We’ve all heard about videos going viral on the internet. Apparently bands can go viral too. Just ask Amity In Fame.
The web site is Jamendo, a showcase for new and upcoming bands who have opted for something other than the standard music industry route to exposure. These days, that’s not uncommon.
For those not familiar with Jamendo, the following excerpt from a Wikipedia article should serve as a brief introduction:
Jamendo is a music website and an open community of music authors. It bills itself as “the world’s largest digital service for free music”
Since the beginning in 2005, Jamendo’s music has been licensed under Creative Commons licenses. Applied to all songs, these licenses allow artists to publish their music and preserve their rights while providing users the freedom to download it for free and redistribute at least noncommercially, with other permissions varying by license. The goal of Jamendo is to be the link between artists who want to share their music and audiences around the world, both private and professional.
At the center of Jamendo is an economic model that grants free music downloads for web users, while at the same time providing revenue opportunities for artists through commercial uses, via the licensing platform Jamendo PRO which sells licenses for music synchronization and background music.
Based in Luxembourg, the website has a community of 1.4 million members
I was browsing the site the other day and quite by accident stumbled on Amity In Fame, a rock band from Austria. They bill themselves as playing “powerful acoustic rock,” a bit of a misnomer given the electric bass and drums and occasional electric guitar. But one of the predominant instrumental forces is an acoustic guitar, played rather adeptly by Filip Hörschläger.
Amity In Fame released their first album, Dinner For One, in 2008. The band recorded, mastered and produced the album themselves with no budget. The album now has over 40,000 downloads and over half a million plays. Not bad for a no-budget production.
How did they do it? Talent and an ear for playing alternative and progressive rock that sits outside the mainstream yet is seductive enough to attract a wide listening audience.
In addition to Hörschläger on guitar, the band includes Michael Bichler on vocals, Roman Mayrhofer on bass, and Michael Kapfinger on drums. When I first heard them they reminded me of Porcupine Tree, one of my favorite bands of the last decade. Sure enough, Porcupine Tree is cited by the band as one of their influences. The pedigree couldn’t be better.
This album features guest appearances by vocalist Judith Schweder and Alexander Zaus on piano and backing vocals. The music ranges from the jagged rhythms of Burning The Witch, to the English folk tune-inspired The Villain, to the bass-driven When It Comes To The End, my personal favorite from the album.
If you haven’t yet heard Amity In Fame, you owe it to yourself to find them on Jamendo. The band is yet another breath of fresh air in a world where too many musicians are focused on trying to “make it” rather than pushing the boundaries of expectation.
Nice work, guys.