Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Sons and Daughters invent their own distribution strategy

October 12, 2010

There is no model for releasing music anymore. Case in point: Sons and Daughters, a band from Franklin, TN, in the vein of Sandra McCracken, Derek Webb, Waterdeep and everything else on Noisetrade (check them out right now, if you haven’t already).

I first heard of the band via blogsurfing; a friend of a friend posted the video of “All the Poor and Powerless” to her blog. The video doesn’t even state the artist; it simply shows the two members of the band playing the gorgeous song, interspersed with beautiful shots of people ostensibly poor and powerless. I scoured the Internet looking for the authors of this song, but no dice. I messaged the guy who posted the video, but he never got back to me.

Fast forward three months. I remembered “All the Poor and Powerless” because of a different song I was listening to while writing this poem, and I sought out the video again. This time, I found the bandcamp page of Sons and Daughters, offering a free download of the song. This version, however, is a bit more tricked out, with a choir and a rhythm track. After a bit more searching, I found the band’s website, which shows evidence that there has been touring. I deduced that the band passed through the Christian college of the enlightening blogger.

I kept digging (surely there must be more, I thought) and found a free two-song sampler from Noisetrade. Unsurprisingly, one of those songs was “All the Poor and Powerless.” The other was a decent track called “Your Glory.” That’s where the trail dies. There are only two recorded songs from a band that has apparently has enough material to be touring.

In short, they are gaining a following after releasing exactly two songs. Their debut release is coming out in May (seven months from now!). This is an incredibly peculiar business strategy.

But! If the goal is to reach people and play music, they’ve hit on exactly the right formula. It’s an odd way to go about it, but they’ve figured something out: one absolutely stunning song can get you far in today’s music world.

“All the Poor and Powerless” is exactly that: absolutely stunning. It is stately, passionate, powerful and calm in turns. But over all of that, it is just breathtaking. The male and female voices are wonderfully paired, the instrumentation is incredibly well recorded, and the songwriting has a gravitas not heard or felt in many songs. You need to hear it (and I’ve given you almost half a dozen links to do so. Here’s the Twitter, for good measure)

So, here’s to “All the Poor and Powerless” and to Sons and Daughters. I eagerly anticipate their upcoming release. And isn’t that what good singles are supposed to do? Yes.

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Comments: (2)

On October 13, 2010 Katie Tracy wrote...

Effective post. I've already listened to two of the links and passed it along to no less than 3 friends, all within 15 minutes of reading this from you. Good find, sir.

On July 29, 2011 ashley aubuchon wrote...

I LOVE All the Poor and Powerless. I can't get that song out of my head and blasted it in the lobby at our Chris August concert last night. (after arguing with them that you were now called just Sons and Daughters and they said no that you changed it to All Sons and Daughters and you used to be called Sons and Daughters. Whatever, you guys rock, we really love Dryve and J.R. so will get something booked for the first of next year. We will pray for you, you guys with The Ember Days would be KILLER!!!!

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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