It’s Time for Another Bandcamp Friday

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way: earlier this week Bandcamp announced that it would be joining Epic Games. A big emphasis was placed on the idea that this would not change the front face of Bandcamp much, rather allow for help on back-end tools and future development of things like vinyl pressing and live streaming services..

However as with any company being acquired by another, especially in the gaming world, there is some worry. Epic Games on the surface seems like a great company that is creating competition in the PC gaming world, innovating with media crossovers (see anything Fortnite related) and even battling Apple for fairer terms in their app store. But the looming presence of Tencent (a large stakeholder in Epic Games and kinda scary entertainment conglomerate with strong ties to Spotify, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group) and Epic’s aggressive stance on all their positives, it makes the future of Bandcamp a little nebulous.

Change is inevitable and while I hope that change is for the positive, I can’t help but be wary of where this whole thing is headed. But as we keep an eye on the situation as more information trickles in (and prepare for the worst, hope for the best or however that platitude goes), we can still support the artists we love on this Bandcamp Friday!

On some of the the first Fridays of the month these past two years, Bandcamp has waived their fees allowing for more of the money you spend on the site to go directly to the labels and bands. It has been a great bit of support during this tumultuous pandemic. The site has committed to two additional Bandcamp Fridays: April 1 and May 6.

While this initiative is fantastic, remember to support your favorite bands throughout the rest of the month as well. Bandcamp is a pretty great platform as an average of 83% of your money reaches the artist/label (after payment processor fees) on any other day.

Bandcamp Friday will be happening today March 4 until midnight PDT tonight. If you’re unsure what time it all ends in your timezone, check for exactly how much time you have left to jump in on the sales effort.

As with every edition of this feature, we’ve added a few more local acts that we highly suggest you check out. If there are any local bands that you think should be added to the list, please leave a comment and spread the Bandcamp Friday love! And don’t forget to head over to your favorite artists’ Bandcamp pages and see what they’ll be doing for today’s push to support quality music! For those of you who have meticulously curated Spotify playlists (although with everything going on I’m sure many of you don’t now), we suggest using Merch Table to see what artists are on Bandcamp so you can support them directly.

We also recommend you check out some of the great compilations that help support various causes.

Now let’s get to the bands!

