Album or EP?
Jazz musicians seem to have a particularly strong affection for the album format. I guess it’s because our education in jazz has been largely via seminal albums that we’ve listened to again and again (and again).
Sometimes you need the 40-50+ minutes an album allows to get a specific concept across. But, if that’s not the case, there are plenty of other reasons why you might want to consider releasing multiple, frequent EPs instead of a full-length album every 1-2 years…
You can find out the long answer to this in this article on albums vs EPs, but people today are digesting music very differently: think streaming, downloads & videos.
The big advantage of EPs & singles
Being able to release content frequently is going to give you an advantage.
You’ll pop up more often in playlists, press releases & social media posts…
…and you’ll have more reasons to get in touch with the festival & venue promoters that you really want to reach.
If you’re very much in the DIY zone when it comes to your project, multiple releases per year means multiple chances to get through to those writers and influencers that you’re trying to reach.
So, EPs & singles instead of full-length albums?
More effective? Often…
Worth considering? Sure!
Crowdfunding your next record
With many labels seemingly investing less and less in new music, musicians have had to look at alternative ways to finance their albums.
‘Crowdfunding’ may well bring to mind the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
These types of platforms can work really well as a way of setting out your album plans and then letting fans and supporters give money up front to make it possible. (It certainly did for US saxophonist Mike Casey!)
But if that’s not your thing, there are more subtle ways of raising money to consider too.
Pre-order your album
Making your new release available to preorder in advance from the usual online music stores is another great way to get money up front. It also helps you create excitement, anticipation and extra publicity in the weeks leading up to the launch – especially if you can create a special, limited edition version as extra motivation.
Label services & distribution deals
There are also plenty of new models coming up – namely label services – which help blur the lines between self-releasing and signing over your rights in a traditional label deal.
You get to keep the rights to your music – along with a much larger % of the sales – whilst getting the professional infrastructure and expertise that a traditional label offers.