Bandcamp is the crème de la crème of online music stores. Anyone can upload tracks, name their price, add merchandise for sale, include hidden tracks, be supported by fans, display tour info and more, all in the one page! Because of this, it’s pretty much the go-to choice for independent musicians, most of your favourite underground artists are probably on there. But, such a massive amount of content it means that it can be hard to just “pop in” and find something you like. So, through years of practice, we’ve formulated a few handy hints to make it more manageable.
Be a fan
Make a fan account and follow artists. This way, you can show your support by writing reviews like “listened to this in the bath. Favourite track: surrender taco” and you’ll get emails when they release more stuff. If they’ve released it through a label, you’ll get e-mails notifying you whenever the label releases stuff, which is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how much you like that label. You’ll also get unlimited streaming of releases you’ve purchased on the Bandcamp app.
Be a creep
The good thing about making a fan account is that you can also follow other fans that have nice tastes in music. You’ll get e-mailed whenever they buy something, which is weird and wonderfully creepy.
Bandcamp’s wish-list function is one of the best ways of keeping track of music you find or get sent but can’t afford right that moment. There’s no greater feeling than getting a big pay-cheque when you’ve got a stacked Bandcamp wish-list and going absolutely hog wild with the Buy Now button.
Free shit & charity sales
Various bands and labels run pay-what-you-want Bandcamp sales either yearly or in response to specific charity drive etc – I would recommend Run For Cover Records’ yearly pay-what-you-want sale for catching up on North American emo/pop-punk/twee, or like ultra-prolific Melbourne Screamo band Diploid, provide all their music in this name-your-price format on a permanent basis.
Another handy feature offered by Bandcamp is the ability to purchase bands and labels whole discographies at a discounted price – a boon to those used to comprehensive discography torrents who are hurting from the loss of torrent sites, or looking to give the artists they love greater support.
Words by By the Ghosts of Music Editors Present and Past.
This article first appeared in print volume 88 edition 4 GIRL.