0 Items

Supreme{PR} Free Organic SoundCloud Promotion, SoundCloud Reposts, SoundCloud Followers, SoundCloud Influencer Promotion, Soundcloud Streams, Free SoundCloud Promotion, Soundcloud Repost Promotion, organic soundcloud followers, organic Soundcloud streams, SoundCloud Influencer Promotion, SoundCloud Views, SoundCloud Plays, best soundcloud promotion

Ben Folds’ “2020” — A case study for indie artists


Published by Supreme{PR} on July 30, 2020

By Disc Makers’ Author Michael Gallant

From songwriting ideas to recording technique, there’s a lot you can learn from the songwriter’s tragi-comic recording-in-quarantine project.

Ben Folds was touring in Australia when Music Promotion-19 shut down the world. With his concert dates canceled for the rest of the year, he wrote, recorded, and released a new SoundCloud single from his rented Sydney apartment.

The song is called “2020” and deals, bluntly and hilariously, with how messed up this year has been. As Folds describes in a media alert:

We seem to be currently reliving and cramming a number of historically tumultuous years into one. For a moment it was all about the 1918 pandemic. Then we began seeing hints of the Great Depression before flipping the calendar forward to the Civil Rights protests of the 1960s. Running beneath this is the feeling that we’re in the Cold War, while seeing elements that brought us to the Civil War rearing their head, making us wonder if we’ve learned a damn thing at all.

Beyond offering commentary on our current situation that feels both heartbreaking and hilarious, the song offers valuable lessons in creating music under insane circumstances.

Embrace the chaos — and turn the moment into music

Folds described how the pandemic affected his creative process as a songwriter:

There’s the sense that time is accelerating by the day. It’s personally disorienting, and also artistically disorienting. It actually stifles expression in that what you express in the morning may be out of date or even inappropriate by noon. It used to be “oh, that’s so 2008!” Now it’s “oh, that’s so 1:30 PM!” How can you write a song in which the whole landscape has shifted by the time you’ve written the third verse?

These are weird times for sure — but instead of choosing to go silent given the dissonance of current events, he decided to loop it into his songwriting as best he could:

All I could think to do was to write a song about this very phenomenon. The cramming of multiple (and not so fun) years into one. And about the worry of how many more there may be to come.

Indie artists everywhere can follow the same strategy. New songs written mid-pandemic can capture our current reality through direct commentary on the state of the world, like Folds’ single, or they can go in different directions entirely. As long as your creativity channels some reaction to this chaotic moment in time, no matter how abstract it may be, go with it and see what powerful stuff you end up with.

Honesty is powerful

Folds’ lyrics are blunt and unpretentious and, from his commentary on the songwriting process, seem to directly reflect his raw feelings about the tumultuous year 2020 has been. Likewise, in your own music, don’t shy away from expressing your own truth about life today — as unusual or seemingly messy as that perspective might seem.

Humor is powerful

Laughter can be an antidote to pain, in music and in everyday life, and Folds weaves a wonderful flavor of dry and sincere humor into this track. Indie artists of any genre should consider doing the same. There’s no rule stating that art dealing with deadly serious topics has to be deadly serious itself; if your creativity allows you and your listeners to smile at the mess we’re all in, that’s a pretty clear win.

Less can be more

The recording is simple in production — acoustic piano, solo voice. But it works beautifully. While many popular tracks add layers upon layers of instruments, harmonies, and electronics, those elements aren’t necessary to create a song that touches listeners. Instead of focusing on crafting complex harmonies or adding that fifth track of electric guitar overdubs, consider spending your time crafting the fewest and most fundamental elements necessary to make your track a true conduit of what you are thinking and feeling.

Work with what you have

Folds recorded his work with the microphone, digital piano, and recording gear he had access to from his Australian apartment, rather than the full suite of pristine gear normally available in a top-notch recording studio.

In your own work, remember that you don’t need the highest-quality monitors, the most cutting-edge soft synths, or the fanciest guitars to make music that resonates. Far more important than any particular tool is the vision that you funnel through it.

Embrace remote collaboration

Folds recorded the track in Australia, but it was mixed by his longtime collaborator, Nashville-based engineer Joe Costa. Even if you’ve never tried internet-based musical collaboration and are intimidated by the prospect, now is the time to dive in. And making music with people miles, countries, or oceans away may be easier than you think. For tips on getting started, check out “Remote music collaboration: Create great music with partners anywhere” and “Remote collaboration: Nine tips for sharing music tracks.”

