New Songs for the Radio. - Midsummer Edition.
posted 13 Aug 2023 by Krister Axel
August is the month of vacations. We've got a nice list of great new tunes for you to consider for your 'Songs of Summer' playlist.

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The summer is just flying by. I've only just gotten around to curating a list of photos from the work trip I took at the end of June. So I'll just throw in a few of those here and there. It's been a bit of an adjustment working without Midjourney, but so far I'm standing by my commitment not to use AI-Gen artwork for everything. That's what cameras are for!

Throwback Alert

Honestly, I can't remember how The Open Sea got put on my radar. But as far as I can tell, they only made the one EP 'Little Apple' in 2010 and then they disappeared. But it's fantastic and you should listen to it.

In Other News

Lately, I've been struggling a little bit with a sense of direction for this blog. We are almost up to the one-year mark of when I started my Substack newsletter, and in some ways, it feels like my entire perspective has changed in that relatively short amount of time. My commitment to and passion for music has not changed, just simply the amount of free time I have and the personal projects I'm hoping to make progress on have shifted a bit. I also think that years from now we will look back on this period of time as the last breath of an old guard, before AI came in and really changed the landscape. Look up the term 'AI cannibalism' if you are curious what I mean by that. If I am going to continue to create high-quality original content in the way that I have for the last five years, that will only be once I have shifted the model enough to protect my rights as a creative. Thankfully, I am absolutely up to the task, and as I mentioned in the last newsletter, I think CHILLFILTR® 3.0 should be rebuilt to work directly with a chatbot technology—in order to both optimize the UI experience and keep some sense of security around the content (like locking it behind a chat) such that it would not be easily scraped by bots, for example. But that will be for later announcements. For now, we still have the music.

And just to be clear, another thing that has emerged from this period of reflection is simply that I deeply enjoy curating for our Internet radio channel, and have no intention of changing that in any way. Quite the contrary, I'm doubling down a little bit in terms of further registering with groups like so that our playlist and artists get that much more recognition.

And for anyone that didn't notice by now, I have added a link to the radio page that will allow anyone to search for artists and tracks in our radio broadcast list. That link is here.

The Numbers

The blog began in March 2018, but I didn't put the radio channel online until at least the next year, and I cycled through a few different online providers until I found the current combination of Azuracast and Live365 that has proven to be a sweet spot for me. Above, you can see our numbers for the most recent 30 days, with an average low of 20 distinct listeners per day with a spike as high as 3-4X. Fair enough. I remember not that long ago looking at a consistent number of daily listeners that I could count on one hand, so it does continue to feel like we are growing—perhaps a bit slowly, but also in a healthy and sustainable manner. And I love it. I absolutely love listening to music, deciding if it's a good fit for the CHILLFILTR® aesthetic, and putting out the playlists and the daily radio lineups. Yes please. So we are going to continue to do that. In terms of writing new content, I think at least until the end of the year that will be on hiatus. What's most exciting is figuring out how to improve the CHILLFILTR experience yet again, and I look forward to that.

It's important to be clear: now that I am working full-time again as a software engineer, the entire set of motivations for this site has shifted. When I began this blog, I, perhaps, naïvely, thought that I would be able to leverage this entire ecosystem eventually as a source of income. Since then, I have been delisted by Apple news, my playlists on Spotify have stopped growing inexplicably, and it has just become clear that as an independent content creator, it's an uphill battle.

Case in point: SubmitHub rolled out a feature where creators could set their prices on the marketplace for something like an album review. Although it's a strong idea, and relatively well implemented, what became clear was that no one really has any budget to pay content creators. I sent out a handful of requests—somewhere around 15% acceptance which is standard for me—and not a single artist accepted at a price point between $40 and $60. Keep in mind, they sent me the request, and my prices were already listed. Why ask to be approved for something you have no intention of paying for? Maybe they changed their minds. Maybe they didn't understand what they were doing; but it wasted hours of my time without any income to offset it.

I have since deactivated my Submithub account. I may reactivate it at some point, but the passion that I approached this with has largely, at least, for now, disappeared. I have written millions of words in support of the independent music that I love. In many ways, I used that as a crutch, because at the time I had taken a break from performing my own songs. I have decided to dust off some of my old equipment and begin performing again, so that probably has something to do with this shift as well. If I'm making my own music, it's less important to me to be writing every day about other artists.

So anyway, that's pretty much it. I will continue to put out these lists of new tracks every one or two months, and I'll be sure to let everyone know once I'm done shuffling all the tech around.

CHILLFILTR® 2.0 was announced in summer 2018, so it only took me three months to figure out the move from Squarespace to Ghost. In early 2020 I made the move to Craft CMS, and now I am thinking of doing a fully headless CMS and perhaps even building out a mobile app. Here's to a bright future. More news to follow!

For now, enjoy the music and the rest of your summer.

Here's a breakdown of the new pieces that were written this month, followed by a list of new songs below.

Introducing Ed Prosek: Man Overboard

Sat, 15 Jul 2023 13:02:00 -0400

Strikes a balance between chamber orchestration, intimate storytelling, and an organic production aesthetic.Read More

More Amazing Indie Folk from the UK. - Meadowlark: Brainwashed

Wed, 05 Jul 2023 17:00:00 -0400

Romance is so often a distraction from the self-love that we actually crave.Read More

Fresh Groove FFO Fela Kuti. - Kay Slice: Yessika

Sat, 24 Jun 2023 05:18:00 -0400

Kay slice continues to breathe new life into the unique and soulful hip-hop that has made him a household name in his native Rotterdam.Read More

Introducing Shep Treasure: Ripoff

Sun, 18 Jun 2023 12:37:00 -0400

A unique and layered brew of drums, guitar, and bass, working together to infuse a wistful series of observations on the meaning life with a sense of purpose and infinite movement.Read More

Latest Tracks Added to CHILLFILTR Radio

Cordovas - Sunshine
Lydia Luce - Other Side
Lily Moore - 01 Hard Days Love
Lily Moore - 02 Beautiful Lie
Lily Moore - 03 Summer
Lily Moore - 06 Never Wanted You More
Hand Habits - Sugar The Bruise - 03 Andy In Stereo
Hand Habits - Sugar The Bruise - 05 The Book On How To Change Part 3
Hand Habits - Sugar The Bruise - 06 The Bust of Nefertiti
Hand Habits - Sugar The Bruise - 02 Gift of the Human Curse
Hand Habits - Sugar The Bruise - 04 Private Life
The Open Sea - Little Apple EP --- 03 - Little Apple
The Open Sea - Little Apple EP --- 05 - All In a Day
The Open Sea - Little Apple EP --- 01 - Keep Me Tonight
The Open Sea - Little Apple EP --- 02 - Starlight
The Open Sea - Little Apple EP --- 04 - On the Edge
fussy - GF
Spoon - Memory Dust EP - 02 She's Fine, She's Mine
Spoon - Memory Dust EP - 01 Sugar Babies
Spoon - Memory Dust EP - 03 Silver Girl
Philip Jonathan - Headlights
LES LULLIES -Mauvaise Foi - Zero Ambition

Photo credit: Krister Axel

About the Author


Krister Bjornson Axel

Ogdensburg, New York

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.

Recent Awards: 2020 ND (Photo) Honorable Mention, 2020 Accenti Writing Contest Finalist