When bands look for reviews

For quite some time now, I’ve been running a blog called Grayowl Point (this is just in case anybody who hasn’t read the blog doesn’t know who I am or what I do exactly). I do not know how many bands have contacted the blog since it started, but the number is in the hundreds easily, though I might be going a little overboard to say that number is in the thousands.

Anyways, Grayowl gets a lot of emails. A lot. And some emails make me immediately want to listen to the music, while others are a little more forgettable. I was lacking inspiration for a post today, so someone suggested I write a post about what I like to see when reading band submissions. Keep in mind that this pertains to what I expect at Grayowl, so some of these things don’t apply universally (particularly the first point).

First and foremost, reassure me that you are Canadian! I’ve unfortunately gotten so, so many emails from bands who are American, British or otherwise. I am sometimes flexible in this regard: if you have some members who aren’t Canadian, but at least half of your band is Canadian, that’s probably alright. If you’re Canadian-born but based somewhere other than Canada, that’s cool. If you’re not originally Canadian but have been living in Canada for a few years, that’s also fine.

Second, try to give me somewhat of an idea of what your band sounds like with words. I’m probably not going to be inspired to listen to a band that self-describes as “Alt-rock” or “indie rock.” If you believe firmly that you play this genre, perhaps tell me what makes your brand of this kind of rock a little different.

Related to the second point, don’t tell me too much about places you’ve played (unless you played at Coachella or Glastonbury or something). The same goes with band accomplishments. If you won a battle of the bands, say so. If you came in seventh in a competition that no one’s heard of, don’t say it.

Make your music easy for me to get at. A sample could be good, like a Youtube link. As for submitting the music itself, either provide a link for a stream or a download straight away. I am hesitant to download from Mediafire links; I am not hesitant to download using a Bandcamp download code, SendSpace or DropBox. And you don’t need to offer a physical copy. It’s kind of you to offer, but I truly want you to save your money on stamps for other things.

You don’t have to do this, but if you were referred to the blog by a friend in another band that was reviewed, it’d be cool if you said so. Connections to bands I’ve liked will probably make me want to listen to you a little more.

And finally a minor point, if the link you’ve provided for streaming/download doesn’t feature a file where I can get album artwork, provide the artwork as an attachment in the email.

I think that’s it. I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m asking for too much.

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