

Skinny Girl Diet are loud, they are bad ass and they make outstanding grungy punk rock. That’s all you need to know.

“A bodacious snarl of brutal guitar, relentless drums and unfiltered fury…Like the band who made it…it’s loud, and it doesn’t care if you like it.” Noisey

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As always you can keep up with the latest releases by following our Spotify playlist.

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