Summer Saving: 14 great bands and their FREE music

It’s finally the summer, time to celebrate. Whether you’ve handed in your dorm keys or your dissertation, you’re moving on to something new. Sadly, between trains home, planes abroad and a dwindling maintenance loan, a lot of you might be feeling a financial squeeze. Of course, it’s my job to say you should get an internship through us, but if you can’t wait for that we’ve put together some of the best music from Bandcamp.

Bandcamp, for those who don’t know, is a platform where emerging musicians can have direct control of how they sell their music. Because of this and because of the bounty of wonderful generous and talented people across the world, some of this music is free. Infact it’s better than free, it’s pay-what-you-like, which means if you really like what you hear you can give the artists what you think their music is worth.

So put your favourite music streaming service subscription on hold and save some money with these new artists.

 

Music you can strut to

Technically cheating right off the bat with Shola Anozie’s EP Trouble In Paradise as it was made in 2012, but it was only fully released this month so I’m saying it counts. Described as “a collection of European jazz-influenced beats” it combines this strange 50s holiday feel with smooth RnB beats and will turn any walk into a music video in your mind.

Two special mentions go to Os Elephantes Elegantes (The Elegant Elephants), who play some classic funk on their album EleFunks, and to SOUL VISTAS for “Sunshine” as it’s only one song but it’s a real good one.

 

Music you can(‘t) rap along to

INTRO by Thales is an odd one to recommend as, being entirely in German I have no idea what he’s rapping about. Even so, something about the language and his flow is fantastic to listen to. Also having listened to Quantic Soul Orchestra for most of my life the loop on 92BPM has a special place in my heart.

If you don’t speak German and prefer rap you can understand Kuntry Dela Rosa, Yung Beezy & Rey Costa provide more traditional hip-hop from Lubbock Texas on 3For3.

 

Music to drink whiskey to

The Dead Lizardz have a great blues-rock sound that would pair well denim and bourbon. They’ve got a demo album of acoustic versions (below), and a live album of their recent material that owes a lot to grunge and garage rock.

 

Music to drink sangria to

Crack out the fruit mix and the cheap red and pump up the non-specific South American sounds of Daniel Ondaro and The Shy Birds and Rumba Que Derumba. Never mind that they’re both from Europe.

The first album, Live at the Stork Club is a cozy acoustic set of Brazillian-inspired tunes and classics by a German artist singing in Portuguese (thank god for glottalization!). The second, Al Vuelo, is a joyous and upbeat flamenco band from Spain which would brighten any unexpectedly rainy summer day.

 

Music to eat sandwiches to

Sometimes you get such satisfying sounds that you just want to sit with a well-made BLT and enjoy em. Two different angles here: first, the subtle modern jazz of Perceptual Trio. Stripped back, thoughtful new tunes from great musicians.

Second: Black Market, an album of Beach Boys dubs. Pretty much what it says on the tin, and it puts a big stupid grin on your face.

 

Music for fighting politicians

Because this is a clean blog I can’t write out the opening line of “Vote for Change” on Pick A Side by Academy Morticians, but it might resonate with a few of you. This punky alternative band have an  angry young politico trend in the lyrics but a teen rock vibe in the instruments, and it adds together to make something that is either inspiring or silly. Which makes me want to keep listening.

 

Music for fighting aliens

Listening to “Tentacles” on Nathan Dandy’s self-initialed album ND while I write this section I half expect a robot Nazi to burst through our office door with a proton laser. If you like 80s electronic horror retro soundtrack video game darkwave – as Dandy’s tags read – or if you always wanted to live in Scott Pilgrim, this is the EP for you.

 

Music to drift off to

Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love is a band name that is instantly going to annoy a lot of people. But, if you look past the name, their music is heartfelt as it is delicate. With clear inspiration from modern guitar-vocalists like Sufjan Stevens, the Live at SJQ album is the most relaxing thing on this playlist by a long way.

 

Music to space out to

The Sacramento artist Not has a different approach to chill out music than LLLLLLLLL (or L6?). It’s like a summer’s day lying in a field, but for your ears. Also, considering this three song EP is almost 35 minutes long, whatever you spend you’re definitely getting your money’s worth. Also also, if you like his work you can buy ALL 34 RELEASES for less than a pound.

 

Music to…vaporwave to

Though some people would say the genre died in 2013, Vaporwave is alive and well on Bandcamp. I’m not going to even pretend to know how to define it, so I’m going to paraphrase YouTube pop culture guru and obscurist Sam Southerland of This Exists and say Vaporwave is recontextualised and deconstructed lounge jazz and muzak. If that sounds like your thing, check out Code Sharing 骨董通り桃尻娘 by ビンコム中心.

 

Music to boost your mood

I tried to think of an action to go along with Candy’s Azure but all it made me want to do is sit and enjoy it and think of how everything’s going to be alright. It’s wonderfully jangly and positive and innocent and it’s generally just nice music.

 

What do you think? Would you give up Spotify for a month to go with Bandcamp? Do you know any pay-what-you-like artists we should have featured? Comment below and follow us for more updates.


If you did fancy that internship thing, we’ve got you covered.

 

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