Does artist obscurity lead to better album experiences?

  • I feel like when I find a new or budding artist on Soundcloud or wherever that I have never heard of, when it turns out I enjoy the album or song, I really enjoy it.

    Not that mainstream artists I don't enjoy, but when (insert mainstream/popular artist) drops an album I feel like in my mind I have a threshold for enjoyment that has manifested from earlier experiences with said artist. I think I realized this when VIEWS was deemed trash. It kinda is trash but is it like a relative trash? If another artist dropped VIEWS I think it would be critically acclaimed.

    Please share your thoughts/experiences :microphone:

    Please refrain from mentioning album sales. I know it's hard but pls

  • Absofruitly! There's something magical about discovering a new artist on your own via the underground vs. via the mainstream media machine. Who cares what critics are PAID to say. As I always say, why be a critic when you can be a creative? :alien:

  • I love this question. IMO artist obscurity definitely can increase the enjoyment of an album.

    I think this happens because part of what is being bought into with an artist is their story. When an artist is obscure there is often less information available about them so we can fill in the gaps in their story and I believe this can help make music you already love even more endearing.

    There's also something personal about feeling like you are one of the only people who appreciate an artist. I'm not personally into giving up on an artist because they "sold out" but I think I understand why some people do this. It feels like a betrayal of those feelings of endearment to some people.

  • It certainly makes for a more individual album experience, as opposed to a more collective one in line with the person-to-person hype/press cycle/yadda yadda.
    I'd say the former more often leads to appreciating a work on its own merits -- definitely better in that aspect.

  • For me it definitely enhances the experience. In my head I get the same feeling I think prospectors did during the gold rush when they saw that gold nugget appear from under all that dirt and mud. I'm always trying to find new artists because I'm chasing that high, the satisfaction of being the friend in your group that puts everyone on to the newest thing but also that feeling you get from hungry artists who put nothing but pure emotion into their songs. I feel like The Weeknd is a perfect example of this, he even addresses it on the song Rolling Stones in a way I had never heard an artist do before which was cool.

  • This never really dawned on me, but it's a great point and VIEWS is an excellent example. A lot of those tracks bump, but I was definitely disappointed by it.

    Maybe the exception that proves the rule, to me, is Kanye West. One thing I really enjoy and appreciate about his music is the way his music always seems to be evolving. I loved "Ultralight Beam" because it had the autotune slather of his 808s era, the gospel influence of the earlier work and then an element of something we'd never heard from Kanye.

    That may just be a personal thing, though. Generally speaking, the posters in this thread are spot on.

  • administrators

    i mean, discovery can always be key.

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