Sounds is Selector’s editorial solution to a dilemma of authenticity faced by journalists covering the arts. As the name suggests, it’s a system designed to ensure that artistic merit guides our selection process by removing external biases that could influence our impressions of a given work.
The web traffic-based model of most modern publications pressures editors to maximize website clicks by selecting music submissions based on an artist’s celebrity or industry relationships. Not only are the odds stacked against up-and-comers working to build an audience through media coverage, but readers miss out on discovering new music as well.
Sounds accounts for the majority of Selector’s music coverage*. The releases in this category have received the highest marks by a blind tastemaker panel of industry professionals who rate each submission after listening to an unlabeled audio clip. As a strict rule, no artist names or associations are provided at that stage. Selections are based solely on criteria such as originality, execution, functionality and tradition.
Certain factors can still disqualify music even after it is rated highly. If trusted sources inform Selector that an artist hires ghost producers – or even credits co-creators in the liner notes of a release without mentioning them in promotions or digital service provider listings – we will decline to cover their music.
*Selector may cover relevant news regarding more famous artists in our Stories section, and our Heritage Artists series highlights releases by established early innovators with a consistent track record for artistic integrity.