Moonchy & Tobias – Sericum

New fall, new Moonchy & Tobias! Proudly brought to you by Tiny Room Records and Hidden Shoal.

‘Moonchy & Tobias III’ is the third collaborative album of vocalist Pat Moonchy (Sothiac) and multi-instrumentalist/producer Todd Tobias (GBV, Robert Pollard). It has become an album shrouded in nighttime darkness, with eerie soundscapes and lyrics in Latin.

Listen to first single Sericum now on YouTube. Pre-orders of the CD will be up in a few weeks too. The album will be released October 30th, 2020.

Onafhankelijke Label Markt

Damn, that was a super really beautiful awesome day… This was our best Onafhankelijke Label Markt so far, we could have brought more of those Combo Qazam copies for sure! Thanks for all the talks, purchases, laughs and organizing this event. Highly appreciated. 

📸  by Snowstar Records

Combo Qazam’s JamKazam Sessions 2020

Combo Qazam released their album Flight Music a few weeks ago. All scheduled shows were cancelled and the band is still not rehearsing together in one room, due to health issues versus corona.

However, they came across an online music platform called JamKazam (we are not making this up), where it is possible to make music online without latency, and record this.

For this session, they play stripped down, laidback versions of San Remi, Panama and Partial Sun – all songs from the debut LP still available in our webshop.

New addition to the roster: Geri van Essen

Happy announcement: we welcome Geri van Essen to the Tiny Room family! This London-based Dutch songwriter makes amazing, timeless folk songs that appeal to the imagination. We are currently working together on her new album, that will come out on Tiny Room Records later this year. Now, to tickle the hype and let the announcement not be a hollow one, we present to you first single 23/32!

23/32 was written in one sitting, hummed into Van Essens phone in the staircase of her office, late summer 2019. It’s mostly a general observation of people struggling to feel content, playing with the notion of past and future from different perspectives.

Watch the stunning video made by Holly Birtles here:

7″ split Blue Herons (by Karl Blau & The World of Dust) out now!

Happy release day to Karl Blau and The World of Dust! Today, their joint effort Blue Herons sees the light of day on Tiny Room Records. On this 7″ split record, the experimental lo-fi indie rockers from both sides of the world provide new recordings about their former and present hometowns. A limited edition of 200 vinyl copies is available in our webshop.

Apple Music:

The World of Dust made a video for his song The Life of Gods, which is about moving with his family from Hoograven, Utrecht to the nearby village Bilthoven, in the Netherlands. Find it on licensing partner Hidden Shoal’s YouTube channel:

Combo Qazam’s Flight Music out now!

We are very happy to announce that Combo Qazam’s debut album Flight Music is released today on Tiny Room Records!

The ten songs shift from math rock guitars to kraut rhythms, while maintaining a dense and intense mid-fi indie sound that fans of experimental rock such as Wire, Battles, Beak>, Pinback and Tortoise will enjoy.

Flight Music is streaming on all platforms.
Apple Music:

You can also buy a limited edition 12” inch vinyl, with a DIY cut-out sleeve and a lyric zine, in our Bandcamp store:

Combo Qazam – Logorrhea

The new video by Combo Qazam has been premiered on Here Comes The Flood. Watch it here!

Empty shells. Photoshopped audiences. The appearance of importance. Logorrhea deals with the shallow sides of social media today. Embrace the emptiness, lock yourself in the eerie grooves of the song, and stay true to yourself.

You can also preorder the LP Flight Music now on our Bandcamp webshop:

Split 7″ by The World of Dust and Karl Blau “Blue Herons” out June 5, 2020!

Glad to finally announce this: we are putting out a split 7″ record of The World of Dust with Karl Blau! How amazing is that… The joint effort is called Blue Herons, will come out on June 5, 2020 and both artists contributed with songs about the places they live or lived. There are only 200 copies available. Pre-orders are up now in our Bandcamp store.

Karl’s side of the wax is a cover of Pounding Serfs (an 80s K Records band), which became the theme song for Anacortes, Washington State, USA. The lovely, seaside village of Anacortes was Blau’s home for 25 years, until his recent move to Philadelphia.

In The Life of Gods, Stefan from The World of Dust describes the move his family made four years ago from Hoograven, Utrecht, The Netherlands to the nearby village Bilthoven.

Spotify skip rate is killing indie music

Last month, we put out Combo Qazam’s new single Owls. It has a repetitive groove for the first 39 seconds. Then, the vocals kick in at 0:58. Although we hardly define this as experimental, the composition doesn’t seem to fit this modern era. The Spotify skip rate is too high to have success on the platform. We submitted the song through SubmitHub and the bloggers and playlist editors declined to share the song for the following reasons:

  • There are some cool kraut tendencies in the song’s propulsive mood; I think that for me the song might have taken 20 seconds too long to really kick on…it’s hard to wait for a minute for something to drop in when someone stops by a site focused on singles…usually research shows they just click on after 30 seconds…
  • personally I found the track’s intro felt a bit too lengthy and repetitive in comparison to the track as a whole for my liking
  • Thanks for submitting. Sweet song. the intro is a bit too long.
  • thanks a lot for the song. we have to decline here because for our taste the intro is too long.
  • The seeming polyrhythms here I thought were cool. But felt like the build was a bit long and didn’t quite take me somewhere.

Combo Qazam didn’t think about the attention span of the listener when they made the song. They didn’t even call it an ‘intro’. The word ‘intro’ is used to define the part of the song before the lyrics start. But in some cases, especially in experimental music, krautrock, indie music etc., lyrics and vocals aren’t more important than the rest of the music. As is the case with Combo Qazam. It’s about the mood, the energy, the vibe and the concept. You got to adjust your heartbeat to the pace of the song first. You got to have the chance to be sucked in. 

And why do these blogs have names containing words like ‘DIY’ and ‘indie’, if they care so much about Spotify algorithms? The whole idea about indie music is that you can (and have to) create what you want, apart from what the industry demands. Right?

So where do these comments come from? Well, research shows that these are the skip rates on Spotify: 

  • 24.14 percent likelihood of skipping to the next song in the first 5 seconds.
  • 28.97 percent in the first 10 seconds
  • 35.05 percent in the first 30 seconds
  • 48.6 percent skip before the song finishes

So what should we do? We don’t know. This is merely an observation. Is the 30-second-user-attention-span causing the end of experimental music? Or did we never stand a chance to make it in the digital realms, with even a modestly weird choice: a minute-long ‘intro’? How can you like krautrock, but think that 39 seconds of repetitiveness is boring? Do these bloggers, playlist editors and music consumers enjoy foreplay when having sex, or skip right to the intercourse?

In the meantime, Spotify makes sure you won’t get any money if you experiment with song structures. You only get paid from Spotify if someone listens to your song for 30 seconds or more. If 35% of the people skips the first 30 seconds, you won’t get any income from those plays. Also, for users who are not logged in on their Spotify account, the embedded player (for instance on your artist website) only plays a 30-second long audio preview of each song. Not enough, right? Apart from money, it won’t count as a ‘stream’ in your data as well. Which won’t help with your algorithmic venture into fame. It will tell promoters, journalists etc. that you suck, basically. 

If you want your indie music to be featured in blogs, if you want plays on Spotify, if you want the $0,006 revenue per stream, and if you want the attention of today’s music listener, you better kill your ‘intro’ and bring your catchy choruses up front. But at Tiny Room Records we care about the music, creative freedom and artistic vision too much, so we will try to find other ways to get our music to be heard out there. There has got to be another way, right? 

Written by Stefan Breuer, founder of Tiny Room Records
With help from Gino Miniutti, guitar player of Combo Qazam