Daily Thoughts

Do Listeners Care Whether It’s An Album, Mixtape Or An EP?

The short answer is no but that isn’t why you are here. At some point, there was an actual difference between an EP, a Mixtape and an Album. However, with the dawn of streaming the differences are now obsolete as all forms of music are consumed in the same place. As a modern listener, I have noticed how my approach to listening changes with each type of release – which I think is a topic worth exploring. As much as I would love to say ‘music is music and it speaks for itself’, perception has always played a role in how we consume music.


This is the most common body of work that I come across and… one of my favourites if I’m being honest. In my many hours of listening, I have noticed 2 routes artists follow when creating an EP. The first is to create a short concise body of work to the point where it feels like one interconnected song split over several tracks. This route allows an artist to hone in on a particular type of sound or execution. The second route sees artists treat an EP as an experimental plane with a diverse offering of sounds. When an artist chooses to label an offering as an EP, I completely disregard any expectation of a coherent story or theme.


I consider mixtapes a dying offering just because of how few artists release them and it’s unfortunate. In more recent times, mixtapes have seen artists take on a ‘persona’ if you will. Una Rams’ hold me when it’s cold: a mixtape is a perfect example of bringing out a persona through a mixtape with him introducing Sam Sonic – his alter ego. I view mixtapes as a practice run for an album. A fully concerted effort in creating a body of work that has a theme and story arc.


As I said earlier in the article, the simple answer to this question is no. Despite all music being available in one place, I do feel that there is still merit in the ‘album’. When I come across an album, I approach it with all seriousness, critiquing every crux and cranny of its makeup. An album should honour every artistic aspect of being a recording artist which oftentimes requires a team, and a team cannot be led without its creative head having a clear vision.

Ultimately, if you are a new artist trying to cultivate your sound. Don’t drop an album. It will be a poster of what you are fully capable of so take your time, find your sound and when the time is right… drop an album.

The Best Music Journalist In Southy. - @lesiba__ everywhere if you're looking for me -

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