How Your Track Gets On My Playlist And/Or Reviewed

I’ve been getting more requests for reviews and playlist adds recently, so I thought I’d explain a bit how the playlist and the (few!) tracks I write about end up getting done.

Everything starts with me following you on Spotify. If you let me know your band exists, then I’ll probably follow you on both Spotify & Instagram – you don’t need to spend time selling me on a track, I’ll pretty much follow any Australian artist.

Once I’ve followed you then you’re a part of my machine, which runs on a weekly schedule.

The Process

  1. The playlist gets updated (with all the tracks being replaced with new ones) every Friday morning, and I’ve got a bunch of software robots set up which alert me to new releases from every artist I follow. My ‘bots basically create a big list of just-released tracks for me to listen to. Once I’ve followed you, I get alerted for every release in the future too – so, feel free to remind me your new stuff’s coming out but, honestly, 99% of the time I’ll know about it even if you don’t tell me.
  2. That big list becomes my shortlist for the week’s playlist update. Selection criteria’s simple – if I like a track, it goes on the playlist. That said, if I don’t like your track, it won’t get posted. This is my own list, reflective of my tastes, and completely subjective – no-one gets added by default. It’s not you, it’s me.
  3. The key thing though is that I only put up tracks that are *brand* new ie less than a week old. I’ll make exceptions if I’ve been an idiot and missed a couple of tracks from the week prior, but the sheer volume of tracks out each week means I’ve got to draw a line somewhere. If I’ve missed your latest release because it’s not brand-spanking new, I’ll still follow you and will be set up for the next one.
  4. The playlist is ordered in a tribute to the Now That’s What I Call Music compilations ie it’s mostly ordered by genre & sound. Two or three of my very favourite tracks will go at the top of the list to set the tone, but after that tracks are kinda-sorta grouped together with the intent that all the songs will sit relatively happily alongside each other. As a rough rule of thumb, the tempo tends to decline as you go down the list. This means that a brilliant track might be further down the list – it’s not ranked by preference!
  5. The cover artist for the playlist is always an artist whose track I like and who I’ve previously photographed live. This is partly so I can use copyright-free images (ie my own) instead of pinching someone else’s, but mostly because I just like re-using the photos I’ve taken. It also means that I am often frustrated by not being able to feature an artist I really like but haven’t shot yet. Them’s the rules, them’s the breaks.
  6. Once the playlist is updated, I shout about it a bit. There’s an Instagram post that goes up on Fridays with more of my own live shots of artists who are on the playlist that week, plus I’ll tag others whose tracks I like. I try and do some Stories on Saturday too. If you’re the cover artist, it’s about now you’ll realise you’re going to buried by tag spam from me for pretty much the whole weekend. Just sigh deeply and repost it, it’ll all be over soon.
  7. I then listen to the playlist a bunch across Friday & Saturday, and force myself to pick five favourites (I hate that bit). Those five then get little caption-sized reviews that go on the site and on socials, usually posted on Sundays. I limit it to five because after years of over-cooking it and burning out, it turns out that five tl;dr reviews is about as much as I’m capable of writing, time-wise, week in and week out.

And then it all repeats itself the following week in another glorious ballet of efficient content production. To get your stuff into the process, literally all you need to do is let me know your band exists so I can follow you.

The Rules

  • No pay for play
    • Even just asking me is likely to put me in a towering mood. No money is accepted, ever (you’d be surprised at how often I get asked).
  • No-one gets added by default
    • If I like your track, it gets added. If I don’t, it won’t. Nothing personal. I’m pretty forgiving and look for the best in everything, but sometimes a track just isn’t good enough. It won’t stop me listening to the next one though.
  • New music only
    • I never add anything more than two weeks old, and only ever add one or two tracks per week more than a week old. Those one or two are usually ones I’ve missed through my own dumb fault.
  • Australian artists only
    • I only rarely add Australian expats (ie Aussies living in London or LA etc). Exceptions are often made if I’ve seen them live here before they left, or if it’s a temporary move, or if I just don’t notice (or care).
  • Originals only
    • I only rarely add covers, and almost never add remixes, or live versions of tracks that have already been released. Exceptions are made but entirely depending on my own sense of whimsy.