Let’s Support Local Artists Today on Bandcamp Friday

It’s a little hard to believe we’re a full two years out from the first Bandcamp Friday. What started as a short term way to help bands affected by the pandemic shutting down touring by waiving fees and letting more money flow to the artists has become a mostly monthly tradition. However in those two years there have been some wild changes. Venues have been opening back up and touring feels a little more feasible rather than a risk. The monthly surge of music buying has made some a little weary of how much it’s all actually helping. And the biggest change of all: Bandcamp was purchased by 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. As of now, it seems that they have kept to their word and nothing has truly changed. Certain rumblings about terms of service changes being enforced in the future abound, but as of right now it’s the same ole Bandcamp. Forgive the slight pessimism, but with any huge company comes a lot of new res and need to color within the lines. Something Bandcamp eschewed most of the time in favor of artists.

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 one additional Bandcamp Friday on 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 April 1 until midnight PDT tonight. If you’re unsure what time it all ends in your timezone, check isitbandcampfriday.com 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
  • Dance Bullies – country/indie/blues/rock group and regular performers in the Front Porch Concerts pop-up series
  • Daydream Review
  • DPCD makes perfect and gentle songs that evoke strong and deep emotions. His latest, It’s Hard for a Rich Man to Enter the Kingdom of God, ruminates on religion and mysticism in quite a breathtaking way.
  • defprez
  • DEHD– Dehd rules FFO Omni and NE-HI! Check out our review of one of their live performances here!
  • Desert Liminal
  • Discus
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.
  • Freakons
  • Friko
  • 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!
  • Heavee
  • The Hecks – Great local band balancing angular post-punk and catchy synth rock, with an awesome live show to boot.
  • Hollyy
  • 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
  • Miranda Winters recently ventured out from Melkbelly (see Above) for a pair of great singles! Check out our thoughts on them here!
  • Mohawk Johnson
  • Monobody released Comma last year and it’s a great choice for this Bandcamp Friday!
  • Mooner delivers some straight up rock and roll jams and their latest collection of songs The Alternate Universe of Love. So head over to their Bandcamp page and support this excellent band!
  • Moontype delivers some of the best indie rock you could hope for full of vocals that lure you into their enveloping instrumentals. Check out their latest release Bodies of Water.
  • Mother Nature – If you need some downright mind-blowing hip hop, Mother nature just released a banger of an album SZNZ
  • Mukqs creates these experimental collages of sounds and noises that will leave you in awe. His latest release My Most Personal Album to Date came out last year
  • Naked Raygun are undeniable Chicago legends and last year marked their first album in decades. Of course it made our 2021 in Review: What We Liked in Music list!
  • Natural Information Society with Evan Parker
  • Neal Francis second album In Plain Sight was an incredible new direction for the musician and we loved it! Check out or thoughts on it over on the 2021 in Review: What We Liked in Music list.
  • Neptune’s Core,  a local band made up of two sets of sisters, are on the verge of releasing a new album in the fall! Why not join the bandwagon early and support this fantastic upcoming band! Their two 2021 singles, “Turning Red” & “Shot in the Heart“, are pristine indie rock jams that should be on everyone’s playlist by now! Their full length album Evolving obviously made our 2021 in Review: What We Liked in Music roundup!
  • NNAMDÏ released a fair amount of music during the pandemic like KRAZY KARL and it’s another amazing addition to his already excellent discography. Speaking of which, have you picked up Brat? How about Drool? No? Then drop what you’re doing and definitely support this great artist.
  • Ocean Cult
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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