Music PR Tips- Make yourself unusual

Music PR Tips- Make yourself unusual

Quite Great Music PR come across a lot of aspiring artists everyday, it’s in the nature of our work as a musicPR company. However, coming across a band or musician who is truly unique is another kettle of fish entirely. How many acts can you think of that you simply can’t compare to anyone else because they are so unique? What is it about their music that cements them in a class of their own and how have they achieved this?

Take for example, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. For almost thirty years now, they have been making quality rock music with high appeal and have managed to adapt their sound over time whilst still remaining relevant. From their funk-rap roots to their timeless Rock albums, Californication and By the Way, I have always found them impossible to liken to anyone else, and this is what makes them so distinctive.

A distinct sound

There is a quality to their sound which has never been replicated (which is partly down to the inherent vocal attributes of singer, Anthony Kiedis) and this is most likely because no one has had the guts to even attempt to imitate them and their individual brand of music; they exist within their own sphere, on a pedestal, untouched by the rest of the musical world. To be more specific though, factors such as the trademark slap style bass, pioneered by Flea, andthe incomparable guitar licks and solos of former guitarist, John Frusciante, are things that have contributed to their sound and kept the Chili Peppers treading their own path. Whilst some of these things may be put down to talent and musical ability, there are still ways of making sure your act stands out from the crowd when there is so much music out there, vying for exactly the same thing as you: success.

This is where we move a little closer to home. Glitch Code, one of our very own acts, is a band that arguably falls into this niche category. Glitch Code is the musical vehicle of producer and songwriter, Paul Kirkpatrick, and singer extraordinaire, Rachel Harvey. Listening to the band for the first time is an experience in itself and it is human instinct to attempt to compare what you are hearing to something you have heard before; but this is where it becomes difficult.

It is easy to pick up on certain sounds, chord progressions or vocal qualities, for example, but how much can you say Glitch Code are like another band? You might be able to say that is has a strong electro-pop vibe or that it sounds a little like the Eurthymics or Kate Bush (to which they have been compared), which are fair opinions, but in truth, there is an individuality present in Glitch Code’s music that is setting them apart from comparability and this is not without reason.

So how can you ensure your band has originality and uniqueness, you might ask? Well, Glitch Code went down the unusual instrument route. On their Gifted_Damaged album, the band has used instruments such as fretless basses (which have a surprisingly different sound to a regular bass) and also something called a theremin. Yes, I had to look it up too, so here’s a quick lowdown on this mysterious instrument: The theremin is an early electronic instrument patented in 1928 and named after its Russian inventor, Léon Theremin. Interestingly, the instrument is operated without physical contact and uses two antennae to produce its sound. One antenna controls the pitch of the note, whilst the other controls the volume and these are operated by the ‘thereminist’ hovering their hands above each of the antennae. I know, it sounds bizarre, but you’ll have look into it for yourself to fully understand. Anyway, here’s a picture and video of one being used in a contemporary manner for reference:

Besides the history of this unusual piece of equipment, the point is just that, it is unusual. I would imagine the majority of people, even avid music fans, probably haven’t heard of the theremin – and can you name any bands or musicians who have used one in their recordings?

However, if you do know what a Theremin is, and you are aware of its distinct sound, you would likely find it very easy to pick one out in a song. The instrument’s one-of-a-kind, eerie and ghostly sound has meant that it has been used in a number of film scores and upon listening to Glitch Code’s music, you can see how it would fit in with their style. Yes, you can easily blanket-term Glitch Code in the alternative electro-pop genre, but the theremin acts as their secret weapon to creating a unique sound and giving them a new level of extra appeal.

Not only does it contribute to their actual product and their sound, but it provides a talking point for fans and potential fans, too. It becomes a reason to check them out online, or go to their gig, other than just because your mate said they were ‘cool’.

So there you have it; if you feel like your act needs a unique point of appeal, then perhaps consider using an unusual instrument. Ok, I’m not saying you should go out and buy a theremin and spend countless hours learning to play it when you could have used that time to focus on more important band stuff, but it’s something to think about. It can be something small, like a unique sounding guitar pedal, or jarring vocal effects. Then maybe you can try out the theremin.

For more on Glitch Code, check them out here:


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