While there is no universal formula when it comes to making music (particularly the indie variant), there are a couple of things you can’t go wrong with in the process of making a good indie rock album. So let’s take a glimpse into the greatest creative minds behind it and see what they have in common:
- Solid musicianship
In the recording stages of an album, cheaping out and hiring subpar musicians will do more harm than good. While some of the playing mistakes can be covered up in post production, you need the core to sound like it was played by a pro. Either way, the recommended way is to have the band practice as much as possible before hitting the studio. Since you’re likely paying by the hour, you want to keep the studio time to a minimum to avoid burning through your budget too quickly.
- Unquestionable originality
While the typical major and minor scales are comprised of no more than 7 different notes, it takes a great deal of originality to come up with something fresh. And yet, countless combinations of rhythms and notes can come out of it. Indie rock industry is one of the most competitive ones by far, so indie rock artists must go above and beyond to bring something new to the table, whether it be the sound, the message, the looks, or the performances themselves.
- Clearly-defined vision
Music is a vehicle for expression. Indie artists rely on it to tell their story or comment the world around them. Although having a solid and clearly-defined vision is one of the essential buildings blocks of a great album, the delivery needs to do it justice, which calls for a great deal accuracy when it comes to planning and execution. When everything falls in place, the audience is bound to respond in a favorable manner.
- Creative songwriting
Arguably the lengthiest part of making the album is the songwriting itself. It’s so important that, even if you get everything else right, not giving your songwriting sessions enough time and love will result in an album that’s soon to be forgotten. But apply a hook when the timing is right, and the crowd will go haywire. Ideally, you want to see people humming it for days on end, so be sure to pay enough attention to the songwriting process even as an indie rock artist.
- Calculated budget
Although running an indie rock band is not exactly the same as running a huge corporation, there are some business elements to it that no band or artist can afford to ignore. The costs should be calculated in advance, so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises later on down the road. The good news is that by networking efficiently, it’s possible to keep them to a minimum. While you can afford to go big when you make it, most indie bands do not have the luxury to afford not making at least some calculations in advance.
Indie rock music, if done right, makes up for some of the most inspiring pieces one can come across. In the end, a master musician’s hand, when coupled with a rock-solid vision, always finds a way to not only create music, but infuse it with magic on top of that. It’s a similar kind of thrill you can experience at comeon! and other action-packed casinos, and well-made indie rock music can certainly take you there (and beyond).