Since I announced Any Joy a couple of weeks ago a few people have asked if/when it'll be available on iTunes. Well, the answer to that is "right now." You can currently pre-order Any Joy from iTunes, ready for its release this Friday the 24th. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that you should. Here's a few reasons why.
BandCamp is the only place you can hear the EP as I intended it to be heard. An inordinately large amount of time went in to mixing Any Joy. Far more than for my previous EPs. There was something about these songs that required a different approach. They're lighter and more subtle, and the mixes reflect that. The EP was mastered by myself and Will Bowles incredibly carefully, and perhaps at odds with other modern releases. For a number of years music has been getting louder and louder, and some of this is achieved by compressing the music, evening out the volume peaks and troughs, and boosting the sound, giving it a "punch". We haven't really done that. For that reason Any Joy runs a little quieter than most modern releases. However it does retain clarity, separation, and most importantly to me, dynamic. The quiet bits are quiet, and the louder bits are louder.
Doing things like this greatly disturbs the people at iTunes, Spotify and other digital music outlets. In the search for a consistent volume and cadence to all music across all platforms across all of the globe, each outlet runs the music through its own volume normalisers, and sometimes EQ filters, adjusting the sonic qualities of the songs. iTunes is the worst for this. You can even pay extra for a service known as "Mastering for iTunes." We haven't done that either.
A lot of people won't be able to see that much of a difference. However, a lot of effort went into the dynamics, mixing, and mastering of this EP (in opposition to my previous EP, The Atlantic, which was recorded on microphones built into laptops, bathed in reverb, and mixed in mono to give a deliberately claustrophobic and muddled sound) and BandCamp is the only place you can hear the EP that properly reflects that.
It also makes sense, financially speaking, for both of us if you buy my music from BandCamp. It's £3, compared to iTunes' £4.99. From a sale on BandCamp I make about £2.50. From a sale on iTunes I make less than half of that. On Spotify I make £0.007 per stream. Less than that if the listener does not have a premium subscription. Everything I earn from my music goes towards making more music, so your support through BandCamp means a lot to me. You also get an immediate download of 'In the Shade of the Trees' when you pre-order through BandCamp, which you can't get elsewhere.
Of course iTunes is super convenient, and Spotify is very user friendly, and honestly, however you choose to listen to my music is fine with me, but these things aren't talked about enough by independent artists or music fans, some of whom view iTunes as the be-all and end-all of digital distribution, which it isn't. There are opportunities to communicate directly with the artist you're supporting. There's a way to choose how much you support them with each release. You now have a way to be involved in an artists progression that iTunes simply doesn't offer, no matter how convenient.
The EP is out on March 24th. I am very excited to share it with you. However you choose to listen to Any Joy, I hope you like it.
Pre-order from: www.adamscottglasspool.bandcamp.com