It’s been four months since we’ve had a Bandcamp Friday. In case you’ve somehow forgotten, Bandcamp introduced them shortly after COVID-19 eliminated stateside touring in March 2020, and they’ve since become something of a tradition, helping countless musicians make ends meet without their usual road money. For the 24 hours of each Bandcamp Friday, the digital music retailer passes along its customary share of revenue to the independent artists and labels who sell through it.
The pandemic hasn’t ended, despite the messages constantly telegraphed by our capitalist infrastructure, by our governments’ tepid response to the evolving nature of COVID-19, and even by our fellow citizens’ widespread hostility toward basic safety precautions. But plenty of efforts intended to blunt the harms of the pandemic have been scaled back or eliminated. In May, when Bandcamp let the last scheduled Bandcamp Friday pass without announcing more, I didn’t want to assume that they were gone for good. But I wouldn’t have been surprised if they just quietly stopped.
Thankfully, a couple weeks ago Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond announced more Bandcamp Fridays through the end of the year. The 23rd Bandcamp Friday is September 2.
As usual, I’m using the occasion to highlight the Reader’s music coverage. We expend a lot of our resources writing about independent and underground artists, many of whom sell their music on Bandcamp. I’ve compiled a list of the 130 Bandcamp releases we’ve mentioned since May, which doubles as a snapshot of our coverage (though it’s missing the stories from our first-ever Sound Issue, which we published after the most recent Bandcamp Friday). If 130 recommended releases somehow isn’t enough for you, my May 2022 post has a link at the bottom of the intro that’ll lead you back through all the previous lists—and through a lot of excellent writing about all that music. Clicking on any title will take you to our coverage of it.