What was once a short-term campaign to supplement the incomes of working-class musicians is now a cornerstone policy at Bandcamp. Until further notice, the indie-friendly streamer is waiving its cut of sales every first Friday of the month, offering artists a reliable and unmitigated stream of funds at a time when touring profits have been reduced to how many tips you can land in a live stream on Twitch.
Now, given the breadth and expanse of the Bandcamp catalog(s,) and the ongoing absence of a playlisting feature, parsing through the work may be a bit overwhelming. But that’s why we’re here, of course. And we’ll be doing the heavy lifting on R&D until the world resumes or a new one emerges. To aid independent artists disproportionately stunned by the economic and creative shitstorm that is COVID-19 (and merely breathing in 2020,) we’re committed to compiling a long scroll of standout releases from the Bandcamp wormhole on each and every first Friday.
This month’s Bandcamp Friday list features cosmic funk from studious jazz nerds, meditative melodics from underground R&B royalty, swing-heavy dispatches from viral beatmakers, a range of high-potency bars from a new vanguard of rap dynamos, and so much more.
Comb through November’s list of independent artists to support on Bandcamp Friday and tune in next month for another batch.
Somewhere between a beat tape and a cosmic funk opus, Cassowary’s self-titled debut album has shades of the Beat Scene’s brightest disciples funneled through the heady chops of a studious jazz nerd.
Currently, on one of rap’s most prolific runs, Flee Lord’s catalog is expanding at an alarming rate. With ten solo and collaborative projects out in 2020 alone, catching up with the Queens rapper is damn-near unthinkable. But certainly worth the effort on this Bandcamp Friday.
A rising rap star with a barbed pen and an ace ear for beats, Ivy Sole is one of hip-hop’s most dynamic daggers. Hear her stunning debut album, Overgrown, below and keep an ear to the ground for the next murmur. You won’t want to miss it.
A gifted musician and producer whose swing-heavy dispatches have gone viral many times over, Kaelin Ellis is quickly becoming a fixture of the beatmaking scene. And his tapes are rife with slickly built suites indebted to the neo-soul era.
A low-key king of underground R&B, Blvck Spvde has not-so-quietly developed into a reliable source of warped and wonderful melodies. His latest project, Preacher In The Trap, is a masterclass in immersive chord beds and neck-cranking drum patterns tuned to the key of J Dilla.
With three albums out on the year, Chris Crack has been dropping gems and one-liners at a staggering clip. But don’t the album count fool you. The Chicago rapper’s knack for brief shots of wit and new directions for familiar sample flips gives his catalog a level of accessibility that’s damn-near singular and, frankly, too much fun.
One of the more established producers on this list, Suff Daddy has been a force of sleek, funk-fueled heat for the better part of the last two decades. But his latest album, Pompette, might just be his broadest display of range yet.
10.4 ROG might not be centered on your radar, but one run through his latest entrancing instrumental project, treblemaker, could change that (and the general structure of your face) for good.
Three albums deep on the year and YUNGMORPHEUS shows no signs of retreat. On his latest, the LA-based rapper lights up hazy soul loops with a smoke-stained rasp that’s so potent you’ll catch a contact from a lone rotation.
A rugged-and-raw anchor to Mutant Academy’s trio of MCs, Big Kahuna OG is a brooding rapper with a cinematic scope and steel-toed delivery.
With just a handful of singles and an introductory EP, MIA GLADSTONE has already left a glimmering mark on lo-fi R&B. As she readies the next chapters, get acquainted with her debut project, GROW, below.
With credits across some of the most revered projects in terrestrial and underground rap and R&B, dane.zone has been growing in the shadows and sessions of era-defining artists. But these days, he’s breaking out with his own strain of deeply-mindful writing and meditative melodics.
With just a single to his name, drummer and producer, BUZ, is already one to watch in the ever-expanding pool of experimental R&B artists. His debut song is a slow-burning and seductive ballad for late nights with properly-rolled joints in-hand.
Though he’s pivoted to more genre-less expositions as of late, Quinton Brock proved to be a deft architect of stoned modern soul on his debut album, Scooter. Hear it below and keep an ear to the ground for more from the Buffalo, New York artist in the months ahead.
With a full-length debut album looming, there’s no better time to get acquainted with the playful and quirky R&B wizardry of Elbows. His four-track Sycamore EP is lush, warbled, and swung-to-death.
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