bnny – Photo by Julian Ramirez
Circuit des Yeux – Photo by Julian Ramirez
  • Circuit des Yeux is perfect for those nights when you need something a little different. Haley Fohr’s deep and entrancing voice sits upon a mix of experimental instrumentation with such poise you’ll be guaranteed to be in awe of her abilities.
  • Claude recently released Enactor which puts her dream vocals and gentle instrumentation on full display. It’s a must listen to release!
  • Cordoba offers up soulful vocals and far-out fusion jazz, what’s not to love?
  • Cole DeGenova
  • Cory Jose
  • Crown Vic Royal – sometimes you need some dirty rock n’ roll to help the day go by
The Curls – Photo by Julian Ramirez
Divino Niño – Photo by Julian Ramirez
The Flat Five – Photo by Julian Ramirez
  • The Flat Five are a Chicago supergroup that we absolutely adore. Kelly Hogan, Nora O’Connor, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough, and Alex Hall make up the band with decades worth of musical expertise! Their slightly twisted dulcet tones are a sure fire way to make these trying times feel a little better. Check out their debut album It’s a World of Love and Hope (with songs written by fellow Chicago mainstay Chris Ligon) and their recently released Another World!
  • Floatie released their stellar math rock debut Voyage Out last year! It was so damn good that we included it in our favorite albums of 2021, so don’t miss out!
  • Fran‘s guitar-driven songs with extraordinary vocals are perfect for these physical distancing times.
  • Fauvely makes some incredible dreamy tunes that will certainly hook you the second you give them a listen. Led by Sophie Brochu, the band just released Beautiful Places, so pick it up and enjoy this great band!
  • Gal Gun – I first saw Gal Gun perform at a living room show four years ago and their latest album Critical Hit is fantastic! Pick up their deluxe vinyl of the album which includes ton of fun extras for only $20!
Ganser – photo by Julian Ramirez
  • Ganser – Need some downright incredible rock music to pulse through your veins? Look no further than Ganser’s exhilarating sound, especially right now since their newest album Just Look at That Sky is out now! Let yourself melt into Alicia Gaines’ range of confident vocals and snarls and the band’s raw post-punk surge. The first pressing of their album is sold out, but the second pressing (on an even cooler color vinyl) is available now! And they just released a new remix EP!
  • George Arthur Calendar
  • Gia Margaret
  • Girl K – You can’t get much better than Katherine Patino’s excellent project! Check out our review of their set with Charly Bliss from TNK!
  • Glad Rags
  • Good Fuck is experimental madness from Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse. To put it simple, it’s fucking good.
  • The Glow Ups Chicago-based, punk rock trio features Mike Licari (Bass/Vocals), Kevin De Leon (Drums), and Brian Perfect (Guitar/Vocals). After a series of three separately released singles, the band officially released its debut album, Take Your Tapas Off, on April 27, 2020. Accompanied by the band’s “down to earth” nature, their songs take you on a voyage of pop-punk nostalgia. They hold the central theme of “not having to impress anybody” and you witness this in their lyrical storytelling—comprising real-life stories and experiences.
  • Glitter Moneyyy – Need some sexy, raunghy goodness in your music? Look no further than this amazing duo!
  • Half Gringa has a new album out right now! Force to Reckon is exactly that, giving you some much needed new tunes from Isabel Olive!
  • The Hecks – Great local band balancing angular post-punk and catchy synth rock, with an awesome live show to boot.
  • Hollyy just put on one hell of a show in support of CIVL last year, so let’s support the band by picking up some of their excellent singles!
  • Honey Cellar
  • Hushdrops
  • Ifeanyi Elswith
  • Impulsive Hearts makes sun-soaked tunes that will make staying at home way better. Her latest album Cry All The Time is a perfect example of her sound and another great record for summer (or whenever!). She also recently released “Dearie” and all proceeds of “Dearie” will be donated to Chicago’s Brave Space Alliance.
Jamila Woods – Photo by Julian Ramirez
  • Jamila Wood‘s artistry is undeniable as she releases album after album of utterly mesmerizing albums. We highly recommend you pick up LEGACY! LEGACY! is you haven’t yet!
  • Jason Griff
  • Jeff Kimmel / Ryan Packard
  • Jeremy Cunningham’s latest album The Weather Up There is one to behold. Written in response to the loss of his brother, the jazz album is a powerful listen as it ruminates on its heavy themes perfectly. It’s a must-listen-to album. This album was featured on our list of albums we enjoyed in 2020.
  • Jessica Risker – psychedelic folk musician and sound designer making some excellent tunes to chill out to.
  • Joan of Arc has come to end and released their final album Tim Melina Theo Bobby. This genre hopping band has been going two and a half decades with a rotating lineup always lead by the formidable Tim Kinsella. Check out this amazing local act as they call it a legacy.
  • Jodi released a new album of beautiful alt country tracks Blue Heron last year!
Jordanna – Photo by Geoff Stellfox
Lala Lala – Photo by Julian Ramirez
Macie Stewart – Photo By Julian Ramirez
Miranda Winter – Photo by Julian Ramirez
Ohmme – Photo By Julian Ramirez
Ovef Ow – Photo By Julian Ramirez
Ratboys – photo by Julian Ramirez
Sen Morimoto – photo by Julian Ramirez
Tasha – photo by Julian Ramirez
V.V. Lightbody – photo by Julian Ramirez

Also let’s not forget these incredible local labels.

There are plenty of other great bands on Bandcamp, so take a look around and discover something new! If you have any recommendations, comment below and spread the love because everybody needs it right now.

Did you enjoy this post and our coverage of Chicago’s arts scene? Please consider supporting Third Coast Review’s arts and culture coverage by becoming a patron. Or make a one-time donation by PayPal. Choose the amount that works best for you, and know how much we appreciate your support!

Julian Ramirez
Julian Ramirez
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