That Autumn Owls didn't play the official Irish showcases at either South By Southwest or Canadian Music Week, the two big music industry showcases this month, is a clue that the band are forging their own path in the music world. The Dublin band's debut album Between Buildings, Toward The Sea came out last November on Epitonic Records and was positively received, particularly in North America where their label resides.
In today's fast-moving musical world, it's easy for a band to drop off the radar without releasing a steady flow of singles, videos, remixes and playing regular gigs.
Autumn Owls' answer to that problem? Release a free iOs app which features an acoustic version of the album. They're not the first Irish band to do it: No Monster Club and The Pale are two bands who have done it before, but it's still a solid idea. If you have a developer friend who wants to get some experience and a band wants to capitalise on touring buzz, then this is a great band marketing tool.
Similarly, the novelty of not offering the music to stream in advance is at the centre of Belfast recording studios Start Together's Singles Club (starttogetherstudio.com/ singlesclub), which aims to shift the focus away from "online stats, YouTube views, Soundcloud plays, follower tallies, and the 'retweet for a free download' ethos now widespread among new and breaking artists".
Instead, fans are being asked to put their trust in Start Together, who are releasing singles for download only, that will not be streamed. The only way to hear the track is to buy it for a measly £2, a novel idea in today's all-you-can-hear musical climate.
It helps that the first single is from the reliable electro-punk trio Not Squares.
It also helps that the music is being released not only digitally but in a unique format, the first of which is an egg shaker.
Start Together's Singles Club is putting some magic back into buying music.