As Windowfish gears up for their debut into the music production industry, we needed to decide which format would have the biggest impact. Sure we’d like to create and perform music, have people magically find us and make a million dollars, but we all know that it doesn’t happen by osmosis. The simple fact is that packaging our songs and a little marketing (or a lot!) is a necessary evil to give our music the best chance of getting heard. After sifting through the options of EPs, LPs and singles, we thought we’d share what we learned here.
The Difference Between EPs and LPs
LPs and EPs simply refer to vinyl records. Do you miss thumbing through records at your local music store for the latest music and kicking back to listen to an album from beginning to end? You are not alone! There is something sensorial about slipping that vinyl album out of the sleeve, placing it on the turntable, carefully easing the needle into the groove and hearing the distinct crackle just before the music springs to life. Due to the raw, organic analog quality sound, LP records are still in use today and have been experiencing a comeback in recent years. While that kinesthetic ritual has mostly gone the way of 8-tracks, cassettes and CDs, the vinyl record format is where it all began.
LP means long playing or full length album with anywhere from eight to 12 tracks playing 30 to 50 minutes long. Even though we still nostalgically call today’s albums “records”, the 33 and ⅓ rpm microgroove records have largely been replaced with modern music formats. Digital (CDs) and streaming through the YouTube music app, Spotify, iTunes or Amazon music are simply more accessible and less cumbersome. No longer worried about scratching a record, we can experience the latest music by simply saying “play me music” to Alexa or Siri.
EPs are much shorter than full length LPs. With just three to six tracks and listening time of no more than 30 minutes, people often think of EPs as miniature albums. EP stands for extended play vinyl album and often includes extended singles. EPs are a popular music format across a wide variety of genres. A prime classic rock example is The Beatles' - Magical Mystery Tour (1967), with a more current alternative rock example being Radiohead’s My Iron Lung (1994). Indie and punk bands also tend to favor this format.
Why Choose an EP or an LP?
EPs are a recognized way for new bands to promote themselves since they don’t require as many songs. In contrast with LPs, EPs are less expensive to produce and don’t require as much time to complete. If money and time are an issue, bands can certainly publish a single on its own to have frequent new releases and generate buzz. But a stand alone single doesn’t give people a true feel for what a band brings to the (“turn”)table. Windowfish has chosen to adopt the EP format to get our music “out there” and may release a few singles to introduce our art to new listeners. We will be releasing vinyl albums as well as streaming formats. Stay tuned and get ready to download and spin our original music soon!