How to get a review on LSF

A short guide for bands and artists

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LSF gets lots of requests for reviews – many more than we can actually do – and we have to have some general guidelines for what we do and don’t/can’t review. And if we don’t do a review we’ll try and do a news piece on your release.

Firstly we only review things we like, life is way too short to be writing critical reviews. So if we turn down a review it isn’t that the material isn’t good, it’s just that your music just doesn’t grab us. We can’t like everything! However just because we don’t like something you submit doesn’t mean that your next single, EP or album is going to be rejected. So please do try again.

And don’t worry if you’ve looked at the bands/artists we review and feel that you don’t fit in. We have a big range of music we like and we are happy to be surprised by a new thing. Our readers don’t fit into any one niche.

And sometimes we do just have to turn down a review request because we don’t have time. We do LSF in our spare time and we all have ‘day jobs’. LSF doesn’t make any money from what we do, we do it for the love of local music.

The guidelines

Our priority list for reviews is in order:

  1. Bands/artists based in Yorkshire – particularly unsigned bands
  2. Bands/artists based outside Yorkshire but play a lot in Yorkshire
  3. Bands/artists from outside Yorkshire but we feel their material is something we just have to review – usually this is music from the less-well known bands and artists

Generally we pick up material to be reviewed from direct contact with us through email, our Facebook Page or sometimes Twitter. If there are bands/artists we particularly like we do try and track news of releases via their social media but we can’t guarantee to pick up on things, sorry. If we don’t please contact us.

We do sometimes do trawls through Facebook to see what’s out there (this is how we found jellyskin) or pick up on bands we see live (like Pepe Sylvia). And may just do a review off-the-cuff as a result if we have time.

We’ve reviewed your stuff in the past, why won’t we review your new track

Sometimes we just have too many reviews on a particular band/artist, and we need to review new bands/artists. ‘But’ I hear you say, ‘there are bands who you review every single new release’ – well yes, but this is because they don’t actually have that many releases or there are huge gaps between releases, or, in some cases, because we are basically fans and think a band/artist deserves a bigger audience.

Hints & tips

  • If you want your release to be reviewed for publication on release day or a preview before release day please, please, please try and give us lots of notice. We’d recommend at least two weeks and preferably a month. If you can’t give us access to a private stream that far ahead then at least tell us when the release is due so we can timetable it in (and do try and give us a week before you want the preview/review published)
  • If you want a sneaky preview of the review before publication – perhaps so that you can use quotes from it in pre-publicity – then please tell us. We won’t – for obvious reasons – change a review even if you don’t particularly like something in it. We will change factual information if we’ve got it wrong.
  • Previews without a stream available so that people can at least listen to it are something that isn’t usually that effective for LSF UNLESS you are particularly well known. Sorry about that. We’d usually recommend a review published on release day
  • We don’t generally review things that have been out for some time – we do this sometimes but they don’t get that much interest

What we need for a review

In addition to a private stream we generally need the following:

  • Band/artist bio – if available
  • Band member list
  • Official band/artist photos – if these are not available we generally try and find something recent from Facebook
  • Links to website/social media/music streaming sites
  • Purchase information for the release – if appropriate
  • Upcoming gigs after the publication date

Post review publication

It would be nice if you shared our review. The more people share the more people like our social media and the better ‘reach’ reviews (including ones for reviews of your material in the future) will get. If you are sharing please tag us on your post if you are sharing direct from our website rather than our Facebook post or Tweet.

It would be useful to know how effective our reviews are being in helping you. We do sometimes hear from bands that hits on streaming sites have gone up after our review but not always.

And finally

You might have noticed that some of our reviews are, how shall I put it, a little strange. This is because we encourage our writers to say how music hits them on an emotional level rather than just a ‘well it sounds like…’ type review. Basically if we like something, or indeed love something, then we like to say why we like or love it. That’s just how we do things, not going to apologise for that.