Recent Submissions

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Blake Preston - "Gone" by Blake Preston

Angela Mastrogiacomo

I really like this! It's catchy and I love how fun the music video is. Lots of personality and it makes it all the more captivating. I love that it has a story line, and that you get to know all these characters through the few minutes of the video.  Let's set something up!

Bree Noble

Super catchy chorus. I like the guitar licks. The bass licks feel a little overdriven and muddy sometimes. I feel like the band could use a little tightening up - the soloists are great. Overall great song.
Wish I could offer you a spot on our podcast but we only play music by female artists. Good luck with this track!

D Grant Smith

Great tune Blake. Even better video! I love the creativity, the story that's told in a very profound way while also staying true to the music. 
That chorus is going to stick with me today, I imagine. Good job!

Alan Cross

I like this. Well done. Good video, too. It should work for a variety of rock formats and (believe it or not) even some more progressive country stations.

Now that you have a song, the trick is to find ways to rise above the noise. So what are your plans moving forward? 

Have you got a radio plugger? Someone who can get you on Spotify playlists? What about a social media strategy? These are all things a pro can help you with.

Another question: are you hellbent on becoming a recording artist or will most of your revenues and noteriety come from performing live? That's a call only you can make. 

Meanwhile, let me forward this through my social media networks. That's good for about 100,000 people.


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Nothing Changes by Blake Preston

Lauren Gribble

Hi Blake! Thanks for sending in "Nothing Changes"! I really enjoyed the song and thought that it would be a good choice for a single, since its a catchy track. As I was listening I didn't hear anything that I would change. I hope this feedback was helpful to you!

-Lauren

D Grant Smith

This track sneaks up on you, building throughout with songwriting mystique and intrigue. Particularly after the 2nd chorus with the strings around 2:30. What seems like a throwback garage-country band tune picks up some different sound textures and creates a wonderful listening experience that crosses a few genre boundaries. Thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end. 

Hey Blake, I want to hear more of your music. My radio show focuses on albums and not singles, though this song would play well on our program. I'd like to pair it with another of your tunes. Email me to talk more about this. dgrant@dgrantsmith.com. Thanks!

Indie Band Guru

Quality songwriting and storytelling. The melody and bassline are solid. You need to have this mastered though. The vocals are too loud and in front of the mix. 

Alan Cross

I like this a lot. I've got a soft spot for bittersweet hard luck rock'n'roll stories. Love the bridge, too. Nicely uplifting. Good touch with the guitar coming into the last verse, too. 

Now the big question: What's next?  How are you going to ascend above the noise? There's just too much damn music out there, so how are you going to stand out?

(1) If you don't have one already, find a publicist. Get a professional bio written complete with photos.

(2) Consider a radio plugger. Radio is still the fastest way to reach a mass audience. It's stuff for an indie artist to break onto the playlist of a big radio station, but don't ignore campus radio. This is exactly the kind of stuff they love to promote.

(3) Cover all your digital bases, including YouTube. A lyric video would be cool. Make sure you're on all the streaming sites.

(4) Start making friends with music bloggers. Even the smallest ones want to believe that they have the power to discover The Next Big Thing. Flattery might get you into their good graces enough to get the ball rolling.

(5) What's your social media strategy? You won't survive without something on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and maybe even Snapchat (Personally, I just don't get Snapchat, but that's just me...) 

(6) Feed your early fans. Respond to their Facebook comments and tweets. Turn them into evagelists.

(7) Finally, consider your potential income streams. No one is making any money selling music these days. Albums are more like business cards for your live shows. Can you devote yourself to a lot of live shows? That's where things will build for you.

I'll share this on my social networks. That'll be good for about 100,000 people.

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Money by Blake Preston

Angela Mastrogiacomo

Really compelling video! I love how fast paced it is with all the images, and how each one is so different, and yet they all seem to fit togehter really well. Honestly, I'm not sure that I would have listened to this song on my own, or just as audio, but with the video, I really wanted to keep watching, so I think that says a lot. It adds a lot of value. 

Steve Palfreyman

First up, it's really nice to see a lot of time and care going into the production. I can see the quality of the clip and the recording, that's brilliant. It's definitely a catchy track too, I've gone straight to your website to find more stuff to listen to - I'm intrigued right from the get go!

It's a tough genre to sit in, so much of what you're trying to create has been done before. Not to say there isn't space for more music like this, but I do think there's always space for new or different takes on a genre like this. I have no doubt a lot of time and care has gone into producing this, but for me I'd love to see some artistic choices try and stretch the mold a little more, not just fit safely within a mold that's very full.

