Back in March 2020—when it was obvious nobody would be looking to Apt613.ca for gig picks in our Live Music Calendar—Apt613 music writers launched #ottmusic weekly to promote new releases by local artists. Basically a “release radar” for Ottawa-made music, the Spotify playlist is a tight two hours of tunes, updated every weekend and published on Mondays.
As new tracks are added at the top, older tracks are removed from the playlist, keeping #ottmusic weekly to the 30 or so freshest releases. All in all, we’ve curated more than 100 songs for #ottmusic weekly, and in this final week of 2020 we’re thrilled to share Apt613’s top choices in five “Best Of” playlists. These are organized by vibe more than specific genres.
With each weekly post, we add links to Bandcamp and other online music stores. It’s no secret that streaming royalties are dismal (a fraction of a penny per stream) so if you discover music you like, think about purchasing a download or calling your neighbourhood record store to ask if the album is in stock. Also, check out the artists’ social media to purchase merch directly from them—you will make someone very happy and will rock awesome designs! If you already have all of the music and merch you could ever want from your favourite local artists, consider sharing your recommendations with friends. Give the gift of new music for the new year!
Finally, this is our pitch to subscribe to #ottmusic weekly on Spotify! While the streaming platform is one we love to hate, you can actually do good for Ottawa artists by following along and jamming to this playlist once a week (or once a day!) The Apt613 playlist is a Spotify hack: In the early days of a release, the volume of listeners/streams earns a higher rank from Spotify’s algorithm. That makes it more likely for #ottmusic to appear in others’ Discover Weekly and Release Radar playlists (which are curated by the algorithm, not humans).
Our long-term goal is gaining more than 1,000 subscribers for #ottmusic weekly, so every artist gets their first 1,000 streams within days of a new release. As one songwriter in our playlist so aptly puts it, these are the “vanity metrics” which some gatekeepers in the music industry use to determine the value of an artist and their work. It’s not fair… but if you’re already on Spotify it’s fairly easy to be a +1 for the Ottawa music scene.