How we made our A-Z of new music

We like music at Clowdy. Obviously! So you might think that asking us to compile an A-Z of bands and artists (three for each letter, so around 81 in total) would be equivalent to letting a small child run amok in Woolworths’ pick-n-mix aisle.

And so it was, right down to the inevitable red-faced, stomach-clutching sugar comedown. Turns out you can have too much of a good thing, and there were days when listening to band after band after band left us dizzy, confused and slightly nauseous.

But we soldiered through, even if Fearghus occasionally had to listen to loops of white noise for six hours before he could fall asleep. Here’s how we did it and what we found out.

Clowdy and non-Clowdy artists

We decided to try and feature one artist already on Clowdy alongside two others who weren’t; the idea was to promote music we liked as well as make connections with musicians we felt would work well with the platform.

Finding out that so many bands and songwriters try to work across different mediums – two good examples are The Little Unsaid and Uniform Motion – was exciting, since along with collaboration that’s the kind of thing we want to facilitate!

Finding bands

The process of finding acts to feature made Fearghus think back fondly on his teenage years, when he would have been able to name a slew of new bands, carefully circled with biro in a well-thumbed copy of the NME. (Incidentally and depressingly, the NME’s print circulation was less than 15,000 in the first quarter of 2014!)

Because none of us are teenagers and we all have boring responsibilities, we weren’t as up on new music as we might have been – it took a long bout of trawling blogs, gig listings and festival line-ups to decide on the bands we opted for.

Social

One of the main reasons behind opting for the A-Z format is that it would give us something interesting and engaging to share on social media every day. This aspect of the project worked out really well – we got to chat with a lot of musicians and let more people know about Clowdy.

On the other hand, finding a new way to introduce the feature for each letter called for some intensive staring-furiously-at-the-desk time.

Challenges

Aside from dealing with the glut of music mentioned above, there were a few challenges involved in putting the list together. For some letters, we didn’t have the right artists on Clowdy. For X, we were only able to feature the wonderful Xander & The Peace Pirates, who have that area of the alphabet pretty well cornered.

We had to bend our own rules a little bit, as well – some of the bands featured aren’t based in the UK, despite our original domestic remit, and others are long-running rather than new. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve some exposure, though!

The finished product

You can see the whole A-Z by clicking through the alphabet widget at the top. Here’s A, featuring Apache Darling, Aquilo and Alaskan Faction. We hope you find something you like!

If you want to be featured on Clowdy and be part of our next run-down, in the process garnering eyeballs nationwide, join today and get uploading.

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Fearghus was tempted into training as a journalist after an injudicious exposure to the Tintin books at an early age. He worked in several content marketing and writing jobs before starting at Clowdy, where he deals with blogging, social media and other non-Tintin or international espionage-related activities.

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Fearghus Roulston

Fearghus was tempted into training as a journalist after an injudicious exposure to the Tintin books at an early age. He worked in several content marketing and writing jobs before starting at Clowdy, where he deals with blogging, social media and other non-Tintin or international espionage-related activities.