Hello. My name is Wren (they/them). I do lots of those things. One of those things which is a major part of my life is that I produce and consume music. That’s what this blog will be mostly geared towards. While I listen to and am influenced by a wide variety of artists, I have in particular become acquainted with so many amazing independent queer and trans musicians who have produced some amazing work which has not received the acclaim it deserves. While I don’t want to say this blog is restricted to talking about music by those artists, I want it to be centered on them. There are already so many blogs devoted to giving acclaim to famous and fame-adjacent artists. Some of those records really deserve it, and I similarly love those artists. However, I feel that the current structure of the music industry allows for this really small minority of artists to consume the vast majority of the limited amount of attention and consideration music listeners at-large are willing to give to music. I believe that’s an artifact of how major labels, streaming giants, publishing companies, and social media conglomerates have set the system up. Not because of some inherent “betterness” that these artists have. In fact, the composition of this really small group of artists which is granted consideration largely doesn’t reflect the diversity of the music-making world at large. Societal ills including racism, ableism, queerphobia, transphobia, misogyny, and xenophobia often determine which artists are included or excluded from the conversation. I think that’s messed up.
This blog is part of my work to address this. I don’t think music-making and music-listening should be a competition. Discussion about music should be a community-building exercise. It should promote solidarity across groups. It should help us temporarily escape. It should be nurturing—additive instead of subtractive, multiplicative instead of divisive. It should make space for everyone, especially those who have historically been excluded.
As a lone person, I can’t overcome all of my own biases. Admittedly, I definitely gravitate towards certain genres and styles over others. Pop and singer-songwriter music is certainly my cup of tea compared to—say—black metal or jazz. But I have an open mind to all music if I find it interesting or compelling. Furthermore, I promise to always push myself towards listening to new stuff. I want this to be a place where I can share music I love, including occasionally the music I make, with similarly passionate people. I can listen and love and discuss almost any kind of music, but in terms of sharing and writing, my aim is to devote the majority of the time I spend posting entries here covering queer, trans, disabled, and BIPOC independent/diy artists. I also desire to create a space in the comments section where queer, trans, disabled, and BIPOC music fans can safely and civilly discuss music. I want to engage there myself!
As I said, I do many things, so I will not hold myself to posting multiple entries per day or even to posting here every day. I want this blog to be something fun and exciting to do for me, not a chore. I will add blog entries when the time feels right. I’m hoping it will be quality over quantity.
My aim for the structure of this blog, which I’m sure will evolve over time, is that I will expound greatly on albums by smaller artists, largely those from the underrepresented groups I mentioned before. I consider “smaller” artists to be those who are not signed to a major label, any of its imprints, or well-known indie labels. They don’t commonly receive coverage on major music blogs. Furthermore, they aren’t verified on Twitter or other social media. And finally, they don’t have—say—tens of thousands of followers more than they follow on any given social media.
I will expound gradually less the more famous an artist is until—with artists on major labels—I will simply list their albums if I love them. This is not to say that their work doesn’t have merit or warrant conversation. It’s just that these artists don’t need my voice added to the already large cloud of hype they have. I’d rather spend that energy lifting lesser-known artists up. However, if you want me to share more specific opinions on a particular album or song by any artist of whatever level of fame, engage with me in the comments section! I’m always happy to discuss music.
I am not a journalist, and I don’t plan on this being a typical music blog. Please do not ask me to cover your music. This is not my job, and I don’t want it to be. Instead, let’s connect organically and build community together. I promise I tend to listen to the music of basically all people I connect with on Twitter. If I find it compelling, I will want to archive it here. However, I am not interested in being a vessel for people seeking clout for themselves.
I’d love for you to recommend me music by other small artists which you like though! Comment your recommendations here, or engage with me on Twitter @wrendovelark. Let’s become friends and turn each other on to different music! :)
Finally, I will only link to Bandcamp or places where people can directly buy music only. I’m not interested in supporting any of the streaming services at this time, given the way they poorly compensate artists.
I’m totally new at this, and I’m sure my approach will need tweaking as I go along, so please never hesitate to approach me with questions, comments, or concerns—especially related to making this space more inclusive and accommodating! Peace and love to everyone! Stay safe out there!