New Year, New You… New Music?

Derek Robertson has made his 2013 resolutions…

So that’s that, over for another 12 months; time to pack away the tinsel and the fairy lights. At the time of writing, only 353 days remain before we can, once again, consume twice our body-weight in booze and food with impunity while slumped on a sofa. In the meantime, we must deal with January, which brings in its wake rising gym memberships, dwindling pub attendance, and the ashen-faced epiphany that there’s three months till Easter as we stumble back to reality on increasingly packed, increasingly expensive, and increasingly unreliable public transport. Happy New Year!

And, as the peel of the bells and the memories of celebration fade to hazy recollection, nothing signifies another lap around the sun better than those harbingers of change, the do-gooders, out in force and on the march. Pay attention, and you’ll notice the number of people frantically chewing Nicorette, wheezing through the local park in shiny new sports clothes, or just generally shaking with misery as they strip away whatever vice kept them sane and productive, skyrockets for about 15 days. Apparently, even being sponsored to quit booze is a “thing” these days. But, as you gaze upon the glorious blank canvas that is 2013, remember that not all resolutions are equally useless.

The Official Chart Company’s list of the best selling albums of 2012 was predictable, but it needn’t be this way. You, dear reader, can make a difference. You can vote with your heart, with a click, and with whatever little money you haven’t yet given to TFL. Amid all the doom mongering about piracy and the general death of an industry, take a moment to think about your habits and how you “consume” an art form that, I think we all agree, adds colour and vitality to the daily grind. In short, ask not what music can do for you, but what you can do for music.

You see, as you’re already reading this, I’ll assume you’re emotionally involved in music, and care about its survival. That’s cool. You’re a fan. But now, more than ever, music needs you. It needs your love, your support, and your cold, hard cash. 2013 is shaping up to be a great year for talent – a quick glance at any of our Class Of 2013 features will confirm that – but it’ll mean nothing if all they get is a few re-tweets and a handful of SoundCloud listens. What they need, and what we all have to give, is a tangible reward for hard graft and determination, for the sacrifices they make to soundtrack our days and enrich our lives.

So let’s resolve to do just that. If you like something, if it racks up double digit plays on your Spotify, Last.fm, or wherever, then buy it. Get it direct from the artist’s BandCamp. Tell a friend. Tell all your friends. And when they come through your town, rustle up as many people as you can, go see them live, and buy a pin badge, a tee, or a tote. It’s not much to ask, is it? In a country of nigh on seventy million, it surely shouldn’t be that hard for artists to find a few thousand fans willing to spend £10 on their art over the course of a whole year – that’s less than a round at the bar. Music might not be entering the last chance saloon quite yet, but it’s not far away, and only we, the fans, can stave off a future where creating music is no longer seen as a viable way to make a living; a future that would be a sad, depressing place indeed. The ball is in our court people, and it’s time to make a stand.