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What Your Band Photo Says About You

September 15, 2014 Featured News, Marketing No Comments

Disclosure_bandimageThis article, written by Hardly Art Records publicist and USF band member, Jason Baxter, originally appeared on Sonicbids. We’re excited to be working with them to bring you the best and most relevant content for your business!

Band photos can be tricky, but even if you’re camera-shy, they’re an absolute necessity for your press kit. If you’re working with a label, they may subsidize a photo shoot with a professional photographer, which is the best way to guarantee you’ll end up with well-composed and useful band photographs. For some artists this isn’t an option though, and hiring a pro can seem like an unnecessary expenditure if you’ve got a friend with a decent eye and a DSLR. Either way, you’re going to want to make sure your photos satisfy these key requirements:

  • Variety. The more images you have to choose from, the more likely you are to find three or four that capture everyone’s best angles and give a faithful impression of your band’s “look.”
  • Color and black and white. Lots of regional papers and other print media only publish in black and white, and you can’t always assume that a desaturated color photograph will look good on the printed page. It helps to plan ahead and work with a photographer that shoots on both types of film, or has the image editing skills to turn a high-contrast color picture into a striking and eye-pleasing black and white one.
  • Resolution. Always shoot at the highest possible resolution. 300 dpi is usually the standard benchmark. A large image can always be shrunk to fit certain dimensions, but a small one will look worse and worse the more you enlarge it.
  • Accuracy. Misrepresenting your band is a sin of the highest order. Include every member of your band, don’t dress or pose in a way that’s disingenuous to how you appear when you perform, and for heaven’s sake, don’t hide or obscure your face. The last band to really get away with that, in my opinion, was Disclosure (pictured above) – but they get a pass because they aimed for something that was iconic and pretty much heretofore unseen, and it paid off in press coverage.

Even within the confines of these requirements, there’s still a lot of room to be creative – just ensure your photo is saying what you want it to say about your band.

Of all the band photos I’ve encountered in my career, they typically fall into six general categories:

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The Orchard Chart Toppers: August 2014

September 12, 2014 Featured News, Orchard News No Comments

The Orchard Chart Toppers

As we bid farewell to the summer month, we also bid congrats to some great acts who made themselves known on the charts this past month. Highlights include the hot new band Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas. This brand new act has shown tremendous organic growth, seducing fans at every turn, and landed some impressive spots on the charts with their debut Secret Evil. Join the bandwagon, guys. Spanish brother Gemeliers took their local charts by storm as well, and label Vidisco released such awesome compilations, that together with other big local artists, they pretty much monopolized half of the Portugal official charts. Way to go!

August also saw the release of our very first theatrical film, Rich Hill. We all went to see the premiere as an exciting summer outing, and the film clearly hit home around the world. It’s a must-see — bring some tissues.

PS. This is only a snapshot of our artists’ chart positions. They’ve also placed in many genre charts on both Billboard and iTunes, but we’ve zoned in on the more general charts for the purpose of this post.

WEEK ENDING August 31, 2014

Billboard Top 200 Albums
#133 — Accept: Blind Rage [Nuclear Blast]

Billboard Current Albums
#111 — Accept: Blind Rage [Nuclear Blast]

Billboard Independent Albums
#22 — Accept: Blind Rage [Nuclear Blast]

Billboard Heatseekers
#18 — Will Dailey: National Throat [Wheelkick]
#26 — Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas: Secret Evil [Instant Records]

Billboard Tastemakers
#19 — Accept: Blind Rage [Nuclear Blast]

Spain Top Albums
#2 — Gemeliers: Lo Mejor está por venir [Pep's Records]

Portugal Top Albums
#2 — Various Artists: Kizomba Mix – Mixed by DJ. Manu Santos [Vidisco]
#3 — Various Artists: Caribe Mix 2014 [Vidisco]
#4 — Tony Carreira: 25 Anos [Farol]
#9 — Various Artists: Piradinha 3 [Vidisco]
#12 — Various Artists: Latin Hits 3 [Vidisco]
#15 — Various Artists: Disco Ouro 2014/15 [Espacial]
#17 — Various Artists: Caribe 2014 – o Teu Toque [Vidisco]
#18 — Various Artistas: Kuduro Portugal Vol. 2 [Espacial]
#20 — David Carreira: A Força Está Em Nós [Farol]

Italy Top Albums
#17 — Elisa: L’anima vola [Sugar Music]

iTunes Top 200 Albums
#191 — Souls Of Mischief: There Is Only Now (Deluxe Version) [Linear Labs]

iTunes Italy Top Albums
#18 — Negramaro: Una storia semplice [Sugar Music]

iTunes Russia Top Albums
#3 — Smyslovye Gallyutsinatsii: Мысленный Волк (Лучшее 2000-2014) [Первое Музыкальное Издательство]
#5 — Various Artists: Танцевальный Рай 33 [2014 Studia SOYUZ]
#15 — Grigory Leps: The Best (Deluxe Version) [Nikitin]

iTunes Top Documentary Movies US
#8 — Rich Hill [Dinky Pictures]
#15 — Into the Mind [Sherpas Cinema]

iTunes Top Sports Movies US
#6 — Into the Mind [Sherpas Cinema]

iTunes Top Documentary Movies CA
#11 — Rich Hill [Dinky Pictures]

iTunes Top Sports Movies CA
#10 — Slednecks 16 [Slednecks Inc]
#12 — Into the Mind [Sherpas Cinema]

iTunes Top Sports Movies UK
#19 — Into the Mind [Sherpas Cinema]

iTunes Top Short Films UK
#1 — NotBad [Anthill Films]

iTunes Top Documentary Movies AU
#10 — Rich Hill [Dinky Pictures]

iTunes Top Sports Movies AU
#17 — Into the Mind [Sherpas Cinema]

iTunes Top Independent Films AU
#11 — Rich Hill [Dinky Pictures]

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Welcome, Jonathan!

