Cheers To Two Years!
The Music Mermaid turned two years old a few days ago. Today, we celebrate by taking a look back at the songs we’ve covered, the people we’ve loved, and the things we’ve done. But first — we take it back to the beginning.
High school sucked. When I was in high school, I was always looking for ways to get out of it, to escape the nagging feeling that things were never as good as they seemed. I needed something to do. Something to put energy into. Something to be proud of.
That’s why I started Freerider Music Reviews, an itty bitty Tumblr blog where I’d write 100-word reviews of my recent favorite songs. I had a solid zero followers and the quality of my work was abominable, but I felt like I was doing at least something, because I was, even if it wasn’t very good or very eloquent or very important.
Soon, my tiny Tumblr morphed into Buzz Artist, a professional music review website I had the opportunity to launch with a web designer. Through the rest of high school and college, Buzz Artist was my baby. I conducted my first ever phone interview with a musician for Buzz Artist out on the rolling hills in front of the gym during my freshman year of college. I wrote hundreds of pieces for Buzz Artist. I threw business cards at people who didn’t care but politely slid one into their pocket and nodded while I maniacally spoke of a music blog they’d never commit to memory. I worked hard on Buzz Artist for a long time — it was something to call my own, to better my skills for, to grow with — but like all things must, it came to an end. It was never really mine because I had a partner dictating what I could do with it and setting limits on my creativity. I was never fully in control of it like I wanted to be. In 2017, I let Buzz Artist go.
For a few weeks, I was adrift, cut off from a passion project that had led me to so many amazing opportunities but was never strong enough to float on. I could say goodbye to Buzz Artist but what I couldn’t say goodbye to was my hunger to share good music, to connect listeners, and to give a little love to artists who deserve it.
Two years ago, I took the plunge and launched The Music Mermaid — by myself this time. I’m the only writer, the obsessive emailer, the social media coordinator, the interviewer, the playlister, the music lover, the idea-haver, the strategic planner. But I’m never alone. Since I started The Music Mermaid, I’ve connected with hundreds of fans and artists and fellow writers and inspiring, creative, hard-working music lovers who make me so proud to be a part of this industry. They’re the reason I’ve written over 400 features, curated 30 playlists, sold 40 stickers, sent thousands of emails, and fell in love with countless more songs over the past two years. You are the reason.
The Music Mermaid has never aimed to lecture or convince or shame. Its only mission has been to hug you with words, to shout out music that’s doing its best, to make you want to listen, to make you want to feel, and to make both artists and listeners alike proud of the music they make and the music they love. That’s all TMM wants to do — to have you all along for the journey has been special in ways they don’t have words for yet.
Cheers to two years!
In honor of TMM’s second birthday, here’s a (very long) list of things I’m pretty proud of: things like interviews, initiatives, playlists, and more. Check them out if you want or keep scrolling for TMM’s Cheers To Two Years playlist!
Sound Support, an initiative I launched to encourage listeners to support their favorite artists in a more monetary fashion. The process is simple: you buy a ticket to a show or some merch or a Bandcamp download, you prove it with a receipt, and I make a curated playlist just for you.
TMM’s testimonial page, where a couple of my favorite music contacts shared what they love about The Music Mermaid.
The Honest Unraveling and Constant Re-Raveling of Scott Hutchison, a tribute I wrote to my all-time favorite songwriter in the history of the world. I miss him every day.
My wandering playlist, full of wistful songs focusing on escapism and travel and wanderlust and all that good stuff. Rob Janicke, founder of SoundEvolution Music, was so kind to play through the majority of this playlist on his radio show a few months ago — it was the coolest, proudest moment of my life.
Why Music Matters and The Haters Don’t, an op-ed I penned to remind readers to listen to whatever the hell they want and not feel bad about it because listening to music and loving it is so, so, so special.
Music Mapping, a series created a few months ago designed to spotlight music scenes all over the world. There’s only been one so far but the idea is that you get to nominate a local music scene important to you and I’ll write up a brief profile of the scene, highlighting music I love and offering some info on cool venues, labels, and people in that locale.
This comprehensive guide to my favorite music resources, featuring quick shout-outs to a bunch of labels, PR people, publications, and more that I love.
My Rainy Day playlist, featuring 30 super soft and dreamy tunes to wistfully stare out the window to.
Songs The World Should Hear, a roundtable of songs important to a bunch of amazing people I look up to in the industry who were willing to write a few words in contribution to what ended up being an eclectic, and pretty damn good, playlist.
These 5 playlists I curated for Valentine’s Day, which took forever but ended up being a favorite to write. The holiday often sparks tons of different feelings and opinions, so I wanted to make sure TMM offered a soundtrack for all of them.
This list of live music session channels, because I’m obsessed with live sessions. Many of my most favorite performances are housed on these quality channels.
William Fitzsimmons and the Universal Language of Music, an exclusive email interview I conducted with one of the world’s most phenomenal songwriters.
This film and soundtrack review for Hearts Beat Loud, a movie that changed my life and that I hold so close to my heart.
10 Branding Tips for Musicians, a guide I put together with tips and tricks for musicians wanting to step up their optics for success.
This interview with Beck Pete, whose song “Lonely” completely and utterly destroyed me last summer. No song has had that same effect on me since.
My track-by-track review of Kesha’s Rainbow, an album that will always be important to me.
This analysis of every reference to prismatic duality on an Oh Wonder album, an extremely nerdy and unnecessary feature that is definitely only interesting to me.
The Ultimate Gift Guide for Music Lovers, featuring a bunch of different options in different price ranges of fun gift ideas for the music lover in your life.
This phone interview with Toronto pop artist Lo Lo, who was super cool and funny and willing to chat about one of my favorite EPs of the year.
Out of over 600 songs we’ve loved and listened to on The Music Mermaid in the past two years, we chose our ultimate favorite 30 that we’ve kept in our heart. Here they are:
The Music Mermaid