The great folk/covers blog "Cover Lay Down" has recently published an important post regarding a controversial policy change by the Hype Machine. According to the new default setting, only songs found from the leading 100 music blogs will be displayed on the latest song list (with an option to display music found on the rest of the blogs per visit).
I stand with "Cover Lay Down" on opposing this decision. I think it stands against the basic principles by which the Hype Machine was created: to encourage exposure to new music and artists and to give a voice to their fans and admirers. By giving an unequal "spotlight" to all the blogs, it is in fact the artists, and especially the indie artists, who are being hurt the most. It creates a kind of a mainstream in the blogosphere, the kind I at least was trying to escape to the relative pluralism of the web.
Personally, I'm trying to use this blog to try to help artists get the recognition and notice they deserve. This will be a lot harder under these new conditions. What bothers me more though is the possible loss of the sense of discovery and delight of stumbling upon new music. How many of my current favorites do I owe to such a chance discovery?
My discovery for today is Guillaume Léglise who heads the French indie folk/pop group My Broken Frame. His delicate and intricate songs remind me of Sufjan Stevens and yet he's a genuine artist by his own.
Check out My Broken Frame on MySpace and last.fm for lots of gigs info and streamable songs. Get his debut LP Chapel Hill on Amazon or iTunes.