It's obvious the musicianship is there so no excuses to push the limits with arrangements.

With the clip I get the feeling it's built more on what can be made with resources in front of you and less like it's been made as a standalone piece of work in itself.

I think there's a strong message you've got to push forward with the song and for me the video lost an opportunity to really story-tell. Hey, I could be wrong, but it looks more like a series of stock clips that make 'just enough sense' to piece together, rather than a piece of art in itself. If I'm spending time watching something visually I want to be drawn into what's going on, not just have it there for the sake of having it there. I really loved how some of the shots fitted during the bridge for example, if the rest of it felt like it at had that much purpose I'd be writing a very different piece right here.

All this to say, it's strong song and clip that a lot of care has gone into but we're in a world now where art needs to be pushed and I think you have what it takes to push harder. I really hope you take this as an overall look at where you are and not a direct reflection of what you should be doing with this clip and it's release. As in, right here I give very honest feedback, so much so, that outside of Fluence I would be talking about what's practical considering you're in full swing of launching this. What I say should be an encouragment to look at what you're doing and create content with more meaning and purpose every single day, tell the stories behind this record, share insights into the process and who you are do all of that feeling so proud of what you've made (I know I'm keen to hear the whole album). Its important now you keep swinging no matter what, your work is worth it.

RADIO KSCR

I like the song it is really catchy.  I would love to play it on the station.  My only issue was the music video.  It should have just been stock photo images.  Having the lyrics all together and not rolling with the actual song seemed a bit off.  Other than that is is a good song.  I dig it.  

Raymond Flotat

Thanks very much for the submission! So for me this is a like it, but not a love it. It's a good song overall, but there are some things in the treatment that just don't click for me. I think lyrically I like very much what the song is about and aiming for. My biggest concern is that this song feels a bit of another era. If this song was released in the mid '90s, I think it might have been a surefire hit. I'm worried in this day and age, this might not be the style of music that hipper fans nowadays would respond to. That's not a crack on the quality, but this is peppy and poppy, not arty cool, or banging party music. Not necessarily a need to change it--not suggesting changing your stylistic artistic preference--but it's more a matter of what audience you're aiming for. If you're looking for wider spread appeal it might be good to angle for some kind of edge to the treatment of the song. 

Indie Band Guru

Nice catchy song and great visuals to keep the watcher entertained.  I think you could have done without the lyric scroll at the 40-second mark.  
In my opinion the guitar melody may be overused a little bit. Gets a little repetitive. It is catchy so it works but another break in there may be helpful.

SD Hox

Sorry for the delay in responding. Nice work on this track! I really like the video. Solid vocals and a great backing mix make this song a real winner. Thanks for sharing and I'm happy to spread the word!

Alan Cross

I listened to this one in my home studio and I love the sonic properties of the recording. Nice stereo separation, a sense of bigness. Definitely a professional job.

I like the video, too. Nice use of visuals. Totally TV ready.

As for anything to critique, I got nothin'. There's nothing I can suggest that might improve the song or the video. Like I mentioned with your last submission, your job now is to attract attention to yourself. The first thing you need to do is to commit to playing as many live gigs as you can. There's nothing like a live audience telling you the truth about your music in real time. Play anywhere and often.

Use those performances as opportunities to execute and expand upon your social media strategy. Turn those fans into rabid evangelists for your product. Interact, respond, give them special treatment. 

I can't remember if I asked before, but are you signed to any label? Do you want to be? If so, I hope you have someone who's willing to get this in front of as many labels as they can, both indie and major. 

And if you're looking for some radio airplay, the smartest thing to do might be to make friends with some of the announcers. If they like your stuff, there's a chance they will walk it into the music director and program director thereby cutting out any middlemen.

If you have any other questions, just email me directly. Don't spend any more money doing it this way. I think we've established that you're a talent with lots of potential.
 

Andrea Young

Love the first verse of this (around :38), really thought provoking "whose gonna miss you when you're dead and gone, certainly not the things you used to own" - brilliant! And I like the arrangement and sound behind the verses, musically and performance wise.  But not a big fan of the chorus, and the track/video is quite political with blatant reference to government and institutions, so for me that somewhat limits its universal appeal.  I can see why you're excited though!  I could see featuring it on a political playlist or show, so go ahead and send a high quality mp3 to andrea@aspenbeat.com with 'Fluence Request - Artist Name - Track Title' in the subject and I'll look to feature at some point in the future when I turn my attention to political music (about once a year).
Thanks very much for your submission, good luck with your music!


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