So a good example I can think of re an artist with surprisingly high numbers would be Mild High Club. I only really became aware of them around the time of their collab album with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, but didn’t get round to properly checking out their stuff until this year. I was amazed to see the other day that they now have 2.9M monthly listeners on Spotify, which is currently more than twice the number for King Gizzard themselves. Really wasn’t expecting that at all, especially since King Gizzard seem like a way more high profile band right now.
And my example of an artist with surprisingly low numbers would be Field Music. A genuinely fantastic band, sound like the midway point between The Beatles and Prince, been around for years, solid discography, great live act, their stuff gets played plenty on 6 Music, and yet……they currently only have just over 40,000 monthly listeners. Genuinely don’t get it at all. There are long-forgotten indie landfill acts from the noughties with hundreds of thousands more listeners right now.
Any other examples you can think of?
PS my first ever thread on DiS! Hope it’s not too nerdy a subject.
I thought Cigarettes After Sex were a mid teir indie band popularity wise but they currently have 12 million monthly listeners, I guess the stuff they do is very playlist friendly. Good topic by the way.
I’m a massive Field Music fan and when I did that Spotify iceberg thing that popped up a couple of months ago I saw their 2 solo projects on the lowest possible level. I’ve just checked and David Brewis’s School of Language is on 819 monthly listeners. Criminal!
Great thread idea - it’s something that fascinates me. Twilight Sad are generally my example of a band who seem surprisingly low. Didn’t expect them to be huge, but they hovered round the 50k zone for many years, see they’re now up to 80.
I think Cigarettes After Sex are a special case where their original blow up came about because of how well their songs sat on playlists. I seem to recall them just having 8 or so loose tracks up for a long time at first, still with heaps and heaps of plays. I certainly heard about them because Spotify kept putting them in front of me, and with the name, I guess they’re very clickable.
My (probably dumb) theory re Field Music is that they saddled themselves with a really dull band name.
I think some casual listeners are genuinely intrigued by quirky names when they spot them on a playlist (I guess Cigarettes After Sex very much fall into that category), whereas “Field Music” seems like the opposite of that - makes them sound like a worthy-but-dull ambient field recordings project or something.