Music at Work: Ben Walker – This Is Not An Album

28 Apr

Music at Work is a periodically published segment on HisHersandTheirs.  He writes about music that you can listen to online while at work.  The criteria is that: (1) a full album must be available to listen to; and (2) it can’t suck.  Here is the latest edition of Music at Work:

My goodness, has got to be one of my favourite websites. It’s a music sharing website where Indie (or semi-indie) artists create a personalized page and upload music for anyone to listen to via a very simple and clean streaming interface. Now that sounds a lot like Myspace music, but it’s not. It’s better, for three reasons: (1) The music is uploaded in full album format (see Music at Work rule #1); (2) The listener can buy said full albums easily on the artist’s Bandcamp page; and (3) The above-mentioned streaming interface doesn’t take up many resources and is very simple to use.

The only issue that I have with it is that it can be difficult to find good music on it.* I’m not sure if indie artists are unaware of it or if there’s some other reason for bands to not sign up, but it can be difficult to find anyone you might have heard of before on the website.

*There’s an obscene amount of video game inspired music, lots of 8bit bleeps and bloops. And not in a good way like Crystal Castles.

Anyways, I’m always looking for new music to listen to at work and one day I decided to Google “good music on soundcloud or bandcamp” to try and find something new to listen to. After a couple of jumps, I made my way to Ben Walker’s Bandcamp page.

The Englishman looks a little strange with his teased out hair, but he’s written some pretty clever songs on his album “This is Not an Album.” Playing either a piano or acoustic guitar, Ben sings along to songs about sitting in a traffic jam or the imaginary life of an IT professional. Another one, Make a Difference, he imitates a Mexican trumpet player pretty convincingly in between verses about trying to make a difference to the world as a consumer.  He also as some serious sounding songs, but they aren’t as memorable as the silly ones.

Another thing about Ben Walker is that he really has figured out how to use Bandcamp to its fullest. He has a number albums up for listening and purchasing on his Bandcamp site that is a collection of 12 songs that are each only 12 seconds long. They’re basically 2 lines each with a short fore or aft accompaniment. Just one of those things that Bandcamp makes possible. An album like that could never be even close to commercially successful, but because of the artist’s ability to easily upload in it’s full format to the internet, he’s able to share it with everyone. Another album is one which is a bunch of songs that didn’t make it onto the This is Not an Album album. Which is great. He had songs on his hard drive that hadn’t been used and would have gone on sitting unlistened to if he hadn’t uploaded them for everyone on the interweb to listen to.

Don’t miss: Beaten up, Box Junction Heart, Make a Difference,Turn It Off And Turn It On Again (Ballad of the I.T. Guy)


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