How to Pitch a Music Blog: Gorilla vs Bear
Gorilla vs Bear is a Texas-based music blog that has received recognition from notable outlets like Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and Huffington Post. A lot of bands come to Green Light Go with the blog on the top of their Wish Lists, but that doesn't mean every band is a fit. There is a definite focus on style and musical accolades, with an emphasis on hipster indie: dark synth, hazy dream pop, and slacker rock. If you’re interested in securing coverage, there are definitely some things you’ll need to consider first. Let’s go over the best options!
One of the most popular features on Gorilla vs Bear is their Mixes column. This is pretty straightforward in terms of format. It features a mix tape of musical discoveries every month. The major things to keep in mind here, or the main drivers, are that the primary focus is on artists in the darker synth and electro genres. 90% of all the music on each list was right along these lines, and contained artists that were on labels. More so than that, each artist was more established on Facebook, usually spanning over 30,000 likes. There are a few outliers that are under 10,000, and even one or two under 1,000, but even these had the backing of a label, or had been featured on the blog before in a different way. There’s a heavy emphasis on the sound in this column, so if your band doesn’t meet this criteria, it really isn’t a fit.
This column is one of my favorites. The “Polaroid” feature showcases polaroid photos of bands and producers in a way that puts you right in front of the hazy live action. As with their Mixes column, the primary focus is on synth sounds, but it is not 100% limited to it - Leon Bridges was recently featured with photos from the Troubadour. I also saw larger bands like Hinds and Charlie XCX featured, but keep in mind they’re established and have the backing of major labels. One other thing to keep in mind is location. The majority of photos from shows alternate between venues in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas. If you’re not on a major label, and if you don't have a show in the area, then the only chance of coverage here might be by going on tour with a more established act. But again, keep in mind, genre and band popularity are big players here.
The “Video” column might be the best option for bands in terms of genre availability, but as with the previous columns, the main driver and major focus is bands or artists on a label. It features music videos of all shapes and colors. Some are more obscure and avante garde than others, but the primary sound is with the common thread of darker synth beats. This column has a few indie rock bands, but they are on labels like Sub Pop, and are closer to a beachy, psychedelic sound.
Gorilla vs Bear is a really great blog that covers some incredibly fresh music. Just keep in mind, that whenever you’re pitching it’s important to do your research first. Time is valuable for everybody, so if your band is a metal band, or you aren’t on a label, it’s not the right time to reach out. Being a right fit in both genre and level are really important contributing factors. If your sound is a fit, then by all means reach out, but I would recommend letting them know which column you are interested in from the beginning.
Another factor that could determine whether a music blog wants to cover you or not is what your band's online presence looks like at first glance. Social media and branding is a big part of music promotion in 2018, and we have a Media Audit Checklist that you can download here, which is a fast and fun way to make sure you are media friendly.
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