OK, so I’ve had a few days to unwind and process everything – and I felt the time was right to do a bit of a retrospective of the past year. So here’s my thoughts.
- First of all, this has been an awesome little project to do and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve listened to some brilliant stuff that I never would have heard otherwise and, hopefully, expanded my tastes a little.
- It’s been hard work. Thankfully there are some great resources out there to help highlight new acts (podcasts, lists, websites, blogs, etc..) but you still have to put the effort in to actually listen to the stuff in the first place. I’ve probably heard seven times more music than I’ve written about – some good, some horrendous – and narrowing them all down has been challenging.
- Daily posts are also challenging. For the first few months I was delighted to post each day about what I’d found. Then came the inevitable slump where things were a little more hard-going. Some suspect tunes crept in and I had a couple of tardy periods before I got second wind and came roaring back. But even the, the final couple of months have been really difficult. I think round-up posts every few days is probably the better way to do things, rather than focussing on one track per day.
- It’s reaffirmed by favourite genres of music. Now that’s not to say that I’m resolutely sticking to 90s-esque grunge or acoustic folk as the only areas I’ll listen to, but I’ve certainly been more drawn to styles that I’m already familiar with, rather than to new experimental stuff. I’d harboured a vague hope that I’d be able to explore some unfamiliar ground with this project, but while I’ve heard some different genres, I still don’t know anywhere near enough about them to justify waxing lyrical about individual tracks. I think I’m always going to have a glaring R&B, hip hop and electronica-shaped hole in my repertoire and I’ve made peace with that now. But, on the plus side, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the odd song I stumble across.
- I want to keep going. Not as a one-post-per-day blog per se, but certainly as a vehicle for me to write about new, interesting stuff I come across. The whole point of the challenge was to discover new bands, singers and artists that are emerging right now and releasing interesting music – and if I stop now, the danger will be reverting back to my old habits. Yes, I still like the 20+ year old stuff that’s in my music collection, but I also really, really like some of the new bands that I’ve found over the past year. And I’m excited to discover more. Without the blog to stimulate that desire into some kind of affirmative action, the temptation will be to slack off and just not bother. And I don’t want to lose interest.
So there’s the rub. The 365 New Music Project will continue in one vein or another, but in a more measured approach rather than a “quick, let’s get this shit down right now before I forget” way. If you’ve been reading and listening so far, thank you for joining me on the journey. I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading and hopefully you heard some music that you really liked.
And if you haven’t got it already, here’s the full playlist for Year One. Enjoy!