How can waiting years to release new music affect an artist’s fanbase?

Written by Music

We’ve all had that artist who we follow as they release new release, each time getting more and more excited until it climaxes with an LP, which we rave about for months. Eventually, after a while of listening on repeat, we get bored of the same tracks and yearn for more – but, alas, no more seems to come.

At this point we move onto new bands, finding fresh sounds and developing our taste over the years. We completely forget about the artist we were once in love with as we discover recent content to replace it. Then, years down the line, the old favourite rises once again with a sudden announcement of a new record. How to react can be confusing – are we still as excited as we used to be to hear more? 

Whatever material is presented years later, it is important that it doesn’t just invoke a feeling of nostalgia, as this is a short-lived emotion that is not the same as genuine appreciation of the artist moving forward, and can often result in brief success before another relapse period. The artist has to reignite interest in their music career going forward, while at least honouring their roots.

Taking on some specific ‘case studies’ as it were, the hype around returning artists tends to be biggest for bands that are reuniting from a long-time split, with My Chemical Romance being a prime example of this. Their 2019 shows brought the group back together for the first time since their 2013 split, exciting the teenage emo in all of us. 

Bombay Bicycle Club went above and beyond for their first album in 6 years dropping last month, followed by a flurry of shows including a sold-out gig at Newcastle’s 02 Academy. After splitting for years to pursue solo projects, there were no complaints that they rebranded and produced a plethora of great new content in the same vein of their classic tracks.

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We're thrilled to say that our 5th album, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong, is out now. (Link in bio.)⁣ ⁣ When we started discussing the possibility of making another record after our few years away as a band, we said we'd only release an album if we were confident that it stood up to our previous work. ⁣ We've ended up with an album we're really proud of, and we hope you agree that it's been worth the 6 year wait.⁣ ⁣ Recording this one was definitely one of the most enjoyable recording processes we've had as a band. ⁣ Working with John Congleton, we had an initial session in London in early Spring last year at Konk studio, where we'd done our first and fourth albums.⁣ We then went to LA in late Summer to record the majority of it with John. Spending 3 weeks in LA was an unforgettable experience for the four of us. It was the first extended period of time we'd spent together in a long while, and reinforced what we'd been missing during these few years. ⁣ We hope that positive energy that was there during those 3 weeks has translated onto the record.⁣ ⁣ We've touched previously on how the album is about the comfort that music can provide in times of need. Hopefully this record can give you that escape should you ever need it.⁣ ⁣ We want to get to as many places as possible to play these new songs for you. Wherever you are in the world, fingers crossed we'll see you soon. ⁣ ⁣ Lots of love⁣ bombay xx⁣

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Both these groups latest actions are examples of a comeback done right, and a lot of that is down to the hugely positive fan reaction. For certain musicians, things might not have gone so smoothly.

It is genuinely difficult for artists to make a comeback after a long period of absence – they may lose old fans for one reason, or gain new ones for another. It’s a difficult minefield to navigate, and those that slip may lose some integrity, but those that succeed can triumphantly return to the forefront of the music industry, rejuvenating their discography and performances.

Last modified: 27th February 2020

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