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The Civil Wars Setting The Bar For The Future of Music?

Posted by - 10:42 AM on 06/06/11
Since releasing their album in February, The Civil Wars have sold 104,000 copies of their record, 79% being digital. Did I forget to mention that this was all done without the backing of a label? Do you think this is the way of the future or a rare occasion? No matter what you think, this is an exciting time to be in music.
 
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10:45 AM on 06/06/11
#2
SLoT
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First - This record is absolutely awesome. Currently number two on my AOTY list.
Second - I think it's both the way of the future, but it's definitely a rare occurrence because the industry's not quite there yet. Everyday is still a struggle with labels, cloud service, file sharing, bootlegging, etc. I think down the road, bands won't need labels, but to do it now and be as successful as they have it shows that what I personally believe about bands is still true... you have to be good. They wouldn't be nearly as successful as they are if they weren't as good as they are.
10:47 AM on 06/06/11
#3
Keagan Ilvonen
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First - This record is absolutely awesome. Currently number two on my AOTY list.
Second - I think it's both the way of the future, but it's definitely a rare occurrence because the industry's not quite there yet. Everyday is still a struggle with labels, cloud service, file sharing, bootlegging, etc. I think down the road, bands won't need labels, but to do it now and be as successful as they have it shows that what I personally believe about bands is still true... you have to be good. They wouldn't be nearly as successful as they are if they weren't as good as they are.
Very true. The record is phenomenal.
10:55 AM on 06/06/11
#4
indiesuperman
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Unfortunately, I'm sure that this is such a wonderfully rare occasion where some amazing music reaches a huge audience by word of mouth alone, without the backing of a label. But remember, they've been around for a little while, still. They sat on their Poison & Wine EP for a couple of years.

And there have been a lot a really nice little things to help get them exposure: being featured on Grey's Anatomy, the love from Taylor Swift, and a great Leno performance.

None of this at all should take away from the fact that they are terrific musicians and that Barton Hollow is going to be on a lot of people's year end lists.
10:55 AM on 06/06/11
#5
reid
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First - This record is absolutely awesome. Currently number two on my AOTY list.
Second - I think it's both the way of the future, but it's definitely a rare occurrence because the industry's not quite there yet. Everyday is still a struggle with labels, cloud service, file sharing, bootlegging, etc. I think down the road, bands won't need labels, but to do it now and be as successful as they have it shows that what I personally believe about bands is still true... you have to be good. They wouldn't be nearly as successful as they are if they weren't as good as they are.
those 10,000 hours you put in are important, that's for sure. i think we'd all be better off in the industry if more bands focused on the music and less on fame.
10:55 AM on 06/06/11
#6
Indie Star TV
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This is the future no doubt, if you're good with marketing & promoting your band as well as self-booking. There's no need for a label.

Marketing in the digital age isn't hard, just gotta be a little innovative & stay connected to your fans.
10:55 AM on 06/06/11
#7
NarcolepsySmile
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I didn't buy the album but I did buy their Record Store Day 7" and will buy the album at their show here in a week or two. It depends on the buzz you can generate and they did a pretty good job of that.
10:56 AM on 06/06/11
#8
reid
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Unfortunately, I'm sure that this is such a wonderfully rare occasion where some amazing music reaches a huge audience by word of mouth alone, without the backing of a label. But remember, they've been around for a little while, still. They sat on their Poison & Wine EP for a couple of years.

And there have been a lot a really nice little things to help get them exposure: being featured on Grey's Anatomy, the love from Taylor Swift, and a great Leno performance.

None of this at all should take away from the fact that they are terrific musicians and that Barton Hollow is going to be on a lot of people's year end lists.
but see, people talk about them b/c they've practiced and practiced and refined their sound. when music is good and authentic, people talk. and the people they talk to, they listen.
11:08 AM on 06/06/11
#9
ParkwayTom
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Could be a fluke, could not be. Its a little early to say. Its definitely kick ass though. I think that this is the way things are going to go, but its going to take a long time and successes like this will be few and far between.
11:11 AM on 06/06/11
5fikev
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This is an amazing album but I thought they were on dine alone records with city and colour and some other great acts.
11:16 AM on 06/06/11
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They might be a special case, since their album is mind-blowingly good. Not every band can put out a release this incredible.
11:17 AM on 06/06/11
JasonEpitaph
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love this record.
11:25 AM on 06/06/11
brenByah
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I think a lot of this is simply due to how great the music is, and it's very accessible. They're the type of group that can transcend a few genres. Awesome accomplishment either way.

I especially love their Smashing Pumpkins cover, it's gorgeous.
11:28 AM on 06/06/11
indiesuperman
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but see, people talk about them b/c they've practiced and practiced and refined their sound. when music is good and authentic, people talk. and the people they talk to, they listen.

I really don't see how "practice and practice" has any relevance to what I said. They are clearly talented musicians and I love their album (and I loved their EP and tried to get everyone I knew to listen to it), but they've had a lot of things line up for them in order to get their album to the point of popularity that it is at right now. I'm absolutely elated that they have found a greatly deserved amount of success. I'm giving them credit. My point was that this will not be the norm. Most great bands will toil in obscurity without the recognition they deserve.

I do disagree with your idea that people listen to a "practiced" and "refined" band if they are recommended to. It's been my experience that most people tend to listen only to whatever crap is most convenient and hardly make any effort to listen to a recommended performer outside the realm of what they are already complacent with. Most people don't care about original music unless it flies directly into their line of site.
11:34 AM on 06/06/11
chiefjordo
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The Taylor Swift bump was pretty huge, as was the Grey's thing. With the internet, it's obviously possible, but I think something like this is pretty rare.

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