“There’s something about just letting the stresses of the day melt away” – interview with lo-fi label Alien Cake Music

Image Credit: Alien cake music

Indie record label Alien Cake Music, masters of the slow reverb music subgenre, talk to RouteNote about playlist selection and the benefits of lo-fi music.

Independent record label Alien cake music are on a major mission to relax you. With over 39,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, their lo-fi released tracks RouteNote have found cross-platform success, delivered by an enthusiastic team.

When we sat down with Alien Cake Music for an interview, we spoke with a team clearly excited to do what all major independent labels should do: release music they really love.

A specialty of Alien Cake is the slow reverb music, relaxing, slowed down covers of familiar songs, and it seems listeners can’t get enough of it. Their reading list Lofi Alien Cake, described as “music to spend the night”, has 76,000 likes on Spotify.

Songs like the Nirvana cover “Come as you are” have done great things for the label, earning tens of thousands of streams and securing fans who regularly revisit their artists and playlists.

Read on to find out how they did it – and also find out which successes Alien Cake is most proud of beyond the numbers.

Tell us about Alien Cake Music!

Alien Cake Music: Alien Cake started out as a purely creative instrumental project, used to escape the artist-driven production that our lead producer was so immersed in. As a music-loving couple growing up in the 90s, it seemed natural to focus on the music that inspired us in the first place and express our influences in new and creative ways.

Alien Cake has become something of an escape from all things current and a nostalgic visit to the golden age of grunge and alternative rock. It was perfect, so we ran with it and have released nearly 200 tracks since!

Nineties vibes are strong right now, from Lorde channeling Primal Scream to the re-emergence of pop punk, and much of your Alien Cake music reflects that. Do you encourage your artists to chase trends?

Trends are apparently such a big factor now, perhaps more than ever, with fast-paced content and our shortened attention spans as consumers. We certainly look to trends as a point of inspiration.

However, being so focused on 90s nostalgia, we tend to look back at trends from that era more than trends from this era, if that makes sense?

For example, we analyze biographical data and charts from the 90s to inspire songs to turn into current lo-fi versions, while paying homage to the original artists and scene. Naturally, this seems to work best for us.

With so much new music, labels have to work hard to break up the noise. Do you have any social media tips you would recommend for promoting music?

For us, it’s all about consistency. When you look at how quickly trends come and go, it seems a bit counterproductive to always change your strategy to adapt to current trends. It all comes down to loving what you do, doing it often, and staying consistent.

We also love responding to requests and getting really great suggestions. We try to make at least one song request per week and then give that person a shout out in a message.

Show your audience you’re there for them and keep delivering consistently. We show up for them, and they will show up for us.

When you think back to what you’ve accomplished as a label, what comes to mind first? For example, it could be an artist you were most proud to sign for personal reasons – not necessarily commercial success.

Our first notable achievement comes from turning the shit up and talking about the amazing Kurt Cobain as a songwriter, and realizing that his songs can literally be adapted to any genre. Fast forward two days later and we had a super vibey lo-fi version of “Come as you are” that proved the point.

When we released this and saw the attention it received, in conjunction with our sheer joy in re-adapting a Kurt song and, in our opinion, maintaining artistic integrity, it was a great moment for us.

Your artists’ releases include reverb-slowed covers that have accumulated in the streams. Why do you think listeners like them so much? Is it out of nostalgia for the original song?

I think nostalgia has a big part in the success of our music. For us personally, that’s why we started creating this music. Listeners are sure to sit back and relax, while reflecting on the emotions aroused when these ’90s anthems enter their ears in a new way.

When it comes to slowing down and reverberation, that’s a trend we’re really into right now ourselves as listeners.

There’s something about just letting the stresses of the day melt away, while still enjoying whatever activity we might be doing at the time.

I think our listeners use our music the same way we Enjoy it.

You release tracks five days a week, which is a commendable work ethic! How does online distribution facilitate the distribution of music?

Our main producer is a little crazy like that haha. Some weeks he completed more than 15 tracks between several projects.

Online distribution is so amazing, especially with RouteNote. The fact that we could schedule a release and have it live in stores two to three days later really helped us build our library quickly. This is paramount when creating playlists and testing the waters, to see if listeners will eat it…or not.

Additionally, as a label, it allows us to track our releases with the detailed monthly stats we receive, and we can also gauge monthly goals and get the creative ideas fueled by that data. (Shh, don’t tell our producer that we use data to make creative decisions!)

How important do you think putting music on streaming services is for labels signing artists in 2022?

Having music on streaming services is a necessity in our opinion. With streaming services becoming more akin to social media platforms themselves, and vice versa, regularly releasing content – ​​in this case releases – is mandatory to acquire listeners and keep them coming back.

And what do you look for when signing new artists?

Honestly, we’re a small company and really appreciate having very few moving parts. That being said, dedication, consistency and a genuine love for what we create are mandatory for an artist.

Being able to rely on an artist to meet deadlines and create super tasty tracks that have an edge over them, is key.

How do you hope Alien Cake Music evolves?

Alien Cake plans to expand our library to cover other genres, continue to build our original music alongside our extensive library of covers, and we also plan to create merchandise to bring our branding to physical media.

What’s the best thing about Alien Cake Music – and is there anything you wish you’d known before you started?

We didn’t know anything at first, and this was probably the best situation, otherwise we would have thought too much. So I can’t really say there’s anything we’d like to know before we dig into this project.

The best thing about running Alien Cake Music is interacting with our audience and learning that we’re doing something useful for them. The fact that they listen to our music daily and interact with us is probably the coolest part.

Other than that, as kids of the 90s, making mind blowing versions of the 90s songs we grew up with is a dream honestly.

Discover Alien Cake Music and all their playlists on Spotify here!

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