An update on your regularly scheduled New Music Friday service…

Hello friends, and happy new year. If you followed my New Music Friday blogs last year (all 52 of them!!), well, firstly your endurance is obviously unparalleled and you’re probably capable of running a Tough Mudder course. Secondly, thank you for your support (read: attention).

I started New Music Friday because my year was kicking off with redundancy and I had the time to spare, and the relative luxury of staying at my dad’s house a lot to save money while I looked for a new job. Long term followers will know that I have always struggled to write when I am employed full time, because the brain power it requires is almost entirely sapped by the end of the day, and I usually need the whole weekend to shut down and do nothing to recuperate before the cycle begins again.

When I got a new job, I kept up with New Music Friday for two reasons: the time pressure to get it done in the morning, while it was still relevant, before the 9-5 stole my life force and because you guys actually read it. It started slow, but by the end of the year I was averaging between 250-300 views per post, which isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things, but when you consider that I wasn’t offering up anything exclusive, just my opinions, ones you’re all capable of forming on your own, that’s pretty good going. I’m pleased with it anyway. No one likes to do things in a vacuum, least of all me, so knowing people gave a shit made it easier to wake up and rush it out.

If this sounds like a soppy ending to the New Music Friday blogs, it’s because it kind of is. “As we know it” anyway. I have been thinking on ways to improve the efficiency, the variety and the experience of New Music Friday since around October time and to address this I have come up with the following (what I hope are!) improvements…

As of this Friday, and going forward, I will now cover the first ten songs on the New Music Friday playlist (curated by Spotify) only. My previous approach of cherry picking what to cover based on reputation, hunch and not minding the intro, left me concerned pretty early on about what I might be missing out on if I had more than two hours to work with. It also meant that coverage fluctuated week on week – sometimes I’d be writing about 17 songs, others I’d struggle to get to five. Limiting myself to writing about the top ten allows me to use my time better: a New Music Friday blog still goes out in the morning, but I can spend more time on the entire playlist throughout the day. Which leads me to…

…From Monday (8th) I will be putting out a podcast to accompany New Music Friday. I have been wanting to do some “multimedia” music content for ages, but all my ideas revolved around visual and it’s just too much effort to get right when I have other time consuming responsibilities. The podcast will basically be a follow on from the Friday blog, covering off the stuff I liked (or maybe didn’t!) outside the upper reach of Spotify’s playlist and beyond. There will also be news and goss. I will have guests. There will be proper details about it on Friday, because I’ll be honest I have procrastinated until the last minute about doing artwork and so on, but I’ve “announced” it now so I have to follow through. Podcast every Monday. I hope you will listen and subscribe.

Finally, the Follow Along playlist has been rebranded as Give It A Spin 2018 and opened to collaboration – I would love for you to drop tracks in that you think I will enjoy. I am hyper-aware that I missed out on a lot of stuff last year due to my limited time and resources. My twitter timeline is quite good for putting me on to things I don’t know about, but if I miss tweets, I’ve missed the music and I’m not sure how much I want to rely on algorithms that keep putting Chris Brown in my recommendations for helping me to discover new things. I’ll keep reminding y’all to share stuff with me, like, I’m gonna be Microsoft Clippy levels of fucking annoying about it, but yeah… if you could follow that playlist and just remember to sling me some new recommendations from time to time, I would truly appreciate it. There are no rules, except it has to be “new” i.e. Jan 1 2018 onwards new. You can also tweet me the old-fashioned way, if you wish, but basically more music sharing and discovery by any means necessary is the motto. Anything I like from this playlist will be covered on the podcast and added to the new 2018 collection, which you can get the jump on following HERE.

I’m not sure how well any of this is going to go – especially the fucking podcast! – but honestly, it’s #20SLAYteen and I feel like fucking trying shit out. Hope you’ll stick with me, hope you’ll tell your friends, hope I can do better SEO this year, hope I can one day figure out how to make money off of this shit. See y’all on Friday. Peace.

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