Bandcamp & Black Lives Matter: New Releases Supporting The Cause

As the music marketplace waives its revenue share, we round up a few of our favourite new releases supporting the BLM movement.
Posted: 5 June 2020 Words: John Bell

The past week has seen tumultuous and fervent protests arise across the United States and Europe, following the unlawful killing of 46-year-old George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, MN, on the 25th May. 

Footage of Floyd’s death disseminated across social media platforms, causing outrage and galvanising many to support Black Lives Matter, the international human rights movement behind the protests. On Tuesday 2nd June the music industry showed its solidarity with the movement by joining #TheShowMustBePaused initiative, created by Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang and which soon snowballed into its own #BlackoutTuesday campaign. The latter, which saw Instagram flooded with black squares with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, soon came under scrutiny for overshadowing reading materials and other useful resources.

One proactive method of supporting the movement that has gained increasing popularity in the midst of this all is the donation to bail funds, which are charitable organisations set up to pay the fees to release those arrested before their trial. With now over 10,000 people arrested from the George Floyd protests across the States, donations from supporters across the world have been crucial to their release ahead of a fair trial. The Minnesota Freedom Fund alone received $20 million in donations in four days

Today the online music marketplace Bandcamp is again waiving all of its share of revenues, and in response many artists and labels have decided to donate their own takings to bail funds and other grassroots, anti-racist and Black Lives Matter organisations. Additionally, on June 19th the site itself will be donating 100% of its share of sales to the NAACP Legal Defence Fund.

Bandcamp had already devoted the first three Fridays of May, June and July to directing all revenues to its artists after the success of its 24-hour COVID-19 fundraiser in March, which alone brought in $4.3 million in sales – the highest performing day in the platform’s history. That so many artists should redirect the additional revenue initially intended as financial support during the pandemic to Black Lives Matter organisations is a hopefully a testament to the swelling tide of progress. 

Though there's a long list of artists and labels supporting this cause, which we encourage you to discover for yourself, we've put together just a few of the surprise releases and exclusives available on the platform contributing to the movement. 

Rough Trade Publishing/Bank Robber Music Talk - Action = Zero: A Compilation Benefitting Black Lives Matter

Two mammoth forces from the world of music publishing and licensing have put their heads together to create the effectively titled Talk - Action = Zero, an exclusive Bandcamp compilation featuring the likes of Jesse Malin, Jay Watts, Phantogram and Bartees Strange. All of the takings will go directly to Black Visions Collective

Parquet Courts – Full Discography

Today, for the first time, the whole discography of New York post-punk icons Parquet Courts is available to stream and buy on the platform. Rough Trade Records have confirmed it will be donating its share of revenues to Black Lives Matter. 

Hatchie & The Pains Of Being Pure Of Heart – 'Sometimes Always' 

Harriette Pilbeam, aka Hatchie, teamed up with The Pains Of Being Pure Of Heart before their end to record a special cover of The Jesus And Mary Chain's 'Sometimes Always', which features on a limited edition purple 7", with all proceeds going to The Movement for Black Lives Fund and The Loveland Foundation

Real EstateThe Demos

Following the release of The Main Thing in February, New Jersey's Real Estate have offered up two demos from the recording process via singer Martin Courtney's own Bandcamp page. The band are donating proceeds to various bail funds. 

The Orielles'Bobbi's Second World (Confidence Man Remix)'

Available for just 24 hours, London disco-pop outfit The Orielles have dropped a new remix of standout hit 'Bobbi's Second World' from Aussie duo Confidence Man and are directing all revenue to SARI, a UK-based charity offering support and free casework for victims of hate crime. 

PNKSLM RecordingsThe PNKSLM Family Album (2020)

Swedish label PNKSLM are offering their cult-like following a whopping 62-track compilation album on a pay-what-you-want basis, with all proceeds being donated to Black Lives Matter-related bail funds.

Ty Segall & Cory Hanson – 'She's a Beam'

Veterans of Los Angeles' psych-rock scene, Ty Segall and Wand frontman Cory Hanson have teamed up to release recently discovered single 'She's a Beam', and will be donating the first week of sales to Black Lives Matter LA. 

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