Soundcloud and Bandcamp have, between them, revolutionised the music blogging process. Music blogging itself is a fairly new pursuit, but even as recently as four years ago (when this blog started) actually including the music itself was a tedious process that involved a fair bit of technical savvy: thanks to this blog I've learnt all about web hosting, embedding and all the legal implications contained within the pandora's box of letting people download other peoples music. Soundcloud and Bandcamp have removed all the hassle from the process entirely. Now, with nothing more than a quick copy/paste, anyone can include music on their site. And what's more, it's all above board and legitimate (provided the original SC/BC account is real, of course).
Those two services have had an even bigger impact on the workflow of this site, however. I often complain about the volume of submissions I receive (although I never mean it; being sent other peoples music in exchange for nothing more than the occasional write-up is, and always will be, an utter privilege) and when I had to actually download the submissions before I'd heard them an afternoon trawling through my inbox quickly became a logistical nightmare. Now, with the ubiquity of Soundcloud and Bandcamp, it's so much easier to weed out the wheat from the chaff. It takes a matter of seconds to click a link and get the gist of of band's sound (which is in itself a blessing and a curse, but that's a whole other article's worth of debate) so I can actually listen to a whole lot more of my submissions than I could be bothered to before.
Asian She are an act that would have undoubtedly slipped through the cracks in the old world; the name and the artwork all suggested hip-hop to me, for some reason, and that's and instant 'delete' in my book. In fact, even with the easy streaming link I almost gave up on them; the first 17 seconds sounded very much like something more at home on the Grand Theft Auto soundtrack than on these pages. But then the vocal came in, and my whole perception of the band changed.
Asian She's eponymous EP is, despite first impressions, a sophisticated and nuanced indie-rock record. The dry vocal delivery, the electric guitars, the ear for a good pop tune; all of these are elements guaranteed to push my buttons. It just so happens that these are laid on a bed of textures that are a little off my usual plain of reference. Would I recommend to the band that they change their approach? No way, because although this record is undoubtedly strong enough to hold it's own without any gimmicks (intentional or otherwise), the sense of fooled expectations definitely made the record stand out. This was primarily because I was racked with guilt for having so nearly dismissed such a truly great EP, it's true, but I imagine most other people won't be as stupid as I nearly was. As for the band themselves, they're great, and this EP is great, and everyone should buy it.