September 10, 2014 Orchard News No Comments

JonathanEllisIntroducing Jonathan Ellis, Graphic Designer

Name: Jonathan Ellis
Background: Born in Brooklyn, raised in Brooklyn and Long Island
Height: short
Likes: The New York Knicks, Apple Juice, Pasta, Drawing, The Fugees, Bowling like Fred Flintstone
Dislikes: Ketchup (yuck)
Fav Albums: Good Kid Madd City, College Dropout, The Score, Blueprint, Lupe touch the sky mixtape, Channel Orange
Schooling: LaGuardia Highschool and School of Visual Arts
Work history: One year freelancing at The Orchard, four years at Music Choice as a Graphic Designer. Many years freelancing and illustrating.

I’ve appreciated my time here so far and I’m very excited to continue on full-time. Feel free to drop me a line to say hello, and thanks to The Orchard for having me.

Oh, You Are Most Welcome In This House, “What We Do In The Shadows”

WhatWeDoInTheShadowsIt’s time for TIFF — Toronto International Film Festival, that is — and we have one movie screening there that we’re super excited to tell you about: What We Do In The Shadows. Having first premiered at Sundance, this deep and insightful documentary on how age-old vampires live in modern-day New Zealand will give you chills and blow your mind with the information it reveals.

Just kidding!

Well, only about the “deep and insightful” part. What We Do In The Shadows is, in fact, a hilarious mockumentary/comedy brought to you by Flight of the Conchords and Men in Black 3 veteran Jemaine Clement and Academy Award nominee Taika Waititi. Believe us when we say: this one will have you in stitches, and not because Vladislav, Viago, Deacon or Petyr have sunk their teeth into your sweet, sweet skin. Lucky for us and all vampire lovers out there, we have the privilege of distributing this masterpiece digitally, on DVD and broadcast across the United States in partnership with Funny Or Die and Unison Films.

In What We Do In The Shadows, writers and directors Jemaine and Waititi also star as vampires Vladislav and Viago, who along with their flatmates Deacon and Petyr struggle to adapt to 21st century life, from paying rent and sharing household chores to getting expressly invited into nightclubs. They turn a young hipster, Nick, to feast on both his blood and his knowledge of the modern world. We won’t spoil the rest, but you can expect much discovery, surprise, emotion (vampires have feelings, too) and of course, laughter.

If you’re in Toronto for the fest, catch the film at TIFF on Friday, September 12th at 11:59pm at Ryerson, Saturday, September 13th at 9:30pm at Scotiabank Theatre 12 and Sunday, September 14th at 3:45pm at Scotiabank Theatre 3. Now, we expressly invite you to feast on the trailer below:

Find out more about the deal on our official press release, here.

Freeloader Friday: American Hi-Fi, Catey Shaw, The Black Angels & More

September 5, 2014 Freeloader Friday No Comments

americanhifi_bloodandlemonadeLet me start by saying that despite it being the first Friday in September, summer is by no means over! Technically speaking — though Global Warming might tell you differently — summer doesn’t end until the 23rd, and that means you’ve still got time to hit the beach and dance under the sunset. Here to help you do that is this week’s selection of free music.

Kicking it off with some good ol’ Rock are American Hi-Fi, with a full stream of their first album in four years. Expect “big guitars, big riffs, pounding drums [and] melodic vocals.” Oh yeah. Then Catey Shaw gives us some always needed “human contact” and more with her new EP, which you preview over at HuffPo. Then British Indies JAWS offer up a free download of their song “Holy Cat” (breathe in when downloading); Teenager Bottlerocket help Punk label Red Scare Industries celebrate their 10 year milestone, #bullshit included; and Aussie songstress Laura Jean makes it onto NPR’s Heavy Rotation playlist.

Turn to Raul Midón next to get some crazy cool guitar work, Emilyn Brodsky for your dose of ukelele (Catey Shaw can also help with that one), and close out with three music videos courtesy of The Black Angels, Cyrille Aimée and The Strumbellas. Make sure to BYOBallons for that last one.

Happy Friday, folks! And remember, you’ve still got two and a half more weeks of summer. Make ‘em count.

American Hi-Fi: Full album stream via Red Bull
Blood & Lemonade out September 9 on Rude Records

Catey Shaw: Full EP stream via Huffington Post
The Brooklyn EP out September 9 on Complex/Lefthook

JAWS: “Holy Cat” free track download via NoiseTrade
Be Slowly out September 14 via Rattlepop

Teenage Bottlerocket: “TV Set” track premiere via Noisey
Red Scare Industries: 10 Years of Your Dumb Bullshit out September 9 on Red Scare

Laura Jean: “Don’t Marry The One You Love” track stream via NPR Music
Laura Jean out now on Chapter Music

Raul Midón: “Don’t Hesitate” track premiere via Guitar World
Don’t Hesitate out September 30 on Mack Avenue Records

Emilyn Brodsky: “Paper Thin Line” track premiere via BlackBook
Emilyn Brodsky Eats Her Feelings out September 23 via Dead Stare

The Black Angels: “An Occurrence At 4507 South Third Street” video premiere via Q Magazine
Clear Lake Forest out now on Blue Horizon

Cyrille Aimée: “Bamboo Shoots” video premiere via WSJ
It’s A Good Day out now on Mack Avenue Records

The Strumbellas: “End of an Era” video premiere via Guitar World
We Still Move On Dance Floors out September 9 on Underneath A Mountain Records

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