You’ve finished your album (yay!) and now you need to send it out for submission to get reviews and press. Use these tricks and tips to make your single/track/album stand out, so that music critics can’t ignore you.
1. Do your research
First things first (I’m the realist), make sure that where you are submitting to is a place that will review your music! You don’t want to send your punk rock album to a country review music blog. Spend a few minutes looking over their website and see if your music fits in the styles and genres they typically review.
If you know the name of the person you are submitting to, make sure to use it. It’s so much nicer to open an email that begins, “Hi Bill,” as opposed to “To Whom It Concerns”
I would make a note here to say that you should submit to blogs and press that you have a rapport with, but I know that not every musician has done this. However, it is a really good idea to start making friends with music bloggers, review channels, and local news reporters who comment on new music right now, before you pitch them your album. This way when you are ready to reach out in the future, they know you’re Danny who writes Indie-Folk and not just a random person. Okay, PSA moment over.
2. Use Streaming Links
Don’t send downloads. Don’t send CDs wrapped in bubble mail envelopes. Sending a streaming link is the easiest and quickest method of sharing your music. Not to mention it is a lot safer for the person receiving the links to not worry about viruses embedded in code.
SoundCloud, Bandcamp, even YouTube are all great methods of sharing.
Pro Tip: If you’re worried about a song leaking early, upload them as private and share the secret links.
3. Landing Page for your Music
When sending the music link, also include a link to your personal website that includes a quick EPK version of your music. Again, you can set this page to private so that it isn’t discoverable on a visitor visit to your site. You want to make the job of the music critic easier by offering details such as
– Short bio of you/the band
– Audio player of the music
– Your contact info
– Hi-res photos and cover art of the single/album
– Links to your social media
The number one thing you need to do for your landing page is optimize it so that it is mobile responsive! The majority of work and emails today are done via a phone. Make your page viewable on a phone.
4. Follow Up
Don’t just follow up for no reason. Make sure that you include a new fun fact about the band in your follow up email. This could be how it was just chosen to win an award, has the most streams of your genre in 24 hours, or how the music video is coming out in 3 days. You want to gently remind people that you exist and they are missing out if they don’t review your album.
Putting it all together…
So how do you actually send an email to get reviews? Use this template as a guide but make sure to customize it where appropriate.
I’m looking to have you review my latest single, “Love and War”.
My name is Laura Schneider and I’m a local singer who plays chillhop jazz music that sounds like Adele singing karaoke in Louis Armstrong’s living room. You can listen to my latest single here: [link]
This song was inspired by having nothing to listen to as I wrote papers late into the night for grad school, so I wrote music that I want to listen to.
For more details, my EPK is linked here: [link]
Let me know if I can answer any more questions you have! Thanks!
Currently playing on WXOU “bands on the rise”
Winner of “Best New Song” 2018 by Local Paper
I’m looking to have you review my (album/single).
My name is (name) and I’m a singer/band who plays (band pitch here). You can listen to my single here: link
(What inspired this song/album)
For more details, my EPK is linked here: link
(cool fact about you)
Selected or Not?
If your album is selected for review, congrats! All your hard work has paid off. Remember to share this across your social media and always link back to the original review. This sends traffic their way and is a nice thank you that you can give them.
If it doesn’t get picked, don’t worry. Not much you can do about it in the moment aside from keep submitting to other review blogs. There are any number of reasons why a song wasn’t chosen, from didn’t fit the genre they usually review, to timing didn’t work out, to maybe you have a few too many mistakes that made it difficult to get to your music. Keep at it.
What has been your experience with submitting music for reviews? Have you done anything that I didn’t mention? Are you a music reviewer and really wish that some bands would always do X in their submissions? Let me know in the comments below!