Artists Get 100% Commission on Bandcamp Again, So Let's Buy Some Albums

People bought $4.3 million in music and merch on the platform last time. Here are some suggestions on where to spend your money next.
Chicago, US
Tenci (Photo by Ashleigh Dye) 

When Bandcamp decided to waive its revenue share for all online sales on Friday, March 20 it gave $4.3 million from music and merch purchases to artists and labels. With coronavirus decimating the live music industry and likely delaying concerts until 2021, musicians need all the help they can get. So Bandcamp is doing it again

Today, all sales from music and merch are going straight to the artist. To celebrate, the VICE staff has compiled some recent Bandcamp favorites. Bandcamp's initiative is one of the few bright spots right now, and if you're looking to spend some money to support artists, you can't go wrong with these picks.


Various Artists, The Song Is Coming From Inside the House

On Thursday, a new compilation from indie rock favorites like Mount Eerie, Lala Lala, Kevin Krauter, Hand Habits, and several more was released benefitting the Groundswell Rapid Response Fund, an organization that "provides fast funding to grassroots organizations led by women of color, trans people of color, and low-income women and trans people in critical, but unexpected, fights to protect and advance reproductive and social justice, including mutual aid societies, rent moratoriums, and digital organizing." At 24 tracks of rarities, b-sides, and unreleased tunes from these great artists for just five bucks, this is a no-brainer. —Josh Terry

Sydanie, 999

Sydanie is a formidable performer in Toronto rap who commands your attention. The self-described “bad rapper mom” has previously toured with Polaris Music Prize winner Lido Pimienta and landed on the Polaris longlist herself in 2019. On 999, Sydanie’s confident flow is paired with hard production that matches her intensity, from the house echoes of "001" to the arpeggiating standout "778." It’s now, it’s throwback, and it’s the adrenaline rush we all need. —Jill Krajewski

Serengeti, Ajai

Serengeti is probably best known for his alter-ego Kenny Dennis, a mustachioed Chicagoan who raps about O'Douls, his love of late actor Brian Dennehy, his favorite local sports teams, and grilling brats with the fellas in his softball league. While he debuted the persona on his 2007 track "Dennehy," an enduring single love-letter to Chicago, he's explored the character throughout his extensive and cerebral catalog. It seemed like he had ditched Kenny in his 2018 LP Dennis 6e, but the character returns in the second half of his latest effort Ajai. Like most of Serengeti's work, the album boasts an exhaustively detailed and enthralling narrative, but even if you ignore the story, there's incredible lo-fi beats and worldplay throughout. —Josh Terry


Baby Cages, Bitter Melon

Halloway Jones may have dropped the name Baby Cages, but their succinct debut LP remains a colorful visual album with lush pop to match. Jones’ soulful voice guides you through a warm landscape with well-thought accents, from tender picking to ethereal vibraphone. If you're a fan of distinct voices such as Weaves' Jasmyne Burke and Beach House's Victoria Legrand, Jones and Bitter Melon are sure to delight. Any day becomes summer when this record is on. —Jill Krajewski

Daniel Romano's Outfit, Content to Point the Way

Ontario's Daniel Romano has always been prolific but in the past 60 days the rocker has put out a staggering four albums. His latest, country rock stunner Content to Point the Way, was apparently recorded last week—andand was hopefully done safely and remotely with his backing band. Romano has always been a rock 'n' roll chameleon, and this year alone, he's effortlessly jumped between power-pop in Super Pollen and indie rock in Visions of the Higher Dream. Here, he goes in a markedly more twangy direction for what's arguably the best of the bunch. —Josh Terry

Akasha System, Echo Earth

Maybe you’ve been enjoying a walk every day; maybe you’ve just been watching nature heal itself. Either way, Akasha System’s Echo Earth is the perfect soundtrack. A project full of ambient and warm house music, it almost works as a guided meditation, transporting you through misty forests and serene meadows. Smash that “Buy Digital Album” button, lace up your hiking shoes, and sit on the couch! —Avery Mencher


Chicago Underground Quartet, Good Days

The Chicago Underground Quartet has been around for over two decades as part of the city's thriving experimental jazz community. Original members trumpeter Rob Mazurek, guitarist Jeff Parker (who had a phenomenal solo record out this year in Suite For Max Brown), and drummer Chad Taylor are joined by multi-instrumentalist Josh Johnson for this iteration of the band. Good Days is the quartet's first release since their 2001 debut, and it's an expansive, chaotic, and exciting dose of free jazz. From the subtle grooves of "Batilda" to the disorienting skronks of "Unique Spiral," it's easy to get lost in these musicians' mesmerizing jams. —Josh Terry

AceMoMa, EP2

Released just in time for No-Fee Friday, DJs/producers AceMo and MoMA Ready come together for another fantastic, club-ready EP. Skittering beats, melodic grooves, and perfectly interlaced samples make EP2 another must-listen dance record from the New York-based duo. Better still: if these four songs aren’t enough, label HAUS of ALTR is offering 20% off of their full digital discography. —Avery Mencher

V.V. Lightbody, Make a Shrine or Burn It

V.V. Lightbody's sophomore album Make a Shrine or Burn It is a considerable leap from her debut. Not that there was anything wrong with the subtle and captivating songs on 2018's Bathing Peach but her follow-up is demonstrably more ambitious and fully-realized. By my count, there are at least three basically perfect songs on it, from the heart wrenching anti-jealousy anthem "If It's Not Me," the sax-heavy ripper "Horse on Fire," and the woozy indie rock of "Car Alarm." —Josh Terry


Hooded Fang, Venus on Edge

Venus on Edge previously landed on Noisey’s 100 Best Albums of 2016, and for good reason: it’s explosive post-punk that captures the heat of a packed basement show. Remember those? Hooded Fang will make you sweat all the same with lurching bass, distorted melodies, and frantic songs crashing into each other including the wailing album standout “A Final Hello.” For further listening, make the band’s trippier follow-up EP Dynasty House your chaser. —Jill Krajewski

Tenci, My Heart Is An Open Field

Tenci's My Heart Is An Open Field was an underappreciated gem of a full-length from Chicago songwriter Jess Shoman. While it made VICE's Best Albums You May Have Missed roundup last year, the Spencer Radcliffe-produced LP is getting a necessary reissue this summer. Shoman's voice is arresting and affecting throughout the album's nine tracks of sparse and pastoral indie rock. This is an album that reveals new textures and emotional resonance with each listen. —Josh Terry