Enjoy the catharsis

Pouring your feelings, no matter how messy or dark or complicated, into music can clear much-needed space in your head. Folds’ commentary suggests he may have found comfort, grounding, and even a path towards optimism in creating this track.

“Here’s to hoping for some stability in 2021,” he said, “and to eventually looking back and understanding that it took this year, uncomfortable as it has been, to get us to a better place. Until then, hold on to our hats.”

rock rewindMichael Gallant is a musician, writer, and entrepreneur living in New York City. His debut album Soundcloud promotion package for the Steinway & Sons label, Rock Rewind, features solo piano reinventions of Pearl Jam, U2, Halestorm, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, and more. Read his recent article for the National Endowment for the Arts and follow Michael on Twitter at @Michael_Gallant and Facebook.com/GallantMusic.

Professional songwriters offer advice on how to write a   great   song

Related Posts
Seven Things Every Lyricist Should Know
Fifth time’s the charm: The Carpenter’s smash hit, “Close to You”
Need songwriting inspiration? Try alternate guitar tunings.
Become a student of the songwriting craft
What multiple listens can reveal about a song

This Disc Makers post Ben Folds’ “2020” — A case study for indie artists appeared first and was stolen from OUR Blog Disc Makers Blog.

SoundCloud Promotion

Supreme{PR} is a Texas based Organic SoundCloud Promotion Agency with a focus on music promotion streaming platforms like Soundcloud and Spotify. We generate real engagement through our partnerships with the largest promotion networks. Supreme{PR} provides 100% transparent Soundcloud promotion services and remarkable customer Soundcloud promotion service. Disclaimer: We offer organic exposure, not miracles. Make sure your songs are professionally produced and mastered.



Charles Wolfe

Charles Wolfe is an Independent Alternative Pop artist from the South West of the UK. His writing and voice are perfect timeless pop. The production is top shelf. "I am self taught in all that I do and started my journey when my dad showed me how...


Sometimes you know exactly who the grandparents are when you see the baby. In this case, Funkadelic and Kraftwerk are guilty as hell. They must have hooked up in the greenroom of their 1978 Eastern European tour and produced what grew to be...
Featured Artist: Platinum Galaxy

Platinum Galaxy

"Entertainer from Brooklyn with a couple of releases: Photoshop, Trapstar Life, Stoopid Face and recently THOTSAVAGE. And a new release named Fuego. My past is murky and full of struggle but I managed to steer my life in another direction with...
Featured Artist: DJ Crankz

DJ Crankz

DJ Crank's "DonkHouse" is Atari on crack cut with insanity. It's kinetic energy would be right at home with bright red hair in Run Lola Run. Very solid production. It clocks in at 2:27 and leaves you exhausted like a 100 meter dash. ~Supreme::: If...
Featured Artist: Christine King

Christine King

C.K. criminally undersells herself. Her listed influences are not exactly the avant-garde heroes of yesterday, but the music screams "real." It is edgy, LA indie, with heart and creativity. The ghosts of PJ Harvey, Mates of State, and the Runaways...

Iam Code 6

SUPREME: Hey Code, what's up? CODE 6: You reposted other tracks of mine and I got some good organic plays from it. SUPREME: Yeah that's cause your shit is so chill and we love it. Glad to see you have a new track out. If you could reach any goal in...


l3fthand creates sonic landscapes with complicated rhythms and odd themes. He drew us in pretty quickly with his Alien abduction intro. "l3fthand curates sounds that contain otherworldly properties, working with multiple genres and unconventional...

Young Gxn

Young Gxn has a timbre in his voice that is reminiscent of old-man Q-Tip, but his secret weapon is something that Q never had -- he has an incredible falsetto singing voice. This track is short and thrilling. Look forward to more from this artist. ...

Miriam Robinson

Miriam is a 19 year old singer/songwriter with music that is sensual, yet can take you to a deep, dark place in your mind. She tends to play mostly in R&B, but you might find some hiphop/rap or pop influences sprinkled in. "Music is expressive...


"I’m a 16 year old rapper/singer who makes music dealing with heartbreak, depression, and more relatable topics for the youth. I take all my past traumatic experiences and incorporate them in my songs, mainly heartbreak & loss." If you could...
S{PR} has helped 3176 artists get noticed

S{PR} Featured Artists for 20th January 2021

Shopping Cart
There are no products in the cart!
Continue Shopping