The Best Way to Support Artists: Bandcamp Friday

Music streaming service Bandcamp is approaching yet another edition of it’s program “Bandcamp Friday,” where they waive all revenue cuts, giving 100% to the artist for 24 hours.


Bobby Liming, Sandscript Editor

As the concept of streaming music has become more and more relevant, with artists now focusing primarily on free to access, online databases of millions of songs, there has been an increasing debate on the ethics of such streaming platforms and how they allow their artists to get paid. On paper, the concept of a streaming service sounds absolutely fantastic. Who wouldn’t want to have easy access to any record they could think of? Plus, without this ease of access, how else would obscure and highly experimental artists be able to get the attention they deserve? In spite of these positives, though, artists only get fractions of a penny per stream. The RIAA, the program that certifies records as gold, platinum, etc. based on their sales, counts just a single album sale as the equivalent of 1,500 streams of a song, with 150 streams of a song being a single purchase of that song. 


Even to make a single dollar off of a stream, programs like Spotify would require 315 streams, Apple Music values that same dollar at 128 streams, and YouTube Music (not regular YouTube) comes in at the insanely high 1,250 streams per dollar. This is why the service Bandcamp has been considered by many artists to be a lifesaver when it comes to promoting, sharing, and selling music in the modern age of streaming. Bandcamp focuses heavily, arguably more than any other music sharing platform to date, on putting the artist first before the profit of the company itself. On Bandcamp, artists can stylize their pages, sell digital records, put songs up for streaming, sell merchandise, post messages to fans, and more, all on one website. Additionally, fans can choose to pay more than the original price of a record, donate to the artist directly, and even send messages directly to the artist upon purchase. Bandcamp even provides a service for small artists to produce and sell vinyl directly on the site. The end result of all of this is a one-stop shop for artists and especially fans who want to actively support underground projects and find niches for almost any genre of music. 


When Covid-19 broke out in early 2020, artists found it to be even more difficult to make a genuine profit off of their music. With touring being a no-go, and album cycles being continuously delayed, seemingly with no end in sight, Bandcamp decided to step up to the plate in order to introduce yet another feature that would allow fans to support musicians more than any other platform has yet to do. Bandcamp, which announced its “Bandcamp Friday” program, allows for artists to make back all of the royalties they earn from sales on the site, with Bandcamp making nothing off of these sales, on the first Friday of every month.


Once again, on March 4th of 2022, Bandcamp will be hosting its program, making this the perfect opportunity for those interested in music to find and buy physical records, merch, or digital downloads of their favorite musicians. In order to help with this, we’ve decided to share some of these obscure, abstract, and highly experimental artists who we believe any reader interested should check out during this month’s Bandcamp Friday:


Black Country, New Road – Ants From Up There:


This album is an immaculate blend of jazz, pop, and play-like song structure that tells an absolutely fantastic story of its protagonist’s relationship struggles, extreme loss, and depressive tones. Lyrically, every single song pulls through with incredibly poetic and fascinating lines. The album goes from moments where the singer refers to himself in the third person, highlighting the idea that he is inflicting these emotions on himself, to referencing a moment where singer Billie Eilish stated that she was having an extreme depressive episode in a Berlin hotel. It pulls from almost every direction, and is an amazing expression of emotion. 


Listen to the album here.




Rapper JPEGMAFIA’s fourth record, titled LP!, was one of the most noteworthy rap projects of 2021. With back-to-back fantastic production and lyrics, all of which JPEGMAFIA does himself. Additionally, his humor, which has been established since the beginning of his career, continues to land. He even ends up pulling out a reimagined version of the chorus from Brittney Spears’s “…Baby One More Time,” with him doing the vocals, on one of the tracks here. 


Even though the record itself is already fantastic, there is even more incentive to buy it off of Bandcamp. Because he couldn’t clear samples on some of the tracks, two versions of LP! currently exist; dubbed online and offline. The first of which is the one you will find on most platforms, such as Spotify, but the second, which is the one featured on Bandcamp, showcases alternate versions of some of the online tracks, as well as five, completely new ones, exclusive to this version.


Listen to the album here.


Injury Reserve – By the Time I Get to Phoenix:


In summary, this album is an incredibly abstract hip-hop project, which is likely to even leave the most dedicated fans of the genre with their heads spinning. It is dark, intense, and may take many listens to get into. This record, which was released after the unfortunate passing of key member and vocalist Stepa J. Groggs, was recorded mostly prior, and yet seems to feel reflective of the emotions surrounding his death. If abstract and experimental isn’t quite your thing, though, Injury Reserve has created some of the best, and much more standard rap and hip-hop tracks anyone can get their hands on right now. Mixtapes like their 2016 project Floss might be more of value, if that’s preferred. 


Check out our full review of this album here.


Listen to the album here


Foxtails – fawn:


When someone says that they listen to screamo music, it’s pretty easy not to take them that seriously. Many tend to dismiss the genre as, as the name implies, just screaming. In many cases, that may even be true, but Foxtails successfully proves otherwise. The group combines elements of grunge and even chamber music (in summary, classical with only a few instruments) in order to create an incredibly impactful, catchy, and intense listen. 


Listen to the album here.


Lingua Ignota – SINNER GET READY:


This project from the highly experimental noise, drone, and neofolk/classical artist Lingua Ignota, is easily one of the most brutal records to come out in years. The album combines soft, melodic sounds and disturbing and loud noise to create an absolutely harrowing combination of sounds. And yet, this is somehow the least noteworthy part of the record. SINNER GET READY  is a reflection of Lingua Ignota’s (real name Kristian Hayter) experience with mental and physical abuse from industrial metal vocalist and Daughters frontman Alexis Marshall. The story she tells on this record involves her using religion as a means of understanding her trauma, which later leads her to abandon her religion entirely, succumbing to loneliness. It’s sobering, intense, and hard to listen to, and yet still holds up as an amazing piece of art that anyone looking to see how far they can push their taste in music should listen to. 


Listen to the album here.




Horrorcore and Industrial hip-hop artist Backxwash’s I LIE HERE BURIED… is probably the most metal-sounding rap project I’ve ever heard. If the album’s intro track, which loops a voice explaining how “a little bit of pain is a good thing” doesn’t say enough about what a listener is going to be getting into, then there are genuinely no words to describe how heavy this album gets. The album’s title track has a feature from Ada Rook of Black Dresses, who gives some of the most overbearing screams I’ve heard in any song, in the best possible way. Lyrically, Backxwash, throughout the record, goes into extreme detail on her experiences with racism and transphobia that she has had to deal with regularly. Despite the pain that this record clearly comes from, it manages to tell her experiences through a sound palette that a music fan falling anywhere in the spectrum of rap or metal would be able to appreciate and fully enjoy. It’s as catchy as it is intense, and as amazing as it is punishing. 


Listen to the album here.


All of these artists, as well as any others you may have heard of or listen to will be getting all of the money you give them this upcoming Friday, as of writing. If you’re seeing this after, though, don’t worry! As Bandcamp does this every month, look to the beginning of the upcoming month to purchase your favorite albums and merchandise off of Bandcamp.