Another Jumbled Rant on Streaming Music

(reposted from Twitter, which is why it’s a bit messy)

Re: taylorswift​‘s letter:

She’s right.

I’ve been saying it for three years. I make a fraction of a cent per listen, and it’s only getting worse. If you care at all about the media that you consume, just pay for it. It’s really simple.

And if you say anything about how shows and touring are the way that artists should be getting paid, you don’t understand the reality. Musicians like me have played countless shows to bartenders, sound engineers, and virtually empty bars. And touring is only an option when you already have money and a big following, unless you want to risk being in major debt. I shouldn’t have to invest myself in that lifestyle so that I can continue to pump free music into your ears.

I know this business model seems better for consumers right now, but trust me, it won’t be forever.

I never hear the end of people telling me:

“Oh, you just have to be discovered and get signed!”



“You should do covers on YouTube!”

No. No, I should be able to make (hopefully) beautiful and innovative music without jumping through hoops that make me feel uncomfortable.

It’s like telling a developer to spend 3+ years on an app, give it away for free, and then travel the country in a bus selling t-shirts.


Oh, I’m canceling the Claye shows, by the way. I’m done playing this game.

I’d rather spend my energy making better music.

I don’t give a shit about the fucking shows. I don’t like playing to nobody, don’t like the scene, and don’t like the imposed lifestyle. If you’re an indie musician, stand up for the art by not jumping through the hoops.

I’ve been doing it for 8 years. It’s not worth it.

Get a job, make great music on the side, and appreciate the fact that you’ve made something that you and hopefully others fall in love with.

Lovably Grey (And How it Came to Be)


When I finished Readers & Reporters, I said that I wanted to take time to expand on ideas that I was having for some ‘non-musical’ projects. These projects were in the extremely early stages at the time, but after dealing with the fatigue of making an album, I was fairly certain that I would want a break from that world.

I was an idiot, of course, and in February 2012—the month after R&R came out—I started work on an album called Carbon Claye (now CLAYE), and I’ve been working on it everyday since then.

(I should mention: CLAYE is coming, I promise. Mixing for the album wraps up next week.)

While my main focus for the past two years has been finishing CLAYE, I’ve continued to develop those ‘non-musical’ projects that I mentioned. The first was an idea for a design blog called Airplane Mode, which eventually evolved into what is now Turtle Pie. Since its launch in April 2013, I’ve written over 40 essays for Turtle Pie, and I certainly won’t be stopping there. In fact, I don’t see an end in sight.

I want to make it clear that when things seem slow in between posts on Turtle Pie, it means that I’m either deeply focused on another project, or that I don’t have anything particularly well-developed to write about at the time, and I’d rather have a month of silence than publish a lousy post. Honestly, I’ve done that before, and I don’t want to let it happen ever again. There’s no excuse for garbage.

So with CLAYE production wrapping up in the coming months, and Turtle Pie becoming a more stable part of my work, I decided that it was time to act on one of my other ‘non-musical’ ideas.

It’s a new company, it’s all about design, and I’m calling it Lovably Grey.



Lovably Grey is a design studio focused on brand development. Our mission is to create beautiful designs that are always honest and true to the culture of companies we work with. We’re offering two services to kick things off: logo design and website design.

My initial work for Lovably Grey began in November 2012, when I started mocking up an idea for a small design studio that I was calling Pedalboard. I worked on that project for about a week, but I ended up deciding that if I was going to start a company, especially for something as important to me as design, I’d want to put more thought into it. I didn’t want to make something that was going to go away after a year or two of being uninteresting. So I put the project on the shelf, and I resumed full-time work on CLAYE recording, as I developed Turtle Pie on the side.

A part of me knew that this project wouldn’t be on the shelf for long, because I love design. In fact, design is arguably my favourite thing in the world. When I’m frustrated with music, I turn to design. When I’m frustrated with writing, I turn to design. And that’s not to say that design can’t be frustrating at times, but it’s endlessly intriguing to me, and I never get tired of it.

In late December 2013, I came up with the name ‘Lovably Grey’, and it excited me. It seemed different from the other names I’d thought of, like it was more friendly or something. Maybe that sounds stupid? Either way, I bought the domain, as any geek with an idea does, and I’ve spent the last six months, in tandem with a very strict CLAYE recording schedule (60-70 hours a week), developing and building on my ideas for this company.

Now I’m finally able to come out and show it.



So that’s Lovably Grey, and how it came to be. You can check out our website,, for more information about the company and the work we do.

I hope you like it!