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Wombats frontman: ‘Streaming has levelled the playing field’

5:31 pm, 20th June 2018

Many musicians have been critical of the changes in music consumption and its impact on artists, with decreases in royalties and piracy often cited as issues.

But Matthew Murphy says sites like Spotify and Apple Music allow the music to speak for itself.

He told Sky News: “The playing field feels so level to me at the moment, with streaming and everything, that really if you do have a good song it’s going to rise to the top.

“All I see is positives really, it’s definitely reinvigorated The Wombats.”

He explained there was a notable difference to the group, best known for their hit song Let’s Dance To Joy Division, when they released Glitterbug in 2013.

“It’s made the whole music industry seem a lot more exciting, it definitely did when we released our third album,” Murphy explained.

“I’m eternally grateful for streaming services really.

“I guess one of the negative things [is] it focuses on one song so people are just able to pick their favourite bits, but then again I think music’s always been like that.”

Despite the way streaming has changed how some people listen to records, Murphy said it has not impacted how he writes.

“For me I always want to make a body of work, an album, that works from start to finish, but then how people consume it is completely up to them,” he said.

The Wombats fourth album, Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, came out earlier this year.

Murphy said he felt more relaxed about the record than he has done previously.

“Usually I’m filled with anxiety for a good month either side of the album release date, but for this one for some reason I felt really confident about it, I don’t know why,” he said.

“I think that I wanted to make an album that was more sure of itself, was more organic, wasn’t screaming ‘listen to me’ or ‘you need to play me 20 times a day on the radio’.

“I wanted to make something that was more confident and that then fed my confidence going in to the album release.”

The confidence appears not to have been misplaced as the album release was followed by a sell-out headline tour.

And the band will also headline the Isle of Wight festival’s opening night on Thursday – it’s the event’s 50th anniversary – and a gig Murphy says he’s looking forward to.

“We played there in 2009 and I remember it being awesome… I’m hoping that it’s going to go off,” he said.

“I generally prefer festivals than I do our own shows I think.

“You fly by the seat of your pants a lot more [at a festival] because you’re not totally in control of everything, which I personally like, but there is still a bit of pressure I guess if you’re headlining to make sure everyone feels like that is the climax of the night.”

The Wombats fourth album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life is out now.