Pandora is one of my favorite music discovery platforms. It’s how I first heard Crywolf, an up and coming indie electronic artist from Los Angeles also known as Justin Taylor Phillips. Justin is an electronic music producer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist who originally started releasing music about three years ago. His music is inspired by artists like Crystal Castles, Bloc Party, Rage Against The Machine, Tegan and Sara, The White Stripes, and Ratatat, among others. Crywolf has received urgent notoriety from critics, fans, and other artists due to his ”epic, melodic, lyrical-based take on electronic music” that often carries imaginative cinematic vibes. You can hear it on his latest EP, Angels.
Crywolf announced that he signed to Le Castle Vania’s label, Always Never in January 2013 and dropped his debut EP Ghosts a few months later. The EP caught fire and quickly rose to #18 on iTunes Dance Charts, top 20 on Hype Machine, and #1 on Dubstep.net on the first day. Now, with Angels, he’s found and developed a truly unique sound, and listeners agree. Angels debuted at #3 on iTunes Electronic and #24 on Billboard Electronic Charts. In an interview with EDM Sauce, Phillips elaborated on the risk he took with Angels.
The thing that was really cool about Angels doing so well was that ‘Angels’ was sort of me throwing up my arms… I was so uninspired trying to create things that other people would like, and I just decided to stop thinking about what other people liked. I decided to make what I would want to hear in an electronic album.
I started making weirder, like ‘my’ music. Of course some people fell off, but then people start slowly adding on. When those people add on, they’re on for life. The fact that I released Angels and it did so well was like, ‘whoa… this is awesome.’ They’re not liking just my attempt to make pop music, they’re liking me. Just what I do. I could release an acoustic album, all this weird shit, and people would be like, well that’s Crywolf. It’s not sustainable to do the easy thing. It’s super overdone, everyone’s doing it, and it’s boring.
The risk paid off in a big way and the extra effort has been reciprocated by fans ever since. It proves that EDM fans have their tastemakers – the ones that find music they like not because it’s popular, but because they find it interesting and felt a personal attraction to it. That’s what music needs, especially in today’s digital age. Marketing gurus will call them “early adopters,” but in reality they’re just people who are searching for significance in a cluttered noisy world, and they’re finding it. Get Angels by clicking on the art below.
By Steve Harpine | Digital Content Manager | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC