A Nottingham music label, GBM Music, has released a brand new Christmas EP, reinterpreting seasonal classics into electronic anthems – with all profits raised to be donated to Framework, a charity helping the homeless.
Whether you love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day has rolled around once again. As specialists in background music, we always get asked at this time of year – what’s the perfect background music for a memorable Valentine’s evening?
If you’ve been out for a nice meal, drunk some nice wine and enjoyed some romantic chat, then you’ll want to close off the evening in a nice relaxed atmosphere, perhaps back at home.
Our top tip is to set up your Valentine’s playlist beforehand. No-one wants to be sat around twiddling their thumbs while their partner clumsily attempts to put on the right music, or draws up a playlist from scratch.
If you’ve got Spotify, set up a playlist ahead of time with some smooth tunes that you enjoy – but also make sure they’re songs that your partner likes. As ever, the background music you choose will have a large influence on the environment you create, and the ambiance in the room. Beware of going too cheesey or gooey.
Even if you’ve been together a long time, it can often be the little things that make a big difference on Valentine’s Day. Win your partner’s heart all over again by taking the time to craft a personalised playlist of your partner’s favourite songs, or even of tracks that mean a lot to you both – such as your first wedding dance, or a song that reminds you of a specific time or place.
Or, if you’re feeling brave and play an instrument, why not turn off the stereo altogether, and break out the guitar to serenade your loved one, and complete the perfect Valentine’s evening. Again beware of going too cringey – but a little sentimentality can go down extremely well.
Another idea could be to roll back the years, dig around in the loft and bring down the cassette player. Nothing’s more romantic than an old mix tape, lovingly created.
Whether you’re head over heels for Valentine’s Day, or whether the celebration turns your heart cold, one thing we can all agree on is it’s never a bad time to be extra nice to your partner, and make them feel special.
And one great way to do this is to use music to enhance the situation.
Podcasts once seemed destined to take over the world, and were the new big gimmick a few years ago. Since then, the format has carved out its own niche, and they remain a much-loved form of content, which listeners from across the world love.
These downloadable audio broadcasts tend to be informal, immersive and engaging, and provide a unique experience for the listener, beckoning them into a new world, or a deeper conversation than typically found in the media.
While informal chats like the Adam Buxton Show are always entertaining and can often be insightful, other popular shows like Radiolab and Serial take on a more structured approach, telling engaging stories, and using sound to enhance the show.
The one thing that the shows all have in common is the use of music to create an engaging experience, and truly immerse the listener in the story.
Starting a podcast and why background music matters
If you’re considering starting your own podcast – whether it’s as a hobby or for your business – you need to think carefully about your choice of background music.
It’s important that you avoid breaching any copyright laws, and have the full rights to use any music you use in your podcast. Popular music is often prohibitively expensive, however, which is why so many amateur podcasts and vlogs sound cheap and unprofessional – simply put, they’re using cheap and unprofessional music.
The music you use will define the tone and atmosphere of your entire broadcast, so this shouldn’t be something you take lightly.
The music will also serve as punctuation for your podcast, breaking up the segments, providing structure and creating user familiarity.
There are a lot of podcasts out there, and if you want yours to stand out, then you need to choose original music, that fits your style perfectly.
Simply rehashing cheap, or royalty free background music that’s ubiquitous across the internet will quickly turn listeners off, as it instantly screams out amateur.
You want to be creating a polished, professional podcast with its own identity, so don’t try and take a shortcut when it comes to the music you include.
Here are a few things to think about when choosing background music for your podcast:
- Familiarity – Ideally, the music you use will be instantly identifiable with your podcast. To do this, it’s likely you’ll need an original composition.
- Style – It’s no good having a jaunty clip of music leading into a heavy topic. Think about the atmosphere you want to create, and paint a soundscape for your listener.
- What do others use? – Find some podcasts you love, and listen to how they use music and sound to achieve great effects.
- Price – While you’re unlikely to be able to license music from pop’s biggest names, try calling in a favour from a musical friend, or look for up and coming artists who want to share their work with a wider audience. If you pay for some music, do your research, and don’t get ripped off.
- Versions – If you do pay for an original composition, make sure you get a few different mixes of it – for example one without lyrics, one without drums and one with extra drum breaks. This way you can really make the most of your investment, and use your piece of music as the bedrock to your audio, without it sounding repetetive.
This week we were delighted to be featured in a great story in the Nottingham Post. Nottingham is GBM Music’s adopted home, and it was great to see the local press reaching out to us, and keen to help us share our story!
If you missed it, you can read the full article online here.
GBM Music hopes to hit all the right notes – GBM Music hopes to hit all the right notes https://t.co/AArctB01BS
— Nottm Post Trade (@ReachNottingham) April 13, 2016
Thanks to Greg for the interview and the write up!
Nottingham’s a great, creative place to make and share music, and we’ll be looking forward to working more closely with the local media in the future.
In other news, you may have missed it but we have a funky new logo! We’re also working hard on some exciting new releases of good background music – so stay tuned for that!
Happy Record Store Day everyone!
It’s the time of the year where we all dust off our turntables, and head out to desperately try and grab one of the scarce limited edition releases.
But don’t worry if your alarm failed to go off, all hope is not lost! Win a copy of our debut album of 12 songs by entering our competition (it’s a digital download but shhh). All you need to is sign up for our newsletter! You can do so here. Even if you don’t win, you’ll get a free track to enjoy.
Enjoy the day and good luck!