It is an obvious thing to know that artists only release a small percentage of what they produce. They’re songs that don’t get released that are much better than most of the songs that are out there, and there is a lot of songs that are pure trash and don’t get released for that reason. But what I think Is crazy is when there are songs that didn’t come out, for whatever reason, then they are leaked a year later and it is a really good song. It reminds us that the process of releasing a song doesn’t always come down to how well the song is made. There are so many factors that goes into a song being released and usually a label will restrict the amount of songs that are released. Maybe a song isn’t markable enough or doesn’t fit anywhere in a big project. So, it gets binned. Labels especially don’t like to release several singles because they know it is not going to bring in enough revenue to warrant what they are paying the artist compared to what a big project would return.
I think that singles are a good way for emerging artists to come up and are the best way for the artist to expose their uniqueness without putting in obscene amounts of time, energy and funds into an album or EP. As time goes on and if that artist goes onto become one of the bigger names, gets signed etc, then it becomes a sunk cost for them to release singles in the big picture.
I say all of this because some of these unreleased singles have the most heart put into them and it reflects the artist the most because it doesn’t have to fit into a project. I love listen to the music that wasn’t commercially released because it connects me more to the artist and isn’t trying to fit a theme.
Here is one of my favourite unreleased songs.